Giethoorn with kids: 7 fun family activities!
Giethoorn with kids: what’s there to do? We have visited the village twice recently and we believe that you must have been to the Venice of the Netherlands at least once in your life. By the way, our daughter also totally enjoyed going here. We list the activities in Giethoorn with kids for you below.
Table of contents
Giethoorn with kids#1 Renting a boat
If you are in Giethoorn with kids, then of course you should rent a boat. These boats are available for rent all over the village, so you don’t have to worry anytime soon that there won’t be a boat available. The various boat companies have a map for you that shows different routes you can take.
For families with small kids, we recommend a two-hour tour. That is more than enough for most kids and then you can sail a nice stretch through the village and also a stretch through the national park Weerribben-Wieden.
Along the way, on this route (you can’t really miss it), you’ll also come across an observation tower, where you’ll have a nice view of the surroundings of the national natural park.
We were there in the winter period and were given warm fleece blankets by the boat rental company. Especially on the open water, that was very nice. We had also brought our own drinks, which allowed us to have social drinks on the boat.
By the way, there are quite a few options as to what you can all rent. We had rented a boat from boat rental Smit in Giethoorn. Actually, that was pure coincidence that we stopped here. We had been here during our walk through the village a week earlier and had eaten and drank on the terrace and knew that they rented boats here.
At Smit Giethoorn, they rent out a variety of boats:
- Whisper boats: these are somewhat small boats and these boats are quite basic. These boats can accommodate up to 8 people.
- Electric boats: we had rented this boat and it is slightly more expensive than the whisper boats. The advantage of these electric boats is that they do come with cushions, making it a lot more comfortable. These boats are for families up to 8 people.
- Canoe: for 1 or 2 people for rent. This is for the sporty among us. For families with small kids, we don’t think this is an ideal option.
- Rowing boat: these boats are for groups of five. At least it’s a cheap option, but you can obviously see a lot less in the same amount of time from an electric boat. It may well be that in the summer it is very crowded, that you are standing still almost all the time anyway and then it does not matter so much.
If we look at what the other companies rent out, it does closely match what is offered at Smit. Of course, you can check online in advance which boat you want to rent with your family and reserve it in advance. Then you are sure to have a boat with your family before a certain time!
Giethoorn with kids#2 walking tour along the canals
Of course, if you don’t want to spend money on renting a boat, you can always stroll through the village. We did a hike of several kilometers ourselves, but there is even a much larger hike of about 15 kilometers. The advantage of walking is that you have a little more time to take photos and can eat and drink at the various outdoor cafes along the way.
We really liked the route we walked (despite the inclement weather) over all those little bridges along the canals. We obviously did not walk the full 15 kilometers but about a third of it. At a certain point you have seen the different bridges as well and then, especially with our five-year-old daughter, it was enough.
Giethoorn with kids#3 Cycling through Weeribben-Wieden Nature Park!
Nature Park Weerribben-Wieden can also be explored by bicycle from Giethoorn. We actually just cycled randomly through the nature reserve, but the various companies that rent bikes also have routes through the national park. We were there in December and then it was quite chilly and muddy, but we can imagine that in summer it is extra nice to explore the area by bike.
We biked for about 2 hours because of the weather, but in warm weather it is definitely recommended to bike one of the routes they have on the national park website. They have routes here with durations from 2.5 to 4.5 hours,
Giethoorn with kids: other activities
Giethoorn is a very touristy village and in the summer the village is flooded by Asians from all over the world. When we were there, it was super quiet and there were hardly any tourists. Of course, Giethoorn has also developed various activities for tourists over time. We name below some more things to do in Giethoorn with kids:
#4 Museum Farm ‘t Olde Maat Uus: this museum shows what life was like in Giethoorn in the past. At the farm, kids can look around to see what houses used to look like, what toys they had and what school used to look like. Of course, this is a short activity and if you have a museum annual pass (free admission) it is fun to take a look inside. There is an opportunity to take a picture with the family in traditional costume.
#5 Swimming in the various lakes. In the summer, you have four different lakes where the kids can swim. You can swim with kids in Giethoorn in the Bovenwijde (the Wiede) and in the Beulakerwijde (the Beulaker), the Molengat and outside the village, in Wanneperveen, in the Belterwijde (the Belter). In Lake Superior, the advantage is that the kids can stand almost anywhere. However, it is recommended that you wear water shoes, as there may be the occasional sharp can in the water.
#7 Mini Golf: At the Arendshorst Outdoor Activities in Giethoorn you have an 18-hole mini golf course. Here you can also do archery with your kids and they have puzzle tours for on the water with a boat.
Where to stay in Giethoorn with kids?
You can spend the night in Giethoorn with kids in a number of places. We list some options below.
Budget hotel: Hotel B&B d’Olde Smidse
Mid-range hotel: Chalet 15
Luxury hotel: Hotel Giethoorn
Bed and Breakfast Nieuw-Leusen is not located in Giethoorn itself but a half-hour drive from Giethoorn, but in the midst of other family activities such as the theme parks Dinoland, Slagharen, Hellendoorn, the city of Zwolle and Wildlands Emmen. We loved this spacious apartment and you even have a private pub at your disposal. We also wrote an extensive review of this.
Giethoorn with kids: Hotel Giethoorn2stay
Hotel Giethoorn2stay is a bit on the outskirts of the village and from here we explored Giethoorn. This hotel also has a restaurant, where you can eat three times a day. The restaurant has plenty of options for kids including fries, sandwiches and sushi. You can park your car here for free. (Unfortunately, this hotel burned down completely not long ago).