If you're looking to celebrate Shavuot with more than just a good plate of cheesecake and a relaxing day outside the office, there are a number of events sprouting up around the country that will keep kids entertained, parents interested and everyone a little more in touch with the music, foods and spirit of the holiday. From rock concerts and tarot cards to children's art shows and poetry readings, the following attractions should suit everyone's attention span without bursting anyone's wallet.
This week, the Israeli Children's Museum in Holon will be highlighting two exhibitions aimed at capturing the connections of nature and the harvest season to the Shavuot holiday. At the Eye Level Center, children will meet different characters and embark on discovery missions that will introduce them to landscape art and encourage them to create their own sculptures and creative designs. This exhibition promises to activate a child's imagination by introducing art using a hands on method that they can easily understand and appreciate. Geared toward children aged three to nine, the activity requires about two hours and costs NIS 45 per child and NIS 20 per accompanying adult. Visitors are welcome May 23-24 from 10:00a.m.-12:00p.m. and from 12:30-2:30p.m.. For more information and to order tickets, call 03-503-9139 or 054-678-2114.
For a children's activity a bit more connected to the harvesting aspects of Shavuot, the exhibit "Children Create from Nature" is also open this week at the Israeli Children's Museum in Holon. Children will use a combination of supplies, including recycled materials, to create flower wreathes, fruit-filled dessert baskets, herbal healing mobiles and decorated flowers. The workshop will be open May 23-24 from 10:00a.m.-2:00p.m. at a cost of NIS 20. Visit www.childrensmuseum.org.il for additional details.
If mom and dad want to go beyond the Children's Museum, the 12th annual Shantipi Fest will kick off May 23 on Golan Beach at the Kinneret, providing an experience better suited for the whole family. With a variety of music stages including reggae, ethnic music, DJs from all over the country, and a main stage featuring performances by Aviv Geffen, Shotei Hanevuah, Beit HaBubot and others, the festival promises a great time. Shantipi Fest 2007 will also include a number of activity sessions with herbal therapy workshops, massage, feng shui, yoga, tarot cards, palm reading and special activities for children, including body painting. Magicians, a drum circle and a circus will also appear at the festival's street fair. Those who bring camping supplies will have the opportunity to pitch tents in a large area on the banks of the Kinneret. The festival will take place from 2p.m. on May 23 through 8p.m. on May 26. Prices are NIS 199 with a 50 shekel discount when using Isracard. Cheaper rates are available for family passes and one day tickets. For full pricing information and other details, call 03-529-9559 or visit www.shantipi.co.il.
For a more mellow experience, the poetry enthusiast might want to pop over to Metulla for the 2007 Israel Poetry Festival. An event that celebrates the latest in Hebrew writing, the festival will build on the literary focus of Shavuot, which celebrates the receiving of the Torah at Sinai. Under the guidance of Israeli poet Liat Kaplan, the Poetry Festival will present a multi-disciplinary approach to poetry and theater composed in Hebrew and Arabic, for both children and adults, with over 30 poets and eight spoken poetry performances. Special stages will be devoted to young poets as well as to Arabic poetry written in Israel. A new book that includes the work of 105 poets - participants in the festival from 1997-2007 - will also be introduced and sold at a special discounted price to festival-goers.
Events will conclude with the presentation of a grand prize of NIS 15,000 to an up and coming poet. The festival will take place from May 22 to May 24 with free admission. For further information, visit www.confederationhouse.org or call 02-624-5206 or 04-695-0778.
With so many events happening this week, it might be time to put away that cheesecake and try a new activity that won't appear on your thighs the next day.