Passover celebrates the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery, as well our exodus from the cold winter into beautiful spring days full of blossoming flowers.
This holiday, we are also slowly releasing ourselves from a long, hard year. Now that our freedom of movement has been reinstated, it is the perfect time to visit tourist sites (adhering to health restrictions). All of Israel’s many and varied nature reserves will be holding special activities and tours, and visitors are welcome to register ahead of time.
Below are a number of exciting options for an active and energizing Passover with family and friends.
1. Yatir region
Sussiya, an ancient Jewish village in the South Hebron Hills that is 1,500 years old, will come to life on Hol Hamoed.
Visitors are invited to take part in archaeological digs, make jugs on a pottery wheel, learn how to produce oil using an ancient olive press inside a cave, or get their faces painted.
There will be tours on the hour, every hour. Families can go on a horseback ride at Beit Yatir or participate in a carpentry workshop at SimArt Studio. And the adults among you won’t want to miss the wine tasting at Drimia Winery.
Dates: March 30 & 31.
Location: Yatir region.
Price: Varies for each activity.
Details: 1-599-57-57-58 or Yatir region website.
2. Northern Negev
There will be a special Passover agriculture program with lots of interesting agricultural activities for the whole family, including self-picking colorful carrots, cherry tomatoes and potatoes at Katif-Li. At Shvil Hasalat, visitors will learn how horseradish and celery are grown, and at Ori Tutim and Meshek 77, adults and kids can pick all the strawberries they desire.
Passover is always the perfect time of year to get out into nature to see all the flowers that are blooming all around Israel. Ba’Ofen and La Medavesh are offering guided bike tours. If bike riding is not your thing, you might enjoy a ride on a donkey or a trip in a hot air balloon.
Dates: March 27-April 3.
Location: Northern Negev.
Price: Most venues have free entrance during Hol Hamoed, under sponsorship of Bank Hapoalim.
Details: Shikma Basor website or Festival Darom Adom page on Facebook.
3. Israel’s honeybees
Most people associate honey with Rosh Hashanah, but honey also goes really well with matzah, and, of course, honey plays a central role in all the wonderful treats eaten at Mimouna celebrations right after Passover.
And so, it is not surprising that the Honey Council is inviting the public to visit apiaries located all over the country and to learn all about how bees live and produce honey, and how beekeepers collect honey.
Meshek Ofir in Alon Hagalil is currently celebrating its new name: “Meshek Ofir – Love between family and land.” Founded 85 years ago by Zvika Ofir, Meshek Ofir is the oldest apiary in Israel.
Ofir is also the founder of Yiftah’el Winery. During Hol Hamoed, Ofir is inviting the public to visit the visitor center and taste an assortment of honeys. Guests can reserve picnic basket lunches that include wine, honey, spreads, olives, goat cheese, focaccia, all of which are prepared locally.
At Devorat Hatavor in Shadmot Devora you can take a tour that’s geared toward families and during which you’ll discover one of the most well-kept secret ways mummies were embalmed in ancient Egypt.
Guests will learn how bees produce propolis, and kids can make candles out of beeswax or create a sheet of Egyptian papyrus.
Dates for events at Meshek Ofir: March 27-April 3.
Price of two-person picnic basket: NIS 320.
Details: (04) 986-1466.
Date for events at Devorat Hatavor: March 25-April 3.
Price: Children NIS 52; adults NIS 42.
Details: (04) 676-9598, 050-563-7645.
Details about activities at other apiaries: www.honey.org.il
4. Tura Winery
Tura, a boutique winery in Rehelim, invites the public to visit this Hol Hamoed.
Guests can enjoy a vino tasting inside the barrel-adorned wine cellar, and hear how the winery got started. Participants will be offered three types of wine, olive oil, cheese and olives.
Alternatively, guests can enjoy an outdoor setting that comes with two glasses of wine per person, olive oil, cheese and olives. Another option is a picnic basket offering a bottle of wine, three types of cheese, two crystal glasses, two spreads, Har Hermon chocolate and disposable dishes and cutlery.
Preregistration required, space limited due to health restrictions.
Dates: Monday-Thursday, March 29-April 1, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, April 2, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Price: Tastings, NIS 79-99; picnic baskets, starting at NIS 249.
Details: (02) 650-8882, 052-796-6613, www.turawinery.com/he
5. Jezreel Valley
Tourist sites in the Jezreel Valley will be hosting a variety of activities during Hol Hamoed Passover, and visitors are welcome to come enjoy the spectacular views of the valley. All sites will be strictly keeping all health regulations.
One site is the Valley Train in Kfar Yehoshua, where guests will hear the fascinating story of this historical train. Visit includes a guided tour, a miniature train exposition, a train playground, arts and crafts workshops and soap bubbles.
Dates: March 29-31, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Price: Children NIS 25; adults NIS 15.
Details: Preregistration required. (04) 901-4230, [email protected]
6. Agricultural circus
Circus performances include a variety of juggling, acrobatics and lots of interaction with the audience.
Kids can write riddles in the vegetable garden, participate in an acrobatics workshop, self-picking of organic vegetables, feeding donkeys and dwarf goats, and digging with toy tractors in the sand.
Dates: March 28-April 4, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Circus performance every day at 12:30.
Location: Moshav Hayogev
Price: Children NIS 55; adults NIS 44.
7. Derech Ha’etz Park
Derech Ha’etz Park in Shadmot Devora will be hosting a variety of activities this Hol Hamoed Passover.
Visitors can watch a short film about the rain forests and paulownia trees that grow there, watch artists engage in wood carving, build personalized carpentry tool kits or purchase artwork, home decor and games.
Each day of the holiday, a special quiz about trees will take place at 12:30.
In addition, there is a huge maze built out of wood, with a few different levels of difficulty, a relief map of the Land of Israel, an awesome pedal go-kart track, the Tavor Train, a drumming workshop, miniature golf and wooden bowling.
Dates: March 27-April 3, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and holidays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (entrance until two hours before closing).
Price: Children NIS 59; adults NIS 25.
Details: 072-395-0380, www.derechaetz.org.il
8. Shomrey Hagolan
In honor of the spring holiday, Shomrey Hagolan will hold two-hour experiential nature tours for the whole family. Participants will learn all about the Golan and all its wonders. Tours include light walking and outdoor activities.
Dates: March 23-March 26, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., preregistration required.
Price: Children NIS 35; adults NIS 80.
Location: Entrance to Moshav Odem.
Details: 050-452-4335, [email protected]
9. Space Fantasy
Located in the Herzliya Arena, Space Fantasy is the first selfie museum. It includes over 15 different rooms. There are rooms for photography, Xbox, arts and crafts, an unforgettable journey to the moon, and a special tribute to the Ramon family, in memory of Ilan, Rona and Assaf. Space enthusiasts can embark on a 360° sonic light journey in the Arena spacecraft, which will take off and take Israeli astronauts to the moon.
The rooms, designed in collaboration with Mystery Theater, are a place for engaging in deep thought and experiencing personal empowerment, as well as offering attractive selfie photography opportunities.
Location: 2 Hashonit Street, Herzliya.
Dates: Until June 12, including weekends and holidays. Hol Hamoed hours: 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
Price: NIS 99 (discount options available).
Translated by Hannah Hochner.