Where the heck is Drenthe you ask?-Well it’s that province waaaay over to the top and right on the map of the Netherlands, keep looking, now go north a bit, that’s right…there it is, Drenthe! The vacation spot of the rich and famous Dutch and German. Drenthe is only about 1.5 hours drive from Amsterdam, making it’s the perfect weekend getaway destination.
Drenthe boasts three national parks as well as rock formations called Hunebed, which date back 5000 years. History and scenery blend seamlessly together and offer up endless possibilities on a Sunday afternoon. It is also where camp grounds are found on almost every corner and where teenagers drive tractors to the local Jumbo.
Choosing only 5 events was difficult as the calendar is filled to the brim each year with family oriented fun, but here are my top 5:
Dates: June 24-26
This motorcycle race is the largest single day event in the Netherlands with 100,000 visitors. Located in Assen, the provincial capital of Drenthe. In addition to the bike races there are also nightly concerts, a fair and daily activities centered in and around the town of Assen. The venue itself hosts a variety of events year round so their website is worth checking out to see what other events may peak your interest.
Dates: July21-Aug 26
The event actually only takes place on a Thursday hence the “Donderdag” and each date hosts a different theme. They range from theatre day to street orchestras, Totally Holland themed and so on. All day activities to bring you outdoors and into the town of Meppel. Easily accessible by train, you can spend the day enjoying a variety of restaurants and music. Meppel is located right on the edge of Drenthe.
Dates: July 19-22
This bike event brings together about 14,000 nature and biking enthusiasts to the countryside of Drenthe. With multiple starting points you can choose what route you want to take and how far you want to go. Distances range from 25 km upwards to 100 km. Some locations have kids routes making this a great family event. You can take part in all 4 days or just one day, either way this fun family event is a great way to experience Drenthe.
Dates: September 3-4
Think Rose parade goes Dutch. Floats made of flowers, music in the streets, a blend of artistry and floristry with a whole lots of Dutch thrown in for good measure. This year the event will celebrate its 60th edition and has grown to welcome upwards of 70,000 visitors each year. This years motto: Made in Holland.
Date October 18th 2016.
This single day event brings in over 150,000 visitors and will celebrate its 816th year. That’s right you read that correctly, not a typo, eight hundred and sixteenth year! It started way back in the year 1200. Horses are brought from around the region and are put up for sale. All vet checked and tied to hitching lines, they are traded right there in the streets of Zuidlaaren. It certainly is a sight to behold. In addition there are over 400 market stalls selling pretty much anything you can think of. A fair with rides completes the day and it’s a great place for families. Only drawback is that it is on a Tuesday!