Family and kids in the Flower Strip
Whether you’re visiting in the height of the spring flower season or planning a family day trip in the summer, autumn or winter months, there’s plenty to keep the little ones entertained in the flower region.
Young and old will have the time of their lives at Europe’s biggest playground, Linnaeushof - the ultimate fresh-air getaway. For toddlers, there is a large area that includes a ‘traffic village’ for tricycles, a road complete with signals, crossings, a police station and a fast-food outlet. Older children get to enjoy the lake with pedalos, rope bridges, mini-golf, slides, go-karts, a train ride, a pedalled monorail, a waterpark and hundreds of other activities.
Just north of Leiden lies the wonderful De Olmenhorst Orchard. In Autumn you can pick fresh apples and pears, throughout the year there are special activities and meals to enjoy, featuring organic products from the surrounding countryside. It’s a delightful place for kids to explore and run around, while adults can enjoy the farm shop packed with edible goodies as well as wooden children’s toys and gifts.
Klimpark 21 in Nieuw-Vennep has more than 40 climbing walls in different sizes and heights, so both young and older kids (and adults!) can go for the challenge. For the little ones, there’s a 1-metre high ramp.
A festive flower parade like no other, each spring the Bloemencorso Bollenstreek’s array of colourful floats and displays travels along a 40km route from the coastal town of Noordwijk to Haarlem. Hundreds of thousands of spectators take the opportunity to enjoy the carnival atmosphere of the parade and there’s even the chance to spot luxury cars and live bands that join the procession as well.
Keukenhof Castle boasts an impressive history with 17th-century roots. Learn about the previous inhabitants through a large collection of painted portraits, furniture and decor that spans the styles of each century. Then head outside to look for the ‘hidden’ gardens tucked away on the wooded estate.
Besides the splendour of the flowers, one of the most beautiful things about Keukenhof Gardens is that it can be enjoyed by visitors of all ages. At the petting zoo, children can meet curious goats and sheep, wallowing pigs, strutting peacocks and cuddly rabbits. The Miffy playground and hedge maze are an excellent opportunity for little ones to burn off steam, whilst a fun scavenger hunt will lead families to the most beautiful spots dotted around the park.
Space Expo lets you discover the world of astronauts: earn your very own astronaut diploma! Space Expo is the visitor centre of ESA ESTEC and the museum of space travel. André Kuipers' original Soyuz capsule is on display, there’s a model of the International Space Station (ISS), so big you can walk through it, and don’t miss the life-size scale model of the Moon landing.
The Halfweg steam pumping station Museum Stoomgemaal is the oldest and largest working paddlewheel steam pumping station in the world. It was built in 1852 and served as a drainage pumping station to pump the surplus water from the Haarlemmermeer and the North Sea Canal. The pump no longer has a hydraulic function, but for a few days a year, it is still set to work. The museum still breathes the old atmosphere and the exhibition, openwork boiler, the industrial steam engines and engine room will win the awe of every child.
Too much energy left after a day full of flower sightseeing? At indoor park Jumpin Noordwijk, the kids can blow off some steam on the many trampolines. And while you’re there, release your inner child and go for a jump as well. But there’s more: the park also offers formula 1 racing simulators with VR, obstacle courts, free-running tracks, ninja parkour, and there’s a play zone for the little ones.
Adventure park, De Rollygolf has it all. Hit a hole-in-one on the 18-hole mini-golf course, jump on the trampolines until you’ve learnt how to somersault, or hit the tracks in the minicars. And while the kids are having fun in the trampoline park, adults can catch their breath and get a coffee in the cosy clubhouse.
Kids or little monkeys? Let them loose in the climbing jungle centre at Funzone in Aalsmeer, with a ball pit, trampolines, climbing, disco dancing and more. Funzone also helps celebrate children's parties in its special party room, and for parents, there are places to relax, read and enjoy free wifi. If that isn’t enough, burn off steam in the trampoline park or practice your putting on the glow-in-the-dark miniature golf course.
Located in Hillegom, Annemieke’s Picking Garden is a nursery specialising in cultivating tulips using organic horticultural techniques. The garden boasts more than 300 varieties of flowers and is open to the public. Learn how the blooms are prepared for sale, wander through the tulip fields and pick a vibrant bunch to take home!