Park HaYarkon, named for the Yarkon River and also known as Ganei Yehoshua, is the largest municipal park in the city of Tel Aviv. The grounds are extensive and include such attractions as botanical gardens, sports complexes, lawns, an aviary, a zoo, a water park, two outdoor concert venues, and many lakes. The park is sometimes nicknamed the Green Lung and enjoys over 16 million visitors per year. Its grounds span 3,500 dunams, is open year-round, and can be accessed 24-hours a day.
The park itself acts as a semi-tropical micro-climate. It is home to all manner of wildlife, including fish, swans, parrots, jackals, chameleons, and many more. Over 3,500 plant species can be found within its borders and it offers some of the most spectacular views in the city.
Picnics are among the most common sights in the park, where ample space for sitting, barbequing, and enjoying sunny days with other park visitors are made easy. This is perhaps the most commonly shared weekend experience in Tel Aviv.
Planning for the largest municipal park in Tel Aviv began in 1969. After four years of development, the park opened to the public in 1973. It was commemorated after the mayor of Tel Aviv, Yehoshua Rabinovich.
There are two live concert venues in the park, which have hosted such world-renowned acts as Michael Jackson, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Peter Gabriel, Madonna, David Bowie, Carlos Santana, Dire Straits, Bon Jovi, Elton John, Aerosmith, Metallica, U2, Depeche Mode, Guns N’ Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ugly Kid Joe, Linkin Park, Ozzy Osbourne, Rihanna, Sia, OneRepublic, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Rod Stewart, Queen + Adam Lambert, and Britney Spears.
Zoo and Gardens
The park is home to several animal habitats and gardens. The bird sanctuary (Tsapari) which was shut down earlier this year and was located on eastern portion of the park and boasts lush gardens, duck and swan lakes, as well as a small petting zoo with farm animals and reptiles. These areas are designed with children in mind and also has space for restaurants, soft playgrounds, ropes courses, and trampolines.
The cactus garden and rock sculpture park is a meticulously landscaped enclosure that features many succulents and arid-habitat plants. The rock garden is considered one of the largest of its kind and each exhibit offers background into what type of plant or feature the visitor is surveying. The 10-acre enclosure offers thousands of species to consider as well as more than 6 acres of blooming cacti.
Bike and boat rentals are perhaps the first introduction visitors will become familiar with inside the park. There are expansive waterways and foot/bike paths throughout the park.
Soccer fields, basketball courts, and even a rock wall can be accessed during daylight hours in HaYarkon. Hot Air balloon rides, though tethered, offer spectacular 360-degree panoramic views of the city. The two Sportech complexes, North and South, are vast and provide ample opportunity for families to professional athletes a way to train and enjoy the beautiful setting the park has to offer.
A complete water park (Meimadion) is available for an entrance fee. It includes water slides, a wave pool, and toddler pools.
Food and Drink
On the weekends, many mobile vendors can be found peddling everything from hot and savoury snacks to ice cream and popsicles.
During the week, there are several cafes throughout he park that offer both hot and cold drinks, to-go snacks, as well as sit-down meals.
Gadot takes things a bit further. This boutique events center offers the best venue for corporate events, weddings, and large gatherings in the heart of the park. It overlooks expansive lawns and waterways, features a full dance hall, panoramic glass enclosure, and can entertain up to 400 guests.
The park itself has a substantial website that is updated regularly. There, one can find all the upcoming events, park rules, and other pertinent information regarding a visit. The website features photography throughout the park, background and information on all the attractions to be found, as well as upcoming projects the public can expect to see come to fruition in the future.
There are restrooms conveniently located throughout the park. Currently, the staff are undergoing a remodel process to upgrade and add accessibility modifications to the facilities throughout the park. Restrooms are locked after sundown.