June 30th 2015
Israel is filled with alluring sites from all eras in history, and many top-draw spots make a point of being child-friendly, offering attractions to those of all ages, and making accommodations (like high chairs in restaurants, for example) for those with tots.
Since opening in 1993, Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo offers a glimpse of the animals of the Land of Israel, particularly those mentioned in the Bible. When you come here with your toddler, make sure to ride the Zoo Train. Doing so will ease your ability to see all of the animals, and it’s a worthwhile, fun experience in its own right.
The Children’s Zoo and Noah’s Ark Sculpture Garden is where you’ll want to spend some time, enjoying the Pygmy goats and the petting zoo (check for hours), as well as roaming (and climbing) the 23 colorful sculptures of the playground. The Zoo’s visitor center is an appealing model of Noah’s ark. During holiday seasons, watching the crowd may be as interesting as meeting the animals.
Einot Tzukim (Ein Feshka)
With so much to see, this desert oasis at the northern tip of the Dead Sea is a curious toddler’s paradise – and with easy stroller access. The past 15 years has seen a concerted recovery of the area, and jungle foliage surrounds tranquil pools.
The ruins of a Herodian-era estate provide historical (and visual) interest, and you may catch a glimpse of the wild animals that populate the Einot Tzukim (Ein Feshka) wilderness reserve. Some children will be captivated by the St. Peters fish swimming in the pool.
Jaffa/Tel Aviv Port
The Holy Land’s oldest known port is in Jaffa, and it now hosts a children’s discovery playground, a hop, skip, and a jump away from restaurants, The Station compound in southern Tel Aviv and the water, of course.
Take a whirl around the harbor on tour boat, or trek up the hill for the quaintness of Old Jaffa. Walk north along the boardwalk and its adjacent beaches, and you’ll reach the bustle of Tel Aviv’s refurbished port, with shopping… and ice cream.
The place that is essentially the be-all and end-all of children’s entertainment (yes, adults can have a great time here too!), Kiftzuba sports all kinds of rides for older kids without forgetting about the little tykes.
Among the attractions here, there’s a kiddie train, ten different stations of bouncy inflatables, a gymboree and even a swimming pool with balls.
Israel is an extremely young nation, so it makes sense that its public spaces would cater to the needs of growing families. Take advantage of these amazing spots for toddlers on your upcoming trip.