A couple of weeks ago, we did something we’ve rarely done so far: we spent a (mini) vacation in our home country. After doing some research and looking for options that weren’t too far away from Amsterdam, we chose Otterlo as the destination for our very first family of four vacation. It was the perfect try-out for future holidays in our new family set up. There`s definitely room for improvement regarding our packing strategies, but as for everything else, I think it went really smoothly. For anyone looking for a nice and simple but active holiday with kids in Holland`s nature, here`s more about what we did during our trip to Otterlo..
Otterlo is a small village next to the Hoge Veluwe national park, a beautiful piece of nature that you won`t find anywhere else in the Netherlands in this dimension. The park has endless bike paths and you could get lost if it weren`t for the info boards telling you which way to go and how far you have to cycle to a certain part. As the park is so huge, it`s really most fun to explore by bicycle, although you sometimes come across people walking. Husband fulfilled his role as Dutch dad perfectly and reserved a bike with child seat as well as a bakfiets (transport bike where many Dutch take their kids everywhere) way ahead. This turned out to be brilliant, as the rental place only had one of them and before we came to pck it up, it had been requested by several families. We put Stella in her maxi cosi car seat and then in the bakfiets and were ready to explore some nature on wheels :-).
Another smart thing we did was taking this trip during the week, just before a bank holiday weekend. It made choices and prices better and we got to avoid the crowds. After exploring different options, we booked a cabin at www.deroek.nl, a small vacation park. Every cabin there is surrounded by trees so you really feel like you`re in the middle of nature and don`t directly see other cabins and people. Since we came back, Henrik has been asking when we’re going back to the house in the woods often. He really loved it! The place was very family oriented, with a little farm where children could pet lambs, ponies and bunnies and help feed the animals in the mornings.
Moreover, they had a huge playground that made any kid’s dreams come true: a tree house, slide, swings, a huge sandbox with a water pump and as the cherry on the cake – lots of bikes and cars and tractors in all sizes. Our trip was three days and two nights and we were uo and about in the national park most of the time, but we could easily have stayed a week without getting bored just spending days around the cabin.
The cabin had two bedrooms, a small living room with open kitchen, bathroom and big terrace. Perfect for us as husband likes to make use of every sunny day with dinner from the grill and we brought our mini bbq. So we ended our days on the terrace, surrounded by trees and singing birds and it was the perfect short getaway for us city people. The children were happy and slept well, and nowadays that’s the meat and potatoes for a successful holidays for us :-).