Step into a green oasis at Spaarnwoude
This recreational area sits between Haarlem, Amsterdam and Velson. It’s a vast expanse of woodlands, ponds and farmland that’s frequently used by families and sports enthusiasts. Golfbaan Spaarnwoude is the largest golf course in Europe, comprised of six nine-hole golf courses, a driving range and training facilities for beginners interested in swinging a club for the first time.
Meet the animals at National Park Nieuw Land
Previously known as Oostvaardersplassen, this tranquil national park is located between Almere and Lelystad. It’s particularly known for its resident wildlife: deer, cattle, ponies, foxes and rare birds – don’t forget your camera! Learn more about the animals at the Oostvaarders Nature Observation Center, where you can also borrow binoculars for a closer look.
Pick fresh fruit at Olmenhorst
A lush apple and pear orchard awaits in Lisserbroek, a small village between Haarlem and Leiden. During harvesting season, visitors can pick their own organic fruit from the acres of trees and even ‘adopt’ an apple tree to take home. After wandering through the sprawling orchard you can enjoy lunch or high tea in the restaurant. Unsurprisingly, the beautiful setting is also a popular wedding venue.
Sail the IJsselmeer lake
The Netherlands’ largest lake is a testament to Dutch engineering, as it was manually closed off from the connecting Zuiderzee (South Sea) in 1932. Today, the lake used for boating, fishing and water sports like kite and windsurfing. Spend a blissful day on the water and carry on the fishing and maritime traditions of Old Holland.
Have a family day out in Het Twiske
The spacious greenery between Zaanstad and Purmerend known as Het Twiske is another location filled with wildlife and sports facilities. It’s also an ideal location for family activities thanks to its peaceful atmosphere, playgrounds and paved bike paths. There are camping and barbeque areas, and you can rent canoes and pedal boats for added adventure.
Visit a deer sanctuary in Bloemendaal
If any of your efforts to spot deer in the wild fail, you can still meet Bambi’s distant relatives at Hertenkamp deer shelter in Bloemendaal. The shelter was set up to rescue and care for wild deer in the 1920s, while today it remains a popular local attraction that’s also home to goats, calves, lambs and chickens.
Waterski or wakeboard in Aalsmeer
Located on the banks of the Westeinderplassen, Aalsmeer is loved by thrill-seekers who spend their days waterskiing and wakeboarding. The Water-skiing Club Aalsmeer offers lessons with qualified instructors several evenings per week during the busy season.
Experience more of the great outdoors. See our top 5 wind and water sports and best spots for boating in the Amsterdam Area.