Keukenhof Gardens: Seeing Holland’s Flowers
Its spring in the Netherlands which means Tulips and flowers galore! The most “traditional” way to see the flowers is a visit to Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse.
If your here to see flower photos from our mid April 2016 visit you can check them out here.
Keukenhof gardens are only open for two months each spring while the flowers are blooming. They announce their opening days in the late winter so keep checking their webpage or facebook page when planning your trip. In general though late March to early May seems to be the window.
Keukenhof is easily reached by tour bus, public transportation or by car. (Check out your options here.) We drove, as it is less then 45 min from Delft. Parking is €6 and very convenient to the entrance.
We were able to make a weekday visit work and arrived as the park opened at 8am. We bought our tickets and headed straight into the gardens. We had the place to ourselves until around 10am when the park began to get very very crowded. (If you wont be arriving in the morning buy your tickets online.)
Keukenhof has plenty to enjoy for everyone. I was a bit worried the kids wouldn’t want to look at flowers, but like most dutch attractions there is plenty for the kids to enjoy as well. Its one of the more “touristy” places we have been with lots of gift shop stalls, large wooden shoes to stand in and other posed photo opportunities throughout the park. If you going in knowing that it can be quite fun, plus the flower displays are unbeatable.
We headed straight to the back of the park so we could climb the windmill before it became crowded.
The top of the windmill has an amazing view of the flower fields behind the gardens.
The kids loved the large playground and petting zoo which are right in the middle of the gardens.
The kids loved the “Miffy house” filled with Miffy goodies and a few Miffy play items out front.
The kids loved running through this garden maze on their own. It ends up in a tower with views of the flower fields and back toward the gardens through the maze. The hedges were high enough that it really was a maze even for adults.
We had a color scavenger hunt using these great color wheels from Playful Learning. The partial wheel was perfect for my little one, while my four year old was able to handle the larger wheel. We made sure the kids understood that they couldn’t pick the flowers!
The four year old’s favorite activity was hopping on the stone paths through the flower displays. He literally did not want to leave. This gave us plenty of time to enjoy the flowers.
One of the green houses was full of magnificent Orchids.
We had the double stroller with us and found the park easy to get around. There are plenty of food vendors and cafes in the park. This is one of the first places we have been though that we found the food prices to be elevated and the selection to be lacking. We came with some items packed, but supplemented with some purchased items.
We left the park shortly before noon and could barely get through the crowds to get out. We felt that 4 hours gave us plenty of time to enjoy the flowers and see the park.
We didn’t have time, but you can take a boat ride through the fields from just behind the windmill inside the gardens for €–. We’ve heard great things about the cruise, which lasts 45min. Something to do with guests next year!
Keukenhof is well worth the visit but we also really enjoyed biking through the flower fields and seeing the parade floats being created. If you want to pick your own flowers check out Annemieke’s Picking Garden, we have not checked it out yet but it gets great reviews from friends. These activities are easily combined with a visit to the gardens for a full day flower adventure!