Winter appears to have had its last hurrah, and spring has been duly bounding and blossoming for some time now. And with Passover upon us, it’s time to get out and about, especially if you have school-age kids and are looking to keep everyone happy, and possibly even gainfully engaged.
As always, there is a dizzying proffering of cultural, entertainment, fun, indoor and outdoor events and activities taking place up and down the country.
For parents of young children, Holon is generally a good bet, and the Israel Children’s Museum there has lined up plenty of junior fare between now and April 30. In addition to the regular guided tours, and the exhibitions, the institution is running the interactive Stories I Get from the Street exhibition at the Eye Level Center. The show is based on the theme of art that takes place in the urban public domain, which feeds off open spaces in which passersby become the audience and art consumers. For more information: (03) 650-3000 and www.childrensmuseum.org.il.
Meanwhile, just down the road, Holon Theater will host the annual Yamei Zemer music festival April 24-27. This year’s program theme is “the Israeli soundtrack,” with the stellar artist roster including the likes of Shlomi Shaban, Ariel Zilber, Keren Hadar, Zvika Pik, David Deor and Rivka Zohar. There will be tributes to late megastar singer Ofra Haza, and the works of preeminent lyricist Yehonatan Gefen, with the former slot featuring the Ra’anana Symphonette Orchestra. For tickets and more information: (03) 502- 3001 and www.hth.co.il.
Naturally, the Holon-based kiddies’ fun and games schedule also takes in the Mediatheque, which has lined up a host of entertainment and workshops, such as the Nutcracker hands-on activity, The Golden Hearted Flower play for the 5-8 year old group and Ephraim Sidon’s adaptation of Pushkin’s The Fisherman and the Golden Fish, for 5-9 year olds, that should keep the whole family riveted and happy. There are shows for all children from the age of two. For tickets and more information: (03) 502-1552 and www.mediatheque.org.il.
And, if you really want to get into some musical nitty gritty, a trip over to Old Jaffa may be in order, where you can find the Instrumenta Festival. Between April 23-30, the Jaffa Museum will house an eye-catching array of musical instruments, from here and elsewhere around the globe, from right across the centuries, as well as installations and sound sculptures. The Jaffa Pictures visitors’ center will extend the instrumental offering with an eclectic range of artifacts from the Minoo and Aharon Makmal Collection. The Passover program also includes live entertainment courtesy of top musicians such as internationally acclaimed bassist and record producer Yossi Fine, and the intriguing Eco Music slot which features the sonic result of the confluence between art, music and recycling. There will also be musicrelated workshops for all the family. For more information: www.jaffamuseum.
co.il and www.oldjaffa.co.il.
Over in Jerusalem, the Museum of Islamic Art has lined up a fun activity for those of an inquisitive bent. Between April 24-28, the museum is offering free entry to all and sundry, and guided In the Footsteps of the Golden Clock tours in English, Hebrew and Arabic. In 1983 the museum’s priceless clock collection was stolen, and was rediscovered only 25 years later. However, one gold clock was still irretrievable, as it was locked away in a safe the combination to which was unknown. Visitors to the museum can test their wits and try to crack the combination and get to the clock. For more information: (02) 566- 1291 and www.islamicart.co.il.
Jerusalem’s Sacher Park will host the Geek PicNic festival April 25-27, with the 10-acre site housing a wild and woolly array of high-tech gizmos, games, arts and shows. There will be interactive robots and bionic limbs, and a four-story-high robot will no doubt delight crowds by smashing up a bunch of old cars. The items on show will provide the visitors with a pansensory experience, taking in 3D printers, 3D virtual experiences – including roller-coaster rides and knights’ duels – and drones which can be operated by hand movements alone. And fans of high energy percussion should be wowed by the performance of American jazz drummer Jason Barnes. Barnes lost his right arm in 2012 following a workplace accident, but can now pound the skins even faster than before after being fitting with a robotic arm, designed for him by a team from the Georgia Institute of Technology led by Professor Gil Weinberg.
As always, Modi’in and its environs have plenty to offer over the Passover vacation, including the ever-popular Monkey Park at Ben Shemen Forest.
Meanwhile the Gilad Farm – (055) 882- 1202 and www.tixwise.co.il/gilad – is laying on a bunch of environmentally friendly hands-on activities for the whole family. Elsewhere in the neighborhood, Neot Kedumim Park’s Secrets of the Lost Time offers the public a chance to get away from the strains and stresses of modern living and slip into the relatively calmer energies of yesteryear. The program includes two trails, of differing lengths, which take in beauty spots and an instructive and entertaining show about times gone by. For more information: (08) 977-0770 and www.n-k.org.il. And for general information about events in the Modi’in region: www.thm.org.il.
Up north, Tzemach should provide train enthusiasts with a good day out, as the brand new visitors’ center opens for the first time at the site of historic station there. The Kinneret College on the Sea of Galilee, which undertook the reconstruction and restoration work, is offering guided tours of the site. Entry is free and tours cost NIS 10. For more information: (04) 665-3728 and (050) 565-6291.
Haifa’s numerous museums and cultural institutions will be in full swing during Passover. The Haifa Museum of Art has scheduled a bunch of kids’ workshops, including designing and creating a special Passover table plate and a multi-discipline pyramidbuilding slot. The Hermann Struck Museum’s family-oriented events include the Printing Spring workshop and a graffiti activity, and visitors to the Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art can take part in the Cherry Blossom origami workshop.
For more information about events in Haifa: www.hms.org.il.
Down south, at the Midarom Festival in Ofakim you can get into some kite flying, origami sculpting and circus entertainment (https:// www.facebook.com/midarom.
festival), and if you make it over to northern Negev you can catch something of a pioneering experience at the Pessachaklai program of agricultural activities for the whole family. There is a bunch of other wholesome stuff going on in and around the region, including guided bike and ATV tours, a chance to get up close to some four-legged creatures at the Gevaram Pets Corner, and make your own pottery at Moshav Taashur. For more information about events and activities in the northern Negev: www.habsor.co.il.