TEN awesome things to see and do over the Jewish New Year and Sukkot holidays

With the holiday season in Israel just around the corner, what with Rosh HaShana, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot on the way, we’ve compiled a list of TEN awesome events and things to do in Israel over this period (from mid-September to early October).

Focused more for the returning tourist and local, if you’re looking for a more touristy track to trek, check out our top 10 things to see and do in Israel, or perhaps even the ultimate checklist: 101 things to see, do, and taste in Israel – doable throughout the year!

In no particular order…

Hot air balloon festivals at Gilboa and Timna Park

Hot Air Balloons IsraelThis Sukkot, take your pick from two great hot air balloon festivals, one at Timna Park (October 3-5), just north of Eilat, the other in the Gilboa region in the north (October 3-4). Both these festivals are perfect for all the family, with events throughout the day and night for everybody to enjoy. And both have an amazing Night Glow event, full of light, fire and action – and plenty of hot air balloons!

Cross Kinneret SwimCross Kinneret Swim

If you’ve got it in you, swim across the Sea of Galilee on September 22. This annual event is not for the lily-livered, as you’ll be swimming either 1.5km or 3.5km across the lowest freshwater lake in the world – it’s your choice! Read more here…

Redfoo Tel Aviv concertRedfoo concert in Tel Aviv

Redfoo, half of the hugely successful dance act LMFAO (behind hits like Sexy and I Know It, and Party Rock Anthem), will be performing at Tel Aviv’s Nokia Arena on October 2. He won’t be with his partner in crime SkyBlu, but he will have a troupe of 35 dancers to keep you entertained. Read more here…

Alvin Ailey Tel AvivAlvin Ailey Dance Theater in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv

The awesome Alvin Ailey Dance Theater bring their amazing dance performances to Jerusalem on September 29, before moving on to Tel Aviv for a few days (October 2-6). Expect to see them perform American choreographer Paul Taylor’s Arden Court, and the highly acclaimed The HuntRead more here…

Tamar Festival

Tamar Festival 2012This four day musical festival is the place to be if you fancy catching some of the BIGGEST names in Israeli music, as well as some stunning desert scenery. The action takes place on Oct 1-4, and included in the impressive lineup are: Asaf Avidan, Balkan Beat Box, and Riff Cohen (the opening warmup act for the Red Hot Chili Peppers!), as well as the more established Rita, Meshina and Bary Sacharov. Read more here…

WhoMadeWho in Tel Aviv

WhoMadeWho concert in Tel Aviv

Danish electro-pop band WhoMadeWho will be performing in Tel Aviv on September 21st. The band behind the big hit Inside World will be performing at The Block club. Collaborations with artists like Hot Chip and Daft Punk have pushed them well and truly into the mainstream in the last couple of years. Read more here…

Zorba The Buddha FestivalZorba the Buddha Festival

Spread over 4 days (October 3-6), this is the festival for you if you are looking to reconnect with your soul, and get some spiritual awakening deep in the desert. There will be plenty of yoga, meditation, workshops, and hey, even some chilling out to Israeli bands. Read more here…

HaTachana Merkazit Music Festival

HaTachana Merkazit FestivalThis 12-hour long indie music extravaganza will take place at the Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv on the 17th September (the holiday of Rosh HaShana, so no buses to spoil the party!). In what is the world’s 2nd largest bus terminal, catch some excellent indie bands, great art, and other performances. The action starts at 10:00 and tickets cost 90 shekels (call 03-5107070 for details).

Bat Yam Street Theater Festival

Bat Yam Street Theater Festival

This amazing annual street theater festival brings some great local and international artists to the streets of Bat Yam (just south of Tel Aviv). It takes place on 2-4 October and is also known as the Street C.A.T Bat Yam. The Bat Yam festival is one of Israel’s largest festivals dedicated to street theater, using the streets and urban spaces as its stage. Read more here…

Prog Stage 2012ProgStage 2012 Festival

For lovers of Prog Rock – and the Sea of Galilee – this three day festival includes some international and Israeli bands (including the impressive Orphaned Land) to savor. The festival takes place 4-6 October, at Dugal Beach, on the north side of the Sea of Galilee. There will also be events and workshops for all the family. Read more here…

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Of course, if all you’re really after is something a little more leisurely, head to the beaches of Israel. The weather is still perfect, the beaches a little less packed what with the kids back at school (and the belief that it’s September/October and winter is fast on its way, even if the thermometer is screaming 40C…), and yep, they’re mostly free to access…

Happy Holidays, wherever you end up!

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