Castle de Haar: cool kids activity in Utrecht!
Castle de Haar had been on our list to visit once when we visited the city of Utrecht again for a long time. We have visited the family-friendly city of Utrecht regularly and already wrote about the city the blog Utrecht with kids, in which we listed all children’s activities in Utrecht. Castle de Haar is also in this long list of children’s activities and as a result of our visit to the castle, we are writing this comprehensive review of the castle, where we list all the information.
Table of contents
Kasteel de Haar is the largest castle in the Netherlands and is about twenty-five minutes away by car from downtown Utrecht. We drive up to the castle on Friday afternoon and park the car in the castle’s (paid) parking lot. From a distance you can already see how big and impressive this castle is.
You can buy several tickets for the castle. For example, you can buy a ticket for the castle, which also gives access to the park and gardens surrounding the palace, or you can buy a separate ticket for just the park and gardens. The park surrounding the castle is 55 hectares in size, making it a great place to go for family walks during the summer months. Picnicking is allowed in the park and, of course, this can be a fun idea on the lawns with the beautiful castle in the background.
It is also possible to buy a ticket to the castle including a tour of the castle. Kids aged four to 12 pay a reduced rate for this. You can buy the different tickets for the castle and the park and gardens through the castle de Haar website.
We also visited the inside of the castle, and at the castle’s reception desk we could choose from two different scavenger hunts. A scavenger hunt is mainly for young kids, where they have to look for images of a cook in the castle. We did the other (more difficult) scavenger hunt with our seven-year-old daughter.
This scavenger hunt requires kids to answer questions about the castle in the different rooms of the castle. For example, one question is how to tell if cheating has occurred at the table where people are playing a game of cards. As the kids answer the questions, they collect a letter each time which they use to eventually find the final location in the castle where you can get the recipe for Chester Cake.
We found this to be a fun scavenger hunt, which our daughter was quite engaged in and gave us the opportunity to further explore the beautiful castle. By the way, there are many volunteers in the castle who can tell you all kinds of things about the castle. In fact, about twenty years ago the castle was still inhabited!
Kids can also take a kid maze tour outside the castle, but we didn’t walk it (partly because of the lesser weather). In short, there is plenty to do at the castle for kids.
Food and drink
You can also have great food and drinks at Castle de Haar. You can go to two different places for this at the castle. So you have Het Koetshuis and the Tuynhuis, where you can get something to eat and drink. When we visited the castle, the Tuynhuis was closed and we had lunch at The Coach House. This was very good and they also had plenty of options on the menu here for kids, like a sandwich, for example. They also had coloring sheets with coloring to keep the kids entertained. We had a wonderful lunch there at noon with the family.
We really enjoyed visiting Castle de Haar. In total, we spent about three hours here (including lunch) at the castle. We can imagine this can be longer in the summer, when the weather is nice and you can also take a nice walk in the castle’s park. Our daughter really enjoyed doing the scavenger hunt and the castle looks impressive from the inside. For opening hours, entrance fees and the castle’s restaurants, check out the Castle de Haar website.
Where to stay in Utrecht with kids?
As we mentioned, there is plenty to do in Utrecht for kids and you can easily spend a few days here. Want to book a hotel night in Utrecht with kids? We put below another brief overview of our top 5 in terms of a family hotel in Utrecht. Click on the blue link for more information!
- Carlton President Hotel Utrecht
- Hilton Utrecht Central Station
- Park Plaza Utrecht
- Moxy Utrecht
- Eye Hotel
List of hotels in Utrecht with swimming pool: