A happening Hanukkah - What to do over the eight-day holiday in Jerusalem

Keeping your kids entertained during the eight days of Hanukkah can be a challenge, but I have some great ideas your whole family will enjoy in Jerusalem.

‘The Mystery of the Hidden Pitcher’ at the Bible Lands Museum (photo credit: ODED ANTMAN)
‘The Mystery of the Hidden Pitcher’ at the Bible Lands Museum
(photo credit: ODED ANTMAN)
Keeping your kids entertained during the eight days of Hanukkah can be a challenge, but I have some great ideas your whole family will enjoy in Jerusalem.
Marching with World Jewry – All Together Now – Hanukkah Parade
March of Solidarity with Diaspora Jewry. Participate in the march as a spectator or register to hold a float. Expecting over 5,000 marchers – soldiers, university students, high-school students, youth-movement members, Israeli government ministers and honored guests from Israel and abroad. The evening ends with a Matisyahu Concert in Sultan’s Pool. Produced by Keshet Educational Journeys.
When: December 3, 2 p.m., concert at 5:30 p.m.
Where: Liberty Bell Park to Sultan’s Pool
Price: Free
Info: togetherjerusalemparade.com
Olim Spreading the Light – Hanukkah Volunteering
50 volunteering opportunities – 8 days – 400 volunteers – 1 city
Be a part of this incredible event, as we send olim out to help a variety of worthy causes in Jerusalem.
When: December 2 to 10
Where: 50 locations (full list on FIJ Website)
Price: Free
Info: www.funinjerusalem.com/event/olim-hanukkah-volunteering/
“It Happened on the First Candle” at Beit Avi Chai
A unique play about the first night of Hanukkah. Each ticket includes the show and two workshops. Tickets can be booked for workshops that take place before or after the show.
When: December 5 to 7, Shows at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Where: Beit Avi Chai, 44 King George Avenue
Price: NIS 30 child, NIS 10 adult
Info: (02) 621-5900; www.bac.org.il; bac@funinjerusalem.com
Black Fire on White Fire – Kol HaOt Hanukka Event
Artist & Sofer Moshe Braun, the Kol HaOt artist in residence, will be hosting a special interactive event on Hanukkah for the entire family where you can come and learn about scribal arts. Write on parchment with a quill pen.
When: December 6 at 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., and December 10 at 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Kol HaOt, Hutzot Hayotzer, Sultan’s Pool/Mamilla
Price: NIS 75, NIS 60 for groups of 5+
Info: (02) 990-5177, kolhaot@funinjerusalem.com; www.kolhaot.com
Candle-lit Hanukkah Old City Scavenger Hunt
Israel ScaVentures invites you and your family to enjoy fun and challenging game finding clues and solving challenges in the Old City Jewish Quarter. Learn about the history, the neighborhood and the people.
When: December 5 at 5:30 p.m.
Where: Starting point 1 Batei Mahase Street
Price: NIS 85 child, NIS 95 adult
Info: 052-835-8072; www.israelscaventures.com; scavenger@funinjerusalem.com
Hanukkah at Ein Yael
Enjoy an olive harvest while you learn to make olive oil and tour the olive press. Bake pita on a bonfire to eat with your olive oil. Design oil lamps from clay. Prepare ancient Roman coins. Visit animals in the petting corner. Learn to play bow and arrow. Enjoy Hanukkah theater and stories.
When: December 9 and 10, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Ein Yael, Jerusalem
Price: NIS 25 to NIS 35
Info: (02) 645-1866; einyael@funinjerusalem.com, www.einyael.co.il
Hanukkalayim Festival in the Old City
Enjoy a festive candle lighting each night at Jaffa Gate and then follow the trails on the walls of the Old City to meet costumed actors, hear live musical performances, listen to storytellers and see videos of candle lightings across the world on the Old City Walls
When: December 4 to 6, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: Jaffa Gate by the stairs leading up from Mamilla
Price: Free
Magical Jewish Quarter Hanukkiah Tours
Visit the Cardo and explore the remnants of the Hasmonean walls! Light Hanukkah candles, sing holiday songs together and indulge in doughnuts in the living rooms of the richest houses of the Second Temple period. The tour ends at the Western Wall.
When: December 4 to 6 and December 9, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: Jaffa Gate by the stairs leading up from Mamilla
Price: NIS 55
Info: *4987
Crossroads Janglo Night Run
Crossroads and Janglo are teaming up for the 5K Crossroads-Janglo Night Run, an extraordinary event that has drawn hundreds of runners of all ages each year.
If you don’t want to run then come and out and support the runners!
When: December 6, 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Where: First Station complex
Price: NIS 50
Info: crossroadsjerusalem.org
“Tasu Makom” (Place Making) in Talpiot
You are invited to celebrate the launch of the new Pierre Koenig Street in Talpiot thanks to “Tasu Makom” PlaceMaking. There will be live music, TED workshops, children’s play area and a bubble show.
When: December 7, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Pierre Koenig between Rivka and Hatenufa Streets
Price: Free
Info: jlm-placemaking.com/he/home
Hapoel Jerusalem vs Hapoel Tel Aviv
Join fans dressed in red as you cheer on the Hapoel Jerusalem players, who include former NBA stars as well as local Israeli players. There will be a special event at the game in honor of Shalva.
When: December 8, 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Where: Jerusalem Arena, David Ayalon Street, Malha
Price: NIS 40 to NIS 1,000
Info: hapoel@funinjerusalem.com
Holiday Event at Yad Lakashish
Join Yad Lakashish for a fun family happening with art workshops, festive candle lighting and booths with Yad Lakashish products.
When: December 4, 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Where: 14 Shivtei Israel Street, behind City Hall
Price: NIS 10 per workshop
Info: Register info@lifeline.org.il; (02) 628-7829
Hanukkah at the Montefiore Windmill
Spend some time at the newly renovated Montefiore Windmill. Take a tour to learn about the history and how the windmill works. Challenge your group to a game in the Escape Park or enjoy some delicious wine tasting at the Jerusalem Winery.
When: Weekdays
Where: Yemin Moshe
Info: windmill@funinjerusalem.com; (02) 566-1441
The Workshop Gush Etzion – Hanukkah Judaica Workshop
Use the tools for woodworking to create unique personal pieces out of wood.
When: December 3, 9 and 10
Where: Rosh Tzurim, Gush Etzion
Price: NIS 230 per person
Info: theworkshop@funinjerusalem.com
Creative Crafts Mosaic Date Night at the Beer Bazaar
Create a glass mosaic in one session in a fun environment.
When: December 5, 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Where: Beer Bazaar, Mahaneh Yehuda market
Price: NIS 125 (includes a drink & snack voucher)
Info: creativecrafts@funinjerusalem.com
Kakadu Hanukkah Festival for Families
Meet renowned Kakadu artist Reut Shachar in her studio as you create your own piece of art. Family and individual products available. Reservations required.
When: December 2 to 7, and December 9, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Moshav Tzafririm (near Beit Shemesh), Route 38
Price: Starting at NIS 50
Info: 052-862-5271, (02) 999-8922; www.kakadu.co.il, kakadu@funinjerusalem.com
Nahlaot Art Tour with Caron Greenblatt
Explore the unique neighborhood of Nahlaot as you meet artists in their studios.
When: December 7 at 11:15 a.m.
Where: Nahlaot neighborhood
Price: NIS 90
Info: caron@funinjerusalem.com
Hadara Ceramic Art Studio
Enjoy a hands-on ceramic building workshop that is great for all ages. The studio will have special hours for Hanukkah.
When: Weekdays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: 4 Azarya Street, German Colony (across from Aroma coffee shop)
Info: hadara@funinjerusalem.com
JClay Hanukkah Pottery Painting Studio
A great family activity. Come and choose a Hanukkah or Jewish themed ceramic piece and paint it with your choice of custom colors.
When: Weekdays 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Where: 14 Yosef Ben Mattityahu Street
Price: Based on piece
Info: jclay@funinjerusalem.com; 02-678-6828 
Magical Matisyahu
In a magical cave under the Old City, experience an incredible Hanukkah concert. Free shuttles from First Station parking lot from 7:30 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.
When: December 2 at 9 p.m.
Where: Zedekiah’s Cave
Price: NIS 105
Info: bimot.co.il
Shlomo Katz Live at Shalva
An intimate night of soulful music to celebrate the Festival of Lights.
When: December 8 at 8 p.m.
Where: Shalva National Center, Shalva Street, Bayit Vegan
Price: NIS 80 in advance, NIS 100 at door
Info: theshlomokatzproject@gmail.com; www.eventbuzz.co.il/TSKP2018HC
Acoustic Hanukkah performance by the world-renowned couple
When: December 4 at 9 p.m.
Where: Nocturno Cafe, 7 Bezalel Street
Price: NIS 75 in advance, NIS 85 at the door
Info: ticks.co.il
West Side Story – Beit Hillel Theater
The Beit Hillel Theater presents its Hanukkah performance of West Side Story. Classical musical theater in English performed by students at Hebrew University and community members.
When: December 3, 5, 6, 9 and 10 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Where: Hebrew University, Mount Scopus
Price: NIS 90
Info: 055-937-2156; beithillel@funinjerusalem.com
Jerusalem Theater Hanukkah Shows – Hebrew
Annie – December 2 at 3 p.m. NIS 199
The Return of the Macabees – December 3 at 6:30 p.m., NIS 129
Mayoumana Circus – December 4 at 6:30 p.m., NIS 109
Yuval Hamebulbal – December 5 at noon, NIS 99-105
Jungle Book – December 6 at 4 p.m. NIS 99
The Circus on Ice from Moscow – Snow Queen – December 7 at 11 a.m., NIS 145 to NIS 205
Houdini – December 6 at 5 p.m., NIS 99
The Sound of Music – December 9 at noon, NIS 129
Following the Heart – December 10 at 9 a.m., NIS 99
Where: 20 Marcus Street, Talbiyeh
Info: www.jerusalem-theatre.co.il
Train Theater Hanukkah Shows – Hebrew
The Big Dreidel Surprise and workshop – December 3 at 4:30 p.m., NIS 20
The One Man Driving Band – December 5 at 10 a.m., NIS 40
The Singing City  and workshop – December 6 at 10 a.m., NIS 40
The Gift Train – December 8 at 10 a.m., NIS 40
Yoel Says – December 9 at 10 a.m., NIS 50
Goldilocks and the Three Bears – December 10 at 10 a.m., NIS 40
The Naughty Sufganiya – December 10 at 4:30 p.m., NIS 20
Where: Train Theater, 1 Jabotinsky Street
Info: www.traintheater.co.il
Grandpa Aaron and His Rain
Based on the story by Meir Shalev and performed by the Train Theater.
When: December 4 at 11 a.m.
Where: Beit Shmuel – Hirsch Theater at 6 Eliyahu Shama Street
Price: NIS 44 to NIS 55
Info: (02) 620-3463
Special family movie event at Lev Smadar Theater
Enjoy a family movie at the Lev Smadar Theater in the German Colony.
Here Comes the Grump – December 5 at 4:30 p.m.
Leo Da Vinci: Mission Mona Lisa – December 7 at 11 a.m.
The Little Vampire – December 9 at 4:30 p.m.
Show Dogs – December 10 at 4:30 p.m.
Where: Lev Smadar Theater, 4 Lloyd George Street
Price: NIS 10
Info: *5155
Hanukkah at the Museum for Islamic Art
Five days of light with performances by the best Israeli children’s theaters based on well-known and loved children’s stories followed by creative workshops. Shows are at 12 noon.
Five Witches went out for a Hike – December 4
Button Soup – December 5
The Neverending Treasure – December 6
The Roll on the Mountain – December 9
Shmulik the Hedgehog – December 10
When: December 4 to 6 and December 9 and 10, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: 2 Hapalmah Street
Price: NIS 20 to NIS 40 adults, shows are free for kids, additional fee for workshop
Info: islamicart@funinjerusalem.com
Hanukkah Family Adventure in Zedekiah’s Cave
In the cave where King Zedekiah, the last king of Judah, fled and tried to hide from the Babylonians you will find activities and missions for Hanukkah. Inspired by Indiana Jones and The Da Vinci Code. Solve an historical riddle, participate in an “ancient” mine, enjoy crafts and puzzles and go home with a souvenir photograph and prizes for potters.
Free shuttles between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. from the First Station.
When: December 4 to 6, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Zedekiah’s Cave, near Damascus Gate
Price: NIS 30
Info: (02) 627-7550; pami@funinjerusalem.com   
Tower of David Hanukkah
“The Mystery of the Missing Treasure” – Using maps, go on a quest to find the solution to this mystery in the courtyards of the museum and the citadel. Ages 6-14. 90 minutes.
“Oil Lamp Tour” – Magical nighttime tour of the Citadel and museum with costumed actors. 4:30 p.m. Ages 6-12. NIS 35. 90 minutes
When: December 4 to 6 and December 9, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Tower of David, Jaffa Gate
Price: NIS 35 Oil Lamp Tour; museum entrance children free, including Mystery of the Missing Treasure
Info: tod.org.il
Games of Fire – Bloomfield Science Museum
The first joint venture of its kind between the Jerusalem Science Museum and the Fire & Rescue Authority.
Blazing Hanukkiah * Fire-Breathing Dragon * Scientific demonstration “On Fire” * Inter-galactic show – Planet Egg * Unique photo booth with a fire truck and firefighter uniforms * Meetings with firefighters * Tour for “brave” families * “Hot” construction workshops and many more activities for the entire family.
When: December 4 to 10 (including Sunday)
Where: Bloomfield Science Museum
Price: NIS 60 (child, adult), under 5 free
Info: (02) 654-4888; http://event.mada.org.il/en/
The Mystery of the Hidden Pitcher – Bible Lands Museum
The expedition is tasked with urgently locating a rare magical pitcher that disappeared long ago. The tour is full of thrills and spills, challenges and puzzles, with participants encountering a semi-embalmed mummy and a cunning wine god as they seek out the mysterious pitcher and ending with a creative workshop.
Orna Porat Children’s Theater at the Bible Lands Museum
December 4 at noon: Mr. Simon’s Shoes
December 5 at noon: Friends on the Bridge
December 6 at 2 p.m.: The City Mouse and the Field Mouse
December 9 at noon: The Golden Sabbath
December 10 at noon: Mr. Simon’s Shoes
When: December 4 to 6 and 9 to 10, tour and workshop at 10:30 a.m. 1 p.m. 2 p.m. 3 p.m.
Where: Bible Lands Museum
Price: NIS 35 (show) NIS 50 (tour, workshop & show)
Info: biblelands@funinjerusalem.com
Hanukkah in the Old Yishuv Court Museum
Play games from the past as you learn about the life of the community living in the Old City through the ages. Explore the new Hanukkiah exhibit. Nissimiko’s Choice, a play for kids at 11 a.m. Tours at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
When: December 4 to 6 and December 9 and 10
Where: Old Yishuv Court Museum, Or Hahaim Street, Jewish Quarter, Old City
Price: NIS 40 per family
Info: oldyishuv@funinjerusalem.com
Biblical Museum of Natural History
Learn about the animals in Tanach and in the Land of Israel on this unique Hanukkah tour. Hebrew and English tours. Reservations required.
When: Weekdays
Where: 5 Hatzaba Street, Beit Shemesh
Price: NIS 40 adult, NIS 30 child
Info: biblicalnaturalhistory@funinjerusalem.com; 073-213-1662
Levi Eshkol House – Beit Eshkol
Tour the original house where former prime minister Levi Eshkol lived in Rehavia and learn about Israeli history. Enjoy an interactive AR game that takes you through the different rooms using interactive tablets. Enjoy a special family English tour.
When: December 6 at 10 a.m.
Where: 46 Ben Maimon Street
Price: NIS 25 adult, NIS 20 child, NIS 70 family ticket
Info: beiteshkol@funinjerusalem.com
For a full list of Hanukkah events in Jerusalem, visit the calendar at www.funinjerusalem.com/calendar
The writer enjoys inspiring family fun and is the founder of www.funinjerusalem.com and www.partyinjerusalem.com. joanna@funinjerusalem.com