Hello, my name is Laure, mummy of 3 little ones. Joshua is our oldest (4 years), Ella is 2 and Lois is 4 months old. We are a French family and 4 years ago we have packed up and moved to beautiful Tel Aviv, Israel. We briefly relocated to Chicago for a short-term assignment, but decided it was not for us and came back to Tel Aviv. When we were young and without kids, we lived in the center of Tel Aviv, but once the little ones arrived we moved to a new neighbourhood called Bavli, which is very family friendly and close to Hayarkon, the biggest park of the city. Hayarkon is a green oasis in the city and has several playgrounds and even a small zoo (no entrance fees).
We are happy to live in the child-friendly country of Israel. It’s all about children over here! I am a stay-at-home mom– during the week Joshua and Ella attend daycare/kindergarten and I enjoy my one-on-one time with Lois. We explore the local parks and soon will start to visit gymborees (indoor playground). That is why during the weekends, I try to focus on spending time with the big kids.
Let me tell you more about what a typical Saturday in Tel Aviv looks like for our family. And remember, in the Middle Eastern world, Saturday is Sunday (yes, we work on Sunday here, as it is our Monday!).
0800 AM MORNING
We wake up later on weekend days ! No rush with breakfast and no lunch box to prepare. I am still breastfeeding Lois, so my nights are short. Usually, Ella comes into our bed around 6/7am and she likes to stay with us until Josh wakes up. We prepare a light breakfast, milk and bread with jam, grapes or apples for the kids. I pack a bag with toys, swim outfits and water toys and snacks.
0900 AM BREAKFAST TIME
We try to leave the house as early as possible.
We have 2 electric bikes (Tel Aviv is all about E-bikes. Every Telavivian seems to own one and it is the best form of transport around the city.) Normally my husband takes Josh and Ella with him on his bike and I have Lois in a baby carrier, we also take her and Maxi Cosi. Our kids love to ride with us through the park and along the beach, and it is more practical than going by car. Tel Aviv is a nightmare when it comes to parking, so the E-bikes are a great alternative.
We first stop in a coffee shop to enjoy a real Israeli breakfast: fruit juice, coffee, eggs, salad of cucumbers and tomatoes, bread, avocado, tuna salad and a few kinds of cheese. There are tons of nice restaurants in Tel Aviv (Moses, Max Brenner, Nola, Landver cafe) and they are all very kid-friendly. All offer plenty of high chairs, changing tables, kid menus and most offer pencils and coloring pages & co.
1030 AM TIME FOR THE BEACH
We usually go to the Metzizim beach and meet up with friends. We rent lounge chairs and umbrellas and we stay there all the day. Our kids play together at the beach or they go for a swim with their parents. I normally stay and breastfeed Lois until she naps. Then, I also enjoy the sea! Right now it is the end of September and it is still very warm.
1200 PM LUNCH
We enjoy the snacks I have prepared in the morning for lunch: fruits, corn, little sandwiches. And then we go to a kiosk to get ice-cream for the kids and ice-coffee for us parents. After lunch, Ella usually naps on the beach or on a lounge chair. Joshua continues to play with the older kids and Lois is quiet, napping or eating.
0300/0400 PM TIME TO GO LEAVE THE BEACH
Depending on our mood, we either go to get a snack (healthy fruit juices or smoothies) or visit one of the many local playgrounds. Josh and Ella then get to choose if we bike home along the beach or through Hayarkon Park. Tel Aviv is a city that if all about food. It is impossible to be hungry, there is food everywhere, at every corner you can pick up a snack, grab a take-away or sit down in one of the diverse restaurants and cafes.
0600/0700 PM HOME -DINNER AND BATH TIME
We get back home for bath and dinner. Lois has a quick bath before Ella and Josh stay and play 30 minutes in the bath. While they enjoy their bath, I prepare a healthy dinner. After dinner, the kids are allowed to watch a cartoon for 10 minutes!
It is story time for Josh and Ella with Daddy while I am with Lois. And then it is time for bed. Tomorrow the big ones will go to school and I will be home with Lois.
I hope you enjoyed hearing about our typical Saturday in Tel Aviv.