Splash out this Hol Hamoed

Enjoy the outdoors during Sukkot

Odem Forest (photo credit: DEBBIE MITRANI)
Odem Forest
(photo credit: DEBBIE MITRANI)
There are so many amazing activities being offered around the country this Sukkot, I had a hard time narrowing it down to just a few select gems. Particularly during Hol Hamoed (the intermediate days of the holiday, Tuesday-Sunday, October 15-20), there will be nature festivals, walks through the forest, challenging obstacle courses for young people and lots of water fun. Enjoy!
Tzipori National Park
Tzipori National Park is organizing special fun-filled entertainment for the whole family this Sukkot. Guests will be invited to help erect four sukkot in the streets of the ancient city: the etrog sukkah, lulav sukkah, hadas sukkah and arava sukkah. Actors – dressed up as characters from throughout Jewish history such as Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi, Rabbi Akiva, Resh Lakish and Elisha Ben Abuya – will mingle with visitors. In addition, there will be a lively musical performance, street games and a variety of workshops that include archaeological excavation, writing in ancient Hebrew script, mosaics, pottery painting, and olive pickling. Visitors can also join a guided tour.
Location: Tzipori National Park
Dates: October 15-16, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Avital Volcanic Park

During Hol Hamoed, the Avital Volcanic Park will open its doors to the public for free. Meander among the informative stations and uncover all the aspects of this incredible geological site built atop an old quarry. While you stand looking at a wall inside the park, you will see marks of historical volcanic activity from hundreds of thousands of years ago. If you want, you can look out over the site from a designated outlook in nearby Quneitra, from which you can then walk down into the park.
Dates: Tuesday-Sunday, October 15-20, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Price: Free (sponsored by the Golan Economic Development Corporation).
Odem Forest
Experience a visit to a forest this Sukkot that feels as if it came straight out of a book of scary stories you read as a child. Just like those stories, this thrilling guided tour of Odem Forest in the Golan is full of tension, courage and determination. The branches of the trees will have lots of lanterns hanging from them, and guests will learn all about the natural surroundings and animals that live in the forest.
Time: Starts 15 minutes before sunset.
Length: 90 minutes.
Price: NIS 45 for ages 3 and up.
Details: 050-689-4560.
Tura Estate Winery
Tura Estate Winery owners Erez and Vered Ben Saadon are inviting visitors this Hol Hamoed Sukkot to taste some of their best wines, inside their huge sukkah at their winery in Rehalim. The winery will also be offering free tours along with tastings of olive oil that was made in a local olive press. Kids can take part of a fun workshop and watch a short film on how wine is produced.
Dates: October 15-17, 9 a.m.-5 p.m; October 18 & 20, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Habesor Park

If you thought that spending the day out in nature meant giving up good food, you were wrong. This Hol Hamoed Sukkot, the public is invited to participate in Habesor Park’s new and trendy Food Truck Festival. You can hang out in the shade of the palm trees in this oasis in southern Israel and enjoy the park’s annual food festival. More than 25 food trucks will be offering a variety of delicacies spanning Italian, Asian, Mexican, Greek, Israeli and American cuisine, and all costing less than NIS 35.
Nearby, there will be an extraordinary exhibition of collectible cars, some of which guests can sit in of and take selfies, as if they were starring in a movie from the 1960s.
Location: Habesor Park.
Dates: October 19, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Janco Dada Museum
The Janco Dada Museum in Ein Hod will hold a special exhibition on Sukkot featuring works by Lena and Oded Zayed and Itamar Baglikter. At noon on Shabbat, October 19, Baglikter will talk with guests about his work From Luria to Luria. Next, the curator of the exhibit, Raya Zomer-Tal, will lead a tour of the museum. On Sunday, October 20, at 11:30 a.m., Mademoiselle Ornament, a 1950s-style cabaret singer, will lead a tour and street show in the alleyways of Ein Hod.
Location: Ein Hod Artists’ Village.
Dates: October 14-17 and 19-22.
Price: Adults NIS 25, children NIS 30.
Ein Gedi
If you’re looking for a really special day out in nature that culminates with a night sleeping at an SPNI (Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel) field school, then I recommend participating in the Ushpizin Bamidbar family tour. During the first day of the hike you will have time to splash around in the natural pools and waterfalls in the southern Judean Desert. On the second day you will traverse Nahal Arugot, with more pools and waterfalls.
Location: Ein Gedi Field School.
Dates: October 13-14 and October 20-21.
Price: Green Club Members: Adults NIS 397, Children NIS 247; Guests: Adults NIS 477, Children 297.
Details: teva.org.il.
If you want to visit an exhibition with over 500 pumpkins that weigh up to 15 kilograms each, I recommend going to Beit Lehem Haglilit, which was established as a Templer colony in the 19th century. Visitors can taste delicacies made from pumpkin, create art projects with pumpkin seeds, and hear an explanation about all the different kinds of pumpkins. There will also be self-picking of vegetables and fruits, and kids can feed the goats and roosters.
Dates: October 13, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; October 14-21, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; October 22, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Last entrance 90 minutes before closing.
Price: NIS 45. Baskets are NIS 30.
Details: ktofoti.co.il.
Translated by Hannah Hochner.