November 19th 2014
Jerusalem is a family-friendly city and is home to a number of parks created specifically for children of various ages. In between touring all of the important sites and attractions around Jerusalem, spend a few hours relaxing in one of these parks while your kids get out all of their excess energy.
Located inside a forest, Gilo Park is always shaded and cool. The park features playground and climbing equipment, walking trails, a basketball court and a bike trail. Gilo Park overlooks the Refaim Valley and the old Jerusalem-Beit Shemesh railroad tracks. The abundance of picnic tables situated beneath pine trees make this a perfect place to share a light lunch.
Relatively new plaza located outside the Old City walls. It was built in memory of Jerusalem’s iconic mayor, Teddy Kollek, and its main feature is a musical fountain with colored lights. The water and music turn on every hour for half an hour, although it’s a good idea to check the park’s Facebook page before heading out, since the fountain is not always functioning. Children can run in and around the water during the day or at night. Be aware, though, that there are no bathrooms or changing facilities at the park itself.
An expansive public green space in the center of Jerusalem. Situated between the Knesset and Ben Tzvi Builivard, it features large fields of green grass, two play areas for children, running trails, basketball courts and a dog area. Adjacent to Sacher Park are additional green spaces worth checking out, including the Rose Garden and the Valley of the Cross. Barbecuing is permitted at Sacher Park, and it is not unusual to see large family gatherings complete with portable grills. During holidays, the park hosts concerts and festivals.
A small but famous park is the Rabinovich Park, more commonly known as the Monster Park (“HaMifletzet” in Hebrew). Children climb spiral steps into the head of the eponymous huge monster and emerge at the top of three slides shaped as the monster’s tongues. If you are in or near the Kiryat Hayovel neighborhood, this well-known park is worth a visit.
Taking a break from non-stop touring action doesn’t mean you need to disconnect from Jerusalem altogether. By relaxing at these parks, you’ll be able to continue soaking in the local flavor.