It is winter again in The Netherlands, therefore the days get shorter while the nights get longer. The weather becomes colder and sometimes unpredictable, with period of wet and dryness and some sunny days. Snow also comes around this time of the year, though the thickness has varied over the last years. To make the most of your winter in The Netherlands, below are the lists of fun family activities during winter.
Fun family activities during winter in the Netherlands
1. Go ice skating or sleighing.
Ice skating or sleighing is the best way to enjoy the frozen lakes, rivers, ponds, or water canals during winter in The Netherlands. When temperature drops below zero for several days, the whole country gets busy in enjoying its favourite winter sport, while drinking warm chocomelk (or chocolate milk) or Glühwein. The beautiful ice skating rinks in The Netherlands include the skating rink Rotterdam, ice rink Scheveningen, skating rink in Breda, skating rink in canals or in front of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and floating skating rink in Leiden. Interested to learn more? Check out the best skating spots in The Netherlands in this link.
2. Visit Christmas markets.
Since winter comes around December, which coincides with Christmas festivities, there are several Christmas markets that you can visit in The Netherlands. These Christmas markets are held in the city centre of any major (and non-major cities) such as in Amsterdam, Utrecht, Maastricht, Leiden and so on. If you want to visit the best Christmas market in The Netherlands, then I suggest that you go to Valkenburg. This is city is considered as the Christmas capital of The Netherlands. Check out my blog about Valkenburg for more information. People visiting Christmas markets can enjoy buying locally made products, stores’ discounted products, foods, and other religious items.
3. Visit indoor events during winter in The Netherlands.
Winter in The Netherlands is also the best time to visit many indoor events such as exhibitions, orchestra, indoor concert, or children plays. Staying indoor while enjoying your favourite cultural and/or family events makes it warm and gezellig (cozy) activity with the kids and family.
4. Go shopping for Christmas and end-of-the-year sales.
Going for a winter shopping is the best time to take advantage of many year-end sales. You can enjoy shopping kid’s clothes and shoes, as well as something for yourself or your part, at reasonable prices. Make sure to include a visit to kid’s play area and a restaurant to not get the kids bored during the shopping.
5. Enjoy light festivals.
Since the day gets short during winter, many light festival and glow events are also done in The Netherlands. These include for example the Amsterdam Light Festival, which happens during end November to 3rd week January, Magical Maastricht during end November to end December, and GLOW Eindhoven which is considered as city of light. A more extensive lists of the Light Festivals in The Netherlands can be found here in Dutch Review. There is also a famous Light festivals that kids will surely enjoy such as the Ouwehands Light Nights (in the Zoo) and Ijsbeelden Festival in Zwolle. In case you will visit the Ouwehands Zoo, check out what to expect in this blog.
6. Visit Winter Efteling.
Still looking for a nice winter activity for family in The Netherlands? Then visit the Winter Efteling which begins during 2nd week November to first week of February. Efteling is a recreation park in Kaatsheuvel in the South of The Netherlands. It features the Grimm brothers’ fairy tales in the Fairy Tale Forest (Sprookjes bos), the Jokie and Jet park show, the Symbolica magical dark ride in a castle, the Monorail that tour you along the Laafland – a cozy fantasy village for small group of people, and the Gondolleta boat ride. Check out my blog about Efteling in this blog.