Pannenkoekenhuis Het Betoverde Bos – Esch, Netherlands

Our kids love a good Pannenkoekenhuis when we are in The Netherlands.  In fact, they have one favorite one in a cute village called Esch.  It’s the Pancakes The Enchanted Forest or Pannenkoekenhuis ‘Het Betoverde Bos’t.  It’s not far from Pake & Beppe’s house and it’s yummy and loads of fun for kids.

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Inside is quite pretty – a small play area for kids, a trail inside where you find letters and butterflies hidden to decode a secrete message and the shop which you can buy cheap plastic made in China toys for your tokens which you earn based on what you buy.   They tend to get 10 silver coins so end up with a frisbee, sword or skipping rope.  Each time it differs and each time within 24 hours, the item is broken.  But it’s all fun and they love it so why not.

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Inside seating

Outside is a great open terrace and a play area with a giant bouncy pillow, swings, a tunnel and two in the ground trampolines so loads for the kids to do while us parents enjoy our beer in the sun – harassed by wasps in the summer.

 

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On Soren’s last day of football camp, we took him here for pancakes to celebrate his hard week – football and 100% Dutch kids so language was tricky!  Though he loved it!

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Pirate Pancake
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Princess Pancake

While Maebh did cartwheels on the pillow, Soren did flips on the trampoline – giving me a near heart attack

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The staff is friendly and helpful and enjoy the kids but the only one problem we have here is that they never take foreign credit cards and there is no bank machine nearby so remember bring cash!!

I have more photos from a past trip – will see what I can find and post here.

I swear this is the best business idea around – easy to make pancakes which all kids love! And if we are ever living in Hollands, I am sure birthday parties at the pancake house are very popular!

Birthday Bike riding at National Park de Loonse en Drunense Duinen

For Maebh’s 7th birthday, our family spent a few hours at the National Park de Loonse en Drunense Duinen which is essentially is a giant desert of sand surrounded by a forest.  It’s nicknamed the Sahara of Europe or Brabantse Sahara

We really stuck with the trails and bike riding but you could easily walk in the dunes all day.

Maebh doesn’t like sand in her shoes so asked for a piggyback ride.  Lol the entire place is sand, so hard to avoid even with piggy back rides.

We came across an Irish horse called Sally. The rider said the horse is Irish so she can understand you jokingly. I am not sure if is that we spoke English, or is it the Irish accents we’ve definitely developed after living in Ireland for 2.5 years!?

We rented bikes at De Rustende Jager (The Resting Hunter #36 on the map.

At first I suggested a tandem for Maebh but she really wanted to do it herself.
Don’t we look like Nils and his three kids?!

As Maebh only learned to ride a bike in the past week and has only been on her bike about four times, we were thinking we’d have to turn around in 10 minutes BUT surprisingly after a few stops and complaining, she got on with it and she rode for over TWO HOURS!

We had a little map with the route around the park and it was recommended that we visit Het Genieten #22 – a recreational place with a great playground inside and out and a water park play area.  So with that as our destination we set off and each time we stopped we kept saying  I just a bit further.

When we arrived, The kids had to visit the indoor one so we paid €3.50 each but truthfully it was a waste for the whopping 10 minutes spent inside!  Outside was way better and as it was not raining or very cold, we should have said no to the indoor option.
Overall, the kids loved it and so did we… I think we’ll visit again during this trip!  It’s supposed to be warmer on Sunday, so perhaps we go then.

It was a lvely way to spend the day with the family and it was our first time that we went on a biking adventure.  Surprisingly my legs were not in pain the next day as I suspected they would be.   When back in Dublin, we’ll rent bikes in Malahide Castle or Phoenix Park.