‘Europe’s biggest playground’ is the headline of this adventure play park – and that might just be true. Young and old will have the time of their lives here. 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. The ultimate fresh-air getaway.
Just north of Leiden lies the wonderful 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.
De Olmenhorst, Lisserbroek
Astronaut André Kuipers and writer Sander Koenen will take you along on a special space mission! Space Expo’s virtual experience lets you discover the world of astronauts: earn your very own astronaut diploma and a unique astronaut patch. 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.
Space Expo, Noordwijk
The Halfweg steam pumping station 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 via Zijkanaal C and the North Sea Canal to the sea. The pumping station 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.
Museum Stoomgemaal, Halfweg
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.
Jumpin Noordwijk, Noordwijk
This adventure park has it all. Hit a hole-in-one on the 18-hole mini-golf course, jump on the trampolines until you know how to somersault, or hit the tracks in the minicars. And while the kids are having fun in the renewed trampoline park, adults can catch their breath and get a coffee in the cosy clubhouse.
De Rollygolf, Noordwijk aan Zee
Kids or little monkeys? Let them loose in the climbing jungle centre at Optisport Avontura in Aalsmeer, with a ball pit, trampolines, climbing Mount Chimpie, disco dancing and more. Avontura 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, the venue is next door to Jump XL Trampoline Park and the glow-in-the-dark miniature golf course.
Chimpie Champ Jungle, Aalsmeer
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.
Do you like yellow tulips? Or maybe pink lilies? Your favourite flower will show up everywhere at new attraction Floriworld, even on the wallpaper! Discover everything about plants and flowers, and the best part of this flower experience: you can bid on your bouquet in the auction hall at the end of the tour.
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 as it makes its way through the Amsterdam Area, and there’s even the chance to spot luxury cars and live bands which join the procession as well.
Keukenhof Castle boasts an impressive history with Golden Age 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. Don’t forget the Keukenhof Gardens, with special activities for kids, exhibitions, events and performances that will ensure the whole family finds something special to do.
Kasteel Keukenhof, Lisse
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!Annemieke’s Picking Garden, Hillegom