A Sukkot Guide for the Perplexed Parent

Shelly Feldman, City Mouse
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Shelly Feldman, City Mouse

Sometimes it lasts a full week and sometimes just a few days, but every year, the intermediate days of the Sukkot festival are crammed with attractions for every age. There are events, festivals and children’s shows all over the country. With so many options out there, it may be hard to choose, so we’ve done some of the work for you. Here are some of our top attractions for the holiday.

Build your own toy: The Horse & Wagon Wooden Toy Workshop

At Horse & Wagon, children build their own wooden toys, which work on green energy, not batteries. These solar-powered toys are made by hand in the Horse & Wagon workshop, and were designed especially for children to assemble them from beginning to end, including the electric motors, cellular panels and wood. All children receive individual guidance on the kit they have chosen to work on, and can take home a one-of-a-kind wooden toy they made with their own hands. Together with the workshop for designing and building the wooden toys, Horse & Wagon will offer tours of the factory, a visit to their wooden horse gallery, and a ride on the world’s largest wooden horse, which is six meters high and can hold 50 children at once.

Where: Horse & Wagon, Kadima, Sharon region

When: Wednesday through Friday, September 18 through 27, 9 A.M. to 6 P.M. (closed on Saturdays and holidays)How much: Kits cost between NIS 50 and NIS 330 (depending on the toy’s size and complexity). Accompanying adults get in free.

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The sweet menagerie: Sukkot at the Marzipan Museum

The Marzipan Museum in Kfar Tavor invites visitors to a special workshop where they will prepare four kinds of marzipan. A visit to the museum includes a short, entertaining film about the process of making marzipan, from almonds to the final product; an exhibit of marzipan sculptures of characters from cartoons and children’s stories, political figures and other sweet surprises. There will also be special workshops for Sukkot, where all the participants will receive a kit, and with the help of instructors, will be able to sculpt a safari animal out of marzipan as a sukkah decoration.

Where: The Marzipan Museum in Kfar Tavor

When: Wednesday through Thursday, September 18 through 26. 9 A.M. to 2 P.M. on holiday eves; 9 A.M. to 4 P.M. on the festival’s intermediate days; and 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. on Saturdays.How much: Adults: NIS 20; children: NIS 39 (a chocolate workshop may be added for another eight shekels).

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Every grape is gold: Tours at Tali Grapes, Moshav Lachish

On Moshav Lachish, which is known for its grapes, visitors will be able to pick their own grapes and tour the vineyards as they learn about grape cultivation from the vine to the plate. The tours will include traveling among the various vineyards and picking grapes to bring home. Children will be able to tread on the grapes at a reconstructed wine press, just like ancient times, and tour the Tali Grapes marketing center on the moshav. The tour lasts roughly two hours, and reservations are required.

Where: Moshav Lachish

When: Thursday through Saturday, September 19 through 28, beginning at 10 A.M.How much: NIS 30 per person (ages 2 and up)

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Go to Africa at the Monkey Park

Take a trip to Africa at the Monkey Park in the Ben Shemen Forest. Visitors can take part in an African celebration with the Africana band, whose members come from Ghana, and enjoy a drumming performance on huge African drums accompanied by tribal dances, legends and a workshop on braiding hair African-style. Additional attractions include a drumming hut and a huge jungle gym are available for kids — four floors of African adventure, an arts-and-crafts section, an area for extreme sports and Afrikef, an authentic African village and a petting zoo.

Where: Monkey Park in the Ben Shemen Forest

When: Thursday through Tuesday, September 19 through 25, between 10 A.M. and 4 P.M. (the park is open until 6 P.M.)How much: NIS 48 (ages 2 and up)

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The circus comes to the farm: Sukkot at Agricircus

On Sukkot, Agricircus will hold its annual Sukkot celebration with a variety of workshops and activities such as math games for the whole family, acrobalance for parents and children, and a tour of the various parts of the farm with stations where participants will have to solve riddles and break codes. Visitors can also pot a plant in a flowerpot they decorate themselves. Other activities include a juggling workshop for all ages, a petting zoo with geese and donkeys, running through sprinklers and, of course, a performance by the Pangea Circus that combines acrobatics, juggling, high unicycles and more. Shade is provided, with a mist machine for cool moisture. Rest in the picnic area as you enjoy the view of the Menashe hills and a family meal. Pick your own organic vegetables after the performance, and pay by weight.

Where: Moshav HaYogev

When: September 19, 21–24, 26 and 28. Hours: 10:00 A.M.–1:00 P.M., with the show at 11:00 A.M. Please check for updates in case of unexpected weather changes.How much: NIS 40 per person (ages 2 and up)

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Harvesting olives at Gilad Farm

In honor of the olive harvest season, Gilad Farm on Moshav Ginaton invites families from all over the country to a celebration that’s a bit different. Visitors can participate in the olive harvest and then in a pickling workshop where children can take home the jars of olives they prepared. A carpentry workshop and arts-and-crafts section will be available for children. The youngsters can make friends with the goats on the farm, bake pita bread over a campfire and hike in nature.

Where: Gilad Farm, Moshav Ginaton

When: Thursday to Thursday, September 19–28 from 9:30 A.M. to 4 P.M.How much: NIS 45 per child; NIS 10 per adult (cash only)

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Cool fantasy: Disney on Ice

The show Disney on Ice: Worlds of Fantasy, which is coming to Israel with characters from beloved Disney films, will be at the Nokia Arena over the holiday. Lightning McQueen, Mater and the whole team from the movie Cars will appear in a mad race on the ice. The magical undersea kingdom from The Little Mermaid will also be there, together with Tinkerbell and other Disney fairies. Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Jessie and the gang from Toy Story will also be there to share their adventures.

Where: Nokia Arena, Tel Aviv

When: Friday, September 20, at 10:30 A.M., 2:00 P.M. and 5:30 P.M.; Sunday, September 22, at 5:30 P.M., Monday, September 23, at 2:00 and 5:30 P.M., and Wednesday, September 25, at 10:30 A.M.

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Holiday moves: The Magic of Dance

The Suzanne Dellal Center for Dance and Theater celebrates Sukkot with the Magic of Dance festival, geared for children and the whole family. The festival, which will take place from September 21 to 23, will include dance performances, movement workshops and puppet theater, together with a performance of Puss in Boots by Compas, the Israeli Flamenco Dance Company; Goldfish by the Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak Dance Company; Deca’le by the Batsheva Dance Company; YouMake ReMake by Renana Raz and her ensemble; and others.

Where: the Suzanne Dellal Center for Dance and Theater, Tel Aviv

When: Saturday through Monday, September 21 through 23, beginning at 10 A.M.How much: NIS 35–NIS 110 per show

A carnival of Latin American music

Enjoy hearing South American traditional folk music performed on original instruments. The program includes bailecito music from Bolivia, cumbia music from Colombia, merengue from Venezuela, mambo from Peru, children’s songs from Cusco in the Andes Mountains and much more. The introductions are in Hebrew, but the songs are sung in Spanish and Runa simi (Quechua), the main language of the Andes. Some songs will be in Hebrew, and instrumental pieces will also be performed.

Where: the Latrun monasteryWhen: Saturday, September 21, 12:00 P.M.How much: NIS 50

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Even the children can help with harvest.

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