Relaxing in Callantsoog, with kids
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Relaxing in Callantsoog, with kids

(when the weather is truly Dutch)

‘Are you going anywhere nice this holiday?’

‘We are going to Callantsoog.’ Beach? Yes. Sun? Maybe. A beautiful hotel? Nope, we are going glamping in a tipi tent, in Holland. Because our kids want to…

I get concerned looks from both parents at school and my friends.

Yes, we did camping in Holland, in May! And yes, we stayed in a tipi tent! The sun didn’t shine a great deal. But we had fun! The kids. And mummy and daddy too! So the rule ‘when the kids have fun, so will you…’ applied.

How did we manage this? Relaxing with kids, in Callantsoog (North-West of Holland) – right in the middle of all the bulb fields. When the weather was truly Dutch.

Where to stay in Callantsoog

Speciality: ‘googling’ (and finding) boutique places where both kids and parents can have a great, relaxing time. Key words: boutique, glamping, (beach)bar and kids. This does take up some time, but once you get going, it is really fun and rewarding finding yet another great place. Or you could just check my blogs and reviews. Which, of course, is a lot easier.

Result: Zon, Zee, Strand in Callantsoog, in a tipi tent. To find out more about this fantastic holiday park, have a look at my review and info about the park itself. Your tipi tent is decorated in a beautiful, relaxed style. And you have your own garden. To have a truly relaxing holiday, you don’t need to leave the campsite at all. The kids can play. The park is only small and, therefore, you can keep an eye on your kids at all times. They also have kids entertainment. Not too often but a lot of fun. We were visited by a true pirate!

Cycling through the dunes

(and past the brightly coloured bulb fields)

Don’t drive! Hire a bike. We do this every holiday in May. Including a ‘bakfiets’ (a cargo bike that can carry two small children, beach toys and towels, and more!). Nice to know: you get a bike and a ‘bolderwagen’ (read ‘beach cart’) with your tent – free of charge!

Then plan a cycling route from beach bar to beach bar (with google maps you can add your route to the home screen of your phone). Don’t cycle too far (recommended distance with kids: 20km max, with a few stops of course!).

Around Callantsoog all the bulb fields were in full flower. This is a beautiful sight, even for Dutch people. Especially the hyacinth fields. They don’t only look great, they smell great too!

After around 10km we had a break at a relaxing beach bar (Holland has some beautiful beach bars, with great music and plenty of space to lounge around!). We chose Paal Zes, in Julianadorp. A stylish bar, with friendly service, good music, and the food is nice and affordable. Just perfect to re-energise after a bike ride. And ready for some action on the beach. We flew a kite. Searched for shells. And built enormous sand castles. After that, we had time for one more drink. And then cycled back. Through the dunes.

Back in Callantsoog it was time for an ice cream! Even though the sun wasn’t shining. At Ijsie Prima. Delicious home-made ice cream! At least 50 different flavours!

Dinner time. You can either choose to cook in your own bijoux kitchen, outside your tipi tent. We did it a few times. Pasta. There is a great supermarket in Callantsoog, called Albert Heijn. Or you can take the bike or your ‘bolderwagen’ to one of the restaurants, sit back and relax. We went to Woest (same owner as Paal Zes). Several times. It’s a great beach restaurant/bar. Child-friendly. Good menu. Nice outdoor seating. Stylish like Paal Zes.

Another great place to cycle to is Zee&Zo, in Petten (to the south of Callantsoog). Just plan another cycling route and off you go. For another relaxing day at the beach!

On our last day we and our ‘bolderwagen’ had a lovely walk through the nature reserve ‘Het Zwanenwater’. Within walking distance from the campsite. We studied caterpillars. Admired tiny orchids. And tried to spot some ‘spoon-birds’, as my 4-year old daughter calls them (read ‘spoonbills’).

How long to stay?

We stayed for a mid-week (4 nights). Just long enough for our May-holiday. This way you don’t need to plan and do a lot. But if you want to do and see more, this is possible too. Either by bike or by car. But we like it this way. Getting some fresh air on the beach. Relaxing. A glass of wine. In a beautiful area.

For those who want to do more than just relaxing on the beach, a small list with things-to-do:

  • De Goudvis – in-and outdoor playground
  • Fluwel’s Tulpenland – a playful way to learn about the history of tulips
  • Blanckendaell Park – zoo, museum and playground
  • Vlindorado in Waarland
  • Cheese market in Alkmaar
  • Ferry to Texel (one of the Wadden-islands in the north of Holland)

We enjoyed our trip to Callantsoog so much, even though the sun wasn’t really shining. So we’re coming back! In September. Including this non-camping mummy 😉  As it can only be more relaxing when the sun does decide to show its face!