Top Family Activities in Jerusalem

Top Family Activities in Jerusalem

Keeping your kids happy and entertained while on a family vacation can be challenging, but Jerusalem has a wealth of child-friendly attractions and activities. From ancient historical sites that appeal to all ages to some seriously good neighborhood parks, Jerusalem will keep your kids enthralled.
autor iconBy Loren Minsky , August 22, 2023

Biblical Zoo

Photo: Biblical ZooPhoto: Biblical Zoo

No visit to Jerusalem for families with kids is complete without a visit to Jerusalem's unique Biblical Zoo.

The zoo conserves species mentioned in the Bible, as well as other endangered species from all over the world. In keeping with its conservation efforts, the zoo works to breed those species that have been driven out of their natural habitats in Israel and slowly reintroduce them into the wild. In total, the zoo features over 170 species, including kiddie favorites such as lions, cheetahs, and crocodiles. There’s also a lovely petting zoo with goats, chickens, and more, as well as a sculpture garden filled with more exotic creatures. Children (and adults) may enjoy the regular train rides through the massive grounds.

Address: 1 Derech Aharon Sholov, Jerusalem

Israel Aquarium

Photo: Israel AquariumPhoto: Israel Aquarium

A visit to the aquarium includes a passage through Israel’s four seas – the Mediterranean, The Sea of Galilee, the Dead Sea, and the Red Sea.

On your visit, you will encounter approximately 200 species of creatures that live in the sea at the various spectacular exhibits. You will be able to see up close the famous clownfish, boxfish, groupers, eels, seahorses, soft corals, various jellyfish, sharks, and many others.

At the center of the aquarium is an open ray pool, in which various types of stingrays. The highlight of the visit comes as you pass through a tunnel that simulates an under-sea visit, with fish and sharks swimming overhead.

Address: 1 Derech Aharon Sholov, Jerusalem

Bloomfield Science Museum

Photo: Bloomfield Science MuseumPhoto: Bloomfield Science Museum

With something on offer for all ages, the Bloomfield Science Museum makes the perfect family outing in Jerusalem. The museum is filled with original and creative interactive displays and exhibits that invite one and all to touch, experiment, get involved, and have fun. 

Families and kids can take guided tours daily or take part in arts and crafts workshops, science demonstrations, and interactive performances on Saturdays. If you're a family with a penchant for museums, you may want to spend a couple of hours here before heading to the nearby Israel Museum or Bible Lands Museum.

Address: Museum Row, Jerusalem

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The Israel Museum

Photo: The Israel MuseumPhoto: The Israel Museum

Families with kids who enjoy museums will want to reserve a full day for The Israel Museum in Jerusalem, which is Israel's largest cultural institution and is considered one of the top ten museums in the world. The museum, which was renovated in 2010, is known for its Youth Wing which encourages learning and creativity in the young ones through hands-on workshops, exhibitions, and activities.

The rest of the family won't want to miss out on the famous Shrine of the Book, which houses many ancient manuscripts including the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple era. In addition, there are magnificent art and archaeological exhibitions on offer. Round the experience off with a souvenir from the stunning gift store as well as a light snack at the cozy coffee shop near the museum entrance.

Address: 11 Ruppin Boulevard, Jerusalem 

The Bible Lands Museum

Photo: The Bible Lands Museum

The Bible Lands Museum offers families with kids the opportunity to delve into the history of the cultures of the Bible with thousands of artifacts on display from the Canaanite people, the ancient Egyptians, the Phoenicians, the Persians, and the Philistines. The museum also houses models of ancient Jerusalem and the pyramids at Giza. Kids will enjoy the enriching and educational programs, workshops, and tours on offer, including summer camps, activities for the holidays, and bar/bat mitzvah tours. Many claim that no family vacation to Israel is complete without a journey through time at the Bible Lands Museum.

Address: 25 Avraham Granot St, Jerusalem 

Ein Yael Museum

Photo: Ein Yael MuseumPhoto: Ein Yael Museum

The experiential Ein Museum is a great day out and cultural experience for families with children in Jerusalem. Step back to Roman times with an old Roman street, ancient terraces and agricultural equipment, period actors and musicians, orchards and farm animals.

You'll want to time a visit with one of the museum's regular festivals, which include tours of the lovely gardens as well as kids' creative workshops such as mosaics, paper-making, or pita-baking workshops. Situated across the road from the Biblical Zoo in Malha and not far from the Jerusalem Malha Mall, you can easily visit the zoo, indulge in some family retail therapy, or spend the day only at the museum soaking up the unique experience.

Address: Ein Yael, Malha 

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Tower of David Museum

Photo: Ricky RachmanPhoto: Ricky Rachman

The Tower of David (also known as David’s Citadel), located near Jaffa Gate in the Old City, rests on the ruins of fortifications: David's Citadel (King David's Tower), an ancient citadel located near the Jaffa Gate entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem. UNESCO World Heritage Site made by the Israelite, King David. 

The museum brings to life Jerusalem's history and offers exciting changing exhibitions as well as plenty of workshops, story times, theatrical encounters, game stations, plays, tours, and fun activities throughout the citadel for children of all ages. The whole family may enjoy exploring the citadel's courtyard, which houses important archaeological ruins, some dating back almost 3,000 years. In particular, you'll want to check out what's on offer at the Tower of David if your family vacation overlaps with a major Jewish holiday like Passover, Purim, Hanukkah, or Sukkot.

Address: Jaffa Gate, Old City 

The Time Elevator

Photo: The Time ElevatorPhoto: The Time Elevator

Parents who want to give their kids (over the age of 5) an overview of the history of Jerusalem in a fun, engaging way in under half an hour should not miss out on the Time Elevator. Narrated by tour-guide Shalem (Chaim Topol of 'Fiddler on the Roof' fame), the Time Elevator takes audience members on a journey through time from the Jerusalem of the Bible to the modern city. The experience is made immersive by surround sound and motion-based seating (adjustable according to the needs of individual audience members), and for those who prefer, there are several stationary seats. Fans of a good 3-D experience can take the opportunity to choose from several additional films, such as a journey into the human body and a journey to India.

Address: Alrov Mamilla Avenue, 6 Yitzhak Kariv St, Jerusalem

The Jerusalem Botanical Gardens

Photo: The Jerusalem Botanical GardensPhoto: The Jerusalem Botanical Gardens

Families with kids who appreciate flowers and nature will not want to miss out on a trip to the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens which features over 10,000 floral varieties from every continent in the world. Highlights include the "flower train" that runs through the gardens every hour, the tropical hothouse, the visitors center with changing exhibitions, bonsai gardens, and the 500-meter-long "Bible Path" lined with the flora scientists have identified with the 400 species of plants mentioned in the Bible. Families can enjoy a drink or meal at the restaurant near the entrance or may prefer to bring a picnic lunch to eat by the pond.

Address: 1 Yehuda Burla St, Jerusalem

Theater for Kids in Jerusalem

Although many plays are performed in Hebrew, there is also theater suitable for kids in English, without words and with subtitles. Even many of the Hebrew-only plays can be appreciated in all languages for the marvelous music and costumes. It's worth checking with the Train Theater in Liberty Bell Park for plays suitable for an English-speaking audience, and if you're lucky enough to visit in early August, don’t miss the International Festival of Puppet Theater. 

The renowned Jerusalem Theater in the neighborhood of Talbiyeh offers dozens of shows for kids throughout the year. And for cinema aficionados, the Jerusalem Cinematheque outside the Old City walls offers children's movies on weekends and on school vacations. The Cinematheque's International Film Festival for Children and Youth brings together a leading collection of films for kids and young adults from all over the world and offers competitions where the children get to be the judges, as well as exciting film-related workshops.

Parks for Kids in Jerusalem

Photo: DreamstimePhoto: Dreamstime

Many people enjoy taking time out on a family vacation and just hanging out in a park, and Jerusalem certainly has an excellent selection to choose from.

Sacher Park stretches between Nachlaot, Rehavia, and Givat Ram and is an ideal location for a picnic or game of frisbee, as well as a playground, basketball courts, soccer pitches, tennis courts, a bike path, and a skateboarding area.

Gilo Park is a popular choice for families with its modern playground equipment, picnic tables, basketball court, and roller-blading path.

The Monster Park features "the monster" (locally as "the golem"), three red slides from a monster statue's mouth to the sand below. Have your cameras ready.

San Simon Park is a hidden gem in Jerusalem with basketball courts, a bicycle path, an enclosed dog park, playground equipment, and table-tennis tables in a lush, green, and peaceful setting. For those who avoid or enjoy crowds, it's good to know that the park fills up on a Saturday afternoon with local families.

With lots of greenery and shade, Liberty Bell Park makes a great place for a stroll, picnic, and play. The park is equipped with a whole lot of sporting facilities such as ping-pong tables, basketball courts, and bicycle routes. You may also want to time a visit to the park with a trip to the Train Theater, which, as mentioned above, stages puppet shows and other performances for children of all ages.

Nearby Independence Park in the center of town is another great option for families with kids looking for a picnic spot or place to kick a football around. Its new playground looks like something out of science fiction with its off-the-beaten-track formations of equipment, all made out of aluminum.

Sacher Park Address: Sderot Ben Tsvi, Jerusalem 
Gilo Park Address:  Gilo Forest, 
Jerusalem Monster Park Address: Rabinovich Garden, Kiryat Hayovel 
San Simon Park Address: Hizkiyahu Hamelech Road, San Simon 
Independence Park Address: Gershon Agron, Jerusalem