The Maccabees Festival at Givat Hayekevim

Two days of festivities and fun for the entire family in the Binyamin region

The Maccabees Festival Binyamin Regio

The Maccabees Festival at Givat Hayekevim - Entrance is FREE!

Two days of festivities and fun for the entire family in the Binyamin region:

Prepare tasty treats with the village baker, make bricks out of mud and chisel rocks with the builder, crawl in hidden tunnels and take your picture with a Greek elephant taken as war spoils. The challenging route for older kids: decipher a secret message, search for pottery shards in a pile of ruins, cross a suspended rope park, build your own bow and arrow and hit the bullseye.

Thursday, December 14 from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Friday, December 15 from 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Chanukah Vacation, 26-27 Kislev 5778


The Binyamin region, the land of Biblical heroes, is the very location where the the Maccabees lived and roamed after the rebellion broke out. Here, they hid in caves and from here, they set out to fight the Greeks. Binyamin’s Maccabees Festival invites families to feel history firsthand right where it happened, and enjoy a variety of activities in the heart of nature. Every child will receive a Maccabee costume and accessories before setting out to tour the ancient village as it arouses to life and to visit the activity stations at Givat Hayekevim.

The activities at the festival will take place on two hiking trails that encircle Givat Hayekevim:

The Family Trail - Meet the Ancient village residents! A circular trail of about 900m, where you will meet speacial treet actors such as the village baker and his tasty treats, and the village builder, Dror, who will teach you how to chisel rocks to build houses, carve wooden beams and make mud to plaster the walls. Later on the trail, you will reach the edge of the village, where  underground wine cellars were used to preserve food and which later were used as an intricate hidden tunnel system. During the festival, you can meet the “village residents” as they hide in the wine cellars and tell the story of their time period. After you exit the tunnels, you will reach the potter, who will help the children make a souvenir from the festival - a Hasmonean coin or an oil flask, as you sit near the ancient olive press. Finally, you’ll climb up to the lookout tower and enjoy the breathtaking view of Israel’s coastal plain and an explanation - offered every half hour.

Challenging Route for Older Kids - At approximately 2km, you will undergo real Maccabee boot camp as you follow the trail: Find pottery shards in a pile of ruins so you can decipher the secret message. Visit the Hasmonean outdoor kitchen and prepare food to take on your journey. Find the village residents hiding under camouflage, climb up to the suspended rope park and successfully cross it. Finally, build a bow and arrow set to take home, and hit the bullseye!

What else?

Six guided tours in private vehicles will be setting out for the Land of the Maccabees during the festival. Tours start in Beit Horon, where the Maccabees set a cunning ambush for the Greeks and crushed their mighty army. From there, we will continue in the footsteps of Matityahu and his sons to the ancient city of Modiin and tombs of the Maccabees, and to their hiding places in the Binyamin mountains.  Tours end at the Maccabees Festival parking lot. Tours leave on Thursday (10:00, 10:30, 1:00, 1:30) and Friday (9:30, 10:00). Advanced registration required.

But that’s not all! Additional tourist attractions in the Binyamin region will be hosting unique activities in honor of Chanukah, including sculpting with clay and glass, make your own candlesticks, oil flasks, chanukiyot and dreidels. Several visitor centers will also be offering special programming for the festival, wineries, various factories and one special beehive will all be open for tours. Also available are challenging off-roading tours, guided tours that recount the stories of the Bible and places to eat a hot, satisfying meal after you’ve finished having fun.

We recommend leaving your vehicle at the Maccabees Festival parking lot (navigate with WAZE) and boarding one of our shuttles to the festival. Duration of the activities - Between two and four hours.

The Maccabees Festival in the Binyamin Region - Entrance is FREE!

December 14-15, 2017

For additional information in Hebrew, check out the festival website

Or call our hotline: 1-800-34-54-54




More Activities and Attractions in Binyamin - Chanukah 2017


How is Wine Made?

Tour of Psagot Winery | Nachalat Binyamin Visitor Center

Great for the entire family! Guided tours, innovative multimedia presentations at the visitor center, a Biblical experience, explanation of the winemaking process from the grape planting stage to harvesting and finally, the finished product - a bottle of wine.  Advance reservations required.
Hours: Sunday - Thursday, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM, Friday: 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM.

For more information: 02-9979333

To the Spring - To the ATV:

Shiloh ATVs | Adjacent to Ancient Shiloh

ATV tours in the Shiloh Valley, with a stop at a crystal clear spring between vineyards in an array of autumn colors. Additional tour options include electric mountain bikes, jeep tours throughout Binyamin, paintball in a designated area and professional equipment. Advance reservations are recommended.

For more information: 02-9920235

What Does a Bee Make?

The Beehive | Beit Horon

Visitor center all about bees and honey making, and products for sale. Get a closer look at the captivating world of the honey bee, and a rare glance at the bee farming process, structure of the honeycomb, beekeeper’s equipment, the honey extraction room and the extraction process. Activity includes workshops and crafts, candle making using beeswax, outdoor pita baking, plays and more. Every visitor will leave with a sweet little gift. Advance reservations required.

For more information: 02-5458856 or our website:

Olive Oil in Soap?

Saboneto | Kochav Hashachar

Saboneto is a socially-oriented factory that makes handmade natural soaps made of olive oil using an ancient traditional method. Here, you’ll discover what else can be done with olive oil! Join us on a captivating journey to make natural soap and hear the moving story of how this factory was founded. A festival of scents, herbs and pure oils. Advance reservations required - the activity is free of charge.

For more information and reservations: 02-5409030

The World of Ancient Crafts

 Bat Dror Farm | Neve Erez

Bat Dror Farm invites you to discover the world of ancient artisans. How did they build using mud, chisel the rocks, run traditional carpentry shops, create natural paints and more? Participate in the natural paint workshop and see how paints are made from the earth, from the powder stage until you can dip your paintbrush and paint the souvenir you’ll take home with you. (This is a paid activity)
For more information and reservations: Bat Chen 054-7339358

The Color Purple  

The Blue Strand | Kfar Adumim

A tour of the factory where white wool is dyed purple and blue to be worn on tzitzit. Watch a live demonstration and see how the wool is spun, plus an interesting video. The visitor center is open Sunday - Thursday between 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM.

For more information and reservations: 052-2630737

Bring On the Light!

Make a Glass Candlestick - Studio Maanit | Kida

A special workshop full of light to create your own gorgeous candlestick out of colorful glass. How is glass created? How is color added? Maanit explains the process that glass undergoes before it becomes a finished product, and teaches various techniques and cutting methods. A gallery of glass art and items is open onsite. Entrance is free - the candlestick making workshop is a paid activity.

For more information and reservations: 052-3767091

Tour the Desert

 Canaan Tours | Kfar Adumim Junction

Family tours in private vehicles and jeeps to gorgeous natural landscapes you’ve never seen before. Just fifteen minutes from Jerusalem, an unforgettable desert experience on wheels awaits you and your family. Drive a Ranger or Tomcar (off-road vehicles) led by an experienced guide.

Advance reservations are recommended.

For more information: 02-5355351

Glass Chanukiyah Making Workshop

 Artesana Glass Studio | Mevo Horon

Here, breaking glass is allowed! Artesana Glass Studio invites families to discover the amazing world of glass in a workshop just for you, where you’ll create a glass chanukiyah and festive bowls and plates that you will cherish at home. Advance reservations required.

For more information: 052-3881654 or visit our website: