A Family Holiday at Duinrell Theme Park in Holland
We have just spent an amazing week staying with Eurocamp at Duinrell holiday park in Waasenaar, Holland. With a huge water park with over 1.3km of slides, and an actual theme park on the site, is it any wonder we had the time of our lives?
Having been on a couple of Eurocamp holidays before, we had a vague idea of what we were looking for when we were browsing their website trying to plan our Summer Holiday, and we knew that Eurocamp holidays all come with your Dover to Calais ferry crossing included in the price, so our main criteria were;
Not too far from Calais.
Swimming pool on site.
Interesting areas to explore nearby.
Fun for children of all ages. (With our Oldest being 10, and Youngest being 4, their interests don't always overlap!)
At just over 3 hours away from Calais, and with a large water park and theme park on site, Duinrell ticked all our boxes.
And after our time there I know I made the right choice. Duinrell is ideally located for exploring some of the amazing sights of Holland, but the site itself is well equipped to entertain, and give you an amazing holiday!
Have a little watch of this video of our time there, and keep reading to learn more about this amazing holiday destination!
The Theme Park
We chose to spend 2 of the 7 days we were there exploring the site and enjoying the theme park and the water park, and on a few occasions, when we returned to the site early enough from our days out we would pop in to the theme park quickly to go on a ride or two before tea. Which for Oldest and Youngest who loved every ride they went on, was the best thing ever. Middle was less keen on the bigger and faster rides, but even for him there were plenty of slower rides he was able to enjoy, and even if your children hate all rides, the three play areas in the theme park (which are always open) were some of the best parks our children had ever played on!
From rollercoasters, to swings, to rides that send you upside down, to bumper boats and a ferris wheel. There are so many rides to choose from. I had imagined "theme park" might have been an exaggeration and there would just be a few token rides, but it was as fun as any day out we have had at theme parks like Legoland and Alton Towers in the UK, and from the crowds arriving there to visit on the weekends it's obviously a popular choice for local visitors too.
Having spent a Sunday and a Wednesday there I can say that weekdays are much quieter, we had to queue for some rides on the Sunday, but admittedly not for long, but on the weekday we more often than not were let straight on, and most of the snack places were still open on the weekday too so you won't notice a difference there.
You have to go eat pancakes in the carousel cafe. I had oreo pancakes and they were amazing! And the kids being able to jump on and off the carousel whilst we waited for our food was great fun for them too. We also ate at the pancake house just outside the campsite, but in my opinion the ones in the carousel cafe were a bit nicer! But lets face it, pancakes are always good, and you will find no shortage of pancake houses in Holland.
You also have to find the fruit stand. It's fruit, but covered in chocolate! We had strawberries covered in chocolate and marshmallows. So tasty!
Accommodation and the Site
There are lots of accommodation options with Eurocamp, but we chose a 3 bedroom avant with a deck. We are often found holidaying under canvas, and my childhood holidays were spent camping, so for me these static caravan options are as much luxury as I need to enjoy a relaxing holiday. I love the freedom they allow with their own kitchen (complete with dishwasher!) so you can self cater if you want to, and you can have the bedding there waiting for you, so that's one less thing to pack, and the fenced off deck meant the kids could play outside without us worrying.
At Duinrell the accomadation is set in woodland, with a river running through. You really feel like you are in the middle of nowhere, and it is a very tranquil setting. You would have no idea there was a theme park just a short walk away. We were even lucky enough to see some red squirrels for the first time ever!
There is plenty of evening entertainment on site too, and even a mini bowling alley. We're not really ones for discos and the like, so most of our evenings were spent sat out on the deck of our caravan playing card games and reading books. Which with a week of hot and sunny June weather was a perfect way to end the days.
The Water Park
The water park is a huge swimming complex, with both indoor and outdoor pools, and more slides than I've ever seen in one pool! You do have to pay to go into the pool, but Eurocamp guests get a discount and it is only 5 euros.
I'll be honest, our Middle and Youngest children found the pool a little overwhelming. Youngest has only recently conquered his fear of water at all, so to see water spraying around and music playing and the general noise and hubbub of swimming pools meant he was a bit timid to start with, but he warmed up to it eventually and enjoyed the wave pool and some of the smaller slides. Middle is a confident swimmer but I think he was a bit shocked by the speed of the slides, so he spent most of his time in the wave pool and the smaller children's pools, of which there were plenty, it's very family friendly! Oldest is our most confident swimmer and a bit of a water baby, you can't keep her out of the water, so unsurprisingly she was in her element and dragged her Dad down every slide she was tall enough to go on. Her adrenaline junkie heart was really in it's element at Duinrell.
Eating at Duinrell
We had every intention of making good use of the kitchen in our caravan and doing lots of cooking, but; pancake houses! I mean, what can you really expect of us?! As well as the pancake house just outside the site, and the one in the carousel within the theme park, that I mentioned earlier, there are also lots of other places to eat within the site. The main plaza on the site, as well as housing the evening entertainment, has a small supermarket, that is well priced, (but if you want cheaper head to Jumbo in Waasenaar which is within walking distance) and there is also 3 places to eat. One is a take away style place, with the option to sit in, selling pizzas and burgers. Then there is La Place, where we ate our first night. You can choose from a lot of different fresh foods and the chefs are right there and will cook whatever you ask whilst you wait. We just ordered pizzas, but there were a lot of different options, and it was very tasty! Then there is an all you can eat buffet too, which when we were there was only open on Fridays and Saturdays, so we ate there on our last night as a treat. It was a lot pricier than the other two, but it was very tasty food and there was lots to choose from, and a kids only area of the buffet too with the standard chips and nuggets combo kids love. It didn't have a lot of options for Vegetarians though, so it probably isn't worth the price if you don't eat meat.
Duinrell is located in a little town near the coast of Holland, called Waasenaar. We didn't actually venture to the beach, I think living by the sea has spoilt us a little, and there were so many other things to do we just didn't have the time. However, we did explore the town, which is less than a minute walking distance from Duinrell. It is a very picturesue town, with lots of lovely shops and pretty architecture too. There is even a windmill in the middle of the town centre.
You have to venture into Waasenaar, if for no other reason than to get ice cream from Luciano's. There are so many flavours to choose from, and at only 1 euro 20 a scoop you can really spoil yourselves. The long list of awards they've won line the walls, and once you've tasted it you'll see they were well earned.
I have written some more blog posts about some of the great day trips we did from Duinrell, you can find the links at the end of this post. But do go and find out more about this amazing holiday destination over on the Eurocamp website and start planning your next family holiday. I don't doubt you will have a magical time!
*This holiday was gifted to us by Eurocamp, but the opinions in this blog are all my own.