We never miss an opportunity to tag along with Jeff on a work trip so we can see a new part of the Netherlands. Jeff was headed up to Flevoland, the area of the Netherlands created in 1986 by reclaiming land from the sea.
While Jeff was in meetings we hung out in a nearby town, Emmeloord. The weather was a bit cold and wet. We took refuge in the Grand Cafe at the ‘T Voorhuys. There was plenty of space for the stroller, where O was relaxing. H was happily playing and enjoying his hot chocolate.
We ordered a delicious lunch and were still happy and intact when Jeff met up with us after his meetings. There is a little downtown to walk around as well.
Our first stop was the Batavia Ship Building Museum. It’s located adjacent to the outlets in Lelystad and shares a huge parking area with those outlets. The museum features a reconstructed Dutch East India company boat, the Batavia. Admission to the museum, not part of the Museumkaart program, allows you to board and explore the ship. Guided tours are also available, but we opted out with the kids.
There was quite a bit of restoration work going on, painting and other work, so our visit was short. The paint fumes were a bit much for the kids and I. H loved ringing the bell and seeing parts of the ship, but it is not as good as the ship at the National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam.
The ship yard has a few other areas to explore. The group has started work on a second ship, The 7 Provinces. You can climb the scaffolding to see the current work. You are also invited to view the workshops where volunteers are working on carvings for the ship. The boys found this all very interesting.
There are a few child related activities available as well. The boys’ favorite, yes even little O, was the Dutch standby of nails, logs and a hammer. Kids are urged to hammer nails into wood. We’ve seen this so many places that H is becoming quite competent. There was a ring toss and fishing (with glass bottles) game in the front hall as well.
The museum had a craft set up to complete for a few euro. We bypassed the craft, but it seems like there is usually one available.
The museum also offers a view of the Deltaworks project. I’m fascinated by these dikes that dot the country, protecting the Netherlands from the sea.
Next door to the ship building museum is the very child friendly New Land Museum, which is part of the Museumkaart Program. This museum tells the short history of Flevoland. We did not explore the upstairs. Our kids were instantly drawn to the large water play area. Little O just sailed the boats around, but H learned about pumps and dikes.
The museum had more to offer, but we had to head back home for dinner.