Herfstvakantie: Movies, Jumping, Pumpkin Carving!

Halloween is not a big thing here like in the US and the bonfires in Ireland, but you still find a lot of stuff relating to it in the shops so maybe we will have some luck come Oct 31st.  We still have some time, but I wanted fo find something to do along those lines during the break.  Though with 26 degree weather these past few days we’ve been more thinking about the beach than fall.  Anyway, I did some searching on the internet and found a place about 20 minutes away from Den Bosch where we could carve pumpkins called Pompoenerie Best in Best.  Cash only so plan ahead.  

EapLjyMHSlyFIw7hMfJo7QNow it’s certainly not a full blown pumpkin patch like you find in America with tractor rides but it was quaint, a huge variety of gourds.  Some pumpkins here are what we back home call squash ….on this site, this lady explains them all – it helped me.  They do tag them whether they are edible or not so that is great!

I couldn’t resist buying some to take home to put on the dining room table and will put a few outside closer to Halloween.   First the kid are given a drink, a yummy cupcake (even I had one with a cup of tea) and then are allowed to pick a pumpkin from a small selection near the front door).   Then the fun of carving the pumpkin begins – and as with probably most kids – this is where it takes the longest time and the most mess and complaints.]

We brought our own ziplock bag to bring home the seats – only to be told the the pumpkin we are carving is not an edible type.  It looks just like the type I’e been eating for 44 years!!! – but I trusted this guy and decided to not take the seats.  I did however, buy two “edible” pumpkins to take-home.  One which I will carve and roast the seeds and the other is to be used especially for the hachee dish which Soren tried and LOVED.   I be you are like, hach what – hachee.  Here is the info I found on Wiki.

Hachée is a traditional Dutch stew based on diced meat, fish or poultry, and vegetables. Hachee based on beef, onions and acid is a typical example of traditional Dutch cuisine. Clove and bay leaves are added to the thick gravy. It is usually served with potatoes or rice. 


Here are some photos from the place – which is a farm, bar and part of their home.   One thing for sure is that the staff (I suspect son, daughter and mother inside and father in the field) who were all so super friendly, informative and helpful.   We left with a lovely assortment of what I call gourds for my table, two pumpkins to eat and two carved pumpkins by two happy kids who are looking forward to Halloween – which we are still not sure what it will be like in our neighbourhood.





Pompoenerie Best
Broekstraat 13
5684 LW  BEST
Tel.nr.: 06-53961078

They pushed on and carved on and got these two masterpieces.


Update:  I read online that if you put them in water and bleach they will last longer so that is what we did – let’s hope they last til Halloween without rotting like ours did a few years back.

Speaking of which – look at these photos – Soren looks like he could be a sister.


As the kids are off all week on Herfstvakantie and N is away again all week – this time in Barcelona, so I have been looking for fun things to do with the kids so avoid being stuck at home all week.  I still have my Inburgering Dutch language course 3 x during the week, so we had to stay somewhat close, but after that we have been trying to fit in fun things to do.

We saw the movie Small Foot in Dutch at the Kinepolis and had lunch at Happy Italy.  So cheap and yummy – kids want to go there again for sure.  Oh and we all agree, we’re buying the movie (in English) when it comes out on DVD!


One day we went to Jump XL in Waalwijk for one hour jump.  The kids had a great time and want to go back again soon.   Some kids had three wristbands on which meant they jumped for 3 hours but for me that is crazy and way too long – one hour is plenty for our kids!!  Perhaps with some more experience they might want to do a two-hour session but for now, one is plenty!

Ijsboerderij op de Nieuwekampen, Vinkel

For the second day in a row the kids visited a farm with their class and as I have a big car and nothing but free time til my class starts, I volunteered to drive and join them.  It was a lot of fun. Not only that I’m there for my kids, but I can learn a lot of Dutch too – which I did.  This time we visited Ijsboerderij op de Nieuwekampen in Vinkel.

We learned:
Baby pigs = biggetjes
Moeder varken = Zueg  (and there are Super Moeders – can’t seem to figure out how one becomes that 🙂
Father pig = bear
Female farmer = Boerin 🙂   I also learned about insemination of the pigs and how they are fed and raised and then slaughtered.  Not too far from us is a pig slaughter house were we often see the large trucks full of pigs going there.


Look at this cute bigetije.

The kids had some free time to play on the tractors and the milking cow.

After a slide show and explaination of how the farm works and how the pigs are kept, born and live, the kids were brought into make ice cream – ijs.   Each child first got to take part in measuring the cream, sugar, chocolate, etc and then it is poured into a machine to first heat it to kill bacteria and then cool.  Later we all had a lovely ice cream.

The girls made ice cream. First each had a part in the measuring and then later had a taste.

They have little shop which was closed when we were there, but it had loads of little treats to buy and of course, ice cream!  They have kids birthday parties and other events.  You can find out more about them online.


Kinderboerderij De Bossche Hoeve, Den Bosch

The kids are settling in well here in the The Netherlands. As expected the language goes quickly and the kids are picking up so much Dutch each day.   On Wednesday, I joined them and drove them  +3, to the Kinderboerderij De Bossche Hoeve which is not to far from their school. It is nothing fancy like Davis Farmland but rather a simple, well-run urban farm where schools and families can visit while in the city.  It’s still early Spring so they were very busy putting together equipment like a new slides and pavement, etc.

The nieuwkomersklaas of 13 kids learned about the animals, fed them and enjoyed playing for a bit after some hot chocolate inside.

They have an albino peacock, along with some turquoise ones, but unfortunately it didn’t open it’s feathers while we were there.  First photo is mine but the second is from the internet web search.

albino peacock16196005_1023215931156908_8986794083778027178_n

kinderboederij - rectangle eye sheepkinderboerij maebh and sheep

soren with goatssoren feeding deer

Entry is FREE so you can support by donating cash into the box, buying feed and Soren and I bought 6 eggs which we ate for breakfast the next day.

Kinderboerderij De Bossche Hoeve
Kruiskampsingel 565A
5224 KL ‘s Hertogenbosch
Telefoon 073-6233592

Opening times & more information: 

Thursday, they are visiting a pig farm in Vinkle where they’ll learn about the pigs and make ice cream and if lucky, taste it.

There are several kinderboederij’s in the area, which we will also explore in time.  This website has a handy list and information about each one.



De SteenUil Kinderboerderij – Oirschot, Netherlands


Yesterday we all visited a Boerderij (Dutch for farm) De SteenUil which has been transformed into a restaurant with kids play area but at the same time still a working farm.  It was sort of like Davis Farmland where there are activities for the kids including feeding the animals, but with great looking food and beer – and as an added bonus for me they have white beer! My beer snobbery is showing.  But I have been lucky on this trip and had some yummy white beers so will post those later when I get around to it.

What 6-year-old girl doesn’t love a pair of wooden clogs!?  I meant to pick her up a pair of slippers but forgot – next trip!

The kids loved it.  Inside there is a slide which you go down on snow tubes – it was hard to get the tubes up at first but with some adult help they were on a roll.  Sometimes they’d go one at a time, other times altogether. Here are a few videos of their slide adventures.  Only one injury which Soren feels on this head going up the ramp but with two broken arms, we’re used to these boy injuries.

There is also an indoor sandbox and a smaller area for toddlers – but when we were there it was a free for all of all age groups so definitely not a ‘safe toddler area.’

After doing the slide load of times, they went outside to the swings, go-carts, and sand area – which I would avoid – cats love to use it as a giant litter box (which we witnessed ourselves).

Then on to my favorite part -feeding the animals which required some working for it.  The farmer first had them feed the baby goats, then donkey, cats, and then had to bring their individual wheelbarrows outside to the scoop hay.

After all the feeding the cows, they got to give them a cookie… in this next video, you’ll see their long tongues were a bit too much for all three of them, including Nils.

They had a barn full of ride-on toys and bicycles [most of which were broken with flat tires] which if you found a working one, you could use.  At his time Maebh still is not stable enough to ride but had some trying and the next day kept talking about the Dutch bicycle she’d love to own.

In the summer the place has more stuff like pony rides and more things outdoors, but it was still fun and we’ll definitely visit one more time before we leave back to Dublin.  If we lived in the area, we’d buy a family membership.

Website: http://www.desteenuil.nl/  Which I believe is all in Dutch but you can still decipher the basics like entry price and location, etc.

Kinderboerderij in Jubbega, Friesland

During the third part of the weekend to the Netherlands was that Nils’ grandmother, Beppe will be turning 90, so the family came together at 3 pm on Sunday to have a celebration of her including cakes, dinner, ice cream with sparklers, signing and loads of speeches from her 7 children.  How wonderful, right!

Before that event, we visited a Pannekoekenboederij called DeKoppenjan– which all the kids  LOVED!  I loved the place too – it’s such a great concept – I’d love to own such a place – I have so many ideas and the mark up is HUGE!

We also go to catch up with some family members and their daughter who wouldn’t be attending the afternoon party.   Soren and Maebh spent a lot of time together riding on the things in the playground…

Their favorite part was the giant bouncy pillow out back – that they could have done for hours.  In fact, they are still talking about it.

After some pancakes for the kids, we were off to Beppe’s party.   I didn’t, however, take any photos here as I was just not comfortable – didn’t think it would be received well by many, so I left it.  And of course, I am not in a single photo – sigh!


Schoterlandseweg 20 – 8411 ZD Jubbega