© Unsplash / Hendrik Kuterman
Discover the diverse charm of the Netherlands through this curated list of 13 unique, authentic Dutch family-friendly experiences.
Lately, I've found myself reflecting a great deal about the Netherlands. Two close friends of mine from Luxembourg hail from there and they've been sharing intriguing and inspiring ideas for family-friendly experiences in this picturesque country. The Netherlands offers an abundance of activities for children. Indeed, it's a challenge to narrow down the options. To bring some focus, I asked myself: What are truly unique experiences that one might not easily find in other countries? Or, what are attractions unique to the Netherlands that you may not find elsewhere? And even if you stumble upon something similar, it just won't be the same - if you catch my drift.
In this article, I have chosen not to include any theme parks, animal parks, the fantastic NEMO Science Museum of Amsterdam, and countless other family-friendly experiences. Instead, this list represents a curated selection of 'must-sees' that are distinctively Dutch.
1. PONY PARK CITY, Netherlands
Imagine a holiday where your family gets to adopt a pony for the duration of your stay. From the moment you arrive until the day you leave, Shetland ponies - these incredible, charming creatures - will be fed, walked, and cared for by you and your children. Your stay will be set in a lush green area complete with its own beach! Playgrounds, a wild west ambiance, games, a family-friendly environment, stunning nature, and plenty of ponies await. More information can be found here: Pony Park City
2. Mud Flat Walking, Wadden Islands, Netherlands
Every country has something unique to offer, and in the Netherlands, it's the mud flat walking experience. Referred to as Horizontal Alpinism, this guided hike across the mud flats requires guides to undergo three years of training in weather, tides, emergency aid, flora, and fauna. This unparalleled adventure will take you through the Wadden Sea, the largest continuous national park in Europe. More details are available here: Mud Flat Walking
3. Windmills of Kinderdijk, UNESCO World Heritage Site
When someone mentions the Netherlands, it's likely that tulips or windmills spring to mind, right? At Kinderdijk, you and your children can delve into the world of windmills, water, and resilience. Kinderdijk is a UNESCO World Heritage site, unique in the world and a must-see in the Netherlands. Windmills, deeply tied to the country's history, are a delight to everyone. For further information, visit: Kinderdijk
4. Giethoorn: the Venice of the North
Giethoorn, the Venice of the North / © TravelmatKanner
While Giethoorn might have become a bit touristy and could be crowded on a warm summer day, a visit during the off-season reveals its true charm. This fairytale village, accessible only on foot or by boat, will captivate your family's hearts with its unique architecture, canals, vibrant flowers, charming houses, and lovely gardens. Consider renting your own boat for an extra special experience. Discover more here: Giethoorn
5. The Dutch Mastery of Water Management
Recommended by my lovely Dutch friend M, this experience is a 'must-see.' A visit to the Storm Surge Barrier of Zeeland provides insights into the devastating power of water with a 4D experience. It helps you better understand Dutch life by the water and the unique geographical challenges the country faces. Find out more here: Neeltje Jans
Internationally renowned, the world's largest tulip garden is undoubtedly a 'must-see' in the Netherlands. The immense garden is brimming with colorful tulips, beautiful landscapes, and a myriad of flower varieties, making Keukenhof an unforgettable experience for children and adults alike. More information here: Keukenhof
7. Miffy Museum
Housed in the vibrant city of Utrecht, the Miffy Museum offers one of the best children's museum experiences in Europe. This interactive museum encourages toddlers and preschoolers to discover the world around them through role-playing, fun learning, games, arts and crafts, and a mini traffic playground. Learn more here: Miffy Museum
8. Heksenwaag Museum in Oudewater
This museum is unique for its witch-weighing scales and offers insight into the superstitions of the 16th century. It presents an intriguing look at a time when weight was a decisive factor in determining whether someone was a witch. More information is available here: Heksenwaag
9. CORPUS Experience
Corpus Experience / © TravelmatKanner
Embark on a fascinating journey through the human body at CORPUS, a unique, interactive museum that invites visitors to explore the mysteries of human anatomy. Learn more here: CORPUS Experience
10. LINNAEUSHOF: Europe’s Largest Playground
Home to Europe's Largest Playground, the Netherlands offers an extensive play area featuring both indoor and outdoor facilities, along with a water playground. Check it out here: Linnaeushof
11. HANS & GRETEL PANCAKES
Hans & Gretel / © TravelmatKanner
What could be better for a child than eating pancakes and playing in a fairy tale land? This unique, family-friendly venue is well worth a visit. Find out more here: Hans & Gretel Pancakes
12. BillyBird Park Drakenrijk: Biggest Castle Playground
The Netherlands hosts Europe's largest castle playground. This recent addition is guaranteed to provide a magical experience for your children. More details here: BillyBird Park
13. Anne Frank Museum
This important site offers a sobering but essential understanding of history and can only be found in the Netherlands. Visit the museum's website for more information: Anne Frank Museum
Of course, there is so much more to discover in the Netherlands (such as theme parks), but for now, I've got you covered. If you visit any of the places listed or try any of the activities, please let us know in the comments how you enjoyed it.
So, let's travel and explore with our little ones, or as we say, "Let'z TravelmatKanner!"