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Birthday Party Resources in and Around Delft

by Amanda de Souza, with Onica King

One of the enduring memories I have of childhood are birthday parties, the ones my mother held for my brother and I. She was a born extrovert and revelled in entertaining children. She would come to life during those parties, jettisoning daily cares for a few hours and casting everyone in her magical spell.

Lasting birthday memories

Like most parents, mine were busy with the day-to- day challenges of raising us, feeding us and clothing us while maintaining a semblance of normality amidst the chaos. But birthdays were special – a time when both working parents could put some time aside to be with us and our friends.

My mother did everything from scratch for those parties and while that is an admirable endeavour, there are now numerous other options to help parents along. I don’t have the personality or inclination to imitate my mother – indeed my rudimentary Dutch precludes me from major festivity orchestration. With that in mind, I’ve colluded with Onica to identify some ideas for birthdays (including some for having parties at home).

Please keep in mind that most of these activities are best suited for school age children who have the ability to focus on activities, take simple instructions, or play in groups. And yes, we’ve focused on indoor activities given the unpredictable Dutch weather.

Your starting point in Delft

From pony parties at Buyten Delft to scientific experiments at the Delft Science Center,  or climbing fun at the Bouldercentrum to making mosaics at Atelier Zeven, the DMM Get Out! post from earlier this year provides a great point of departure for birthday party options. Most of the resources identified offer children party packages that include time learning or practicing the given activity along with snacks or a meal and drinks for each child. Some have minimum (4 – 6) or maximum (12 – 20) participant requirements, while pricing typically ranges between €10 – €15 per child. Though for some activities like skiing or go-karting, you can expect to pay upwards of €20 per child.

A few other options here in Delft that did not make the Get Out! list include:

Beyond Delft city limits

If you’re willing to venture a little further afield to entertain your little and their friends, here are a few notable options that may be worth the trip.

The wonders of Museums

Let’s not overlook some of the great museums in the area. They provide fantastic options for birthday celebrations. Here are a few to consider for younger and older children alike.

The comfort of home

Not inclined to stray from home and you’re up for the challenge of having 4 – 12 little munchkins barrelling around your house (along with the inevitable clean-up associated with that). There are quite a few options to help you organize fun filled festivities at home.

Right here in Delft you’ll find Funny’s, Flying Tiger, HEMA, SoLow, and Xenos for most of your party supply needs. Alternatively, head online to Baker RossParty City, or Pipoos if you still can’t find what you need.

Looking to bring the entertainment to you? 

  • Consider a Henna workshop via the Hand of Fatima
  • Get their faces painted from Inge at Kinderfeest En Zo
  • Invite a few reptiles to the party with Exotus Serpenti
  • Jump onto a bouncy castle from MTR, or simply do a search for “springkussen verhuur” to choose from the many options.
  • Organize your own survival games with gear rental from 123FUN
  • Rent a party box filled with toys from an old Delft favorite, Poppedijn
  • Twist and turn a balloon figure or two with Miko the Clown

Intrigued by these “home” options, but daunted by that aforementioned associated clean-up? Then consider holding the event at one of the local sport halls or school gyms around town. The Delft municipality rents out these facilities when not in use for nominal fees. Have a look for yourself at Sportfondsen.

Let’s get this party started

Whatever your approach or the interest of your little, there are lots of resources at your fingertips right here in Delft – including your fellow Delftians (or is that Delftinars?). Take advantage and reach out. Check websites for up to date details and call or email for confirmation.

Now go forth, have fun, and party on!

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Delft MaMa’s 10th anniversary August 2017

Ten years ago together with some of the Delft MaMa’s original board members, I signed a notarial act officializing Stichting Delft MaMa (The Delft Maternity And Motherhood Assistance Foundation) to serve the Delft international community of pregnant women and mothers of babies.

As my own son who is born in 2003 grew up, Delft MaMa gradually expanded to mothers of children up to the standard age of the end of primary school in The Netherlands, ie  12 years.  Our goal has been to promote the well-being and participation/ integration of international mothers (-to-be) by sharing information about the local system related to healthcare, daycare, education and service providers to make you feel at home and empowered. Another very important concept has been to bring mothers together to share their experiences and doubts in a safe and open-minded way. Parenting is not easy, especially when you no longer have your relatives and long time friends around.

Delft MaMa has grown into a very dynamic and supportive  community, with so many cultures and languages. Facebook and email newsletters have replaced our original email messages and magazine in PDF thanks to Vanessa Later. Information fairs are no longer needed as other organizations in Delft ended up taking them over. In our first year, we received funding for what was innovative at a time : an information fair about prenatal and postnatal care (two thirds in Dutch and one third in English with over 30 participating organizations and service providers). Three months later, we were organizing a multicultural baby festival at our then new public library DOK at Vesteplein 100. We had amateur artists from several countries who lived in Delft show off their artwork about maternity using various media for three weeks. This was a partnership with Stichting Kunzt and artistic Delft mamas. The opening had live lullabies from classic music to folk songs. A representative of Indonesian museum Nusantara came to tell us about traditions when a baby is born and how to protect him/her form evil spirits.  Several Delft mothers created large posters with texts and pictures about what the  original traditions of welcoming a child into this world are like in their countries. It was very well received by DOK visitors and staff.

This could not have happened without Sjoerd from the Delft volunteer office, Irina Thio from Foundation Voor Delft, top trainer El batoul Zembib and Hafida Azouagh coordinator of the Gemeente Delft leadership programme Stuurvrouwen for highly educated women born outside of the Netherlands who wanted to become board members of local non-profits, associations and political parties. Brenda Kooy-Grootscholten from Bedrijf en Samenleving Delft was later an important supporter of Delft MaMa, just like Elinor Abramson, Tonya Tolmeijer, Myra Hillebrink, Bianca Blaak and Sephine Laros. A special thank you to our original board members Suchandana Roy, Nushaba Mirzazade, Grace Akebe, Shenandoah Evans and Renee Veldman-Tentori.

Foundation 1818 and the municipality of Delft were crucial financial supporters of our yearly city wide events. Delft MaMa would also not have been possible without the involvement of many volunteers from workshops to board meetings, to fairs and second-hand markets we have organized for the last ten years. I no longer have to convince institutions that any parent Dutch or international finds it nice and useful to get information not only about products but about knowledge and finding experts when things become more complicated, whether it is picking a primary school or a special needs specialist. With the recent makeover of our beautiful website we share a lot of practical information on web pages, an online calendar and the very popular blog expert. Our newsletter still highlights fun things to do or useful things to know about what is going on in Delft and becoming an active Delftenaar.

Together we are happier, more in balance and have more fun! All your contributions through donating your time, ideas and occasionally funds has made this exciting community a reality, and I keep marvelling at all your strength, resilience, creativity and being honest and vulnerable too.

When I moved to Delft on January 1st 2003 and became pregnant within 3 months, no one ever told me about resources for international parents in the region. I made friends with local mothers, then with international mothers who had traumatizing experiences, and once my son turned one and a half I launched what became a year later Stichting Delft MaMa meeting hundreds of mothers every year first in person and now mostly online as a moderator now that my son is almost 14. Delft as a city has much to offer to us: low criminality and many intellectually interesting things to do, sports, jobs and beautiful architecture where riding a bike is made easy. Looking back, I can only be proud of this wonderful experience that I hope we will all keep maintaining and adjusting for many years to come. This year we have special activities such as our upcoming mosaic and barbecue and can’t wait to see you there!

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