Parent to Parent: Some summer ideas

Chani Tabak


The summer time can be a wonderful time for families. Children have no homework and lots of free time. On the other hand, it can be a very difficult time for parents who somehow have to switch gears and become camp counselors and activity planners. While it is very hot and few want to go outdoors, there is a point when we all make the decision that we must get out of the house before we go batty!

Some helpful hints:

Almost all the suggestions below are even more fun when you go with another family, so pool your talents and bring families together, the kids have more fun and parents find it much more relaxing.

Get a Kartis Matmon. It is a membership to many government run parks and attractions (over 50 places). Some of the places included are: Ir David, Ein Gedi, Masada, etc. You could spend the summer going from one place to another.

For longer trips/vacations, I recommend Kibbutz hotels. The ones we have stayed at have been clean and reasonably priced for families and usually include a nice breakfast. There is a website which lists all the kibbutz hotels, their location, accommodations and a phone number to call.

For travel advise I can also recommend Chana Koren who always has great ideas and is happy to help families plan activities and even local vacations. Aharon Shimoni also plans trips during the year and often for Yishuv families.

Prepare a travel bag with the basic necessities including water, sunscreen, hats, wipes, tissues, sunglasses, snacks, basic first aid supplies, etc. It is also good to make sure you have easy picnic food in the fridge (sandwich meats, salads, etc.). This way you dont spend hours each day preparing before you leave.

Always call before you leave to check on hours and admissions. I have often gotten stuck at a place that was closed due to a private party or renovations or schedule change, so I always call ahead. I have tried to include phone numbers along with the places.

The following is a partial list of suggestions that I have assembled from my travels and some suggestions from out neighbors in Chashmonaim. It is by no means all there is to do, there are still many places I did not listmaybe I will do a follow in the future with more ideas.

Some of our favorite places are:

A day at KefTzoba followed by Mevaseret mall. Kefzoba has both indoor and outdoor areas. For the best value, get a kartisia for 10 entrances. 02-534-7952 (Kefzoba)

Stalagtite cave/Beit Shemesh BIG for food. The cave is cool inside (Kartis Matmon site) and even though a bit touristy, kids like it and you can go to the Big shopping center on the way out to get a meal and/or go shopping.

Ein Fashcha-Einot Tzukim. This is the beginning of the Dead Sea, yet it is less than one hour away. The kids can go for a swim (the water is not clean, so dont bring your best swimsuit), hike and do a picnic. 02-994-2355.

Ein Gedi/Masada- A longer trip, but Ein Gedi is a lot of fun and there is a spa nearby with swimming as well. 08-658-4517 (Nahal David)

Machon Ayalon (Kibbutz Ayalon) Undergroud bullet factory for children age 6 and up The number is 08-940-6552 (most interesting).

Yamit 2000: We went with a few families and had a great time. We bought tickets on line ahead of time and saved a lot! Other water parks to check are Shefaim, Chafetz Chaim water park, Ashkeloona (Askelon) and Beit Chalomotai in Givat Brenner (they have both dry and wet attractions).

Childrens museum in Cholon comes highly recommnended, however, you must make reservations in advance, so plan ahead! Call 03-604-4725.

Ramla: Canoeing underground-crusader water sistern-water about 1 meter deep, good for kids ages 2 and up, not expensive- Brechat Hakshatot-nice park in front of it

Merchavot Latrun up to age 10: farm hay rides, petting zoo, fun for kids. Also on the way is Latrun tank museum and Mini Israel.

Bnei Brak: Coca Cola has a tour of its factory. Rechov Kahanaman 129. Mon-Thurs 9-5 advance reservation necessary. 03-671-2226

Roladin Bakery has a tour. Moshav Kadima . At the end of the tour, participants can make their own cakes under the guidance of their chef. (25 shekel kid, 20 shekel adult) Mon-Thurs 9-1. 09-899-1001.

Tel Aviv-You can go to the top of the Azrieli building in every day 10-6. Tour takes between 1-2 hours. Not good for very young children.

Yerushalayim: Science museum near the Hebrew University, Givat Ram, number is: 02 654-4888. Also in the area Bible Lands museum, Israel Museum, Shrine of the Book and the model of the second Beit Hamikdash.

For kids 11-12 and up go to Yad Vashem museum, especially good to due during the 9 days. It's free and I think every child should be exposed to it.

You can walk on the walls of the old city. There are certain hours and it costs money. Check on internet. Go early before it's too hot. You can go after that to the Shiloach - an underground tunnel with water. Flashlights necessary

Ein Yael/Malcha. Ein Yael has a variey of craft activities. Best for school-age kids or Gan Chova age who like to do crafts. Since it is close to Malcha, we go there afterward for food and/or shopping. 02-645-1866 (Ein Yael)

Biblical Zoo: Early morning or late afternoon; very hot mid day. 02-675-0111.

The 99 egged bus in Jerusalem is a double-decker tour bus that does an hour and a half to two hour tour around Jerusalem. There are headphones for explanations in different languages. Bus starts at central bus station. Call *2800 for time schedule.


Kfar Saba: Olam Haavaz (geese farm). Kids see the growth of geese from beginning until hatching. It's partly outdoors but shaded so it's not too bad. It's right outside Kfar Saba. Rechov HaTamar in Gan Chaim.09-744-4173.


Beit Govrin (Matmon): Has a variety of caves which are cool even on a hot day, however, keep in mind that there is walking outside the caves to get from one to the other.

Some local places:

Ishpro Center has bowling, a movie theatre and eretz nehederet (buy a kartisia for multiple visits and save).

Kfar Chashmonai in Shilat -976-1617-make pitot, do pottery, call in advance.

Ligad Center has a play place called Ligadodus. Best to call to check on schedule.

Local hiking/picnic places: Yad Hanektafim, Yaar Ben Shemen (largest forest in Israel), Neot Kedumim and Park Canada.

Park Hakofim by Gimzoo is a bit pricey; however, there is more than just monkeys. There is a nice play area and kids have a lot of fun. Try calling ahead to see if there are any days or times where there is discounted admission. 08-928-5888.

Safari in Ramat Gan..Sit in your air conditioned car and check out the animals. 03-631-2181.

Local areas for swimming: Family oriented/mixed swimming at Nili and there are members only places like the Reut counry club, Holmes place, Kfar Daniel. For separate swim there is Nachshon, Beerot Yitzchak and Givat Zeev has both. There is also the beach which in Rishon, Tel Aviv (by Rechov Hayarkon) and Bat Yam have a separate and mixed area. The days of Sunday, Tuesday & Thursday are women (Ein Gevarim Hayom) and Monday, Wednesday & Friday are men.

In August, there is a chance that the Modiin excavations will resume. Call the Modiin Iriya to get more info.

Lastly, some local places offer some craft activities that are worth researching. In Kfar Rut a pottery place opened where you can decorate a piece of pottery (with the help of staff). There is a new arts and crafts store in Kfar Rut next to where Of Yerushalayim was. There is also a beading store where you can make your own necklace in Shilat near the fruit and vegetable market. There is also one upstairs in Solomon Center. There is a place called "Yellow Bird" or in Shilat. The children learn about different painting techniques on wood, mosaic, or papier mache. Very small groups, max. 8/class from 09:00 to 13:00 every day, call 08-976-1198.

Special thanks to:

Judy Nachman,Chana Koren,Bracha Rothner,Judy Crown

for offering their advise and suggestions for this article. Have a great summer!

If you have topics youd like to see addressed in this column or wish to be a guest columnist in the future, please contact me at If you wish to get this or any prior articles in English please email me your request.



Dr. Ephraim Keren reports that he met with the veterinarian of Modiin Elit to discuss the "Galloping Horse" incident, as previously reported.


The veterianian then paid a visit to the horse owner in Ganei Modiin. The matter has been referred to the legal advisor of Modiin Elit with a request that the horses be removed "(Tzav Pinui"). The legal process will take several months.


On a related veterinary matter, Dr. Keren advises dog owners that a rabies vaccinations clinic will be held in Hashmonaim at the end of July. The exact date ill be posted on Yishuv bulletin boards. Dog owners are advised to pay the 'agrat chisune verishayone' if their dog needs to receive its annual vaccination this month.