How to Have Fun in Israel and Avoid the Pandemic!

Updated: Jul 16

Have fun going out in Israel while keeping safe and healthy - here's how:

Photo Credit: Jonny Finkel Photo Tours - Nachal Batzelet


We all want to enjoy this Summer, but many people are anxious and are finding it hard to think of ideas that will be fun, and worthwhile and safe from exposure to the pandemic in our midst right now.

Based on discussions in the LoveLoveIsrael Facebook group, here is our first list of ideas!


Nature - Private Tours - Private Workshops

- Workshops at Home


Nature

Open spaces in the fresh air make us feel great, are usually fun for the whole family (well apart from the odd argument!) and can also even be educational. There are many free hikes, and many are spread out over large areas.

National Parks

Most of the National Parks are now open. They must abide by the purple standard – visitors must sign up in advance online, wear masks and keep distance between other families. Most are so large, that crowding is totally avoidable. Many people have reported that officers in the parks have even actively gone around the parks and told people to keep masks on – if you don’t have this experience, feel free to give feedback by emailing: moked@npa.org.il

For a step-by step English guide to reserving your places online, click here!

Free Trails

The free trails that cover large spaces and do not have water are probably your safest best for being emptier - but this is not so attractive in the heat of Summer. So if you want to go to a free water spot be aware that because there is no sign-up, these places can get busy.

LoveLoveIsrael tip: Aim to head out to the more popular places, such as Ein Lavan (natural pool) in Jerusalem, and other natural pools, early in the day to avoid crowds and the risk of being exposed to people not abiding by the rules. Of course, if you have a real hidden spot, don’t tell anyone about it and go and enjoy! Remember to only swim in areas that are allowed!

Click here for our wet hikes article or click here for even more.

Beaches


Another open space that should keep you safe and provide hours of fun and relaxation.

Try to avoid going in big groups – stick to your own family. You should be able to find a decent area to sit on the beach without being at all close to other people. While there is a chance that officers will come and reprimand people without masks (and a 500 NIS fine), you are currently allowed to enter the water without a mask…which then means that people are not often with masks on the beach. So just know that this is how things are…so sit yourselves apart from others in order to protect yourselves.


Just a note about Jellyfish – there seem to be a lot less on the beaches now – although you will still spot a few and there is a sting in the water. You can normally ask in the LoveLoveIsrael group for UpToDate sightings. Or click this link to see official reports.

LoveLoveIsrael tip: pack some vinegar in your beach bag - it can help relieve the sting, and some Fenistil gel for when dry!


Fruit and Vegetable picking


Click here for the LoveLoveIsrael list and let us know if you hear of any places we can add! This is a great activity for any ages, and allows for social distancing outdoors!



Tour with a Guide

Licensed tour guides in Israel have been badly hit during this period, with the loss of foreign tourists. Often Israelis are hesitant to get a guide, but now we have the chance to hire a tour guide in small groups or for your own family and really benefit from learning more about where we visit and where we hike. This will be so enriching for us all!


You can search tour guides on LoveLoveIsrael.com and see many recommendations within our group.


Some guides have moved over to giving virtual tours online and you could choose to stay at home and still tour great places – especially great if you find yourselves home-bound (in bidud).


Here are a couple of examples of how guides have pivoted to make tours relevant to Anglos who live in Israel:


Local.Eyes

Used to touring with big groups from abroad, Local.Eyes likes to take you on truly original tours, to places you would never have thought of, really getting you close to different types of people, cultures and art in Israel. Check them out here and book now!

You can also read their corona policy and how they keep to the rules on their website!



Northern Exposure

Tammy and Aliza are both licensed guides used to arranging tours for busloads of tourists. They have teamed up together to offer unique tours in the Galil area where they live. They are bursting with knowledge and energy to share with smaller groups, in private vehicles. They have strict corona guidelines and you will thoroughly enjoy every minute of their tours! Read more here.



Desert Shepherd

Liav Levi, at Desert Shepherd is now also offering a unique night tour (not in the jeep) for families. This is a fabulous experience for a family on their own. The experience begins with a self-prepared dinner with cut veggies, tasty spreads and freshly-made pita bread over the saj, Awesome activity for the children - and the parents! Then the children will be given small flashlights and set off into the night and go animal searching. You might spot wild hyena, gazelles, porcupines, snakes...Click here for more.

This activity is run according to the Health Ministry's current guidelines!

Nature & Nosh

Here is another original idea that has sprung out of this crazy time! Joanna Maissel, who has years of experience guiding for Neot Kedumim and Park Ariel Sharon, has developed a fabulous tour for small groups. Rediscover the origins of your food in the wild Israeli landscape. Experience the plants and trees by tasting, smelling and hearing their stories. Savor a light picnic of local flavors enhanced with some of the delicacies you have picked. Suitable for ages 4/5 plus. Click here for more details.

Photo Credit: Debbie Zimelman Photography

ScaVentures Jerusalem: The Experiential Guidebook

If you prefer to stick with your own family, this is a handy book with five guided, interactive routes in Jerusalem with 100+ missions that engage each member of your group. Highly recommended! Great gift too!


Scaventures City Dash!

This is a new fabulous app that allows small groups to have fun in various cities, while keeping safe and minimizing interaction with others! Click here for details!


Virtual Scaventures

On an online ScaVenture (sometimes known as Quarantine Quests) you will play an Israel-themed group game, engaging with friends, families and groups from wherever you are in the world! Escape the ordinary, enjoy this awesome world and stay safe together! Their games are a cross between a scavenger hunt and adventure of discovery – that’s why they call them ScaVentures! Click here for more details and reviews.


Creative Graffiti Tours & Photography

See Israel from a different perspective with one of Yael’s fabulous Graffiti tours. The reviews here speak for themselves! All corona rules in place for a fab day out in Tel Aviv or Dead Sea! She also has a home Graffiti kit for when you prefer to stay at home!




Workshops


At the Workshop


Workshops are usually for small groups, so this is a great way to do something unique and memorable while supporting Israeli small businesses. Here are a few of LoveLoveIsrael’s top recommended ideas but if you click here you will get many more ideas for workshops country-wide!


Rave Mosaics

The artwork being produced at this workshop is incredible! Roochie is artist-in-residence at the trendy Chutozot Hayotzer, in Jerusalem until the end of July. Hurry to book for this exclusive workshop. Few places available.


The Soap Cake Factory

Visit the soap studio in Ra’anana to create personalized soap designs. You can choose from a variety of different molds, scents, colors and herbs. It might look like you visited a bakery:)) cupcakes, macaroons and cakes molds – with chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla scent – be creative as you can.


Tomo Candy

Awesome LoveLoveIsrael favorite! Make tasty candy from only natural ingredients – small groups only. Located in Raanana. Click here for more details and reviews.


Workshops at Home

We are in awe at the ways people have pivoted to make their workshops doable from home!


Hadara’s Ceramic studio in Jerusalem

You can order a clay kit, including video tutorials. The clay is reusable so it’s a workshop that keeps on going until you finish your piece and decide to take it to her for firing! Hadara has also expanded her workshop to an airy outdoor area so you can visit her workshop outside! Click here for details.


Paint Party Events

Nina Brenner pivoted beautifully by making her popular paint parties available online. She offers many online live sessions where she teaches you how to paint stunning pictures – great for all ages, and lovely to commemorate family occasions where the whole family can join in at the same time! She is also running a virtual painting camp in the coming weeks and will provide all the supplies too! Sign up here!

Paint Party also have kits that you can purchase including a new range of paint-by numbers kits! Click here for contact details.



My Bake Stop – BakeBox Club

Elana is a talented pastry chef, who has turned around during the past few months developing a fun baking workshop for children – and novice older bakers too. Subscribe to her weekly baking workshop from the comfort of your own home. Receive a new box every week containing all the measured ingredients needed to

bake a delicious dessert! Full instructions and live video tutorial included! Deliveries are available to all areas within 30KM of Rechovot! Contact her to see if that includes you. Contact details here!


Kosher Cakery

Another fun and delicious activity you can do at home! Cookie and cupcake decorating, and even decorate your own large cake of your choice with a video tutorial of how to decorate it! Click here for contact details.


SoapCake Factory

Order fabulous kits to make your own soaps at home!! Contact details here.




Cover Photo: Canva


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