A Day in Haarlem with the Kids

This week, we’re out for a day in Haarlem with the kids! Are you babysitting in Haarlem, but running out of options for activities with the kids? Or maybe you just want to spoil them a little on a warm summer day but you don’t know where to start? We’ve got your back!

We’ve spent a day gathering a list of fun activities to do with the kids on a nice summer day in Haarlem. We hope this gives you some inspiration and makes for a wonderful day out!

Haarlem is the historical capital of the province of Noord-Holland, ironically located in the Western part of the Netherlands. Haarlem is a bit like Amsterdam’s sister city. It’s beautiful, filled to the brim with culture and adventure, but a little closer to the local way of life in the Netherlands. Enjoy this list of fun activities in Haarlem for a day out with the kids!

Het Paradijsje Playground

Het Paradijsje – “The Little Paradise” – is a hidden little gem in the heart of Haarlem, waiting to be discovered. (To make is easy for you, here is the address: Witte Herenstraat 36). The playground is made for younger kids, so no big climbing frames or slides here! Instead, you’ll find a large sandbox, some swings and lots of ride on cars and little bikes to play with. There also is only one exit/entrance to make it easy for you to keep an eye on the kids while you relax on one of the many picnic benches. If one of you gets thirsty, lemonade and coffee is sold for only 50 cents!

Petting Zoo de Houthoeve

This petting zoo (in Dutch: Kinderboerderij) is one of the many (between 550-600!) in the Netherlands. Most of them were opened in the 1950’s with the intention of  teaching city folks about farming and food production, for instance. However, today you can visit them to pet goats, see some deer, and play in the playgrounds! Kids are welcome to pet the goats, rabbits, sheep, donkeys, as well as feed the chickens, turkeys, peacocks, and ducks. Located just South of the city center, this petting zoo is the largest one in Haarlem. It is close to the Haarlemmerhout park which has a small playground, it is perfect for a fun summer day trip!

Haarlem’s Markets

Have you really been in the Netherlands if you didn’t visit a market? Enjoy a cultural activity with the kids and stroll along one of the many, but definitely one of the best, markets in the Netherlands. Mondays and Saturdays the Grote Markt (big market square) in the city center transforms into a large weekly market. On Monday’s market you can find clothes, fabrics and haberdashery. Saturday you will find fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, meat, bread and cheese, and of course the unmissable flowers. Saturday, the Botermarkt is also stalled with a smaller market where you will find mostly fresh produce. Even without buying anything, these markets are a great way to enjoy a weekend, stroll around with the kids. If you happen to be babysitting on a weekday, we’ve still got you covered:

Monday – Grote Markt and Botermarkt
Tuesday – Schalkwijk
Wednesday – Botermarkt (2nd hand market)
Thursday – Floresstraat
Friday – Botermarkt (organic products)
Saturday – Grote Markt and Botermarkt

Classic Dutch Snacks!

Maybe you have nicer food where you’re from…yes. Dutch “cuisine” isn’t that imaginative, we know! But the treats are amazing for kids to enjoy on a warm summer day. Haarlem offers different options on this front, because who doesn’t love a slice of bread with chocolate sprinkles (hagelslag, or muisjes as the locals call it)? Try or buy Poffertjes (mini pancakes), fresh stroopwafels with a cup of tea straight from one of the many markets. Find the best pancakes in town at Nurks in de Hout, a pancake restaurant in the Haarlemmerhout park. Explore kid-friendly restaurants like Meneer Paprika, Pippa’s, or Yoghurt Barn for a more nutritious and filling meal or healthier snack that the kids will love!

Teylers Museum

Not every day in the summer can be warm and sunny, and for rainy days you need a plan B! Teylers Museum offers the solution as the oldest museum in the Netherlands in a beautiful, historical house on the Spaarne River. It is a museum of art, natural history, and science, and offers workshops and fun and educational activities for kids to enjoy. If the kids love science and old inventions, or if they’re interested in ancient biology and fossils, this museum will let their imagination run wild!


We hope this list has given you some ideas for what adventures to go on next with the kids this summer! However, if you need more inspiration, check out our pinterest board!

If you find yourself similarly out of options, but not in Haarlem, we’ve got you covered! Find more posts about things to do in the most popular Dutch cities on our blog!