Afternoon in Delft, Netherlands

There are so many cities in the Netherlands which I have been wanting to visit…. picture-perfect Delft was one of them, so I’m very happy I was finally able to visit. on Sunday. After just an hour, it’s the type of place which give you the, “I could live here” feeling. Like s’-Hertogenbosch, I think it’s quite a small old city and easy to walk and/or bike around. I say it’s picture-perfect as because literally around every corner, in every alley, in every small street, there are a ton of different picture opportunities. With its many facades, buildings, cobbled streets, and charming cafes and restaurants you can spend hours just taking photos – thankfully I didn’t but I probably could. I imagine this city would be beautifully decorated around Christmas and when it is coated with snow – not that snow happens often here.

LOCATION

Delft is conveniently located only an hour away from Amsterdam, close to Rotterdam and a tram ride from The Hague. So if you live in the Netherlands or you are here as a tourist visiting Amsterdam, Delft should be on your next trip itinerary as well. I highly recommend coming by train and not car – reason being parking is very expensive! A flat rate of €29,50 obviously discourages parking along Delft canals as it is charged irrespective of length of stay. A garage may be cheaper …. and I heard there is a garage with a very nice mural along the wall – cannot find it yet but when I do I’ll update. It might be the Zuidpoort Garage.

This visit, I was in Rotterdam for the weekend, so we made the journey to Delft by way of a rented bike. The trip was about 1 hour each way so was good for my legs. If you’re in NL or been here, you know the yellow & blue bikes which are a well-known sight in every city. If not, OV-Fiets is the shared bike system of the Netherlands and it is very popular for the last journey from the train station to people’s end destination like work or visiting a city.  I think they are Coca Cola bikes in Ireland and Blue Bikes in Boston.  While not as comfortable as my bike at home, it was a perfect way to get here and around Rotterdam for the weekend. It did, however, take me a few minutes to get used to the bike – I’ve not had a bike with back pedal breaks since I was probably five 🙂 so stopping and start off at red lights were a bit of a challenge and probably quite humorous for those in their cars.

Me and my OV-Fiets

FAMOUS CHURCHES IN DELFT

I believe I saw [and read?} that there are 10 churches in Oude Delft, but the two most popular and most photographed are the OUDE & NIEWE.

OUDE KERK

The Oude Kerk (Old Church), nicknamed Oude Jan (“Old John”), is a Gothic Protestant church in the old city center of Delft. Its most recognizable feature is a 75-meter-high brick tower that leans about two meters from the vertical. The Oude Kerk was founded as St. Bartholomew’s Church in the year 1246, on the site of previous churches dating back up to two centuries earlier. The layout followed that of a traditional basilica, with a nave flanked by two smaller aisles.

The church possesses three pipe organs, from the years 1857 (main organ), 1873 (north aisle) and 1770 (choir). The most massive bell in the tower, cast in 1570 and called Trinitasklok or Bourdon, weighs nearly nine tonnes, and because of its strong and potentially damaging vibrations, is rung only on such special occasions as the burial of a Dutch royal family member in the nearby New Church. The massive bell is also sounded during disasters, when local air-raid sirens are sounded. This, however, does not happen during the siren’s monthly, country-wide test, which happens every first Monday of the month.

“(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)”

NIEUWE KERK

During the Eighty Year’s War, in which the Dutch fought against their Spanish occupiers, the leader of the Dutch revolt, William of Orange (or William the Silent) made Delft the base for the operations. After the war, Deflt became, for a time, the capital of the newly liberated Netherlands.

Nieuwe Kerk is a landmark Protestant church in Delft. It is located on Delft Market Square (Markt), opposite to the City Hall (Dutch: Stadhuis). In 1584, William the Silent was entombed here in a mausoleum designed by Hendrick and Pieter de Keyser. Since then members of the House of Orange-Nassau have been entombed in the royal crypt. The latest are Queen Juliana and her husband Prince Bernhard in 2004. The private royal family crypt is not open to the public. The church tower is the second highest in the Netherlands, after the Domtoren in Utrecht. If you are fit enough, you can buy a token then climb 376 steps (85 meters) to the top of the tower.

The New Church is the burial place of the princes of Orange. It is remarkable for its fine tower and chime of bells, and contains the splendid allegorical monument of William the Silent and the tomb of Hugo Grotius. The tower was built 1396-1496 by Jacob van der Borch. The monument for Hugo de Groot was made in 1781. The mechanical clock has 18 bells by Francois Hemony from 1659 and 30 modern bells. In the church tower there is a bell from 1662 by Francois Hemony with a diameter of 104 centimeters. In the tower there are also bells no longer in use, including 13 from 1659 by Francois Hemony, 3 from 1678 by Pieter Hemony, 3 from 1750 from Joris de Mery, and 1 from Gillett and Johnston from 1929.

“(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)”

Located next to the Nieuwe Kerk, you’ll find “Het blauwe hart” (Blue Heart of Delft).  It represents the heart of the city. The technical construction was by the TU Delft. And, of course, the blue represents the iconic Delft Blue.  Installed in 1998, the heart is made of glass and stainless and lighted after dark, which I’m sure would be very pretty to see.

 

Apart from the Technical University Delft, which the campus was pretty impressive, Delft is probably best known for the blue and white pottery that bears its name. It’s super famous – you know the white stuff with the beautiful shade of blue painted in different patterns all over it. I love it and I love how something so beautiful represents not only Delft but the Dutch as well… BUT I don’t want to fill my house up with it 🙂 My mom told me, after seeing my photos, her Grandmother in San Francisco had a huge collection of Delft pottery, but her mother, didn’t find it interesting so she donated it all to a local charity shop. DOH!

Delft is also the home of Vermeer {Girl with the Pearl Earring} and the place where William of Orange was shot and as I recently learned the burial place for the Royal family.

GROTE MARKT & STADHUIS

As with most Dutch cities, the Grote Markt, is a grand square at the core of the city’s Old Town Located in the middle of the old city centre of Delft, the large market square is a great starting point for wandering around in this picturesque town. The Delft architectural Stadhuis (City Hall) and the Neiwe Kerk, two major landmarks, placed at opposing ends are eye-catchers. There are also a lot of cafes and restaurant located on the Markt square where you can enjoy a beverage or full meal and tons of tourist shops.

TAKE A WALK AROUND THE CITY

Delft is one of those places that is just nice to visit. You don’t need feel rushed or like you HAVE to do anything specific. You can download a FREE city map here. Of course, you can always buy the walking tour map at the tourist office or even book a walking tour with a guide (for a fee). I often pop into the VVV when visiting a new city – they have loads of information (often free) about the city to get you started on your way). Or you can follow one of five expert-designed self-guided walking tours to explore Delft on foot at your own pace at GPSmyCity.com. You can also create your own self-guided walk to visit the city attractions which interest you the most.

Due to it being Sunday during Covid-19 Crisis – 80% of the city was closed so we didn’t visit the top tourist posts like Royal Delft Factory, Oude en Nieuwe Kerk of Delft, Vermeer Centrum Delft, Rondvaart Delft – a boat tour around the city or even sit on a terrace in the sun and drink a beer, but we still had a great time and in the future can come back and do some of the things we both enjoy.

We found a spot next to a canal to eat ours salads – there we saw SUPers, families on their rented boats, canoes and a mama duck with 9 babies!!

Oh yeah, nearly forgot… as we were walking we came across a fish stand and shared a portion of Kibbling along the canal. As you can see from the photo, it’s a Dutch snack consisting of battered chunks of fish, commonly served with a mayonnaise-based garlic sauce or tartar sauce. The building where they sell the fish is called Visbanken – the location has historically significant in that it used to be the place that fish was traded starting in 1342.

MUSEUMS TO VISITS

If visiting museums is your thing – here are some of the larger ones you can visit. As a resident of the Netherlands, I have a Museumkaart so visiting these museums below are free, aspart from the last two – you get a discount. But without the card, the admission is not as high as some of the top museums in Amsterdam.

Museum Prinshof Delft

Museum Prinsenhof Delft is one of the Top 100 UNESCO monuments in the Netherlands. The museum illustrates the story of William of Orange and his role in the formation of the Dutch Republic. It is situated at the place where he was killed. The museum exhibits paintings, historical artefacts, prints and pamphlets. But the building itself is also important. In addition, the museum covers the history of Delftware.

Museum Paul Tétar Van Elven

The Paul Tétar van Elven museum Is housed in a 16th century canal house. The house was inhabited by the Dutch painter, collector and teacher Paul Tetar van Elven in the period from 1864 to 1894. The property still has the well-preserved 19th century authentic interior, including Delft pottery, oriental porcelain and antique furniture. The museum exhibits part of the Paul Tétar van Elven collection, including many portraits, history paintings and copies of old masters.

Science Centre Delft

Science Centre Delft shows what students and researchers from the Technical University of Delft do on a daily basis, and on which subjects their research focuses. The museum displays research equipment and graduation projects. The visitor can take part in the research in the open workshops. The displayed projects are regularly changed to show what current research focuses on.

TU Delft Botanical Garden

The TU Delft Botanical Garden is home to approximately seven thousand plant species and includes an arboretum, a central garden, a herb garden and greenhouses. The greenhouses house some two thousand species of plants. In the botanical garden are typical technical crops from Delft. Among others, there are plants for oil or dye, or from which the wood, fibres or bark can be used.

Vermeer Centrum Delft

Vermeer Centrum Delft is dedicated to the life of the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675). His famous painting, Girl with a Pearl Earring is now visible in the Mauritshuis in The Hague. The museum covers his work and his relationship to Delft. The permanent exhibition illustrates how Johannes Vermeer worked in his studio. In addition, the stories are told of the 37 paintings that the Vermeer Centrum Delft owns. NOTE: Museumkaart holders receive a €2 discount off admission and kids under 12 are free

Royal Delft Museum

Did you know that the iconic Delftware is actually painted with black? While baking in the oven, the black changes to the familiar, intense blue color. Delft Blue is still made by hand in a traditional way at Royal Delft. Here you can see painters and craftsmen at work in the factory. In the museum you can see various special collections such as the Royal Orange Ceramics and our inner garden is a hidden gem of Delft with a brasserie. Keep in mind that on Sunday there are NO employees are working. So if you want to see the employees work on the Delft porcelain, then visit this factory on other days. NOTE: Museumkaart holders receive a €3 discount off admission.

UDPATE: We visited the Royal Delft Experience today read about it here: Royal Deft Experience: Visit to the museum & factory. 

Something extras special about this museum is that they have workshops – which must be pre-booked. For my next trip back to Delft, I’m absolutely visiting, taking a 90 minute behind the scenes tour and doing a self-painting tile workshop. While we didn’t but many tourists who don’t care about the real stuff, take home replica items found it the many stores in the old town. 

After several hours, we got back on our bikes and headed back to Rotterdam which was just a bit over an hour by way of the TU Delft campus -, Delfgauw and lovely rural areas including a windmill (I love them – and they never get old) and then past the Rotterdam Airport and into the city.

My only one thing was that I totally forgot to get a fridge magnet from Delft! I normally buy a nice, magnet keepsake from my ventures to take home and display on my fridge. Well, thankfully I live in the Netherlands so I can go back sooner than later.

A friend told me about the many hidden hofje’s – which if you click on this map, put out by TU Delft, you can see them plotted and the history – sorry it’s in Dutch but you can see the photos. During my next trip, I’ll stop in them all and will update this post with the various hofje’s.

Tell me, have you been to Delft? What am I missing? Are there any hidden gems or off-the-beaten track things worth seeing?

A Weekend Away in Callantsoog

We just returned from a weekend away at a camping park in the North of the Netherlands with my father in law’s siblings & many of their children.  As all the arrangements were made by N’s aunt so there wasn’t much for us to do in terms but bring some stuff and arrive and enjoy ourselves.  (I should have brought my small nespresso coffee maker.  The coffee at the shop was terrible and I ended up with a headache for two days so if we ever return here, I’ll be sure to bring it!.) . Also when I say “camping”, it was more like an apartment so no camping whatsoever for us!

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The area highlighted in white on the coast in Callantsoog.

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Camping De Nollen

The property we stayed at is called De Nollen.  It is a 4-star campsite with various types of accommodations.  Pitches for campers, tents, trekker huts  which sleep both 4 & 5 (note these are without toilets), larger house with a double box spring and bunk beds (and toilet in the back) and static caravans.  When booking, you have the opportunity to choose the exact parking space you want  – close to the playground, showers, shop or far away from it.  Some family members brought their campers, others tents, others stayed in trekker huts, etc.

Our family stayed in a static caravan #K10 to be exact.  It was perfect for our two nights away!  I forgot to take a photo of the bathroom – but it was a stand up shower and a toilet & sink.  In addition there were two bedrooms, a living room with tv small kitchen, dining area – both inside and outside.  It was perfect – much better than a tent !

We had two goofballs – which wrapped themselves up in their sleeping bags 🙂

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The camp site boasts tip top clean sanitary facilities, a small supermarket (which has very odd hours so I recommend you go the AH which is very close by and buy what you need), a large playground with a bouncy pillow and some small ones scattered around the park, craft and games room (inside), animation stage (outside), laundry room, reception with bike rental, snack bar “De Eetboy” with a play area,  a large lawn with beach volleyball and soccer field.

At check-in, there is the weekly program for the children’s entertainment (we didn’t use it but did see kids having run) and the Wi-Fi password.

Overall we had a great time here, but we did find it was missing a pool.  The camping site next door, Templehof had an indoor pool, so if we were to return to this area again, we’d probably opt to stay there only because at 9 & 11.5, they really LOVE to have a pool option on our trips!   I also checked – their pool is only for their guests so you cannot buy a day pass. 

Beautiful Callantsoog Beach

A beautiful beach is less than 2 km away.   The aunt arranged rented 21 bikes for our entire group – a short walk through the forest, to connect to the “Fietspad” (bike path).   So all families went off and did their own thing.  We did a bike ride for a bit and went to the beach.

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The beach itself is beautiful … it’s a great walking beach.  On our first night, Friday – June 21st, our small group of three families left the park and drover over to  the beach bar Woest for some drinks and some nibbles – and it was my 45th birthday!

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However, if you wanted to drive to the beach, that is no problem either. There are six large parking lots at various spots down in this part of the coast.  We found spots both on Friday night and Sunday before heading home and both times were GREAT weather so parking is not a problem.

At the beach, you will find beach pavilions where you can get ice cream, drinks, food and at some you can rent chairs, etc.   There is also a surf school and a section where you can learn to ride waves.  Note: Dogs are allowed on the beach.  Maebh loved watching them fetch the balls.  Soren in a past life was a Golden Retriever 🙂   On Sunday there were tons of jelly fish so it was impossible to swim.

On Saturday, after our bike ride, we ended up spending some time at the beach where the kids played in the water & sand.  We then ended up having drinks & lunch at De Stern Beach Pavillion.  It’s located on the same beautiful beach just up a bit further.

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Nearby Area Attractions

We only spent two nights there, so we stayed local and enjoyed the together time with the family and the beach but a few google searches and you can find things to do.

Overall it was a great weekend away and it was great to see family members which we don’t often get to see.  I hope we repeat it again next year – only I do hope we go to a different place with a pool but (truthfully it wouldn’t be the end of the world to return here) and those who couldn’t make it can come this time.

Zeeland Visit: Vlissingen, Veere & Middleburg

We planned to visit N’s mother at her home in Vlissingen on Sunday, so we chose to make a weekend out. So after S’s [amazing – 4 goal by S] football game on Saturday, we booked a last-minute deal at the Fletcher Hotel Middleburg and drove down.   As we assumed the room would not be ready, plus we were not in a rush to get to our hotel room, so we drove straight to Veere.  The last time we were there was in 2010 – with M as a baby and S as a little water-loving, boy.  We stayed with the entire family at Strand Hotel Duinoord . now it seems part of it’s called Budget Hotel Vrouwenpolder – sounds awful with that name but it was great!   Here are some photos from that trip.   Seems like just yesterday – look at how young the kids were… and look at how short my hair was.    I’d gladly return to stay here & have a lovely long weekend by the sea with the kids.

Veere, is such a lovely little place.  Home of picturesque Windmill ‘De Koe’ – which required a pose.   It’s actually for sale for 1.2 million Euro and you can see what is like inside in the photos shown here.

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A few quaint streets with shops, houses, restaurants/hotels all in buildings which are straight off postcards.

A little harbor with an active yachting club which was busy with tanned, fit, sailors taking advantage of the beautiful weather on a Saturday in October.  I think it was the warmest October on record.

As we were walking along the outer wall and dock, we saw some small kids crabbing but it was a bit different – they had a stick which they tied rope and ham on dangling on the end of a close pin.   They were laying on their bellies, only a few feet above the water, so they could see the crabs and tried to pull them up.  But their buckets were empty – I suspect the crabs let go immediately.   In a future trip back to Zeeland, we’ll give it a try with nets and mash bags of bacon and see what we can score.  Totally different than Crabbing from the Cromer Pier in North Norfolk.

The night before, we stayed in in the Fletcher Hotel Middleburg which was very nice.  The family room (#102) was prefect for the stay.  We walked around Middleburg for a bit – it’s also a great city with a lot of history.  Sort of reminded me of a cross between Den Bosch but also a city like Dordrecht.  There were these two chair and when you sat on them it was like you were peeing underneath – the kids found it hilarious!

I liked the canals and the house boats which you don’t have here. Well there are a couple of boats, but not like these houses  – one day!

As we had about an hour to spare, we stopped the beach and the kids kicked around a ball and we collected shells.

 

 

 

Openluchtzwembad Staalbergven – Oisterwijk, Netherlands

Yesterday was April 22 and nearly 30 degrees! Being one of the last hot days in the forecast and N’s last day here for two + weeks, we wanted to find a place where we could swim and take advantage of the great weather.

I found Staalbergven on the internet which showed an outdoor pool and a lake. Of course being April it wasn’t going to be warm very water but figured a place to splash around is good enough. Turned out the big pool with diving boards was still closed – and as our kids don’t have their swim diplomas yet, they couldn’t go in without us and arm bands – so fine by us.

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The place was great – really looked like a kids summer camp you’d find in the US. There were canoes, a lake with a dock island, playgrounds, blow up soccer pitch, a baby pool, medium pool with water slide, cafe, etc.

When we arrived it was very quiet but as the day went on more came yet not too crowded.

Nils took the kids down the waterslide into the freezing cold water!

The lake area was great too. I only went in up to my knees to cool off.

A zipline which went over water (1.5 feet max) so they did that a bunch of times.

On the edge of the dock is an area with loads of frogs which were making cool sounds.

Before we left we had a popsicle to cool down but did not get anything from the restaurant. It’s a great place and we surely will be back again to use the pool – €4 for kids and €6 for adults. There is a seasonal pass but I don’t think we’re going to visit enough to justify the spend.  Living in Den Bosch city centre, we’ll probably visit the Zuiderplas more but I do love the pool and lake option.

Easter In The Netherlands

Nils’ sister is coming from Los Angeles to The Netherlands for two weeks in April over the Easter break so we’re doing everything we can to get over from Dublin for a visit with them. We all agree, to have all the nine cousins together would be terrific.  Oldest is 9 and youngest is 17 months if you don’t count to the current “bun in the oven” in sister #3.

Over Christmas we spent 19 days there, so I know there is a lot to do like a day trip to Eindhoven and visit the Philips Museum. Or we can do something new like the DAF Museum or Van Abbemuseum – both which look fun for the kids.  Of course, we’ll all have to return to the Steen Uil and this time Maebh should be proficient enough to ride a bike by herself.   And probably even the Oertijdmuseum. Speaking of farm, there is a goat farm in Veldoven called Geitenboerke which is not far away which we could look at visiting on the Sunday, their “look day”.  At 7 & 9, perhaps they are too old and not interested in feeding baby goats by bottle.

Perhaps if we want to head a bit of a distance we can visit the Maritime Museum in Rotterdam or even Splashtours in Rotterdam harbor looks super cool.  Discover Continium Limburg looks amazing and not far from Maastricht (1 hour & 20 minute car ride) in case we want to visit it the same day.

Amsterdam is at the absolute very top of my wish list with a visit to the NEMO Science Centre.  The Science Center NEMO was established in 1923 and its current building was designed by Renzo Piano. During its early days, the museum was known as Museum van den Arbeid, which translates to “Museum of Labor.” In the 1950’s, the name was changed to Dutch Institute of Labor and Technology and again in 1997 to new Metropolis. In 2000, the name Science Center NEMO was introduced.

Science Center NEMO Exhibits

With five floors to explore and discover, Science Center NEMO is chuck full of exhibit and hands-on learning experiences that will surprise and fascinate visitors of all ages. Exhibits include:

  • Space shower – Learn what cosmic radiation is and its origins through this unique exhibit where visitors can actually see these mysterious space rays.
  • The Search for Life – An interactive exhibit where visitors can discover the secret to life.
  • Smart Technology – A new exhibit that focuses on light innovations and how light affects both plant and human development.
  • Chain Reactions – Learn everything you need to know about potential and kinetic energy in this fun exhibit.
  • Soap Bubbles – A fun exhibit where visitors blow giant soap bubbles.
  • Phenomena – Discover the secret to gravity, light and sound.
  • Codename: DNA – Journey through your body to learn all about DNA, its past and its future.
  • Amazing Constructions – Find out why bridges and buildings are so strong and what the difference is between push and pull power.
  • Machine Park – A ball factory where guests can sort balls, check the results, dispatch orders and send packages on their way.
  • Journey Through the Mind – Learn all about the mysterious brain in this fascinating exhibit, which also features a collection of real animal and human brains.
  • You, Me, Electricity – Explore the exciting world of electricity with the help of Elektra, Europe’s largest humanoid robot.
  • Roof Panorama – View a spectacular panorama photo of Amsterdam and learn which architects built each building and how tall the city’s most famous buildings are.
  • Water World – At Water World, visitors can learn all about the water purification process.
  • Splashing Water Wonder – A water playground where kids can splash, play and paddle around in the warm summer months.
  • Teen Facts – Learn the science behind puberty and why teens behave the way they do.

Admission is 16.50 for anyone above 4 so I would make sure I got the entire day there.   Grrr… if we ever live in The Netherlands or plan on spending a good deal of time there, the first thing I’ll do is buy a Museum Kaart. They have the best museums scattered throughout the country we’d go on a museum tour and with that card, most of them a FREE entry.  It’s walking distance from Centraal Station so might do this with the kids alone but how great would it be to have a hotel stay for two nights in or within a short distance of Amsterdam at the end of our trip and then take a flight home from there.   Too bad hotels are a bloody fortune!

While we have been to The Netherlands many times we have never visited during peak Spring season and actually visited the Keukenhof!

I know the idea of walking around a million colorful flowers is not the most fun day spent for the kids nor my husband but for me would be terrific.  Perhaps I can go on my own – nah, I don’t think that would be fun at all.  Perhaps the playground & birds of prey could talk them into joining me. Something tells me that this is not going t be the year for me to visit the Keukenhof.   I know there are Dutch tulips cover the fields in the west of the Netherlands so perhaps I get a peak if not the real deal.  And if I can’t visit the Keukenhof, I hope to at least visit the Amsterdam Flower market on the Singel canal between the Koningsplein and the Muntplein. Update:  Hubby suggested that we go to the Keukenhof – ROTFLMAO – He’d kill me if we actually went together – unless they serve beer then he might just belly up to the bar while I walk around. 

I also think the kids would enjoy De Zaanse Schanse too.

I believe the plan is that we all visit the Efiling, a theme park which looks absolutely amazing for the kids!  I think we could go from open to close and still want to return.

I’ll come back and update this post when I find time as we travel around.  I’m taking my “good camera” with me on this trip.

Philips Museum – Eindhoven, Netherlands

On the second to last day in The Netherlands, the kids & I took a trip to Eindhoven.   We took the “sprinter” train from Boxtel which added to the adventure!   Coolest part of the train was that it was a brand new train – each set of chairs has electrical outlet & USB port.

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The main reason we visited Eindhoven was to visit the Philips Museum where we spent well over three hours!

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hdrIt is good value for money – €9 for adults and €4.50 for kids 6-18.  Kids under 6 are free but I personally would NOT take small kids here.  I think 6+ is the best age for both child & parent (and other guests).

Tip: Just after the bathrooms with the coat rack on the left, take a right and there are a wall of lockers.  Put in a coin and shove in your stuff – didn’t see them until we were on our way after looking for our coats for a few minutes as they were covered by literally a hundred others.

I paid an additional €5.00 for the Mission Eureka game.  Knowing full-well, we’d never win the game, but I thought the kids love to do challenging game/trail.  They provided us with an ipad (which thankfully was in a case, so the thoughts of it dropping were quickly settled). We had to come up with a name so Soren chose “Night Howlers” from Zootropolis. If Nils was with us, I’m 100% sure we’d score much higher but going up against teams of 4 adults vs. me, an 8 year old  & a 6 year old was purely for entertainment vs. a competition.   Equipped with our iPad, we took photos of ourselves, and set out to read the exhibits.  In each area, you put your iPad into the lit up table and answer some questions and take some challenges together and sometimes against each other.

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Mission Eureka Game

Overall there is an excellent history of the Philips family and their association with Eindhoven and around the world with text in both Dutch and English.  There are a huge number of exhibits and interactive portals allowing you to see where Philips impacts the world beyond the light bulb, televisions, shavers and boom boxes, but in medical devices like the x-ray & MRI, etc.  The kids thought it was cool to see this yellow tv with the push buttons – hard for them to imagine we had to get up and press a button to turn the channel each time.

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The kids loved each one more than the next and they did a great job making each one fun and understandable.  Among them was the heat sensor camera – so they could see by lifting up sleeves and exposing skin would be shown on the screen, etc. and then of course as it was video – it’s only natural for a DAB!  If you click here you’ll see a video too!

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As we were entering I saw a sign which said “Museum Kids Factory 1 pm” but didn’t think much about it thinking we’d never be there at 1 pm as we were one of the first people to enter the building.  So when we were done with Mission Eureka game, we returned it an inquired about the Museum Kids Factory.  She explained its a hands-on workshop where children can make things – 1.50 per child for supplies – WELL WORTH IT!   Kids can have fun being creative and finding out more about technology. There are all kinds of activities on offer, including soldering, drawing with 3D pens, building with bits of wood, using an electronic circuit and playing with a wonderful collection of Philiform, the range of building blocks and experimental construction kits developed by Philips in the 1970s.  It was there where volunteer, Jan de Lau, was so kind and helped both kids step-by-step build their gadgets.  It wasn’t until later which I understood the items to make were geared towards kids 8+ but thankfully it was Jan who helped a lot as Maebh at 6.5 was a bit young.  Soren who will be 9 in a matter of works was a perfect age.

unnamed5Overall we really enjoyed the museum and especially liked the Museum Kids Factory.   The museum is well worth a visit if you are in Eindhoven and can go for a few hours.  This is one of the museums which you can get free if you live in The Netherlands and have the Museum Kaart.

Afterwards we walked around a bit – ate our final Vietnamese lompeia.

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Then popped into XXL – the shop which has aisles and aisles of junk and loads of laughs. It was there where the kids bought their squishy guys. At 1.00 each I didn’t mind, but sure enough it was a matter of HOURS before Soren’s broke – flour inside all over the bathroom in the Heuvel’s parking garage – Maebh’s still with us back in Dublin.

 

When Nils met up with us, we walked around a bit looking for a place to stop in for a beer and some food. We spotted one place just behind the Cathedral but from outside it looked bad and the name “Drinkers Pub” nearly made me avoid it but a great lesson in not judging a book by its cover.   Nils popped in and said we should go in – it was great choice – 800+ beers to choose from!  I had a small glass of classic wit and a half pint of Schneider Weisse – both on draught.  We were hungry so we also got nachos – which were yummy!  Would definitely go back here too.

 

Oh and Soren and Nils had some laughs in the men’s room as the urinals were made from beer kegs – the ladies room was just plain toilets.

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