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Yom Haatzmaut 2016 – The Fun and the FREE!

A day of celebration and family time, Yom Haatzmaut can be celebrated in many ways. Traditionally, every town runs its own events which often include food, dancing, music and fireworks. Check out your municipality website for more details and timings of where the party is happening and enjoy uniting with your neighbors and friends for this special night!

On Yom Haatzmaut day there are again many ways to make the most of it.

The traditional way is to hold a big BBQ and invite your friends to relax, eat, and enjoy the day. If you want, you could also join the thousands of people who go to parks and other specified places to BBQ. Parks such as Park Raanana often allow BBQs only on Yom Haatzmaut and you can’t believe how many BBQs go on – so be sure to send someone ahead early in the morning to secure a good shaded spot for your group!

  1. Get up VERY early and head to one of the Airforce bases that open especially for Yom Haatzmaut. This is a rareopportunity to see the amazing air crafts used by the Israeli army, meet the pilots and air force soldiers, try on helmets, see weapons and equipment and learn all about their uses. I personally went to Tel Nof last year (near Rechovot) and it was an experience my family will always remember. When I dragged them out the house super early after a late night celebrating the night before, they were not impressed, but all was forgiven once we arrived! You MUST leave early to avoid the lines to get in – aim to arrive there by 8:15am. They check every car and people that left only 10 minutes after us, were stuck in their car for an extra hour! We stayed there to watch the flyover and headed to friends for a BBQ in the afternoon. You could also visit the Beer Sheva Airforce Museum which is free on Yom Haatzmaut. Last year it closed at 2pm despite saying it would close at 5pm so keep this in mind. Lots of traffic around here to be prepared for.

  1. Another idea is to go to Latrun. They usually have some activities going on for the children, as well as soldiers by the tanks to explain about how they work. Ammunition Hill is another recommended place to go – every year a different army unit talks about what they do – this year it’s a paratroopers brigade. Kids can see and go in the bun kers and there is a film (extra fee) as well as a guided tour.

  2. Beach – escape the BBQ smells and relax on the beach with your family! Beaches will all have lifeguards by then. In addition this is a great spot to watch the

flyover. Some great air crafts, often including jumbo jets, army helicopters and other army air crafts fly along the coast. The timings for this year’s flyover are here on the right.

  1. Kilometers for Koby – make your Yom Haatzmaut meaningful and  join people from all over Israel in a hike on the Judean Hills. Deepen your connection to the land of Israel and raise money to send more than 400 bereaved children to Camp Koby, a summer camp for those who have lost loved ones to terror or tragedy. Click here for details. Another great option is to send pizza and food to the IDF through Pizza IDF or to send donations via Standing Together to help provide BBQs for soldiers at their bases over Yom Haatzmaut.

  2. Free attractions! Here is the list of the 68 free attractions on Yom Haatzmaut. Advisable to call ahead first. The full list and more details in Hebrew can be found here

The South:

Nitzanim – One of the toughest battles in the Independence War happened here. Tours leave on the hour from 9-13:00. Book your place 08-6727895

The Open Museum at Negba – Tours on the hour at 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00 050-5560554

Ben Gurion’s Tzriph is offering a unique and free event where you can sign your name on Israel’s declaration of Independence!! 08-6560469

Holocaust Museum at Yad Mordechai – hear about battles and rebellions 08-6720599

The Stronghold against Gaza at Kibbutz Saad- Learn about the first religious Jews who settled in the Negev, in the last remaining building since the War of Independence. 052-4803030

Jo Alon Bedouin Center – 8:30-15:00 with two guided tours at 10:00 and 13:00 . 08-9913394

Mitzpe Revivim – Mitzpe Revivim tells the fascinating tale of the southernmost Jewish outpost during early settlement days. It played a strategic, clandestine role in the early defense of the Negev. Enter its Byzantine caves, which once served as command bunker and field hospital. Walk through its restored fort, climb its lookout tower, run through its trenches, search for its hidden weapons cache, learn its secret communication methods, and view its WWII-era Dakota C-47 and Piper Cub planes. 10:00-14:00 08-6562638 mitzpe.

The Yoav Fortress –  a heritage center as well as an historic monument of The Givati Brigade. 9:00-14:00 08-6611316.

Jerusalem and the surrounding areas:

Old Yishuv Court Museum – 02-6276319 Tours on the hour

Ammunition Hill – In addition to the usual site there will be an omega and ropes course for an extra fee.  02-5829393

Tower of David Museum – 10:00-16:00 Take a map or discover the story of Jerusalem with guiding throughout the museum, enjoy a journey in Israeli song at music stations throughout the Citadel and end the visit by joining and entertaining encounter with historical characters and memorable songs of Jerusalem.

Shai Agnon House – 02-6716498 They recommend calling to register a place.

Alone on the Walls – Open 9:00-17:00. A Photograph Exhibition at the Cardo in the Old City. 02-6265906

The Hurva Synagogue

Rav Kook’s House

Tel Aviv & Center:

Yitzchak Rabin Museum – you must book a place 03-7453358

Ben Gurion’s House – 03-5221010

The Jabotinksky Museum – 03-5287320

Joseph Bau House – There will be tours, workshops and a children’s art activity. 054-4301499

Rokach House – 5168042–03

Hagana museum – Open 9:00-16:00 03-5608624

Etzel Museum Tashach (1948) – 9:00-16:00 03-5172044

Ayalon Institute (Bullet Factory) – 9:00-16:00. Last tour at 15:00. You must reserve. 08-9406552

The North:

The Shomer Museum – 8:00-16:00. No need to reserve – they give you a sheet explainaing what to do/see 04-6941565

Chatzer Tel Chai – 10:00-15:00 tours every half an hour. Reserve a place 04-6951333

Biriah Fortress – Open 9:00-17:00 with guided tours at 10:00, 12:00 and 14:00 02 6922433,

Reconstruction site Rosh Pina – Open 10:00-14:00. Two special tours. 04-6936913

Chatzer Kinneret – Great for families and children, with actors of famous historical fugures. At 1:00, 12:00 and 14:00.

Naharayim BaGesher – Open 9:00-16:00. Well shaded. Two guided tours by foot over to the view of the Jordanian Border at 11:00 and 12:30. 04-6752685

Palmach Cave – Watch a film and learn about how this cave became the headquarters for the Palmach. Also there, you can do the Shvil Hachidot – a hike that you follow to find rock which have questions on them about the Palmach period. Also there is a challenge area for the whole family based on Palmach codes.  Tours on the hour from 10:00-15:00.  04-9898946 ,052-4471109

The historical Police Station in Nehalal – Tours at 9:00, 11:00 and 15:00 04-6415073

The ‘slik’ in Nehalal – Open 9:00-15:00 with tours on the hour. 052-3347194

Jezreel Valley Museum – Open 11:00-16:00. 04-6548974

Reut Museum – Open 10:00-16:00. Tours are an hour, every hour. 04-6432810

Beit Hame’iri, Tzfat – Open 10:00-15:00 with tours on the hour. A great museum of nostalgia, of Tzfat from 200 years ago until today. 04-6971307

Hanita Museum – Lovely children’s booklet and craft activity. 04-9859677

Atlit Detention Center – There will be tours on the boat. You must book a place 04-9841980

Joara Museum – Open 9:00-16:00 04-9597402

Otzarot Hachoma Museum, Acre – Open 10:00-16:00. Suitable for the whole family. 04-9911004

Acre Underground Prisoners museum – Open 9:00-16:00. Tours on the hour. 04-9911375

Beit Fisher in Kiryat Ata – Open 9:00-14:00.

The First Aliya Museum in Zichron Yaakov – Open 10:00-16:00, Bring your cameras for a guided tours with historical personalities. 04-6294777

Hannah Senesh House – Open 10:00-16:00. Last entry at 15:15. No need to reserve. 04-6364366 ,052-8795366

Israel War Veterans Museum – Open 9:00-16:00. 09-8822212

The Chan and Feinberg House -04-6343296

The National Maritime Museum – Children’s workshops, see ships, dress up 04-8536622

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