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Apr 21, 2010 10:19 PM

Israel - Family trip. Help!!

My fellow Chowhounds.

I am finally taking my entire family on the big Israel trip. we will be there G-d willing around the Shavuot holiday for 3 weeks. I've been to Israel many many times and I know some of my favorite haunts, but this time I'm going with my kids (ages 9,8,6) and i need some better and current info.

We are planning on being for an extended period of time in Jerusalem (of course) and

Tzfas (Safed)


and Tel Aviv area.

with side trips along the way (dead sea, masada)

and a 2 day trip to Eilat.

I request accurate, up to date info on Glatt Mehadrin (only) places in the above cities. I think I'm covered for Jerusalem, or I'll look at previous posts, especially the ones about best breakfast places and Papagayo... i'm mainly concerned about Tzfas, Tveria, Tel Aviv and Eilat. but i'll take any thoughts you have to make the experience better.

Specifically re Eilat, are there any mehadrin hotels or restaurants?

We will be in Tzfas for Shabbat, besides Rimonim hotel, any other recommendations?

Is there a shabbat eatery (prepaid) in the old city if Jerusalem?

Also, if anyone can give me some ideas of something special to do with the kids, I'm looking for a unique Israeli Jewish experience (ie diaspora museum, camel rides etc.) I would greatly appreciate it.

I realize i'm asking a lot, but, who else can i turn to but all you hounds here, and hopefully I have earned your help.

In Addition, as we are coming into the Summer travel season, perhaps this can be of assistance to others that will be going.

My heartfelt thanks.

The Fresser

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  1. How old are your kids and have they been to Israel yet?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Pluckyduk8

      check e for up to date listings and they also give the kashrut level. Unless there has been a recent change, I dont think there is anything prepaid in J'lem other than hotels, which gets pricey with 5 of you. If you have a fridge, best bet would be to load up at Machane Yehuda.

    2. We were in Israel when our child was 5. She was an awesome traveller but the reality is that we ate a lot more pizza, falafel, and schnitzel than we would have had we been alone. Your experience may be similar.

      We were in Tzfat just before Shabbat so I can't tell you much there other than Shabbat in Tzfat is on my "things to do" list. We ended up having dinner with the inkeeper's family in a cavern-like pizzeria whose name I probably never knew. Breakfast was a quick run to bakery to pick up whatever looked good.

      In Tveria we randomly chose one of the fish restaurants by the lake. Aside from being a happy pescivore my child was entertained no end by the cats that roam freely in and out of the restaurants.

      The food - other than shopping regularly at Machane Yehudah and the Carmel market in Tel Aviv - was not really so much a highlight of the trip. Since it was a first trip for me and the Offspring (fourth for The Spouse) we chose to focus our sightseeing on the major tourist sites, ie. the Kotel, Israel Museum, Masada, the usual suspects. Because our child was so young we obviously skipped Yad Vashem. A big hit was the zoo in Jerusalem and the beach in Tel Aviv. And, as the kid was going through a fascination with the Bet Hamikdash at the time, we made repeated trips to the model of the menorah in the Cardo and spent quite a bit of time at the scaled-down reconstruction of the city at the Museum. Kabbalat Shabbat at the Kotel is something I hope my child will never forget. Since you'll be in Tel Aviv, Rechovot is quite close. The children's science museum at the Weizman Institute was a very successful stop. We couldn't make the tunnel tour in the Old City (book way in advance) but the kids might find that fun. We decided to put off on touring the military historical sites for another trip.

      Flexibility is the most important thing to remember when travelling with children. Frequent stops for drinks and rest, the occasional stop at a playground, and the willingness to eat just one more slice of so-so pizza will make the trip so much more enjoyable for everyone. Oh yes, and we all got a big kick out of eating at a kosher McDonald's. The Spouse still has the wrapper from the McKebab sandwich he ordered.

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          1. I cant tell you all, how much I appreciate all your advice. Thanks