Israel with Kids in Late December

Dec 5th, 2010, 02:02 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 30
Israel with Kids in Late December

Hello and thank you so much for any advice you can share. My husband and I are planning a trip to Israel and I would value any advice. We have three kids who are 3, 8 and 10. We arrive on Dec 21st and need to be in the Negev for a project from the 26th to the 30th and then in Eliat on the 2nd. I know these are high season and it may be tough to find good accomodations.

We arrive on a Tuesday and we plan to go to Jerusalem. How long should we stay and, will everything shut down on Friday and Saturday? If so, where would you suggest we go on Friday before needing to be in the Negev on Sunday the 26th?

Also, is it safe to rent a car or should we get a driver and guide to take us from Jerusalem to the Negev to Eliat?

I would love any thoughts or advice as this is very last minute and the more information the better.

Nagabro is offline  
Dec 5th, 2010, 03:18 PM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 270
Easy stuff first: 1. It is safe to rent a car and drive. I think the 3 year old needs a car seat--verify with the agency and let them know in advance.

2. There is a lot to do in Jerusalem on the Sabbath. The non-Kosher restaurants are open, many museums, the zoo etc. are all open. However, I don't see you in Tel Aviv and all and I think you should visit there too. Tel Aviv is definitly more open on Shabbat.

3. You are coming during peak season. I am very concerned that you will have difficulty getting a room reservation. I suggest you start looking on line ASAP--
Elkaz is offline  
Dec 5th, 2010, 03:35 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 412
It's absolutely safe to drive, but it's a fairly long maybe boring drive ,at least as far as Israel goes If you're coming from a big state or country, you may think it's short
Now if money is no concern, you may enjoy having a driver who can also point out sights along the way and stop for short periods even if you don't have the time for full tours.

I think that Jerusalem can be a little frustrating over Friday and Saturday. Yes there are some restaurants, but most are still closed even fast food places that your kids might want. Museums etc that are open (but through alternate entrances) on Saturday shut down early on Fridays so at this time of the year, by 1 pm you may have a hard time deciding how to fill the rest of the day. The weather could be relatively cold so outdoor activities can't be counted on . ALso there is no public transportation. I would stay in Jerusalem until Friday morning and then move over to Tel Aviv for the rest of Friday and Saturday. More to do and see and the temperature is typically somewhat warmer so it may be easier to stay outside

But you must see what hotels etc are available right now!
AlexA is offline  
Dec 6th, 2010, 09:28 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 30
I so appreciate your responses! Thank you. We need to scramble to get hhis booked!

1. Should we stay in tel aviv and do a day trip to jerusalem?

2. What neighborhoods do you recommend in both tel aviv and Jerusalem?

Nagabro is offline  
Dec 9th, 2010, 02:56 AM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 22
As per my opinion you should book your accommodation in advance as you are traveling with kids and that too in the peak season. You can easily do a day trip to Jerusalem from Tel aviv. So no issues if you plan to stay in Tel aviv. Quite agree what everyboy is saying that it is quite safe to drive in Jerusalem.

You will find many historical and religious sites in Jerusalem. Some of the famous attractions are Art Garden at Israel Museum, Joe Alon Center, Ethiopian Church, Emmaus Nicopolis Monastery , Mini Israel Park, Chagall Windows, St. John in the Desert Monastery and many more.
williams_R is offline  
Dec 9th, 2010, 06:47 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 157
I hope that you've had a chance to take care of making reservations.

I think that williams_r post needs a bit of clarification.

I don't think the question of driving in Jerusalem came up. Yes, it's safe but I wouldn't recommend having a car in Jerusalem. Traffic is difficult, there is a lot of construction and ever changing traffic patterns and parking is beyond challenging. I believe the initial question was regarding the safety of driving in Israel to which the answer is a resounding - yes, it's safe.

The list of attractions given is not a list of Jerusalem sites, but rather sites in many places. Of the places williams listed the Joe Alon Center is on the way to Beer Sheva and not in Jerusalem. The Emmaus Nicopolis Monastery is near Latrun as is Mini Israel. There is much to see both in Jerusalem and around the country.

As an addition to Elkaz, your 3 year old definitely needs a car seat - if you are not bringing one with you make sure you arrange for one from the rental agency.
Oreet is offline  
Dec 13th, 2010, 07:39 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 30
Hello All!

A giant thank you for the above information on cars, carseats and destinations. I am excited to say we got an apartment in Jerusalem that looks excellent and will not break the bank.

Our plan is to stay in Jerusalem from Dec 21st to Dec 26th and then go to a volunteer project in Tzukim, Negev Desert from the 26th to 30th. We have reservations at a resort in Eliat from the 2nd to the 9th.

Here's my question: where should we stay from the 30th to the 2nd (three nights). They don't all have to be in the same area. One thought would be to do any daytrips while in Jerusalem to the North and stay near the Dead Sea during two or three of these days but I don't know if this is a good idea.

I would love your thoughts/suggestions.

VERY appreciatively...

Nagabro is offline  
Dec 24th, 2010, 04:34 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 30
All... Thank you again! We are here in this fantastic city of Jerusalem and have seen and learned so much in just few days! Tomorrow we go tomthe Dead Sea and then Sunday wWe are headed to Tzukim, in the Negev Dessert and then on to Eliat.

Are any of the p,aces you mentioned above good places to stop at on the way or take a day trip from Eliat. Is Mitzpe Ramon worth a visit or are their other spots that come to mind?

Nagabro is offline  
Dec 24th, 2010, 07:29 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 429
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