Top 5 Reasons to Visit Holland with Kids

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Windmills at the Zaanse Schans, Holland. For more tips and tricks to visit with babies and young children follow @awayweego
Windmills at the Zaanse Schans
When most of my travel clients make their first trip to Europe they generally choose Ireland or the UK as their first stop. The number one reason for this is because they're most comfortable with an English speaking country as their "Introduction" to Europe. In some ways not having a language barrier does make things simpler, however, after a recent trip with Miss P to the Netherlands, I'm pleased to share some of my top reasons for  visiting the Netherlands as a family trip. Having visited the Netherlands in many different aspects- the first time as a child myself, several times as a student, and later with my then fiancĂ© it was refreshing to experience the country again as a mother. It's one of my favorite places and feels like home away from home. In addition to having dear friends who live just outside of Amsterdam, my brother-in-law and Miss P's uncle is also originally from the Netherlands. I guess you can say it has a soft spot on my travel "Hot List". So when the opportunity to travel to Amsterdam to visit friends, meet a new baby, and run a Nike Women's 10k presented itself, I jumped at the opportunity. 

Here are my top reasons to visit the Netherlands as a family:

1. Language - Yes, Dutch is the official language spoken in the Netherlands, however did you know that more than three quarters of the population speak English? In addition to Dutch and English, most people in the Netherlands learn French and German and can easily converse in 3-4 languages. In fact, cannot recall a time when I found  myself unable to communicate in English while visiting the Netherlands.
Tips and Tricks for traveling with babies and young children. Follow along at @awayweego
Family Friendly Schiphol Airport
Babies Welcome!

2. Culture Galore - You know how we always see sterotypical "Dutch" people in books running around in their wooden shoes? Well, step outside of Amsterdam and you will actually see people wearing wooden clogs. I'm told their rather comfortable when worn with thick wool socks. Sitting in our friend's back garden it was fun to see them wearing their clogs to work around the house or in the garden. It is very important to me for my daughter to experience different cultures, see and embrace the differences, and welcome them into her life. The Netherlands is rich with Culture.To do as the Dutch do, explore the city or countryside on bicycle. Rent one for an afternoon or a day and experience the Netherlands. More people own bicycles in the Netherlands than own cars and it is safe and easy to get around like a local on a bicycle!

3. Museums - the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum are right in the city center and are fabulous places to visit with children. Selling travel I'm often told that my client's children don't like museums or would find them boring. Let me share with you a secret from my mother - kids will enjoy museums if you do and if you give them the chance. Her secret was to let us look at the gift shop first - that way we wouldn't walk through the museum thinking about what could be in the gift shop, and we would relax and enjoy. Seriously, you will see works of art that are famous in pop-culture right before your eyes, and it's a fabulous experience. Bonus - children can enjoy museums for reduced or even free admission.

Wooden Shoe Demonstration - Zaanse Schans - Holland Travel Tips. For more tips and tricks for traveling with babies and young children, follow along @awayweego
Miss P Enjoys a Wooden Shoe Making Demonstration

4. Zaanse Schans - just a short train ride from Amsterdam city center is the outdoor museum of the Zaanse Schans. You can visit for free and watch demonstrations on wooden shoe making, cheese making, visit antique shops, and see several working windmills. Find more here the Zaanse Schans It's similar to Greenfield Village back home in Michigan and is a lot of fun to visit. If you're looking for an opportunity to view windmills, this is it and it's just a short train ride from Amsterdam City Center. 

Beautiful wooden shoes - Holland Travel Tips and Tricks. For more travel tips for families with babies and young children, follow along @awayweego

Wooden Show Factory - the best of Holland! For more tips and tricks on family travel follow along @awayweego
Rows of Wooden Shoes for Sale

5. Tulips & Flowers Galore - From March until May you can visit the Keukenhof Gardens to see an amazing display of tulips and flowers from around the world. If you don't happen to travel during those dates, never fret, you can still visit the flower markets in Amsterdam any time of year. If you're traveling with very young children, it's a great opportunity to get them outside, get some fresh air and let them burn some of that energy. More information on the Keukenhof can be found at Keukenhof Netherlands

Stroopwafels - delicious view of Holland. For more tips and tricks to travel with babies and young children follow along @awayweego
Try Local Cuisine - Stroopwafel or Syrup Waffles!

Tips and Tricks for traveling with babies and young children. Follow along at @awayweego
Downtown Zaandam

If the opportunity arises, I certainly hope that you'll take the opportunity to visit the Netherlands with your family! From the United States, many major cities have nonstop flights which can take 8-9 hours flying time from the East Coast. From the UK, flying time is only around 1.5 hours making it an ideal short break for families.

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