Kabouter Hunting: Bosschuur de Meren

Every fall, my families favorite place to play outside puts on a kabouter hunt! Kabouter Hunting: Bosschuur de Meren is a really great way to spend a fall day.

So what is a kabouter?


Cute, aren’t they? Basically they are what we English speakers call gnomes. They live in little houses in the forest.

The beginning of the hunt you can get in the mood by painting your cheeks a rosy red. Then you follow the path and hunt for the little houses. Will you see a kabouter on the way?

I wrote what I will call the “first draft” of this post a while ago and I really didn’t intend to change it. Its been pretty much the same every year. The kids always love it so we keep going back. They are always changing it around and adding new elements so it never got boring but over the last few years it has been pretty much the same. I was shocked when we went this time! It’s like the little kabouters were whispering in their ear that they needed more color in their life!

These were some of the photos from previous years.

We went yesterday and it was amazing! The little houses were so colorful! They have really outdone themselves.


The trail starts at a little table where you can paint your cheeks a rose red. Then you follow the path of mushrooms through the forest and spot the houses along the rout. Every year we go I get to hear squealing children shouting “A HOUSE! THIS WAY!!” This year we went though the trail twice. The kids found new things on the second round.


These are some of the pictures from the original post. I am leaving them in because I love them. I was so cold!

Here are some pics from this year. Spot the main difference? ( Besides the upgraded houses. Perhaps the little kabouters won the lottery?)

Man, it was warm!!


Totally check it out. Bring a picnic and spend the day. I would recommend a spare change of clothes. Your kids WILL get dirty, embrace it. As you can see my daughter insisted on a brand new dress that her daddy bought for her. She was the best dressed person on the hunt! Luckily she knew enough to wear a tank and shorts under so she could “play properly”  and then put the dress back on. Smart cookie, that one. It helps that we practically live at Bosschuur!



Some Practical Information:

  • The kabouter houses are only in the forest during fall break.
  • This is their address: Merenweg 2A 5513 AR Wintelre
  • This is Bosschuur de Meren’s website: Bosschuur de Meren
  • For more information about this great place check out my previous blog post: Bosschuur De Meren
  • Dutch Play Forests  This a website that shows all the Speelbossen in The Netherlands (sorry it’s on Dutch)
  • You can’t park on the grounds during the event. Park at a sports center just next to Bosschuur. Look for the blue signs.
  • This year the center will be open during the week during the break!! This is great news because you will have access to a toilette. There is also tea, coffee, hot chocolate and such on offer. Bring some change because there is a small fee (more like a donation really, like 1 Euro a cup)


My son took this picture of me as we were leaving. Proper bag lady but I love it!



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