Free for Pessah

Money should be no object this Hol Hamoed with a wide range of free attractions for the whole family.

Chinese circus 88 (photo credit: )
Chinese circus 88
(photo credit: )
With all the money the average family lays out for Pessah - from the special foods to festive clothes - it'll come as a relief to know that this Hol Hamoed there are a plethora of free options. For the third year in a row, Bank Hapoalim is sponsoring an open-door policy at more than 48 museums, parks and other cultural sites on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and next Sunday. The bank's spokesperson estimates that taking full advantage of the opportunity will save NIS 400. Sites include the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the Eretz Yisrael Museum, the Diaspora Museum, the Nachum Gutman Museum; Jerusalem's Israel Museum, Bible Lands Museum, Blumfield Science Museum, and the Botanical Gardens; the Haifa Zoo and Haifa's National Maritime Museum; the Ashdod Museum, a slew of national parks, and loads more. The full list can be heard on a recorded message at (03) 606-6111, or visit For its part, Bank Discount partners the Tel Aviv Municipality in backing the first-ever family festival at Kikar Rabin. Entrance and a myriad of performances and workshops Wednesday and Thursday are all free. The square will be divided into compounds. The theater space will seat an audience of 350, and is scheduled to put on 12 family-oriented shows, including a musical about Aladdin and the magic lantern. There'll be two circus stages: one for a traditional Russian circus complete with fire jugglers and a rubber girl, and a Chinese circus, showing off daring acrobatics and juggling. Families can sit for a family portrait at a giant photo studio. One compound will offer dance lessons in styles ranging from classical ballet, folk, and modern jazz to flamenco and capuero. And City Hall lets the young loose by providing a wall, paint, brushes, aprons and stepladders for officially sanctioned graffiti. The family fest will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday. Malls also come through with free activities. The Azrieli chain (Tel Aviv, Aylon, Jerusalem (Malha), Ha'Negev) for example, offers kids free creative workshops - also featuring a graffiti wall - from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and again from 4 to 8 p.m. See for details. Entrance to the Petah Tikva museums will be free as well, as it is to Petah Tikva Sporteque Compound (Sirkin Junction. Rehov Arba Artzot), where a huge outdoor art exhibit and festival, "Creating Outdoors," will be set up, including free art workshops using recycled materials - Wednesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m (the compound will also be open the following Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.). Details at (03) 905-3000 or So no matter how depleted your holiday pocketbook, there's no need to stay cooped up at home this Hol Hamoed.