Celebrating The Holidays at a Garden Store

Every year my Facebook feed fills with images of Christmas in America making me a tad homesick. Sure, our days are full of Sinterklaas festivities and we visit Christmas Markets and drink Gluhwein. It is all great, but it is not the same as back in the U.S.

Luckily, I’ve found a place that fills the Christmas void. . .well a little bit. Intratuin, the garden store, goes all out for Christmas. The store is filled with American Pop Christmas Music. The decorations are over the top and the store is full of Omas and Opas bringing their grandchildren for a visit on a rainy day.

In fact, Pijnacker’s Intratuin was nominated for “Best Christmas Show in NL.” (You can help them win by voting here.)

This year I popped over in early November to chronicle everything I love about Intratuin around the Holidays. To top it all off, the store is Harry Potter themed this year.

The front of the store features the Weasley’s flying car  high above London, following the Hogwarts Express.

There is even a place to take a photo of you heading off to school at Platform 9 3/4.

The Middle Little loves the train you can ride. Someone has to hold the button to make it go, but you can ride it as long as you want. The Middle Little outlasted all the other kids to get his chance to drive the train.

Not quite your traditional photo with Santa,  but likely as good as we are going to get this year. Love that they set up a sled to sit on this year with all the lovely trees in the background.

We also loved all the bears in the store this year. Our favorites though were these little brown bears hidden in all the non lit tree options.

The little towns are also seriously impressive. This is just one of several set up in the store, but the only one I grabbed a photo of. This one had a train that entertained the kids. Plus nearby town ski lifts run across the roof of the store. They are so cute they make me wonder where I could put them in my house.

The Little Little was pretty mad I wouldn’t let him walk until he realized he could view all these little villages perfectly from the shopping cart.

They also have a little movie theater in an ice cave set up in the tree trimming section. It is showing a video from the European Space Agency, in Dutch of course. The Middle Little had to be lured out of here with the promise of hot chocolate. I likely could have left him on the comfy kiddo chairs all afternoon.

I did not take photos of all the amazing decorations, but every visit here makes me want to decorate my house. (Unfortunately, with three little ones running around fragile decorations like this will have to wait till they are older.) The garden store shows you examples of how you can pair all the pieces they sell. I always feel crafty visiting Intratuin.

Intratuin is a great place to visit any time a year. Our store in Pijnacker has a cafe that serves a great little spread and even has a small play area. I presume this is standard at most of the Dutch garden stores. They host crafts on Wednesdays when Dutch kids have only a half day at school. They also have workshops for adults. If you’re an expat looking for some fun or even a visitor who needs to kill some time in the rain, Intratuin is a fun option.


Elizabeth is a Type A, Attorney turned Stay-at-Home Mom, who moved her family across the Atlantic for an adventure. She can often be found out and about finding fun things for her littles to do. Elizabeth loves to read, craft and chat with friends. She will try just about anything and loves to share her experiences.

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