Home in Leiden

Croatian, Za vise informacija na hrvatskom jeziku, molimo kontaktirajte Tamaru,

German, Wenn Du weitere Informationen auf Deutsch brauchst, wende Dich bitte an Dorothea,

Danish, For mere information paa Dansk kan De kontakte Heidi.



Czech, Pro více informací v ceském jazyce kontaktujte prosím


French, Pour plus d'informations en français, vous pouvez contacter Claire Caron sur

Polish, Po dodatkowe informacje w jezyku polskim kontakt or

Spanish, Si quieres más información en castellano, no dudes en ponerte en contacto conmigo, Laura

Indian, Please contact Rippy at if you'd like help in Hindi or Punjabi.

Diana Jekina,


About us
Pregnancy and Birth
Childrens Health
Learning Dutch
Previous Homepages
FAQ: Moving to Leiden


Cafes and Restaurants
Getting around
Hotels and B&Bs
The library


How's your Keats? Try this link if the title doesn't mean anything to you. I hate to tempt fate, especially as this site doesn't really get updated often enough for me to make such topical references and you may well be reading this as the rain lashes against the windows, but I've been enjoying the peaceful weather lately, with the colours, swishing-through-dead-leaves, woodsmoke smells and all those autumny things.


HomeinLeiden has unfortunately not yet had time for a full homepage update, but again something's come up which is too good to miss! It's the annual 'Music in the Museum' weekend again, 12th-13th November, in all the main museums in town - the Hortus, Boerhaave, Naturalis, Oudheden, Volkenkunde, the Sieboldhuis and the Lakenhal. Wonderful shows in all imaginable styles against fabulous backgrounds (Egyptian temples ...), by amateurs and professionals, just there for you to enjoy. On you can see the full programme, but here are a couple of snippets to whet your appetites.

  • in Naturalis - children's workshops, fairytales and a violin/piano duet
  • in the Hortus - a 'Glee Choir' and jazz bands
  • in Volkenkunde - a musical world tour, with Spanish guitar and West African percussion among others.

In honour of the occasion all museums but the Sieboldhuis (which charges a huge one euro per person because of the Hello Kitty! exhibition) are FREE this weekend, except that Oudheden is charging for the exhibition on the Etruscans. Enjoy your weekends! And if you meet children with lanterns at any point, just offer them sweets; it's Sint Maarten.


Any Indian summer we may be having is illusory as far as long-term forecasts go, though, and it's only a matter of time before the seriously unpleasant weather starts. To help you cope with that, last year we gave some tips for useful wet-weather gear. In addition to that, this year I have been firmly reminded by my children, fresh from their Fietskeuring (bicycle check) at school, that we all need to look at our lights as well. So we did that, and in case you are also doing a bit of hasty ready-for-winter bike maintenance, here are some reminders of what is mandatory. If you're caught in one of the police's sporadic crackdowns on dodgy bike lighting, it's a €40 on-the-spot fine, and although that is annoying, being run down by a car whose driver didn't see you is even more so .

  • White (or yellow) front and red rear lights. These may be attached to the bike or your person but may not be flashing. Teeny LED lights like those from Hema are legal if you're desperate but frankly not all that visible.
  • A red rear reflector. The rectangular fix-with-two-screw type of rear light has this built-in.
  • Yellor or white spoke or wheel-rim reflectors. Dutch tyres generally have reflective sides, but if your bike's an import it may not, in which case you need a couple of reflectors attached to the spokes.
  • Yellow reflectors on the pedals.
    darkbike1.jpg darkbike2.jpg darkbike3.jpg
    And now that you're equipped for the rain and the darkness, here are a couple of ideas:

Out with the children

There's lots going on for pre-schoolers at the moment. Mandy and Sonja still have some places at their new bilingual playgroup (peuterspeelzaal) in Roomburg on Mondays and Thursdays; visit for more information. The Vogelwijk playgroup is holding a Hallowe'en party on Wednesday 2nd November at its usual time of 9.30-11.30 - all are welcome, in fancy dress if you like (and that includes parents/carers!) and with a (seasonal) snack to share. And don't forget the Bumps and Babies group at V&D on Mondays. Details of times/locations for all these and more can be found in the Baby/Toddler Groups section in the links top right.

Out without the children

At the risk of repeating myself, do look at the Find a Babysitter section. Keep your eye on it, as there have recently been a couple of additions and there are more on their way. Feel free to contact us with any questions about people who are advertising on there, as we can often give references.


More about this later, but HomeinLeiden has just heard that Compananny will be opening an English-speaking group in January 2012 at its premises on the Rhijngeesterstraatweg in Oegstgeest. The creche and BSO (after-school care) here opened in April this year and the English group is coming - we gather - by popular demand. Watch this space for more information, and to those who are seeking the list of creches, it will also soon be back and fully updated!


I know, it's not for weeks yet, but just to keep you informed. The Good Bishop will be landing on Dutch soil on 12th November, and arriving in our very own Leiden on the 19th (his boat docks on the Beestenmarkt). Because HomeinLeiden is spreading its mantle over Oegstgeest as well these days, I can also tell you that he will simultaneously be arriving in Oegstgeest on the same day. How? The same way Father Christmas manages to make it around all the children in the world on one night, that's how.

And if you're wondering what we're going on about, click here for more information.



Baby/Toddler Groups
Vogelwijk Playgroup
Oegstgeest Family Life
Classes and Sports
Photo Gallery
Vrouw Kind Centrum


Find a Babysitter
Dutch Etiquette, Festivals and Traditions
Greener Leiden Living
HIL Top Tips
Expat Centre Leiden
Useful Links