Did you know that the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo is the most visited “paid” attraction in Israel? The zoo is a magical oasis in the heart of a bustling city. That’s why I was so excited when I heard that they were using their magic to create a new attraction for families to enjoy – the Gottesman Israel Aquarium.
There have been conflicting reports in the press about the aquarium opening – I spoke to the Aquarium Development Director and she said that the Aquarium will be open in June but only to special groups as a soft opening. It will open to the public at the end of the year once all of the fish have arrived. The ticket prices are still TBA. Check the zoo website for updates.
***See the latest video of Behind the Scenes of the Aquarium – Taken in May 2017***
I had the opportunity to conduct an interview for Yoni Pollak’s radio show “Bite Size” on the Nachum Segal Network and received a guided tour of the Aquarium building site by Nicole Wexler the Director of Development.
This is very exciting news for the Jerusalem tourism market. Here are some renderings of what you can expect to see. I hope to be able to add pictures of the finished attraction and the sharks, fish and coral in the near future. (Stay updated by Signing up for the Fun In Jerusalem blog)
The Timing – scheduled to open mid 2017. Fish should start arriving before the end of the year.
The Funding – Funded by the David & Ruth Gottesman Family Foundation.
Where is it Located? – The aquarium is located behind the Noah’s Ark exhibit in the Biblical Zoo and will be accessible on the zoo train or through a separate entrance at the end of the road past the zoo parking lot.
The Tour – The new aquarium will have so many family friendly exhibits and is slated to be the big “wow” in Israeli tourism. Some of my favorites include:
- Pop up windows and see through tunnels – where kids can feel like they are inside the tank with the fish.
- Koi fish feeding ponds.
- Manta Ray feeding pool.
- Large Shark Tank Tunnel where you walk under the tank and then can sit and observe the fish from a special viewing area.
Educational Options: Summer camps & chugim focusing on aquatic life
Want more information about the Israel Aquarium? Interested in donating money to name an exhibit after your family? Want to be one of the first people to host a Bar or Bat Mitzva at the Israel Aquarium Shark Tank (expected to open at the end of 2017)?
Hear the full interview with Nicole Wexler on “Bite Size” here –