Free Things for families to do in Israel this Summer 2016

During the summer there are always several free events and attractions organized for Israeli families and kids that are on school vacation. There is no reason why tourists shouldn’t join in and take advantage of these great activities – for free!

Secondhand Market, Charles Clore Park, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, 2-3 August

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photograph by dr. avishai teicher , distributed under a Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The summertime secondhand market can be found if you follow the Lahat Promenade along Tel Aviv’s coast towards Jaffa. Just as you reach the entrance to Jaffa you’ll find Charles Clore Park. Here there is a secondhand market where stalls are set up and you can buy almost anything for next to nothing. Not only is there plenty to buy but as part of the market there is also free entertainment, live music, stand-up comedy performances, dance, fashion shows, circus acts and food stalls. There are special performances geared towards kids with famous characters from kid’s TV programs.

Fairy Tale , Menachem Begin Park, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, each Wednesday from 3 August, 4:30pm

At twilight time when you want to unwind and relax after a long day shopping and sightseeing what better than to sit the kids down in front of a good show and hang out in the park. Each Wednesday there is a children’s play performed (for free) in the peaceful setting of this Tel Aviv park.

Yafui Magic, Ed Koch Tennis Courts, 16 August, 6pm

This special evening is geared towards kids although parents are welcome. One of Israel’s top children’s entertainers will keep the crowd happy with performances of much-loved Israeli songs. Expect bright costumes, dance, music, lots of laughs and appearances by well known children’s TV characters.

Street Ball Tel Aviv, basketball courts in Tel Aviv, 28-30 August, nighttime

The Israel Basketball Association is organizing an all night event at basketball courts across the city. There will be competitions, games and demonstrations where everyone can join in. In addition the areas around the courts will hold some activities, food stalls and more – all night long. This is perfect for older kids and teens.

Kabbalat Shabbat at the Western Wall, Fridays, Western Wall, Old City Jerusalem

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Join locals in welcoming the Shabbat as the sun goes down at the holiest Jewish place of worship, the Western Wall (Kotel or Wailing Wall). You can observe or join in with those chanting the traditional prayers. There is singing, chanting of prayers and dancing by Jews from diverse backgrounds. See the traditional clothing of some of the sectors of the ultra-religious Jews and listen to the different melodies used by different Jewish sectors.

Beaches, across the country, all day and all night

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It goes without saying that you can enjoy the gorgeous Israeli beaches for free during the summer. Visit the beaches along the Mediterranean coast, those in Eilat on the Red Sea or on the Dead Sea or Sea of Galilee.

Israeli Parks, across the country, all day and all night

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There are many parks in Israel but a few stand out as being extra special. In Tel Aviv you have the Yarkon Park with the Yarkon River wending its way through the green lawn. Here there are several attractions including peddle boat and row boat hire, bicycles to hire, a climbing wall, paths, playgrounds and picnic areas. In Raanana (about 20 minutes north of Tel Aviv) there is a great park with a small zoo, a special playground for children with physical disabilities, a skate park, café, lake and playgrounds. In Herzalia (opposite the Sheva Kochavim/Seven Stars Mall) there is a park with a huge climbing apparatus. You can climb up ladders, cross rope bridges and slide down enclosed tubes. There is a café nearby, a regular playground, BBQ areas and a gorgeous wild marsh area with a boardwalk leading through it. This section has been left in its natural state. In Jerusalem the Teddy Park has a great way for kids to cool off, a flat surface will fountains that squirt up as kids run in and out of the water. During the day the fountain “show” takes place at 10am, noon and 4pm and in the evening at 8pm, 9pm and 10pm the water is accompanied by sound and lights.

Fountain Shows, Tel Aviv Port, Tiberius and Eilat, nightly

There are several dancing fountains in Israel where music and the movement of the fountains have been synchronized with colored lights and laser effects creating an overall spectacle. The state-of-the-art presentations are all free and performed several times a night.

Tel Aviv Port, Tel Aviv

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photograph by Ran Bonfil, distributed under a Attribution 2.5 Generic license

The port area is great at any time of year but especially in the summer when there are street entertainers, balloon artists and special events. On the northeastern side of the Port boardwalk is a concert venue which stages children’s shows every Tuesday at 6pm for free. In addition there is a huge sandpit and a carousel. On Fridays from 10am-5pm there is Friday Live a special happening with live musical performances, a designer market, art exhibits and an organic food markets.

Front Stage Festival, Jerusalem, Fridays in July and August

Throughout the summer on Friday nights the downtown area of Jerusalem turns into a live concert venue complete with art exhibitions, food stalls, dancing and performances by famous Israeli bands and singers. The event starts at noon and everyone is welcome for free. See the Jerusalem Municipality website for more details.

Israel Museum, Jerusalem

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Ok this one is not completely free as adults need to pay an entrance fee but throughout July kids enter for free on Tuesdays and entrance is free for kids every day throughout August. At the museum there is a lot to see; families will enjoy the Children’s’ Wing where there are regular activities for families especially in the summer. There is also the sculpture garden, modern art, classic art, Judaica and the Shrine of the Book holding the Dead Sea Scrolls.