Showing posts with label De Huttenheugte. Show all posts
Showing posts with label De Huttenheugte. Show all posts

Thursday, 20 April 2017

10 things I wish I had known before visiting centre parcs De Huttenheugte in Holland

Centre parcs Holland, De Huttenheugte, European centre parks, Plopsa
We have just come back from a 4 night stay at Centre Parcs De Huttenheugte in Holland.  It was the perfect mix of nature, activities and cake and all six of us had the best time.  We booked our trip very last minute and didn't do much research, so I thought I would share 10 things I wish I had known before we went

1. The restaurants shut at 8pm.

I thought that being in Europe meant mealtimes were often later, but when we stayed out a bit later, we were caught out as the restaurants stop serving food by around 8pm.  We did manage to find one in the activity centre that was serving pizza still at 8:30 thankfully .

centre parcs Holland, de huttenheugte, Centre parcs Netherlands

2. The evening entertainment is like an 80s gameshow

We had decided just to skip the evening entertainment as it was all in Dutch and unfortunately my knowledge of the language is pretty limited (ok, non-existent).  We stumbled upon it one evening though and ended up watching for quite some time.  It mostly resembled an 80s game show - there were strange costumes, renditions of cheesy pop and a rather strange song where everyone grabbed napkins off the table and started waving them.  It is worth watching for an evening, even if you don't speak the language.

3. Plopsa is next door for longer stays

Directly next door to the De Huttenheugte site is an amazing amusement park called Plopsa.  You can opt to buy tickets when you book your cottage and they last for the length of your stay.  The boys absolutely loved it, there was so much to do for them.  I would say it was ideal for 2-7 year olds with indoor and outdoor rides, play areas and shows.  For shorter stays there is enough to do in the main site, but we loved visiting.

Plopsa Holland, Centre Parcs Netherlands

Plopsa Holland

4. Holland has different term dates.

It took me a while to realise that it was so quiet because in Holland and Germany the schools weren't on a break.  Our Easter terms have different dates so not only was the park cheaper, but there were never queues either.

Centre parcs de huttenheugte, Centre parcs in the Netherlands, me&i

5. Pool is amazing and open until 9pm

I haven't been to an English Centre Parcs to compare, but the pool complex was amazing! Set inside a giant dome, there were lots of different pools and areas, two kids water playgrounds, sun beds, a sauna, a shop selling all manner of water gear and a restaurant too where you can dine in your bikini.  We could have spent so much more time in there.  It is also worth noting that they have float vests available for children to use for free in the pool.

6. Water is expensive, bring reusable bottles

It is cheaper to drink alcohol in some places than water, I was shocked when I realised that they were charging me nearly four Euros for a small bottle of water! It is much more cost efficient to bring your own reusable bottles and top them up each day.  The tap water is drinkable, but even if you wanted to stick with bottled stuff, you can buy big bottles cheaper at the supermarket and decant them.

7. So many different bikes to hire - 10 person family bike for the adventurous.

No matter what size your family and what your ability is, there is a bike for you.  We went for the 10 person family bike for a cycle around the lake, but there are mountain bikes, kids bikes, tandem bikes, trailers and every variety you can think of.  There are also great safari trucks for the kids (worth booking in advance).

family bike, 10 person bike, centre parcs de huttenheugte

8. Everyone speaks great English, even the characters.

Every single member of staff we came across spoke wonderful English, including the characters.  The boys hadn't seen any of the shows as we thought that the language barrier may put them off, but when we visited the pancake restaurant, one of them was there to decorate pancakes with the kids and he chatted away with them easily in English.  This was one of the highlights for Dylan!

centre parcs de huttenheugte, European centre parcs, Me&i

9. Take mosquito repellent.

It just didn't register that we would be outside around a lake a lot, so I completely forgot to bring mosquito repellent.  As it happened, we were all fine, but I would suggest packing some just in case if you are planning a visit, especially in the summer months.

10. Milkshake is a big thing, try the Chocomel

Everywhere we went there was milkshake - far more than you would find in the UK and Chocomel was everywhere.  Obviously we had to try some in both hot chocolate and milkshake form and both were delicious!


We had such a brilliant time during our stay and we are hoping to go back as there was so much to entertain us all.
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Monday, 17 April 2017

A Few Days Away // Centre Parcs Holland

Centre Parcs Holland, De Huttenheugte, Travel with four children

We knew that we wanted to go away over Easter, but we hadn't got much further than that when it came to actual plans.  I wasn't sure whether we should stay in the UK or go abroad, and we have to think about what sort of holidays are practical with four aged five and under.  In the end we booked a few nights away at a Centre Parcs site in Holland and two days after booking, we were in the car on the way there.

We got the ferry from Dover to Calais in the afternoon and then drove up to De Huttenheugte Centre Parcs in the Netherlands.  I hadn't really done much research and we haven't visited a UK Centre Parcs but I was confident we would have fun regardless.  It worked out really cheap even with the added travelling costs and it meant taking the children somewhere new.  

centre parcs, de huttenheugte, centre parcs Europe

The parc is set around a huge lake and our cottage backed out onto the lake which was just beautiful.  We hadn't really considered the fact that the term dates in Germany and Holland are different to ours but it worked out well as the parc was really quiet and nothing got too crowded.  

There was so much to do for small children and we spent our days feeding the ducks, playing in the parks, visiting the animals in the small petting area and enjoying the amazing pools.  I have never been anywhere with pools quite like it.  Inside a giant dome is a selection of swimming areas including two kids play areas, a wave pool, a deeper diving pool and restaraunts, sun beds, a sauna and more.  We don't get to go swimming often with the children as with four so young there are often restrictions, but they were really relaxed and with the kids pools we didn't have to worry about baby seats so much.  There were plenty of float jackets in each area for the children to wear and we took our own seat for Cora.  I loved watching their confidence grow in the water and it was definitely a highlight of our holiday.

The restaraunts were set inside another dome which had a river flowing through it with turtles and giant fish as well as trees with parrots and a walkway up high looking down on it all.  There was such a wonderful atmosphere and so much for the kids to explore that it was never hard keeping them entertained whilst we waited for food or drinks.  

There was an action centre with a brilliant indoor mini golf, bowling and arcade games as well as a playroom where certain kids clubs were hosted.  We decided not to put the children into any of them in the end as we wanted to enjoy the time all together but I think they would have loved the 'I want to be a firefighter' or 'I want to be a chef' sessions.

On the Sunday the temperatures suddenly soared into the twenties and we hired a 'family bike' for a couple of hours to cycle around the lake.  This seemed like a brilliant idea for all of two minutes before we realised that 6 people plus a giant bike is pretty heavy and only two of us could actually reach the pedals.  The boys loved being driven round though and it was such a beautiful day that we took a little picnic along with us.  There were so many different bikes and carts available to hire.

10 person bike, centre parcs de hutteneugte

Right next to the site is an amusement park called Plopsa.  We bought passes for it and had a lovely day there.  There were indoor and outdoor rides, shows and playgrounds as well as eating areas.  The boys loved the rollercoaster, the huge indoor slides and the climbing mountain outside (which Finn scaled in a rather monkey like fashion).  There was a huge outdoor driving area for kids and they spent ages driving around, stopping at every red light, going the 'wrong' way round every roundabout and playing at being firemen and policemen.  There was so much for all three boys to do and Ed and I had a lot of fun on the climbing mountain too (although neither of us actually made it up to the slide)

plopsa Holland, climbing mountain

Our cottage was perfect for us with three bedrooms, a living and dining area, both with six chairs and an outdoor area with a table and chairs.  The cottage was clean and well equipped although we only really used it for sleeping in. 

We had such a lovely time exploring somewhere new, listening to the different languages (we only heard one other English person - they were mostly Dutch and German) and admiring the beauty of the forest and lake.  It is definitely somewhere we would visit again and I think we will try a different European Centre Parcs too after having such a great experience. 

As I am sure you can imagine, I took a few too many photos, so here are some of my favourites.

centre parcs de huttenheugte

centre parcs de huttenheugte

centre parcs Holland, de Huttenheugte

 We had such an amazing break, the children were so happy playing that they had a proper screen detox (which was very much needed) and we have so many wonderful memories to look back on.
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