Traveling with Kids | Kröller Müller Museum: Hoge Veluwe National Park, Netherlands
For this Traveling With Kids post I really wanted to take you all to one of my favourite places in Europe. Yes, in Europe! The Kröller Müller Museum is an open air museum and sculpture garden that is located in the 55 square kilometre national park called Nationaal Park de Hoge Veluwe. If you’re interested in art, nature, cycling, flora and fauna then this is the place for you.
In April of 2010 we spent an entire day in this park and cycled close to 50 km (the kids were 6, 8, 8 years old). We arrived early in the morning at the Schaarsbergen entrance because we had heard that the bike ride from there to the museum is spectacular. As soon as you enter the park you will see a huge collection of white bikes which are part of a free bicycle sharing system. These bikes are there for all visitors to use as they please for the duration of their stay inside the park. Adult bikes with and without baby seats and kid’s bikes in every size are available. There are many well maintained bicycle paths to discover and the park is closed to motorized traffic.
The ride to the museum passes through vast heather fields, immense sand dunes that make you feel like you’re in the Namibian desert and lush woodlands. It is really an amazingly varied landscape that surprises you at every corner.
There are beautiful rest spots to stop and enjoy the views and get a glimpse of different animals. If you are there at dusk there are famous look-out points where you’ll see an abundance of deer, wild boar, mouflon, foxes and badgers coming out to eat. Make sure to bring your camera!
After a surprisingly easy going cycle ride (remember it’s Holland so it’s nice and flat!) we arrived at the famous Kröller Müller Museum. There is a housed art collection and outdoor sculpture garden (largest in Europe) which both have permanent and temporary exhibits. While we were there we saw a very controversial Jan Fabre exhibit. There was lots of giggling from the kids several times during our visit. If you know Jan Fabre you’ll understand why. We were also lucky to be able to see many of his beetle pieces which are absolutely stunning (he uses real jewel beetles as his medium).
After visiting the museum and garden we set off to have a picnic. There are many picnic areas to choose from and also several restaurants and canteens where you can find something to nibble on.
There is another museum which focuses on the biology and geology of the Veluwe and several other properties to visit such as the former owner’s hunting residence in the park. We spent one day at the park but two days would be ideal to see and experience all that the park has to offer.
All in all it was a beautiful day and I would recommend to anyone going to the Netherlands to visit it. There are many small hotels in the surrounding areas to stay in and some charming little restaurants as well.
For more information check out the official site of the Kröller Müller Museum.