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Help - What to see traveling with small children

Help - What to see traveling with small children

Old Sep 7th, 1999, 10:05 AM
  #1  
AC
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Help - What to see traveling with small children

We are planning to fly into Amsterdam in mid-November, rent a car and spend a week vacationing with a 4 year-old girl and 7 year-old boy (and 4 of us adults). We were thinking of driving into Germany, but have no firm plans yet. We've never traveled this area before.
I need help determining on how far we can go, and what sights might be interesting for the kids. Lodging (or any other) suggestions would also be appreciated.

Thanks!
 
Old Sep 7th, 1999, 02:15 PM
  #2  
elvira
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Eesh, four adults and two kids. My suggestion is to rent a house somewhere and do day trips. Loading and unloading the van (large van or TWO cars) is going to be an awful lot of work (and time spent). There's a lot to do in the Benelux countries, so a central location should give you more than enough places to visit to fill up your week.
Netherlands: Amsterdam, Anne Frank's house; canal boat trip (ask if the cat botel still exists); rent bicycles for a half/day (it might be a little chilly); the Van Gogh museum, the Riiksmuseum, the Museum of Torture. Madurodam is a miniature Holland that you can walk around, and buy tulip bulbs. Eindhoven has a park/forest with a museum in the middle. Maastricht for the marl caves; the American Cemetery (where Patton is buried) is nearby. Of course, lots of windmills.
Belgium: Brussels (Gran'Place, brewery museum, lace making, CHOCOLATES); Brugge (medieval city, canals, horse-drawn carriages); Antwerp (diamonds);
Luxembourg: teeny tiny little country; beautiful scenery; city walls/fortress for walking through, around and on.
 
Old Sep 8th, 1999, 01:10 AM
  #3  
Leo
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The best thing you can do in my opnion, is to take a hotel in Maastricht. Here you are close to the German(25 min.)and Belgian(10 min.) border. From here you can take daytrips to f.e. Cologne(1 hour drive), Brussels(1,5 hour drive)Eindhoven(1 hour) Amsterdam(2,5 hours).
But when your in Maastrticht i'me sure you will spent a copple of days there.
It's the oldest city in Holland,the people speak their own language,very different from the Dutch. The city is very popular by people from Germany & Belgium.It has the most bars in the country and very good restaurants (with a French touch). The market on Friday(8.00am-13.00pm)is an atrraction all by itself and you can take a boatride with the kids to Liege in Belgium or visit the marl-caves. You are also close to several amusementparcs in the area hantasialand in Bhruhl(Germ)or Warner Bross Movie World in Oberhausen(Germ.) both within 1,5 hour drive.
Instead of a hotel you can try a bungalowparc in the area,mostly it's a lot cheaper then a hotel.
www.centerparcs.nl or www.grandorado.nl
Have a nice stay in Holland,Leo
 
Old Sep 8th, 1999, 11:01 AM
  #4  
AC
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Thanks for all the advice! I'm getting so excited! Is the Black Forest area of Germany a long drive from Amsterdam? Would the kids enjoy the sights of that area?

Thanks!
 
Old Sep 8th, 1999, 11:17 AM
  #5  
wes fowler
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AC,
The Black Forest is a "fur piece down the road from Amsterdam" and offers little of interest to two little ones that would justify the trip. Consider instead "Madurodam" near the Hague. Madurodam is a city in miniature with churches, schools, a working railroad, canals, a harbor with moving boats, an airport and reproductions of some of the major buildings of the Netherlands, all to one/twenty-fifth scale. Consider Kinderdijk, as well (Kinderdijk-"child's dike", so named because in legend a baby floated up the dike to safety during a raging North Sea storm). The canal is bordered by nineteen windmills of varying design and purpose. One is open for a tour of the miller family's living quarters and the workings of the mill.

Both are prominently described in any good guidebook to the Netherlands.
 
Old Sep 8th, 1999, 11:28 AM
  #6  
AC
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My son would also like to see a castle or 2. Do you have any suggestions?

Thanks!
 
Old Sep 8th, 1999, 12:42 PM
  #7  
wes fowler
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AC,
The Netherlands are hardly noted for castles, probably due to the Calvinist ethos. You won't find many and certainly none open. The few that exist close either in late September or October.

I think it would be in your best interests in planning to secure a map of Europe and one or more good guidebooks to the Netherlands; I'd particularly recommend either the Michelin or Baedeker guide to the Netherlands. Both should be available in your library or a good book store.
a
 
Old Sep 8th, 1999, 01:40 PM
  #8  
elvira
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Luxembourg gets short shrift in the European adventure, but it has some pretty nifty castles and great scenery. Belgium has a plethora (heh heh like that one?) of castles. There's a website: http://www.dreamit.be/castles/


 
Old Sep 8th, 1999, 02:01 PM
  #9  
AC
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Thanks! I hadn't thought of the castles closing. And I loved the Belgian castle web page.

 
Old Sep 9th, 1999, 01:17 AM
  #10  
Leo
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Hello AC, there's a castle in Maastricht called "Cateau Neercanne", it's open all year. It's a restaurant now(expensive but very haut cuisine), but you can also drink a refreshment there.
In Maastricht you can visit "de Kazematten" tunnels which run under the city. I"me sure it's very exciting for the kids, because after their visit they really know what the ultimate darkness is like.
Friendly greetings, Leo
 
Old Sep 9th, 1999, 01:28 AM
  #11  
Leo
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Hello AC, found a small description of Cateau Neercanne on the following url:
www.origin.nl/after7/maastric.htm
Bye,Leo
 
Old Sep 9th, 1999, 08:47 PM
  #12  
AC
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Leo,
Thanks for the information. I'm sure the kids will be excited to see any castle they can. The tunnels sound great too!
Thanks! AC
 

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