More Chanukah Activities

More Chanukah Activities



Israel is one of the most splendid places to experience Chanukah. From delicious sufganiyot, to menorahs that line every window and street, to some of the most exciting and enjoyable activities around, there is no place better to celebrate the holiday of lights. In this article, I present you with some of the best activities to experience over Chanukah, to provide you with the best holiday experience possible.

Nature ‘n Nosh Israel Lantern Tour

Nature ‘n Nosh Israel Lantern Tour describes itself as “an atmospheric forest experience in the dark.” With this experience, you can deeply connect to the land of Israel by connecting to its natural life. It allows you to rediscover the origins of your food in the wild Israeli landscape, and to experience the plants and trees by tasting, smelling, and hearing their stories. It is run by Joanna Maissel, who can be contacted at or at 054-771-8322. The tour is corona-friendly. Each tour lasts two and a half hours, and costs 90 NIS per person. It is located in the Modi’in region. The tour requires a minimum of 6 people, making it suitable for groups of friends or large families, and is suitable for all ages. Along the tour, you can enjoy a lantern lit snack with the plants and foods that you have picked.

Saidel’s Donut Workshop

A collaboration between LoveLoveIsrael and Saidel Jewish Baking Center brings you Saidel’s Donut Workshop, the perfect Chanukah activity. This Zoom activity allows you to attend a doughnut-making workshop from your home and learn how to make everyone’s favorite Chanukah delicacy! The workshop ends with a competition for the best decorated donut, making this a fun activity for youngsters with a competitive side. The workshop is run by master baker Les Saidel, and runs for 90 minutes. There are four workshops, taking place on December 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th.
For more information and to sign up:

Little Compass Chanukah Box

The Chanukah Box, organized by Little Compass, comes with eight activities, one for each night of Chanukah, and each with a special Chanukah theme. This activity box is particularly suitable for families with children. It includes activities such as: a glow party, sevivon spin art, playdough chanukiot, shadow puppets, gifting, olive oil cookies, paint stamps, and tie dye pillowcases. The
box costs 169 NIS. To purchase a box, go to:

Graffiti Family Tour

Yael Aisenthal, who runs creative tours company, is running Chanukah Graffiti Family Tours. There are a number of different types of tours to choose from. The first is in Florentine, Tel Aviv, where you can interact through the wall art with games and spray on the walls yourself. This tour has an 8 person minimum requirement. There is also “GraffitiQuest,” a self-guided
tour/game that you can access using your smartphone. You can compete against others and learn more about the artists of the graffiti. Finally, you can take a Graffiti tour at the Dead Sea! This takes place next to Kalia beach, and allows you to spray on an old Jordanian army base and create mandalas. This tour has a 10 person minimum requirement.
For more information and to sign up:

Paint Night

Organized by LoveLoveIsrael, you can have your pick of two different Chanukah-themed paint nights. One is designed for all ages, while another is more suitable for adults, be it friends, couples, or even a single. The paint party takes place from your own home, and all you need is a canvas or thick paper, one big paintbrush, one small paintbrush, primary colors paint, and the
basics for painting (water, paper towels, mixing plate). A professional artist will then guide you along your creation of a beautiful Chanukah-related painting. The family paint night is on December 15th at 18:00, and the adult paint night is on December 16th at 20:00.
To RSVP for the family paint night:
To RSVP for adults paint night:

Comedy Show

Comedy for Koby is running a three-night virtual comedy show as a Chanukah special. Each night is a different lineup. The show is hosted by Avi Liberman, and takes place on December 13, 14, and 15, at 20:00.Tickers cost 80 NIS per show, or 118 NIS for all three shows. Comedians include Jessica Kirson, Bob Zany, Wayne Federman, Erin Jackson, Butch Bradley, Don McMillan, Tammy Pescatelli, Steve White, and Ron Pearson.
To purchase tickets:

Adventure Trips Part 2: Extreme Adventures

Adventure Trips Part 2: Extreme Adventures



Etgar Bahar Ropes Course

The Etgar Bahar Ropes Course, located in the Galilee in a beautiful pine forest in Kibbutz Sasa, is a complex ropes course certain to give you and your family a thrilling adventure. The park is divided into many different trails to accommodate various ages and levels. The children’s trail is fit for younger children between 7 and 12 years of age. It is a mini rope park in which kids can climb, jump, and swing with the accompaniment of an adult. Next up is the medium trail, a newly developed trail for children between 6 and 9 years old. The trail is 1.9 meters high, is made of 10 different bridges, and is the perfect fit for children who are new to the world of rope parks and for parents who are looking for a safe yet exciting experience for their young kids. Finally, the high trail is the main attraction in the park, which is suitable for anyone over the age of 9 and over the height of 1.35 meters. This rail includes 16 bridges of different levels, ranging from 3 to 10 meters high. In addition to the ropes courses, the park also contains a zip line and climbing walls and ladders, suitable for all ages.
For more information:
Contact number: 050-3069922

Rafting and Kayaking at Kfar Blum

A popular activity in Israel, rafting is an activity suitable for all ages and especially for large groups. One of the most highly recommended rafting places in Israel, Kfar Blum Rafting is located in the Galilee on the Jordan River, and provides a decent water flow even during the
hottest days of summer – one of the best times to go rafting. The complete experience is approximately an hour and fifteen minutes, and includes the options of a raft shared by up to six people or a kayak shared by two people. The activity is permissible for ages five and up for safety reasons, making this experience most suitable for families with older children. The price is 97 NIS per person, though special offers can be given upon personal contact ( There is also an option to zip line into the water, for an added price of only 35 NIS per person and an added excitement that is nearly unmatchable. The site offers a number of different adventures, including the options of speed kayaking, a 2.5 hour experience that allows you to cruise through the scenic and majestic beauty of the Galilee, and a top-rope adventure park, which, similar to the Etgar Bahar Ropes Course, provides a high ropes-course adventure, a Climbing Wall, archery, and a 300 feet long-zip line directly into the Jordan River. The price for the adventure park is 97 NIS per person, but is also subject to special prices.
For more information:
Contact number: 073-7763330

Jeep Riding- Gush Etzion

Jeep riding is another exciting adventure for when you’re looking to take yourself or your family on a thrilling ride – literally. One great place to go jeep riding is in Gush Etzion, where the views are mesmerizing and the terrain is perfectly rocky. Lior Jeep Tours is a stellar jeep company
that provides exciting experiences for tourists and Israeli residents alike. There is a wide range of jeep tours available, ranging from 2 hours to 4 hours to 8 hours to several days. Each jeep seats eight people, making it appropriate for even very large families. The jeep tours take you along beautiful sites in the Gush Etzion and beyond, including Gush Etzion springs, battle sites, the Jerusalem Hills, the Judean plain, and Burma Road. Beyond being in the Gush Etzion, you can choose between a number of different routes through the Judean desert, ranging from ones that tour the Negev to ones where you can stop to take in the beautiful views of the Dead Sea, and so on.
More information:
Contact number: 054-8006920

Another great company for Jeep and ATV tours in Gush Etzion is Re-Gush ATVs and Jeep Tours. Tours are guided towards ages 3 and up, and you can choose between one hour, one and a half hour, and two hour tour options, including stops for explanations and observations.
Tours depart from Alon Shvut and take visitors through streams and springs along beautiful and exciting paths, providing for the most unique and breathtaking observation points in the Gush Etzion and Jerusalem area.
More information:
Contact number: 050-4651888

Snir Water Hike

The Nahal Snir Water Hike, located in the Golan Heights, is an exciting and beautiful experience for all those that are interest in nature and in hiking. The Snir Stream, also known as Hatsbani, is the longest of the Jordan River tributaries. It flows year round, making it particularly unique in Israel, through a beautiful riverside forest. The reserve has walks of different lengths, ranging from 30 minutes for families with older grandparents or younger children, to a couple of hours, for families looking for a more athletic experience. The short walks are suitable for strollers and wheelchairs, making for a particularly family-friendly activity. Along the hike, you walk through rushing water, waterfalls, wading pools, and climb over stones and tree roots. This is way more than an average hike. At certain parts of the walk, water can reach your knees, and there are even handholds to make sure that one doesn’t fall. In addition to wondrous water sites, there is also a picnic area, a bird hide, and a lookout point, but the main attractions are still the flowing river and the waterfalls.
More information:
Contact number: 04-6950064

Day Trips – Adventures

Day Trips – Adventures


We’ve got adventure day trips in Israel, ranging from chocolate factories to zoos to ceramics shops and more. Adventure day trips are most suitable for families, providing you with exciting experiences to share with the whole clan, but can of course be enjoyed solo or as a couple as well. Below we provide you with some of the most
popular and enjoyable adventures around Israel, so that no day is a dull day when you’re in the mood to get out of the house and take on something new.

Biblical Zoo
The Biblical Zoo, formally The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens, is one of Jerusalem’s most popular and marvelous attractions. The zoo is a great activity for children and families of all ages, and the rarity of zoos in Israel makes the Biblical Zoo all the more special. Its grounds are vast, its selection of animals wide, and it hosts exciting events, such as juggling and various workshops, during school vacations throughout the year. The entrance fee for a regular day pass is 46NIS for children aged 3-18, 59NIS for adults, or 37/47NIS for children/adults in a group. Annual membership is also available for the wildlife enthusiasts, at 300NIS for an adult, 220NIS for children, police, soldiers, and senior citizens, and 230NIS for students (as well as a number of more packages for couples, couples with children, etc.) The zoo is located in Malcha, at Derech Aharon Shulov 1, and easily accessible via Waze or google maps. Simply input the address and it will bring you to a parking lot, from where you can go on to purchase tickets and begin your adventure.
More information:
To purchase tickets online:
Contact number: 02-6750111

Israel Aquarium
The Gottesman Family Israel Aquarium, located right next door to the Biblical Zoo on Derech Aharon Shulov, is the first aquarium in Israel, already making it a unique and rare experience to have in Israel. The aquarium is a great activity for all ages, the young and the old alike. There is air conditioning and comfortable walking surfaces, seats in every gallery, and gorgeous fish, plants, and other sea life, providing not only an exciting trip but a physically pleasant getaway for the elderly and for mothers with infants. The aquarium is also located indoors, making it an apt substitute for the zoo on rainy days.
More information:
To purchase tickets:
Contact number: 073-3399000

Eretz Breishit (Genesis Land)
Genesis Land, situated in the Judean desert, on the way to the Dead Sea, is where the Patriarchs lived, making it exciting already. At Genesis Land, visitors get to take part in a hands-on simulation that aims to replicate what life was like in biblical times. When visitors arrive at Genesis Land, they are greeted by Eliezer, Avraham’s servant, are dressed in a turban and a tunic, and are accompanied by a herd of camels that lead them down to Avraham’s tent. Once in the tent, visitors hear Avraham’s story and drink and eat in his tent. A variety of activities are available for visitors in the tent. Some activities include fresh pita baking, which is available for families with children of all ages; shepherding, available for families with children over the age of 10; pottery making, available for children of all ages; mosaics, available for children of all ages; and ancient Hebrew writing, available for families with children over 8 years old. A highlight of
the visit for many visitors is camel riding, which is available for all visitors over the age of 4 and is a highly recommended part of the experience. It is also possible to camp with a group at Genesis Land; for more information on camping, see
Address: Yishuv Alon 90618
More information:
Contact number: 02-9974477

Mini Israel
Mini Israel, located in Latrun in the Ayalon Valley, is a wonderful attraction for families of all ages. This exciting attraction is exactly what it sounds like — a mini Israel. It contains over 385 beautifully and carefully crafted replica models of Israel’s most important archaeological,
historical, religious, and other sites, allowing visitors to experience the entire country in just one day! There is a small explanation for every site, providing visitors with the ability to learn more about Israel while simultaneously taking in the magnificent creation. The park is surrounded by rich greenery, providing a beautiful context in which one can take in the sites.
Address: Latrun Junction, Kibbutz Nachshon
More information:
To purchase tickets:,164117
Contact number: 1700-559-559

Ceramics – Kad VaChomer
Kad VaChomer, a ceramics workshop located in Jerusalem, is a fun activity for families with
children, for couples, or even for singles. It is a paint-your-own ceramic studio located in the
garden of the Beit Yehudit Community Center on Emek Refaim, in the German Colony. One
selects a piece to paint from the dozens of sculptures that are available, including mugs and
bowels alongside religious items like mezuzot and hamsas, and paints the items in whatever
colors and styles one wants. The pieces are ready to be picked up 10 days from the painting
Address: Emek Refaim 12
Phone number: 02-545-8113

De Karina Chocolate Factory
A chocolate factory is a delicious and enjoyable experience for people of all ages, but especially
for families with children. De Karina is a family-owned chocolatier with delicious and gourmet
chocolate. The chocolate-making experience begins with a tour which includes a movie about the making of chocolate and the history of the factory. There is a quick demonstration of
chocolate tempering, followed by the opportunity to make a variety of flavors of chocolates
(white, milk, dark) in a variety of different molds, with even a variety of different mix-ins (nuts,
candy, etc.). There is also an option for chocolate-tasting of chocolate made in-house, which is
difficult to pass up at this delicious chocolate factory.
Address: Kibbutz Ein Zivan, 1242600
Phone number: 04-699-3622

Thank you lovelove Israel Facebook group for your contributions to the article.

Day Trips: Hikes

Day Trips: Hikes



Tiyulim in Hebrew, hikes in Israel are both bountiful and beautiful. Given Israel’s great weather, hikes are possible nearly all year around, allowing you to have a pleasurable experience in nature almost at your fingertips. Below, I provide you with a guide to some wonderful hikes in and around the Jerusalem area, so that you can throw yourselves into the great outdoors without even having to look further than this article.


Har Eitan (Sataf Forest)

Sataf Forest is a rich area that offers a number of different hikes, one of which is Har Eitan. Har Eitan is an extremely popular and easy hike, spanning 8 kilometers and lasting about 2.5 hours. The hike leads around the summit of a mountain, providing beautiful views — a full 360-degree panoramic view spanning from Modiin and Tel Aviv to Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem. The width and ease of the road also allows for bikers and joggers, though the area is most prominently used for hiking. There are plenty of trees along the trail, providing a modest amount of shade for the days that seem to be (but are not!) too hot for hiking. To get here, drive to the Sataf parking lot and then walk back down the road on which you entered. This brings you to the beginning of the hike. The path along the hike is clearly marked, and the hike goes in a circle, making it impossible to get lost once you’ve started.


Shvil HaMa’aynot

Shvil HaMa’ayanot, “Springs Trail,” located along the Shvil Israel, the Israel Trail, is another beautiful, yet brief, hike. It spans just 3 kilometers, 1.5 kilometers each way (it is not a loop). As evident by its name, there are several – seven, exactly – ma’ayanot (springs) along the trail. Some are too shallow to swim in while some are deep enough to wade in, making this hike appropriate for even the hottest summer months, especially as it is lined with beautiful pine, oak, carob, and olive trees that provide ample shade. There are also plenty of caves and tunnels along the way, making for a fun adventure to take your children on. The hike begins on the road that leads between Hadassah Medical Center-Ein Kerem and Moshav Even Sapir.


Winter River at Nahal Refaim

This is an intense hike, fit only for seasoned hikers and adventurers. It’s also only for those who are lucky enough to be in Jerusalem after several days of really solid rain. This is because the winter river at Nahal Refaim is an extravagant river that only flows in the wintertime and after heavy rain. This hike is located in Begin Park, right next to Ein Kobi. You should park in the same place that you would park for the Kobi Ruins walk, and then take the red trail down into the rocks and trees. It’s about a kilometer in each direction (to the river and back), and is one of the most loved and regarded hikes near Jerusalem.


Shvil Nofi Nahal Katval

Shvil Nofi Nahal Katlav, also known as the Schuster trail, is a rather small trail, located in American Independence Park in the Nes Harim area. It spans about 2 kilometers, but is a perfect oasis of beauty and solitude. To get to this hike take route 3866. You can park at חניון נחל קטלב, the Nahal Katlav parking lot, and walk via Waze or Moovit directions to Bar Behar. The hike begins here, at a popular cafe spot in the forest. As you follow the path to the trails on the right hand of the shop, you’ll notice a red and white trail marker which indicates the
beginning of the small loop that you will hike for the next hour or so. The trail is lined with rocks and trees, allowing your kids to feel as though they are really exploring, but not exploring so much that the hike is difficult for them to manage. The views along the hike are stunning, especially during sunrise and sunset, and there are a number of spectacular wildflowers (depending on the season) along the way. There are also a number of different resting spots along the area, most notably tree log benches that hide under canopies of oak trees, allowing you to rest in the shade on hot summer days, or even to picnic as a break during your hike. For a slightly longer hike, follow the path on the left hand side of Bar Behar. This is where the red trail officially begins.


Sataf to Ein Kerem

This is another hike located in the magnificent Sataf Forest. This hike is located along the Israel Trail, and requires two cars. Park one car at Sataf and the other at Ein Kerem, at the dirt lot near Ein Kerem Agricultural School. Starting at Sataf, follow the signs downhill to Jerusalem, a path along which you’ll find beautiful views as you walk to Nahal Sorek, a wide, flat valley that leads towards Ein Kerem. Here, the nahal route splits off from the Israel Trail. Eventually, Nahal Soeek meets up with Road 395.


Kibbutz Tzuba

This is yet another hike located in the Sataf Forest. It begins on the Har Eitan trail (see first hike listed above), and quickly turns to the right at the sign for the Israel Trail. At the turn, the trail. can be difficult to manage at the turn, as it descends rather steeply and the loose dirt and rocks can make it slippery and tricky to navigate, but the trail quickly evens out and brings you to a flat jeep trail. Once you get to the flat trail, cross the two-lane highway that is Road 395 and head into Kibbutz Tzuba. Here, leave the Israel Trail and enter the Kibbutz. Once you’re inside, pass the park and follow the signs to Ein Tzuba, clearly marked. At the large factory building, turn right and follow the red path into the vineyards of the Tzuba Winery before eventually arriving sat the green trail. Keep your eyes open so as to not miss the spring, which is the highlight of this hike. This hike is a special one, lined with vineyards just outside of the trail and a grove of trees with picnic benches along it.



Day Trips- Ma’ayanot

Day Trips- Ma’ayanot



Ma’ayanot (natural water springs) in Israel are so abundant that they deserve their own article. Ma’ayanot are a hot spot in the spring and summer months, but are accessible and pleasurable year-round. Though a car is helpful to access many ma’ayanot, there are countless springs that can be traveled to by bus, usually requiring a number of transfers, making the cooling factor of the natural water all the more rewarding and delightful. In this article, I’ve done the research for you, providing you with a number of ma’ayanot in and around the Jerusalem area, so that any time you want a quick dip, the information is right at your fingertips.



Sataf, located in the Jerusalem hills near the neighborhood of Ein Kerem, is one of Jerusalem’s most popular ma’ayanot. Located in the beautiful Jerusalem Hills, it is easily accessible by public transportation, making it a hotspot for kids and teenagers without cars, but is very family- friendly as well, frequented by families looking for a quick and cool weekend dip. During the daytime, you’ll find Sataf to be filled to the brim, but the after hours, from 5pm and on, are particularly pleasant and serene. It is a particularly cold ma’yan, making it a stellar choice for the blazing summer days when a cool-off is necessary,There are some very shallow springs, perfect for young children, and some more adventurous and exciting ones, like a giant crater- style spring for adults to jump into. Sataf also provides nice and easy hikes with a total of five hiking trails, as well as a location nice for barbecues, making it an even more fun adventure. Sataf is just a ten-mile drive from the outskirts of Jerusalem, through the beautiful roads of the Jerusalem Hills. To get to Sataf by car, you can take Route 395 from Ein Kerem. You can see the entire the site from the Sataf Junction, where the roads that come from Mevaseret Tzion, Tzuba, and Ein Kerem intersect.

Lifta (Mey Neftoach)

In past days an Arab village, Lifta officially became a natural reserve in the mid 1980’s. The spring is also identified with “Mey Naftuah” – the biblical site, making it not only a fun experience, but a holy one as well. The ma’ayan is used not only for pleasure, but is also frequented as a
mikvah. Lifta, like Sataf, is ideal for a family hike as well, running a distance of only about 4.5km and taking a total of two hours round-trip. It is even possible to walk with a light stroller (albeit difficult). Lifta is by far Jerusalem’s most accessible ma’ayan, only a 10 minute walk from Jerusalem’s Central Bus Station, making it easily accessible by public transportation — just take any bus to the Central Bus Station, of which there are plenty, and walk. To drive to Lifta, simply enter “Lifta” into Waze, and park at the Lifta Parking Lot (חניון ליפתה). Its accessibility leads it to often be packed with visitors, but as with Sataf, the later hours of the day prove to provide you with some more room in the water.

Ein Lavan

Ein Lavan is a beautiful ma’ayan, enormous and filled with clear, clean water, located in the Jerusalem mountains. Although it, like Sataf and Lifta, can get crowded, it’s expansiveness makes it unlikely that it will feel full, regardless of how many people are wading in the beautiful
water. There is not one but rather two large pools, one deep and one less so, making it an experience fit both for adults and for children. Ein Lavan is adjacent to the Biblical Zoo, located in the Malcha neighborhood of Jerusalem, making it another easily accessible ma’ayan. It is easy to find from the zoo’s parking lot, and is easily accessible by bus as well (just take any route that travels to Malcha).


Ein Sharig, Ein Tamar, Ein Azi

If you’re looking for a full day of ma’ayanot, swimming, and adventuring, this is the place to go. These three ma’ayanot come as a set, located right by moshav Ein Sapir in Jerusalem. Ein Sharig is the closest ma’ayan to the parking lot — an approximately 3-minute walk. It is a relatively small and shallow spring, a bit crowded during peak times but a beautiful, peaceful oasis during less busy time. A canopy of trees covers the ma’ayan, providing a perfectly shaded spot for the hot summer months. Continue down the green path for approximately 20 minutes, an easy walk with a stunning view of Hadassah Ein Kerem and the Jerusalem Mountains, and you’ll arrive at the second ma’ayan, Ein Tamar. Named after Tamar Natan, who was killed in 1996 on a trip to Bolivia at the age of 21, the spring is charming and peaceful, dressing with antique stones and accompanied by nice picnic tables. Finally, continue on a 5-minute walk from Ein Tamar and you’ll arrive at Ein Azi, two small pools about 50 meters apart. One is slightly submerged in the ground, and the other is a true wonder. It is almost an infinity pool, with a stunning view of the Jerusalem Mountains. To arrive at these ma’ayanot, drive towards Even Sapir. About 600 meters after the south turn from Road 396 (below Ein Kerem Medical Center), there is a bend in the road from which a wide dirt path emerges. Here there is a double white line, so you have to continue a few hundred meters to the settlement and turn around there. The dirt path goes into a parking lot, where you should leave your car. From the parking lot, continue on the green path for about 100 meters, until you see a large group of trees on the left (approximately 50 meters away), where Ein Sarig, the first spring, is located. Continue on this path for another 50 meters and then turn right to get to the beginning of the route to the Uzi and Ein Tamar ma’ayanot.


Ein Dvir

Once known as Ein Tapah, Ein Dvir, a smaller spring than the ones listed above, sits to the north of Jerusalem, just by the town of Givat Ze’ev. Benches line the ma’ayan, allowing visitors to take in the beautiful view of Jerusalem’s hills, and a serene feel fills the air around the
ma’ayan. As the area is rather open and there aren’t many trees for shade, it is not recommended to visit this site during the summer months, unless you plan to spend the entire time in the water. The Ein Dvir ma’ayan is a short walk from the parking lot — 1.4 kilometers, just
barely a hike. The water in the pool is deep, providing a pleasant swim for adults. If coming by car, drive to Kibbutz Amiad and park your car in the gas station. Cross the road so that you are on the opposite side of the kibbutz, and behind the bus stop, you will see a gate. Follow the road beyond this gate and you will arrive at the spring in about 15-20 minutes.


Ein Sapir

Forty five minutes from Naan, in the heart of the green mountains of Jerusalem, hides a cold and clear spring inside of an ancient cave carved into the mountain. Stone steps lead to the spring, which is cool and apt for immersion in the hot summer days. Surrounding the spring are beautiful olive, almond, and terebinth trees. This ma’ayan provides not only a pleasant swim but also an awesome experience, as you swim inside of a cave. You can walk to the end of the tunnel and watch the spring water spring out of a rock, making this a cool adventure to take your kids on. The diameter of the spring spans a few meters, and the water relatively is shallow and clear, allowing one to comfortably sit and wade in it, but not to dunk deeply. Outside of the cave, there are another two pools and a picnic area, making it a perfect spot to have a picnic lunch with your kids after a satisfying dip in the ma’ayan.