Special Tours for Bar and Bat Mitzvahs
Which tours are Good for Families with Young Children?
Here are some great sites that are fun and interesting for all ages and can also work well for groups with young children (under age five) or for anyone with walking limitations.
All tours have games, prizes, family friendly stories for young visitors. We have noted here the approximate length of time for each site and whether it's indoors or outdoors. For hot summer weather or rainy winter days, it's best to have at least half of the sites be indoor sites.
1) Private tour in the Kotel Tunnels led by Leah. The Western Wall Tunnels are one of the must-see sites in Jerusalem for all ages. Walk along hidden parts of the Western Wall and see remnants of the last few thousand years of the history of Jerusalem! Note: a stroller or wheelchair can only be brought on part of the tour. A front baby carrier is recommended when possible. You can join a group tour of 35 participants, however there's nothing like a private tour just for your group. Private tour is approximately 350 for the entrance fee, depending on the size of the group. This tour is ideal for a Bar Mitzvah day. (1 1/2 hours, indoors).
2) Treasure hunt tour of the Jewish Quarter: In this tour we will learn why this part of the Jewish Quarter has been a center for Jewish life in Jerusalem for about 750 years, what happened there in the modern wars, and what's hidden underneath. (1 1/2 hours but flexible, indoors and outdoors).
3) Virtual Reality experience at the Kotel: "A Look Into the Past" This is a 15 minute VR in which you can look all around and feel as if you are walking into ancient Jerusalem and the Beit HaMikdash (Temple). 30 shekels per adult, 15 per child for ages 4 and up. (25 minutes including instructional video, picking up tickets, indoors).
4) Aish HaTorah: Aish is a wonderful indoor location to tell a few stories about the Kotel and has a "box seat" view over the plaza. It's a great place to help the kids focus, and learn about the Western Wall, and take some beautiful family pictures. 15 shekels per adult, children under 13 are free. (1 hour, indoors and outdoors).
5) Game tour beside the walls of the Old City: learn about the ancient walls, building outside the Old City walls,and hear family friendly stories of War of Independence and the 6 Day War, enjoy the sounds of songs of Jerusalem. Tour can include a visit to Kever David - the traditional tomb of King David. (1 1/2 hour, outdoors, shady in the morning).
6) Herodian Quarter: See homes of Cohanim underneath today's Jewish Quarter. These homes are exquisite mansions like on Masada but they are conveniently located in Jerusalem. This site has some stairs and a revolving door exit, so strollers need to be left at the entrance. 14 shekels per adult, 9 shekels per child 5 and up. (1 hour, indoors).
7) The Hurva Synagogue: a symbol of the return of the Jewish return to Jerusalem over the last 300 years. See an amazing view from the rooftop balcony. 14 shekels per adult, 9 shekels per child 5 and up. (45 minutes, indoors and outdoors).
8) Davidson Center/Southern Excavations - game tour of the area around the corner of the Kotel and Southern steps. Must - see site for learning more about Har Habayit (the Temple Mount), seeing evidence of it's splendor and destruction by the Romans. 30 shekels per adult, 16 per child age 5 and up. (1 1/2 hours, mostly outside, shady after 5pm. This site is open until 7pm so we could start later if this site is included).
9) Bat Mitzvah tour: a tour including some of the above sites as well as a very meaningful Bat Mitzvah ceremony for your family at the Kotel. Ceremony includes inspiring ideas about why to celebrate a bat mitzvah at the Wall, a beautiful necklace, certificate signed by Rabbi of the Western Wall, note cards of the Western Wall Tunnels for the family and friends to write blessing to the bat mitzvah girl, candle sticks which the bat mitzvah girl decorates, tefillot and more.
Here are some popular itineraries for all ages. These are samples; the exact times depend on availability. Your tour is customized for you, so let us know what time, length of tour and sites sound best. All routes have some stairs but we will try to minimize the amount. It's possible to hire a golf cart for anyone with very limited mobility. Entrance fees listed are as of Feb 2020. Fees may vary.
4 Hour Tours in the Summer:
9:30am Meet at Jaffa Gate for Game Tour Beside Walls of the Old City
11:00 Snack break in Jewish Quarter
11:15 Treasure Hunt of the Jewish Quarter
12:00 Aish HaTorah Lookout
1:00 Virtual Reality "A Look Into the Past"
1:30 Tour ends at the Western Wall
2:30 pm Meet at the Western Wall Plaza for private tour of the Tunnels
4:00 Snack Break (bring your own for a picnic in a shady area)
4:15 Virtual Reality "A Look Into the Past"
4:45 Davidson Center/Southern Excavations
6:30 Tour ends at Dung Gate (near the Western Wall).
4 Hour Tours in the Winter:
9:30am Meet in the Jewish Quarter for Treasure Hunt Tour
11:00 am Snack Break
11:15 Aish HaTorah
12:15 Herodian Quarter
1:00 Virtual Reality "A Look into the Past"
1:30 Tour Ends at the Western Wall Plaza
1:00pm Meet at the Western Wall Plaza for a private tour of the Tunnels
2:30 Virtual Reality "A Look Into the Past"
3:00 Walk through Old City Market to Cardo in the Jewish Quarter
3:15 Snack Break in the Jewish Quarter
3:30 Jewish Quarter Treasure Hunt including either Hurva or 4 Sephardic Synagogues
5:00 Tour ends in the Jewish Quarter
Tour Options for Groups with Children or Teens Ages 5 and Older
Here are some sites that work well for good walkers in addition to the sites above which are good for all ages. All tours for kids under age 13 have the options of games, prizes, and of course family friendly stories. We have noted here the approximate length of time for each site and whether it's indoors or outdoors. For hot summer weather or rainy winter days, it's best to have at least half of the sites be inside sites.
1) City of David: The most popular site for families in Jerusalem! This is the best tour to truly connect to ancient Jerusalem and have a great time. See the detailed description of City of David tours at the City of David.
2) Highlights of the Tower of David: (near Jaffa Gate) see fascinating aspects of Jerusalem's history. We will go up to the tower for an incredible view of all of Yerushalayim, see a large model of Jerusalem from 1873 before the Jewish Quarter was destroyed by the Jordanians in 1948, see new excavations not generally open to the public with an emphasis on Jewish history in Jerusalem from 2700 years ago until the modern times. We can continue from there on Ramparts to the Jewish Quarter for additional small entrance fee. (Tower of David special price is 20 shekels per adult, 13 per child, reservation required, 1 1/2 hours both indoors and outdoors, involves one spiral staircase).
3) Ramparts: it's so exciting to walk on top of the walls of Jerusalem! We will start the Rampart walk at Jaffa Gate. There is one route that goes to the Jewish Quarter and another route that goes around the Christian and Muslim Quarters. Both have fascinating views. It's possible to do part of either direction. There is no shade on the Ramparts (so sunhats and a lot of water are key), and it's not possible to walk on them if it's raining. Ages 9 and up only. 20 shekels pp. (1/2 hour approximately, outdoors).
4)Jewish community of the Muslim Quarter (Ateret Cohanim): hear the fascinating history of Jewish buildings dating back to the 1860s when there was a large Jewish population throughout the Old City including Jews from Galicia, Morocco, Georgia, as well as Chabadnikim, Chasidim of many types, students of the Vilna Gaon, and others. 1,000 Jews have returned to these areas to live today. Tour can also include the Kotel HaKatan (Little Western Wall) and other interesting Jewish sites in the area such as Tzedkiyahu’s cave. 10 shekels pp donation to Ateret Cohanim to enter their sites. There are many sites in this area so tour length varies. (½ hour – 3 ½ hours, indoors and outdoors).
4 Hour Summer Tour
8:30am or 2:00pm Meet at the Western Wall for Introduction and Walk to the City of David
Tour of the City of David and Davidson/Southern Excavations.
Tour will end near the Western Wall
2:00 Meet at Jaffa Gate
2:15 Highlights of the Tower of David
3:45 Ramparts to Zion Gate
4:15 Zion Gate and Snack Break in Jewish Quarter
4:40 Treasure Hunt Tour Jewish Quarter
5:40 Virtual Reality "Look Into the Past"
6:00 Tour will finish at the Western Wall Plaza
Route C (off-the-beaten-path):
9:30 am Highlights of the Tower of David including new excavations of the "Kishle."
11:00 Snack break at the Tower of David
11:15 Ramparts to the Flower's Gate, Flower's Gate Playground (Ateret Cohanim),
Tzedkiyahu's Cave, and the Little Western Wall.
6 Hour Summer Tour
11am Meet at Jaffa Gate
Walk through the Old City Market to the Cardo
Jewish Quarter Treasure Hunt
12:30 Lunch in the Jewish Quarter
1:00 City of David and Davidson/Southern Excavations
5:00 Tour will end near the Western Wall
6 Hour Winter Route
9:30 am Meet at Jaffa Gate
Walk through the Jewish Quarter (can buy lunch in the Jewish Quarter like bagel sandwiches or something easy to carry to eat later).
Tour of City of David and Davidson/Southern Excavations (dry tunnels).
Picnic Lunch Break at the City of David
Virtual Reality "A Look into the Past".
3:30 Tour will end either at the Western Wall or Jaffa Gate.
8 Hour Tour Any Season
9:00am Meet at your hotel. Driver will take us to Yad Vashem (or can meet at Yad Vashem)
Tour of Yad Vashem and connecting path to Mt Herzl National Leaders cemetery.
Lunch in Mahane Yehuda Market
Driver to the City of David or Western Wall Tunnels.
(Options for 8 hour tour: Ammunition Hill about the 6 Day War, Underground Prisoner Memorial about the pre-state army, Jewish Music Experience - very international, Israel Museum with the Dead Sea Scrolls, Biblical Archaeology Wing and much more).
Above are sample itineraries. Your tour will be custom designed just for you!
Let us know what sounds best for your group.