Rishon LeZion – How Deep Do You Have to Dig?
Updated: Apr 22
That is the first question. The second question is “How long do you have to stand quietly to catch a good photo of ducks?”. Each question is relevant to the trip agenda. The first question was critical to the story of the city’s establishment. The second was critical to me in my role of nature loving blogger since I was the one standing.
Trip Itinerary Options
The Rishon LeZion Museum
Ne'ot Shikma Park
Yaacov Agam Museum
The Rishon LeZion Museum
You have my mom to thank for this gem. The thing is, that the museum is open for free on the first Saturday of each month with guided tours included. After going, my mom tried to schedule a visit with me and the grandchildren and I kept on postponing for various reasons. Finally, I made plans to go this past Saturday and thought that at least my younger daughter would be able to join, but then guess what, she told me that she had made plans to go out with some girls from class. What can I say? Friends are more important at the age of 12 so maybe I’ll return there with her next month.
Anyway, the museum reminded me of Amherst Museum in western NY only on a smaller scale. It’s an open air museum, which displays an original first settler’s home, fully furnished with a special exhibit of the clothes they wore. There is also an exhibit of what a classroom looked like in the 1880s and what several tradesmen shops looked like (blacksmith, pharmacy, photography shop etc.) . The city was established in 1882. The first school to teach children in Hebrew, called “Haviv” was in Rishon LeZion and stands opposite the museum. It’s active till today and you can see it and the first synagogue as well (included in the last photo).
Another exhibit pertains to the national anthem that was written by Naftali Herz Imber who lived in the home preserved within the museum. In the garden between the preserved homes, you can see a diligence cart and agricultural equipment.
An additional exhibit pertains to the centennial anniversary of the liberation of Rishon LeZion by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) from the Turkish Empire during WWI.
The question “How deep do you have to dig?” is related to the story about the well that the first settlers had to dig. It took them 7 months till they hit water and they wouldn't have been able to achieve it without funding and assistance from the Baron Edmond de Rothschild. You can visit the well and see a film about it within a short walk from the museum. On the way to the well don’t miss the displays of the ‘soda shop’ and ‘barber shop’ in the middle of the regular outside street. I’ve included the synagogue in this photo.
It’s always nice to go to a park after visiting a museum, even if it’s an open-air museum. Lake park is a free public park situated near the 'Superland' adventure park and 'Flybox' indoor-skydiving attraction. There are ducks and other water fowl so if you plan on coming, bring some bread although you can always buy some at the 'Yes Planet' cinema mall next door. The municipality has built a deck with gazibos over part of the lake and has paved a path with several benches on shore. It is very relaxing.
Ne'ot Shikma Park
I wanted to mention another park near the Yes Planet/Superland/Flybox area instead of lake park. In case you’re looking for a more conventional park with playgrounds and soccer action, this park is a short drive away. It’s even near an actual soccer stadium, which is another idea on how to spend Saturday afternoon. The municipality has placed an outdoor exhibition of nature photographs and paintings in the park so I found my animal and took a photo.
Yaacov Agam Museum
I first heard about the museum through another local blogger and friend called, Hadar Oknin. I’m linking to her post because as an attendee at the grand opening, she gave a more than decent review of the museum and artist.
You can enjoy a tour on your own. There are a number of interactive exhibits that enable you to change the design, color and music on the screen and are fun to explore. However, it is recommended to register for a guided tour, if possible. You need a group of 10-25 people. The guided tours are provided in a number of languages so it is worth planning your visit in advance.
This is the last park for today. I really wanted to mention it because it is an adorable park. The playgrounds include a number of installations related to the Hebrew language, so especially if your children are learning the language you can have fun recognizing letters and words. Starting from the entrance, the first section is for younger children. In the middle you have a nice fish pond with water lilies and more importantly, a café-restaurant. Finally, towards the end you have a huge array of sports instruments and gym equipment for all ages, but also a fun labyrinth for younger children that utilizes knowledge of Hebrew to both find your way in the labyrinth and tell a story. Every turn, you have to choose the correct missing work and turn left or right based on your choice. If you manage to complete the story correctly, you reach the periscope in the center that enables you to see outside the labyrinth. On Saturdays the place is quite full so in the past, I found parking in the opposite neighborhood and walked a bit.
Restaurants near the old town include: ‘Espressobar Rothschild’ , ‘Greg Café’, ‘Café Joe’, ‘Rothschild 12’, ‘Vamos’, ‘The Rothschild Hotel Bistro’, ‘Beer Garden Rishon LeZion’ and ‘Sakon Nakhon Thai Restaurant’.
Accommodation near Rishon LeZion includes: ‘Hotel House’, ‘Sadot Hotel’, ‘Leonardo Boutique Hotel’, ‘Dizengoff Circle Apartments’, ‘Leonardo Suite Tel-Aviv Bat-Yam’ and ‘Estate Spa Boutique Hotel’.
The options can fill a day or two easily.
This is what it looks like on the map:
By the way, what do you prefer, museums or parks?
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