Here are just some of the amazing places in Israel where you should take your kids. Kids will love the many exhilarating outdoor activities and challenges for the body and mind found at these attractions.
In the heart of Tel Aviv is the Yarkon Park which runs from Tel Aviv Port to Bnei Brak and covers 3,500 dunams. The Yarkon River runs through the park and you can rent paddle boats and row boats. Other attractions in the park include a botanical garden, sports facilities, a climbing wall, lawns, a water park, aviary, outdoor concert venues and bicycle rental.
2.Hermon Stream Nature Reserve (Banias)
The Banias stream flows from the foot of Mount Hermon and continues for 3.5km to the Banias Waterfall then drops down to the Dan River and on to the Jordan River. The area around the Banias Waterfall is so beautiful that it is said to have been where the Biblical Garden of Eden was located. The lush vegetation, tall shady trees and thick undergrowth makes this park cool even in the height of summer. Hike trails run through the park and bring you to pools of water among the rocks where you can swim. The paths also go past ancient archaeological remains and a reconstructed water-powered flour mill.
3.Tel Aviv Port
Tel Aviv’s old port is a great destination for the whole family. While parents can enjoy the restaurants and stores kids will love the huge sand pit, playgrounds, carousel and being on the edge of the sea. There are often street performers and free entertainment on the port boardwalk and you can rent bikes to ride from one end of the promenade to the other. It is possible to walk or cycle from the Yarkon Park to Tel Aviv Port, on passed the Tel Aviv beaches and all the way to Jaffa.
4.Ramon Crater (Makhtesh Ramon)
Kids will be blown away by the sight of this enormous “hole” in the desert. This natural geological landform is unique to the Negev Desert and Sinai Peninsula. Strictly speaking it is not a crater as it was not formed by a meteor or volcanic eruption but rather by erosion over thousands of years. This is the largest makhtesh in the world measuring 40km long, 2-10km wide and 0.5km deep. A visit to the crater can include jeep excursions, rock climbing and rappelling.
5.Sachne (Gan HaShlosha)
Near to Kibbutz Nir David is an idyllic site and one of the most beautiful places in Israel. The highlight of Sachne is swimming in the park’s natural thermal pools. The source of the park’s water starts at el-Asi Spring which flows from the Shomron Mountains underground where it heats up to temperatures of 20°C before spilling out into the parks’ natural pool. The wide natural stretch of water in the park has waterfalls, stone bridges and lush vegetation, trees and lawns on either side. There are shaded areas, picnic tables, a snack bar, changing rooms and bathrooms.
Situated in the extreme north of Israel is Kibbutz Admit (off route 8993) and if you continue a little further you’ll reach Adamit Park. The park has fruit trees, historic sites, woodlands, hike trails and lookout points across breathtaking scenic views. Due to the soft dolomite rock and abundant rainfall many caves and rocky outcrops have formed here over thousands of years. The park is home to a cave bridge (Arch Cave or Me’arat Keshet). An easy walking route takes visitors to the steep cliff edge of Me’arat HaKeshet. The keshet is an arch of rock which forms a suspended bridge above a void between two rock masses. Visitors can walk across the “bridge” and the views from here are amazing. The park has several routes for those on foot or in vehicles. There are scenic routes which loop through the park, a garden trail, orchard trail and hike trails which take you to the caves.
7.Agamon Hula Ornithology and Nature Park
This slice of paradise is located in the Hula Valley and is a protected area. The site is located along an important bird migration route in the Afro-Syrian Rift. In Autumn and Spring more than 500 million birds migrate above this site and stop off to rest and enjoy the water from the Hula lake. Thousands of these migrating birds stay on for winter and the site is alive with birds and small animals throughout the year. The unique eco-system of this area gave rise to a collaboration between conservation, agriculture and tourism. Visitors to the park can tour on bicycles, golf carts or guided safari wagons. Follow the 8.5km of trails which encircle the Agamon Hula (lake). You’ll see fruit groves, learn about bird ringing, see lush vegetation around the lagoon and the many, many birds.
8.Haifa Science Museum (Madatech)
This is Israel’s best and most popular science museum. It is housed in an historic building and features many hands-on experiments and displays where kids can learn through play. The exhibits are designed to get kids involved and interested in science. In addition there are regular workshops and special events for kids. The museum has the world’s first “Cinematrix Smart theatre” which engages kids using 3D and interactive multi-media systems. Kids get to control what they are seeing on the screen through personal remote controls. The science museum has an outdoor Energy Science Park and a Fab-Lab where kids can try their hand at designing and printing 3D objects and laser cut objects.
9.Manara Cliffs (Tzuk Manara)
Few tourists ever make it to this great attraction as it is located in a rural farming area in the north near Kiryat Shmona. This incredible cliff attraction offers a number of activities. There is a cable car which takes you to the top of the cliff and if you want you can take a 1200 meter mountain slide all the way down to the bottom. Other fun activities here include zip lining, rippling, climbing wall, guided tours and bungee trampoline. Even if you just take the cable car to the top of the cliff this is a wonderful place to visit for the views. From the top of the Manara Cliff you can see the Galilee landscape, Maphtali Mountains and farmlands.
10.Dolphin Reef, Eilat
One of the many kid-friendly attractions in Eilat is the Dolphin Reef – an all-in-one day at the beach with the added bonus of dolphins! Not only can you relax and enjoy the sand and sea but there is an open-enclosure where dolphins come and go from the open sea to be fed and to play. Visitors can dive, swim or snorkel with the dolphins or just watch them being fed and played with by the staff. The Reef has a small cinema with a film explaining about the dolphins and there is a restaurant, gift store and water therapy treatments.