Cool out in Bnahala

The restaurant Bnahala offers a fine time out for parents and children who drive up north to Nahariya, or those who happen to reside elsewhere in that part of the country. The restaurant is located in a huge 1.7-acre pecan grove, with a huge, well-kept lawn with play facilities including toy cars, sandboxes and facilities for climbing, sliding, crawling, darts and soccer. Organized activities for children take place on each and every day of the school holidays; there's an adult counselor, painting and creative activities, inflated facilities and more.

The are shaded areas for sitting in the courtyard, and the whole area is surrounded by trees and vegetation. The bathrooms are large and include diapering tables and convenient spots for nursing mothers who don't require restaurant food to feed their young ones. The menu for the other children, who constitute the majority, includes fries, small schnitzels, mini-burgers, white and red pasta, pizza and grilled chicken breasts. Deserts include ice cream, chocolate balls and small popsicles.

Where: Banahala, Yitzhak Sadeh 17, Nahariya.
Tel: 04-9512074

And a view of the Kinneret too

Marinado restaurant in Ein Gev, on the shores of the Kinneret, is known for its grilled meats. But it also offers a varied menu for children, which means that the while the parents are enjoy carnivorous fare, the kids can choose offerings that are more appropriate for them. Their menu includes: spaghetti Bolognese with Parmesan cheese; roasted pullet steak with fresh vegetables and fries; chicken schnitzel with bread crumbs and sesame seeds, served with fresh vegetables and fries; Marinado veal mini-burgers with fries.

As the family is seated, the children receive a two-sided activity page and some crayons to keep them occupied for quite a while. There's also a large courtyard a safe distance from the road, where the youngsters can expend some energy.

Where: Marinado, Kibbutz Ein Gev (western shore of Lake Kinneret)
Tel: 04-6658555

A Tel Aviv bistro with an eye for the kiddie crowd

Though it's located in central Tel Aviv Sergos, a French-style Bistro, caters both to parents seeking good food, and children yearning for activity. Every Saturday between 8 A.M. and 5 P.M., the restaurant's courtyard is transformed into a playground, run by an adult counselor who plays with and minds the children while their parents dine in peace and quiet on beef filet in a reduction sauce, Sergos benedict or seared tuna on a bed of rice noodles.

Where: Sergos, Hamelaha 8, Tel Aviv.
When: Saturdays, 08:00-17:00
Tel: 057-9443223

Moses goes all-out for juniors

Moses in Herzliya, always children-friendly, has taken activities for kids a step farther. They've created Moses Play, a free-of-charge patio devoted to the younger set, offering offers varied activities for kids of all ages. There's Gymboree for toddlers, Legoland aimed at slightly older youngsters, and game consoles including Nintendo's Wii and the Guitar Hero series for older kids. Moses Play is open all week from noon to 9 P.M. The restaurant has retained a babysitter to keep an eye on the kids while parents can enjoy an excellent meal, from fajitas to Moses' signature hamburgers.

Where: Moses, Shenkar 14, Herzliya Pituach
When: Sun-Sat, between 12:00-21:00
Price: free
Tel: *9449

Ecological playground at Meshek Barzilay

Meshek Barzilay, an organic cafe-restaurant in Moshav Yarkona offers children's activities with added value: a organic playground run by professional counselors where kids can build with mud, mud-puppetry, games, songs, farming for children and other 'green' activities. The price: NIS 20.

There's a children's menu, which includes pizza baked in a taboon (cone-shaped clay oven), with vegetable sticks on the side; whole wheat pasta with sauce, a children's pancake with fruit; tofu chicken-flavored meatballs with potatoes, sweet potatoes and ketchup. The meals, served with drinks an small cake, are NIS 38. The restaurant also offers a special menu for babies, with dishes prepared daily, at NIS 15. Grown-up can choose thali, a traditional Indian combo of several small dishes, veggie burgers, foccacias, pad thai, gluten-free pastas and other dishes from a kitchen that does things naturally.

Where: Meshek Barzilay, Yarkona
Yarkona, a moshav, is south of Kfar Sava on Highway 402
Tel: 09-7453935
When: Sun. – Thu. 17:30-19:00, Tuesdays: 09:00-10:30

Kids roll their own at Hasushiya

For those who have exhausted almost every alternative over the school holidays, here's a idea for the parents of nascent “Master Chef” contestants: Hasushiya's sushi workshop. Kids learn about sushi inside-out (maki and nigiri too!) prepare and taste sushi rolls and come out of the day's experience with a Sushi Master certificate. The workshop (price is NIS 50) , run by the professional staff of Hasushiya, is held every Friday till the end of the holidays, at the chain's Rothschild branch.

Where: Hasushia, Rothschild Boulevard 45, Tel Aviv.
When: every Friday during July/August. Advance notice required.
Price: NIS 50.
Tel: 072-2702456

Playing between the flowers at Mystic Rose

Chances are you'll find yourself at Hayarkon Park this summer. Mystic Rose, which bills itself as a flower boutique-bar-restaurant on the banks of the Yarkon river, makes full use of it's location to operate a playground. Children receive paints and a clay flowerpot. For a small fee, visitors can purchase a flowerpot or spices at the flower shop located in the restaurant. The children's menu include a main dish (pasta, small schnitzels or fish'n'chips) a soft drink and icicle for NIS 39.

Where: Mystic Rose, Hata'arukha 3, Tel Aviv
Tel: 1-800-556888

Tel Aviv Port market: the children's section

Tel Aviv Port market celebrates the summer holidays every Tuesday, from 5:30 P.M. on, with a joyful, colorful market including food stands especially for children. There are include ice cream and corn-on-the-cob stands, and activities: a storyteller, actors, puppetry, music and more. If the children aren't exhausted you can continue on to the night market and dine at one of the port's stands that remain open late on Tuesdays.

Where: Port Market, Tel Aviv Port
When: Tuesdays, 17:30

Moul Hasadeh: the wide-open space

Imagine a restaurant located smack in the middle of trees and greenery. The restaurant's main attraction is its huge, striking playground, located very near the dining tables, allowing parents to watch their kids at play. The play area includes a petting zoo where the children can feed birds an parrots. Children not in the mood for running around are offered coloring books for some quieter activity. There's a NIS 39 children's menu, of course, including min-schnitzels with fries, classic margarita pizza, pasta and more. Meanwhile, parents are offered a variety of breakfasts, salads and meat and fish specialties.

Where: Moul Hasadeh, Asirei Zion 22, Hod Hasharon

Naot Farm: Watching the goats get milked

One can stop at Naot Farm in the Negev to purchase cheese and continue on your way, or opt for an impressive children's meal for NIS 48. In any case, one can stop at the entrance to look at the goats in their pen, or watch the daily milking at 3:30 P.M. Parents can keep themselves occupied by tasting some of the distinctive cheeses for which the farm, founded in 2003, has become famous.

Where: Naot Farm, Ramat Negev, Mitzpeh Ramon
Tel: 054-68643473