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Things to Do in Israel with Kids
Israel - A Great Destination for Family Vacations
Better known as a spiritual destination, Israel is also suitable for a family vacation, especially if you want to combine educative (yet fun) activities with out of the box adventures.
Actually, anyone who knows Israel even a little bit will tell you that this is one of the most children friendly in the world. This general atmosphere is reflected in the impressive amount of kids centered activities you will find in Israel.
Also known as the Mediterranean Capital of the Cool, Tel Aviv provides a wide range of fun things to do with kids. The holy city of Jerusalem with the Wailing Wall's tunnels and the underground City of David can make an interesting discovery not only for adults. Besides, you will find many things to do with kids throughout the country.
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.
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Ramat Gan Safari
Located in Tel Aviv area, Ramat Gan Safari makes a great discovery for families with kids of all ages.
Right in the heart of the city you will enter the wild world of nature, where you can admire hippos, rhinos, pink flamingos, zebras, elephants and so on in their own habitat.
You can tour the park in your own car, or you can take a train ride. There is also a special lions section and a zoo.
Photo credit - Mihaela Schwartz
Ramat Gan Safari Tour
The Dead Sea
Floating on the salt saturated waters of the Dead Sea is a great experience by itself. However, you will find many other fun things to do with kids in the area. Most of the beaches are equipped with playgrounds, swimming pools, and sports facilities.
Next to Kalia Beach, you will find the largest go-cart track in the country. Located on the Northern end of the Dead Sea, Attraktzia Water Park is a great place for young kids.
Image courtesy of Randall Niles.
Floating on the Dead Sea
A miniature park featuring all the important landmarks in the country, Mini Israel is another great location to spend a fun day with the whole family. Depending on your kids’ age, you can slide in some historical or cultural details.
Anyway, they will simply love the miniature buildings, trees, planes, cars and people. Located a few minutes drive away from Tel Aviv, Mini Israel is best visited during spring or autumn. As this is an outdoors attraction, the Israeli summer heat or a winter rainy day can ruin the fun.
Photo credit - Mihaela Schwartz
Mini Israel - See it all, small!
Latrun Tank Museum
In Mini Israel’s close proximity you will find the Armored Corps’ Memorial Site. A place rooted in the Israeli history, it includes several spots where the memory all those who died fighting for the country is honored.
What kids love about this place is the impressive number of tanks on display that they can climb at their leisure. The entrance to the site is free of charge.
Image courtesy of Meyer Potashman.
Presentation of Latrun Tank Museum
Located in the proximity of the Israeli boarder with Syria, Mount Ben Tal is a meaningful landmark in the country’s history. Because of its strategic location, this mountain played an important role during the Yom Kippur War in 1973.
Traces of the fierce battle can still be seen nowadays. Some Syrian tanks are rusting in the area. Children will love running through the abandoned trenches and bunkers dug out by the Israeli forces. Make sure they use a flashlight as they may bump into some forgotten beds and batteries.
If you want to teach them a history lesson, you can use the signs on the walls as prompts. When reaching the top of the mountain, you can relax with a drink at “Coffee Anan”. If you want to catch a glimpse at the Syrian boarder, you can use (in exchange of a small fee) the binoculars installed on the site.
Image courtesy of moomoobloo
A Walk Through a Bunker on Mt. Bental
The Israeli Parliament
The Knesset can be visited free of charge during the working days of the week (Sunday - Thursday). Depending on your kids' interest, you can take a general tour of the building, during which the Parliament's role and responsibilities are explained, or a tour focused on archaeology, architecture, art and photography, or legislation. There is also the option of attending a session of the Parliament from the visitors' gallery if you are sure your young one can remain quiet during the proceedings.
Photo courtesy of chris-yunker
Located in the Northern part of the Golan Heights, this castle erected during the 13th century is a great spot for an active family day. The landmark’s origins still remain uncertain and so is the association with the Biblical figure Nimrod.
On the one hand, there are those who believe that the fortress was built by the crusaders with a defensive purpose. This theory is sustained by the landmark’s location, right above the ruins of the Crusaders’ city of Banyas.
On the other hand, different signs on the fortress’ walls attest the presence of Muslims inhabitants.
Nevertheless, the hike up to the castle is a rather short, easy and pleasant one. The kids will enjoy running along the corridors, and discovering the hidden rooms.
Image courtesy of Dr Phil.
Depending on the season, you will find several fruit harvesting activities for kids organized by different Israeli rural communities (kibbutzes and moshavs).
The little farmers will pick (and eat as much as they want) all sorts of fruits, tour the orchards and vineyards on bikes, horse driven carriages, or ATVs, and learn useful things about the fruit packaging and conservation process.
This is a great fun day spent outdoors, especially for children who have lived all their lives in cities and who know what a farm looks like only from movies.
Image: Dominik von Winterfeld/Corbis
De Carina Chocolate Factory
Located in the North of the country (in Ein Ziwan to be more precise), De Carina Chocolate Factory is a sweet place to visit with children who love chocolate.
During the guided tour of the factory, your little ones can learn all the secrets of the chocolate manufacturing process. The workshops they organize are a fun experience that immerses kids into the magical world of chocolate. They will get to make their own desert and taste everything they want.
Photo courtesy of aranmanoth
Afrikef Monkeys Park and Sanctuary
The name of the park is actually a pun on the words "Africa" and "kef". The latter means "fun" in Hebrew.
Afrikef is another opportunity to immerse your kids in the world of animals. Over 250 monkeys inhabit the park. Some of them live in huge cages, but your little ones will appreciate the fence-free area where the intelligent mammals roam freely and where visitors can interact with them.
You will also find here a petting zoo with all sorts of other species, an African village where toddlers can have some fun and a fast food area.