Children's kingdom

By Ann Goldberg, November 11, 2011

Holon, once famous only for its sand dunes, has now become known as children's paradise. Just a drive around the city will show you why. At crossroads you'll see models and sculptures of animals and cartoon characters, while large coloured murals decorate the school walls around town.

Story gardens have been set up in 13 parks around the city. Each one takes the theme of a popular children's tale and there are models and sculptures depicting scenes from the story. The story is read aloud to the children, who can then wander among the characters and scenes from the book.

A modern library is part of multi-purpose mediatheque centre and now, instead of being scorned by locals, the town draws in children from neighbouring areas, all wanting to join in the activities .

Perhaps the most popular place for children of all ages is the Children's Museum complex in Peres Park. Here you have a spacious landscape to play in, complete with boating lake and three activities, each one innovative in its content.

Noa Giladi, a spokesperson for the complex, explains that the main section for young children has a variety of pastimes, including interactive story paths where the children meet all sorts of interesting characters and go off to investigate life in different areas.

There's a caterpillar who doesn't want to change into a butterfly, a cute owl-cat looking for new friends and a whole world of creatures from another planet.

Children enter right into the story and interact with all the characters and can even affect the outcome, while learning about the world around them.

There's also a journey to mend the kingdom of time which teaches the children how time is different in different parts of the world and why.

There are activities for children from the age of two and a half, but all visitors under eight years must be accompanied by an adult.

For older children and adults there are two very special experiences: Invitation to Silence and Dialogue in Darkness. These two activities, for over-nines only, introduce you to worlds you have never before been part of.

In Dialogue in Darkness, with the help of a blind guide and a stick, you are led through pitch dark, to experience life without sight.

You go shopping in the market, take a boat ride, buy drinks in a bar and experience several other everyday activities with all your senses except sight.

Invitation to Silence teaches you how to communicate without voice and sound. Using sign language, gestures and body language, you will learn how to deal with the frustrations of not being heard and not hearing what is going on around you.

Booking is essential for all three of the special activities in the Children's Museum complex. Call 00 972 3 6503010

Last updated: 4:09pm, November 11 2011