Walk around Boxtel & Liempde, The Netherlands

Today we took a walk along the old abandoned train line from the house to the a small pub we visited at Christmas.  There are many walks in Brabant region posted online.

To make it more interesting, Maebh created a list of items we all had to search for during the walk.  It included things like a bee, trash, horse, butterfly, animal footprints, grafitti, and even a BMW.

Under a bridge was a lot of grafitti and it was actually nice work but still difficult to ‘read it’!

Of course, upon arrival it was CLOSED for another 50 minutes so we decided to walk the road back to Liempde where we got caught in a hailstorm so took cover under the bridge but the walk back was three times as long as the walk there but it was still fun and we all got some excercise.

The kids came across and old cycle used on the tracks and a chanook helicopter flew over so those were the highlights.

Next time we are in The Netherlands, we’ll try again.

Mini Camping Den Oorsprong, Boxtel, Netherlands

For the week, we are staying in a holiday home rental at a camping place just behind the main house called Mini Camping Den Oorsprong.   As Lise and her family are in from LA, the guest rooms are full and this was a great idea to stay close by them.

When you thinking camping, you think tents but not here. They are campers which you pull in and have electricity, etc.  Each has an awning put up around them so they essentially have screened in porches.  I would love a place like that to visit on the weekends.  As it’s very early in the season there are only two here but I suspect more will come over Easter weekend.

The campsite has a chicken coop, a playground, two trampolines, a bunch of skelters and a kids bakfeits. Would be super easy to get Maebh to school with that bike!  There is a rec center, but we didn’t go inside that yet.  There is also a giant yurt so I will look at that today, if it’s not occupied.

Our house is very luxurious with a bath tub, shower, two toilets, three double bedrooms and a fully, equipped kitchen with a 5 burner gas stove and a dishwasher​!

We walked over with the cousins and played a bit.

We loved our luxurious house stay and have no impression about the camping but the staff was very friendly and from what I saw the few guests which were there enjoyed themselves.  I’m sure it’s a great place in peak season and it’s the type of place that you can bring your caravan and set it up for the long weekend, etc.  For more info like rates, etc. can be found here on their website.

Market Day in Boxtel

Yesterday we walked around the market stalls in Boxtel.  The food is so fresh and looks so yummy. Without a list or plan you could go overboard buying fish and cheese and flowers.

Kids first got a warm stroopwaffle!  Hard to believe we didn’t get a lompeia but we’re hoping to get that today at the market in Den Bosch where if running, we are taking a canal ride.

And when Nils and Soren saw the various French sausages, we were destined to buy 3. Soren chose KANGAROO, CHORIZO and 5 PEPPER.

Love all the markets so when we find them we visit.  It’s these types days makes me wish we lived here in the Netherlands.

Oertijdmuseum Dinosaur Museum – Boxtel, Netherlands

Today the kids and I explored the nearby Oertijdmuseum while Papa had a meeting in Eindhoven.

When I was looking around at kid-friendly things to do in the region of the Netherlands, I came across the Oertijdmuseum so knew it would be something for us during this trip.  As their website is 100% in Dutch, I couldn’t get info to see if there was enough to keep our two entertained. It’s so easy to have a translation widget put on your website for all the non-Dutch speaking visitors who come to The Netherlands (there are plenty in the area with Philips, etc)

The museum is essentially broken up into three parts -the gift shop/cafe & movie, the museum part and the outdoor trail & play spaces.  Upstairs you will find find fossils, statues and some interactive exhibitions – all in Dutch (as it should be as we are in the Netherlands) but two were not working.

After we saw all the good stuff inside, we headed out to the forest where you follow the path and came upon all the different dinosaurs with a few playground areas. For those interested in plants there were tons!

As you see, it was cold and frost on the trees.  The temperature was set to be max 3 degrees but sunny so was bearable.   Certainly would be much more enjoyable and in the warmer weather.

As you walk down the path some were more scary then the one before… Our kids found this fine as they were older but for some kids 2 & 3 – they might find it a bit scary.

We enjoyed being outside, even though cold. We think this is the area which could be improved.  Add something interactive here like a stamp or punch at each stop, (think Santa’s Village) or holiday-themed treasure trail like at Sheringham Park and if the trail was completed you get a certificate or tiny plastic dinosaur. Something for the kids to do. .. you see the large plastic dino and then what at least with a trail of letters or stamps they are challenged to do something. Might be just me.

The playground areas were fun for them too. They especially enjoyed being in the mouth of the Dino’s as if they were going to be eaten.

And some more friendly thoughts.

We visited the cafe for a tea, a worstebrotje for Soren and a ham/kaas toasti or Maebh – though .30 for a package of mustard grrr!   Why not have a tub of mustard and ketchup at the counter.  Probably not able to do with the mayonnaise – the Dutch drink it 😉 He he – I can this as my hubby is Dutch and he drinks it… literally. Look at the name of this blog 🙂   But the food was very affordable at €2.00 each – most places charge €4.50 or more!!

I am not one to give them loads of toys, especially plastic ones) from the gift shop for no reason but visiting but allowed to each picked out two small items from the gift shop.  Two shells for Maebh’s new shelf shell collection and for Soren an interesting gem called Gypsom (as his favorite, the Amethyst is way too expensive)  and real haaientanden (sharks tooth). Again affordable at a total cost of €5.

The museum was a fun time for us and good for a family half day out. Super friendly staff too. I would say eight would be the oldest and ages two to five is the ideal age to visit.

The guests well typical  – they have no problem stopping in the middle of the walkway to do something or chat and not thing of others around them. The kids cut the line while the parents watch and never correct. Not a single apology and rarely a smile.  Same experience at the Naturalis in Leiden with kids cutting in between the four kids (who does that?) and after along discussion with a Dutch father & Czech mom, it’s normal.   In fact, The Netherlands has been ranked among the most unfriendliest place for expats!   I still really like it here & know it’s not all the people, but I have met Dutch who live in Ireland and UK who say they’d prefer to never return to NL.  I cannot say the same for myself – as I do like it and it doesn’t bother me like it bothers them. I would probably like to live here – who knows maybe one day!

Entrance fees: €9 adult and €6 for kids and they do not accept the Museumkaart. Personally I would not return too often as it’s a bit steep for what you get. If they added a dino-themed indoor soft play area, it would make it even that much better. I am not sure if there is an option to skip the museum part and just visit the playground, cafe and gift shop.  If so, we’d do that on a future visit back to the Netherlands at Easter with all 9 grandchildren but we would not pay €9 adult and €6 for kids for all of us for what you get as it stands today.