Things to Do Around Israel, May 20-26, 2016

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

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A four-legged “athlete” performs at the International Dog Exhibition in the south.
A four-legged “athlete” performs at the International Dog Exhibition in the south. Credit: Courtesy


Night of Philosophy

Following on from the success of last year’s Night of Philosophy, this one-day event (on Thursday), hosted by the Institut Francais in collaboration with the Goethe Institute in Tel Aviv, offers a night of philosophic debates to the general public, and takes place in nine sites and 15 compounds such as Suzanne Dellal Center and Chelouche Gallery. Includes music performances, foreign film screenings (with English subtitles) and talks in English, including “The Greeks, the Arabs and Us,” by Mechachem Fisch at 20.00 (at The French Institute Terrace). Thur 19.00-07.00 the following morning. Details:

Man and the Living World Museum

A one-day event (on Thursday) to promote dialogue on the topic of cultural landscape beyond museum walls. Includes lectures by guest speakers and a guided tour. Event hours: Thur 09.00-17.00; tour at 13.00; and lectures from 10.00-14.00. Exhibits for the entire family: “The Wild Animals of Nahum Gutman and Friends.” The works are inspired by Gutman’s illustrations and depict a playful alternative to hunting; “Animal Impressions,” by Yechiel Shaked, depicting paintings of rare animals from the Galapagos Islands, is on display. Sat 10.00-17.00; Sun-Thur 09.00-14.00. National Park, Ramat Gan (03) 631-5010

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;

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


Around Jerusalem

A 4-route cycling event around the city’s historic sites and scenic routes. Friday from 06.30 (for 50 km); 06.45 (for 40 km); 07.15 (for 20 km); and 07.30 (for 10 km). Meeting point (start/finish): The First Station of Jerusalem. Details:

Cherry Picking Festival 

Time to pick the fruit. The festival also offers jam and pita making workshops, a climbing wall, a local farmer’s market and children’s theater performances. May 26-27. Thur 10.00-17.00. Yatir Forest in the southern Hebron Hills. 159-950-0037,

Tisch Family Zoological Gardens (Biblical Zoo) 

Presents a special performance as part of the Israel Festival (see box). 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 09.00-18.00. Biblical Zoo, 1 Aharon Shulov St. (02) 675-0111

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 

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 21.00, 22.00; Mon 20.30, 21.30; Wed 20.30, 21.30. Museum hours: Fri 09.00-14.00; Sat, Sun-Thur 09.00-16.00.

Bloomfield Science Museum

Under Construction! Construction games for the whole family: Why don’t buildings fall? The nature of structures, construction workshops such as building structures with ordinary drinking straws, scientific demonstrations and guided tours; Tiny Giants BBC nature documentary in 3D. Screenings will take place: Fri at 12.00; Sat at 13.00. Museum hours: Fri and holiday eves 10.00-14.00; Sat and holidays 10.00-16.00; Mon-Thur 10.00-18.00. (02) 654-4888, 

Yad Vashem

Established as the world center for documentation, research, education and commemoration of the Holocaust and home to the Holocaust History Museum. It offers visitors a guided tour in English (see Tours) 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 

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,

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,

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,


Farmers’ Market

The Open Museum at Tefen Industrial Park opens its doors for a one-day farmers’ market. Includes a variety of art and food vendors, musical performances, games and activities for the entire family, as well as a chance to meet local artists. Fri 10.00-16.00. Open Museum at Tefen Industrial Park, off route 854, between Karmiel and Ma’alot (04) 910-9609,

International Yoga Festival 

This event includes music, workshops with renowned teachers from Israel and abroad, master classes, therapy zones, performances, art and more. Also on offer are family activities and yoga for kids. May 26-28. Gan Hashlosha National Park (located in Kibbutz Nir David), near Beit She’an. Tickets:

Sea of Western Galilee Festival 

Running over six weekends, the event offers various activities for the entire family. This week: A 15 km cycling event around the Sea of Galilee. Sat at 07.00. May 12-June 18. Registration: 050-880-7548,

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:

Indi Park 

The theme park includes kayaking, surfing, canoeing, wall climbing, nature art workshops and more. Open all week from 09.00-17.00. Located in Yesud Hama’ala in the Hula Valley. Details:

Hamat Gader

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 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, 


Shanghai Circus 

The acrobatic extravaganza, combining traditional Chinese arts and modern technology, features over 30 artists. Fri at 15.00; Sat 10.00, 12.30; Tues at 17.30; Thur at 16.00, 18.30. Performing Arts Center, Be’er Sheva. Tickets: *2207,

International Dog Exhibition 

Over 850 purebred dogs and 200 mini breeds will participate Saturday in an international dog exhibition show in Kannot, an educational institution and youth village. Some of the categories include herding, rescue and agility dog performances. Sat 09.00-15.00. Located near Gedera, between Highway 40 and Highway 41. Info: (08) 854-8111

Be’er Sheva Light Run 

A night-time desert city run, with 2.5 km, 5km and 10km routes, lined with lighting elements in a multitude of colors and live-music stages along the way (starting times begin at 20.00, from the city’s Grand Canyon Mall). Followed by a late-night dance after-party. Monday evening. Registration: (03) 571-1575,

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,