Yesterday, June 21st, was officially the longest day of the year – which can only mean one thing: Today is officially summer! So now the biggest challenge: how do you keep your (babysitting) kids happy during those long, warm summer days in the city? We thought we might help you out with this list of fun activities to do everyday in Utrecht with the kids, as well as some summer events coming up that are ideal for kids and expat families! So start checking off the items, summer has only started!
On Saturdays, Utrecht transforms into a city of flowers. The entirety of Janskerkhof is covered with a variety of beautiful flowers, plants, and succulents, where you can safely let the kids wonder around and admire the diverse flora this market has to offer. Grab an Italian sandwich from “Broodje Carlo” located on-site, and enjoy the smells, sights, and sunshine of this beautiful flower market. Can’t get enough? Head to the “Oudegracht” (Old Canal) where more flower markets line the sides of the canal. The flowers from these markets are remarkably cheap and last up to two weeks in a vase!
Wondering what to do on a warm afternoon in Utrecht? Take the kids on a picnic at the beautiful and historical Wilhelminapark in East Utrecht! Pack some delicious foods (check out our Pinterest board for inspiration!), and find a patch of lush green grass, perhaps by the elegant fountain in the park. Read a book in the sunshine while the kids run around in the grass, or take the kids on a walk around the park where you will see it is surrounded by stately mansions and old villas. You’ll also never be alone, lots of local students and/or young families flock to this park for summer picnics or barbecues!
When life gives you lemons…you make lemonade! So in a city with canals, you’d be crazy not to explore them on a boat! Take the kids out on a boat tour, a gondola, or rent your own little boat, and let them explore the waters that run through the entire city. If they’re eight years old or over, you can even rent a kayak or peddle boat and enjoy life on the water this way. Water is crucial to the Dutch lifestyle, so immerse yourself and enjoy a day on the canals!
Not every day in the summer will be warm and full of sunshine in the Netherlands, and for those colder rainy days there are plenty of museums to visit that are catered towards kids! Learn all about the story behind 175 years of railways in the Netherlands at the fun and interactive Railway Museum, or take the kids to the especially immersive Miffy Museum, where they get to explore the world of Miffy from the moment they set foot in the museum. Museum Speelklok has been labeled “the most fun and cheerful cultural activity in Utrecht”, with its self-playing musical instruments such as musical clocks, musical boxes, orchestrions (self-playing orchestras) and the traditional Dutch street organs. It is a guaranteed good way to cheer up a rainy day!
Looking to find more internationals in the Utrecht area? Look no further than the Utrecht International Sunday Market, held June 30th from 14:00-17:00. The event is free of entry but is a fundraising event for charity, organised by the International Women’s Contact Utrecht. The event is open for people of all ages, and the kids are sure to enjoy some fresh lemonade at the kids lemonade stand with their new international friends.
For more inspiration, check out our Utrecht activities Pinterest board!