Many of us have enjoyed almost a full week of interesting and fun Sukkot activities, but believe it or not, there are still plenty of worthwhile events taking place out in nature this weekend. Here are a few of the best.
At Moshav Nir Moshe’s Spice Route, you can spend the whole day trying to find your way through Miriam’s Maze, where kids will enjoy discovering the hidden lulav, etrog, hadassim and aravot. Over the weekend before Simhat Torah, everyone is invited to participate in the Four Species Tour, which is full of unique scents, tastes and colors. Do you think you know your spices? Now’s the time to discover what each spice looks like while it’s still growing in the ground. There will be workshops to prepare little packets of spices and herbs, and lots of stories about the holidays. Location: Miriam’s Maze, Moshav Nir Moshe, Plot 26.
Dates: October 18-20. Tours will take place at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. There will also be a night tour (don’t forget your flashlights).
Price: NIS 32 from age 4.
SUKKOT AT NEOT KEDUMIM
The staff at Park Neot Kedumim can’t wait for you to come see their incredible sukkah exhibition, which is definitely the most unique collection of Sukkot in the whole world. At the Biblical Experience at Neot Kedumim, you can view all 20 sukkot, each one more interesting than the next. For example, there’s a sukkah in a tree, a round sukkah, a sukkah on top of another sukkah, a tiny sukkah the size of a doghouse, and a sukkah on a boat, just to name a few.
As your guide leads you on a walk to the sukkot, you’ll learn all about the holiday, the autumnal harvest season, how Jews used to preserve food in ancient times, and the weight measurements they used.
There will also be special performances and art projects for the kids.
Location: Park Neot Kedumim, near Ben-Shemen Forest.
Date: October 18, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Price: NIS 45 from age 3.
Details: (08) 977-0770, www.n-k.org.il
At the Tzaban Farm on Moshav Tal Shahar, you’ll find Iza Pziza, a small family goat cheese dairy where everyone in the family can learn where milk comes from. Inside the sukkah, you can learn from Dror Tzaban why he arrived home one day with 25 kid goats, how people discovered that you can make cheese from milk, and if it’s really true that brown goats make chocolate milk.
There will be workshops, short films about the dairy farm, milk production and the Tzaban family’s history. Guests will also learn how to make Cherkesi cheese and will get to take home one liter of whichever cheese you make. You can take a tour of the goat pen, go inside the petting zoo and even feed the goats.
Dates: October 20 & 22. Workshops will take place at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. (preregistration required) and last 90-120 minutes.
Price: NIS 36 per person + NIS 40 for each cheese.
Registration: (08) 610-2876, www.izapzizadairy.com
Alon Hagalil’s Yiftah’el Winery invites the public to come share in its annual fall Sukkot grape harvest. Participants will learn all the stages of wine-making from picking the grapes until the wine gets bottled. Guests get to pick grapes and then out in the shade of the eucalyptus trees make a bottle of sweet grape juice by squeezing the juice from the grapes, filtering it and then pouring it into a small bottle and adding a cork and a personalized label.
Afterwards, inside the visitor center, guests can watch a short film and then kids get to play in the gymboree, while the adults go inside for a wine tasting and to nibble on the delectable cheeses and honey made on a local dairy farm.
Dates: October 18-21 or until grapes are all picked (best to call ahead), 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Price: NIS 45 (chaperone NIS 30). Cheese, coffee and drinks are extra. Details: 052-464-1849, 052-464-1850
Yossi Ben-Udys, the owner of Hatraklin Bistro and Master Market, will be offering festive Seven Species tours of the Carmel Market throughout Sukkot. Guests will visit a number of stalls in the market where they will stop and taste samples of the Seven Species. During the two and a half hour tour, participants will taste boutique beers (wheat and barley), Israeli wine (grapes), stop at a stall selling fragrant spices, learn all about figs, drink a pomegranate shake, taste some of the best hummus and malabi for dessert made from honey and dates.
Dates: Until October 30.
Price: NIS 250. Registration: www.facebook.com/mstrmarket/
HATSEVA FIELD SCHOOL
Sukkot, which is also known as the Harvest Festival, takes place in the fall when the weather is finally cooling off. The Hatseva Field School in the Arava has planned a variety of activities and hikes in the desert, such as to Nahal Gidron, which is appropriate for families with small kids. Participants will learn all about the animals that live out in the desert, as well as the unique vegetation that grows there. Best to wear closed shoes and bring hats and water for hike.
Location: Hatseva Field School.
Length: 2.5 hours.
Dates: October 19 & 21, 9 a.m.
Price: Children 3-14 NIS 40; adults NIS 30.
Details: (08) 658-1546/576
The last weekend of Hol Hamoed is the perfect time to enjoy a trip out into nature. The Yarkon River area in central Israel, known as the “Green lung of Gush Dan” is home to a number of wonderful nature reserves. One of them is Hanofarim Pool, which is located near the Yarkon Springs. The 100-meter long pool is surrounded by lush greenery, reeds and willow trees. There are lots of beautiful yellow waterlilies growing in the pool.
Directions: Drive on Road 483 toward Tel Afek National Park. Pass by the entrance to the park and continue driving on the dirt road. Park in the parking area next to the fence. It’s a 600-meter walk to the pool from there.
Price: Entrance is free.