New Land, located just 20 minutes from Amsterdam city centre, offers a wealth of architecture and artwork for adults to enjoy. But for families the polder, which was created in stages starting in the 1950s, is also the perfect place for a day out. Whether you’re exploring the modern cities of Almere and Lelystad or spotting nature and enjoying the outdoors in reserves such as Oostvaardersplassen, there’s so much opportunity for family-friendly activities and excursions.
Check out the top 10 family days out in New Land:
Reach for the sky at the Aviodrome
Located in Lelystad, the Aviodrome aviation museum offers plenty of child-friendly activities that may just encourage your children to start studying for a pilot’s licence – and with a pilot and cabin crew course right at the museum, they can! Hop in a flight simulator to see what it’s like to take control of an aircraft, or head to the Radio Room to learn how to send signals in Morse code. At the end of the trip, the kids can bring home their very own Aviodrome pilot’s licence.
Plan your visit to the Aviodrome.
Command the seas at Batavialand
Once you’ve taken command of the skies at Aviodrome, it’s time to conquer the sea at Batavialand! Climb aboard a replica of famed Dutch East India Company ship the Batavia to get a feel for the water, and then head to the wharf to learn some seafaring trades: sail making, knot tying and metal forging. Inside the museum, the kids can play (and learn) about water management at the interactive IJsselkogge exhibit, and learn about the dangers of the deep.
Dive into the Dolfinarium
Some kids just can’t get enough of the water – and in New Land, there’s plenty of it. Continue the aquatic theme of your family’s holiday with a visit to the Dolfinarium, a spectacular water park that’s home to dozens of dolphins, seals, sea lions and fish. Take a swim with a dolphin, snap a photo with a sea lion or take a dip in the water park – and if you haven’t had enough, you can even spend the night at the park. Take your sleeping bag and start dreaming of dolphins!
Learn more about the Dolfinarium.
Have fun with flora and fauna
Because New Land is just that – new – there are dozens of parks, reserves and outdoor adventure spots that celebrate everything related to nature. Visit the Oostvaardersplassen to watch herds of red deer, cattle, horses and flocks of majestic (and sometimes rare) birds as they roam the wilderness. For a more hands-on experience, head inland to De Kemphaan, where the kids can practice their climbing skills at Fun Forest Almere, or get to know the exotic animals at Almere Jungle.
Find out more about Oostvaardersplassen.
Take a splash around Big Lake
If your kids love the water, a trip to New Land’s Big Lake, which encompasses the IJsselmeer, Markermeer and IJmeer, is the perfect destination. Older kids can take part in the adrenaline-packed activities such as windsurfing and flyboarding, while the young ones can go canoeing, sailing, fishing and more. While the kids play in the water, the adults can lounge on the beach with a cool drink in hand.
Plan a trip to New Land's Big Lake.
Save the day at the PIT Safety Museum
Some kids find nothing more exciting than the flashing coloured lights and blaring sirens of police cars, fire trucks and ambulances. Instead of waiting to see one on the street, bring your kids to the interactive PIT Safety Museum to check them out in person. Kids can dress up and test their go-kart driving skills, take a ride in a real fireboat, peek inside a surveillance van and find out what it really takes to be a member of the Dutch emergency services.
Get your thrills at a theme park
The Netherlands is full of theme parks, and though New Land is new, it has one too. Walibi Holland, one of the best theme parks in the entire country, boasts seven rollercoasters: Goliath, the fastest and highest rollercoaster in the country; Xpress, which takes you from 0 to 90 km/h in just three seconds; and Lost Gravity, the newest and most popular rollercoaster. For younger families, take a tour of Merlin’s Magical Castle or take a spin in a bumper car.
Book your tickets for Walibi Holland.
Test your family’s survival skills
Give your family the adventure of a lifetime at Outdoor Park SEC Survivals, where dozens of different challenges are waiting for you and the kids. Try the Family Survival package, which takes you through an obstacle course and over a jungle bridge, or try the Family Expedition Outdoor, where you can split your family in teams to compete against each other. With this outdoor park, you can finally discover which member of the family has the best survival skills.
Put yourself to the test at Outdoor Park SEC Survivals.
Stop and smell the orchids
At the Orchideeën Hoeve (Orchid Farm), you can transport your entire family to a tropical paradise for the day. Tour the orchid garden to admire elegant flowers and the turtles and koi swimming in the river below; for a noisier and perhaps more colourful visit, step inside the Lory Garden to admire and feed the exotic birds. Round off your trip with a stop at the Butterfly Garden, which features more than 2,000 butterflies and dozens of other warm-weather creatures.
Discover more about Orchideeën Hoeve.
Enjoy pancakes with a view
All the excitement of exploring New Land will sure make the kids hungry, so stop off at a spot that serves up one of the Netherlands’ most beloved dishes: pancakes. Visit the magical Hans and Grietje pancake restaurant in Zeewolde, which features a fairy-tale façade and a large menu that will please even the pickiest kids, or don your pirate hat and visit the Pannekoekschip in Almere, where you can climb aboard a real ship to enjoy these tasty treats.
New to New Land? Check out the top 10 things to do and learn more about this unique area near Amsterdam.