Family and kids in Weesp
The River Vecht, old streets lined with historical buildings, waterside terraces and a vast choice of restaurants and cafés: while that all sounds great; getting your kids excited about a building from 1800 can be a little trickier. Luckily, we’ve put together a list of tips for families that should help make a day out in Weesp one to remember.
Sail on De Vuurlinie
As dangerous as it sounds, sailing on De Vuurlinie (The Fire Line) is actually very safe. This sloop (boat), with its characteristic Weesp-blue house, can be rented (with a skipper) to discover the city and the surrounding area from the water. The boat takes its name from the houses that were in the line of fire of a Weesp fortress – these were built of wood so that they could quickly be burned down if an enemy suddenly appeared and there was an urgent need for a clear view. There's no burning on this tour, though, which takes you to the village of Nederhorst den Berg, around the Weesper mansions, windmills of Weesp, and Fort Uitermeer.
Explore the mills
It may not seem like the obvious choice, but anyone exploring Weesp with children should visit the local windmills. Weesp once had ten windmills, three of which remain today: Molen De Eendragt, Molen 't Haantje and Molen De Vriendschap. The latter is the only one that can be visited from the inside (free of charge), but the other two are also worth a walk. Not only are these historic monuments a fascinating slice of traditional Dutch life, but small children are often fascinated by the dreamy rotation of the sails. With a bit of luck, you can rest for a while as the windmill does its job.
De Groene Griffioen
If you’re usually based in the city, then a trip to De Groene Griffioen is a little taste of the countryside for your kids. This organic dairy farm boasts a cheese factory, farm shop, petting zoo experience and a music studio. A tour is a standard part of your visit, and to experience real organic farm life, the farmer always has a job that your children can help with. This might be feeding and counting cows, (pretend) milking, sweeping the stable, brushing the calves, turning cheese, hunting for eggs and even ditch fishing.
Nelis' Ice Cream Parlor
Summer or not, when visiting Weesp, make a pitstop at Nelis' Ice Cream Parlor, especially if you have children with you. Delectable scoops of whipped confection are topped with chocolate sauce and fruits, making these ice cream sundaes perfect for when the energy levels dip and the sun hits the canals.
Escape de Kist at Fort Uitermeer
This old-school escape game dubbed Escape de Kist (Chest) at Fort Uitermeer is an escape room not to be missed. The game is simple: open a chest (closed with six locks) within an hour. Solve puzzles and riddles just like in an escape room, but with the added bonus that history is all around you; ideal as a family outing for six to eight people.
At this picking garden, flowers are grown sustainably: with natural compost, without chemical pesticides and with organically grown plants, flower bulbs, seeds and dahlia tubers. In the sunnier months (usually from early July to late October), you're welcome to come and pick the flowers in bloom for your home. They serve high tea and other goodies in Marie's adjacent tea barn.
De Bleije Boerderij
If you’re looking for goodies to take home from your trip, head to the farm shop De Bleije Boerderij (formerly Hoogerlust). Here, you’ll find delicious fresh products from the farm and fellow farmers, gardeners and growers. Shop for fresh farm-reared and organic meat, fruit, soup and non-perishable products such as jam, honey and oil. If you visit in the autumn, there’s also wood for the fireplace on sale, so pick some up on your way home and get that cosy fire going for a bedtime story session.
Playground Don Bosco
A household name in the area for over 70 years, this playground must be doing something right. Located right behind Theetuin Noot and across the water, Playground Don Bosco is open for children up to 12 years old in a space where they can play, learn and socialise extensively. And since April 2022, there has been a new climbing park for older children with even more challenges. Nice detail: Don Bosco is a non-profit association run entirely by volunteers.