Going to Jerusalem may be the most exciting prospect of your trip to Israel. But does this holy city — sometimes known as the Holy City, so important in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam — have exciting things to offer younger tourists? The answer is a resounding yes!
Jerusalem has great activities and attractions for kids that are both meaningful and exciting. Read on for our top picks, below.
The Tower of David Museum, which depict the history of Jerusalem, is a very special place (and it has English language tours). But one of the site’s most exciting attractions is a nighttime light show, projected on the exterior Citadel walls, using “trompe l’oeil technology” that will enrapture you and your little ones. There are two different light shows so far, one called The Night Spectacular, and another that tells the story of King David. Make sure you bring a sweater, as Jerusalem nights can get pretty chilly!
The Dead Sea Scrolls are by far the most famous exhibit at this expansive, beautiful museum. But there’s a whole section for children at the museum, full of wonderful activities, from arts and crafts to story times to animated movies. There are usually one or two kid-centric exhibits, too. And the outdoor of the museum has a gorgeous fountain and tons of spaces to wander around.
The Time Elevator tells the story of settlement in Jerusalem for 3,000 years, starring Chaim Topol, of Fiddler on the Roof fame (may his memory be for a blessing!). The experience is meant for children 5 and up, so keep in mind that it’s not suitable if you’re traveling with toddlers.
With the help of ancient artifacts, this museum lets you explore the stories and lands of the bible, while learning about Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, and Egyptian cultures. The museum has free admission on Shabbat and kids activities, meant for kids ages 6 to 12.
This lovely science museum is super kid-friendly, with free activities and demos, plus free admission for kids under 5! The museum adorably suggests the it’s best for kids who have reached “grocery shopping age” as in, kids who are old enough to take shopping.
A visit to the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, Yad Vashem, can be one of the more moving experience you have in Israel. If your kids are at an age where you can talk to them about the Holocaust — or young enough to remain oblivious and quiet enough in a stroller — you should definitely visit.
At this outdoor mall/cultural center in Jerusalem — the site of the city’s first train station, which was established in 1892 — you’ll find this new space full of restaurants and activities. For kids, there’s a real kids’ train that rides through the station, as well as a play space and a carousel.
The Western Wall
For you, going to the Western Wall may carry with it a deep religious, spiritual, and historical significance. For your kid, the attraction might be having a direct line of contact with God. Help them write their note for the wall if they want to, and help make it a momentous occasion. The Western Wall Heritage Foundation also has some fun kids activities, like coloring pages and an activity sheet, for young visitors. You can also take a tour in the tunnels of the Western Wall, a truly unique experience.
What kid doesn’t love a good zoo?! Explore Noah’s Ark, check out the magical water bird garden, and enjoy the 40 acres dedicated to biblical animals — species that were mentioned in the bible.
Jerusalem’s biggest market, Machne Yehuda, is a lot of fun. Grab some hummus to share with your family, or sit at Azura, one of the oldest restaurants in the city. (Don’t miss their delicious kubbeh soup, and you’ll realize that some soups just work, regardless of the season.)
The Archaeological Experience in the Emek Tzurim National Park
Get a taste of an archaeological dig at Emek Tzurim! Help unearth treasures by sifting through dirt, learning about how archeologists uncover treasures and precious historic artifacts with the whole family.
Believed to have been built during the reign of King Hezekiah in the 7th and 8th century, visitors can wade through water while exploring this this underground tunnel below the ancient city. While it’s not suitable for younger kids (or claustrophobes), older kids are sure to be thrilled by the water-filled underground adventure.
Feast your eyes on the gorgeous nature — gazelles! — at this wildlife preserve in the heart of Jerusalem.
The Monster Park:
This park’s unique monster structure — the defining feature of this playground — might scare some little ones while delighting others, so just Google some photos before you decide to venture to this quaint little playground. If it’s your kids’ thing, however, they’ll adore the slides that come out of this sculpture’s mouth.
This lovely park, located just outside the city walls, has a delightful and refreshing musical fountain. The park is open from 7 AM to 9 PM, but the fountain itself currently operates every two hours, starting at 11 AM. The fountain’s schedule is, however, subject to change — you can find it on the park’s Facebook page.
Jerusalem’s largest park is full of lush green space. It has a large playground and a bird observatory. It’s also close to both the Israel Museum and the Bible Land Museum, so if your kids need to run about and let loose after behaving well at a museum, put a visit here on your itinerary.
Check out the rest of our Israel guide for more useful tips for your next visit to Israel!