Archeon Park, Netherlands // Photo Diary
This weekend, sticking to our theme of local exploration for this pregnant lady, we decided to check out the Archeon Viking Festival held at the Archeon living history museum. The museum is part of the Museumkaart program and only a thirty-minute drive from Delft.
The weather was absolutely perfect for an outdoor adventure. There is plenty of parking on site for both bikes and cars (6.50 Euros for car parking, 1 Euro discount w/ online booking). You can also walk from the train station. The museum has three “lands” – Prehistoric, Roman and Middle Ages. Each land offers recreated houses, activities and demonstrations based on that period.
If you’re visiting with kids it’s worth it to purchase the €3.95 activity pack. H made a felt bracelet, cooked bread over an open fire on a stick, rolled his own beeswax candle and made a Roman button (fibula).
The Viking Festival brought with it Vikings camped out throughout the park. In addition to the traditional people you would find in each land, white tents throughout the park housed a variety of Viking merchants, craftsmen and warriors.
Many of the Vikings have their children with them, so the park was positively full of children in traditional Viking dress. Some were assisting their parents in various tasks, but many were just enjoying the park.
We were some of the first people into the park, so we started our visit with some playground time. Like any good Dutch museum, the kids playground offered lots of climbing options and sand for the kids. It takes the museum a bit of time to get “up and running” so this was a good way for the kids to play a bit before we explored the different lands. The lands have staggered opening times, so check at the entrance.
Our first stop was the prehistoric hunter-gatherer camp. There is a barefoot path here, which we skipped, but would be quite fun to experience with older kids.
Here, dugout canoes are available for anyone, who dares, to take out on the small lake.
The boys were, of course, game for a canoe ride. Despite the appearance, Jeff did hop into the canoe to help the boys around the lake. They lost (and recovered) a paddle and also found some blackberries and elderberries to pick on their journey.
We followed the path from the hunter-gatherer area to the Bronze Age and Iron Age farms.
One of the farm houses is home to the bread cooking. The bread is quite dense and takes a while to cook over the small fire. The boys quickly tired of holding the stick and turned it over to dad!
The paths between the areas were bursting with these red berries. Although they are a treat for the birds they are unfit for humans, but they do bring a pop of color to the park in late summer.
My favorite area was the Medieval Town, filled with working craft houses.
The baker was just finishing up his morning baking and setting out his goods. The boys bought a few (4) cookies for €1.
The cobbler was in his window making some elderberry lemonade. My inquisitive children had a few questions for him, so he took them into the yard so they could assist with the berry picking.
I could literally smell this guy coming down the road with the fish before I saw him. He was getting ready to cook the fish for town supper.
The beekeeper in town was in charge of making the candles, in addition to collecting honey. His hand-dipped candles were set to dry in his window. This was also where the candle rolling activity took place.
H also participated in a sword skills class. Everyone is given a real sword and instructed on how to properly use it. After a bit of practice with Dad, H challenged the teacher to a duel. (Seriously!)
I found a few more flowers I needed to take a picture of. I love how in the Netherlands so many of these museums are built right into the natural landscape.
In the Roman area, Jeff worked with H to make a pin they used as a button (a fibula). We also toured a Roman Bath House.
The boys made this! How cool is that.
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