Nature and active in Westerpark
It's in the name: the Westerpark neighbourhood and its leafy surroundings offer plenty of opportunities to get active and outdoors. You’ll find everything from scenic jogging routes and bouldering walls to superb urban swimming spots and, of course, plenty of spots to chill in nature within the park itself.
With its various ponds inhabited by hungry ducks, herons and water hens, and manicured lawns to spread out on, Westerpark is a great spot to enjoy a few sun-soaked hours. A peaceful abode, its romantic centrepiece is a pond with a fountain, surrounded by benches and framed by willow trees that make a lovely shaded picnic spot. Drop by Kinderboerderij Westerpark to pet the donkeys and goats, and in the warmer months, there's a shallow paddling pool for the little ones to splash about in.
Buurtboerderij Ons Genoegen
A little further north of the Westerpark, you’ll also find Buurtboerderij Ons Genoegen. This community farm and garden complex is run by volunteers and people with a distance to the labour market. Pop by to eat a delicious pancake or enjoy regular live music and crafts afternoons.
Jutting out into the IJ from Westerdok, this grassy stone harbour pier (the name translates to ‘Stone Head’) has become a cultural hotspot in recent years, with regular food and film events (check out open-air film festival Pluk de Nacht) and outdoor theatre shows. Even if nothing is happening, head down there on a hot summer’s day to find locals sunbathing and swimming, relaxing with picnics or enjoying a spot of lunch from the beach shack café, which is open throughout the summer months.
Westerpark makes the heart of many sports enthusiasts beat faster - literally because it is one of the most beautiful places in the city for jogging. Within the park itself, you can take a 5k run through diverse scenery, including plenty of paved and unpaved paths along the water, wooded areas, a hill here and there, and several laps for interval training. Hard-core runners and walkers can even head in the direction of Spaarnwoude via the Brettenpad - which leads to the beautiful De Bretten nature area.
The cool younger brother of rock climbing, bouldering, focuses on harness-free climbing on smaller rock formations – making it a go-to sport on indoor artificial walls. Het Lab in Westerpark offers standard sessions, group training, one-on-one intensive lessons, weight-busting exercise classes and youth groups for the little ‘uns. If you fancy bringing your Gran along, she might not be up for scaling the overhangs, but there are yoga classes on offer.