Spring outings and doings

Learn about animals, beeswax, marzipan and desert survival; take in gorgeous views, march by breathtaking scenery, raft the Jordan, enjoy children’s shows and storytelling.

The festival at Gan Guru: Each child receives a nature investigator map (photo credit: NADAV KFIR)
The festival at Gan Guru: Each child receives a nature investigator map
(photo credit: NADAV KFIR)
The Passover holiday symbolizes freedom.
For some of us, this is the liberation from another cold winter into the warm spring, which brings with it lots of fun outdoor activities.
The flowers are blooming, and the rivers are gushing, so this is a wonderful time to tour the country and discover its many wonders.
The following are a number of Passover activities for the whole family to enjoy.
Gan Guru
On Hol Hamoed, there will be a festival at Gan Guru, located in Kibbutz Nir David in the Jezreel Valley. All of the activities will be related to animals and their behavior.
Each child will receive a nature investigator map upon entering the park, which includes riddles whose solutions will tell you where the next station is located.
Guests are invited to learn all about Australian animals, jump on the apparatus that makes them feel like kangaroos, walk on a beam as if they were a koala, slither along under a net of rope as if they were a snake, or feel what it’s like to walk up a wall like a chameleon.
Location: Gan Guru, Kibbutz Nir David.
Dates: April 12-14.
Price: NIS 48; free for children under two.
Dvorat Hatavor
Guests visiting Dvorat Hatavor on Passover (and throughout the year) will learn how the ancient Egyptians mummified their kings with the help of bees.
Kids and adults alike will learn how they used the honeycomb to preserve the bodies, and how bees make honey.
There will also be lots of fun activities such as making (and eating) honey-chocolate matza, preparing beekeepers’ clothing and drawing on papyrus. And if you are a natural phenomena enthusiast, you’ll be excited to see thousands of white silk cocoons and the moths that are starting to burst out of them this time of year. There are also plenty of quiet areas to relax in, and the children can have fun petting the dwarf goats and their little kids.
Location: Moshav Shadmot Dvora, near Kfar Tavor
Dates: April 10-18, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Price: Adults, NIS 39; children, NIS 49.
Timna Park
At Timna Park, just an hour’s drive from Eilat, you can sleep in a fully equipped camping site and wake up to the most gorgeous view of the Eilat Mountains.
Visitors can join bike or walking tours, or the incredible guided sunset tour (must be booked in advance).
Before the tour, watch a short film about the history of the site, which goes all the way back to the Copper Age. When you’ve finished the tour, you can fill a bottle with colored sand, drink hot tea, and relax as you continue gazing at the majestic mountains.
On Hol Hamoed, there will be lots of fun activities, including an entire complex simulating ancient Egypt. There will be Pharaoh’s chariot, a climbing wall with hieroglyphics on it, ancient puzzles, and spear-shooting.
Dates: April 12-13, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., April 14, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Sunset tour will take place on April 12-13 at 4 p.m.
Price: Overnight lodging is NIS 79.
Park entry: NIS 49. Sunset tour: NIS 59.
Shaked Tavor
The visitors’ center at Shaked Tavor invites the public to celebrate the Festival of Freedom with art and marzipan. The tour begins with a short film that explains how marzipan is made, then continues with a marzipan sculpture exhibition consisting of figures from the world of animation, fairy tales, cartoons and even a few political figures. In the workshop, participants learn how to make chocolate matza and marzipan treats for Passover.
Location: KKL Boulevard, Kfar Tavor.
Dates: April 11-17, starting at 9 a.m.
Price: NIS 64 for children between the ages of three and 15 (includes workshop). Free for children under three and for adults.
Jordan River Rafting
With Passover begins the spring kayaking season, and Jordan River Rafting is celebrating the holiday with a variety of rafting options for families and adults.
Rafters are welcome to stop along the way for a drink or snack at the floating bars spread throughout the river. And for the more adventurous, there are also ranger hikes along the river, electric bike tours, paintball fights, climbing walls and zip lines that cross over the river.
Dates: The whole week of Passover, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Details: (04) 900-7000.
Kfar Nokdim
Kfar Nokdim invites the public to embark on a journey through the desert just as the Israelites did a couple of thousand years ago. There will also be juggling and drum workshops, and guided tours around the beautiful area, which is blooming and full of running water. In the Desert Nomad Tour, which sets out on Saturday mornings, participants learn how our ancestors survived for 40 years in the desert, including information about medicinal desert plants and navigational skills. For the threehour tour, participants drive in their own cars.
Dates: April 11-17.
Desert Nomad Tour begins at 10:15 a.m. every Saturday during April.
Price: Free for guests staying overnight. For everyone else: Adults, NIS 20; children, NIS 10.
Details: (08) 995-0097.
Tower of David Museum
The Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem invites the public during Hol Hamoed to participate in a variety of unique Passover activities. Guests can dress up in old-style festive clothes and march in a procession around the fortress. In addition, visitors can run throughout the fortress and fulfill all the missions and discover all the names of Jerusalem. There will also be a creative arts workshop in which children create a game about making the pilgrimage to Jerusalem (additional cost of NIS 10).
Dates: April 12-14.
Price: Free for children, NIS 40 for adults.
Details: (02) 626-5333.
Shahar March
On Wednesday, April 12, the Shahar March will take place along the Jordan River. The march, which is in memory of Maj. Shahar Ben-Yishai, who was an officer in the IDF Paratroop Brigade, will start at 10 a.m. at the entrance to Menahemya. The 5-km. walk is appropriate for all ages and will pass by breathtaking scenery.
At the end of the march, there will be fun activities and arts and crafts for the kids. All participants will receive water and T-shirts. There will also be a ceremony in recognition of Ben-Yishai at the lookout in Menahemya that was built in his memory.
Price: NIS 10 (donation).
Details: Limor Mizrachi Ben-Yishai, 054-732-3556.
Maps and matza
The Culture and Sport Ministry and the Council for the Preservation of Heritage Sites will be holding an event titled “Maps and Matza.” At sites around the country, there will be art workshops, guided tours, music, dance and theatrical performances, sports activities, children’s shows and storytelling. On Wednesday, April 12, visitors will enjoy stories based on folk tales. There will be quizzes with prizes, raffles with prizes such as a ride in a hot-air balloon.
The following sites will be participating in the festival: the Yad Mordechai Museum; the Train Yard in Beersheba; Ammunition Hill and the Italian Jewish Museum in Jerusalem; the Ben-Gurion House in Tel Aviv; the Gush Katif Visitors’ Center in Nitzan; the Rishon Lezion Museum; the Kfar Etzion Visitors’ Center; the Glass Factory Museum at Kibbutz Nahsholim, the Etzel Museum in Shuni, located between Binyamina and Zichron Ya’acov; The Founders Museum in Ma’alot, and Beit Zinati in Peki’in.
Dates: April 12-13.
Details: www.mapaUmatza.co.il
Translated by Hannah Hochner.