A man asked online what he could do with his (almost) 12 year old daughter while visiting Jerusalem this summer on a low budget. Here are the 5-that-became-8 suggestions I gave him. Write your suggestions in the comments:

1. The Israel Museum free days for kids


Children and teens are free every Tuesday and Saturday of the year. In the summer the days with free entrance for kids are extended. Here is the page that will get updated with that info. By the way, adults are not so cheap (54NIS) but there are free days for us old folk too once in a while.

2. The Jerusalem Bird Observatory

One of the less visited destinations in Jerusalem, it’s a great way to learn about the migration of birds through Israel (it’s a whole fascinating thing) and learn how people care for them as they fly through Israel. http://natureisrael.org/JBO

3. Shabbat in Jerusalem

Spend at least one Shabbat in Jerusalem. Do Kabbalat Shabbat at the Western Wall. Find out if the choir is performing at the Great Synagogue – I’ve taken kids who LOVED it – and try to hear them. Every Saturday (almost) from 10am to 1pm (approximately) there is a free English tour given through the Jerusalem Municipality. And then you can go back to the Kotel for the end of Shabbat which is quite beautiful (and people give out seuda shlishit – the third meal of Shabbat).

4. Use the audio and self guided walking tours of the Old City of Jerusalem

Check out both the self guided tours (written) and the audio tours (for which you’ll need an audio device like a cell phone as you go) for all over the Old City of Jerusalem. They’re all free.

5. Walk around and eat in the Mahane Yehuda Shuk

Go to the shuk hungry and taste whatever seems interesting or yummy. Like interesting juices (my favorite is apple ginger), a pasta bar (quite cheap), kubeh soup (keep it for the end if you don’t eat milk after meat), interesting flavored ice cream and LOTS more. And isn’t it a blast that everything is kosher?

6. Go to the top of the YMCA building


It is 20NIS per person and you can walk up the stairs or take the elevator and there is a 360 degree view of the city. Spectacular! Try this link for info but double check that the details are up to date.

(The photo at the top of this post was taken the day that a man played music on the bells in the YMCA tower. It was really beautiful and, of course free.)

7. Municipality events

Throughout the year there are official cultural events by the municipality and they are almost always either free or include free events in them. For example:

Jerusalem Opera Festival (includes some free events)

Jerusalem Festival of Lights (is free)

International Klezmer Festival

(I’m not linking to them because they don’t yet have up to date information.)

8. And for food…

And whenever you need or want to eat out, go to Aroma. It is delicious, fresh, very Israeli style and quite cheap!

What would you suggest for this guy and his daughter to do in Jerusalem this summer for cheap? Write your suggestions in the comments.