Things to Do Around Israel, May 12-18, 2017

Your guide to exhibits, tours and other attractions around Israel

Local artisan breads at the Mateh Yehuda Food Festival.
Local artisan breads at the Mateh Yehuda Food Festival. Eldad Maestro

International Museum Day

Fifty Israeli museums will open their doors free of charge on Monday and host guided tours and activities for children, in honor of International Museum Day (May 18). Participating museums include the Israel Museum, Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Haifa Museum of Art, Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art and many more. Details: http://www.icom.org.il/

TEL AVIV AND CENTER

Eretz Israel Museum

The Planetarium Films about the solar system, on a revolving stage. “Secrets of the Suns,” ages 11+. Sat at 15.00, Mon-Thur at 10.30; “The Wonder Telescope,” ages 7+. Sat at 14.00, Mon-Wed at 13.30, Thur 13.30, Mon-Thur at 15.00; “Life of Trees,” ages 5+. Sat at 13.00, Thur 16.00, 18.00. Tickets: http://www.eretzmuseum.org.il/  

Man and the Living World Museum

Exhibits for the entire family: artist Eliezer Sonnenschein’s “Insects and Wild Flowers of Israel”; “The Prehistoric Man – In the Footsteps of the Biped,” a journey through time, from the Big Bang through various human species until today; and “The Wild Animals of Nahum Gutman and Friends,” works inspired by Gutman’s illustrations depicting a playful alternative to hunting. Sat 10.00-17.00; Sun-Thur 09.00-14.00. National Park, Ramat Gan (03) 631-5010

The Museum for the Art of Puppetry

Offers a permanent collection of dozens of traditional and contemporary puppets and masks from Israel and abroad, as well as temporary and interactive exhibits. Wednesdays from 16.00-19.00. Israel Puppet Center, 13 Remez St., Holon. Details: www.puppetcenter.co.il

Beit Hatfutsot, Museum of the Jewish People

An exhibit for the whole family: “Heroes – Trailblazers of the Jewish People.” On key figures in Jewish culture, including scientists, intellectuals, leaders, revolutionaries, cultural figures, athletes and others. Includes activities and games. Fri 09.00-14.00; Sat 10.00-15.00; Sun-Wed 10.00-19.00; Thur 10.00-22.30. 2 Klausner St., Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv. Tickets: www.bh.org.il   

Ramat Gan Safari

The 250-acre park is home to 200 species of wild mammals, birds and reptiles, and offers tours, activities and workshops, led by staff members. Fri and holiday eves 09.00-16.00; Sat and holidays, Sun-Thur 09.00-16.30 (last entry 2 hours before closing). 1 Sderot Hatzvi, Ramat Gan (03) 630-5305; www.safari.co.il

Ice Peaks

Ice skating rink, climbing wall and zip-line. Fri 11.00-23.00; Sat 10.00-23.00; Mon-Thur 17.30-20.00. Mifratz Shlomo St., Holon. Details: http://icepeaks.co.il/

Yitzhak Rabin Center

Celebrating the life and legacy of the assassinated prime minister, the center and its museum combine Rabin’s personal story with the development of the burgeoning Jewish State of Israel. Includes guided historical tours, and educational workshops on such ideas as democracy and remembrance. Fri 09.00-14.00; Sun, Mon, Wed 09.00-17.00; Tues, Thur 09.00-19.00. 8 Haim Levanon St., Ramat Aviv. Details: (03) 745-3322 

JERUSALEM AND AREA

Sovev Jerusalem Bike Ride

With over 7,000 participants, the annual cycling event around the city’s historic sites and scenic routes takes place on Friday. Begins at 06.30 (for 50 km); 06.45 (for 40 km); 07.15 (20 km) and 07.30 (for 10 km). Meeting point (start/finish): The First Station (David Ramez Sq.). Details: www.sovevjerusalem.co.il

Mateh Yehuda Food Festival

This food lovers’ event (May 12-31), being held over three consecutive weekends, features local and international cuisine, as well as guided tours of wineries and breweries of the area, and opportunities to meet with local meat smokers, bakers and chefs. Other activities on offer this weekend are a bread workshop on grinding flour like in ancient times and baking pita bread, and a tour of an archeological site, with the KKL-JNF. Fri at 10.00. Meet at the KKL Vistors’ Center at Givat Yeshayahu; a wine launch of Emerald Riesling (2016) and Zinfandel (2014), accompanied by a musical ensemble. At La Terra Promessa winery, Kibbutz Gat. Fri 12.00-16.00, 050-568-4775; and a wine and finger food event. Fri 12.00-16.00. At Sphera Winery at Givat Yesha’ayahu. 054-590-5727.  054-660-0595. Details: www.tour-yehuda.org.il, *8108

The Banquet - Literary and Culinary Festival

The event (May 16-19) brings poetry and food events, wine tastings, performances, music, theater and workshops to Jerusalem. Highlights include a night tour in the footsteps of S.Y. Agnon, which begins at the historical Tmol Shilshom Cafe and continues through the French Quarter, the Russian Compound and Notre Dame of Jerusalem. Tues at 20.00; A tea party with vegan desserts and talks by local authors who will discuss veganism influences in literary writing. Wed at 17.00; A talk about “Literature in the Era of Fast Food,” followed by a theatrical performance by actress Keren Mor. Thur at 17.00. Mishkenot Sha’ananim, on Heinrich Heine St. Tickets: www.mishkenot.org.il

Made in Jerusalem Festival

Beit Avi Chai hosts a two-day event featuring a diverse program in celebration of arts and culture, with poetry, magic workshops, stand-up comedy, musical performances and more. Wed, Thur from 17.00. Beit Avi Chai, 44 King George St. Details and tickets: www.bac.org.il

Time Elevator

An audio-visual overview of Jerusalem’s 3,000-year history. The famous attraction has recently undergone renovations and features four different multimedia performances, including “I Am Jerusalem,” about the city of Jerusalem, the cosmos and the human body. Sun-Thur 10.00-17.00. 6 Yitzhak Kariv St. Details: http://www.time-elevator.co.il/en/

Biblical Museum of Natural History

Showcasing mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects featured in the Hebrew Bible, the museum also functions as a zoo, natural history museum and Torah education center. Includes exhibitions of live animals, taxidermy specimens and biological artifacts. Visits to the museum are through a special guided tour, by appointment only. 5 Hatzaba St., Beit Shemesh. Reservations: office@biblicalnaturalhistory.org or 073-213-1662

Friends of Zion Museum

Focuses on the significant role played by Christians who tried to save the Jews during the Holocaust and who contributed to the establishment of the State of Israel. Features exhibits on the Jewish nation’s dream of restoring their historic homeland and the non-Jews who assisted them in accomplishing that dream. A tour, with 3D presentations, is offered daily (ages 7+). Fri 09.30-14.00; Sat 10.00-18.00; Sun-Thur 09.30-18.00. 20 Yosef Rivlin St. Reservations: www.fozmuseum.com  

Jerusalem Botanical Gardens

The Children’s Discovery Trail A sensory exploration activity that incorporates trails, a canopy walk through the trees, touching water plants from the wooden deck, a “down to the roots” exhibit and tours. Fri 09.00-17.00; Sat 10.00-18.00; Sun-Thur 09.00-19.00. 1 Zalman Shneor St. ‏(via Nayot Petrol Station‏). Shabbat entry from 1 Burla St. Details: (02) 679-4012, www.en.botanic.co.il

Tisch Family Zoological Gardens (Biblical Zoo)

Natural exhibits of over 500 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates from around the world. Includes a children’s zoo with a petting corner, animal feeding demonstrations, educational activities and the Noah’s Ark sculpture garden. Fri 09.00-16.30; Sat 10.00-18.00; Sun-Thur 09.00-19.00. Biblical Zoo, Aharon Shulov St. (02) 675-0111

Tower of David Museum

The museum presents a new monthly series of lectures, on various aspects of the Holy City, aimed specifically for English speakers. This week: In conversation with American author Anne-Marie O’Connor who wrote the award-winning book “The Lady in Gold” (the true story that inspired the 2015 drama “Woman in Gold”), and Israeli writer Ora Ahimeir. Mon at 19.00; Regular offerings: Home to the Museum of the History of Jerusalem, the Tower of David features a permanent exhibit about the city’s history and its significance to three religions. The tower itself is an archaeological site and offers a 360-degree view of the Old City of Jerusalem. It also stages temporary exhibits that connect ancient history with contemporary themes, and hosts lectures, guided tours and other cultural events. The Night Spectacular - A night show presenting the history of Jerusalem, with images projected onto the walls, bridges and hidden pathways of the ancient citadel. At Jaffa Gate. Tickets: www.towerofdavid.org.il

Bloomfield Science Museum

Exhibits for the entire family: Spring Games A variety of creative workshops and activity booths devoted to the amazing world of fauna, flora and bees; Illusions Features a mirror maze, a science demonstration with audience participation, and workshops that activate the senses including making moving toys, cardboard eyeglasses using colorful filters, mirrors and more; Fields of Tomorrow An interactive exhibit on agricultural innovations and their ability to cope with an increased demand on the world’s food supply. Learn about hydroponic agriculture, pollination, drip irrigation systems and more. Workshops include how to find energy sources in pita and cucumber, on natural tastes and smells, as well as guided tours. Wings of Life A 3D film on the celebration of color, produced by Disneynature Studios. Screenings: Fri at 12.00; Sat at 13.00. Hebrew University, Givat Ram Campus. Fri and holiday eves 10.00-14.00; Sat and holidays 10.00-16.00; Sun, Mon-Thur 10.00-18.00. (02) 654-4888, www.mada.org.il

Mini Israel

Over 350 miniature replicas of historical, religious, archaeological and modern sites and buildings from around the country. Guided tours by appointment. Fri and holiday eves 10.00-14.00; Sat, Sun-Thur 10.00-17.00. Location at Latrun 1-700-559-559, www.minisrael.co.il

Monkey Park

Guided tours, workshops, feedings, rides, wall climbing and other activities. Fri and holiday eves 10.00-14.00; Sat-Thur 10.00-16.00. Ben Shemen Forest ‏(near Kfar Daniel). (08) 928-5888, www.park.monkeypark.co.il   

Yad Vashem

The world center for documentation, research, education and commemoration of the Holocaust and home to the Holocaust History Museum. Offers a guided tour in English (Fri at 10.00) and presents a variety of important survivors’ testimonies, personal diaries, artifacts and more. Special exhibit: Children in the Holocaust: Stars Without a Heaven Gives expression to the 1.5 million children who perished in the Holocaust and displays their stories. Mount of Remembrance, Har Hazikaron St., off Herzl St. (02) 644-3802. Fri 09.00-14.00; Sun-Wed 09.00-17.00; Thur 09.00-20.00

HAIFA AND THE NORTH

Gan Guru

Home to kangaroos, koalas and other Australian wildlife, the park offers Aboriginal face-painting and guided koala and bat feedings. Fri 09.00-15.00; Sat 09.00-17.00; Sun-Thur 09.00-16.00. Australia Park, Kibbutz Nir David (04) 648-8060, www.nirtours.co.il

Fisherman for a Day

Join a fishing crew for a day at sea. Learn how to use fishing nets to catch fish and hear about the different types of fish living in the Sea of Galilee. The activity takes up to 4 hours. Fri-Thur at 08.30. Meet at the Ein Gev Port (eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee). Registration: Tal 054-565-8009 cen_reserve@eingev.co.il

Israel Railway Museum

The national railway museum of Israel features the country’s railway history, antique train cars and other railway items. Sun-Thur 08.00-16.00. 1 Hativat Golani St., Haifa. Details: www.rail.co.il

THE SOUTH

Lunada

A children’s museum offering a fascinating interactive experience, with original games that activate the various senses. Sat, Sun-Thur 09.30-18.30. 25 David Hareuveni St., Be’er Sheva

Top 94 – Theme Park

The park features a climbing wall, paintball, go-karts, mini bungee jumping, a ropes course, a play corner for younger kids and more. Fri 10.00-17.00; Sat, Sun-Thur 10.00-20.00. 1 Hashravrav St., Eilat. Details: http://www.top94.co.il

Underwater Observatory Marine Park, Eilat

The park provides an up-close introduction to the fauna of the Gulf of Eilat, including over 800 species of fish, corals, mollusks, turtles, rays and more. The shark pool is home to 18 shark species and offers an underwater observation tunnel, activities and displays. Daily, 08.30-16.00. Coral (Almog) Beach, Eilat (08) 636-4200, www.coralworld.co.il/en