While you may want to tackle all the famous historical landmarks that cover generations of your family’s heritage, there is only so much dry history your children can take and only so many rugelach you can buy them at the Mahane Yehuda market to keep them from complaining. We’ve taken the entire family into mind and come up with a list of fun things to do in Jerusalem with your children and your children’s children. While Tel Aviv’s got the kid-friendly Park HaYarkon, Jerusalem’s got plenty to do with a biblical zoo, interactive museums, and even a scavenger hunt to trick the kids into learning with a hands-on history tour around town.
Family-friendly things to do in Jerusalem
Our insider’s guide to family-fun activities in the Holiest city in the world will please every family member
Fun things to do in Jerusalem with the entire family
A 62-acre zoo with a lake at its center, the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo encompasses two levels, interconnecting pools and waterfalls. The zoo is surrounded by green hills and has grassy lawns with plenty of shade inside, and includes multiple research laboratories dedicated to wildlife conservation. Kids love the Noah’s Ark visitor center, a boat-shaped wooden structure with information and games pertaining to all the animals mentioned in the Bible.
Take a guided drive on an all-terrain vehicle through the hills of Jerusalem. The path takes visitors through the mountains to Ein Lavan, Mitzpe Batir, and above the Biblical Zoo. Those over seventeen can drive the ATV, and passengers over 5 are welcome to join! Ask about the all-day adventure, which includes lunch. ATV Jerusalem Hills provides an exciting way to view the beauty of Jerusalem’s terrain, including refreshing water springs. Groups are welcome, and discounted rates are available for longer rides.
Teddy Park tells the story of Jerusalem’s development during Teddy Kollek’s tenure as Mayor of Jerusalem. The special featured attraction, the Hassenfeld Family Fountain, has computerized water performances set to light and specially composed music. The fountain’s performances integrate 256 water hoses, 1,500 light bulbs and original music created by the New Jerusalem Orchestra.
Israel lies between three continents on the route of migrating birds, with more than 500 million crossing Israel's skies twice a year. This charming observatory houses the Israel national bird-ringing center. Together with the active ringing station, it’s an ideal tool for conservation research monitoring bird populations.
The Jerusalem Ropes Course features a rope ladder, snappling, swings, an acrobatic rope walk, and an 80 meter Omega (zip line). It is the perfect team-building activity that uses both physical and mental abilities to conquer the challenges. The daring tasks provided will leave guests with a sense of accomplishment and confidence. Perfect for all ages, from preschoolers to adults, it’s fun for the whole family! Consider having a birthday or Bar/Bat Mitzvah party here for a truly special day. Smaller groups can request to be included with another group, so everyone can participate in the fun!
A unique way to see Jerusalem is by rappelling off the side of the Tayelet or Gei Ben Hinom, with a view of the Old City. The guide, Yaakov, a rock climbing champion, is patient and experienced, making him the perfect person to show guests the ropes. If your kids can’t stop climbing walls and trees, why not take them on an adventure they won’t soon forget? Yaakov knows how to make the excursion accessible for all, so bring the whole family! Suitable for children ages four and up, with younger guests snappling with the guide.
Looking for something fun to do with the kids after school? The Bloc Climbing Center is the perfect spot for indoor climbing and bouldering in Jerusalem! The Bloc team believes that recreational climbing should be accessible to everyone, young and old. The gym features 300 square feet of climbing walls, with tracks changing weekly in order to keep each visit exciting and challenging. Thick mattresses placed under the walls keep climbers safe, allowing them to develop their skills. Grab a coffee and relax while the kids climb at The Bloc’s small café. Suitable for ages three and up.
An intoxicating fusion of colors, scents and sounds, Mahane Yehuda is Jerusalem’s biggest and oldest market. The stalls here sell everything from fresh produce to clothing and in recent years, Mahane Yehuda has also become a yuppie hub with designer boutiques and top chef restaurants.
The tour of the Kotel Tunnels unveils hidden sections of the Western Wall. Walking through underground passages, ancient water trenches, and streets from the Second Temple period. Stones were recently excavated revealing fascinating hidden passages. As a city that has literally been built layer by layer, traveling through these passageways unravels thousands of years of history.