Why I love spring in the Netherlands, you may ask? Well, other than the fact that the weather is getting warmer there’s plenty of stuff to do under the sun. Here are some of my favorite spring activities that you too can enjoy this lente (that’s Dutch for ‘spring’).
Bye, bye winter, Spring is coming…
Spring is just around the corner (heh it has finally arrived!). And I just can’t wait to tell you why I love spring in the Netherlands so much! Really, it is not a joke when I say it is one of my favorite seasons. As someone who grew up in Mexico (where it is sunny all year long and the trees never lose all of their leaves), watching the seasons in all their doom and glory is really an experience. Contrary to popular belief, Mexico does have 4 seasons. However, they are not nearly as marked as in this Northern hemisphere little corner of the World.
The key to enjoying spring in the Netherlands is patience: the long Dutch winter
One of the hardest parts of the never-ending winter is dealing with the darkness. When November hits, you wake up and there’s no light yet. Later you come home, and the light is already gone – it really influences everybody’s mood. That is probably the reason why they invented Sinterklaas, Christmas, St. Lucy, Sint Maarten and other light-related holidays. People need something to look forward to.
Then comes January, followed by a short grey period where you can buy all your Christmas decorations and cards heavily discounted. Soon, weirdly enough, the shelves of the shops start filling with chocolate Eggs.
Yeah, after Christmas, and some imported Holidays like Valentine’s day and of course carnival in the South, Easter starts being advertised. With its promise of bunnies, light, and a renewal of life! Even when it is still crazy cold (and it will often be cold frequently until June most probably), there is a change in the light. And suddenly the days get l-o-n-g-e-r.
I love Spring in the Netherlands: The best of Spring
Those sunny days with a crisp blue sky and the first branches blooming and oh, flowers. Flowers, everywhere. Wildflowers, flowers at the shops, flowers in pots. The whole thing really, really cheers you up.
The promise of sitting in a terrace drinking beer or coffee, having a picnic on a boat while cruising the canal and long afternoons at the park, changes everything. Suddenly you don’t even mind the cold so much, because there is light.
And of course with Spring comes tulip season, with herds of people visiting the Keukenhof for the short period that it stays open; shortly followed by King’s day, the most important holiday of them all, at the end of April.
If you have kids, or if you are an animal lover, this is the time to visit petting farms (kinderboerderijen) as you might even see some cuddly baby goats or lambs. Het Geertje in Zoetermeer is particularly nice.
Nature and food: The key to loving spring in the Netherlands
Truly, I can hardly wait. Are you with me?
If you are in The Hague, picnic season is on. Some of the best spots are :
–Paleistuin, behind the Noordeinde palace. Really, a Haagse classic and a place where you will find the bizarre mix of students smoking weed, children playing and your regular overexcited Dutchies taking any opportunity they can to work on their suntan.
-Coming soon and not to be missed: on April 28, the opening of the Japanese garden at Clingendael. This is a beautiful garden that is only open temporarily. The park itself is huge, with plenty of place to walk, have ice cream, play football or look at the animals. There is a big playground for the kids too.
-In the Benoordenhout area there is a beautiful and not-so-well-known playground, de Arendsdorp. It has water pumps and wooden structures as well as some picnic tables where the fun of the kids is guaranteed.
And if you don’t want to sit on the grass and be close to bugs but you still want to enjoy the sun, a terrace is for you. Try some of the many restaurants and cafés at Plein or Grote Markt.
What are your favourite parts of Spring? Let us know in the comments! Don’t forget to join our Facebook group for more Dutchie things!
Oh, and here’s to enjoy the Summer in the Netherlands like a true Dutchie 😉