This is a guest post about South Holland by Kim. She is travelling with her husband and two kids – enjoy!
Equipped with our usual first aid kit, newly made contact cards and a nice picnic of sandwiches and snacks, we take a road trip from Kreuzlingen Switzerland to South Holland with friends.
After arriving late Friday night, we try to have an easy morning, then make our way to Rotterdam. Here we browse the famous Market Hall, a bustling local market on Binnenrotte and stroll through town making our way to Kids Marina found at Grotekerkplein. Here, for 12,50 euro per boat, children can enjoy driving small electric model boats all alone, which makes for a great family experience with young kids, and an awesome adventure for older ones. Do be aware that it can get busy and then there could be quite a waiting time, it’s also advisable to put a timer on, as when it does get busy the attendant loses track of time and tends to call boaters in too soon.
After the kids have their fun we make our way to Willemsplein, found just below Rotterdams’ Ersamus Bridge, for a relaxing Harbour tour. Here despite the heat, South Holland shows us how important it is to always take jackets along as winds can be strong and chilly. Thereafter we enjoy a relaxing meal at Midget Golfbaan Parkhaven located near Euromast, where the kids enjoy the little park and watching the golfers, giving us time to enjoy a leisurely meal, before calling it a day.
The next day is Sunday and we spend a relaxed morning letting the kids enjoy the play areas at the resort. After a nap time to recharge their batteries we make our way to Scheveningen beach. We park at the Harbour, found on Dr. Lelykade, which offers free parking for over 250 cars, it is however quite a walk to the promenade from there.
It’s a very windy day at the beach in Scheveningen, but we enjoy strolling the boulevard nonetheless. There is a lot on offer for kids on the promenade, and the many restaurants and cafes found along the beach also offer small play areas, and jumping castles that can be enjoyed while parents enjoy drinks and a meal.
Finally, to escape the wind, and the loud and busy promenade, we take the kids into Scheveningens’ Palace Promenade shopping mall to enjoy the Amazing mirror maze. There you will also find a great Glow Golf course where you can easily spend a good few hours. After two rounds through the mirror maze, we take a walk along De Pier, which offers a great view of Scheveningen beach and the North Sea, the kids have fun discovering the fairytale statues on the promenade, before we call it a day. If you are looking for a fun day at the beach, the loud boisterous promenade and beach area is definitely the place to be, but for those looking to enjoy a nice quiet relaxing beach day, the beach area closer toward the Harbour is definitely better suited for you.
The Hague and Madurodam
A trip to South Holland with kids would be incomplete without a visit to the famous miniature world of Madurodam located in The Hague. With its scale model replicas of Dutch landmarks and cities, and screens located all around playing fun illustrated videos for even the youngest viewers to enjoy, making a visit there both fun and educational.
Our kids run around awed by the moving trams, trucks and trains. Excited by the boats and entertained by the many interactive activities. They also get fun souvenirs from the scale model tulip bulb field and clog factory and enjoy sweet treats directly from Mars. All you need for these are 1 euro, 50 cent and 10 cent coins on hand, and for 32,50 euro you can even get a 3D scale, miniature replica of yourself made in the Fantasitron, for a family of 4 a bit too pricy but definitely a fun & unique gift idea 😉
With all the activities, interactive models, as well as the interactive stories of Hansje Brinker, a little boy who stops a flood by sticking his finger in a hole in the Dyke, and the somewhat scary first assembly of the free states in 1572, which laid the foundation for the Independent Republic of the Netherlands in Dordrecht, we spend a good few hours at the park, but with its large play area and restaurants you could easily spend an entire day at Madurodam!
Due to this we spend the rest of the day getting lost in The Hague’s shopping center and enjoy a quiet meal with great cider and aaaw at the huge beer menu at Rootz, while the kids enjoy being able to just sit and draw. 🙂 We unfortunately did not give The Hague the attention it deserves with all that it has to offer, having spent so much time at Mudurodam and me getting swept up in the memories of the town where I once lived a good 12 years ago. 😉 But my old home still holds my heart and Holland has already hooked my family with its tasty kibbling, kroketten and other yummy Dutch delicacies, so we will make up for this on another trip! 😉
After an easy day “at home” enjoying the pool and amenities of the resort, we head into Amsterdam. First stop, Nemo Science Museum. The kids are already excited by the large ship-like building when we point out where we are heading. Inside there’s a large queue, but it moves swiftly so it isn’t long before we can head inside. Everywhere you look are exciting exhibitions to explore, accompanied with explanations below so parents can easily explain while children recreate and see how they work. Of course, for our children who are 2 and 4, its more about the fun of exploring, but for older kids this makes for an exciting and fun learning adventure with great quality time with parents. Do pack in extra patience when visiting, as when it is busy, kids, and parents alike, in their excitement do tend to rush toward exhibitions, regardless if it is occupied, as there are no set out rules for waiting etc. this did overwhelm our little ones at times.
Regardless of how busy it is, we lose track of time and spend a good half day from 10 – 14:00 in Amsterdams’ Nemo science museum. Due to this we are unable to go on our planned Pannenkoekenboot cruise. Instead we idly stroll through Amsterdam, taking in the architecture and sights and then enjoy a delish meal of burgers and pancakes at Het Karbeel Restaurant, which we find quite reasonably priced compared to the 4.50 ready-made re-heated waffles found at some of the little take away café’s.
Since we are in the Venice of the North, with Amsterdam’s canals that stretch over 100 kms with over 1000 bridges, we also take a relaxing 1-hour canal cruise, which allows us to get away from the bustling streets of Amsterdam and admire the beautiful city from its canals. 🙂
Duinrell Amusement Park
It’s already our final day, but before making the 9-hour drive from Holland back to Switzerland with 4 adults and 2 young kids, we decide to at least tire the kids out with a fun day at Duinrell in Wassenaar.
Duinrell is a great family park, even with young children, beautifully set within a lush green woodland nature reserve, that also offers quite a few great rides for thrill seekers. There is also the tiki pool area to cool off at on those super-hot summer days, or to wind down at after an adventurous day in the amusement park, as the tiki pool is open till 10 pm after the park closes at 6pm. With that I imagine the camping and Dungalows located just outside the park makes for a great place to spend a long fun filled family weekend.
We all first enjoy a pedal above the ground on the monorail, which give us a wonderful view over Wonderland and Rick’s Adventure Castle, followed by a beautiful view over the tree tops and Duinrells vast park, from the Ferris Wheel. The kids love the friendly big smiling froggy décor which adds to the parks sweet and cozy family atmosphere, and our 4-year-old son can enjoy riding on the majority of the rides and experiences his first rollercoaster ride on kikkerachtbaan, there’s also more than enough on offer for our 2 year old daughter to enjoy with the various playgrounds, indoor playground, train rides, traffic garden and more!
Even us grownups have our fare share of fun accompanying the kids on the bumper boats and taking turns to enjoy some of the bigger more thrilling rides, like the 361 meter Dragonfly that zooms and curves by trees and the Falcon which goes 22 meters straight up and dives down at 70kmph, and thrown head over heals tumbling every each way on Wild Wings and Waterspin, leaving my stomach in stitches from laughing with excitement. Another main attraction that is both great to ride and watch is the water rollercoaster, Splash, which offers riders the option to stay dry in the covered boat or get soaked on an open one, even on lookers need to beware, if your not behind the screen on the bridge as the boat drops down, chances are you’ll enjoy a good shower too! 😉
We all enjoy fresh chocolate covered fruit and our last poffertjies, kroketten and other yummy Dutch delicacies found within the park, and if you need last minute souvenirs, there is plenty of variety in the many shops also found in the park. Waiting times at most rides were also fairly reasonable, especially when taking into account that the park is at full capacity on the day we are visiting. With all the fun we all have, we lose track of time, leaving 3 hours later than planned, giving us an extremely long night, but definitely a day to remember and well worth the fun time! 😉
We chose to stay at Europarcs, De Biesbosch as the resort is nice and centrally located for visits to The Hague, Scheveningen and Rotterdam and perfect for families with loads to keep children entertained. It’s also nice and quiet and the bungalow we had was clean & spacious. If internet is a necessity for you, organizing your own is highly recommended, as while the park says they have Wi-Fi, it never worked once during our 7 days there.
This post was written by Kim. Thank you for reading. We are always happy to receive comments and if you like you can follow us on Facebook and Instagram. If you prefer to be notified of new posts via email, you can subscribe by adding your email address here: