Things to Do Around Israel, December 16-22, 2016

Your guide to exhibits, tours and other attractions around Israel.

The Winter Festival hosts a holiday-inspired goat pen tour of Moshav Ben Ami.
Anatoli Michaelo

TEL AVIV AND CENTER

Star Wars Happening

The comic book store Comikaza is hosting a Star Wars Happening to celebrate the release of the new film “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story",with a series of games, activities and fan quizzes (with prizes) led by stand-up comedian Yanay Ben Noach. Fri 09.00-15.00. Comikaza, B building, 3rd floor, Dizengoff Center

The Museum for the Art of Puppetry

The museum, housed in the Israel Puppet Center, 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. 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

Man and the Living World Museum

Exhibits for the entire family: “The Prehistoric Man – In the Footsteps of the Biped,” a journey through time, from the Big Bang through various human species until today; Ongoing exhibits: “Wild,” paintings of animals living in the wild by artist Ofir Buskila; “The Wild Animals of Nahum Gutman and Friends,” works inspired by Gutman’s illustrations and depict a playful alternative to hunting. Museum hours: Sat 10.00-17.00; Sun-Thur 09.00-14.00. National Park, Ramat Gan (03) 631-5010

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/

JERUSALEM AND AREA

Hamshushalayim

The streets of Jerusalem teem with music and theater performances, while museums open their doors for free as part of this diverse festival held over four consecutive weekends in December. The Israel Museum, The Museum for Islamic Art, Tower of David Museum, Bible Lands Museum and Bloomfield Science Museum are only some of the venues open to the public for free (Thursdays between 21.00-02.00). Details: www.itraveljerusalem.com

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. For the entire family. 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  

I Am Jerusalem

A multimedia show that takes visitors on a multi-sensory journey to experience the different layers of the Jerusalem of today, yesterday and tomorrow, as well as the city’s different sounds, sights, people and scents. Ages 5+. Fri 09.00-15.00; Sat (after Shabbat-23.00); Sun-Thur 09.00-22.00. At Mamilla Avenue shopping center. Tickets: www.iamjerusalem.co.il/tickets/  

Tisch Family Zoological Gardens (Biblical Zoo)

Selfie with Thai Elephants Every Friday a raffle drawing will be held for a chance to feed and pet the elephants, as well as take a selfie with them. Proceeds from raffle tickets go to support an elephant sanctuary in Thailand. Regular offering: 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

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

Fly With the Wind Seasonal exhibit and activities about wind and autumn. Includes: Making Wind Activity Center Constructing objects that fly and hover, utilizing wind power, paper planes and more; The Power of Wind A scientific demonstration, with audience participation. Subjects: Seeing wind, wind and music, flight and more. For the entire family.

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. Tiny Giants BBC nature documentary in 3D. 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; Mon-Thur 10.00-18.00. (02) 654-4888, www.mada.org.il  

Yad Vashem

The world center for documentation, research, education and commemoration of the Holocaust and home to the Holocaust History Museum. Offers 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

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   

HAIFA AND THE NORTH

Winter Festival

This event marks the celebration of Hanukkah and Christmas in northern Israel. Includes culinary and craft workshops led by craftsmen, a goat pen tour at Moshav Ben Ami (23.12 at 10.00), storytelling evenings, festive meals and more. December 22-24. Thursday’s events include a doughnuts baking workshop at Brioche Café in Nahariya (17.00); a Christmas meal at Adelina Restaurant in Kibbutz Cabri (18.30); a “Soup and Stories” event, telling folklores over a bowl of soup at Shula’s Kitchen in Moshav Shtula (19.00); and a musical concert of songs by the late Israeli composer Nachum Heiman at the Rushka Café in Matat (20.30). Details in English: http://www.westgalil.org.il/homepage

Holiday of Holidays Festival

Coinciding with the Hanukkah and Christmas holidays, this annual event is a celebration of the religious and cultural diversity of the city of Haifa. It aims to cultivate and advance tolerance, harmony and mutual respect between Israel’s religions through culture and art. Festivities include concerts, exhibitions, an antique fair, children activities, movie screenings, theater and dance performances, lectures and tours (see Weekly Walking Tours) throughout the city. In Beit Hagefen, Wadi Nisnas and the German Colony neighborhoods every weekend throughout December. Details and tickets: www.haifahag.com

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

Gan Guru

The park is home to wildlife including kangaroos and koalas, with 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  

Hamat Gader

Enjoy the 360 Extreme Splash pool, a giant tent compound, pedal boats, a parrot show, crocodile feedings, local hot springs, and more. Fri, Thur 08.30-22.00; Sat, Sun-Wed 08.30-17.00; Hamat Gader, off Route 98 and south of Lake Kinneret. Details: *6393

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