fun things to do with kids dead sea north israel   Travel for Kids
Israel
  | Dead Sea region
     
   

Dead Sea - North

  Qumran National Park In ancient times, this was the site of a Jewish monastic community of the Essenes, and modern excavations have revealed the ruins of an Essene Monastery worth exploring. There is a visitor center (with cafeteria!) in the park that can tell you all about the Caves of the Dead Sea Scrolls. This park is a stone’s throw from Kibbutz Kalia.
      Caves of the Dead Sea Scrolls – While it’s unlikely you’ll stumble across another pot filled with ancient writings, it was just a few decades ago that the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in these caves. Actually, it wasn’t one find, but several – some found by monks, others by Bedouins, and some by archaeologists. Visit the Shrine of the Book in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem to see the Dead Sea Scrolls displayed.
      Tip: As with Masada, it’s not so much what you can see here as what was once here that makes the place interesting. Visit the Almog Kibbutz' Beit Hasofer Museum before coming to make this place really come to life. Get one of the books for kids about the discovery, significance, even the "look" of the Scrolls, made of animal skin "sheets" tied together in rolls up to 25 feet long. The Scrolls dealt with poetry, warfare, architecture, rituals – virtually every aspect of life.
    Kalia Kibbutz – Founded in 1968 in an oasis on the Dead Sea, this kibbutz is a working farm open to tourists. An excellent jumping-off spot to explore the area. Kalia has guest rooms, a large lap-style outdoor pool, and gives discount passes to area attractions such as the water park.
      Go riding – You don’t have to be an overnight guest to take time out from hoofing around archaeological treasures for a horseback ride. Helmets are provided on the guided tours through the desert (four make up a "tour group.") Tell kids to use a little imagination and feature themselves journeying through the 1st century.
      Pet a hyena? – Like petting zoos around the world, the Kibbutz version offers kids a chance to pet and feed animals, such as deer, goats, donkeys – even hyenas!
      Black mud and pebble beach – Across from the Kalia Kibbutz you’ll also find a pebble beach and that therapeutic Dead Sea black mud if you’re inclined to slather yourself into beautiful skin while the kids are whooping it up next door at the water park.
    Almog Kibbutz – With "suite" type guest rooms, this kibbutz opens the doors of its museum to day-trippers and overnight guests alike, and offers camel tours. There's also a modestly priced cafeteria.
      Beit Hasofer Museum – The "House of the Scribe" Museum features the story of how the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. An audio visual show covering 9,000 years of the region and fantastic replicas of the scrolls make the story come alive for kids of all ages.
    Metzoke Dragot – What makes this kibbutz a little unusual are the rock climbing and rappelling courses offered. May be just the thing for older kids and especially athletic adults who want to lace on their hiking boots for an adrenaline rush. The Desert Touring Center is the best place to get oriented.
    Ein Feshkha (Einot Tzukim) Beach – There are plenty of beaches around the Dead Sea, but don’t miss these five kilometers of lush nature reserve on the north shore. What makes it really special are the gushing sweet waters that run into artificial pools big enough to swim in – a wonderful contrast from the heavy salt water of the Sea.
kids books israel
     
The Mystery of the Dead Sea Scrolls  
The Mystery of the Dead Sea Scrolls
Hagit Allon, Lena Zehavi, Yossi Abolafia

Before you visit the Qumran National Park, find out about the Dead Sea Scrolls, genuine fragments the Bible written on parchment scrolls 2,000 years ago – how the scrolls were discovered, who wrote the books, daily life in the desert community, how archaeologists and scholars have put together all the pieces. (Chapter book, illustrations)

 

(More children's books on other Israel pages)

 

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