La Park at Peres Park.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
These days, families living on the outskirts of Tel Aviv have several reasons for thinking twice about going to the big city for a family outing. First, the shooting on Dizengoff Street has ruined its status as the “bubble” insulated from the country’s problems, hence making people more cautious about roaming the streets of the White City. Second, getting in and out of it has become an increasing hassle these days with construction for the light rail. Third, parking is expensive and scarce.
While everyone wants to see better days Shimshon Chen, the CEO of Recreation and Entertainment (Holon) Ltd., believes that these factors – and especially the recent opening of a family fun and recreation center called La Park at Peres Park – will make Holon an attractive place for families to spend days and weekends.
“We think we’re in the best place in Israel because we’re accessible,” said Chen at the press conference for the site on January 5, just in time for the midweek sun. While La Park opened several months ago, the official launch kept being postponed due to bad weather and, more recently, the terrorist wave. With its location about 20 minutes south from Tel Aviv via car, off Route 4, he believes it could provide an answer for residents of Rishon Lazion, Modi’in and other surrounding communities who seek something to do with the family.
La Park certainly serves to solidify Holon’s self-styled reputation as “The Children’s City.”
Along and around the handsomely manicured walkways spreading over two levels are a musical playground, a large man-made pond intended for boat rides and decor, and plenty of room to roam, dance on those Israeli dancing days, and enjoy festivals when they’re put on.
The concept of La Park is to provide a full day of activities – from food, to sports, to theater – for any budget. It has come to serve as an attractive gateway to Peres Park, which has developed over the years to the tune of NIS 300 million, and which already provides an array of activities for children, including the Yamit Water Park, the Ice Peaks skating rink, the Children’s Museum and the Holon Toto Hall, a spacious arena home to Hapoel Holon’s basketball team and the national Olympic team for rhythmic gymnastics.
La Park adds new activities and amenities for the whole family, including comfortable eateries, such as Silo and Biga, an indoor play area for children, a TriMax Center sports shop, a mega-Castro store and the Sa’eda bar. Fast-food chains, a chef restaurant and other concept stores are expected to open soon. The best part: Free and plentiful parking, which, said Chen, gives Holon many points over Tel Aviv.
“The city has developed this as the main entertainment complex for the city,” Chen said, adding that the complex is already packed on Saturdays.
Chen says that business has indeed been affected by the outbreak of violence over the last few months, but incentives have been offered to businesses in the realm of marketing and payment plans to keep them afloat. Nor has the outbreak stopped the municipality from expanding the area. Plans for an Olympic-sized ice-skating rink is in the works, as are new soccer courts and bike paths, so that in Holon, at least, the fun never ends.
“The purpose is to create day of fun that doesn’t end in one day,” said Chen.