As a certified city girl, I love Amsterdam so much I hardly ever leave (terrible, right?). But on weekends, adventure calls and it’s hard to resist. Luckily, there’s de Kop van Noord-Holland close enough to the big city for an easy overnight or weekend escape, with lots to explore for the whole family.
I never really explored this northernmost part of the Netherlands, except to drive to Den Helder and take a ferry to Texel. But thanks to Holland Boven Amsterdam, our family took a weekend to discover what de Kop has in store. Read on for a quick guide for a child-friendly weekend in de Kop van Noord Holland!
STAY: B&B Station Windwacht (Wieringerwerf)
Just 45 minutes’ drive from Amsterdam, Sasja and Rudolf’s charming B&B sits on a working farm, with a plant nursery and their very own wind turbine. I never got the whole #tinyhouse trend until I arrived here. Can you say retro chic? Super Instagrammable and comfortable. Now I want one too!
Mornings at Station Windwacht begin with a breakfast basket featuring local specialties, fresh baked bread, and eggs from the resident chickens. A sweet handwritten note from Sasja fills you in on local tips and activities for the day—meet the milk farmer, anyone?
Warning: Station Windwacht could easily be your entire weekend. We couldn’t tear ourselves away! Falling asleep to the sound of the wind is as relaxing as the sound of waves on the seashore. We chilled on the terrace in the sun while our five year-old happily explored the farm, which has a garden, greenhouse, swing, trampoline, and plenty of corners for a child’s imagination to come alive.
For more overnight and weekend accommodation ideas in de Kop, check out http://slapenindekop.nl.
DO: Shrimp Fishing with De Groot Recreatie (Den Oever)
Shrimp fishing in the Waddenzee with De Groot Recreatie was the highlight of our weekend. Departing from from Den Oever, one of Europe’s largest shrimp fishing harbors, the expert sailors of De Groot Recreatie show how they cast shrimp nets into the sea and haul them up. The best part is when the catch—shrimps, crabs, fish, even eels and scallops— are brought on board.
Kids (and I admit, mom and dad too) are fascinated by the tiny sea creatures, who are all kept alive in sea water. Some of the shrimp is saved for snacking, and the rest thrown back into the sea en route back to the harbor. Also an amazing sight: huge flocks of seagulls following the boat, hoping for a bite. Bring binoculars and you might even spot sea lions.
Looking for another activity in the area to combine with your shrimp fishing tour? Check Dagje Uit in de Kop for ideas!
De Groot Recreatie
1779 GV Den Oever
EAT: Restaurant De Dikke Bries (Wieringerwerf)
What to eat following an afternoon on the sea? Seafood, of course! Located on the picturesque yacht harbor of Wieringerwerf, Restaurant De Dikke Bries serves fresh, seasonal seafood delivered daily from local viscenter ‘t Wad in Den Oever.
We feasted on local catch in a cheerful and cozy ambience, with live music (not the annoying kind!) and a sunset view on the water. Our mini loved the tiny shrimp fishing boat that came with her kinderijsje. Perfect end to a perfect day at sea.
TIP: It can get busy, so book ahead by phone: 0227 511986.
Restaurant De Dikke Bries
1771 MP Wieringerwerf
Reservations only by phone: 0227 511986
SEE: Dierenpark Hoenderdaell (Anna Paulowna)
Because: alpacas. Need I say more?
Combine adorable animals with a stroll through the woods, and you get Dierenpark Hoenderdaell. Open seven days a week, this place is a kiddie paradise! The animals are the star here, but there are also two restaurants, a kinderboerderij, and a playground.
We were lucky enough to catch up to a newborn baby camel (so cute!), so visit the website to see what new attractions might be coming up on your visit.
Searching for another activity to combine with your visit to Hoenderdaell? Check Dagje Uit in De Kop http://dagjeuitindekop.nlfor more ideas in the area.
Van Ewijckskade 1
1761 JA Anna Paulowna
DRINK: Strandrestaurant Woest (Callantsoog)
Let’s face it, after a weekend with the kids, sometimes you just need to unwind with a drink. Chill out on the sunny terrace of Strandrestaurant Woest in Callantsoog, while the kids play in the sand below. Try the house cocktail “Taste the Sea”, made with Hierbas de Las Dunas (Herbs of the Dunes), a liqueur combining 18 different flowers and plants from the Zeeland dunes. Proost!
Strandslag Kiefteglop 13
Disclaimer: Our accommodations at Station Windwacht, shrimp fishing tour by De Groot Recreatie, and dinner at De Dikke Bries were taken care of Holland Boven Amsterdam. Thank you for your warm hospitality, superb organization, and a wonderful weekend in de Kop!