Looking for activities to do with the kids during the Christmas school holiday (‘kerstvakantie’) in The Hague, Rotterdam, Leiden, Delft or elsewhere in South Holland? Read on to see our ten suggestions…
1 – Christmas Circus – It’s a popular Dutch tradition to attend a circus show over the Christmas holidays. There are several offered in South Holland, including the Groot Kerstcircus Den Haag (Saturday 24th December through Sunday 8th January on the Malieveld) and Kerstcircus Ahoy (Saturday 24th December through Friday 30th December at Ahoy arena in Rotterdam Zuid)
2 – Winter Ice Skating – Another popular Dutch tradition around the Christmas holidays is ice skating. Many municipalities throughout Holland have temporary ice rinks built which lasts anywhere from a couple of weeks up to two months. These rinks are usually covered, although not totally enclosed. You can take the kids ice skating in Rotterdam (through Wednesday 1st March), The Hague – Scheveningen (through Sunday 15th January), Leiden (through Sunday 8th January), Delft (through Sunday 8th January), Gouda (through Sunday 15th January) and Noordwijk (through Sunday 15th January).
3 – Christmas Fireworks – On Monday 26th December (second day of Christmas) a fireworks show will take place at Scheveningen beach at 19:00.
4 – Winter Lights at Madurodam – The Holland-in-miniature-replica theme park in The Hague is offering a special holiday lights presentation until Sunday 8th January, featuring 50,000 LED bulbs. If you prefer not to be outdoors when taking in miniature replicas, visit Miniworld Rotterdam, the largest indoor mini-world in the Benelux. They are open every day from 10:00-17:00 (closed on New Year’s Day).
5 – Pancake Boat Christmas Cruises – The Pannenkoekenboot in Rotterdam is offering special Christmas cruises along the Maas river including, of course, unlimited pancakes in a myriad of flavours. On the second day of Christmas, there are 3 cruises offered – a 2-hour brunch cruise from 11:00-13:00 (Adults €23.50, Children €18.50) and two regular cruises 13:30-16:00 and 16:30-17:00 (Adults €29.50, Children €19.50).
6 – Alice in Winterwonderland – This year’s big Christmas holiday production by the DDDDD (De Dutch Don’t Dance Division) featuring hundreds of local amateur and professional dancers, colourful costumes, ornate set designs and a musical score performed by The Hague Philharmonic Orchestra. There are only six performances in total between Sunday 25th and Wednesday 28th December.
7 – Special Museum Events for Kids – Several museums throughout South Holland are offering special interactive programs for children during the Christmas school vacation including the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in Leiden, Kunsthal in Rotterdam and the Mauritshuis in The Hague.
8 – Skiing and Snowboarding – SnowWorld in Zoetermeer recently opened the steepest indoor ski run in the Netherlands. Older children will undoubtedly enjoying the thrill of speeding down a 20% grade slope while younger children may prefer tubing or snowboarding on the lower runs.
9 – The Lion King – The longest running musical on Broadway is currently playing at the Circustheater in Scheveningen. The Disney live action spectacular features all the well-known songs including ‘Hakuna Matta’ and ‘Circle of Life’. Matinee performances take place on Monday 26th, Wed 28th and Fri 30th December. Tickets from €29.
10 – Movies – There are movies showing throughout South Holland appealing to children of various ages, including Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Vaiana (Moana), Sing and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Animated films for younger children are more frequently shown in the Dutch version, so be careful to check the language for the film you are interested in. The English-language version of both Vaiana and Sing are showing in theaters in The Hague and Rotterdam this week.