Holland is famous for many things: tulip fields, wooden clogs, windmills and meandering canals. What most people outside of the Netherlands don’t know, however, is that it’s home to some of the oldest and most interesting holiday parks in Europe. Join us on a ride through the best Dutch theme parks and enjoy a short break with the kids in a holiday park.
The Efteling is one of the world’s oldest theme parks. It’s even rumoured that Walt Disney was so inspired by his visit to the Efteling that he decided to create Disneyland, but those rumours have never been confirmed nor denied by the Disney tycoon. While the Efteling has continued to grow since its opening in 1952, it has retained its old-world character and simple charm. Hidden deep in the woods, visiting the Efteling feels very much like stepping into a fairy-tale world untouched by time.
Most of the attractions are based on ancient legends and fables, from the Brothers’ Grimm to George of the Dragon. The Fairy Tale Forest features all of the classics, including Pinocchio and Snow White, and is a favourite among young visitors. The four big rollercoasters include a nerve-wracking wooden rollercoaster, a classic steel rollercoaster and a free-falling dive coaster. What we love about the Efteling is the relaxed, intimate feel of the park. There’s none of the chaos of popular British parks and all of the magic of childhood. The indoor water park is perfect for rainier days, and the family friendly restaurants and cafes are ideal for a mid-afternoon snack or evening meal.
Efteling Bosrijk is the holiday park of the Efteling, situated in the beautiful woodland surrounding the park. The cottages are beautiful and fairy tale themed so the magical Efteling feeling stays with you even when you’ve left the park. Besides exploring the Efteling theme park, you can make the most of the nearby cycling and hiking routes, visit the nearby city of Kaatsheuvel or relax by the water next to your cottage.
Duinrell is a water park, theme park and holiday park all in one. The icing on the cake: it’s right on the beach and in the historic city of Wassenaar, home to the Dutch royal family. The accommodation is less plush than at the Efteling, consisting of simple but comfortable mobile homes called ‘Duingalows’. These accommodations are fully-equipped and include small patios with garden furniture, so you can enjoy a nice BBQ in the summer.
The Tikibad is one of Duinrell’s highlights, an indoor tropical water park featuring a lazy river, numerous slides of varying speeds and a typhoon! The theme park itself features a perfect mix of child-friendly rides and thrill-seeker rides, so the whole family will be pleased. One ride you absolutely cannot miss is the Dragonfly, a dizzying steel rollercoaster which should definitely be enjoyed before, not after, pancakes at the Carousel Café. Other activities besides the theme park and the water park include archery lessons, a diving school and a climbing wall.
If you’ve had enough thrill-seeking for one day you can take a stroll of the affluent town of Wassenaar, complete with cosy cafes and cobbled streets. Visit the Royal Estates, the old WWII bunkers and the excellent shopping district. If the weather’s nice, a trip to the beach is highly recommended.
Slagharen is one of the most visited parks in Europe and is certainly the biggest park on this list. Featuring over 30 rides, a main street with shops and restaurants, a holiday park and a water park, a visit to Slagharen is sure to be jam-packed with entertainment. Slagharen has six different themes, from Indian to Wild West to New Orleans, so every area you enter feels like a new experience altogether. With over 30 attractions, Slagharen is up there with the biggest and best theme parks in the world.
One of our highlights is the Dream horses show in the Wild West village, which includes horses and acrobats working together to put on a spectacular performance. If there are any cowboys or cowgirls in the family, Slagharen is highly recommended for its Wild West themes that are even evident in the holiday park’s accommodation.
Spent a few nights in the Colorado Caravan, the Cowboy Cottage or the Hacienda Mobile Home and get a taste of the Wild West! The accommodations are fun, comfortable and fully-equipped. During your trip, why not experience something outside of the theme park and enjoy a day trip to Emmen Zoo or the historic city of Zwolle. You can enjoy some traditional Dutch good or try out one of the hiking or cycling trails in the area.
Book a holiday park in Holland
At HolidayParkSpecials, we have a wide range of family friendly holiday parks in Holland. Have a look at our range and enjoy a fantastic trip in the lowlands. Top tip: Some British bank holidays and half-terms fall at different times to the Dutch holidays. This means you may be able to enjoy the park with half the usual crowds.