The Spaarnwoude recreational area is located between Amsterdam, Haarlem and Velsen. At Spaarnwoude, you can walk, bike or skate while enjoying the typical Dutch landscape. There’s plenty of space to play and relax, as well as tons of activities like paintball, a climbing wall, putting green, canoeing, swimming and more. The recreational area is host to several large events every summer.
The Bunker Museum is hidden in a corner of the original Coast Artillery position Heerenduinen in IJmuiden. From this position, the IJmuiden harbour was defended, and it also protected the harbour of Amsterdam. The museum consists of six largely underground bunkers, including a trench, so a walk on the grounds is a true adventure. Explore bunkers and attributes, as silent witnesses of the Second World War. Kids and adults alike will be amazed by the unique collection, varying from a German soldier’s bottle to a submarine for two.
Bunker Museum, IJmuiden
If you're in Zandvoort with kids you really should stop by the Jutters museum. Admission is free and there is plenty to see. It's fun to fantasize about the stories behind the objects washed up on the beach. Buoys, bones, shark teeth, bottle mail. There is even part of a rocket! The Juttersmuseum, of course, has an educational side as well. How long do things last before it perishes? Not convinced yet? There is also a pirate ship (with real treasures!) for children to play in.
Zuid-Kennemerland National Park
The Zuid-Kennemerland National Park is where to go for getting away from it all, hiking through the dunes, biking, and wildlife spotting. The park is also a great spot for children of all ages: perfect for an adventure, with many opportunities to clamber, swim, and build huts. You can book treasure hunts to keep the kids entertained on a long walk, and there are multiple playgrounds across the park. Keep an eye on the website for activities throughout the year.
Restaurant Gestrand is the perfect spot to hang out with your kids. Pick up food and drinks inside and settle on the large terrace, where you have a view of the adventure playground. Kids can play with water, climb in the observation tower and zipline the cable car. An extra plus: the cosy fireplace to warm yourself when it’s still a bit cold outside.
Speeltuin Veilige Haven
With swings, climbing structures, sand playgrounds, many slides, and a huge playboat, your kids will have the time of their lives at playground Veilige Haven. This large harbour-themed playground, close to IJmuiden beach, was established in 1930 and is still a real favourite with the locals.
Veilige Haven, IJmuiden
Pieter Vermeulen Museum
The Pieter Vermeulen Museum is a real kids’ favourite. In this museum, a centre for nature and environmental education, you can playfully discover everything about nature in Kennemerland. Stuffed animals can be admired up close, there is always a fun ‘do and discover’ exhibition and there is a craft table to get creative. For an outdoors adventure the museum offers assignments about trees, birds and shrubs in the park. For older children, there is a GPS tree route.
Pieter Vermeulen Museum, Driehuis
Too much energy left after a lazy day at the beach? At indoor trampoline park Jump XL Zandvoort the kids can blow off some steam. And while you’re there, release your inner child and go for a jump as well. You will love it, we promise!
Jump XL, Zandvoort
Kickboxing with a sea view! What started out as a joke between a bunch of friends turned into Buddha Gym, where old and young, sports enthusiasts and beginners train together on the beach of Zandvoort. The kickboxing lessons for kids are alternated with Krav Maga self-defense lessons. During the winter months, classes continue at a different location.
Buddha Gym, Zandvoort
Kraantje Lek is a historic and special place in the dunes between Zandvoort and Haarlem. At the foot of a high dune, near a hollow tree, children can play for hours on end. Centuries ago, fisherwomen walked by here to sell their catches on the market in Haarlem. On their way they took a break at Kraantje Lek. For many from the region this is also a nostalgic place where they used to come as a child.
Kraantje Lek, Overveen
Clean up the beach
Beachcombing a fun activity? Absolutely! During a walk on the beach you will find all kinds of things that do not belong on a beach: fishing nets, plastic bottles, cigarette butts and lost toys. Who can find the weirdest things? Join in, together with the kids, and help clean the beaches. The beach of Bloemendaal offers dedicated trays to hand in all the items you find during your walk. Juttersgeluk collects, recycles and turns it into something beautiful. Juttersgeluk also organizes Open Beach ‘strandjut-ochtenden’ every Wednesday morning in Zandvoort, starting at pavilion Thalassa.
An enjoyable cycle ride will bring you to the impressive Ruine van Brederode, a ruined medieval castle complete with a moat, dungeon and far-reaching views from its highest turret. Kids can dress up as a knight or damsel to explore the ruin’s many rooms and towers, and play a range of traditional wooden games at the ye very olde outdoor café. If you’re lucky enough to visit in June, you’ll have the chance to watch the Knight's Tournament. Other events and concerts are held at the ruin throughout the year.
Ruïne van Brederode, Santpoort-Zuid