May holiday is coming up! May holiday is unique in the Netherlands and for us, it is extra special because we celebrate Julia’s birthday in May. Looking back, in 2015, we took the kids on a road trip to the South of Holland and to Belgium. Our first stop was Kinderdijk which literally means Children’s Dike. Holland is well known for its windmills and the most number of well preserved old windmills can be found here in Kinderdijk. These windmills were built in the 17th century to drain the polder. For this, Kinderdijk had been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. On a nice sunny day, one can take a walk and see the windmills up close or take a boat tour.
As a treat to Julia, we took them next to the Efteling. It is a theme park geared towards the youngest children. I especially like that most of the rides in the playground are mechanical and not fully automated. You have to swing, jump, hop, push, slide! The queues to the rides and attractions are also not that long considering it is the middle of May holidays for the children. The Sprookjesbos (Fairy tale forest) is the highlight in the park. It features scenes from well known children’s fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen, Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault. It was fun guessing which fairy tale the figures/scenes were all about.
After a day in Efteling, we drove further south to the Belgian city of Hasselt to meet up a friend of ours who offered to accompany us around Brussels. She took us first to Atomium – which I initially thought was a Science museum. Nope it wasn’t. The Atomium was built on the occasion of the World Fair of Brussels in the ’50s. It was one of the most unique buildings I’ve seen so far. Next to the Atomium was mini-Europe – a miniature park of Europe. We decided to check out the park and the guessing game with the kids continued!
It was a fun day out and was nice to catch up with our friend. Further west of Brussels is the medieval city of Bruges. It is actually one of the most well-preserved medieval towns in Europe and is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. I had been to Bruges before, by myself, to attend a conference and I thought the city center was lovely. So, it was nice to come back with the whole family and enjoy walking the streets of Bruges.