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Author: Elizabeth Newcamp

Elizabeth is the Editor-in-Chief of Bebe Voyage, a family travel
community. When not traveling with her three boys (5, 3, and 8
months) or biking around Delft, Elizabeth writes about family
adventures as expats in her blog, Dutch Dutch Goose.

6 Weird Travel Finds Near Delft

You’re browsing through Pinterest  and you think “I have to go there.” As it turns out quite a few of these incredible sights are easy to reach from Delft. Here are a few I’ve had the chance to visit and how you can visit them too.

Walkable Rollercoaster : Duisburg, Germany (~2 hours by car)

This piece of public art is officially called ‘Tiger and Turtle Magic Mountain.” You can walk all but the loop, which is gated off. At night it is lit by LED lights in the structure. Walking the structure is incredibly cool as your mind wonders about which way the path will take you. Find out more here.

Moses Bridge : Halsteren, Netherlands (~1 hour by car)

 

The sunken bridge was put in place as part of the renovation of Fort De Roovere. The bridge allows access to the fort without changing the view or design. When you are on the bridge you are below the waterline, yet you stay completely dry. There is plenty to do hiking around the fort in addition to the bridge which makes it worth the visit. Find out more here.

Upside Down Railway : Wuppertal, Germany (~3 by car)

The Wuppertal Electric Elevated Railway hangs from its tracks as a space saving design. It runs right down the river meaning it took up none of the city’s precious riverside land. It is the oldest of its kind in the world. It is Wuppertal’s public transportation system so hopping a ride is incredibly easy and super fun. There is even an audio guide you can download and listen to on your ride. Find out more here.

 

The Town With No Roads: Geithoorn, Netherlands (~2 hours by car)

Geithoorn Netherlands is a small town largely without roads. Instead a system of canals and bridges connects the village. If you go in the off-season you can rent an electric boat (no license required, ~ 25 Euros/hour) and enjoy the pristine quiet of this village. If however, you go any day with nice weather you will find yourself surrounded by incompetent boaters. Start out early and head out into the lake for a lovely view and more space. Walking the bridges can be equally as picturesque if you don’t want to take to the water. Find out more here.

The Star Fort Town: Bourtange, Netherlands (~3 hours by car)

The star shaped Fort Bourtange sits on the German border. Inside remains a small town complete with hotel, restaurants, museums and shops. Crowded during the day it is virtually empty in the evening. You can walk the fort walls and look over the land. Cannons, a windmill and even toilets that dump into the moat have all been preserved. It’s incredible to walk the walls while following yourself on Google Maps.

Find out more here.

Book Store In Old Church: Maastricht, Netherlands (~2 hours by car)

 

The Dominicanen Bookstore is built inside a 700 year old Dominican Church. The bookstore has a cafe and a variety of exhibitions. It’s worth popping in to see books stacked to the ceiling of this former church. It’s the sort of place you’ll want to browse and hang out a bit. It certainly kicked off my love of weird European bookstores. Find out more here.

Share your Pinterest travel finds with DelftMama here.

You can also see more crazy Pinterest travel finds on my travel blog,  Dutch, Dutch Goose!

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The Womanhood Studio

The Womanhood Studio in Delft is moving to a new location and will be filling a hole in Delft’s current offerings for families. Tami, the Womanhood Studio’s creator and owner, has been serving women in the Delft community as a doula. She opened the Womanhood Studio two years ago, expanding her services to offer massages and classes for pregnant women and new moms. Now Tami’s moving her studio to a new home at 28 Schoolstraat in Delft, bringing the studio closer to Delft’s public transportation connections.

The Womanhood Studio was a centerpoint for my pregnancy in Delft. I was able to enjoy several massages with Tami and discuss the best way to alleviate my aches and pains. Tami was there for me when I was overdue, worrying about an induction. Once my little one arrived, we returned to the Womanhood Studio for baby massage classes. The studio also offers baby sign language classes. At the previous small space on Vlamingstraat, the studio services often ended there – then came news that Tami had found a new, larger location and would be able to expand her offerings.

My experience is not unique. Jules, who used Tami as her doula had wonderful things to say about her experience. “The Womanhood Studio is a unique concept that celebrates women ,and I feel fortunate that I had the support and care of Tami during my pregnancy and labour. Tami was our doula – her calm spirit, cheerful personality, positive affirmations and can-do attitude gave us a lot of confidence as first-time parents. My birth was filled with laughter and Tami’s presence really empowered me to have the birthing experience that I had dreamed of. I am so excited to see that the Womanhood team under Tami’s guidance is going from strength to strength and moving to a bigger historic Delft location. Tami’s big smile and hospitality will welcome you. Make sure you check out the Womanhood Studio. You won’t regret it.”

If you have never been lucky enough to meet Tami, you should rectify that right away. Her mere presence puts you at ease. She has a particular soft spot for expat parents and classes at the studio are often taught in English. (I can promise you she will make sure you feel comfortable no matter what your language or home country.) She encourages everyone to stop in and say hello to see what the Womanhood Studio has to offer for you! I am lucky enough to be Tami’s neighbor. I invited her over for tea to chat all about the exciting changes and what it means for families in Delft.

The name Womanhood Studio came from her desire to serve women in the community at all stages. Although many classes focus on children or pregnancy, the studio is designed to be welcoming to all. The new studio space will even enable Tami to offer Pilates classes for men or mixed classes.

All the classes at the Womanhood Studio are small, usually under 10 participants, so that they can have an intimate feel. These gatherings are designed to provide community and connection. Tami encourages participants to come early and hang around afterwards to chat up with her and other participants.

Photo Credit: Womanhood Studio

The new space means an expanded range of options. I don’t want to spoil all the surprises she has planned, but Tami was off to be certified to teach Arial Yoga after our chat. She’s also ordered some lovely swings for a special class for children and plans to offer other classes that help older children with body, mind and emotional connections. I cannot wait to have my kids try out these classes. Previously you would have needed to head to Rotterdam or The Hague for offerings like these, but now they will be available in Delft center.

If you still think the Womanhood Studio has nothing to offer stop by, meet Tami and let her know what you would like to see. The Womanhood Studio is a service to the community and wants to be responsive to the community’s needs. Feedback on classes, be it times or format, is heard and adjustments are made. If you have a group that is looking for something specific, say Pilates for moms with young babies, stop by and she will see if she can make it work. Since classes are small, it’s often feasible to start a class with enough interest.

The studio will also be available for other gatherings. If your group is looking for a place to gather and meets the mission of the studio, get in touch with Tami. This lovely new space can be a gathering place for the community.

Make sure you follow the Womanhood Studio on Facebook and Instagram to stay up-to-date on all the exciting changes. I hope to see you there!

 

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5 Easy Weekend Trips from Delft

With busy schedules it can be difficult to find time for a big trip. Work and school schedules often mean travel is limited to peak times. Luckily, from Delft, there are many places you can escape for a quick weekend trip. Here are five ideas that allow you to leave Saturday morning, spend one night and come home on Sunday. Obviously if you can get away on Friday afternoon you’ll have more time to enjoy your getaway.

Texel, Netherlands

Texel is the largest of the Netherlands barrier islands. It is a 2-hour drive by car or a 4-hour trip by public transport, which includes the ferry ride to the island. Although Texel is popular for a summer visit, a shoulder season visit gives you a quiet island if you don’t mind wearing your coat on the beach. Once you’re on the island rent bikes and enjoy the sheep and pristine nature.

Stay at the Grand Hotel Opduin to be engulfed by the Dunes of Texel National Park. Visit Ecomare to learn about the seal rescue and protection the island plays a huge role in. The Shipwreck Museum has a playground and treasure hunt for kids. Make the short hike to Texel’s Lighthouse and enjoy the strand below. You won’t want to miss a visit to the Sheep Farm where, after visiting the sheep,  you can delight in some cheese fondue and sheep’s milk ice cream. A visit and tour of the Texels Brewery is a must.  The island has many restaurants, beaches and bars so you won’t go hungry during your visit. Bring your bike along or rent one on the island to really take advantage of the scenery.

Brussels, Belgium 

The capitol of Belgium is full of fun for the whole family. Two hours by car or train will put you in the city for the night. Stay at the Train Hostel for a fun night. Next door, Train World will captivate children and adults alike with fun displays of trains throughout history. Visit Atomium and climb to the top for views of Brussels. Mini-Europe is a fun day out and easily combined with Atomium and the water park Oceade. Children delight in the Manneken Pis statue. You can also enjoy the Comic Strip Center, Museum of Natural Sciences, Musical Instrument Museum and the Children’s Museum.

 

Cologne, Germany 

A 3-hour drive or 3.5 hours on public transportation (NS to Utrecht, ICE to Cologne) will land you in Cologne, Germany. Enjoy the city by climbing to the top of the Cologne Cathedral. Visit the Museum Ludwig where kids can check out suitcases to explore different elements of art. In good weather visit the botanical gardens or the zoo. Ride the Cologne Cable Car over the river for great views. The Lindt Chocolate Museum is a must for all visits to Cologne. In the summer you can rent bikes or cruise the river and in the winter the vast squares are turned into Christmas markets with a skating rink that runs the length of one of the streets.

Maastricht, Netherlands

Maastricht is 2-hours by car or 2.5 hours by public transportation. The funky Town House Hotel is our favorite place to say although the Kruisherenhotel, built into an old church is also a good bet. Maastricht is full of things to explore from the bookstore inside an old church to caves below the city.  There are river cruises of varying lengths, which our little ones loved. We’ve found a few great playgrounds like Frans van Speeltuin and Speeltuin Fort Willem. You can also head over to Valkenburg, which is a bit touristy but has a fun alpine slide and a few other great kids activities.

Center Parks, De Vossemeren

This campground in Belgium has everything you need for a weekend of fun. Unlike other camping setups, Center Parks, De Vossemeren allows you to book just a few nights so you can do a one or two night stay instead of a full week. The cabins are arranged around several lakes. The campground has pools, mini-golf, bowling, playgrounds. . .basically everything you need for a weekend away. There are restaurants on site or you can cook up food in your cabin. It is an easy get away and they often offer “last minute” deals  The campground is a 2-hour drive from Delft.

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5 ‘Staycations’ Near Delft

If you’re looking for a way to get away, without actually getting away, enjoy these five ideas for a staycation option in Delft’s backyard. They are all accessible by public transportation and host more than enough activity for a weekend stay.

Delftse Hout

The Delftse Hout campground is located in the woods to the east of Delft. It is an easy option for a quick staycation. The campground has a variety of lodging options from camping to cottage rental. The campground has a playground, pool and restaurant. With its woodland location you’ll feel like you’ve left the city, despite the fact that you can ride your bike to your staycation.

If the campground entertainment isn’t enough, there is a weekend full of activities within walking distance. Head next door to the Stadsboerderij petting zoo and water playground or across the street to De Papaver Delft nature center. Walk to Cafe du Midi for a bite to eat and some playtime with the goats in their petting zoo. Knus, also just a walk away, has food, a playground and boats to rent. Hoeve Biesland is another perfect outing to see the farm animals and maybe pick up some fruit and veggies for dinner. You could also put together a picnic at this farm by purchasing a loaf of bread, cheese and some fruit.

 

S.S. Rotterdam 

Stay aboard the S.S. Rotterdam, the former flagship of the Holland America Line which is now a hotel docked in Rotterdam. The cruise ship hotel has themed rooms, several restaurants and lounges and even a pool, all overlooking beautiful Rotterdam. The S.S. Rotterdam is easily reached by car or public transportation from Delft.

When you tire of relaxing on board, you can take one of the tours of the ship. There is even a kids tour offered. Head to the Maritime Museum where exhibits are kid-friendly, including outdoor ships to tour and an indoor/outdoor playground on the roof. Pop into the Markthal for a quick snack or a full meal. Take the Pancake Boat for a tour of the incredibly busy Rotterdam harbor while your kids play in the onboard ball pit and eat as many pancakes as they can. You can also take to the water in an amphibious bus with Splash Tours.

 

 

Scheveningen

If the North Sea is calling your name head to Scheveningen for a weekend away from Delft. Try the Carlton Beach Hotel or the Bilderberg Hotel, which both have family-friendly room options. Scheveningen can easily be reached by car or taking Tram 1 from Delft.

At Scheveningen, you have a pristine beach to enjoy for your visit. You can also check out the SeaLife Center, Fairytale Sculptures by the Sea, or one of the many attractions on The Pier. A short tram ride away is Madurodam, Netherlands in miniature, which has plenty to entertain the kids for a day including several large playgrounds. Museon, GEM Museum of Modern Art and the Omniversum IMAX theater are all a short tram ride away as well. The Pathe movie theater offers more English options for kids than its counterpart in Delft. If you’re a World War II history buff, you will want to check out the Atlantic Wall Museum, which explains the bunkers that line the coastline of much of Europe.

Hop beach clubs checking out the menus and variety of kids entertainment from trampolines to playgrounds. There is nearly always something going on down on the beach.

Image: pixabay.com

 

Amsterdam 

Hop the train to Amsterdam and spend a weekend exploring the ‘big city.’ Sure you can pop up for the day, but it’s fun to get away and really experience the city. Consider staying in a House Boat Hotel for a unique experience. Cocomama Hostel has a family room as well as bunk rooms that are perfect for families.The Botel is also a fun option in an artistic corner of Amsterdam.

Take advantage of local activities by checking out Amsterdam Mama’s for a list of whats on in town during your visit. We love exploring the ships at the National Maritime Museum, where kids can win a prize for finding the treasure. The NEMO Science Museum is also perfect for kids. You won’t want to miss the ARTIS Zoo or Vondelpark. Of course Amsterdam is full of great playgrounds with cafes, just choose any one from the Amsterdam Mama’s list and you have the perfect outing.

If you want to hit the water head out on the Pizza Cruise where you enjoy pizza and ice cream as you cruise through Amsterdam’s Canals.

 

 

Alphen Aan Den Rijn 

Head to Alphen Aan Den Rijn just 40 min from Delft and accessible by car and public transport. Stay at the Vander Valk Avifauna and be surrounded by a weekend of activities. Visit the birds and several excellent playgrounds at Avifauna, directly adjacent to the hotel. (The hotel has  stay and play deals, so check online.) The dock just outside the park and hotel is host to river boat tours of varying themes from brunch to day trips to Gouda.

Don’t miss Archeon a museum where history comes to life in several villages ranging from prehistoric to Roman towns. Alternatively spend a day biking around to the various parks. Forest Park is next to the petting zoo and has ample plant and bird life to explore. Europa Park is another great option with playgrounds for older and younger children.

 

If you’re looking for more ideas stop by my blog, Dutch Dutch Goose, for more ideas on how to explore the Netherlands and beyond with kids.

 

 

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