One Week in the Netherlands

Travel Forums Europe One Week in the Netherlands

1. Posted by wendykims (Budding Member 2 posts) 41w Star this if you like it!

Hi Travellers,

My family, My husband and 3 yr old son. would like to go to a Dutch city that has some activities to do with a 3 yr old and that does not have that much of a city vibe. We live in Leiden so we would like a different part of the Netherlands. I would like a place with different activities to keep us busy for 3 days. We are definitely not campers but we love being in swimming, nature, ride bikes, picnic and then back to the hotel :). Something like this.

I'm open to follow up questions in case I wasn't clear enough.

Which city in the Netherlands would you recommend? and what activities can we find there?


2. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 1923 posts) 41w Star this if you like it!

My experience with three year olds is that as long as they get their meals and naps at appropriate times, they are happy with doing almost anything with their parents. I'm thinking petting zoo or a ride on a ferry or a walk in a park and then a picnic. The Netherlands is full of petting zoos and farms but I'm not familiar enough with the towns to suggest one. The smaller places I've been are Alkmaar (for the cheese market), Edam (ditto), Volendam (where you can have your photo taken in costume), Marken (a long time ago), Kinderkdjik and Willemstad which is a little walled town.

[ Edit: Edited on 29-Jul-2020, 16:01 GMT by greatgrandmaR ]

3. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5604 posts) 41w Star this if you like it!

Scheveningen might be an option, with Madurodam and the beach as the main highlights (though personally I'd avoid the beach during the summer vacations), the harbour as an extra sight to see (not someplace to linger, but I expect your son will love seeing the boats), the option to go ride your bike through the dunes, and The Hague in easy reach.

If you have a car or are willing to rent one (since getting there by public transport is quite the hassle) Heusden might be an option as a small fortress city (in size a small village, really) with lots of windmills to look at, with easy walking through "nature" by just walking around it along the outer defensive walls (grassy artifical hills), without ever straying too far away when your son's legs get tired.

Similarly, any of the tiny towns on the island Texel would fit your requirements perfectly (beach, nature, lots of bike paths), but again, getting there might be hard if you don't have a car (you could get to Den Helder by public transport, and then take the ferry, but I don't know what options there are to get from there to your accommodation).

Assuming you're not local, you might not be familiar with holiday parks "center parcs", "landal green parks" e.a. Those really cater to this sort of requests, with private homes, out in forested or otherwise nature areas, all the facilities available, and lots of children's activities. Personally I wouldn't ever want to go there, not even with a small child, but I'm putting it out here anyway, as it might just be the thing for you.

Obviously it's peak season right now, with a vast number of Dutch people holidaying in own country, so it might be next to impossible to find accommodation, and I have no idea how crowded or (un)pleasant these destinations currently are when taking corona measures into account.

In an ordinary year, I'd rank my expectation of their crowdedness / city-feel like this: Scheveningen > Heusden > holiday parks > Texel (so Texel would be quietest of the bunch, though it's still a very popular summer holiday destination.)

Also, I get the need to just go someplace new and away, but just in case, are you familiar with the various nature playgrounds that exist in and around Leiden? Particularly on week days when it's not quite as busy as on weekends, those are just heaven for all children - endless playing with sand and water; digging holes, creating mud baths, catching frogs, eating blackberries... Bring a book and picnic for yourselves, and it'll be just like being on vacation, except you get to sleep in your own bed, too. :)

[ Edit: Edited on 29-Jul-2020, 20:55 GMT by Sander ]

4. Posted by wendykims (Budding Member 2 posts) 41w Star this if you like it!

Thank you so much for these recommendations I definitely have a few options to consider. :)

Post 5 was removed by a moderator