A whirlwind of purim festivities

Purim activities across Israel.

Purim is in the air at Tel Aviv Port (photo credit: KFIR SIVAN)
Purim is in the air at Tel Aviv Port
(photo credit: KFIR SIVAN)
Purim begins Saturday night, and the excitement can already be felt around the country, as kids prepare their colorful costumes for dress-up day at school. There are fun Purim activities taking place all over Israel for the long Purim weekend, and since spring is finally here in full force, this is also a good time to go outside and see all the colorful flowers that are blooming. Here is a selection of some of the most worthwhile events to keep in mind this holiday.
Adloyada in Mahaneh Yehuda
One of the best tours of Jerusalem’s Mahaneh Yehuda outdoor market that I’ve been on was an alcohol- filled night tour, booked through a culinary tourism app called bitemojo. This way, participants get to experience the bustling night life in the shuk, while also getting into the spirit of Purim.
Some people may not yet be aware that there is a slew of bars, cafés and restaurants that open in Mahaneh Yehuda in the evenings, which offer music, live performances, arak and beer, hookahs and games of backgammon.
Bitemojo opens this world up to people from around the country who’ve never experienced this phenomenon, with tastes such as limoncello with a snack, arak with appetizers, Tubi 60 with chili con carne, popcorn, cocktails and a number of locally produced boutique beers.
Dates: Sunday-Thursday, from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Price: NIS 85 per person.
Details: 055-664-6684.
Purim with King Herod
Caesarea National Park and King Herod invite the public this Purim to join them at a colorful festival that will take place in the palace.
There will be circus acrobats and theatrical personae who hail from the Kingdom of Judah. Visitors are invited to take part in the fascinating encounter between the past and the present, watch street performances, aerial acrobatics, clowns, jugglers, dancers, drummers and singers who encourage audience participation. In addition, children can create an art project or participate in a face-painting workshop.
National park volunteers will be available to explain to visitors all about the site, and guided tours will be conducted during the festival free of charge.
The restaurants, gift shops and the art galleries will be open for guests’ convenience during the holiday.
Date: Saturday, March 11, at 10 a.m. Guided tours will commence at the hippodrome and port gates at 11 a.m., 12 noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Prices: All activities are included in the regular entry fee (except for face painting and arts and crafts workshops). NIS 39 for adults, NIS 24 for children.
Yad Mordechai
At Kibbutz Yad Mordechai, you and your family can celebrate Purim in a rural atmosphere. Guests are invited to tour the Honey and Bee House, where they can catch a glimpse inside the beehive and even taste fresh honey. Kids can also make candles out of beeswax, ride a tractor and view old objects of kibbutz life in the local museum. Or they can make a Purim mask, listen to exciting stories about battles with the Egyptians that took place on the kibbutz in 1948, crawl down into Hagana defensive posts, climb on real tanks, sit inside armored cars and see old guns.
Dates: March 11, 12 and 13.
Price includes entry into all activities. NIS 55 for children age 2 and up, NIS 50 for adults.
Details: (08) 672-0559.
Tel Aviv Port
The Tel Aviv Port and Yarid Hamizrach invite children and their families to take part in a colorful Purim carnival, which will take place on Sunday, March 12, in three separate locations: the sandbox complex, the north complex and the children’s compound.
In the sandbox complex on the northern deck, three huge Extreme Wipeout stations will be constructed and accompanied by fun, rhythmic music. In addition, there will be harmonic movement workshops, energetic street performances involving drumming on huge colorful balls, acrobatics, interactive game stations, a procession of giant fantasy characters and a hula-hoop show.
Date: Sunday, March 12, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Details: (03) 544-1505, (03) 604-2459.
Dag Bakfar
Located near Yokne’am at the foot of the Carmel Mountains, not far from the biosphere park at Ramat Menashe, Dag Bakfar offers an authentic Purim fishing experience for the whole family.
There will be face- and body-painting stations, and small children will enjoy romping around in the pool of balls, jumping on the trampolines and bouncing in the moon bounces.
Of course, you’ll be able to go fishing or touch the fish at Dag Bakfar, just like you can all year long. On Saturday, every child who arrives dressed up in a costume will receive free entry.
Date: Saturday, March 11, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Price: NIS 35 for adults, NIS 49 for children.
Details: (04) 989-4095.
Hama’ayanot Park
Visitors to Hama’ayanot Park, near Beit She’an, are invited to celebrate Purim this year in a water walk called Puss in Boots. At the beginning of the trail, there will be a pussy cat face-painting station, and anyone who rents a car during the holiday will also be able to rent boots for just NIS 10 and walk around in them through the water trail.
In addition, in celebration of Purim, people renting cars will receive an extra 30 minutes free of charge.
Price: Free.
Date: Saturday, March 11, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel is celebrating Purim with an emphasis on the environment.
The happening will take place in the Ashdod Yam Park in an area that is accessible to strollers and wheelchairs, so that everyone can participate in the celebration. There will be a camouflage and costume party in nature, where visitors can observe birds, a face-painting station and a natural color-making workshop.
Date: Monday, March 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Meeting point: Ashdod Yam Park (next to Hakashatot Beach).
Advance registration recommended: (03) 638-8688.
Sde Boker
This Purim holiday, you can join a mass head-standing event, in an effort to break the current record and learn more about the heritage of Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion. Children will be welcome to prepare masks in the form of Ben-Gurion, put on khaki clothing commonly associated with the first prime minister, and have their picture taken all dressed up in Ben-Gurion’s historic house in Sde Boker.
Location: Ben-Gurion’s house, Sde Boker.
Dates: Sunday and Monday, March 12 and 13, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Price: NIS 15 for children under age 18, NIS 20 for adults. All activities included in entrance fee.
Details: (08) 656-0469.
■ Translated by Hannah Hochner.