Sterren Strand: Eersel

Sterren Strand: Eersel is a water park located on a camp ground. My kids call it the “indoor beach” because that’s how it feels. It is a shallow pool with sand and things to climb on. Although my kids have always focused almost completely on the indoor beach there is so much more to this place. It’s a camping place. The Dutch love these places. You pay by the night to pitch a tent and there is entertainment and food on the grounds. It’s really cool and makes for a super easy (and cheap) vacation because you never have to go anywhere. The camping ground is called TerSegelt BTW. There is more to do on the premises but the pool and beach area is called Sterren Strand and that’s what I’ll be focusing on for now.  There is also a normal pool with a really great toddler area, a nice beach with slides, a playground and a lake with paddling boats.

I’ll go through it in the order we usually do.

Room 1: The Beach

This is my favorite place to take the kids swimming because they really can do their own thing. The sand and water keep my daughter busy and my son likes to climb and explore. The water is up to my knees at it’s deepest point so they are able to run through it and play on their own. I always bring buckets and shovels and my kids can entertain themselves for hours!

There is also a little play area with sand and no water in the same room.

There was a small cafe inside but this was closed last time I was there and replaced with a machine. There is a touch screen that you can order from and you pay with your pin card. You can order a small selection from the main restaurant. Fried food and sandwiches mostly. The food is delivered and, in my case, left on the counter. I can’t say that I’m happy with this change, honestly. You can’t order drinks and that’s annoying. I do understand, though. Less staff and whatnot. Maybe it will be open during the summer. But we usually bring our own food anyways. I was looking forward to that glass of wine, though!

The really nice thing about Sterren Strand is that you can bring in your own food and sit wherever you want. I look for places like this. It can get so expensive taking the kids out all the time and being able to take a picnic really helps.

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Room 2: the pool

The pool is separated completely and it’s nearly impossible for little kids to go from one room to another without help. There are 2 ways to go from one room to another. The quick way is through a little bath. You open a door and step down into a small pool (that goes up to my waist) and come out into a shower room and lead into the pool. The door is difficult to open so I don’t worry about my kids finding their way in. The second way to get into the pool is to leave the beach area and go down a small hallway. You will be led into a room full of changing rooms and go through into the pool. There are also lockers you can rent for 1 Euro but you get that back.

The pool itself is a pretty basic one. Stairs going in and one depth. I’m 5 feet 2 inches and it comes to my neck.

The toddler pools are really great. There are 3 connected pools of different depths, a slide and a little water fall mushroom thing. This area is completely fenced in with a heavy door and a high handle. This was the first place I took both kids swimming without my husband because of this gate. I didn’t have to worry about one of my kids running off into the big pool while I was trying to keep track of the other.

There is a big tube slide but my kids aren’t that adventurous yet.

There is also a hot tub!

 

The outside beach:

The outside is a day out all by itself! The beach is really nice with lots to do. Its very clean as well and big enough so that it never really feels cramped. There are slides into the water as well and  also a bouncy mountain.

There is a second lake with no beach but there are pedal boats and I think they do other water sports there occasionally.

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There are 3 options for food. The little kiosk in the beach room, the main restaurant, and a fry shop.

The main restaurant looks really nice.  It’s super cozy and inviting. There is also a good sized play area with a mini cinema. Disneys Cars was playing the last time I was there. The patio is also really cool. There is a fire pit and couches. It overlooks a lake.

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There is also a little fry shop close. It’s only open on busy days or during the summer.

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My kids always have a blast there when we go. I even had my daughters second birthday party there and everyone had a great time. On that day there was face painting. This has happened often when we have been here, especially on the weekends. Because they want to keep the kids entertained and happy they have kids activities. Balloon animals, face painting, scavenger hunts, rock wall climbing (they have a rock wall in the beach room but it is often closed because it requires staff) . I honestly never know if there is an activity or not so when there is it always feel extra magical.

I will warn you though, it is hot as hell inside. Don’t forget to bring beach clothes for yourself. Even if you don’t plan to swim. Even if its the dead of winter and it’s a pain to pack something else because it probably already feels like you packing for a continental move. Seriously, throw some shorts and a tank in the bag. You may even want to bring a bathing suit (or costume depending on what version of English you speak) that water may get pretty inviting!

Some Helpful Information:

  • This is their website: Sterren Strand 
  • They aren’t open all year around. It always closes for a few months during winter (probably because it’s to cold to camp). But they really should keep the pool open. I’ll bet people would go and it wouldn’t require to much staff. Perhaps if we all sent an email?…….
  • The park is generally open from 10:00 – 6:00
  • This place is a royal pain with strollers so here is what you do. One person goes through the annoying spinning gate and if you look to the left there is an emergency exit, go and open it. I have always done this and there is never an alarm. In fact, these doors are often propped open on hot days for ventilation. If you are worried about an alarm just go to the counter and tell a member of the staff to open the door for you.
  • There aren’t any showers or foot baths in the beach room so be prepared for loads of sand in the car.
  • Paying can sometimes be a bit of a pain. On busy or weekend days there will be someone at the pool to pay but sometimes you have to go to the main TerSpegelt office to buy a ticket because there is only a bar code scanner.
  • There is a different price during summer days. You can either but an “outside pass”  or an “inside and outside pass”. It is way cheaper to just go to the outdoor beach. The price for an inside and outside pass is 8.50 per person and kids under 3 are free.
  • The Year Pass: Abonnementen in Dutch, FYI: A year pass for a family of 4 is 59.50 Euros. Probably the cheapest year pass out there but it comes with a catch. You can’t use the year pass inside during the school holidays. You can still use the beach, though. And it is a super nice beach. We had year passes for about 2 years before my kids started school. It’s a great place to take the kids on cold or wet days.

Enjoy!

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BTW: This is what my hair does if left to itself! I had swimming with the kids all afternoon. There is no controlling it, I’ve given up.

 

Looking for more indoor and outdoor places to take the kids?

Het Spoorwegmuseum (Railway Museum)

Vossenberg Speelboerderij: Tilburg

Aardbeienhof: Gemert

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