Eclectic Election Day activities

Election Day is a national holiday, and everyone gets a rare day off from work, so why not seize the opportunity to combine your civic duty with an adventure out in nature with family and friends?

By MEITAL SHARABI
April 4, 2019 17:49
Beit Guvrin

CAESAREA PORT. (photo credit: VERED SARIG)

Election Day is a national holiday, and everyone gets a rare day off from work, so why not seize the opportunity to combine your civic duty with an adventure out in nature with family and friends? Here are a few suggestions on how best to take advantage of the day, which falls on April 9.

SPRING MIGRATION

Election Day 2019 falls right smack in the middle of birds’ spring migration, which offers us a unique opportunity to combine voting and bird-watching. The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel will be leading a guided walking tour alongside fish ponds and the beach, where visitors will learn about the migration of birds and the far-off places they migrate to each year. In addition, the guide will tell anecdotes about the connection between capturing birds and science, and how and why scientists trap birds in the first place.
The tour is being organized by the Hof Hacarmel Field School.
Hours: 8 a.m. to 12 noon
Price: NIS 84

Learning about birds with the Hof Hacarmel Field School and the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel. (Gali Shafir)

NEBI SAMWIL

The Israel Nature and Parks Authority will hold a guided tour of Nebi Samwil, a heritage site near Jerusalem that is revered in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In addition to its religious importance, the ancient site also boasts incredible views of the surroundings, luscious orchards and even a spring.

The main focus at Nebi Samwil, which dates back to the Crusader period, is a structure where it is believed that the prophet Samuel is buried. The guide will enlighten participants with interesting stories about the history, traditions, battles and conquests that took place on that hill.

From the roof of the building, you will have a spectacular view of Jerusalem and all of the surrounding communities. Next, participants will be led through the archaeological park, the ancient quarry, the garden of protected plants and Hannah’s Spring (named after the Prophet Samuel’s mother).
Tours will begin on the hour, every hour.

Nebi Samwil, or Kever Shmuel ha-Nevi, identified as the traditional Tomb of the Biblical prophet Samuel, near Givat Ze'ev. (DORON NISSIM/NATURE AND PARKS AUTHORITY)

BEIT GUVRIN

Beit Guvrin National Park, located in the heart of the Land of a Thousand Caves, is preparing a special program for voting day. There are four huge caves inside the national park that were quarried out of the chalk ground: the Bell Cave, the Sidonian Cave, the Columbarium Cave, and the Maze Cave. Inside each cave, an individual will be awaiting your arrival in order to convince you that her cave is the most beautiful one.

The activities will commence at 11 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. At 1 p.m., a polling station will be erected and visitors will be welcome to choose which cave they want to vote for and then cast their vote. The winning cave will be announced at the end of the day on the Beit Guvrin website.

Beit Guvrin. (MANO GREENSPAN)

BAHAT WINERY

Just in time for Passover, Bahat Winery will be holding an exciting grape-juice-making workshop for children. Located in Ein Zivan on the Golan Heights, the kosher boutique family winery was founded by Ofer Bahat. In addition to making great wine, the winery also produces liqueurs and other alcoholic beverages.

During the workshop, the children will prepare their own private label for their grape juice bottles. Adults who are young at heart are also invited to join the workshop. At the end, there will also be a proper wine tasting.

Location: Bahat Winery, Ein Zivan
Workshop price: NIS 35
Details: (04) 699-3710, 050-877-1770

BAHAT WINERY. (YOSSI BAR-OR)

CAESAREA PORT

Another great way to spend Election Day is by visiting Caesarea Port, where there’ll be an entertaining happening for the whole family. There will be court jesters, dancers, circus acrobats and royal court theater actors to entertain the guests, as well as a whole slew of activities spread throughout Caesarea Port and along the royal hippodrome. Actors will also be stationed along the Crusader Wall Promenade and visitors are welcome to take selfies dressed up in clothing from Crusader times. There will be acrobatic and musical performances, giant soap bubbles, duels between knights, hypnotic magic tricks and creative workshops.

Location: Caesarea National Park
Hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

CAESAREA PORT. (VERED SARIG)

NEOT KEDUMIM

If you’re in the mood for taking a walk along a path with clear trail markers, there are a number of really nice trails in Neot Kedumim that are handicapped accessible. Kids can answer riddles and then walk around the botanical gardens and view the refurbished agricultural tools. There are also plenty of spots to sit and have a picnic.
In honor of voting day, Neot Kedumim is offering a variety of options to choose from: The short path is 1.5 kilometers long, and the long path is 3.5 kilometers long.
Location: Neot Kedumim
Hours: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. (entry allowed until 3 p.m.)

NEOT KEDUMIM. (Courtesy)

VITKIN WINERY


If you’re over 18 and looking for a different way to spend Election Day, I recommend going to the Vitkin Winery in Emek Hefer, which is located between the fields, vineyards and orchards next to the Turtle Bridge that crosses over Nahal Alexander. The winery will have a special program for visitors with plenty of wine, smoked meats and delicious catering from Meat n’ Sweets.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Prices: Glass of wine: NIS 29-39; meat dishes: NIS 45-65
Reservations: (09) 866-3505

HORSEBACK RIDING IN VERED HAGALIL

A great way to enjoy the beautiful spring weather and gorgeous views is to go horseback riding in Vered Hagalil. The guided tour will begin at the guest farm and pass through Kfar Korazim, from which you will have a spectacular view of the Kinneret, the Golan Heights and Ginosar Valley. While you’re riding, keep your eyes peeled for wild animals that live in the region, such as rock hyraxes, deer and birds of prey. Riders must be 10 or over. No riding experience required.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Price: NIS 145 per person
Details: (04) 693-5785

HORSEBACK RIDING IN VERED HAGALIL. (ROI KATLAN)


CHOCOLATE FARM OF GALITA

Both of the branches of Galita (Kibbutz Deganya Bet and Kibbutz Tzova) invite the public on Election Day to enter the wonderful world of sweetness (and chocolate). The whole family can join a workshop and make all sorts of creative concoctions out of chocolate that you get to take home with you at the end, all wrapped up in pretty colorful packaging. Before you leave, make sure to watch the short film about how chocolate is made and try to solve the chocolaty puzzle.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Price: NIS 65 (chaperons are NIS 15)
Preregistration required: www.galita.co.il

CHOCOLATE FARM OF GALITA. (EREZ BITTON)

JERUSALEM BIBLICAL ZOO

The Jerusalem Biblical Zoo will be celebrating the democratic process in a very special way. Visitors to the zoo will be invited to vote for their preferred animal party. The winners will be asked to form an animal government. The elections will be monitored so as to be strictly democratic. The contending parties will be the Elephant Party, led by Tamar the Elephant; the Giant Red Sea Bass Party; the Kangaroo Party (whose platform promises to fill up your pouches); and the Shark Party, led by the ferocious Bonito. Party platform statements will be available at the entrance of the zoo, which will help offer guidance before you cast your ballot.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Price: Children (ages 3 to 18) NIS 44; Adults NIS 58


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