Israel’s Top 5 Affordable Family Activities for 2015

November 30th 2014

When you come to Israel with your family, you’re naturally going to be looking for activities that won’t break the bank. Here are our top five free and cheap activities for families to enjoy together in Israel. We’ve compiled a range of options, so you’re sure to find something that suits your family and budget.

The Antiquities of Jerusalem’s Old City

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERASitting above the Western Wall, the area that was home to the First and Second Temples, the Temple Mount is the holiest spot in the world for Jews. When mounds of rubble from the Temple Mount were unceremoniously dumped in a nearby valley, volunteers began sifting through it for archaeological artifacts. Join in the Temple Mount Sifting Project for an opportunity to explore the most sacred of histories with your very own hands.

Yad VashemLearning about the six million

Yad Vashem tells the story of the Holocaust extremely thoroughly and evocatively, with an emphasis on the stories of individual victims and survivors. Yad Vashem makes Holocaust history come alive through original artifacts, survivor testimonies and personal possessions. Entrance to Yad Vashem is free, and although its subject matter is extremely heavy, if you feel your children are up to the experience, they’ll have much to gain.

Fun on the waterfront

With its long Mediterranean coastline, there are seemingly endless beach fun opportunities in Israel. Some of the best stretches of beachfront are accessible without any entrance fee. Check out Banana Beach on the border between Tel Aviv and Jaffa. The Galim Surf Shop there rents surf boards and offers surfing lessons. Closer to Haifa is the HaBonim Beach. While it doesn’t offer much in the way of facilities, HaBonim is popular with local families and totally free. For visual appeal, check out the Aqueducts Beach in Caesarea, where you can swim amid the ruins of the ancient Roman port.

If you want to be near water but not actually in the water, check out Namal Tel Aviv, the Tel Aviv Port. During the day, stroll along the boardwalk and visit the cafés and stores which feature popular Israeli fashion. The wooden promenade is perfect for biking or skating, and a Segway tour company operates on the premises. At night, the Namal becomes a swinging hot spot with live music, bars, restaurants and cafés. Please be advised that not all the restaurants on the Namal are kosher.

Tzfat_Artist_Colony_2Visual browsing for mystics

Enjoy window shopping and people-watching in the Artists’ Quarter in Tzfat. The mystical city hosts photographers, painters, micro calligraphers, sculptors, ceramic potters, jewelry designers and Judaica artists, including many Jewish artists whose work has a mystical bent.

All through the land

Israel’s various locales are filled with subsidized cultural activities, beautiful green spaces, trails for walking and more. To get the most value for your family’s spending here, ask your tour agent for recommendations.