Israel's Top Kid-Friendly Museums
For the average child, visiting museums can be a bit dull. But it needn’t be about schlepping them through galleries brimming with Old Masters’ paintings in the hope that your toddler doesn’t throw a tantrum in front of a Titian. Here are Israel’s top kid-friendly museums to give your tots a touch of culture
The Children’s Museum, Holon
Purpose-built for kids, this museum is the most obvious place to start. Throughout the summer vacation, the museum offers a range of activities for all age ranges, from two years old to 12. Unlike conventional museums, where hands must be kept to themselves, children are encouraged to touch all the displays. Here, they can even play a role in the exhibits. Not-to-be-missed are the famous 'Dialogue in the Dark' and 'Invitation to Silence' exhibits – two experiences which provide emotional and telling insights into the worlds of blind and deaf people, respectively. Hours vary according to exhibit. Pre-booking is required.
03-6503000. Adults and children, NIS 65
Ein Yael, Jerusalem
Ein Yael is a nature reserve located close to Jerusalem’s train station in the Jerusalem Hills. It also serves as a beautiful outdoor museum. Its “living museum” experience fuses history and nature by allowing visitors to walk ancient Roman roads, meet live craftsmen from that period and take part in a host of interactive workshops.
August Sun-Thu from 10:00-16:00 & on Fri from 10:00-14:00. Adults NIS 35 & children NIS 40
The Open Museums, Omer
This unique museum campus is located in an Industrial Park in the town of Omer near Beersheba, a place with the impressive desert scenery of the Negev. In addition to an art gallery featuring a rotation of top Israeli artists, there's also an interactive sculpture garden and vintage car collection which is sure to delight adults and children alike.
Sun-Thu, 9:00-16:00, open the first Saturday of the month from 10:00-15:00. Adult NIS 20 & children NIS 15
The Israel Puppet Center, Holon
This quaint museum aims to promote puppetry as a communicative art form and is one of only a handful of such puppet museums in the world. There is a 160-seat auditorium where visitors are treated to a variety of performances and puppet shows, courtesy of the adjoining school of puppetry.
Wed 16:00-19:00. Free.
The Clore Garden of Science, Rehovot
Rehovot is home to the world’s only outdoor science museum – the Clore Garden of Science – located at the heart of the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot. The emphasis is on interaction, with over 90 hands-on exhibits that demonstrate the laws of physics, solar energy and water power in a highly interactive way. There is also an 'EcoSphere' housing a range of ecological elements including wet and dry vegetation, fish, air, earth and water.
Sun-Thu from 9:00-17:00; Sat 9:00-18:00. Adults NIS 40 & children NIS 35 (ages 5-18), family rate NIS 150
The Olympic Experience, Tel Aviv
Enter the Olympic Experience, a little-known museum next to Park HaYarkon that is entirely devoted to the world’s most famous sporting competition. Five halls, each one representing a different ring of the Olympic symbol, use audio-visual presentations to tell the history of the Olympics from its origins in Ancient Greece up through modern times. There are plenty of interactive sporting and endurance activities, so your children won’t get bored. There’s also a dedicated exhibition of the 1972 massacre of 11 Israeli athletes in Munich.
Sun-Thu 10:00-17:00. Adults & children, NIS 45
Mini Israel, Latrun
Kids fall in love with Israel at this unique museum which offers visitors the chance to experience the entire country in a single day. From Jerusalem’s holy sites to Tel Aviv’s skyscrapers, Mini Israel exhibits scaled-down replicas of Israel’s religious, architectural, archeological and social sites. A recent addition to the museum is the 3D IMAX experience offering an aerial view of the land.
Sun–Thu 10:00–18:00. Adults & children, NIS 69