Jerusalem is Child’s Play Too
BY Lee Saunders DATE 17/02/2020
When you are traveling with children, you are giving them something that can never be taken away: experience, exposure, and a way of life. Exposure to life in Jerusalem is quite the experience and there is an abundance of fun activities to keep kids of all ages thoroughly entertained, Here – we look at six of the best attractions that youngsters will simply love.
Zoos are commonplace but there is something unique and special about the enchanting Biblical Zoo, one of the top tourist attractions in Israel, regularly attracting more than 750,000 visitors annually to marvel at 170 species of animals, including many indigenous species from Israel, with a particular focus on those mentioned in the Bible. The zoo is home to many endangered species, which benefit from a raft of domestic and international wildlife conservation programs. The park’s centerpiece is a man-made lake, bordered by spacious lawns and picnic spots and includes a petting corner, Friendly Animal Houses and the Noah’s Ark Sculpture Garden. Located in a valley in the Judean hills, on the southern outskirts of Jerusalem, surrounded by green hills and modern neighborhoods, the park is easily accessible by car or public transport.
Adjacent to the Biblical Zoo is the Israel Aquarium, the first public aquarium in Israel and is dedicated to the conservation of Israel’s marine habitats – currently a major conservation challenge in Israel and around the world. This Aquarium is a unique opportunity for children to get up and close personal with the wonders of the ocean, right in the heart of Jerusalem. Enjoy a fascinating and wondrous tour that will take you on an adventure through the Israeli marine environment, with dozens of aquarium tanks showcasing life in the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, with additional information about the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. Learn about the spectacular lion-fish surrounded by Red Sea coral, sea bream from the Mediterranean, tilapia in the Sea of Galilee exhibit, the only tank at the Aquarium with fresh water, and a dry exhibit which describes the Dead Sea region with its ecological challenges. Dan Hotels chain have joined these efforts, contributing toward the establishment of the Education Center at the Israel Aquarium.
While educational activities are a huge bonus for both parents and kids, there is no substitute for physical exercise (and the temptation to tire them out!) Mere steps from the city’s Dan Boutique Hotel is Jump-Up Jerusalem, the city’s first indoor trampoline park. Located in the First Station hangar, Jump-Up trampoline park offers kids more than 2,000 square meters of trampolines, extreme ninja courses, ropes and ladder courses, cage ball, basketball, foam pits and a special section for younger kids. Open throughout the week, this facility is, however, observant of the Sabbath and is duly closed on Friday afternoon, opening one hour after sundown on Saturday nights.
Travel is as much about the journey as it is the destination and the exhilarating Israel ScaVentures takes parents and kids on a treasure hunt, armed with a map and a mission, weaving through narrow cobbled streets, learning about Israel and its people. Terrific for groups of all sizes, you have a choice of hunts, including the fascinating Old City mission, the exciting Shuk Dash through the buzzing Mahane Yehuda market, and the Windmill Dash, wandering from the Montefiore Windmill through the winding alleys of Yemin Moshe neighborhood. The journey is equally exciting at the phenomenal Time Elevator in Jerusalem has emerged as an iconic landmark combining technology, history, and time travel to keep children on the edge of their seats. History in school can be dull, but this immersive experience provides an overview of the 3,000-year history of Jerusalem in a fun, engaging way. Star of the legendary musical “Fiddler on the Roof,” Chaim Topol plays the lead character, guiding you on an unforgettable journey through Jerusalem’s historic turning points and milestones, and with tilting, moving seats, it gives visitors the feeling of being in the movie rather than watching it.
Hauling the kids through Jerusalem’s spectacular labyrinth of shops, restaurants and food vendors will have some appeal, but before any whining starts, there is a wealth of child-friendly attractions and activities to keep them enthralled, amused and entertained. Keep up to date with new attractions in Jerusalem via the Dan Hotels website or take a look on Fun in Jerusalem, a dedicated website for family fun in Israel.
Written by Lee Saunders