Things to Do Around Israel, September 25-October 1, 2015

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From the Hot Air Balloon Festival beginning in the north.Credit: Livnat Ginzburg


Sukkot at the Tel Aviv Port

With over 3,000 wooden building blocks available on site, visitors are invited to build, dismantle and rebuild buildings against the backdrop of a collection of antique doors and windows salvaged from destroyed buildings in Tel Aviv. Tues-Thur 11.00-18.00. Yarid Hamizrach, Tel Aviv Port

Eretz Israel Museum

Films based on the solar system are showing at the Planetarium (For showtimes: There will be special guided tours of the museum’s exhibits. Tour hours: Tues-Wed 10.00-18.00. Among the exhibits: The Dancing Machine 2 an exhibit of mechanical toys and automata, which the spectators can operate by pressing a button. A large workshop operates alongside the exhibition in which one can design and build a machine based on one’s own imagination. For the entire family. Fri 10.00-14.00; Sat, Sun-Wed 10.00-16.00; Thur 10.00-20.00

Nahum Gutman Museum

The Dwarf, the Giant and the Princess A surprise-filled, interactive exhibit looking at literary contents, modern interpretations, imagination and kids’ culture, dealing with dwarfs, giants, princesses and royalty. For the entire family. Hours: Fri 10.00-14.00; Sat 10.00-15.00; Mon-Thur 10.00-16.00. Nahum Gutman Museum. 21 Rokach St., Neve Tzedek

Ice Peaks

Ice skating rink, climbing wall and zip-line. Raffle prizes drawn throughout the week for every ticket entry. Fri 11.30-23.00; Sat 10.00-23.00; Mon-Thur 17.30-20.00 Peres Park, 1 Mifratz Shlomo St., Holon

The 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-Thur 09.00-18.00 (last entry 2 hours before closing). 1 Sderot Hatzvi, Ramat Gan (03) 630-5305,


Family Fun at the Jerusalem Biennale for Contemporary Jewish Art

Within the framework of the festival, families are invited to participate in numerous arts and crafts activities, games and a musical interpretation of the Bible (ages 5+). Workshops include illustration making, painting and origami. Tues-Thur 16.00-19.00. The First Station, David Remez Sq.

Sukkot at Neot Kedumim

The biblical park offers a fascinating exhibit dedicated to innovative sukkahs, including a floating ship sukkah, a huge 10 meter-high sukkah, a sukkah on a camel’s back, and more. Also numerous activities throughout the day, such as acrobatics, a Gymboree, musical and magic shows, and more. Tues, Wed 09.00-17.00 (last entry 14.30); Thur 09.00-16.00 (last entry 14.00). Details: (08) 977-0770,

Israel Museum

Kite-Flying Festival: A Birthday in the Sky The 30th annual kite-flying festival takes place in the Art Garden at the museum. Includes a kite building workshop, and live performances with professional kite-flyers and their gigantic kites. Tues 10.30-19.00; Courtyard Party Cake-decorating workshop, birthday candle-making, wrapping-paper design, and a birthday chair for making wishes. Ages 6+. Tues-Thur 10.00-17.00; Recycling Workshop Custom-make your own sukkah deocrations. Ages 3-9. Tues-Thur 10.00-17.00; Story Hour Storyteller Shlomit Dvir shares stories and songs about holidays. Tues, Thur 11.30

Tower of David Museum
Bare Hands and Feet Based on the five senses, visitors are invited to wander around the citadel and learn about and feel the objects that make up our environment. Meet the artist, Nir Amit, and learn how to make bowls out of dough. Finish with a workshop to create a wall clock made from collage materials. Tues-Thur 10.00-16.00; Stories of the Walls Experiential tour for the entire family on the Old City Walls, combining poems and stories. Tues-Thur 10.00, 15.00; Night Spectacular with a theatrical surprise for children. An actor meets and guides the audience before and during the nighttime show to enhance the multi-sensory experience. Tues-Thur at 19.00

Jerusalem Botanical Gardens

Israel’s biggest plant collection, organized geographically, with over 6,000 plants throughout the grounds. Hours for the Botanical Gardens: Fri 09.00-17.00; Sat 09.00-18.00; Sun-Thur 09.00-19.00. 1 Zalman Shneor St. (via Nayot Petrol Station). Shabbat entry from 1 Burla St. Details: (02) 679-4012,

Bible Lands Museum

Sukkot Family Fun “Babylonian exiles” will give an eye-witness account of  the destruction of the First Temple, and their new lives in the land of Babylon. Experience life in the biblical times. Includes family tours in English. Tour hours: Tues-Thur 10.30, 12.30; Activity hours: Tues-Thur 10.00-15.00; Lost at the Museum Join the Princess and the Wizard on their spectacular journey in search of their lost heirlooms. Look for shiny jewelry and hunting tools that have vanished in the palace, and discover ancient spells and mysterious papyrus writings. Ages 5-10. Museum hours: Fri, Sat 10.00-14.00; Sun, Mon, Tues, Thur 09.30-17.30; Wed 09.30-21.30. Details: (02) 595-5300,

Tisch Family Zoological Gardens (Biblical Zoo)

Natural exhibits of over 160 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates originating from around the world. Includes a children’s zoo with a petting corner, educational activities and the Noah’s Ark sculpture garden. Opening hours: Fri 09.00-16.30; Sat 10.00-18.00; Sun-Thur 09.00-18.00. Biblical Zoo, Derech Aharon Shulov 1. (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 10.00-14.00; Sat 17.00-22.00; Sun- Thur 10.00-17.00. Location at Latrun 1-700-559-559;

Bloomfield Science Museum

The museum contains exhibits and workshops dealing with light and shadow, construction, levers, illusions, fire, electricity and more, for the entire family. Among the activities: Musica A special exhibit featuring giant replicas of musical instruments. Fri 10.00-14.00; Sat 10.00-16.00; Mon, Thur 10.00-18.00.

Monkey Park

Guided tours, workshops, feedings, rides, wall climbing and other activities. Fri.00-14.00; Sun-Mon, Thur 10.00-18.00 (last entry two hours before closing). Ben Shemen Forest (near Kfar Daniel) (08) 928-5888,

Sharon Area

Florentine Circus

The modern circus group presents “Around the World in 80 Days,” a family fun performance that includes juggling, aerial acrobatics, dance and more, for all ages, followed by circus workshops for kids. Sept 28-Oct 5. Daily showtimes. Hakfar Hayarok, Ramat Hasharon (off Hakfar Hayarok junction). Tickets: (03) 648-3811,

Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art

A series of activities will be held on the museum grounds. Visitors are invited to graffiti on a green screen, and take part in other collaborative projects, including musical and paper art crafts. Guests are also welcomed to picnic and view screenings of selected children’s films into the night. Tues at 16.30 (film screenings begin at 18.45). 4 Habanim St., Herzliya (09) 955-1011,


International Hot Air Balloon Festival

The annual event features local and international balloon teams that will perform a flight show, acrobatics, activities for the entire family, “Night Glow,” an audio-visual evening show, and for the first time in Israel the event will include skydiving from a hot air balloon. The festival will be held at two different venues, beginning in Mount Gilboa in the Jezreel Valley and end in the Eshkol National Park, in the Negev. Sept 29-Oct 2. Tickets: (04) 837-777 (for Mount Gilboa) or *3638 (for Eshkol National Park);

Renaissance Fair

Recreates life during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, with classical concerts, street theater, children’s activities, artisans’ stalls, workshops, storytelling, special night activities and more, all in the spirit of the period. Events are held inside a medieval fortress. Night activities: Tues, Thur from 18.00; Wed, Thur 10.00-16.00, Yehiam Fortress. Details:, (04) 952-1175

Haifa Museums

The city’s museums hold special events for the family (ages 5+):

Haifa Museum of Art Participate in a family exhibit designed to bring parents and children together through art and an urban experience. Other activities include games, building blocks and mural painting. Sun 10.00-14.00. 24 Shabtai Levi St.; Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art and Mane Katz Museum Art Workshops include origami, painting, paper doll making and more. There will also be storytelling in the museum’s Japanese room. Tues 10.30-14.00; Hermann Struck Museum Guided tours and printing workshops in a variety of techniques. Wed 11.00-13.00; The National Maritime Museum Sea songs singing show for the entire family. Opportunities to dress up like pirates, and workshops that include mosaics, kite-making, model ship building and more. Thur 10.00-14.00. Details: 1-599-50-22-11,

Janco Dada Museum:

The museum will hold special activities and workshops in the spirit of the holidays.

Ma’abadada Interactive exhibition that promotes interdisciplinary creativity. Ages 4+. Mon-Thur 10.00-15.30. Ein Hod artists’ colony. Details: (04) 984-2350,

Gan Guru Australian Aboriginal Festival

The Australia-themed nature park turns into an Aboriginal village, with activities and workshops: stone pendant jewelry designs, bread-making, aboriginal musical instruments, food samplings, boomerang throwing and a musical performance daily at 12.00, 14.00. Festival hours: Tues-Thur, 09.00-17.00; Regular offerings: 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

Hamat Gader

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


Ashkelon Festival

The city of Ashkelon hosts this three-day event featuring a large variety of attractions for children, including activities featuring their favorite characters from the HOP Channel, workshops, arts and crafts, street theater, music performances, bungee jumping and other extreme sports. Tues-Thur 17.00-23.00. Ashkelon boardwalk. Tickets: (08) 670-1522, *8780

Kiryat Gat Park Celebration

During the construction of a new industrial park, ancient mosaic floors were dug up from the site and classified as important archeological findings. The park is also home to a variety of plant species. During the holidays the park will host creative activities for families and children, including singing performances from classical songs of Arik Einstein, a tour and master class on beer-making for adults. Special guest performers Shalom Hanoch and Moshe Levy will take to the stage in the closing ceremony. Thur 10.00-21.30. Kiryat Gat Industrial Park. Details: 058-700-1677,


A children’s museum offering a fascinating interactive experience, with original games that activate the different senses. Sat 09.30-18.30, Sun, Mon, Thur 09.00-13.00, 16.00-20.00. Lunada, 25 Hareuveni St., Be’er Sheva