Urban history tours

Want to know what life was like in the Old City during the time of the Romans?

April 2, 2015 11:38
3 minute read.
Pilgrimage and Stories activity

The Old City ‘Pilgrimage and Stories’ activity.. (photo credit: AVIAD YEKUTIELI)


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Spring is in the air, and that means Passover is here. With all the Hol Hamoed days falling during the week, you will have plenty of time to try out a variety of activities. Whether it’s a museum event, an art activity, extreme sports, a culinary tour or a festival, you are sure to have lots of fun in Jerusalem this Passover.

Jerusalem is filled with history, and there are so many entertaining ways to learn about it this Passover. Let’s get started on our journey through Jerusalem.

First, we will take a step back in time as we hear the original story of Passover, the Exodus, at Beit Avi Chai’s Sea & Dry Land activity (621- 5900 April 6-7). Ideal for younger children, this activity uses percussion and drama to help the audience “feel” the Passover story.

Then you can travel through history to the time of the Romans by visiting an ancient Roman street filled with craftsmen at the Ein Yael Spring Festival (645-1866 April 6-8). Kids of all ages will enjoy musical instrument workshops, games in the Song of Songs Garden and basket weaving.

Want to know what life was like in the Old City during the time of the Romans? The Temple era will come to life as you solve riddles and meet Jews who lived in that time period in the Old City Pilgrimage and Stories at the Davidson Center Archeological Gardens (627-7550 April 5-8). When you’re ready to learn about a more modern period of the Old City, the Old City Scavenger Hunt (scavenger@funinjerusalem.com, April 7 and 9) is an exciting way to see the historic sites through missions and solving clues as you meet the people living in the Jewish Quarter.

Two of my favorite fun options for learning about Israeli history are the Ammunition Hill Passover Family Challenge (582-9393 April 5-7) and the Herzl Museum. At Ammunition Hill, you can learn about the bravery of the soldiers who fought there in 1967, while engaging in a ropes course challenge and competing in a scavenger hunt and laser tag. At the Herzl Museum (636-7733 April 5-8), you can meet figures from Israeli history who will come to life in an interactive theatrical performance.

A great way to combine nature and history this Passover is to take a Family Bike Tour of the Eila Valley (579-9268) just outside Jerusalem, where you can explore caves from the time of King David.

Are your kids crazy about animals? Would you like to hear stories about the animals mentioned in the Passover story? Take the Animal Kingdom Family Tour at the Biblical Museum of Natural History in Beit Shemesh (073-213-1662), where you can hold a snake, compare different animals’ eggs and see live exhibits.

If you prefer to enjoy some modern-day nature, visit the newly opened Valley of the Gazelles at Pat Junction. The urban park is home to a family of gazelles. There are observation posts, a small lake and guided tours.

The last stop on our journey is not related to Passover or to history, but it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser for the younger audience this vacation.

Toddlers and preschoolers will love taking a walk down Rehov Sumsum at the Bloomfield Science Museum (654-4888) and meeting the characters from the Israeli version of Sesame Street.

For a full listing of events in Jerusalem, visit the online Pesach Family Guide at Fun In Jerusalem – http://www.funinjerusalem.com/pesach

The writer is the founder and FUN expert at Fun In Jerusalem (www.funinjerusalem.com). She lives in Jerusalem with her husband and three kids and loves to inspire family fun. You can reach her at joanna@funinjerusalem.com

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