Caesarea is an amazing archeological site along the sea; the theatre and hippodrome can greatly ignite the imagination of young visitors. The port is interesting in itself and has some great holograms and interactive displays to engage people in the history of the place; there is also a short movie to explain the history. Let's not forget to mention the yummy places to dine and the beach and aquaduct right up the street! Some of the beaches are undeveloped but clean, with lots of sand and the kids can climb up and walk on the aqueduct. Sidenote: you need a car to really see this area properly.
The underground Crusader city is simply fascinating! The escape tunnels are especially interesting to children and you come out in the middle of the arab market. Lunch at the port, right on the water is reasonably priced and very appealing to kids.
Right on the Lebanese border, you take a cable car down to visit the grottos carved out of the chalk cliffs. Kids will LOVE it!
Safed is a mountain top town that is the centre of Kabbalah study in Israel. The most fascinating old part of the town has synagogues that are hundreds of years old and an impressive artists' quarter. Sidenot: wear comfortable shoes as there are lots of climbing up and down. Safed does not have any children centered activities but is still a great place to stop and see!
Kfar Tavor Marzipan Museum
Try something really different with the kids and take them to this kibbutz. This part of Israel grows almonds which make up the marzipan made here. Families can visit the factory, see the exhibits (sculptures made out of marzipan) and best of all can take a family workshop to make their own marzipan and chocolate treats. The visit could take 2 hours and children must be a minimum age of 3. There is also a winery at this location for grown ups. Sidenote: the musuem is open on Shabbat and can be packed; book ahead Tel - 972(0)4-6772111; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Located near Nazareth, this park offers activities that have been practiced in the region for thousands of years. Children will be involved in activities that include the production of household staples such as milk, wool, and bread, connecting these tangible experiences with the values from the time of the Bible and the Mishnah. This site is a Jewish site (all food is kosher and it is not open on Shabbat) but they welcome and host Christian and Moslem visitors. Activities should be ordered in advance. http://k-k.co.il/
THE FAR NORTH (ETZBA HAGALIL)- NORTH OF THE SEA OF GALILEE
This area is sandwiched in between Lebanon and the Syria is a fantastic area to visit. A great place to stay is at Kibbutz Kfar Blum which has an outstanding hotel right on the Jordan River with an Olympic sized pool, gardens and a promenade along the Jordan.
The Jordan River Promenade
Also known as Shvil Ami, or Ami's Trail. A wonderful, level, paved walkway. It runs between Kibbutz Sde Nehemia and Kibbutz Kfar Blum. If you are staying overnight at Kfar Blum, you can access the promenade from inside the kibbutz. Otherwise, continue south to the junction with 9779 (a kilometer or so) and turn right (west). Turn right into Sde Nehemia and park in the lot. Then walk a few meters back to the main road and turn right at the corner to begin your jaunt - a one-kilometer trek that ends at the outskirts of Kfar Blum. You can run along this promenade, take a brisk walk, or enjoy a leisurely stroll above the water. Enjoy well- kept lawns, paths down to the river, and the sight of kayaks moving gracefully through the stream. The walkway is studded with biblical quotes, all connected to crossing the Jordan River.
Kfar Blum Kayak adventure park
With a rope course, river rafting (called Kayaks in Israel), a zip line into the Jordan and other kid’s activities. This park is only open in the summer months. http://www.israeltraveler.org/en/business/top-roop-kayak-village-bloom Nearby, in the town of Kiryat Shemona are the Manara Cliffs. Here there is a cable car to take you to the top of the Naphtali Ridge for a view of the whole Hula Valley. From there you can take a cart on a concrete slide, jump on the bungee trampolines, or rent mountain bikes….lots of kid related activities.
Moshav Beit Hillel- the Kurlander Farm
This family farm offers tours and activities of a working dairy farm which include: milk production, feeding the cows, bottle feeding the calves, making chocolate milk. The Kurlender farm also produces organic olive oil, organic citrus fruits and pomegranates. Visits to the orchards and olive groves can be arranged. Kurlender Farm tours are held at 12:00 and 19:00. http://www.kurlender.co.il/#!vstc0=english
Which is a nature preserve for the migrating birds but has other animals too. Here you can rent regular bikes, family bikes that seat 3 or 4, rent golf carts to take you around, or take a safari bus through the preserve to view the wildlife. For school age kids, the bike option is, in my opinion, the way to go. Gives the kids a chance to really get out and experience natural Israel. Lots of Israeli schools visit this site and it caters to children. Agmon HaHula also offers an excellent night tour where you can see the birds roosting in the trees, many birds flying around (especially owls), wildcats hunting, reptiles, crabs, etc. The night tour is followed by a fire and snacks for the family. Highly recommend. http://www.agamon-hula.co.il/?lang=en_US
Nahal Senir National Park
is a fun family hike, through the Snir River. The Snir river, also known as the Hatsbani river, is the longest of the Jordan river tributaries. The walk takes you through the water, over stones and tree roots, past waterfalls and rushing water in the Snir river. The water can reach your knees, and parts of the trail require the use of handholds. The handholds ensure that you don’t slip, and are not difficult at all. The hike is 1.5 hours long, at an easy pace. This is a great hike and almost no tourists are here, mainly Israeli families.
Tel Dan National Park- Dan Springs and the biblical city The Tel Dan Nature Reserve
is a kind of wonderland: Streams flow everywhere into a wild river and tall trees provide welcome shade even on the hottest summer afternoon. Although the size of the reserve is about 120 acres, it features three varied trails, one of which is partially wheelchair-accessible. The trail passes along streams, the river, and through a shady tangle of trees. Farther along the trail is a flour mill that operated until 1948, and the ruins of the Canaanite city of Laish, which was captured by the tribe of Dan during the period of the Judges. With trail names like ‘The Garden of Eden’ and the Pistacchio Tree Lookout, this is a wonderful place for kids to explore.
Banias National Park
The Banias Spring emerges at the foot of Mount Hermon and flows powerfully through a canyon for 3.5 km, eventually leading to the Banias Waterfall, the most impressive cascade in Israel. A stepped path near the spring climbs to the Banias Cave. Remains of a temple built by Herod the Great stand in front of the cave. After Herod’s death, his son Philip inherited this area, and in 2 BCE Philip founded his capital near the Banias Spring, calling it Caesarea Philippi. Caesarea Philippi became an important Christian pilgrimage destination as the place where Jesus asked the disciples who people said he was. A 45-minute loop trail passes Roman- and Crusader-period sites. The marked trail to the waterfall takes about 90 minutes. About 150 m along that trail, it crosses the Govta Stream under a Roman bridge. It continues to the hydroelectric power station and the reconstructed, water-powered Matroof flour mill, where Druze pita with labaneh (goat cheese) is for sale. The walk to and from the waterfall does take 3 hours and at the waterfall there is a trail that ‘overhangs’ the river. You can do the shorter walking trail from the springs (45 minutes) return to the parking lot and then drive to the waterfall entrance and do the overhang trail (the trail is built into the side of the rock and is suspended over the water in places) there and see the falls. There are ice-cream and snack shops located at the parking lots of both entrances.
The fortress was built around 1229 by Al-Aziz Uthman, nephew of Saladin. Today, visitors can explore the excavated and restored portions of the fortress. The entrance is from the east, and the first section contains "secret corridors" — winding staircases and underground water cisterns with some of the original plaster still visible. The central part, which is accessible by a path within the fortress, contains the remains of a Keep surrounded by large rectangular towers. In the western section, there are the remains of a fortress within a fortress, which was protected by its own moat and drawbridge. This is the oldest part of the castle, which was built first. The park entrance is located on Route 989 between Kiryat Shmona and Mount Hermon, about thirty minutes east of Kiryat Shmona. Really fun for kids to explore and magnificent views of the valley.
Situated 3 kilometers above Moshav Ramot overlooking the Sea of Galilee, Ramot Ranch has spectacular views of the Golan Heights. Ramot Ranch is the largest riding establishment in the North of Israel. The Appaloosa horses are exceptionally well trained and are absolutely appropriate for beginner riders. The ranch offers a wide variety of activities for individuals, families and larger groups. Excellent reputation for trail rides and accommodating children. The sunset trail ride overlooking the Kinneret is something very special.
Hamat Gader (meaning "hot springs of Gadara") is located in the Yarmuk River valley, 3 miles east of the Sea of Galilee. There are several mineral springs in the valley, with waters of up to 50º C. These hot springs date back to the Roman times and are wonderful for the mindand body. The pools have massage beds and waterfalls right in them. Also at this location is an alligator and crocodile farm and collection of exotic birds. An overall great place for a family to visit.
Hatzbani Nature Tours
These awesome Jeep tours range from 2 hours up to 2 days. The tours include crossing rivers, tours in the Golan Heights over the basalt soil on the western Golan slopes, through the abandoned Syrian posts, visiting waterfalls and observation of the Hula valley below. It is possible to have meals with picnic baskets, set up a campfire picnic, sing along, staff management activities, games and navigation competitions with secret codes.
This site in the Golan Heights gives children a chance to get the idea of how close other countries are. From this overlook you can see right into Syria, including the city of Kuneitra in the distance. By turning around, the Hula valley to Lebanon is visible. The site itself was a strategic military location with hard fought battles taking place here. The bunkers are still here and are accessible.
Kids will enjoy exploring the underground labyrinth of the bunkers and the above ground trenches. Whimsical sculptures line the entrance to the site, all made of tank parts.
There is a coffee shop and washrooms on site and often locals are selling fresh fruit at the roadside. This is a must-see site for anyone visiting the Golan.
Located near Katzrin, this site features a reconstructed synagogue and village from Talmudic times including a house furnished with domestic artifacts of the period. An explanatory film is aimed at children. Lots of room to explore and learn. Well worth a visit.
Derech Hapri (the Fruit Way)
This factory is situated on Kibbutz Merom Golan on the northern side of the Golan Height. It offers a 45 minute tour of the apple packing factory, great for the whole family! Note that they are only open Sunday through Thursday and you must call to reserve a place 04-6961988. In addition to Kibbutz Kfar Blum (evening children’s activities in the summer months), Kibbutz HaGoshrim (evening children’s activities during the summer months and indoor pool in the winter) and Kibbutz Giladi also have hotels. In addition there are many bed and breakfast style places called zimmers. They are available in many price ranges. Check first to ensure they take children, some of the bed and breakfast places (especially in Rosh Pina) cater to couples.