Sukkot is a very popular time for families to visit Jerusalem. The city comes alive with tourists and locals enjoying unique experiences in Jerusalem.
With festivals, special museum events, live concerts and a variety of fun activities, there is something for everyone.
City Festivals & Special Events
Hapoel Jerusalem basketball team are hosting a basketball clinic on Wednesday October 12, between 11am – 12 noon, at the YMCA with Tamir Goodman and some of the club’s best players. Shoot some hoops, have your photo taken with the players, get signed autographs, buy club merchandise and sign up for your season ticket – all under one roof!
The Ein Yael Harvest Festival has a whole range of special activities for families connected to Sukkot this chol hamoed. Gather in the summer crops, preserve the sweet Fall fruits, weave mats using Lulav leaves and prepare for the winter rains. There are special talks at the beehive and archeological theatrical performances too. And a play corner for younger kids with an on-site sukkah.
“The Leket Street Festival”, run by Kol Haot, is back at Hutzot Hayotzer on Wednesday October 12 and Thursday October 13. The Artists’ Colony Sukkot street festival has live musical and circus performances, mosaic workshops, a colorful treasure hunt and surprises for the whole family. There’s also an on-site sukkah.
Bikurei Shilo is hosting a family-friendly Farm Festival over chol hamoed. Harvest grapes and make grape juice, pickle your own olives, pick and eat raspberries or milk goats. There’s also archery, workshops and more! And, for an additional charge they are offering Shmita tours and tractor and wagon tours too. They’ve also got a sukkah on site.
The Gush Etzion Regional Council is hosting their first ever “Aliyah LaRegel” (Foot) Festival on Tuesday October 11. Hike in beautiful landscapes, feel the history and connect with past, present and future. There are three different tracks and different levels of difficulty, led by Rav Rimon, Chief Rabbi of Gush Etzion. Throughout the day, in Neve Daniel, there are also FREE creative workshops, magnet photography, 360 mirrors on the Temple, an escape game, music and actors, and more!
Your kids will love to see the life-sized Dinosaurs at the Botanical Gardens throughout the gardens as they explore the different interactive stations. The gardens are a beautiful place to spend the day. Make sure to ask about the Flower Train.
The Kite Festival at the Israel Museum is a firm family favorite. It’s back on Tuesday October 11 for its 37th year! You get to build kites and decorate them. Then, at 4pm at the Crown Plaza overlooking the beautiful Jerusalem landscape, join hundreds of others for a spectacular kite-flying display.
Spectacular Sukkot at the David Citadel & Mamilla Hotels – two of Jerusalem’s most beautiful hotels are decorating their five Sukkot with Biblical themes this year. At the David Citadel there is a family-friendly Noah’s Ark themed sukkah, a luxurious sukkah inspired by King Solomon’s Palace and a third sukkah overlooking the walls of the Old City which is themed “And it was Darkness, and it was Light”. Mamilla’s Happy Fish restaurant has a sukkah themed “In the beginning G-d created Heaven & Earth” and the Veranda restaurant has a David’s Harp themed sukkah.
Concerts & Theater Events
Hope the Musical is on for one-night-only on Thursday October 13 at the Jerusalem Theater. It’s a heart-warming, original musical about people who have big dreams but are stuck in a rut! The production is in English with Hebrew subtitles. It’s a drama with touches of comedy and nostalgia, which examines the risks we take despite our fears and the price we pay for the choices that we make. (This event has been postponed)
Avraham Fried, Mordechai Shapiro & Lior Suchard will be performing together at Binyanei HaUma on Thursday October 13 at Binyanei HaUma, at Hatzalah’s annual Chol Hamoed fundraiser. Enjoy a night of great Jewish music and help United Hatzalah save lives in Israel.
Lipa Schmeltzer, Yonatan Razel & Chaim Zippel – will perform live on Hashana Rabbah Eve, Motzei Shabbat, October 15 at the Jerusalem Theater, at a fundraiser for The Friendship Circle – celebrating children and with special needs living in Jerusalem. Tickets are still available and range from 120 NIS – 1800 NIS.
The Solomon Brothers are having a Sukkot show and release of their new album “Geula” on Motzei Shabbat, October 15 at Nocturno on Betzalel Street. Early-bird tickets are 55 NIS, or 65 NIS on the night and doors open at 9pm.
Sukkot Museum Tours & Activities
Nachliel Selavan, affectionately known as “The Museum Guy” is offering a special Tishrei Tour at the Israel Museum, examining Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Simchat Torah through the Jewish Art and Archaeology and exploring the connections between the agriculture, history and Torah-readings of this special holiday-rich period of time. Nachliel’s tours are incredibly popular so sign up early to avoid missing out!
No visit to Israel is complete without a trip to the Herzl Museum, where you’ll learn about Zionism and the early years of the State as you follow the characters around Har Herzl. A new exhibition has just opened called Altneuland, celebrating the 120th anniversary since the publication of Herzl’s utopian novel. For the first time ever you can view of the original manuscript of his work in Herzl’s study where it was actually written. Plus, there are a range of different family packages for everyone to enjoy.
The Bible Lands Museum is a hidden gem in Jerusalem. This sukkot they are inviting families to take a closer look at wall art in their collection with a guided tour full of games and surprises. You’ll even be encouraged to try your hand at various decoration and painting techniques using the walls of the museum as your canvas!
The Bloomfield Science Museum is celebrating it’s 30th anniversary this year, with an amazing array of birthday-themed, science-based, hands-on exhibitions and activities for all the family. Over chol hamoed they have a special performance of “Birthday Bubbles”, an awesome display of different soap bubbles created live by bubble artist and physicist Romi Shamai.
For all you history lovers, the Old Yishuv Museum invites you to step inside the by-gone world of the Old Jewish Settlement. Experience the daily lives of the residents living inside the walls of Jerusalem from the 18th century Ottoman period until the Old City’s fall in 1948. Over chol hamoed, they have guided tours at 11am and 2pm. There is also a special performance of the show “The Last Shidduch of Chaya Gittel” (in Hebrew) at 12 noon between Tuesday October 11 – Thursday October 13. Family tickets are 50 NIS and include entry to the museum exhibits.
This Sukkot the Museum of Islamic Art is hosting daily workshops, guided tours for the whole family and children’s tickets are just 20 NIS! They also have two incredible escape rooms for younger and older kids.
The Museum of Italian Jewish Art in the center of town. It is the only museum that collects original artistic objects and documentation from all the Jewish communities throughout Italy. Though its unique treasures, images and artifacts, the museum’s collection recreates the richness of Jewish life in Italy throughout the ages. This is a place to stop and visit with older children.
Sukkot is the perfect time of year to visit the Tower of David. With so much choice, this promises to be a really fun, family day out! They have musical performances, guided tours (in English and Hebrew) for the whole family, self-guided tours and games, plus their fabulous night shows projected every evening on the walls of the citadel!
Yvel invites you to come and enjoy a special tour of the world-renowned jewelry factory with wine tasting, an Israeli cheese buffet and live music. Explore the Megemaria Craft Center with artistry demonstrations. Enjoy guided tours in English of the Jewelry School and Yvel Design Center. You’ll end the tour at at the factory store where you can select the perfect holiday gift for yourself or a loved one. The factory is open between 10am -2pm daily over chol hamoed. You’ll need to reserve your tour ahead of time.
There are so many great sukkot activities that we can’t even possibly name them all. Keep an eye out for special Sukkot themed events. Choose from our featured art workshops, food workshops, adventure activities or experiential tours.
Where to eat?
If you are looking for a delicious and unique place to go out for dinner in Jerusalem this is it! The Veranda at the David Citadel Hotel is a delicious chef’s. The meat is Rav Rubin and it’s Shmitta LeChumra. Menu & Reservations here.
Have you heard of HAPPY FISH in Mamilla? It’s a fresh-fish and pasta gourmet chef restaurant, using the city’s freshest produce. Seasonal fish include Barramundi, Sea bream, Salmon, Red drum, Sea bass & Bass. Enjoy a magnificent meal with your family on the Mediterranean terrace above the Mamilla Avenue. Open for lunch and dinner. Book here.
PHOTO CREDIT – Studio Kliche Sun Printing Workshop