Baby Buzz Recommends: Top Places to Tour with Kids
Do you have little ones at home? Challenging, sleepless nights, hours being held and a dream of one day being able to sit alone yet again. It’s unlikely that the first thing you’re thinking of as a weekend outing is a hike in nature or camping trip. But, when you do it, you’ll discover that the crash of water and the chirping of birds, vast expanses and blue skies serve as the perfect background for a family outing with little ones.
Choosing your hiking trail is extremely important, so that you ensure that all family members enjoy the trip and come out of it wanting more. As such, select a trail that is suitable for the season you’re in, and the capabilities of each family member. Now, as we’re at the start of the summer, it is important that the trail be shaded. And if there’s also flowing water, your big and little kids will be sure to have a blast.
Choosing a trail that is suitable for the littles
Some families hike a lot and have acquired an infant carrier to help schlep their little ones. Carriers enable you to hike trails of varying levels of difficulty and most easy to moderate trails are suitable for families with an infant in a carrier. Families that do not possess a carrier are more limited in the types to trails that can trek and must only select those that are stroller-accessible. You can find these trails by searching for handicap-accessible trails. Check out a website called “Accessible Israel” (Negishut Israel in Hebrew) for more information.
This article will cover three different trails. The first is suitable for strollers, the second for carriers and the third includes an option for camping.
Nahal HaShofet - Hiking with a stroller
If you’re looking for a “very easy” trail that can be hiked with a stroller in tow, Nahal HaShofet is a great choice in every season, including during the hot summer months. While it can be hard to guarantee a water hike in this hot country, this paved path for strollers is mostly shaded and passes by the banks of two pools of water that are great for cooling off. The trail is located near Yokneam and not too far from central Israel, so you can make it a day trip, whether you live in the center, or near Haifa.
Nahal Snir (Hatzbani) - Hiking with a carrier
A water hike is always a winning outing and at Nahal Snir, you can cool off in the river water, even in heat of the summer. Nahal Snir is on the Jordan River and passes through a nature reserve that is also a national park - the Israel Nature and Parks Authority charges an entry fee in exchange for ensuring the site is clean, has drinking water and bathrooms. A short walk takes you to the bodies of man-made water with a waterfall built to enable all hikers, including those who struggle to walk, to enjoy the water and have fun. You can reach this point with a stroller in tow, but any further requires a baby carrier. The trail continues along the river, which flows year-round and can even reach ankle-height in certain areas. The trail ends on Route 99, near a shopping center and is suitable for families vacationing up north and in search of an easy trail for the whole family, including little ones. You can obtain more information and a site map at the trail’s entrance, upon payment.
Banias - Hiking and camping
The Galilee Panhandle is the perfect spot for a family vacation in the heart of nature, even in summer. The three Jordan rivers - the Banias, Nahal Snir and the Dan are very central and popular trails, and to make the outing even more perfect, you can sleep at one of the local camping sites.
Most of the Galilee camping sites are organizes, meaning that they have water, bathrooms, showers and a kitchen. This is more than enough, even for families with little children. You can camp on Kibbutz Dafna, at the Goshrim and along the Banias, in Sha’ar Yashuv. While the cost may catch some vacationers by surprise - the average 5-person family will pay 300 shekels a night - but the added value you receive is tremendous. This is because camping allows you to enjoy simple enjoyment, regardless of your age.
How can you spend the night outdoors and enjoy it so much you want to do it again?
An uncomfortable or even nightmarish night outdoors can quickly place a damper on family camping trips. As such, here are some things to bring along, to help increase the odds your camping trip will be deemed a success:
Insect (mosquito) repellent: A night of mosquito bites can continue on into a frustratingly itchy day. Be sure to pack a cream or spray that protects and calms the skin and is suitable for little ones.
A closed tent that protects you from mosquitoes and other creatures - very important.
Comfortable mattresses - If you’re traveling to the campsite by car, this is something you should not skip out on. A thin hiker’s mattress is particularly uncomfortable. Instead, if you have room in your car, bring an inflatable a mattress, or even a spongey mattress, like they have in the army.
Sheets - for a warm night. And thick blankets - for cold nights.
Fun dinner food - Preparing supper is one of the most important elements of any outdoor vacation. This is a time to get creative as a family. As such, it is recommended to hold a barbeque, and roast potatoes and marshmallows.
To sum, head outside! Spend time together as a family - unplugged and in nature, like in the good old days.