Passover is a holiday that celebrates freedom. Those of us in the northern hemisphere can celebrate freedom from the cold winter and the onset of spring, and Jews all over the world can rejoice in the time we spend with friends and family during the festive week of Passover.
The flowers are blooming and the streams are gushing with cold water, making this the ultimate hiking season in the Land of Israel. As in years past, attractions and nature parks are organizing wonderful adventures for the whole family this Passover holiday.
Twelve different Israeli Heritage Sites will once again be celebrating the Mapa UMatzah festival this Passover. This year’s theme is “The Past Builds the Future,” and the events include creative workshops, guided tours, music performances, theater, dance, recycling activities, children’s plays and meetings with writers.
The sites participating in the festival are: Naharayim Bagesher; Beit She’an Museum; Haifa City Museum; Atlit Immigration Camp; Kibbutz Ein Shemer; Khan Compound, Kfar Saba Museum; Mikveh Israel; Beit Rishonim Ness Ziona; Yemenite Heritage House; Givati Museum, Metzudat Yoav; Yad Mordechai; and the Turkish Railway Station in Beersheba.
Date: Tuesday, April 23 and Wednesday, April 24
Details: www.mapaUmatza.co.ilEMEK HAMA’AYANOT
As many parents know, Hol Hamoed attractions can end up costing an arm and a leg. In order to keep costs down, Emek Hama’ayanot offers a package that will enable visitors to enjoy a number of different sites and attractions at reduced cost. This way, you can visit the springs and streams, enjoy gorgeous views and even join free guided tours. Some of the benefits include free entry to the activities at the Ma’aleh Gilboa Wind Farm Visitor Center, Naharayim Bagesher and the Beit Harofeh Museum.
Dates: April 21 to 24
Price: NIS 60 (from age five and up)
The Yatir region is known for its unique desert landscape, which is currently in full bloom. The extreme park that was built near the ancient town of Sussiya is a really fun place where children can expend lots of energy on a climbing wall and rope compound. There will also be guided tours of the ancient village, and visitors are welcome to participate in the archaeological excavations or visit the Telem Adura Springs, which will be open to the public during Hol Hamoed. There will be moon bounces and zip lines free of charge for children. Guests can also join nighttime lantern tours.
Dates: April 21 and 22, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: Ancient Sussiya and Telem Adura Springs, Yatir region
Price: Sussiya: NIS 20-30; Lantern tours: NIS 25-35
Abraham’s Well International Visitors’ Center is an innovative heritage site in the Old City of Beersheba where guests can learn about the famous well that was dug by our forefather Abraham, who drew water to offer his special guests. Visitors will hear tales from actors wearing authentic clothing, enjoy experiential 3-D presentations showcasing Abraham’s life, and visit the famous well. Guests can also sign up for tours during Hol Hamoed of the Old City of Beersheba.
Location: 2 Hebron Road, Beersheba
Dates: April 21 to 23, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Details: (08) 623-4613, ext.
MAMSHIT NATIONAL PARK
During a visit to Mamshit National Park, guests will learn all about what it was like to live in the Nabataean village in ancient times. While you walk around the ruins, you can imagine what it was like for the people who lived in the homes and shopped in the local market.
On Hol Hamoed, there will be a great happening, during which visitors will see merchants selling rugs, antiques, copper utensils and spices. There will be artists selling their craftwork and showing visitors how they blow glass, form clay on a potter’s wheel into a bowl, weave baskets and create jewelry.
Visitors will enjoy the live music, and children will be excited to follow a treasure map in search of lost gold coins. Three times a day (11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.) guests will enjoy a parade of camels accompanied by actors and musicians. Guided tours of the site are also available.
Dates: April 21 to 26, from 10 a.m.
Location: Mamshit National Park
Located near Eilat in the beautiful majestic desert, Timna Park has an amazing history and is home to the world’s first copper mine. It offers a range of camping options. During Passover, Timna Park conducts walking and bike tours that will take you past the Mushroom, Solomon’s Pillars, the Temple of Hathor, and finally the man-made lake where you can ride pedal boats.
During Hol Hamoed in the afternoons, visitors can watch a number of performances, including one with Oded Paz, a well-known actor from the Children’s Channel, a show from the hit TV series Dance Story, and a third one with Toti Nino and Nir Halfon. There will also be arts and crafts workshops, moon bounces, a craft fair, and a nighttime lantern tour in the park.
Dates: April 22 to 24, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Price: Park entrance + camping: NIS 85 per person. Nighttime tour: NIS 59 to NIS 69
JERUSALEM BOTANICAL GARDENS
The Jerusalem Botanical Gardens in Givat Ram invites the public to join a colorful spring celebration of “Poets in the Garden” during Hol Hamoed. There will be free guided tours of the garden, which is currently in full bloom, which will include poetry tours with poets, music events, writing workshops, gatherings with artists, and creative workshops using soil and natural materials.
Location: Jerusalem Botanical Gardens, Givat Ram
Dates: April 21 to 24, from 10 a.m.
Price: Free, courtesy of Bank Hapoalim
Details: (02) 654-4888, www.botanic.co.il
Families with children between the ages of three and eight are invited to join in an adventure surrounding the story of the Passover Haggadah at the Rosh Tzipor Birdwatching Center. Children will create pharaonic necklaces, dress up as pharaohs and search for the afikoman inside the maze. There will be a pyramid-building station in which children will need to solve clues before continuing on to the next station. Next, children can enjoy a petting zoo and view the busy bees working inside the transparent hive.
Before they go home, children can prepare their own personal potted plants to take home with them.
Location: Rosh Tzipor Birdwatching Center (entrance across the street from 74 Rokah Street, Ramat Gan)
Dates: April 21-25, 10 a.m. to noon
Price: Children, NIS 39; adults, NIS 10 (one free parent with each child)
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