Festival of Freedom...with your family

While there is no grand event planned for the Holy City, there are lots of fun festivals and special events. Here are some of my favorites.

The Israel Museum’s kite-flying festival (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
The Israel Museum’s kite-flying festival
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Spring has been in the air for the last few weeks, but it is finally time to enjoy Passover vacation in Jerusalem.
While there is no grand event planned for the Holy City, there are lots of fun festivals and special events. Here are some of my favorites.
New night experience at Tower of David Museum – “King David”
You will be mesmerized by the new sound-and-light show at the Tower of David following the life and art depiction of King David.
April 1-4, 8 p.m. April 7, 9:30 p.m.
TOD box office: *2884
Ein Yael Spring Festival
Enjoy special ancient craft activities and live theater at the Living Museum Ein Yael for kids of all ages.
April 1-4, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. April 5, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
NIS 45, child; NIS 35, adult
Kol HaOt illuminated Haggada fair
“Playing with Plagues” – explore the world of illuminated art as you enjoy an exhibit of illuminated Haggadot at the Inbal Hotel. The event includes handson workshops for kids and engaging speakers.
April 2, 5 p.m.-10 p.m.
WiPark 2018
Israel’s largest extreme park comes to the Payis Arena with life-size obstacle courses, large toddler Gymboree, 3D trick art and shows for kids.
March 27-29 and April 1-4, 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 3 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
NIS 54 per person. Call Bimot: *6226
Find the afikoman at the Yad Sarah visitors’ center
Race through the Yad Sarah building searching for the afikoman. Guided by Dvir Benedek, you will learn about all the great services Yad Sarah offers the community.
April 1-4, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. by reservation
NIS 18 Details: yadsarah@funinjerusalem.com, (02) 644-4687
Art tours with Caron
Meet the artists as you are invited into their studios and galleries.
Mamilla Art Tour: Sunday, April 1, 11:30 a.m.
Nahlaot Art Tour: Monday, April 2, 11:30 a.m.
Bezalel Art Tour: Thursday, April 5, 10:30 a.m.
Details: caron@funinjerusalem.com
Kakadu Passover family art festival
Using the famous Kakadu technique, you can create your own pieces of art – for the whole family. Make it into a full day and explore the area of the Bar-Kochba Caves.
April 1-5, 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.
NIS 50 per person.
Details: kakadu@funinjerusalem.com
Jerusalem Theater family entertainment
Ferdinand, movie – April 1, 11 a.m. NIS 15 Coco, movie – April 2, 11 a.m. NIS 15 The Lion who Loved Strawberries, live show – April 4, 5:30 p.m. NIS 65
Train Theater – Liberty Bell Park
The Lost Crown – April 1, 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m.
The Gift Train – April 2, 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m.
One-Two – April 3, 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m.
Moshav Country Fair
The Moshav Country Fair in Mevo Modi’in features live music, entertainment, kids’ workshops and crafts. Performers include The Solomon Brothers, Chaim-Dovid, Yehuda Katz and The Elevators.
April 2, 12 p.m.-9 p.m.
NIS 50, adult; NIS 25, child; NIS 150, family w/3 kids
Priestly Blessing
Join thousands of people on Monday at the Western Wall for the special Birkat Kohanim. Make sure to get there early, because the entire plaza will be filled with people.
April 2, 8:45 a.m.

Passover tours of Safra Square

Join the Visitor Center of the Jerusalem Municipality for a guided tour of City Hall at Safra Square.
April 2. English tour, 10 a.m.
Old City scavenger hunt
Explore the alleyways of the Old City as you solve missions and find clues.
April 3 and 5, 10 a.m.
NIS 95, adult; NIS 85, child
Details: scavenger@funinjerusalem.com
Takum honor and age elderly interactive experience
Experience the challenge of aging as Takum invites you to step into the shoes of seven savtas/sabas who were Israel’s first pioneers, developers, inventors and creators. Ages 10+
Shir Hadash Emek
April 2, 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 5 p.m.
NIS 45 per person
Details: rena@kashouvot.org
ScaVentures Jerusalem book launch party
All Aboard! Don’t miss the ScaVentures Jerusalem: The Experiential Guidebook launch party. Adventures, prizes and fun. Play the ScaVentures Train game at the First Station.
April 5, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Details: scavenger@funinjerusalem.com
Gush Etzion Passover winery tours and tasting
While enjoying spectacular Gush Etzion views, take a look back in time as you learn the history of wine making and its process at the Gush Etzion Winery.
April 1-4, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
NIS 25 for tour & tasting
Reservations: yekev@funinjerusalem.com

Zomet family experience tours

Learn about the intersection between technology and Halacha in a fun and interactive environment. Includes a hands-on tour, Gymboree for young children, and lecture for families. Alon Shvut.
English tours, April 1-4, 10 a.m., 1 p.m. & 4 p.m.
NIS 25, adult; NIS 20, child (2-6 years old)
Reservations: zomet@funinjerusalem.com
Behind-the-scenes scribe tour
Families will be treated to in-depth explanations and demonstrations on how Torah scrolls, tefillin, mezuzot and megillot are created. Beit Shemesh.
April 1 and 2
Reservations: sofer@funinjerusalem.com

Open studio art workshops

Workshops in mosaics, glass painting, Fimo and woodcrafts.
April 1-4, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 6 p.m.-9 p.m. at First Station. April 5, by reservation, at studio
Details: openstudio@funinjerusalem.com

Extreme sports in the Old City

Rappelling down the walls of Zion Gate or a guided tour on the walls and in the caves of the Old City.
April 1-4, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
NIS 20 to NIS 25
Details: (02) 627-7550
Bank Hapoalim for culture, nature and beauty
Enjoy free entrance to many museums across the country sponsored by Bank Hapoalim. In/near Jerusalem. Bible Lands Museum, Botanical Gardens, Herzl Museum, Aqueduct in East Talpiot, Gazelle Valley and Latrun.
Details: www.poalimatarim.co.il

Passover at Ammunition Hill

Guided museum tours, challenge ropes course, children’s shows, and the JerusaLENS exhibition.
April 2-4
NIS 25, adult; NIS 30, child; NIS 130 family (2 adults + 3 children)

Beit Levi Eshkol tour, interactive games and scavenger hunt

Visit the home of Israel’s third prime minister and learn about the history of Israel through augmented reality, ipad games and interactive trivia games.(Hebrew)
April 1, 3, 5 – 10 a.m., 12 noon, 2 p.m.
Special Beit Eshkol scavenger hunt: April 2, 4 – 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Reservations required: (02) 631-3091, beiteshkol@funinjerusalem.com

Bible Lands Museum

See the mysterious sphinx and pyramids, discover the secrets of papyrus production, and watch a humorous play about the mummification process.
April 1-4. English tour – 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. April 5, 10:30 a.m.
Biblical Museum of Natural History
“Leopards, elephants and the story of Passover!”
Visit the Biblical Museum of Natural History in Beit Shemesh and explore a whole new aspect of the Spring Festival. English and Hebrew interactive guided tours daily. Reservations required.
April 1-5.
NIS 40, adult; NIS 30, child
Details: biblicalnaturalhistory@funinjerusalem.com

Bloomfield Science Museum
“Only Cardboard – Thinking Inside the Box”
Families will enjoy hands-on experiences, design, imagination, and fun while discovering the world of cardboard.
April 1-4, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. April 5, 6, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
NIS 60 per child/adult, NIS 220 per family ticket

Spring Festival at the Botanical Gardens
Guided tours through the amazing flower gardens, creative workshops and searching for “gold” on the discovery path.
April 1-4, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. April 5, 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.
Free. NIS 15 entrance to workshop area
Details: (02) 679-4012

Herzl Museum

Take a theatrical tour of Mount Herzl, as the characters from Israel’s history come alive. Special event for families in English. Visit the museum before or after the tour.
April 1, 2, museum tour – 9:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m. Theatrical tour, 11 p.m. 1½ hours
NIS 40
Reservations required: Herzl@funinjerusalem.com
Israel Aquarium
The aquarium takes you on a fascinating journey through the four seas of Israel – Mediterranean, Lake Kinneret, Dead Sea and Red Sea. Open daily for preview, group tours only (Hebrew).
Reservations: www.israel-aquarium.org.il/english
Israel Museum
Families may enjoy tours, art workshops, story time and recycling workshops. Passover activities including Seder table children’s activities and the Passover artifacts exhibit.
April 1, 2, 4, 6, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. April 3, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. April 5, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Free, child; NIS 54, adult. April 5, free for all
Museum of Islamic Art
Joha, an entertaining show about one of the funniest characters ever – Joha! – a clever, silly folk hero, a comical character in folktales and folklore all over the Middle East. Kids will also enjoy the art workshops and a costume area.
April 1-5. Free, child; NIS 20-40, adult
“Joha Tales” – April 1-5. 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m. (on April 5, no show at 1:30 p.m.)
Art workshop & costumes 10 a.m.-3 p.m.(erev hag till 1:30 p.m.)
Old Yishuv Court – games of yesteryear
Step back in history in the Old City and play games from the past. Egozim, potato sack race. Dress up and enjoy a self-guided scavenger hunt. Make sure to visit the “Blues for the Man in Blue” exhibit about the Palestine Police in the time of the British Mandate.
April 1-4, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. April 5, 10 a.m.- 1 p.m.
NIS 40 per family

Hebrew Music Museum

An exciting interactive tour that illustrates the journey from slavery to freedom through the world of music.
April 1-5, 9:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m.
NIS 50, adult; NIS 40, child For a full Passover Family Guide, visit www.funinjerusalem.com/pesach

Dig for a day
Connect your kids to the history of the land. Learn how to look for artifacts, sift through dirt from the Second Temple period and go caving in an unexcavated cave.
$30, adults; $25, child (ages 5-14).
Reservations: dig@funinjerusalem.com
Family activities at Kibbutz Tzova
Kif Tzuba Amusement Park, Galita chocolate workshops, Tzuba guided hiking
Details: tzuba@funinjerusalem.com
Tours in Adumim
Shelley from Tour Adumim will take your family on an exciting tour in the Adumim area. Tour options include: Judean Desert lookout, Beduin lookout, tour of Good Samaritan Mosaics Museum and more.
Reservations: adumim@funinjerusalem.com
Yvel jewelry factory tour
The Yvel jewelry factory and visitors’ center is a great place to visit to learn about jewelry making with pearls and precious stones. Visit the jewelry school for Ethiopian immigrants.
Reservations: yvel@funinjerusalem.com
Time Elevator – I am Jerusalem
Travel on a journey through 3,000 years of Jerusalem’s history on a spectacular and innovative multimedia show.
April 1-5, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
NIS 54
Reservations: iamjerusalem@funinjerusalem.com

ATV in Jerusalem hills
Take a thrilling ride in an ATV buggy as you cruise through the hills of Jerusalem using back roads and some off-roading, you will see areas of Jerusalem that you don’t normally get to.
Reservations: atv@funinjerusalem.com

Family biking in the Judean Hills

Bike ride through some of Israel’s most beautiful landscapes just outside Jerusalem in the Eila Valley. Custom bike rides can include caving and visiting archeological sites.
Reservations: hikebike@funinjerusalem.com
Jerusalem ropes course
Activities based on courage, bravery and leadership at the historic Ammunition Hill battleground.
Reservations for private groups: ropes@ funinjerusalem.com
Jerusalem scavenger hunt
Explore the streets of Jerusalem as you solve missions and find clues. Scavenger options: Old City scavenger hunt, Nahlaot scavenger hunt, shuk dash and Windmill dash.
Reservations: scavenger@funinjerusalem.com
Laser tag – Latrun
Enjoy a challenging game of laser tag with your family in a unique setting among tanks in Latrun.
Reservations: lasertag@funinjerusalem.com

The Bloc – bouldering

Take your kids bouldering in the center of town.
April 1-5, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. April 6, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. April 7, 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
NIS 50, entrance; NIS 10, shoes
7 Yitzhak Elisar Street
Details: bloc@funinjerusalem.com

Passover team karting

Speed through the track as you experience the feeling of go-kart racers or play on the simulator and feel the race. Ages 8+.
NIS 55 for 10 minutes
Lev Talpiot Mall
Details: karting@funinjerusalem.com
Zuzu Segway and midnight biking
Enjoy exciting tours and activities of Jerusalem by Segway (ages 16+) or bike.
Reservations: zuzu@funinjerusalem.com
Glassblowing workshop
Learn to make “kosher for Passover” glass candies. This hands-on workshop teaches you the art of glassmaking.
Bethlehem Road
NIS 400 to NIS 700
Details: glass@funinjerusalem.com

Hadara ceramics workshop

Hadara guides you through the process of creating your own unique pieces, using clay. Choose to make Passover-inspired pieces or your own dishes, name plaques or more.
Emek Refaim 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
NIS 90 for 1.5 hours
Details: hadara@funinjerusalem.com
JClay pottery paint studio
Create a unique souvenir, dish or handmade gift at the new pottery painting studio in Geula.
Sunday-Wednesday, 10:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Thursday, 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
NIS 20, entrance, plus price of pottery pieces, NIS 25+
Details: jclay@funinjerusalem.com

Wood workshop at The Workshop- Gush Etzion

Create handmade pieces of Judaica at this incredible wood workshop!
April 1-5, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Reservations: theworkshop@funinjerusalem.com

The writer is the founder of Fun In Jerusalem (www.funinjerusalem.com), Party in Jerusalem (www.partyinjerusalem.com ) and Spa in Jerusalem (www.SpaInJerusalem.com).
She lives in Jerusalem with her husband and three kids, and loves to inspire family fun.