Israel: What to do with kids this summer?
BY Lee Saunders DATE 28/06/2021
Visits to grandma – cancelled. Playdates – cancelled. Screen-time – reluctant check. Since the pandemic, the challenges for kids – and the whole family – have been huge. While kids may have been in and out of school over the past year, they are still bursting with curiosity and energy. Israel was built and designed for the education, enjoyment and growth of the next generation. From the most energetic little ones to the moodiest of teenagers, as you consider family vacation ideas, going to Israel with kids gives you a tremendous range of exciting things to do during the summer, both outside and in the shade. Here, we help you consider some family vacation ideas as you travel to Israel this summer.
Beach is the perfect playground
With 273 kilometers (170 miles) of beautiful coastline in Israel, the beach is frequently the ultimate playground, with many of the country’s beaches certified as Blue Flag Beaches. As temperatures climb to 30 degrees C (86 F) and beyond, you can scoop the ‘coolest-parents-ever’ award if you take them to splash around and try some water sports! A short walk from the rainbow-façade of the perfectly located Dan Hotel Tel Aviv, you can take them to try ‘SUP’ (stand-up paddle boarding), a popular activity for kids in the summer. Take the kids to learn how to surf at the Golesh Surf School or Surf Station Tel-Aviv – where beginners and experienced surfers are welcome to learn and surf in the beautiful Mediterranean Sea, close to Jaffa and also the Dan Panorama Tel Aviv.
The wonder of the water
Enjoying the water is a must and there is a stunning hike to experience the Banias waterfalls, an hour from the Ruth Safed Hotel, less than two hours from Dan Carmel Haifa and three from Dan Tel Aviv. This beautiful gushing waterfall has a strong flow that is certainly worth the walk and a wonderful experience for the entire family, even those with small children. Enjoy a good splash at one of the water parks dotted around the country. A firm favorite is the Shefayim Water Park, the perfect day for the kids, a 15-minute drive from the Dan Accadia Herzliya, your home away from home. Those staying in Tel Aviv can take a short half hour trip over to the Meymadion water park, the largest water park in Israel, located in north Tel Aviv, on the eastern edge of Park Hayarkon. With water slides and swimming pools in various shapes and suitable for all ages, there is a unique slide, tube and pool for each of your adventurous teens, kids and toddlers.
Climb to new heights
Named after the river that runs through it, Tel Aviv’s Park Hayarkon itself includes adventurous playgrounds, a boating lake, an abundance of shaded picnic areas, running and biking paths, as well as soccer and basketball courts, making this one of the best things to do with kids in Israel in the summer. If your kids still have energy to burn and nerves of steel, there is a fantastic climbing wall – one of the country’s largest – at iClimb TLV inside. Watch confidently as your kids – beginners or more experienced – proudly and safely climb the wall, against this stunning backdrop, where the sun beams down on the magnificent park and gives you all a day to remember.
Take a cool break in the Museums
With the country opening up to the vaccinated, you can venture indoors, with some of Israel’s best museums opening, with COVID-19 safety measures firmly in place. Check each attraction for their own details on booking but if you are looking for an air-conditioned break from the outdoors, there are plenty of museums to marvel in and cool off. The wonderful Lunada is one of the most fun museums for kids in Israel, combining the natural world and the outdoors. Located in the southern city of Beersheba, a nice day trip from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, this three-story facility sits on a 4,000 square meter site and is divided into eight knowledge spaces, over 50 exhibits and installations, and unique outdoor play areas, such as The Children’s Park, kids and parents can easily while away a full day. The outside space on 15 acres, has a lake, an island with a Pirate Ship, an amphitheater, giant playground zone, not to mention the famous ‘Chutes and Ladders,’ allowing the kids to climb up and slide down an outdoor version of the famous board game.
Eye to eye with wildlife
Few things entertain kids more than animals. Just 30 minutes from the Dan Tel Aviv is the 70-year-old Ramat Gan Safari, combining the safari and zoo experience in the heart of the big city. Drive your car (or take a safari bus) through the open-air exhibits, then enter the zoo area for a closer look at the Middle East’s largest collection of furry and feathery friends across 250 acres. Although newer, since it opened in 1993, the Biblical Zoo, with 170 species of animals, hosts the world’s largest collection of animals mentioned in the Bible, as well as many other creatures in natural habitats. In Israel’s southern resort city of Eilat, visitors of all ages can watch the colorful fish and corals through the enormous windows of the Underwater Observatory at Coral World Marine Park, not far from the Dan Eilat and Dan Panorama Eilat. The park also has a shark tank where you can watch the staff feed and interact with the sharks. You may prefer to go into the water and dive and snorkel with the dolphins: If so, a magical experience awaits at the Dolphin Reef Beach, a world of technicolor, a unique site, where visitors magically bond with dolphins in their natural habitat, a memory to treasure and a high point of any trip to Eilat.
As a ‘green country’ and one of the safest countries to visit, Israel’s tourist attractions have taken the necessary measures to keep you and the family safe so that you can give the kids the precious gift of new worlds, sights and experiences to cherish as they get older and family summer vacations to remember. There are plenty of things to do with kids in Israel this summer, so pack your paperwork, switch off Netflix, bring Grandma, and breathe…
Written by Lee Saunders