Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport with Kids

Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport with Kids arrival

Named after Israel’s first Prime Minister, Ben Gurion is the largest airport in Israel. It is an international airport and has provided services to over 15 million passengers in the last year. It has been in existence since 1936 with many upgrades and improvements since; the most recent one being in 2004 when terminal three officially opened.
Past accolades for the facility include being ranked first out of 40 European airports and 8th out of 77 world airports in customer service as well as holding the title of best Middle Eastern airport for two years in a row.
Some of its unique features are the central hall with its signature “rainfall fountain” as its center and its large Synagogue.

Distance from major cities

Israel’s Ben Gurion airport is located less than 12 miles away from Tel Aviv and about 31.5 from Jerusalem, which can translate into a 30-60  car ride if you don’t encounter rush hour traffic.
Passengers can also get to and from the airport by bus service (Egged connector line to the Tel Aviv’s  El Al terminal or privately owned Kavim and Metropoline services that connect passengers to Modi’in and Beersheva), by train and via cabs.
Because of its relatively small size (430,00 sq. ft.), and inter-terminal shuttles it is a convenient stop for travelers particularly after having experienced long-haul flights.

Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport with Kids hall

Arrivals

Ben Gurion airport is comprised of Terminal Three, its central hub, from which most flights depart and arrive,  and Terminal One that is currently used by a  few budget airlines.
Passengers arriving at Terminal One should be aware they may need to board a bus from the airplane to the terminal because those airlines usually save on the expense of the jetbridges.
The modern international Terminal  Three is well marked and designed for easy navigation, so passengers will discover that they won’t get lost on the way to immigration and the retrieval of their luggage.As in most countries, there are separate lines for the locals  (Israeli passport holders) and foreigners, so passengers should pay attention to the signs.

Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport with Kids fountain

Departures

Passengers need to note that since the airport policy dictates that luggage cannot be checked in earlier than 3 hours before any scheduled departure, it doesn’t help to arrive at the airport earlier than usual.

All departing travelers need to go through a relatively lengthy security process before reaching the check-in counter which can make traveling with kids, particularly special needs a bit difficult. My best advice for parents is to bring some form of entertainment for the kids while they wait and make sure to pack your humor.

Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport with Kids decor

After passing the Israeli equivalent of the TSA and the passport control travelers are free to explore the airport. The airport features multiple stores that sell a plethora of duty-free toys, cosmetics, clothing, watches and electronics all arranged in a circular fashion around the fountain in the Rotunda, positioned on the way to the different gates.

Furthermore; there are several food venues where you can grab a coffee or a sandwich for a quick meal while enjoying the airport’s free wi-fi.Our personal favorite place is Shipudei Hatiqva where you can have your last authentic falafel and hummus before leaving the Holy Land.

Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport with Kids play area

The airport does not currently offer any outdoor areas, but it does provide plenty of air conditioned indoor seating which is a relief in the scorching and humid summer months.For antsy kids, there are two areas of fun that to play in, under adult supervision, of course, located at the very far end of two separate gates.

Lounges

There are currently three working lounges in the airport; two lounges run by the Dan Hotel chain and one by El Al  (solely for their clients) that service all airline passengers that qualify by either ticket class or a paid upgrade.
The Dan lounges: Arbel and Massada, named after famous mountains in Israel are relatively modest in size and centrally located in terminal three.The Dan lounges are designed to host 320 people at any given time, so they do get crowded rather quickly at various periods of the day, making it not only noisy but challenging to find seating.

The food selections offered are usually several salads and dips along with cut up vegetables, different cheeses, and cookies. The complimentary drink options are sodas, juices, coffees, wines, and beers.Apart from their helpful staff, the lounges have separate bathrooms which are clean; along with a place to freshen up and for you to plug in your electronics.
With that said, they are not geared for families or children who want to run around or families who are traveling with autism who are looking for a quiet area to calm down or regroup.

Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport with Kids

Autism Travel Tips

  • Those unable to walk far may be glad to find that there are companies that can transport passengers from the aircraft to Passport Control via motor cart, providing the airline is contacted ahead of time and asked for the service. The service is recommended for families traveling with autism, especially after long haul flights–just ask for the airline’s wheelchair assistance service.
  • Families who are traveling with special -needs members, should know that there is a special queue designated for them, so they don’t have to wait in the long lines that sometimes occur; especially in the summertime and Jewish Holidays.
  • Pack electronic devices to entertain kids while waiting in the security lines as well as at the airline boarding gate in case of some unplanned delay.Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport with Kids seats

 

 

 

The Computer History Museum ,Mountain View

 

Did you know that computer history is 2000 years old?
Have you ever been fascinated by some of the early computers from the 1940s?

If your answer is yes, then you need to put the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California on your bucket list.

However, this museum with its 20 plus exhibits is also a must-see for anyone interested in learning about technology development, and the impact of the Information Age on our society.

The Computer History Museum ,MountainView red

What You Will See

Visitors can explore artifacts like the 1999 Google Server Engine, the 1976 Apple-I, the 1972 Atari-Pong Prototype and the Kitchen Computer created in 1969 that was made by Honeywell and designed for housewives to store their recipes (none were sold!).
Not to be missed is the historic Hollerith Electric Tabulating System, that revolutionized U.S census taking back  1890 and started the use of punch cards in businesses.

Our son with autism was fascinated with the early electronic robot ‘friends’ like Furby that was created in the 1990’s as well as the special edition console that was gold colored (and did poorly in sales.)

The Computer History Museum ,MountainView gold
Naturally the number one attention grabber of the museum is the Google car that is also one of the artifacts that one is allowed to touch.

The exhibit explains not only how the car operates but what it actually ‘sees’ on the road.My husband and sons spent quite a bit of time gawking at all the buttons as well as sitting inside and learning how it works.
For those living too far to visit; the Museum has an informative website with several online exhibits worth checking out like Revolution: The Story of How Computers Came to Be, The Babbage Engine: The History of the First Computer, Internet History: and Major Milestones 1962-1992. Since some of these online exhibits compliment the exhibits visitors can see in person at the museum, such as Revolution and The Babbage Engine, it is highly recommended that guests go online and check out the website before visiting the museum.

The Computer History Museum ,MountainView google car

Other Attractions

Besides the exhibits, the Computer History Museum has a computer restoration program, for research and collections, as well as giving visitors the opportunity to see some of these historic machines in operating condition.
The museum also has an online catalog search for anyone who wants to explore the over 100,000 software and hardware items at the museum.

The Computer History Museum ,MountainView laptop

Autism Travel Tips

 Visitors can print out the Visitor Map and the Discovery Deck ahead of time to properly plan what to see.The layout is easy to follow, and the exhibits are well labeled.

The museum asks that visitors do not touch most of the artifacts so that it may be difficult for younger children or kids with sensory challenges.

No backpacks, food, or drink are allowed in the exhibition areas, so you should leave them in your car or at the bag check area.

There is a store and a café for souvenirs or snacks, but if your child is on the pickier side, you may want to bring your own or shop in the nearby stores.
Wi-fi is available in the café, exhibition areas, and just outside the museum, so if your child might need a break, bring your tablet!

The Computer History Museum ,MountainView PC

 

Additional Information

Location & Hours of Operation
The Computer History Museum is located at 1401 N. Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View, CA 94043. As of the publishing of this post, hours of operation were Tuesday-Sunday from 10 am – 5 pm. The museum is closed on Mondays.The museum regularly holds special events, which you can find on the website.

How to Get There
The museum is off US-101 or CA-85 North and Shoreline Blvd. Visitors can also reach the museum from the Mountain View Caltrain/VTA Light Rail Station at Castro St. and Evelyn St. in downtown Mountain View, but it will be about a 2-mile walk from the station.

The Computer History Museum ,MountainView - ROBOTS

Admission Cost
Remember to bring a student ID to get a discount!
General admission cost is $15 for the general public or $12 for students, seniors (65+), or active military with a valid ID.
Look into purchasing a package!
The Super Geek Package includes admission, a laptop sticker and a t-shirt, and costs $28 for the general public or $24 for students, seniors or active military.
The Total Geek Experience includes admission, a laptop sticker, t-shirt, Revolution Memento and the CHM Core Magazine and costs $40 for general public or $36 for students, seniors or active military.

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