Beit Shemesh & Modi’in: A Trip with Kids on a Hot Day
Updated: Apr 22, 2020
It was very hot this week, so when the kids were out on the Shavuot holiday break, I made the best of it by arranging a day with air-conditioning and wet activities.
Trip Itinerary Options
Israel Police Heritage Center in Beit Shemesh
Anava Park Modi’in
Modiin Azrieli Mall
The police heritage center is much nicer than it sounds. It opened in 2015 and I’d only recently heard of it so it was waiting on my to-do list for an opportunity. What I didn’t know and only found out when calling them, was that it was free of charge. I came with two 12 year-olds and a friend of mine. You’re supposed to reserve a tour in advance and as luck would have it, when I called, I was requested to join an existing scheduled group tour. We arrived a bit early and while we were waiting for the group, we had time to try out police uniforms and take photos next to a display of police vehicles. The girls enjoyed it immensely and were happy to continue with the tour.
The tour started out with a film that is designed to explain the importance of police-work. It’s a bit for younger children, but no one complained. For tourists the film is available with English sub-titles. We then entered the exhibit halls with our tour guide, who happened to be absolutely wonderful. He remembered so many details and was so enthusiastic when telling about how the police force evolved that it was really interesting. Jewish policemen in Israel can be traced back to a group of guardsmen who called themselves the ‘Bar Giora’ organization in 1907, which was during the Ottoman empire’s rule. However, one of the things that impressed me was the fact that during the British mandate, the Jewish policemen were trained according to British methods and since the British invented professional policing, it explains why the police force in Israel functioned so well once the state was established.
The exhibit itself is quite impressive. There are quite a few original objects of interest such as the very first police entry after the State of Israel was established or the file compiled by the police for the Eichmann trial as well as photos, uniforms and equipment from different periods. The plaques are bilingual and there is even an option for a self-guided audio-tour, but the guide was so amazing that I wouldn’t exchange him. During the tour you get to see another film that is actually an action movie portraying real policemen from the special units during an operation and is of more interest to adults. It’s not in English, but you can follow the scenes with ease.
We concluded our visit, by a brief visit to the memorial hall, dedicated to all the policemen who lost their lives in various operations. It has a digital library with information on each and every one, and has a unique statue of lights with the ‘Yizkor’ prayer in the shape of the State of Israel.
This is what got the girls on board with the trip in the first place. The park usually has rowing boats in the pond on top of the jungle gym and water fountains, but they weren’t available. If someone is waiting for the summer to arrive to take the boats out, I have information for them. It’s here! The fountains turned out to be a savior and by the time the girls sampled the zipline and jungle gym, we were ready for lunch. There are two café’s in the park. One is undergoing renovation and the other is a bit further away from the playground so we decided to go to the next door mall.
The mall is also within walking distance from the park, though we drove since I knew we’d want to continue from there. I was on a waiting list for a tour to a dairy farm that was supposed to take place in the afternoon, but that didn’t work out. We could have ended the day with a movie, but after lunch, preferred to go home.
For additional ideas, my two nearest trips were the following:
You are welcome to look at my ‘Best B&B’ page.
The trip took half a day starting from 10:00-16:00.
This is what it looks like on the map:
If you think about it, this trip was suitable for hot weather and cheap. Sometimes simple solutions are best. We all had a great time!
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