Daily Israel Report

Passover Activities for Families in Israel - Many are Free!

Israeli families are combing the country for free activities during this Chol HaMoed. There is so much to do!
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 4/11/2012, 9:05 PM

On Mamila Boulevard
On Mamila Boulevard
Israel news photo: Lerner PR

Israeli families are combing the country for free activities during this Chol HaMoed. There is so much to do!

On Jerusalem's Mamila Boulevard, Wednesday afternoon until 7:00 pm, there are workshops, a pyramid building contest and prizes to be won.

Thousands of Lego building blocks in different colors and sizes will be out there for children of all ages to compete above the Gap store on the second floor of the indoor mall.

Other creative workshops for children ages 3 to 8, and a “Muse” musical avenue exhibition along the boulevard will be there as well, showing ancient musical instruments from the Bible, sculptures and other art.

The Weizmann Institute in Rehovot has a fascinating science park for children - always a great place to visit - and for Passover, it is running a program meant for families on alternative sources of energy. Museums are free for children this week.

 

In the Shomron (Samaria) region, there are a myriad of hiking trails, streams that are flowing and full after the blessedly rainy winter and one can not miss the hundreds of families picnicking at the sides of the Kana Wadi, once the border between the tribes of Menasseh and Efraim according to the Book of Joshua.

The community of Itamar (where the Fogel family lived), known for its organic eggs and its goat milk products, particularly its creamy fruit yogurts, was visited by thousands each day who enjoyed performances, a festive happening for children - and even a sheepherding workshop (attended by A7 managing editor, who managed to get the sheep back into their pen along with a group of laughing visitors).

 

Five busloads of Israelis on Monday, under army escort, visited Sebastia, the capital of the kingdom of Israel -called Shomron (Samaria), built by biblical King Omri and renamed Sebastia by King Herod, as part of the one or two day tours of the Shomron run by Chelkat Sadeh Touring Organization. From the top of the mountain on which the ancient city was built, one has a stupendous view of the route the Israelites took when they crossed the Jordan and made their way to the city of Shechem.. There was a busload  of Russian speakers and Chassidim, a busload of Bucharians, in addition to the Hebrew and English speakers - and guides to suit each group.

In Gush Etzion, Judea and just south of Jerusalem, at a special happening, children have been playing basketball and football games, hiking in Reindeer Land, visiting a petting zoo, checking out the Safari, watching movies, and more.

A group of 50 children from rocket-pocked southern Israeli communities visited the area for some much-needed rest and relaxation this week.

Gush Etzion Regional Council head Davidi Perel welcomed them, saying, “We are pleased to welcome the children of the south, and hope they will experience a relaxing day in our region. We also hope to host them in calmer days.”

In Wadi Kelt, a left turn at the entrance to Mitzpe Jericho on the road to the Dead Sea, hundreds of families - from hareidim to secular - managed the trek down the golden desert hills on a dirt road to turn a corner and find themselves at a the Kelt springs and stream, with a Herodian aqueduct running alongside it for miles and a stunning waterfall - a delightful area where the noise of children and parents splashing and frolicking in the shallow water carried for miles.

This is just a taste of all the things there were to do all over the country during this Chol Hamoed vacation week - and just in case you prefer to stay at home, bananagrams has just come out in Hebrew and can give Anglo families a chance to see how well they do with the Hebrew version -  well, maybe this will be another instance of the kiddies being way ahead of their parents, in line with the mobile phone and computer applications.