On the other side of the Emek Refaim valley – not to be confused with the well known street of the same name – across from the zoo, is the Ein Yael Living Museum (also and formerly known as Ein Yael Active Museum). It is a step back in time with a Roman Road, Song Of Songs plantation, ancient terraces and agricultural equipment, period actors, orchards, farm animals and hands on craft activities. Explore and wander through the remains of a Roman villa and the ancient public baths. It is immensely popular with children and its summer camps are some of the most sought out in town. There is also plenty of interest for adults, and families can take part in these workshops and events.
Ein Yael is a beautiful outdoor museum that offers an attractive and charming mix of nature and history. It has many hands-on craft activities, such as paper making and mosaic building. Children love it. The can also pet and get close to the animals. You may prefer that they don’t visit in their brand new souvenir T-shirts.
Given the right season, guests can enjoy the rare experience of producing olive oil (the ancient way, of course) and then gathering spice plants to scents and perfumes with the oil. The museum also offers tours to the wine press where guests will learn about the ancient process of winemaking, which also involves the use of the ancient winemaking tools and methods.
Here are some of the following crafts and workshops offered by Ein Yael Living Museum:
- The making of musical instruments
- Fresco paintings
- Weaving baskets
- Mosaic workshops
- Pottery classes
- Baking pita bread in the outdoors
Ein Yael holds several special events such as the Spring Festival (Passover), New Fruit Shavuot Festival, Yom Haatzmaut, Summer Festival, Succot Festival, Hanukkah Festival, and many others. It also holds summer and pre-Pesach camps for the kids who can enjoy making ancient crafts.
With its beautiful outdoor setting, Ein Yael can also function as an events place where people can hold weddings, birthdays, bar mitzvahs, and a lot more.
The place is pretty much geared to locals; but you will find that most of the staff speak English; and that the children pick up the principles pretty quickly. It is worth the effort because it is such a special place.
Sunday to Thursday – 08:30 to 15:30
It is not open daily during of the off-season, so it is best to confirm the opening hours and special programs by calling 02-6451866 or by e-mail at email@example.com before you visit.
For the very good walkers amongst us Ein Yael is accessible by public transport from Malcha shopping center or from the zoo; however, it is most accessible by car or taxi. It will seem a very long hot walk just to get there in the summer – and remember you will send the entire visit scrambling over the terrain inside Ein Yael. (It is easier to get there by public transport as it is downhill and, towards evening, considerably cooler).
Check out their website (in Hebrew only) – www.einyael.co.il