This is my third post about my Easter trip to Holland with my sister and our sons (13 and 14). I’ve already written about the ferry crossing from Harwich with Stena Line, and about our Duingalow accommodation at Duinrell. This post is about the impressive range of things to do at Duinrell holiday park.
Duinrell is a family-owned holiday park in the wealthy town of Wassenaar in South Holland. What started as a play area in the wooded grounds of a private house is now an impressive family destination which has something for all ages. Most of the on site attractions and activities are free to access if you’re staying the park.
The Tiki pool is an indoor pool and waterslide complex, with an outdoor pool for the warmer months. With 11 different waterslides on offer, this was a highlight for our boys. My sister and I enjoyed the lazy river and the jacuzzi pool, and I had fun whizzing down a couple of slides with the boys. It’s a shame that there’s not a fitness pool – I would like to have been able to swim some lengths. Children under 12 years old have to be with an adult to access the Tiki pool. If you’re staying at the park you have unlimited access to the pool during the winter, but only two hours per day during the summer season.
The Duinrell amusement park is huge. It’s home to more than 40 attractions, including rides, a Ferris wheel, a soft play barn, bumper cars, rowing boats, a mini train, a luge and an indoor carousel next to a pancake house. There are also trampolines, playgrounds and, for one euro per person, an 18-hole mini golf course.
I have to tell you that I injured my head at the park. I was bending down to help a little girl who was struggling to lift up a plastic tray which she needed to sit on to go down a slide. Because I was looking at her, I didn’t see the metal beam which was above the trays, and I whacked my head straight into it. There was lots of blood and I ended up at hospital to have the injury glued.
I’m sharing this because, although we all enjoyed the amusement park, and there really is something on offer for all ages, I had noticed (even before head-butting the beam) that there weren’t as many staff around the park as there seem to be at similar places which I’ve visited around the world. There are signs everywhere saying ‘Use of this attraction is completely at one’s own risk’, and you really do need to think about what that means, and to keep a very watchful eye on your kids.
Cost: Free (apart from mini golf).
Bikes and go-karts
You can hire go-karts and bikes at the park, and we did both. The boys were desperate for go-karts as soon as they saw swarms of them all over the place when we first arrived. They really enjoyed getting around the site in their go-karts, and even took fellow blogger Kelly Innes’ girls for a ride a couple of times (the Domestic Goddesque family are big fans of Duinrell – check out Kelly’s post about it here). One day the four of us hired bikes and cycled four kilometres to Wassenaarslag beach on bike paths through woods and sand dunes.
Cost: Go-karts 13.50 euros per day, bikes 9.50 euros per day.
My sister and nephew spent a fun afternoon at Adventure mountain in the woods behind the amusement park. (My son was ill that day, so we couldn’t join in, but I watched them for a bit and took some photos). They tried the climbing wall and obstacle course, high ropes, zip wires and archery. My sister says: ‘It was good to find something that was fun for both of us to do together’. My nephew says: ‘The high ropes were the best thing because they were the highest thing.’
Again though, my sister (a teacher) and I both had doubts about the safety standards here: the information given at the start of the high ropes and archery activities was very, very brief, and they weren’t given helmets to wear for the high ropes course.
Cost: 22.50 euros for four activities.
More things to do
The park also has tennis courts, table tennis tables (bring your own bats), a sports court for football or volleyball, and mini bowling and table games at the pub. At weekends and during the Easter and summer school holidays there’s a kids’ entertainment programme on offer.
Where to eat
At the centre of the park is Duinrell Plaza, which is home to a well-stocked mini market, La Place restaurant, a pizza takeaway, Duinrell pub and the Lighthouse Lounge bar. We had takeaway pizzas one evening, and they were good. Just outside the park is an excellent pancake house, Pannenkoekenhuis, and across the road is the pretty town centre of Wassenaar, which offers some great cafes, restaurants and food shops as well as an excellent ice-cream shop, Luciano’s.
The cost of staying at Duinrell depends on dates, size of party, type of accommodation etc, but Holiday Park Specials, who arranged our trip, have a lowest price guarantee – they say that if you find your booking cheaper elsewhere they’ll refund you the difference.
My sister says: ’There’s loads to do and there’s something for all ages. My favourite thing was hiring bikes and cycling to the beach. I really like the friendly atmosphere at the park. Everyone’s really friendly and helpful.’
My nephew, 14, says: ‘There’s enough to do here for at least two weeks. There’s loads here. The water park and the water slides are the best thing. There are scary ones, baby ones, loads of different slides. It’s good. I liked the go-karts.’
My son, 13, says: ‘I like the swimming pool best because it’s indoors. My favourite ride at the park is Mad Mill. The go-karts are good.’
I enjoyed our stay at Duinrell, apart from hurting my head, and would definitely recommend it to families with children of all ages. Be aware of safety issues though, especially on the unsupervised rides.
Our trip to Duinrell was arranged by Holiday Park Specials. All words, images, injuries and opinions are entirely our own.