Jerusalem for Kids
Jerusalem with Kids
Israel is one of the world’s most child friendly countries and there are a wealth of attractions such as zoos, amusement parks, water parks, science museums and children’s playgrounds in every corner of the country. Jerusalem is especially a paradise for children.
Bloomfield Science Museum
The Bloomfield Science Museum near the Hebrew University in Givat Ram is one of the most popular places for kids of all ages. If you go there, allow yourself at least half a day as you will most certainly not be able to tear your kids away from there sooner! It is just too exciting a place. This is not a museum where you walk around and look at exhibits behind glass, but is a hands-on museum where kids touch everything by pushing or pulling levers, water wheels, a bicycle powered carousel and more. A rope pulley allows a small child to raise a platform holding an adult, a great surprise to everyone.
Children can see themselves upside down on television. A mirror room will turn one child into 100 kids, making for a great photo op. There are also workshops for small scientific crafts that children can build and take home. Many helpful museum guides are available and take the time to explain the exhibits and how they work to the children. For more information phone: 02-654-4888.
The Biblical Zoo near Malcha is an amazing place of Biblical animals in natural outdoor settings. Only glass separates your children from many of the large predator cats. You can safely take that prize photo of your kid sitting only a few inches away from the king of the beasts.
The train from Tel Aviv and other parts of the country stops here. There is also a fun train inside the zoo that stops at various animal stations. Few children want to leave the zoo early, so plan to spend the better half of a day here.
Riding the Flower Train at the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens is the best way to keep children happy there. You can get on and off at various stops. At the ticket desk you can request a “Young Scientist’s Backpack” that comes with a magnifying glass and fun things to do. This is a very lovely place to visit – but for kids the best is yet to come. In 2013 a Children’s Discovery Garden is due to open.
More Things to Do in Jerusalem with Kids
Jerusalem Tourgames has a very unique way of using interactive and competitive games to provide an in-depth learning and walking tour of three of the most interesting Jerusalem neighborhoods. The tours are:
Neighborhoods – Nachlaot and the Machane Yehuda Market.
Inside Jerusalem – the Jewish Quarter, the rova yehudi.
Kaleidoscope – Yemin Moshe and Mishkenot Sha’anaim .
These tourgames are suitable for groups, families and children over age five. Each person receives a booklet with questions that need to be answered, an answer sheet and tasks. Whoever answers the most questions correctly wins the tourgame.
The Time Elevator is an exciting experience for children over age 5. Watch a movie about Jerusalem’s history over the past 3,000 years, starring Haim Topol. The seats you are sitting on literally move, so that you feel you are actually participating in what you are seeing on the screen. For pregnant women or people or children who suffer from motion sickness there are also 12 seats that do not move.
The Model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period at the Israel Museum is popular with children of all ages from 2 to 99! There is also a Youth Wing here that periodically offers workshops for children.
An exciting Discover Jerusalem Scavenger Hunt is a real fun way for kids to discover the Jewish Quarter of the Old City or the Nachlaot neighborhood. Children and adults are assigned various roles to play and are given a packet of information with clues and tasks. Children have to find the answers in street names, buildings, colors and more. There is also a Scavenger Hunt for Christian tourists. For further information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Some of the major shopping malls have play areas for kids like Jerusalem’s Malcha Mall that has free gymboree’s for kids to play on. During Jewish holidays like Sukkot, Chanukah and Passover, when Israeli schoolchildren are on vacation, there is a wealth of free kids’ events in shopping malls. Many Israel hotels have children’s activity rooms, playgrounds, children’s pools and babysitting. Be sure to book into a hotel that offers these services.
Jerusalem is blessed with many beautiful parks and children’s playgrounds. One of the most popular ones has three very long slides that come out of the mouth of a large grotesque cow-like sculpture called the Mifletzet which is in the Kiryat Hayovel neighborhood on Szold Street. Entrance is free. Busses 19, 20, 23, 27, 35 and 42 stop there.
Jerusalem for Kids: Did You Know?
Did you know that during the intermediate days of Sukkot and Pesach there is usually free admission for children to the Israel Museum?