Now that summer is finally upon us it’s time to get outside and have a good play! I would like to kick off the fast approaching school holidays by sharing some of my favorite parks in the Eindhoven area. Speeltuin Kabouterdorp is among our favorites. A speeltuin is a “play garden” and this general term refers to any outdoor playground.
There are 2 basic kinds in this area: the free ones and the not free ones. There are benefits to both. The free parks are free and thats really nice. They are also always open and this is a huge plus. The pay parks are generally very inexpensive, say around 50 cents per person and you get a lot for your money.
There are some very good reasons to splurge a little on one of these parks
- These parks are completely fenced in and generally have only 1 exit. I personally love this in a park because I have 2 kids and it’s sometimes hard to keep track of both of them.
- There is generally a small cafe. You can buy drinks, ice cream and sometimes sandwiches
- Staff. For someone whose Dutch skills are less than stellar this makes a huge difference. If there is an issue with a child (fallen and can’t find their parent or a big kid being a little to rough around the little ones) I like that there is someone there for me to go to
- Shovels and buckets are just scattered everywhere for general use. Because who wants to pack a bag of dirty toys around?
The down side (because there is always a downside): they close. They will generally be open during peak out of school times and they will often close completely during the winter months. Make sure you are familiar with their opening times before you promise the kids anything ( I have made this mistake and it was a tantrum filled disaster).
So now that thats all out of the way we can talk about one of our favorite parks. I really like this one because it’s in Veldhoven and a short bike ride from where I live but its well worth a short drive. There are lots of play areas and things to do for all ages. There are a few picnic tables, scattered benches and plenty of shade; all very important things for a long summer day outside.
The water play area is a particular favorite with my kids and is a really common feature in parks like Kabouterdorp. There is a water pump and the water flows down through different channels at various levels until it reaches the sand. The big kids devote their time to building dams and routing the water (I thinks it’s in the Dutch genes) and the little kids get really dirty and roll around. Most kids end up with very little clothes on when it’s hot outside and that’s perfectly okay. Kids end up in diapers or their skivvies when their clothes become too wet and sandy.
In Dutch parks it’s always a good idea to bring a change of clothes!
There are also slides, swings tricycles, and trampolines.
There is a miniature golf area in the back of the park. This can be good and bad. It annoyed me a little when my kids were really young and I had to spend half of my time saying “no, that area isn’t for you to play on”. My kids are now 4 and nearly 2 and I don’t worry so much. Although my 4 year old and his friends just roll the ball around and randomly hit it with the club. They know now not to interrupt peoples’ “real” games and only play where there aren’t other people. Everyone there is with their kids so no one really minds the occasional interruption. Best yet, it’s free. Just ask the people in the front office and they will give you everything you need.
Some practical Information
- Here is a link to their website (sorry, its in Dutch) Speeltuin Kabouterdorp
- There is some parking but not huge amounts
- This is the address: BROEKWEG 105 5502 BA VELDHOVEN
- They have free wifi
Sorry for the glare. This Foto was taken on in July 2016
We really enjoy this park. It’s an “easy” place to go because the kids can have fun and explore on their own and I don’t have to worry about them getting lost or seriously injuring themselves.
I highly recommend checking out Speeltuin Kabouterdorp. Maybe we will see you there!