Family Holiday in Tel Aviv
BY Lee Saunders DATE 01/08/2023
Kids often learn more on a family trip to somewhere new than in a classroom, and youthful Tel Aviv is an education all on its own. With a huge range of activities catering to the most energetic toddlers and the moodiest of teenagers,
there is something novel to impress, thrill and inspire everyone on a family holiday in Tel Aviv. Teenagers can try their hand at surfing, paddleboarding and volleyball along many of the city’s Mediterranean beaches, while younger children have numerous parks and playgrounds dotted around, as well as interactive museums where they can make new discoveries, at their own pace.
Tel Aviv: A Family-Friendly City
Is Tel Aviv a good family vacation? With Tel Aviv life revolving around a casual family-oriented culture, visiting Tel Aviv with kids promises to be the vacation of a lifetime. With some careful planning, you can create a balanced itinerary for your family, combining outdoor and indoor activities, rest and relaxation, and some refueling pitstops at some the country’s tastiest cafes and restaurants.
Kids-Friendly Hotels in Tel Aviv
For families planning a vacation, kid-friendly hotels in Tel Aviv take the pressure off. Guests can enjoy spacious family rooms, accommodating 4-5 guests comfortably. While parents indulge in spa facilities at the Dan Hotels, kids can revel in a variety of age-appropriate activities, splashing privately in the spacious pools at the Dan’s hotels in Tel Aviv near the beach, just yards from the promenade where you can rent bikes, e-scooters, or rollerblades, while the younger ones can build impressive sandcastles or play the local bat-and-ball favorite, matkot. The centrally located Dan Tel Aviv, instantly recognizable for its rainbow façade, is the ideal starting point to head north towards the Namal (Tel Aviv Port) or venture inland to Dizengoff Street, while the Dan Panorama Tel Aviv is just a 20-minute walk to the eternally charming Jaffa, and also a gentle stroll towards the renowned Carmel Market and Neve Tzedek, the city’s first neighborhood. A third Dan hotel in Tel Aviv – the LINK Hotel & Hub is close to the cultural institution, the Carmeri, one of the city’s most prominent theaters, and home to domestic and international plays and musicals, with the schedule indicating those shows in English or with subtitles. Also close to the LINK is the flagship Sarona Market, Israel’s largest indoor gourmet market, with almost 100 shops, stalls and restaurants. Outside, there is a shaded playground where the kids can work up an appetite before a satisfying lunch or dinner.
Activities for Kids in Tel Aviv
At the Tel Aviv port, Sky Jump Park is one of the largest indoor venues in Israel for jumping and climbing. Let the kids burn off their energy and have fun in this highly professional and supervised complex. Enjoy the safe climbing walls, lively ball baths, challenging basketball ramps, and dozens of trampolines. Open from 10am until 8pm daily, the Park is great for three-year-olds and upwards. The Port is also brimming with restaurants, boutiques, playgrounds and a farmer’s market to wrap up with some family refreshments.
With over 14km of beaches, older kids and teenagers can learn or take on various water sports like paddleboarding, kayaking, and windsurfing, taking lessons at any of the central beaches in the city, while there is also an abundance of parks, such as Gan Meir and HaYarkon Park to run wild and explore. HaYarkon is Tel Aviv’s answer to NYC’s Central Park, is free and open all day, attracting more than 13 million visitors every year, with mini-golf, basketball and tennis courts, as well as another climbing wall. Located near the Port, the park also boasts pedal and rowboat hiring facilities, a bike trail, a small petting zoo and a bird sanctuary.
If animals are what you are looking for, not far away is the almost 70-year-old Ramat Gan Safari, just 30 minutes’ drive from the Dan Tel Aviv or you can take a bus there, just a short walk from the entrance. Here, you’ll need to take the park’s minibus to get to the zoo section. Open during the week between 9am and 830pm (shorter hours on Friday and Saturday), the Ramat Gan Safari houses the largest collection of wildlife in the Middle East. The 250-acre animal sanctuary includes an African-style safari where visitors can drive through the habitat of rhinos, elephants, lions, and giraffes, as well as a traditional zoo setting that families can stroll through. With tickets up to NIS 99, it’s best to visit their website for more details.
With so many attractions in Tel Aviv, if you want to go to an outdoor art museum, what is better than an engaging and interactive Street Art Tour around the hipster Florentine neighborhood, a hip area that has drawn comparisons with New York’s Lower East Side or London’s Shoreditch, and has become a magnet for families and tourists after it blossomed into a bohemian hotspot, lined with coffeehouses, bars, ice cream parlors and, also some of the most imaginative outdoor graffiti around.
Tips for Traveling in Tel Aviv with Kids
Unlike in more religious cities, Tel Aviv is modern, cosmopolitan and largely secular. That said, be mindful of dress codes if you plan to visit religious sites in the city, a tip more for adults and teenagers, than for younger children. When out to eat, many cafes and restaurants will have indoor and outdoor seating, with highchairs frequently available. To keep grumpiness levels at bay, ensure the whole family wear hats and high-factor sunscreen, especially in July and August, and if you spend time on the sand, there are card-operated lockers next to the beach that can give you peace of mind, if you want to carry the bare minimum. Do take water bottles – which can be refilled along the promenade – and pack a few snacks, such as local potato chips, Bisli and peanut-flavored Bamba. While the city is indeed walkable, little legs make tired legs – and public transport in Tel Aviv is easy to use. Load some money onto a RavKav smart travel card – which can be used on buses and trains – and there are a few bus lines that will take you from the northern to southern ends of the city, as well as from west to east. Many buses have designated areas for strollers, with many boulevards, such as the wide Rothschild Boulevard pedestrian-friendly areas, making it convenient to use strollers or baby carriers to move around with young children. In addition to apps like Moovit or HopOn, the Dan Hotels staff will always be happy to assist.
Frequently Asked Questions About Family Holidays in Tel Aviv
Is Tel Aviv toddler friendly?
In Tel Aviv, you are never far away from a beach, park, or playground. The central beaches of Frishman, Gordon and Banana are among the great places for toddlers to play in the sand, paddle supervised in the shallow waters, and enjoy the sun, under the watchful eyes of Tel Aviv lifeguards. The outdoor playgrounds are mostly shaded, offering seesaws, swings and soft play.
What is the best month to visit Tel Aviv?
The best months to visit Tel Aviv are typically April and May, and September to November, when the weather is pleasant, and you can enjoy the city’s outdoor offerings without the extreme heat of summer or the light and occasional rain during winter. Pay attention to the weather, though, and you can take all the necessary measures to keep your toddler cool and hydrated.
What is Tel Aviv like at Christmas?
While Jerusalem, Nazareth and Bethlehem celebrate in their own extremely unique ways, in Tel Aviv, Christmas is an outwardly quieter times of year, as a predominantly Jewish city. That said, with a diverse population and frequent visitors at this time of year, there are many parties and events around the city, particularly in Jaffa, close to the Dan Panorama Tel Aviv.
How many days are good for Tel Aviv?
For families with younger children, five days in Tel Aviv may be more than enough, especially if you want to enjoy exploring and relaxing on the beaches. Families with older more adventurous, and energetic teenagers may want to delve into Tel Aviv’s varied museums, eclectic markets, and city sights, and might benefit from 10 days, especially if they want to take day trips to Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, or Masada.
Is Tel Aviv a walkable city?
Tel Aviv is generally a walkable city, especially in the central areas. Many neighborhoods in Tel Aviv are pedestrian-friendly, with wide sidewalks and pedestrian crossings, making it easy and enjoyable to explore the city on foot.
Is Tel Aviv English friendly?
100%. While Hebrew is the primary language spoken in Tel Aviv and the city’s Tel Aviv University attracts a broad mix of international students, the city is an incredibly beloved tourism destination. As such, many locals also speak English, especially the younger generation, with most restaurants and cafes able to bring you menus in English.
Whether you opt for sand, grass or water, inside or out, museums or restaurants, families never tire of visiting Tel Aviv, an equally stimulating and fascinating destination for young explorers.
Written by Lee Saunders