In Featured, Forest & park

Exploring natural playgrounds

Kind in hut bij Woeste Westen Amsterdam

While playgrounds are always a good idea, natural playgrounds are where the true adventures take place. Climbing, building, hiding and loads of water fun! Discover the best adventurous natural playgrounds in and around Haarlem:

Natural playground Speelbos Meermond Heemstede

Speelbos Meermond, Heemstede

A steep slide, little cabins on a hill, and a cable car, just to mention a few. There are no facilities located on the playground, but you are free to bring your own picnic basket.
Address: Cruquiusweg 49, Heemstede
Visiting hours: open to public year-round

Climbing trees at Informatieboerderij Zorgvrij

Speelbos at Informatieboerderij Zorgvrij, Spaarnwoude

Located on the farm, the kids can explore the spiderwebs, climb the trees and get their feet wet in the lake.
Address: Genieweg 50, Velsen-Zuid
Visiting hours: Wintertime (Nov 1st–March 1st ): Wednesday-Sunday 11.00-17.00pm
Summertime (March 1st–Nov 1st) Tuesday-Sunday 10.00-17.00pm
During (Northern region) vacations, also open on Mondays and Tuesdays.
The stables and playgrounds are open to public year-round.

Building with pallets at Natuur Speeleiland

Natuur Speeleiland, Haarlem

Using your imagination while building with pallets, climbing ropes or showing your skills on the midget golf course, this playground found at the Veerplas, is a true adventure.
With activities such as fairytale evenings in the summer, there is plenty to do throughout the year, or host your own birthday party! Open until October 31st.
Address: A. Hofmanweg 62A, Haarlem
Visiting hours: Wed & Fri 12.00-18.00pm, Sat & Sun 11.00-18.00pm

Paddenpoel natural playground Haarlem

Paddenpoel, Haarlem

For those already familiar with the Kweektuin, this natural playground is a sure adventure for your little ones. A water pump, rope bridges across the water, and monkeybars and while you’re at it, follow the gnome path and end your day with a visit to the Kweekcafé.
Address: Kleverlaan 9, Haarlem
Visiting hours: Mon-Fri 09:00-17:00, Sat & Sun 10:00-17:00

Build your own raft at Woeste Westen

Woeste Westen, Amsterdam

Though a bit further out, this is definitely worth a visit. What could be better then starting your own fire, building a raft and taking it out on the water?! (suitable for birthday parties).
Address: Overbrakerpad 3, Amsterdam
A 4 minute walk from soccer club SDZ located at the Tranformatorweg 10, where you can park your car for 10c an hour/max 3 hours.
Visiting hours: though the grounds are open to public, the ranger is available on Wed, Sat, Sun from 11:00-18:00pm and from 13:00-18:00 on all other days.

Duincafe Kennemerduinen natural playground

Duincafé Kennemerduinen, Overveen

A terrace located near duinmeer ‘t Wed and the playground makes for a perfect playdate! Duincafé Kennemerduinen is perfect even for the little ones to explore and play in the sand and water.
Address: Zeeweg 12, Overveen
Visiting hours: Tues-Sun 10:00-17:00pm (may be open bit longer on summer days) Open on Mondays during schoolholidays in the Northern region.

Natural playground Velserbroek

Natuurspeeltuin Velserbroek, Velserbroek

A local favorite for kids to roam around. Filled with tiny bridges, a look-out post and even a cable car kids are sure to spend an hour or two exploring this natural playground.
Address: Grote Buitendijk, Velserbroek
Visiting hours: open to public, year-round
No website was found for this playground.

Gestrand de Lakens

Gestrand at Camping de Lakens, Bloemendaal

Loads of sand, scrap wood, and water. This seems to fit the definition of a natural playground for sure! Adventurous enough for kids while the adults enjoy a cup of coffee while watching from the terrace.
Address: Zeeweg 60, Bloemendaal aan Zee
Visiting hours: daily from 12:00-21:00pm

Text & pictures by: Nicoline van Slingelandt
Picture Informatieboerderij Zorgvrij: Ingrid van Koppenhagen

Translated by: Fatima Fazli-Vermeulen

Keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram for even more child friendly tips or buy the book MUGJES (in Dutch), with over 100 locations, tips by locals and fun activities in Haarlem (and surroundings) for kids aged 0 to 7.

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