Linnaeushof, Nijntje museum and Sea life: 3 great places for toddlers

Where to visit with your kids in the Netherlands?

The summer is upon us and with it free roaming children to entertain. Maybe you are staying in the Netherlands for the holidays or perhaps you have family visiting? Or you’re on the lookout for a fun place to celebrate your little one’s birthday! Here are a couple of nice places to visit with your kids.

Linnaeushof: the largest playground in Europe

Address: Glipperweg 4c, 2104 AK Heemstede

If your little ones are under 7 years of age, you shouldn’t miss the chance to bring them to Linnaeushof, the largest playground in Europe. Yeah, you read that right! It is located in Heemstede, so very close to Haarlem.

It is a giant park and it has been designed with small children in mind which means everything is at their height. As you enter, you will find the kids will not even know where to go first! It’s a great place to visit with your kids in the Netherlands.

There is a lake with pedal boats, a Tirolese, a secret island that you can only access through a bridge, boats, and a bouncing castle. A police station, a mini supermarket, and restaurant for pretend-play, a giant slide, merry-go-rounds, the actual house of a bunny, and a whole area dedicated to playing with water. When we went, we just did not stop. The kids were like: “let’s go there, now there, then there, and there” – the whole day long.

Needless to say, our kids had the best day ever and they are already asking when we will be going again. What is nice is that there are so many things to do and it is so spread out that there were no queues. No waiting! You can just go and play at your own leisure. It was also quite magical to access the park through a forest path, making it special to finally find the entrance.

Nijntje museum in Utrecht

Address: Agnietenstraat 2, 3512 XB Utrecht

If you are raising small children, you must be familiar with Dick Bruna’s iconic character Nijntje (or Miffy as it is known in English). Nijntje is the sweet white bunny with simple lines and forms that makes it perfect for toddlers to relate to.

Well, there is a Nijntje museum right in the center of the country, in Utrecht of course. They can ride a bus, play in a house, look at the books, sleep in Nijntje’s bed, play with her kitchen or -a classic Dutch one: “klussen”- working with tools.

There is an area for making art, another one explaining the creative process of Dick Bruna and of course also an area for having a very – gezellig – lunch break with a slide in the middle. The place is amazing but for this one, I would advise trying to go on a weekday because it does get very very full. Clearly, it’s a very popular place to visit with your kids in the Netherlands.


Sea Life in Scheveningen

Address: Strandweg 13, 2586 JK Den Haag

This is the Aquarium at the old pier in The Hague, just a few steps away from the iconic Kurhaus hotel. You can not compare it with large, world-famous aquariums like Atlanta, Lisbon or Osaka. But I think, in a way, that’s what makes it great for kids: it is small enough for them to roam around without getting too tired.

They can touch starfish and anemones, they can learn about world issues regarding the ocean like reducing plastics; avoiding eating certain species of fish; the effect of counterfeit of corals or turtles, etc. They have a tank illuminated in such a way that it seems that the jellyfish change colors as they swim and a seahorse nurseries.

They can play paleontologist, as well as watch penguins and sea otters. The little ones can also watch piranhas and other tropical fish and learn about how we are all related to each other. If you are lucky, they sometimes have free face-painting! There is also an area to paint and color, and a blue screen in which their own drawing comes to life. Plus, it is right at the beach, so you can combine it with a fun day near the sand and the water.

Have you been to any of these places? Did your children have a blast? We can guarantee that these are places that should be on your list! Do you have more to add? Let us know in the comments below!

Amanda Steck
Amanda Steck
I am a Mexican girl, born to a Swiss father and married to a Dutch guy, living in The Netherlands for 9 years (oh how time flies!). I have a background in Biology and Veterinary medicine and a passion for travel, writing, baking, reading, discovering bookshops jumping around like crazy and red dresses. I also blog at Poppies and Ice-cream.


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