High on my list of travel destinations is The Netherlands. I have visited once and loved the tulips, the windmills and the low-lying landscape but for my next visit, it will be all about rabbits – or rather, one rabbit in particular.
If you are planning a European tour, set aside a few days in The Netherlands to indulge young Miffy fans.
Without doubt, your first stop should be Dick Bruna Huis, a museum devoted to the work of Dick Bruna and all-things Miffy. The museum is located in the medieval city of Utrecht and houses a permanent display of Bruna’s work, personal memorabilia, a reading room where visitors can listen to Miffy stories in different languages and an interactive play area for young children which includes Miffy’s house. The reading room is wallpapered from floor to ceiling with Miffy books in numerous languages – the result is spectacular.
The museum runs special activities at various times of the year, for example the Miffy in Fashion exhibit, which will be on display until early 2012. Utrecht is a forty-minute train journey from Amsterdam.
For a few glorious months each year (March through to May), the Keukenhof Gardens are open to the public. If you’ve seen stunning photos of people standing in fields of brightly coloured tulips, they were probably taken at Keukenhof. As well as over seven million flowers in bloom, visitors to Keukenhof can enjoy the brand new Miffy children’s garden and playground, take part in treasure hunts, visit the petting zoo, the maze, the huge adventure playground or take a bike ride through fields of flowers. Keukenhof is an easy day trip from Amsterdam.
The accommodation options we usually review on Babyology err on the side of luxurious. So for a complete change of pace, check out the Miffy Vista Cabin, available at the Duinrell Wassenaar Keycamp holiday park in The Netherlands. Perfect for families wanting the full Miffy holiday experience, each Vista Cabin has three bedrooms (sleeping up to seven people), a bathroom and plenty of room left for a Miffy playhouse.
Ideally suited to families travelling with young children, the cabins have extra safety features and lots of baby equipment included, from high chairs, prams and bottle warmers through to a change table, cot and even a Miffy night lamp! There’s also lots of Miffy toys, books and DVDs, Miffy-themed tableware and a Miffy-themed garden with a cubby house, fencing and plenty of shade. Prices start from approximately £180 for two nights. Note that Duinrell is next to an impressive pool and water park complex and is also close to the beach.
Finally, you’ll need an appropriate Miffy souvenir as a reminder of your Dutch trip. Dick Bruna Huis has an excellent museum shop but the De winkel van nijntje (Miffy Store) in Amsterdam shouldn’t be missed. Everything that is Miffy is available, from clothing and accessories to stationery and toys, as well as Miffy books in more than fifty languages. De Winkel van Nijntje is found at Scheldestraat 61, 1078 GH Amsterdam.