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 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 most popular sites in Jerusalem for all ages. It's considered a must-see for any visitor to Jerusalem. Walk along hidden parts of the Western Wall and learn about the history of Jerusalem for the last few thousand years! We can check availability starting from 4 months before tour date. Entrance fee for a private tour is approximately 350 shekels depending on size of the group. Stroller can only be brought on part of the tour, and a front baby carrier is recommended. (1 1/2 hours, inside). You can join a group tour of 35 participants, however there's nothing like a private tour just for your group. This tour is ideal for a Bar Mitzvah day.

 

2) Treasure hunt tour of the Jewish Quarter: we try to stay in the shade on hot days) 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, outside and inside)

 

3) Virtual Reality experience at the Kotel: "A Look Into the Past" ages 4 and up. 30 shekels per adult, 15 per child. This is a 15 minute VR in which you can look all around and feel as if you are walking into the Beit HaMikdash. (25 minutes inside including instructional video, picking up tickets).

 

4) Aish HaTorah: 15 shekels per adult, children under 13 are free. 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 Kotel and take some family pictures. (1 hour, inside and outside).

 

5) Game tour beside the walls of the Old City: learn about the ancient walls, building outside Yerushalayim, family friendly stories of War of Independence and the 6 Day War and hearing songs of Jerusalem. Can include Kever David - the traditional tomb of King David. (1 1/2 hour, outside, shady in the morning).

 

6) Herodian Quarter: See homes of Kohanim underneath the Jewish Quarter - mansions like Masada but right in Jerusalem and indoors. This site has stairs so strollers need to be left at the entrance. 14 shekels per adult/9 per child over 5. (1 hour, inside).

7) The Hurva Synagogue: a symbol of the return of the Jewish return to Jerusalem over the last 300 years.  (45 minutes inside and outside areas).

 

8) Davidson Center/Southern Excavations - game tour of the area around the corner of the Kotel and Southern steps. Learn more about Har Habayit, see evidence of the the destruction. (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 special Bat Mitzvah ceremony for your family at the Kotel.  

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 as of Feb 2020. Fees may vary. 

4 Hour Tours in the Summer:

Route A:

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

Route B:

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:

Route A:

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 

Route B:

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/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 indoor 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 tours at the  City of David.

5) Highlights of the Tower of David: (near Jaffa Gate) 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. Can continue from there on Ramparts to the Jewish Quarter. (20 shekels per adult, 13 per child, reservation required, 1 1/2 hours both inside and outside, involves one spiral staircase).

6) Ramparts. Ages 9 and up. We 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.(outside, 20 shekels pp.).

 

6)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, Chabad, and many more. 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 (Tzedkiyahu’s cave and more). 10 shekels pp donation to Ateret Cohanim to enter their sites. There are many sites in this area so a tour of this area can be ½ hour – 3 ½ hours, inside and outside.

 

4 Hour Summer Tour

Route A:

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

Route B:

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).

Herodian Quarter 

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).

These are sample itineraries. Your tour will be custom designed. Let us know what sounds best for your group.

© 2020 by Leah Bowman, Licensed Guide.