Go inside! Jungle ranger Hanne tips 7 favorite indoor outings with kids

water makers

to the episode.© Archive picture of bag blocker

The De Hoep Visitor Center is located on the edge of the North Holland dunes. And let those dunes indispensable to our drinking water. At the De Hoep visitor center it is explained how we get delicious drinking water flowing from the tap. You’ll also come face to face with foxes and rabbits on the fake sand dunes. What animals that live in those sand dunes are so important to our drinking water? And what does the guard actually do to protect the animals? Kids learn all these kinds of facts through all kinds of games.

And if the rain stops, you’re in the right place here too. You can walk straight to the dunes and enjoy the fun trails (for kids). Once you’re done with the game, settle in at Johanna’s Hof across the street for a delicious pie.

De Hoep Visitor Centre, Johannisweg 2, 1901 NX Castricum. Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Free admission. For more information see: www.pwn.nl/natuur/bezoekerscentra

Exploring the past

Spot the animals nearby.© ANP s

In the center of Monnickendam you will find the Waterlandsmuseum de Speeltoren. The building itself is impressive from the outside, but once you enter you don’t know where to look at all. Wet swamps with their fauna from the present and the past are central. In the so-called “House of Discovery” (access for kids only!) imaginations are stimulated about what life was like years ago. It’s like looking through old things in Grandpa’s or Grandma’s attic that takes you to another time. The digs kids can do in the play loft makes the past more tangible. Young children can also cross the museum with an adult and solve tasks from the Do-It-Yourself Handbook. Older children go out on their own in search of answers. And when all the solutions are found, the “Museum Investigation” diploma will be ready for them. Great place to learn more about Waterland in the past.

Waterland Museum de Speeltoren, Noordeinde 2, 1141 a.m. Monnickendam. Opening hours: October: Tuesday to Sunday 11am-5pm, November-March: Saturday and Sunday 11am-5pm. Price: from 4 to 11 years 2.50 euros / 12 to 17 years 3 euros / 18 years and above 5 euros. For more information see: www.despeeltoren.nl

On an uninhabited island

Fort Bambus Island.© ANP s

Getting to Fort Pampus is a walk in itself. You can only get there by boat. You can get to the island with ferry service from Muiden, Amsterdam-IJburg or Almere, but you can also dock there with your own boat, canoe, SUP, raft, etc. (free of charge). Once you arrive in Pampus, the adventure really begins. Children can discover for themselves how 200 soldiers lived here in 80 rooms. Where did they sleep? How did they take the gunpowder? The nice thing is that kids can do a lot on their own. So roll up your sleeves! Especially if the big wheel has to be turned in the engine room…

Fort Island Pampus, 1398 PX Muiden. Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pampus is closed from November 28, 2022 to April 6, 2023. Entry fee: Entry + boat tickets from 13 years 18 EUR / Children from 4 to 12 years 14 EUR. Entrance (private transfer) from 13 years old 12.50 euros / children from 4 to 12 years old 9.50 euros. For more information see: www.Pampus.nl

nocturnal animals

At night the forest is full of animals. A barn owl that shrieks with fear, a fawn takes brave steps on a quiet meadow. A bat flies right over your head. When we sleep, animals are awake. Children will discover all these animals during the children’s exhibition “Over Nachten”. Fun games challenge kids to use their senses and experience the hidden life of animals.

Pieter Vermeulen Museum, Driehuizerkerkweg 34d, 1985 EL Driehuis. Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday and Sunday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Entrance fee: adults 4.50 euros, children from 3 to 12 years 4 euros. For more information see: www.pietervermeulenmuseum.nl/

animal hug

On the organic farm ‘t Geertje, kids can cuddle with animals all year round. The kids get to feed the goats by hand and see the world from the back of the pony. There is also an adventure path where children from 2 years old can climb tree trunks. Nice too: in the yard there are trees and shrubs that you can eat, like pears and apples, as well as berries and medlar. Delicacies are made from it, for sale in a country store, but the birds also gratefully enjoy it. Both the patio and the restaurant are fully equipped for children. Also nice when it rains!

Geerweg Farm, Geerweg 7, 2381 LT, Zoeterwoude. Farm and restaurant hours Monday through Saturday: 10am-5pm, Sunday: From 11 am to 5 pm, admission is free. Pony ride 1.50 euros. Bicycles for children 1 euro. Klompenpad 0.50 euros. For more information see: www.hetgeertje.nl

looking at plants

Hortus Botanicos.© ANP s

hortus botanicus (loosely translated, botanical garden) sounds particularly appealing to mothers and grandmothers (and perhaps great-grandparents), but nothing could be further from the truth. There is a special program for children at Hortus Botanicus in Leiden. While researching all the plants, children learn, and in the winter there is a special program “Winter Tales” for young children. One thing is for sure, after visiting Hortus, plants are never boring again.

Hortus Botanicus Leiden, Rapenburg 73, 2311 GJ Leiden. Opening hours: Every day through October 10am-6pm November-March Tuesday through Sunday 10am-4pm. Entrance fee: adults 8 euros, children from 4 to 12 years 3.50 euros. For more information, see: Hortusleiden.nl

Sharks in a castle

Re-enactment at Fort Kijkduin.© picture

The strange duck in the sting is Fort Kijkduin. As in the other castles, it is a bit interesting inside due to the small dark spaces where history was written. But what’s different about this castle is that fish swim here too! Rays and other North Sea fish swim around and over your head in a glass tunnel. In other areas you can see snakes and even sharks. They can be fed. Also sharks. Who dares?

Fort Kijkduin, Admiraal Verhuellplein 1, 1789 AX Huisduinen. Opening hours: every day from 10 am to 5 pm. Entry fee: adults 10 euros, children from 4 to 12 years 8.50 euros. For more information see: Fortkijkduin.nl

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