Israel for Kids

Israel is a great travel destination for families with kids, and visitors of all ages will fall in love with the Holy Land. There are outdoor nature activities, amusement parks, water parks, zoos, the aquarium, child-friendly museums, and stunning beaches. Kids will love hiking through Hezekiah’s Tunnel, knee-deep in water through an ancient underground water channel. Young tourists will get excited about walking the ramparts of Jerusalem’s Old City, and discovering the Crusaders’ Halls beneath the Old City of Acre.

If you’re a family with kids that enjoys outdoor activities, then visit one of the many national parks where there are marked hike trails, waterfalls, forests, and streams to explore. Take the kids to Soreq Stalactite Cave, or the caves at Beit Guvrin. Visit the Children’s Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the science museum in Haifa. If you’re a family that loves sand and sea, then spend time on the beaches of Tel Aviv, Herzliya, or Haifa. A trip south to the Dead Sea, a visit to Masada, and a desert jeep safari will thrill little ones. Further south is the incredible Red Sea resort city of Eilat. Here you’ll find endless water sports for all ages, a chance to swim with dolphins, a large skating rink, and even camel rides in the desert. So you see, there are plenty of family-friendly attractions in Israel for kids of all ages!


Kid-Friendly Attractions in Haifa

If you’ll be spending time with your family in the beautiful city of Haifa then you happen to be in one of the most kid-friendly cities in Israel! There are plenty of things to see to keep you busy. Here are some of the best kid-friendly attractions in Haifa, Israel:Cable CarFor a thrilling ride (and a way to get up the mountain) take the cable car from the Bat Galim Promenade all the way to Stella Maris on the Carmel Ridge. Apart from the thrill of the ride there are gorgeous views across the city and sea.BeachThe Dado Beach and Zamir Beach along the Hof HaCarmel to the west of Haifa are two of the most popular beaches in the country. It is possible to relax, play in the sand, sunbath and even try out water sports. There are restaurants, cafes and stores along the beachfront.National Museum of ScienceThis large museum is full of interactive and hands-on exhibits which explain the basic principles of science and technology. The 400 exhibits cover the topics of sound, the human body, water, electricity, motors and there is a Hall of Mirrors and visual illusions as well as 4D films. The building which houses the museum dates back to 1910 and was originally the Technion Building and once visited by Einstein himself!M. Stekelis Museum of Prehistory and ZooThis zoo will entertain young and old. There is the full range of animals from lions and tigers to the smaller creatures in a petting zoo. In addition to the usual animals you can visit the zoo’s stuffed animal museum and the Botanical Garden section. The zoo is set amid lush plants and tall shady trees.X-ParkThis action park is the largest of its kind in the country. All members of the family can take part in physical challenges like the giant omega, paintball, skating, a climbing wall and a rope bridge park.Clandestine Immigration and Navy MuseumThis museum focuses on the history of Israel’s navy and the clandestine immigration of Jews during the 40s when the country was first being established. However for kids who are navy and ship enthusiasts will find this a thrilling attraction. There are hands-on exhibits and visitors can go onboard a submarine and explore. There is a video presentation of the history of Israel’s navy, naval maps, historic photographs, documents, war medals, model ships and paraphernalia from various vessels.
By Petal Mashraki

Sound and Light show at travel destinations in Israel

Like all major travel destinations in the world Israel also has several Sound and Light shows. These are multi-media shows using images projected onto historic buildings accompanied by a narrative and atmospheric music. The Sound and Light Shows serve to bring history alive and make it more accessible and easier to understand.Tower of David, The Night Spectacular Show, JerusalemIn the Tower of David at Jerusalem’s Old City Jaffa Gate, ancient walls are used as a backdrop for the projected images which come from 20 projectors. The 45 minute show retells the history of Jerusalem starting with the Israelite kings and going on to King David, the Romans, Muhammad, the Crusaders, Suleiman the Magnificent and more. This is an incredible history lesson accompanied by an orchestral soundtrack with dramatic classical music to match the historic events.Caesarea, Travel Through TimeYou could call this a mini-Sound and Light Show, the Travel Through Time experience is divided into three stations chronicling the history of the city. The Caesarea Experience is a 10 minute film taking you through the history of the port; Caesarea Stars uses 3D images of leading historical figures to bring you face-to-face with them and the last station is The Tower of Time in a recreated fortress where computerized animation overlooking the city recreates the ancient buildings and allows you to take a virtual tour. Beit Shean National Park, She’an NightsThis is a large archeological site with 20 layers of different civilizations, the most dominant being the well preserved Roman city. The Sound and Light Show is the 4th biggest in the world and cost 3 million USD to produce. The show begins with a 10 minute multimedia presentation and then there is a guided tour of the city. During the guided tour images are projected on the Roman columns, walls, and in the amphitheatre. This makes it a unique kind of Sound and Light Show as the audience needs to walk around. The visual is accompanied by sound effects (Roman chariots, horses, crowds etc) and music. To book call +972-4-648-1122.Masada The show takes place on the western side of Masada and tells the story of the people who lived and died in the mountain top fortress, the battles and the historical events that took place here. The shows are from March to October on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9pm. Tiberias Fountain ShowNot exactly a Sound and Light Show but this is a spectacle of light, sound and fountains. Situated on the southern end of the promenade, fountains shoot up into the air moving to the music together with shows projected on giant water screens. The shows are about the history, art and Tiberias. The effects include shooting flames, lasers and colorful lights. The show lasts 15 minutes and plays three times a night depending on the weather and season.
By Petal Mashraki

Free Things for families to do in Israel this Summer 2016

During the summer there are always several free events and attractions organized for Israeli families and kids that are on school vacation. There is no reason why tourists shouldn’t join in and take advantage of these great activities – for free!Secondhand Market,Tel AvivThe summertime secondhand market can be found if you follow the Lahat Promenade along Tel Aviv’s coast towards Jaffa. Just as you reach the entrance to Jaffa you’ll find Charles Clore Park. Here there is a secondhand market where stalls are set up and you can buy almost anything for next to nothing. Not only is there plenty to buy but as part of the market there is also free entertainment, live music, stand-up comedy performances, dance, fashion shows, circus acts and food stalls. There are special performances geared towards kids with famous characters from kid’s TV programs.Fairy Tale,Tel AvivAt twilight time when you want to unwind and relax after a long day shopping and sightseeing what better than to sit the kids down in front of a good show and hang out in the park. Each Wednesday there is a children’s play performed (for free) in the peaceful setting of this Tel Aviv park.Yafui Magic, Ed Koch Tennis CourtsThis special evening is geared towards kids although parents are welcome. One of Israel’s top children’s entertainers will keep the crowd happy with performances of much-loved Israeli songs. Expect bright costumes, dance, music, lots of laughs and appearances by well known children’s TV characters.Street Ball ,Tel AvivThe Israel Basketball Association is organizing an all night event at basketball courts across the city. There will be competitions, games and demonstrations where everyone can join in. In addition the areas around the courts will hold some activities, food stalls and more – all night long. This is perfect for older kids and teens.Kabbalat Shabbat at the Western Wall, JerusalemJoin locals in welcoming the Shabbat as the sun goes down at the holiest Jewish place of worship, the Western Wall (Kotel or Wailing Wall). You can observe or join in with those chanting the traditional prayers. There is singing, chanting of prayers and dancing by Jews from diverse backgrounds. See the traditional clothing of some of the sectors of the ultra-religious Jews and listen to the different melodies used by different Jewish sectors.BeachesIt goes without saying that you can enjoy the gorgeous Israeli beaches for free during the summer. Visit the beaches along the Mediterranean coast, those in Eilat on the Red Sea or on the Dead Sea or Sea of Galilee.Israeli ParksThere are many parks in Israel but a few stand out as being extra special. In Tel Aviv you have the Yarkon Park with the Yarkon River wending its way through the green lawn. Here there are several attractions including peddle boat and row boat hire, bicycles to hire, a climbing wall, paths, playgrounds and picnic areas. In Raanana (about 20 minutes north of Tel Aviv) there is a great park with a small zoo, a special playground for children with physical disabilities, a skate park, café, lake and playgrounds. In Herzalia (opposite the Sheva Kochavim/Seven Stars Mall) there is a park with a huge climbing apparatus. You can climb up ladders, cross rope bridges and slide down enclosed tubes. There is a café nearby, a regular playground, BBQ areas and a gorgeous wild marsh area with a boardwalk leading through it. This section has been left in its natural state. In Jerusalem the Teddy Park has a great way for kids to cool off, a flat surface will fountains that squirt up as kids run in and out of the water. During the day the fountain “show” takes place at 10am, noon and 4pm and in the evening at 8pm, 9pm and 10pm the water is accompanied by sound and lights.Fountain ShowsThere are several dancing fountains in Israel where music and the movement of the fountains have been synchronized with colored lights and laser effects creating an overall spectacle. The state-of-the-art presentations are all free and performed several times a night.Tel Aviv PortThe port area is great at any time of year but especially in the summer when there are street entertainers, balloon artists and special events. On the northeastern side of the Port boardwalk is a concert venue which stages children’s shows every Tuesday at 6pm for free. In addition there is a huge sandpit and a carousel. On Fridays from 10am-5pm there is Friday Live a special happening with live musical performances, a designer market, art exhibits and an organic food markets.Front Stage Festival, JerusalemThroughout the summer on Friday nights the downtown area of Jerusalem turns into a live concert venue complete with art exhibitions, food stalls, dancing and performances by famous Israeli bands and singers. The event starts at noon and everyone is welcome for free. See the Jerusalem Municipality website for more details.Israel Museum, JerusalemOk this one is not completely free as adults need to pay an entrance fee but throughout July kids enter for free on Tuesdays and entrance is free for kids every day throughout August. At the museum there is a lot to see; families will enjoy the Children’s’ Wing where there are regular activities for families especially in the summer. There is also the sculpture garden, modern art, classic art, Judaica and the Shrine of the Book holding the Dead Sea Scrolls.
By Petal Mashraki

Ice-Skating in Israel

Although Israel is a hot country you can escape the heat and have some fun at several ice rinks spread throughout the country from the extreme north to the extreme south.Canada Center, MetullaThis is Israel’s oldest and best known ice rink; it is where the professional skaters train. All of the professional skating competitions in Israel are held at this Olympic standard rink. It is possible to take ice skating lessons here or just come for fun. The center has other sporting facilities including a great indoor pool.Open Hours: 10:00-16:00 Monday to SaturdayPrice: 85ILS or 75ILS online for entrance to the rink, skate rental and entrance to the center’s indoor pool.ISkate, Gate 8 Luna Park, Tel-AvivThis 500m² rink is attached to the Tel-Aviv Luna Park amusement park. The rink provides lockers, protective gear and skate rental. The rink is attractive with winter-themed decoration. Private lessons are available.Note: Only people over 6 years old and taller than 3.7 meters can skate here.Open Hours: 15:00-22:00 Monday to Friday and Saturdays 10:00-22:00Price: 67ILS for the first hour, 35ILS for the second. You can “freeze” your time and use the remaining time on your ticket at a later date within the same month.Ice Park EilatEilat’s ice rink is at the center of a huge mall under a large domed ceiling. The upper level of the mall is open to the rink so that you can look down on the ice from above. This is the largest complex of its kind in the world. The Olympic size rink is 1,800m². Throughout the open hours there is music and even ice skating performances every couple of hours. Alongside the rink are other attractions like a mini-amusement park, video arcade and a “snow-globe” play area for little kids. The rink surpasses the Metulla rink and will probably become the venue for future competitions. There is a skate school where you can take lessons.Open Hours: Sunday to Friday 10:00-23:00 and Saturdays and holidays 10:00-24:00Price: 76ILS
By Petal Mashraki

Family Trip to Israel: Best Family Attractions

If you’re looking for a place to bring the kids on vacation, you can’t choose better than Israel. It’s a Mediterranean country, so there’s a culture of children being welcome almost everywhere and it’s also a Jewish country, where family life and children are at the heart of society. Combine that with the fantastic climate, the varied landscapes and the endless attractions that this country offers families, and you’re looking at a vacation you and the kids will never forget.Young tourists at Nimrod Fortress, Israel.Photo credit: © Dmitry MishinChill Out or Culture Vulture? Heritage or Hiking?So how do you go about organizing this kind of trip? Well, in our opinion, a good way to begin is to decide on what you want the focus of your trip to be. Are you hoping for pure relaxation - beaches, water parks, ‘fun in the sun?’ Do you want something more educational, based around historical and religious sites? Are you looking to improve the kids’ interest in their heritage, and hoping to make this an ‘Introduction to Jewish Culture?” vacation, especially if you visit over a religious holiday? Or are you a family that loves being outdoors, and ready for an adventure trekking in the Negev, kayaking on the Jordan River, or hiking in the Galilee?The good news is that Israel won’t disappoint in any of these respects - all you need to do is decide how long you’re coming for and what kind of things you want to do. In the meantime, here’s a bit of background on the ‘must do-must see’ list, whatever kind of family holiday you’re planning.Children walking by the sea in Acre, Israel. Photo credit: © Dmitry MishinThe ‘Kick Back and Relax’ VacationThere’s nothing better than doing nothing for a while and Israel’s beaches are phenomenal - crystal clear water, white sand, and warm weather for many months of the year. Whichever coastal resort you choose, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation. In Eilat, why not try the all-inclusive Isrotel Lagoona or the Leonardo Club Hotel, both of which have great daytime kids activities. If you want to splash the cash in Tel Aviv, then go for the classy Dan Panorama or the luxurious Hilton hotel. Just up the coast in Herzliya, there’s the Okeanos - these self-catering suites are ideal for those looking for a bit of flexibility, and they’re spacious and clean. And in Netanya, you can’t go wrong at the David Tower Hotel or the West Lagoon Resort, both boasting plenty of amenities and very child-friendly.Of course, even sunbathing can get boring after a while, so if you’re looking for activities to get you off your sun lounger, and your children are aged five or over, then why not consider an organized day trip? Let someone else take care of the practicalities while you enjoy yourself. Every kid would love the Masada and the Dead Sea day tour.Caesarea, Acre, and Rosh Hanikra day tour is a great way to give the kids a lesson on Roman and Crusader history. Just make sure you take plenty of water, sunscreen, wide-brimmed hats, and comfortable footwear and you’ll be set.Child on a Tel Aviv beach.Photo credit: © Dmitry MishinSplish Splash - A Day at a Water ParkFor other kinds of day excursions, you could also take a family trip to a water park. Israel has quite a few of them and they’re the ideal way for your kids to let off steam and keep cool (especially if you; ’re visiting in the summer). Try Aqua Kef (‘Water Fun’ in Hebrew) - it has four separate areas - kids, family, Olympic, and extreme! Set on the Sea of Galilee, their brightly colored floats and water slides make for a great day out. Just 25 minutes drive from Tel Aviv, there’s also Yamit in Holon. With 20 different slides, including ‘Freefall’, ‘Black Hole’ and ‘’Banana Jump’ there’s both a younger kids section and an ‘Extreme Park’ for teenagers.Finally, if you feel like combining the beach with a little city life, why not spend some time in Haifa? This beautiful Mediterranean city has all kinds of kid-friendly attractions, and its views of the sea never disappoint. Best Time To Go? Between May and October, when the weather is at its warmest.Kids enjoying the sea, Tel Aviv.Photo credit: © Dmitry MishinThe ‘Culture Vultures’ TripIsrael is packed with cultural sites that will thrill the whole family. Whether it’s archaeological, historical or religious places you want, the choice is staggeringly wide and you can be sure that your kids will finish their vacation a whole lot more knowledgeable, whilst having had plenty of fun at the same time! Israel is home to all kinds of astonishing archaeological sites. In Jerusalem, there’s both the City of David (thousand of years old, and lying beneath the modern-day city) and Hezekiah’s Tunnel - at 530m long, they were an innovative way to transport water. You can combine the two with an organized Jerusalem Underground Tour, as well. Or head off to the Masada Fortress (with its astonishing views) or Caesarea, with its beautiful Herodian remains (including a fantastic amphitheatre).Caesarea National Park. Photo credit: © Dmitry MishinClimb a Castle or Take Out a BoatFor history lovers, the whole family will love Nimrod’s Fortress up in the Golan Heights. Atop a mountain, this is the oldest Crusader-style castle in the country and the views are breathtaking! You can then travel onto Acre, a charming city Acre, with an intriguing past and Templar’s Tunnel. In Jaffa, you can walk for hours, stumbling upon tiny churches and watching fishermen sitting patiently, waiting for a catch. And just outside of the White City, there’s Ramle and the Pool of Arches - take the kids on a short’ cruise’ where they can see a real-life underground reservoir.To get the kids interested in different religious faiths, you can head to the Sea of Galilee, and take a boat out on the water, just as Jesus did with his disciples. Let them see pilgrims being baptized in the Jordan River, at Yardenit, then drive onto Nazareth, to see the Church of the Annunciation and its unusual mosaics. Israel’s also jam-packed with museums - the Children’s Museum in Holon and Madatech (Israel’s National Museum of Science) are always good choices. For youngsters interested in art or design, try the Museum of Modern Art or the Design Museum in Holon. And if you’re in Jerusalem, the whole family should consider walking the Ramparts and seeing this ancient city the way warriors once did.Best Time To Go? You can see all of these sites year-round, though it will be more chilly in the winter and much hotter in the summer!The Pool of Arches, Ramle. Photo credit: © Dmitry MishinThe ‘Jewish Tradition’ holidayWant to give your kids a better idea of their Jewish roots? Well, book your Israel holiday now. Whilst giving your child a bar or bat mitzvah at Jerusalem’s Western Wall is an increasingly popular trend, you can also just travel around, soaking up history. There are so many sites your children will love - the Tower of David, the Time Elevator, the Western Wall Tunnels will all thrill the kids. Up in the north, don’t miss Safed with its tiny synagogues, as well as Tiberias, the capital of Galilee, which has a long and historic past. There are also all kinds of activities in Israel that will connect the kids to their Jewish roots. What about having the whole family make challah, in anticipation of Friday night Shabbat dinner? Or paint a hamsa (a traditional ‘hand sign’ that wards off the evil eye) at a Jerusalem Ceramics Center. If the kids are really into adventure, they can also learn how to forge aMaccabee's sword at the Iskander Studio.The Western Wall.Photo credit: © Dmitry MishinA Taste of Joy and Freedom - Chanukah Lights and Purim CarnivalsAnd if you bring your kids to Israel over one of the Jewish holidays, they can celebrate it with the locals. Over Chanukah, there are all kinds of celebrations for this festival of lights and many municipalities also offer free activities for youngsters. Your kids will love the sufganiyot too (the Hebrew word for doughnuts, which are traditionally eaten at this time of the year) which range from the traditional (jam in the middle) to the sublime (chocolate frosting and creme patisserie).Or arrive around Purim and the whole family can experience an Adloyada - with parades, dancing, and general merrymaking. Two of the best (in our opinion) are held each year in Holon and the Midreshet Ben Gurion, in the Negev desert. Take a look at a video here, to see just how fun it really is. Best Time To Go? Early Spring (February/March) for Purim or December for Chanukah.Children with Purim makeup.Photo credit: © Shutterstock‘On Your Marks, Get Set, Go!’ - the Outdoorsy tripIf you’re the kind of family that loves outdoorsy holidays, with plenty of opportunities for walking, hiking, climbing, and camping, then you’re in the right country. For young kids, Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo is Israel’s biggest tourist attraction - and not just for the free-roaming animals and petting zoo, but also the train that runs through it. In Tel Aviv, why not let the kids have an African safari experience, where you drive through the park, gazing at animals from the Savannah?Israel’s nature reserves are also incredibly beautiful. Ein Gedi is a veritable oasis in the desert, which can be explored in the course of the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve Private Tour. Older kids who love the dark will get a real thrill out of exploring the Mei Kedem caves (don’t forget to bring footwear suitable for walking in water, as well as a torch). Further north is the Avshalom Cave near Beit Shemesh - with its beautiful stalactites and stalagmites, the kids will be in awe of the “Elephant Ears’ and ‘Macaroni Fields!’Stalactite Cave, Israel.Photo credit: © Dmitry MishinUnder the Stars and Under the Sea - Mitzpe’s Crater and Eilat’s Coral ReefDown south, there are few children that won’t enjoy camping out and gazing at stars in Mitzpe Ramon.The crater is a wonderful place to hike (though go early in the morning, before it gets hot) and see ibex roaming freely on the cliffs. Teenagers can even abseil down the crater side (under the watchful eyes of experienced guides) whilst younger kids will enjoy Mitzpe’s Alpaca Farm no end. Then head south and take a hike through Timna National Park, and gaze at ‘the Mushroom’ before spending some time at the Eilat Coral Beach Nature Reserve - where you can see a coral reef without even getting wet, learn about snap a selfie with a stingrayand engage in some family-friendly snorkeling! Eilat is also home to the popular Dolphin Reef, where you can pet these gorgeous creatures and see them swimming around freely.Up north again, there are few kids that won’t enjoy kayaking down the Jordan River, whilst nature-loving families should head to the Hula Lake, where annual migrations are a stunning sight. You can make your base on the Sea of Galilee, where you can set up camp and fall asleep under the stars. Eilat. Photo credit:© ShutterstockNearby, there’s the Eshkol forest where you can have a family picnic, or what about taking a boat out on the lake itself? Oh, and don’t forget the wonderful hot springs at Hamat Gader - these thermal baths were built by the Romans over 2,000 years ago and are great fun for kids and adults alike. Of course, if your kids are wearing you out with all their energy, you can always consider taking an organized day trip. Of course, private tours are a great way to plan an itinerary that suits your family personally but our range of day tours is also great if your children have sufficient stamina to walk around for a few hours. Best Time To Go? When it’s dry but not too hot i.e. April-May and September-October (perhaps avoiding the High Holidays, which is high season, meaning some attractions may be closed).Children in Old Jaffa, Israel.Photo credit: © Dmitry Mishin
By Sarah Mann
  • Showing Results 1 - 6 of 6
  • 1