Interactive tours and museums
The single most important element for keeping your kids engaged with the plethora of Israel content all around them, is having a great guide who knows how to communicate in an age appropriate way, when to stop communicating, when to ask questions, and just how to intuit that everyone needs an ice-cream break. We often weave sites and museums into our tours which are especially tailored to kids (and in the summer months provide some welcome air conditioning!). For example, the Museum of the Diaspora (Beit Hafutsot) has an impressive array of interactive technology through which kids can build their own synagogues on screen and meet heroes of the past, and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art has a children’s exploration room and an audio guide worded appropriately to keep young minds enthralled. The Rabin Museum and Palmach Museum are excellent for slightly older children seeking to understand the history of Israel, and the Latrun Tanks museum gives kids to scramble all over and inside tanks, whilst learning about this arm of the military. Another big success with kids are agricultural tours, whether its visiting a goat cheese farm where they can milk goats and make their own cheese, or taking a ‘Bio-tour’ of a kibbutz which uses all sorts of bugs and animals to help it produce organic fruit and veg. But it’s Mahon Ayalon (sometimes known as the ‘Bullet Factory’) which is our favourite interactive kiddie friendly wonder of Israeli history – this open air ‘museum’ is almost like participatory theatre, and will leave the whole family feeling inspired and invigorated.
Take part in an archaeological dig
One of our most loved family holiday ideas involves getting your hands dirty! In our experience the more interactive, the better, and kids (and parents!) of all ages love our archaeological dig –an activity located less than an hour outside of either Tel Aviv or Jerusalem which involves literally taking part in a live archaeological dig – buckets, spades, sleeves rolled up, and see what you find! The activity provides plenty of context for learning about the ancient world and can be twinned with caving.
Meet the locals & dress up like the past
Our family holiday packages can also include a visit to an ‘ancient village’ where your kids will dress up as Romans, Crusaders, or Mishnaic period Jews, make bread, olive oil and wine exactly how the ancients did using traditional methods, and have a go at shepherding sheep ‘old style’ too. Another valuable experience which never fails to educate and entertain is to meet with new cultures such as Bedouin and Druze through home hospitality experiences. Kids tend to be wonderfully curious about other people, their cultures, and ways of lives, especially when they are quite different from our own, and learning about the histories, lifestyles, and rituals of other people is sure to provide your children with many questions and memories. And yes – the kids can ride a camel with the Bedouin!
We had an absolutely wonderful time in Israel! The girls, my husband and I enjoyed every minute of it. We have seen so much, learned so much and felt so incredibly well looked after by you, the guides you chose for us and in the places to stay you recommended.
Anne VB, London
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