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Bernie's Tips, May 21-24
The sun is shining and we find ourselves outside and in the garden - all the while respecting social distancing. Since many of us are spending more time in-and-around the house, it is comforting to create a space on the balcony or in the garden that every family member can enjoy. It can be a place to BBQ, a place to grow your own tomatoes and veggies, or just a place to lounge, enjoy a good book, be mindful and find peace. The garden centers in our neighborhood have everything for all of the above-mentioned activities. The Bosrand and Intratuin are just two garden centers that are open 7 days-a-week, with locations close by to Wassenaar. Of course, as in the other stores, there are currently some restrictions: you need to use a shopping cart, a maximum of two people together, preferably no young children and/or pets, and their cafes (which are normally a very nice place to enjoy a cup of coffee and pastry!) are still closed.
 
As we move towards loosening of restrictions, some museums and attractions are allowed to open provided they follow the social distancing guidelines outlined by the government. Madurodam, a well visited outdoor attraction in The Hague, is open for a reduced number of visitors; reservations must be made before your visit. It is actually so nice to be in Madurodam with fewer people, it makes a visit to this normally very busy attraction much more enjoyable.
 
If you prefer to stay at home, you can also enjoy a virtual boat tour through the "Venice of the north": the Dutch town of Giethoorn, in the north-eastern part of the country. The virtual boat tour is really well done, as it gives you a real glimpse as to how beautiful the city is. But it definitely does put Giethoorn on your "must-visit-after-COVID" list, so be prepared!
 
One museum that is perfect for families is the Spoorwegmuseum (Railroad Museum) in Utrecht, which opens its doors again on June 1st. Again reservations are required to make a visit, and, if you still prefer to stay at home, do enjoy check out their website and the many ideas it lists for your kids. From building your own train set, to engineering activities and coloring ideas, there are some really fun stay at home ideas for your children to enjoy, while exploring the Railroad Museum virtually. If amusements parks are high on your or your kids' lists, Toverland, just east of Eindhoven, and the Efteling are also open again, under conditions that are explained in full on their websites.
 
For the coming weeks, I advise you to regularly check the websites of the Dutch museums, amusement parks, zoos, etc. If they open, it will be under strict conditions: early online reservations, a maximum number of visitors, sometimes for members only; just to name a few. Above all else, be sure to do only what you feel comfortable doing, stay safe and keep the mental and physical health of yourself and your family at the forefront! Perhaps the comfort of your own green garden space is all that you need.
 
Have a sunny and happy Ascension Weekend!
Bernie