Four Days In Den Haag With Kids

by farrah on July 24, 2015 · 3 comments

While my husband was away the first week the boys were out of school, I worked out a deal with my friend in Den Haag. She was going to Greece, and needed someone to look after her cat. We needed some serious distractions. I knew there was loads of stuff to do up there, so we packed up the car and drove the hour and a half north for a mini ‘vacation’.

scheveningenBoys by the iconic Kurhaus Hotel

Day 1

Sunday the weather was beautiful. If you’re lucky enough to catch a sunny day (they do exist here) make sure you spend it outside. There are playgrounds all over Den Haag, and with awesome little neighborhood shopping streets to explore. We shopped and ate in the Frederiksplein area that afternoon.

Day 2

sculptures at scheveningenThe many sculptures on the beach welcome kids to climb.

Our first full day in the area we already knew what we wanted to do: Beach. When you think beach in the Netherlands, most people will think Scheveningen! It’s a beautiful beach with countless beach-y cafes that have everything you could possibly want. With comfortable sofas padded with pillows and cozy fireplaces, no matter what the weather these are fun. It’s also pretty spectacular how many of them have trampolines, slides and other distractions to keep the kids entertained.

Sea Life scheveningenAt Sea Life touching slimy stuff.

We also hit up Sea Life, the chain of aquariums around Europe. This was our second Sea Life experience, our first being in Paris- so I knew what to expect. No aquarium will rival Atlanta’s Georgia Aquarium though in my mind (sorry rest of the world), because it’s just that incredible. However, the boys had a good time and I liked how there was a guidebook to have stamped along the way. I did not like the price tag- as it was around €60 for admission and another €5 for the guidebook. Good thing I brought our lunch.

 scheveningen

We were meeting a friend of mine for dinner at Cafe Rootz in the center, so left the beach as it started to rain (good call on my part- also considering parking was up to €10 for the day) and headed back for a short rest at our friend’s house. Another thing I really like about DH is the tram system. She has a tram at the end of her street which took us directly where we needed to go.

Rootz has a fabulous beer menu, their bitterballen is tops, and kids get markers and a coloring book. The service is slow (even by Dutch standards) and the meals are pricy- so brace yourself for that too.

Day 3

Madurodam

I have been hearing about Madurodam as long as we’ve been here, so this was a must see! All that I knew was that it was an outdoor display of all things Netherlands in miniature. The boys loved this park, and I really did too. They could run around, we could look at cool working displays and play ‘I’ve seen that!’ at the majority of exhibits. Plus the playground is pretty swell too.

Madurodam

A couple of interesting things to note about Madurodam: First it was established in 1952 as a war memorial to hero George Maduro who died in a concentration camp 1945. His parents gave the initial investment in the park.

MadurodamBoat locks at Madurodam. I had to drag them away.

Second, Madurodam was also established as a fundraiser and promotional arena for children’s charities. Every year Madurodam donates its proceeds to children’s charities in the Netherlands. So that did take a little sting out of the sticker shock.

We also popped in on The European Mama, Olga! I picked up my copies of ‘Dutched Up‘- which I have a couple to give away very soon.

Tips: Buy your tickets online. There’s a big discount for 4 people if you buy online vs. at the ticket booth! Arrive early, like when it opens. It’s a very popular attraction and it’s not much fun getting stuck behind a busload. Also bring your lunch! 

Day 4

It only took me six hours to pack us up and hit the road. I’m guessing those of you with the kiddos know what I’m talking about! I had to get home to prep for our next adventure- two weeks of Austria and Lake Como… All in all Den Haag has so much to do with kids- if you’ve got some time, you have plenty to do.

Been to Den Haag? What did you do and what’s your best tip?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Elizabeth July 30, 2015 at 3:16 am

This is a great list. I cannot wait to try all these out in less then two weeks! We leave Saturday to head your way…hopefully I’ll have the blog updated soon but I’m currently drowning in packing. This was a great distraction though to get me started thinking about all the fun things we will be doing when we arrive.

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2 Marc August 9, 2015 at 4:00 pm

Nice list and glad you had a great time. I have yet to get to that part of the world.

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