Things to Do Around Israel, May 19-25

Your guide to exhibits, tours and other attractions around Israel

Foodies get their fix at the EAT Food Festival in Tel Aviv.
Foodies get their fix at the EAT Food Festival in Tel Aviv. Courtesy

TEL AVIV AND CENTER

Celebration in White Fair

Winemakers, farmer and artists from the Ben Shemen Forest area will present their locally grown food and wines at the Jaffa Port. Includes live jazz performances and children’s activities throughout the day. Fri 10.00-14.00. Jaffa Port. Details: https://www.facebook.com/namalyafo/

Open House Tel Aviv

This annual initiative (May 18-20) takes you inside homes, public buildings, and historical and religious monuments that celebrate Tel Aviv and Jaffa’s urban architectural style and history, including a guided tour of Tel Aviv’s town hall (Beit Ha’Ir) on Sat 10.30, 12.00. Some tours require registration. Full details in English: www.batim-il.org/DefaultEng.aspx?batim

EAT Food Festival

Three nights of gourmet cuisine, with participating restaurants, including Manta Ray, Dixie and others, a food market, street food stalls, food trucks, live music and cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs. Tues-Thur from 18.00. Charles Clore Park, Tel Aviv promenade

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

Organic Cherry Picking

Home to the largest organic cherry groves in Israel, Kibbutz Ramat Rachel offers a day of activities and attractions, including fruit picking, a petting corner, workshops about the ecosystem, an archeological site, a sports center and water slide, and guided tours of the groves and other plantations, in celebration of the cherry picking season. Fri 10.00-15.00. Kibbutz Ramat Rachel , (02) 670-2555

Mateh Yehuda Food Festival

This food lovers’ event (May 12-31) 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. This weekend offers a unique food and art happening, with Israeli artists showcasing their work, and Kenyan baked goods and dips. 19 Kramim St., Srigim (Li On located south of Beit Shemesh. 050-689-7783. Details: www.tour-yehuda.org.il, *8108

The Banquet - Literary and Culinary Festival

Friday is the final day of this event (May 16-19) made up of poetry and food events, wine tastings, performances, music, theater and workshops. On the program: A culinary-literature tour of St. Andrew’s Church, the Montefiore Windmill and a view of the Valley of Hinnom (10.00); a multi-participant writing workshop, “Writing Jam: Life and What I Ate,” led by author Ayelet Gunder-Goshen (10.30); Poetry event: “Who Wants Strawberries? Food and Love in Poetry” (11.00); In conversation with author Meir Shalev, chef Haim Cohen and Haaretz food columnist Ronit Vered (12.30); and the Gypsy jazz ensemble Primos Donnas in a musical performance (12.30). Mishkenot Sha’ananim, on Heinrich Heine St. Tickets: www.mishkenot.org.il

Tower of David Museum

In honor of Jerusalem Day (May 24), the museum hosts children’s activities, guided tours, theater acts, and more. There will be food and drink stands and a station to make your own medals with the symbols of the 50th anniversary, and your own Jerusalem flag. Wed 12.00-18.00; Opening event of “50 Years 50 Faces,” a video and photography collection of stories of 50 people who share their testimonies on the momentous events of 1967. Wed at 17.00 (from 10.00-17.00, guests may record their own stories that will be added to the collection); 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

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

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

Cherry Picking Festival

The festival (May 19-26) being held over three consecutive weekends, offers
cherry-picking, children’s activities, a local farmer’s market, klezmer and street art performances, as well as a climbing wall and jeep rides. Fri 09.00-14.00. Yatir Forest, in the southern Hebron Hills (08) 625-4802, www.goyatir.co.il  

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