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**Stop press! New section on Classes and Sports
Scroll down for more info


July is here, and if you have school-age children then they are either (secondary) already on holiday or (primary) very nearly on holiday and - if they're anything like mine - a charming combination of wildly overexcited at all the end-of-termy things and so tired that they're short-fused and irritable. Lovely! If you're child-free, you must have noticed quieter roads, emptier trains (or, annoyingly, FULLER trains because they put fewer carriages on during the 'quieter' summer months...) and a generally slightly reduced pace of life. It's as if the Netherlands gently tips on an east-west axis and slides half its population off Southwards to warmer climes .

But what if you're staying here?

We've reported in earlier years on What To Do During The Summer, and the main points still apply - here they are, plus a couple more things.

  • Free bus travel for children from the Arriva network (serving a large area around Leiden / Bollenstreek) throughout all of July and August! You can take three children (up to and including 11 years old) for free per paying adult over the whole network. Details of this great offer here.
  • Leiden's wonderful museums have many child-focused features (check out with the Hortus being the obvious high spot at this time of year.
  • The speeltuinen (playgrounds) are open all summer but may have altered opening times - see
  • In a recent homepage we mentioned the lovely local swimming areas - and, of course, there's kilometres of real beach a stone's throw away and with a little perseverance and a bit of walking, even at the height of summer you can find some quiet spots.
  • Your local buurthuis (community centre) will have activities going on all summer for children and adults. There's a whole fortnight of children's activities going on next door to the Vliet swimming pool in Leiderdorp - the 'Magical Youth Village' , with a supervised children's club from 9am to 3.45pm every day from the 5th to the 16th of August. Check out the link; they're doing craft, dance, acting, sport, you name it, and there's even a bus which will pick the children up from all over Leiden, and even bring them home again afterwards.
  • The Boekenzolder that wonderful free book resource, has new longer opening hours - Tuesday evenings too - and is dying for English speakers to come and take some books away - so what are you waiting for?

Vogelwijk and Oegstgeest groups continuing ALL SUMMER!

Although the Bumps and Babies group in the Pancrat buurtcentrum on a Monday is taking a summer break, there is still a chance of adult conversation: the Oegstgeest Friday group and the Vogelwijk Wednesday group are going on right through the holiday (click here for details). The Oegstgeest group - sadly lacking the gorgeous playground that Vogelwijk has - is planning outdoor activities in fine weather, so do bring older children along too if you want!

Classes and Sports - completely revamped!

A HomeinLeiden reader whom I can't thank enough has totally overhauled the ' Classes and Sports ' section for us (see link under 'Social', top right), adding a whole new section on swimming lessons for children - all important in this country - as well as many new reviews. It seems that the area is simply bursting even more than we thought with classes, activities and sports, so do have a browse and see what there is. Many activities start up in the autumn, so this is the perfect time to have a look around! And although there's lots of new material, we're always keen for more (sports clubs in particular are pretty under-represented); if you know of a class that's not listed, or would like to post a review, just let us know

And now enjoy the holidays!



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Recent additions:
**Stop press! New section on Classes and Sports - Scroll down for more info**

New link to a Facebook group called Oegstgeest Family Life.