Out and about, with joy and (de)light

Hanukka festivities around the country.

Bravo Circus in Israel (photo credit: PR)
Bravo Circus in Israel
(photo credit: PR)
Yes, this winter thus far shows promise of living up to its seasonal definition, but blessed precipitation or no, Hanukka is also school vacation time and an opportunity to get out of the house with the offspring.
As always, when religious holidays come around, there is a plethora of entertainment and cultural events all over the country, both of the sit back and relax ilk and the hands-on, down and dirty variety.
In Jerusalem, for example, you can join in the Etched in Stone guided tour of the alleyways in the Jewish Quarter. Shlomo Cezana will be glad to lead you through the back streets of the Old City on Thursdays and Fridays throughout December to illuminate you about the many stone-embedded inscriptions to be found in the Jewish Quarter and elsewhere within the ancient walls. If you fancy getting an even better handle on the subject matter, Cezana recently published a book from which the tour takes its name. Tours take place at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Thursdays; and on Fridays at 9 a.m. and noon.
To register, call (02) 626-5906 or go to http://goo.gl/sQtiAT.
The North always has plenty to offer in terms of pastoral pastimes, in particular the Jezreel Valley.
Numerous sites around the region have abundance of activities for kids and their families, such as workshops, walking tours, entertainment and light farm work.
The latter can be enjoyed at the Ktofoti farmstead at Beit Lechem Haglilit, which is offering guided tours designed to enlighten urban dwellers about the joys of growing fruit and vegetables – and getting to taste some in the process. The Ktofoti program also takes in goat feeding, tractor rides and pumping water.
For more information, call 054-550-7480 or go to www.ktofoti.co.il.
There will be plenty of fun and games at Moshav Hayogev with its Agricultural Circus, which offers a varied program of activities and entertainment from December 19 to 23. The lineup includes circus skills workshops such as juggling and monocycling; picking organic vegetables; and a pyrotechnic circus show.
For more information: 054-550- 0175; 054-550-0274; and www.agricircus.com.
Down the road at Kibbutz Hazorea, the Wilfrid Israel Museum of Asian Art & Studies offers some wholesome activities for kids, with a manga animation workshop for the five to 10 age group on December 21, and a creative workshop for fiveto eight-year-olds and their parents on December 22 and 23.
For more information: (04) 989- 9566 and [email protected]
More circus fun of the spectator variety can be had all over the country courtesy of the Bravo Circus. The troupe will be doing its thing across the country for kids from three years old and up from December 18 to 23, with shows lined up for Karmiel, Netanya, Givat Brenner, Modi’in, Beersheba and Kibbutz Yagur.
For more information: (03) 644- 4508 and www.adamprod.co.il.
Kibbutz Ein Gev, on the eastern shores of the Kinneret, will offer plenty of “light” and other entertainment and activities from December 17 to 24. The program includes Hanukkah-themed creative workshops for children, daily between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. (to register, call (04) 665-8195); a guided historical tour of the kibbutz in a miniature train; a boat ride on the lake to get a better look at the work of local fishermen; and an educational outing on a floating laboratory which includes water sampling and learning about wildlife in the region.
For more information, call: (04) 665-8008; (04) 665-8036; or go to www.eingev.co.il.
Just to the south of Ein Gev, Hamat Gader will put on the Light and Fire Festival between December 18 and 22, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The five-day event includes a host of visually impressive shows and attractions, including a giant laser-generated hanukkia spinning top and Hanukka greetings, which the organizers say is the only hanukkia that will be visible from Jordan. There will also be pyrotechnics galore, a torch-lit tour of the alligator ponds, and the main Lumination spectacular with acrobatics, drummers, laser beams and all manner of visual and sonic special effects.
For more information, call *6393 or go to www.hamat-gader.com.
The Bloomfield Science Museum in Jerusalem has also lined up some holiday-tailored activities, with its Touching the Light program. The museum’s Hanukka agenda features the new Make Light display, which incorporates interactive light technology-based items, giant-sized interactive musical light installations, and workshops for all the family. Admission to the museum is free on December 18 and 25, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., as part of the Hamshushalayim events.
For more information, call (02) 654-4888 or go to www.mada.org.il.
The Suzanne Dellal Center in Tel Aviv will add to the Hanukka entertainment fare with a quality dance production called Kaduryachad. The show, which is based on a colorful basketball match format, will take place at the center at 11 a.m. on December 21 and is tailored to the 5-12 age group.
For more information, call (03) 510-5656.
The Mateh Yehuda Regional Authority will also do its bit to keep kids and their parents occupied with a trip down memory lane to Granddad’s Storeroom at Moshav Beit Meir. Visitors of all ages will be able to not only view some emotive artifacts of yesteryear but also pick them up and inhale the scent of days of yore.
For more information, call 052- 260-0732.
Mini Israel will also offer some Hanukka cheer between December 20-23 by taking a leaf out of the Harry Potter books and turning the site into a school of wizardry, with a magic wand workshop and broomstick competitions.
For more information, call (08) 913-0010 or go to www.minisrael.co.il/.
As the unofficial “junior capital of Israel,” Holon has plenty of events and activities for kids. The city’s Design Museum is running a range of workshops for children and parents, which feed off the New Couture exhibition by Dutch designer Iris Van Herpen. On December 20 (11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.), visitors can participate in a design-oriented tour, while on December 21-23, children aged 7 to 11 and their parents can have fun making wild and wacky spinning tops.
For more information, call 073-215- 1500 or go to www.dmh.org.il.