Tourist Tip #265 / The Luna Park in Tel Aviv

This family-friendly fun zone has attractions for all ages and at all speeds. The question is: How attached are you to your breakfast?

Luna Park isn't a moonscape or a place where eccentrics roam free and smell the flowers. It is an amusement park located in north Tel Aviv.

Once upon a time entrance was free, but the rides were pretty tame, lame and you had to pay a separate fee for each. Today entrance to the park is not free at all but there are a lot of rides, all of which are accessible for the price of the ticket. But take note that, like all amusement parks with rides, some are contingent upon the child having reached a certain age and height.

The Luna Park is located at Ganei HaTa'arucha. If you're driving west toward the sea along Rokach Boulevard it's off to your right. Its entrance is opposite the Ganei Yehoshua parking lot, which is part of Park Hayarkon. It's worth a glance at a map before you set out. You can buy tickets at the spot.

The park has dozens of rides for all ages, from the gentlest of carousels and bumper cars for young'uns to hair-raising, lunch-lurching thrills for older kids. One of the more recent popular additions is the "Black Mamba elevator that drops straight down from a height of 65 meters (according to the park).

Those more attached to their breakfast may prefer the classic Ferris wheel and roller coaster; the wild of heart may like the madly swinging pirate ship, the whirling teacups, the Anaconda roller coaster with its iconic loops, the steep water slide and so on.

Speaking of food, the park does have concessionaires offering the usual selection of amusement park-type meals and snacks, as well as an Israeli staple: fresh vegetable salads. You can bring your own food and drink if you prefer.

There are also the requisite games where, in exchange for money, you can try your hand at tossing something at a target and so on, hoping to win one of many prizes dangling on display. The choice of prize, if you win, depends on the price of the game you played.

The park opens at 10 A.M. and the earlier you go, the less time you'll spend waiting in lines, whether for tickets or for the best attractions. By mid-day the place can be pretty packed, especially after schools let out at month-end.

Phone: 03-6427080

Address: Merkaz HaYeridim (Ganei HaTa'arucha) Street (off Rokach Boulevard)

Hours in June: 10 A.M. – 8 P.M. (closing hours may change; if it matters to you, call the park in advance to check).

Price: The regular price is NIS 105 per person from age 2, when you buy at the site. Certificate-bearing soldiers, retirees and the disabled get a discount, as do pregnant women at their 7th month of pregnancy or beyond.

Discount tickets can be bought via the Hebrew-language website at http://www.lunapark.co.il/?categoryId=71939and sometimes certain credit cards are eligible for a discount – you can ask at the site. Special prices are available for organized groups.

Parking: You can take your chances in the road running around the Luna Park, or go for the Ganei Ha'Ta'arucha parking lot on the other side of Rokach Boulevard.

David Bachar