There are some great playgrounds available in Jerusalem allowing kids to run around and have fun. While parents are always advised to keep a eye on their kids; playground culture in Jerusalem tends to be a lot freer and more relaxed than in many other big cities around the world.
Around the hotel/downtown area the two most popular Jerusalem playgrounds are in Liberty Bell Park and Sokolov.
Liberty Bell Park includes a mega large climbing frame swing combo with nearby toilets. Older children can roller skate, skate board or play basket ball nearby. You can also bring along your barbecue (mangal) and ensure that all the energy is replenished.
Sokolov is a smaller neighborhood children’s area set in an attractive square near to the Inbal – Moriah hotels. It is a smaller set up but a favored spot by the locals. Children and parents will find somebody to chat with – especially on an early summer evening or shabbat afternoon.
Also in town is Independence Park. It is good for wandering, running around and a short cut to town; but is not particularly designed to keep children occupied.
Gan Sacher has a large climbing frame (in a sand pit), again with toilets nearby. Gan Sacher is a large open space with lots of grass for running, football, Frisbee, cycling, jogging, picnicking and of course the ubiquitous mangal (barbecue). Gan Sacher can be a great spot to relax after walking at the Israel Museum, Knesset, Bible Lands Museum and the Science Museum (a bit further away) – being a fairly short walk down the hill. It also holds event frequently – “happenings” in the local dialect – and on a summer evening you might think that there isn’t a sheep or cow left alive in Israel!!
The Mifletzet (monster) is on the main drive out to Hadassah Ein Karem and features a huge monster with some serious slides.
Nayot is a smallish park not too far from Rehavia – good for hosting birthday parties and kicking around a soccer ball. It has a decent climbing frame and swing set up (smaller kids) and space to barbecue dinner.
Park Mexico, located in the neighborhood of Ir Ganim, has an awesome three-tiered playground that keeps the kids busy for hours. There is also the lower area that is designed for the much younger kids. There is even a much lower area that have a dog park and tennis court, making Park Mexico an ideal place not just for the children, but also for the whole family. Check out the slides – the fully-grown “kids at heart” will enjoy them, too!
Another amazing children’s playground in Jerusalem is Park Kiryat Menachem. It is a bit more different than your average children’s park. Its most famous feature is its huge slide that you can only get to by climbing the rope ladder. Younger kids may find the rope a bit more challenging, but they still have other things to do such as swings.
Gan Ein Yael is unique because it does not have the conventional slides and swings. Instead, there are hills, carousels, climbing equipment and a lot more non-traditional play spaces. Kids who are looking for something different will have a whole new play experience here at Gan Ein Yael
There are many other neighborhood spots if you happen to be renting in an apartment – Nili (Palmach area – small playground) or San Simone (Palmach area – decent size park, popular family hang out on Shabbat and in the evenings) and on Ramban (Rehavia area) are decent options if you happen to be in there. There are many more neighborhood specific options.
For more ideas see Jerusalem Open Spaces