Speeltuin de Splinter, Eindhoven

After a good week of not seeing the sun, the first day it came out again I knew we had to get the kids outside and into the playground.

Our kids are a funny age – at 8 my youngest likes playgrounds. But as someone who can be afraid of high structures and rope bridges, it’s not always the best place for her.  While she wants to be courageous, she’s afraid of getting hurt and lacks the core strength to do some of the things.  My 10 year old finds many of them boring and would prefer to find a grass area with goals to play football with some other boys.

Having heard only good things about this park and the fact we we’re going to MediaMarkt nearby to get a toaster – finally, we stopped there first.

As expected, Soren was off with three other boys playing football and Maebh and I wandered a bit.  Parts of the park were really muddy and loads of puddles, so getting around was a bit of a challenge.

The giant slide up on the hill was pretty cool.   And as explained above she didn’t actually go down but climbed up.

Those round mesh swings and a hammock are favorites!

There is a small kinderboederij but as the babies were being born, so you we’re not allowed inside. But look how cute this baby is….

A section with birds where a few unsupervised shits were chasing the birds trying to hit them.

Look at this beautiful pauw.

There is a castle with tunnels underneath – our kids are too old for it but this is the type of extra large playground which if you had small kids, it would be hard to keep track of them.

Zip lines are always fun!

This video doesn’t exist

There are two small splash pools for kids on hot days – very shallow so perfect for young kids to cool off.

Before we left the kids played with the sand/water area [again geared towards young kids but ours still like it.]

Overall the playground itself was nice. Perfect for kids 4-7 years old who can play independently.  There is a window where you can buy drinks and snacks, but it was closed when we there.

You can read and see more photos on their website here.

Screen Shot 2019-02-21 at 20.53.37.pngThey have organised events there like on Wednesday the building area – again all just a bit geared towards younger kids.  If we lived close by, the kids would certainly go there often as a great local neighborhood park, but I would not drive from Den Bosch specifically to enjoy this park – but would certainly stop again if in the neighborhood in Eindhoven.

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.

Malahide Castle & Gardens Playground

Yesterday late afternoon, we took a small trip towards Malahide with the thought of popping over to the playground the kids and I saw on the bus in Portmanock, but then I remembered I heard good things about the playground at the Malahide Castle.

The kids were in heaven at the playground and were so bummed to have to leave it as they could spend hours there.  We’ll definitely be back to explore the grounds, the playground and perhaps inside the castle.  I for sure want to visit the Avoca Cafe – one of my favorites!  Oh and they have a 9-hole golf course – humm.









The kids loved it so much, we came back just days later to play and explore the grounds a bit.









We’re going to explore Ardgillan Castle next – they have an AMAZING playground!

Norwich: Scooters at Eaton Park

I’ve been wanting to get the kids scooters for a long time now so yesterday we finally did it.  I found a larger, two wheeled one for Soren and a pink Mini Micro for Maebh on Gumtree.  Both of them were located in Norwich, so once we picked them up, we headed to Eaton Park as we heard it was a nice place the kids to scoot around.   The park has loads of things for the kids like a mini railroad, model boating pond, trails, etc.

Once they spotted the playground Soren and Maebh were off climbing all the structures.  Of course, a few times I was nervous about him falling.

Once they had enough sand in their shoes, we headed out to check out more of the park.  We came to an area where there were older men racing motorized boats.  Soren saw one that had a blue, red & white flag on it and said something along the lines of “look, there is a french boat” … minutes later the a-hole who owned it, said it’s not French it’s the numerical three… whatever! 🙂

some more scooting and a fall (but thankfully not hurt) … we were off to buy stuff for a picnic.

We stopped to pick up stuff for a picnic back at Felbrigg so while I ran into Lidl in Norwich, Nils took the kids to the playground behind.  While I was at the checkout, in comes a crying Soren – who just fell after jumping over some things.  He seemed pretty upset and in pain, so we went home had lunch, a long nap to see how he felt.  Clearly he needed to see a Dr for his elbow. so Nils took him to Cromer’s minor Accidents & Injury department to be told he has a fracture.  So on Tuesday am, they’ll re-xray his arm to see if there is any healing and determine if they’ll put a cast on it at Norfolk Norwich.

So for now, no swim, no scooter just keeping it in a sling until Tuesday.  Poor guy!

Fast forward to today, Tuesday, March 18th and the man has a big cast on.  Dr. said he is not allowed to fly on an airplane due to the pressure, but is willing to remove the cast in two weeks time and re-xray it and go from there.  Perhaps a split cast to help if swelling does occur.

One might still be permitted to fly with a cast, but this depends on strict regulations. An
international regulation stipulates that flying with a circular cast (one that totally encircles a limb)

is not permitted. This has to do with differences in air pressure in the cabin: during a flight, hands and feet can accumulate fluids and swell. This could make the cast fit too tightly. Airlines apply this international regulation in different ways, so the way they are applied depends on the airline. If you want to fly with a cast on your arm or leg, always contact your airline in advance to get information about its rules.

If you will be flying with a plaster cast, you will have to inform the medical specialist who applies the cast. The specialist can then take this into consideration and, if the injury allows, apply a splint, brace or removable cast instead of a circular cast. Yet another solution is to have the cast split lengthwise to make it easier to open should swelling occur.  Then when you get to your destination you can have a new one put on.  ???