Hay Park At Kiryat Motzkin is a lovely zoo in Northern Israel. I have visited Hay Park previously but have not written a post about it. But, today I’m going to fix it. Let’s begin!
Hay Park is located at HaHashmona’im Street 79 Kiryat Motzkin.
Map of the area:
If you are arriving by public transport, then you can take Metronit line 1 or 2 to the Kiryat Ata junction. And at Kiryat Ata junction take line no. 22 towards Kiryat Motzkin until you reach the park.
You can also get there by train. Take the train to Kiryat Motzkin train station, and from there you can take a 20-minute walk, or take bus line 22.
Note: you can find site plan here.
Hay Park Amusement Park
When you enter Hay Park, you will not see just the zoo. It is a complex of the zoo, small luna park, playgrounds for kids, pond with swans and greenery. This post will be mostly dedicated to the zoo, but I wanted to mention the opening hours of the Amusement Park, in case you are interested.
July – August
Sunday – Thursday, Saturday and Friday: 10:00 – 19:00.
Fridays and holiday eves: 10:00 – 18:00.
In the winter except for rainy days: Saturday and holidays: 10.00 – 18.00.
Zoo Opening Hours
Sunday-Thursday, Saturday and Holidays: 09:00 to 17:00
Fridays and holiday eves: 09:00-15:00
Sunday-Thursday, Saturday and Holidays: 09:00 to 16:00
Fridays and holiday eves: 09:00-14:00
- The gate of the zoo closes at the same time as the ticket office. And you can stay in the zoo for up to half an hour from the time of closing.
- The displays of Squirrel monkeys, rabbits, and Collared Lemur are open on Saturdays and holidays only up to 15:30 (depending on the weather).
Adults: 55 NIS
Children (from age 2 to 18) – 50 NIS
Senior citizen / student / disabled person – 35 NIS
Residents of Kiryat Motzkin presenting a social identity card, including an appendix – 25 NIS
The Israel Association of Community Centers (up to 5 tickets) – 30 NIS
An employee of the municipality of Kiryat Motzkin – 30 NIS
Combined ticket for Hay Park + Luna Park 85 NIS. Available on Saturdays and holidays only.
The price of Pony riding is 15 NIS. It is active on Saturdays and holidays. On other times must be arranged in advance. Riding on ponies is for children only from 1 year old.
Camel riding is 20 NIS. Regularly active on Saturdays and holidays. Other times must be arranged in advance. Riding on a camel is possible from the age of two.
The price for Hay Park Amusement Park is 65 NIS. The price is valid for Saturday and holidays only, including unlimited facilities.
Notes: opening hours and ticket prices were updated in April 2019. In any case, recheck the official site before visiting.
Times of feeding the penguins by the caregivers – Weekdays: 13:30 and Saturday / holidays 11:30 and 15:00.
Kiryat Motzkin Park was opened in July 2002. Since then, millions have visited the site, which is considered the most beautiful zoo in Israel.
The entrepreneur of the zoo project is Mr. Haim Tzuri, who has served as mayor of Kiryat Motzkin since November 1993.
Tzuri, a visionary mayor, has set himself the goal of establishing a leading tourist site in Israel, which serves the welfare of its residents and all visitors from Israel and abroad who visit the site.
The complex consists of 180 dunams of a living and breathtaking park, where hundreds of animals reside. Giraffes, elephants, orangutans, various birds, reptiles and a wide variety of animals. The animals are in spectacular displays that resemble their natural habitat.
Note: unless stated otherwise, all quotes were taken from the official site.
What Can Be Found At The Compound?
The site contains several compounds. In the park, you can find a 2-acre swan lake, fountains, landscaped vegetation, tropical vegetation with grass carpets and seating areas shaded by a huge variety of trees.
Mini Luna Park – electric installations, carousels, trains, and bumper cars. On the zoo grounds, you can ride camels and ponies on the wide paths inside the zoo. The amphitheater is an additional complex where events and performances are held with the best artists from Israel and abroad, and can accommodate up to 10,000 people, living on all its grounds, well maintained and clean, suitable for all ages.
The zoo is estimated as the most extensive educational entertainment center in the north of the country. It hosts tens of thousands of students each year who come for experiential study tours as part of programs on the lifestyle of the animals. The programs are designed for age groups ranging from kindergartens, elementary schools, junior high schools, students and the elderly. Camps and summer camps are transferred there.
In addition to all attractions, children enjoy activities in a unique holiday atmosphere. There are a cafe-dairy restaurant and various buffets.
The place is level and has easy access for people with disabilities. A unique system of voice information is installed in seven central places in the park for the benefit of the visually impaired.
How Big Is Hay Park?
Hay Park is located at Kiryat Motzkin, and it is a medium size zoo. A visit can take from several hours until a half day. We visited it on a Friday, and it took us about three hours. The reason I mentioned the day of the week is since some pavilions are open only on Saturday (see opening hours above).
Touring Hay Park
Near the entrance, you can find different parrots and monkeys.
Gibbons family was quite active in the morning. Moreover, there was a baby. Thus, I was able to take one of my favorite photos from that day (shot through a window).
Gibbons are also called smaller apes. That is because they belong to the apes family, but they are smaller than other species. Similarly to other apes, they are tailless, but in many aspects, they are much closer to monkeys. For example, they maintain the same mate for life.
Then we entered into lemur’s pavilion. If you do not have any food or it is not feeding time then most likely you will see them high on the trees.
But, if it is feeding time, then they will get much closer. And some of the lemurs will even let you pet them, of course, as long as there is food involved.
Lemurs are not monkeys. They have their own family, the Strepsirrhini (a suborder of primates). There are nearly 100 species of lemurs, and in the past, there were lemurs as large as gorillas.
We also saw penguins eating breakfast. It was not the official feeding, which takes place at 13:30. I also guess the official feeding is more than just eating, but we left Hay Park around noon, so maybe next time.
Peacocks wonder freely around the zoo:
Due to their fast pace, photographing turtles is only for advanced photographers 🙂
Not sure why, but there is grace in giraffes:
I guess it’s true what they say: the neighbor’s leaves are tastier.
A peacock with the offspring:
Tamarin (squirrel-sized New World monkey):
Chicks at kindergarten:
Meerkat (or suricate) on guard:
The laughing elephant:
At the petting area you can find different types of goats and sheep:
Here you can find animals that were domesticated by man thousands of years ago in order to provide him with meat, milk, wool, carrying loads, and for recreation and pleasure.
It is the only place in the zoo where you can pet the animals.
When the animal is not interested in stroking, it will move away from you. Please accept with understanding the feelings of the animals. Also, do not hold an animal forcibly.
The sheep, goats, and rabbits can only be fed green vegetables. You can not feed another animal in the zoo.
Bread or any other food that is not controlled by the caregivers may cause animal sickness.
In the petting area, roosters, peacocks, turkeys, and Helmeted guineafowl are freely walking.
At the bird’s area, you can find several pelicans, a group of flamingos, swans, storks, and other birds.
Looking at the teenager swans, The Ugly Duckling fairy tale comes to mind.
When we finished visiting all the animals, we decided to make another round at the monkey section. I always say come early since the animals are more active in the mornings (or in the evenings). But this time I was heading for a surprise. In the morning the Orangutans were in the back of their cage. But at noon they looked for shade. One of the shady places was next to the window. I took this picture (through the window) when the Orangutan was less than a meter from me.
Looking at the Orangutan pose, I wonder, who entertains who. They entertain us or we entertain them.
And my last photo was of this Capuchin who looks at his sibling’s tail as of it was a toy.
Visiting Hay Park On A Saturday
About two months after the initial post, I revisited Hai Park. This visit was on Saturday, thus the Squirrel monkey cage was open. It is a medium size area, which you are allowed to enter. In this area, the Squirrel monkeys are running around you. One thing you should keep in mind is that they are looking for food. Thus, close your bags and keep an eye on your personal belongings. Of course, feeding is not allowed and keep your hands away (they may bite).
Here is one of the photos from that visit:
Another interesting update is related to the baby gibbon that we saw during the previous. This time he is already a toddler and runs by himself. Here is he eating fruits:
Since it was a Saturday, there was also riding. The options are a camel (see also: Camel ride in the Negev) or pony riding. For riding, you buy additional tickets at the cafeteria on the premises. My daughter chose the camel riding. Camel riding costs 20 NIS, and it was a 10-minute ride.
If I had to summarize than I would say: Hay Park is a lovely medium size zoo and if you love animals and have not visited it, then go for it.
Have you ever visited Hay Park? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.
That’s all for today, and I’ll see you in future travels!
Here are several resources that I created to help travelers:
- Israel Trip Planner is the page that will help you to create your perfect travel route.
- National Parks And Nature Reserves page lists and put all national parks on the map. There is also a top list, information about ticket types and campsites.
- If you are looking for things to do, here are the pages for Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Sea Of Galilee.
- Wondering what events are there in Israel? Here is the Events And Festivals By Season guide.
And if you have any questions then check out Useful Information For Tourists To Israel.