Spaarnwoude recreational area
The Spaarnwoude recreational area is located between Amsterdam, Haarlem and Velsen. At Spaarnwoude, you can walk, bike or skate while enjoying the characteristically Dutch landscape. There’s plenty of space to play and relax, as well as tons of activities like paintball, a climbing wall, a putting green, canoeing, swimming and more. The recreational area also hosts several large events every summer.
The Bunker Museum is hidden in a corner of the original Coast Artillery position Heerenduinen in IJmuiden. The IJmuiden harbour was defended from this spot, as well as the harbour of Amsterdam. The museum consists of six largely underground bunkers, including a trench, so a walk around the grounds is a true adventure. Explore the artefacts and delve into the history 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 fantasise about the stories behind the objects washed up on the beach: buoys, bones, shark teeth, letters in bottles and even part of a rocket. The Juttersmuseum has an educational side as well. Find the answers to all sorts of fascinating questions, like 'how long do things last before they perish?' There is also a pirate ship (with real treasure!) for children to play in.
Zuid-Kennemerland National Park
The Zuid-Kennemerland National Park is the place for getting away from it all, hiking through the dunes, biking, and spotting wildlife. The park is also a great spot for children of all ages. It's perfect for an adventure, with many opportunities to climb, 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 or whizz along the zip line. An extra plus: there's a cosy fireplace to warm you up on colder days.
Pieter Vermeulen Museum
The Pieter Vermeulen Museum is a popular spot for enquiring minds. In this museum, which is a centre for environmental education, you can playfully discover everything about the nature in Kennemerland. Get up close with animal exhibits, have fun with the ever-changing interactive exhibitions and get creative at the craft table. If you prefer an outdoor adventure, the museum offers assignments about trees, shrubs and birds in the park. Older children will enjoy the GPS tree route.
Pieter Vermeulen Museum, Driehuis
Release their extra energy after a lazy day at the beach. At indoor trampoline park Jump XL Zandvoort, the kids can blow off some steam. Why not release your inner child and go for a jump as well?
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 warmer location.
Buddha Gym, Zandvoort
Kraantje Lek is a historic and special place in the dunes between Zandvoort and Haarlem. Located at the foot of a high dune near a hollow tree, children can play here for hours on end. Centuries ago, fisherwomen stopped here for a break on their walk to Haarlem to sell their catches at the market. This is also a nostalgic place for many locals who used to visit 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. Join in with the kids to help clean the beaches and see who can find the weirdest things. Bloemendaal beach offers dedicated trays to hand in all the items you find during your walk. Juttersgeluk collects, recycles and turns them into beautiful objects. Juttersgeluk also organises paid group tours to clean up the beach.
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