Let's be honest, the words 'vacation' and 'kids' are not actually copacetic – yet families still go on holiday, year after year, surviving the chaos by the skin of their teeth. Thankfully, in Israel, kids rule the (Holy) land, so whether you are here short-term or long-term, there are countless options for keeping the little ones occupied with nary a screen involved. From candy-making workshops to trampolining and sandboarding to breakdancing classes, these are the places they'll never forget - and you'll be able to finally catch your breath. If all else fails – there are still 273 kilometers of coastline to take advantage of.
Help your kids unplug with these things to do in Israel
The original trampoline park in Israel, iJump is an indoor activity complex that proves jumping can be all the entertainment you need. Between various jumping platforms, a foam pit, basketball and a climbing wall, there are enough activities to keep everyone in the family bouncing with joy. With an additional location in Haifa, and several more planned to open, plan a visit to see why iJump is an Israeli family favorite.
There are many walls that make Jerusalem iconic, but the Jerusalem Wall Climbing Center is its most recent–and the only one you can climb all over! Including 750-meters of climbing tracks covering the walls and ceilings, and several bouldering areas, the center has options for climbers of all experience levels. Stop by the center for a day, sign up for a lessor or workshop, or attend one of their annual competitions. Go out on a whim, or up a wall, and try something out of your comfort zone.
If you’ve tried and failed one too many times at catching a wave in the Mediterranean, head to the Negev for some desert surfing. Sandboarding is a boardsport similar to surfing or snowboarding, but it involves riding the desert dunes rather than ocean waves or snowy peaks. “Dror BaMidbar” offers sandboarding lessons for the whole family (ages 2 and up) including a variety of boards (try sitting down if hanging 10 isn’t for you) and a special relaxation area after your tour. Head to the Negev to catch some waves, rather, dunes.
Looking for a place for the kids to cool off in the hot Israeli summer? The Island is the place for you. Recommended for children 4-12 years old, The Island is a theme park on the roof of Azrieli Mall. Featuring water attractions including a large pool, water slides, and fountains, it’s a great alternative to another day at the beach. The Island also boasts a trampoline, survival ropes course, climbing walls, video games, an electric train, a haunted tunnel, and other fun attractions. The safe environment is small enough that parents can keep a watchful eye while sitting on the sidelines. Great for birthday parties, group outings, or just to burn the kid’s excess energy during school breaks.
You can practically already hear the screeches of ecstatic glee just reading this. On the Sea of Galilee lies–rather, floats–Aqua Kef; Israel’s premiere water park literally on the water. This multi-compound adventure zone is divided into three sections–family, olympic, and extreme–to suit the needs of children of all ages. Brightly colored inflatable slides, water sports, and challenging obstacle courses guarantee all day, nonstop water play for the whole family.
LOL&POP will make you feel like a kid in a candy store with their natural sweets and personalized workshops and events. Located east of Tel Aviv in Ramat Gan, this family-owned candy confections company specializes in handmade Kosher treats and private candy-making events that take you through all the steps of candy-making production. Complete with online ordering and personalized candy options, a LOL&POP treat or event adds a touch of sweetness to any celebration.
Out of the many activities that evoke the label “kid-friendly” (think: arts and crafts and interactive museums), breakdancing is not the first thing to come to mind. But at Breakerholics studio, breakdancing, hip-hop, and acrobatics are all ways for children and young adults to get in touch with movement. From private performances and lessons for special events, to ongoing classes, Breakerholics has something to offer for beginners and experts alike–in August they even put on a two-week “street dance” camp. Stop by their beachside studio for a single class, or go all-in with a monthly pass option!
The Pool of Arches in Ramla is the most significant building that remains from the Abbasid caliphs rule in Israel. A testament to the quality of construction and beauty of Muslim architecture, this historical site has survived over 1,200 years. Also on the site is the Pool of the Goats [Pool of St. Helena in Christian lore], built as a roofed water reservoir for the local residents. Visitors are invited to explore the Pool of Arches by rowboats, creating a magical experience of these historical pools.
If the word “mall” merely evokes images of shops and a food court, visit Sharonim Mall with a kid and think again. You would least expect it, but Sharonim Mall offers a host of kid-friendly cooking and movement classes and a variety of playgrounds and cafes just for kids. This complex, which is otherwise known as the home of over 120 shops, also boasts an array of kid-friendly activities, inlcuding Minicity – a destination with a mini gym, cafe, and playground, perfect for the mini members of your family. Or cool off in the outdoor splash pad and don't sweat the endless summer heat - or the long days leading up to September.
In a world of increasing materialism, Mahuti celebrates the values-based essence of life. This interactive complex focuses on the concept of inner peace, with specific activities for children of different ages including multimedia stations, a giant drawing board, and a relaxation room with soothing lights and natural images. Located within Tel Aviv’s city center, a 75-minute tour of Mahuti is the perfect family respite from the hustle and bustle of Israel’s entertainment capital.