With a seven year old son and a four year old daughter there is never a dull moment! Thankfully they tune into each other’s interest and there is plenty to do in the Planetenwijk (Planetenbuurt) for them to have a good time.
With a recently renovated playground that includes a wooden train, slide, bike carousel and enough space to run around enclosed in a fenced area, the Zaanenpark is a local favorite. The Posthuis is also located on the playground and is available for (birthday) parties.
Outside of the fence there is a slightly more challenging monkey bar suitable for older kids. Besides the basketball/soccer field, you can also find a skating rink where little ones can race on their little bikes while the older ones can practice their latest tricks.
Just keep an eye out on your little ones when they do.
A favorite among my two kids is this mini version of Artis, officially named the smallest zoo in the Netherlands. A skunk, raccoon, snakes, and various turtles, just to name a few of the fabulous animals that live at Artisklas. The volunteers are more than happy to tell you all about the animals and their habitats.
Address: Arthur van Schendelpad 1, Haarlem.
Visiting hours: Saturdays and Sundays. Be sure to check the website for more info regarding visiting hours.
IJscafé Da Benito
On warm summer days, we hop on our bikes after dinner to get our desserts at Da Benito.
Smurfenijs (blue coloring and tastes like banana) or Kinderbueno (like the chocolate) are our definite favorites. With a terrace located on the street, we watch the passersby while enjoying our ice cream.
Address: Soendaplein 33, Haarlem
Openinghours: Tues-Sun 12:00-22:30pm
On rainy days we like to pay a visit to the local library located on the Planetenlaan. The kids like to explore the bins filled with books and get cozy on one of the couches when they find the one they like.
Address: Planetenlaan 170, Haarlem
Visiting hours: Mon 13:30-20:00pm, Tues-Fri 10:00-17:30pm and on Sat 10:00-14:00pm
Though it is currently being renovated, this park is a fabulous place to enjoy a long walk and when the kids get tired of walking, take a break in the playground filled with monkey bars and two slides.
After a walk in Schoterbos, we like to take a look at the animals in the petting zoo. Located in the Planetenwijk this petting zoo is filled with farm animals. And when the kids are done petting the animals, there is a playground where they can run around and play.
Address: Sportweg 1, Haarlem
Visiting hours: Tues, Thurs & Fri 12:00-17:00pm, Wed, Sat & Sun 10:00-17:00pm (closed between 12:30-13:00)
Text & pictures by: Fleur Beekes
Picture owl: Artisklas
Translated by: Fatima Fazli-Vermeulen