There is no better way to kick start the summer than a giant water war. And because we’re talking Tel Aviv – and Tel Avivians know how to do summer better than most. Each summer on the first Friday in July is the Tel Aviv Water War; a giant water fight. Pack a water gun and bathing suit and have fun.
Not enough water for you? Continue from the Water War to Petah Tikva, right outside of Tel Aviv, to experience ‘City Slide’, a global phenomenon in which cities are taken over by a giant, 1000-foot water slide. The trend has gone viral throughout cities in America and in multiple locations in Europe, and is finally coming to Israel to provide us all with some much-needed heat relief.
The Yarkon Park, in the North of Tel Aviv, spans hundreds of acres and offers a range of summer endeavors to keep you cool. Take a stroll in the Rock Garden or the Tropical Garden, read a book under the shade of the trees or picnic by the park lake with fresh watermelon and Bulgarian cheese. You can also rent a paddleboat or motorboat and sail along the Yarkon River.
If you’re feeling energetic and not even the heat will stop you, check out the outdoor sports center and join a game of basketball or soccer, or climb ‘Olympus’, the 45-foot climbing wall.
The best remedy for a hot afternoon is, hands down, ice cream. And Tel Aviv has more than a few sweet spots that will help cool you down. From pink grapefruit and Campari sorbet at Gelateria Siciliana to almond milk and halva ice cream at Iceberg to lemon pomegranate popsicles at Tamara, everyone is sure to find their fix.
Gelateria Siciliana,Ibn Gvirol 63,Tel Aviv, +972 3-696-2458
Iceberg, Ibn Gvirol 24,Tel Aviv +972 3-609-2735
Tamara, Ben Yehuda St 96, Tel Aviv-Yafo +972 3-523-4449
Tel Aviv Rollers, or TAR, is the perfect solution for workout buffs who want to remain active in the merciless Israeli heat. Every Tuesday night, rollers meet at 9:30pm near HaBima and skate various routes of 25-30 kilometers through the city. TAR is not for beginners – the route is long and the group skates at a relatively quick pace; however, cyclists are welcome to ride behind the skaters. Join along for fun, breezy, after-dark exercise.
Music fans in Israel have had plenty to talk about lately, from performances by platinum-selling artists such as The Backstreet Boys and Robbie Williams to festivals such as the Negev Midburn that took place in May. The excitement continues this summer in Tel Aviv:
July 3rd will mark the opening of the first ever Tel Aviv Blues Festival, a four-day event featuring over 40 concerts in 20 different venues throughout the city, including Mike’s Place and Ozen Bar. Performers will include local blues groups as well as a number of extraordinary artists flying in from the states, among them 83 year-old Leo ‘Bud’ Welch. Be sure to catch some of these gigs, many of which will be free!
Enjoy the Show
Another act that will be sure to blow you away is Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Quidam’. The show tells the story of a bored young girl’s escape into an imaginary world and boasts the breathtaking acrobatics, expertise, design and music that Cirque du Soleil is known for internationally. The troupe will be performing at the Menora Mivtachim Arena from the 2nd-11th of July.
Hit the Beach
No Israeli summer would be complete without frequent visits to the beach. Luckily, in Tel Aviv, you have plenty to choose from.
Canine lovers frequent the Dog Beach, a narrow strip in the northern section of the Hilton beach. South of the Dog Beach is the Gay Beach (gay, straight, everyone-friendly), and further down is the Surfer’s Beach, a world-class site offering surfing, kayaking and paddle boarding lessons. Other Tel Aviv favorites include the Bograshov, Frishman and Gordon beaches, all located in the center of the beach-side hotel strip.
A more unique beach experience can be found at the Drummer’s Beach in Southern Tel Aviv. The northern section is a hot spot for water sports, while the southern area is the ultimate hippie haven. Every Friday afternoon, a group of drummers gathers, joined by jugglers, dancers, Capoeira fighters and more. Join along in their festivities, which continue late into the night.
Have a Drink
There’s nothing quite like an ice-cold beer on a scorching summer day. The Beer Bazaar, in the middle of Shuk HaCarmel, serves over 90 delicious Israeli craft beers, from popular favorites by Jem’s and Bazelet, to lesser-known concoctions by HaDubim and HaDiktator.
In the mood for something stronger? Try an arak-based drink. Arak, an alcohol from the anise family, is the alcohol of choice for many Israelis. It goes great with pink grapefruit juice, or in a frozen limonana blend. If you don’t feel like preparing something yourself, head to Suzanna in Neve Tzedek and order their house cocktail: a delectable mixture of arak, almond juice and mint.
Beer Bazaar, Rambam St 1, Shuk HaCarmel, Tel Aviv-Yafo +972 3-504-9537
Suzanna, Shabazi St 9, Tel Aviv-Yafo, +972 3-517-7580