Things to Do Around Israel, February 19-25, 2016

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

Cool off this weekend at the Gan Hashlosha National Park in the north.
Courtesy

TEL AVIV AND CENTER

Ice Peaks 

Ice skating rink, climbing wall and zip-line. Fri 11.30-23.00; Sat 10.00-23.00, Mon-Thur 17.30-20.00. Mifratz Shlomo St., Holon

Eretz Israel Museum (MUSA) 

The Planetarium at the museum offers films based on the solar system, on a revolving stage. “Secrets of the Suns,” ages 11+. Sat at 15.00, Sun-Thur at 10.30; “The Wonder Telescope,” ages 7+. Sat at 14.00, Sun-Wed at 13.30; Thur 13.30, 19.00; “Stars,” ages 5+. Sat at 12.00, Sun-Wed at 11.30, Thur 11.30, 17.00; “Astronaut,” ages 5+. Sat at 11.00, Sun-Thur at 15.00; “Life of Trees,” ages 5+. Sat at 13.00, Thur 16.00, 18.00. Pre-booking required for English performances: (03) 745-5710/720. Museum hours: Fri 10.00-14.00; Sat, Sun-Wed 10.00-16.00; Thur 10.00-20.00

Ramat Gan Safari 

The 250-acre park is home to 200 species of wild mammals, birds and reptiles, and offers tours and activities. Fri and holiday eves 09.00-16.00; Sat and holidays 08.30 -16.30; Sun-Thur 09.00-16.30 (last entry 2 hours before closing). 1 Sderot Hatzvi, Ramat Gan (03) 630-5305; www.safari.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. Activities include guided historical tours, and educational workshops on such ideas as democracy and remembrance. Fri 09.00-12.30; Sun, Mon, Wed 09.00-15.30; Tues, Thur 09.00-17.30. 8 Haim Levanon St., Ramat Aviv *4585

JERUSALEM AND AREA

Yad Vashem

Established as the world center for documentation, research, education and commemoration of the Holocaust and home to the Holocaust History Museum, Yad Vashem also hosts activities and special events that connect intergenerational and international visitors to this institute for Holocaust research. The museum offers visitors a guided tour in English and presents a variety of important Survivors’ testimonies, personal diaries, artifacts and more. Special exhibit: Children in the Holocaust: Stars Without a Heaven The exhibit 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. Museum hours: Fri 09.00-14.00; Sun-Wed 09.00-17.00; Thur 09.00-20.00 

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. Sat 19.00, 20.00; Mon, Wed, Thur 18.30, 19.30. Museum hours: Fri 09.00-14.00; Sat, Sun-Thur 09.00-16.00. www.towerofdavid.org.il

Herzl Museum

The museum provides details on the life and influence of Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism. At the entrance to Mt. Herzl. By appointment: (02) 632-1515 

Jerusalem Botanical Gardens 

Israel’s biggest plant collection, organized geographically, with over 6,000 plants throughout the grounds. Fri 09.00-15.00; Sat, Sun-Thur, 09.00-17.00. 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. Among the activities: Selfie with Thai Elephants Every Friday at 13.30 a raffle drawing for a chance to feed and pet the elephants. Proceeds from the draw go to support an elephant sanctuary in Thailand. Fri 09.00-16.30; Sat 10.00-18.00; Sun-Thur 09.00-18.00. Biblical Zoo, 1, Derech Aharon Shulov. (02) 675-0111

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

Bloomfield Science Museum

Star Path is a series of new experiments and workshops based on outer space throughout the museum. Among the activities: Go Like A Rocket Is a scientific demonstration led by an expert staff member who will launch a carrot, fire and even electric rockets and answer questions like “How are giant spaceships and rockets launched into space?” and “Why don’t they fall or get lost?”; Galaxy Family Invites the entire family to design and construct their own solar systems and build planets out of recycled materials; Launch Pad Are experiments involving wind and aerodynamics; Mars (Above and Beyond) Demonstrations on the possibility for life on Mars (only weekends); A Star is Born A dramatized tour through the museum’s exhibits. Learn about galaxies, launch planes and more; and NASA film screenings, in English. Fri and holiday eves 10.00-14.00; Sat and holidays 10.00-15.00; Mon-Thur 10.00-18.00. www.mada.org.il

Monkey Park

Guided tours, workshops, feedings, rides, wall climbing and other activities. Fri and holiday eves 10.00-14.00; Sat-Thur 10.00-15.00. Ben Shemen Forest (near Kfar Daniel) (08) 928-5888, park.monkeypark.co.il

HAIFA AND THE NORTH 

Gan Hashlosha National Park 

The park hosts fun weekend activities for the entire family. Includes the learning station “Ecology and I,” on the park’s hot springs (known as the Sachne), “walking boots” guided tour along the river to teach families on conservation of nature and meet with the regional commissioner of The Israel Nature and Parks Authority, as well as tours of the archeology museum. Another park attraction is the “tower and stockade” historical settlement Tel Amal, where guests may visit an exact replica of this early kibbutz. Activity hours: Sat from 10.00-14.00. Park hours: Fri 08.00-15.00; Sat, Sun-Thur 08.00-16.00. Gan Hashlosha National Park (located in Kibbutz Nir David), near Beit She’an. (04) 658-6219, www.gan3.co.il 

A Crusader Experience 

Home to the Hospitaller Fortress (Knights’ Hall), the Old City of Acre presents a series of medieval-themed activities based at the hall that includes candlelight dinners, costumed entertainers and actors (from Akko Theater), singing, dancing and a tournament of knights jousting on horseback. Special host, played by an actor, King Richard the Lionheart, who headed the Christian armies and re-conquered Acre during the Crusades, will attend each dinner and entertain guests. Tues, Thur at 19.00. 1 Weizmann St., Acre. Tickets: (04) 995-6708 

Hamat Gader

Every Saturday, in the month of February, the compound hosts new water workshops on water’s great natural healing powers and spa activities for the entire family. Enjoy a giant tent compound, pedal boats, a parrot show, crocodile feedings, local hot springs, and more. Fri, Thur 08.30-22.00; Sat 08.30-19.00; Sun-Wed 08.30-17.00; Hamat Gader, off Route 98 and south of Lake Kinneret. Details: *6393

Gan Guru

The park hosts “Games of Yesteryear,” a new happening that includes special games and activities throughout its grounds (grandparents have free entry to the park). During the games, there will be a chance to win prizes, such as free tickets to Park of Springs and a Jachnun dinner for the entire family. Activity hours: Sat from 11.00. 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) 648-806, www.nirtours.co.il 

Park of Springs

Explore the Park of Springs (Hamayanot) by foot or bicycle. The park includes springs, a stream, fishponds, heritage sites, migrating birds and agricultural areas. Open daily from 09.00-16.00. Near Kibbutz Nir David (04) 688-1427, www.nirtours.co.il

THE SOUTH

Winter Conservation Outreach 

The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel presents a new project “Winter Conservation,” taking place in the nature reserves and parks throughout the country and invites guests every Saturday to join in a range of free activities, such as bird watching, family games and guided walking tours. This week: In Neot Hakikar (located south of the Dead Sea), Kadima (Sharon area) and in Rishon Letzion. Feb 20-April 9. Details in English: www.natureisrael.org

Red South Festival

The northern Negev hosts this unique festival which celebrates the blooming season of millions of red anemones, with tours, activities, live music, markets and fairs. For the entire family. The festival takes place over five consecutive weekends. Jan 21-Feb 20. Thur-Sat. In locations throughout the region. Details: www.habsor.co.il 

Lunada

A children’s museum offering an interactive experience, with original games that activate the senses. Sat 09.30-18.30, Sun-Thur 09.00-13.00, 16.00-19.00. Lunada, 25 Hareuveni St., Be’er Sheva

Bird Watching Park

Learn about the life and migrating patterns of many different bird species, observe them as they land in the nearby lake and trees, and understand Israel’s vital role in many migrating birds’ flight plans and survival. Open daily, at all hours. Off the Arava Rd., from on Route 90 and then east on Route 109. Details: 050-767-1290, http://eilatbirds.com

Underwater Observatory Marine Park, Eilat

The park sits on the coral reef of the Red Sea, providing 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 park’s shark pool is home to 18 shark species, and offers an underwater observation tunnel, activities and displays. Additional attractions include the open-sea underwater observatory, aquariums, the Amazon Cabin (featuring fauna from the Amazon River), animal feedings, glass-bottomed boat cruises, 3D educational films and more. Daily, 08.30-16.00. Coral (Almog) Beach, Eilat (08) 636-4200, www.coralworld.co.il/en