This summer Israel has been in the news and I am sure it has been on your minds. While we pray for the safety of our soldiers, many of whom are our cousins, brothers, sisters, fathers, and friends, the incredible resilience of the Israeli people has kept the day to day life as close to normal as possible in Jerusalem. Summer camps have continued as usual with some changes to their itineraries due to security concerns.
The summer in Jerusalem is filled with festivals, special exhibits and even a beach. Instead of our traditional itinerary we would like to offer you lots of great suggestions for summer activities in Jerusalem.
Bambu: This incredible unique exhibit at the Israel Museum allows visitors (ages 6+) to climb through the interactive art installation in the Sculpture Garden. Made entirely of Bamboo and climbing rope this exhibit was created by the Starn brothers and allows you to climb up the steps and the paths and view the Jerusalem Hills and the top of the Israel Museum. This is an exhibit not to be missed! Separate tickets must be purchased for the exhibit and the museum is open for free for kids in August.
Jerusalem Has A Beach: Jerusalem has many attributes and many attractions but the one thing it did not have was a beach. In honor of summer, the First Station outdoor mall and entertainment center has created a beach with sand, umbrellas, beach volleyball, refreshments, kids activities and even outdoor showers. Later this month the simulated surf machine will open up to the public. The beach is free and activities are an additional fee. During the day families can enjoy music, snacks and activities and then in the evening the beach is open to adults only.
Beach Bus: If you still prefer the real thing and want an easy way to go up to the Tel Aviv beach then you can take the Jerusalem Beach Bus. With pickups in Jerusalem’s Katamon, Rechavia and Bakaa neighborhoods, you can go straight to the beach on Fridays and be back before Shabbat, without the mess in your car or hassle of switching busses.
Ropes Course on Ammunition Hill: This summer take the Ropes Course Challenge in a truly unique location at Ammunition Hill. See the bunkers and learn about the history of the fight for Jerusalem as you learn to swing from the Rope swing and walk the rope ladder or slide down the Omega (zipline). Activities can be customized for each group.
Israel National Parks: The summer is a great time to visit some of Israel’s most beautiful national parks. Water hikes, sound & light shows and historical tours are available at many of the parks. The closest parks to Jerusalem are Castel, Ein Hemed, Stalactite Caves and Ir David. Plan ahead and purchase an Israel National Parks Family Membership Card that lets you in to all the parks for free during the year.
August Summer Camps: It’s not too late to enjoy a special summer camp experience. Whether your kids want to learn how to surf, cook, train dogs, design fashion and more at Camp Kimama or want to experience a tech camp in the Start Up Nation at Big Idea, or learn to take care of horses and go horseback riding at King David Stables, there are so many choices for summer camps in Israel. To really get a sense of the options see our video blog of camps in Israel. When you are ready to plan for next summer take a look at our camps guide. Make next year a summer in Israel!
Festivals: Summer festivals in Jerusalem take place in July and August. They include the Jerusalem Film Festival, Hutzot Hayotzer Art Festival, Formula One Peace Road Show, International Puppet Festival and the Jerusalem Theater End of Summer Festival.
The best advice I have for tourists who have decided to come this summer during Operation Protective Edge (Tzok Eitan) is to be aware and plan ahead with our Red Alert Tips. Know where the safe rooms are and that if you are in Jerusalem you have 90 seconds to get there. You can still enjoy your summer in Israel.
I hope this blog post has given you the inspiration to spend your next summer in Jerusalem, especially with your family. For more ideas of activities and events in Jerusalem for your family, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be happy to give you some personalized recommendations.