Kid-friendly Israeli Museums - Eretz Israel Museum, Tel-Aviv
The Eretz Israel Museum in Tel-Aviv has severalÂ facinating exhibits and attractions which can keep children interested for a couple of hours but overall the museum is not geared towards kids. The museum grounds are arranged so that you have to walk from exhibit room (mini-museum) toÂ exhibit room by going outdoors into the boiling sun so if visiting in the summer months take bottled water. Consider that this constant trekking from building to building can get exhausting for kids but also allows them to let off some steam between exhibits, run around and then enter the exhibit buildings a lot calmer!
The main attraction which kids will love is the Planetarium. Don't expect anything on a par with British or American planetariums, this is really a miniature version. However kids will love the rotating seats, bright colored moving images and the cartoon characters used to illustrate some of the cosmic facts. The planetarium has two shows â€“ Astronaut and Stars, you need to choose one. Performances are in EnglishÂ or Hebrew and are held periodically during the day so check performance times online before leaving home. The planetarium is for those over 6 years old. The down side of this attraction is that although children up to 18 years old enter the museum for free, the planetarium costs 74NIS for adults and 32NIS for kids. You may also be disappointed in the show as it is rather short and somehow uses big words yet is more entertaining than educational.
Once the kids have enjoyed the planetarium you can then take them through the rest of the museum. Among the many sections (as mentioned each in separate buildings) the exhibits which will most interest kids areÂ as follows: Man and His Work Center where they can see tools and crafts from Israel's past. Kadman covers the evolution of coinage â€“ kids will find a few of the exhibits here interesting like the salt and beads which were once used instead of money. The Alexander Museum of Postal History and Philately â€“ an exhibit of everything to do with the Israeli postal service from delivery vans to old post boxes and telephones. The Ethnography and Folklore section shows items used in Jewish traditions and kids will recognize many of these.
Other sections kids may find less interesting are the Ceramics exhibit and the Glass Pavilion. On the grounds are also excavation sites, mosaics the Yael Garden, an old fire engine (unfortunately it is within a glass case otherwise kids would have loved to climb on it) and an ancient flour mill. There is a section where the work rooms of traditional trades like that of a baker, cobbler, tanner and cooper have been recreated.
The Eretz Israel Museum, Tel-Aviv is open from Sunday to Wednesday from 10am to 4pm, on Thursday from 10am to 8pm and on Friday and Saturday from 10am to 2pm. Entrance is 42NIS for adults and free for children up to 18 years old. The planetarium costs 74NIS for adults and 32NIS for kids. The museum is located at 2 Haim Levanon Street, Ramat Aviv, Tel-Aviv.
Unfortunately, as much as I would like to recommend this museum for families with children there are other Israeli museums which will appeal more toÂ kids. The plus point is that this museum is free for kids but unfortunately the most interesting attraction for children, the planetarium, costs money. If you do take kids here I suggest you be the guide and draw their attention to the exhibition highlightsÂ and bring the museum alive for them, you could also take a packed lunch and make use of the many outdoor areas. The museum does run activities for kidsÂ during the Israeli school vacations for an extra fee.