The Dutch weather can sometimes be a bit miserable. But a cold and rainy day can still be fun in Haarlem. Of course, there’s always the restaurants, bars and shops to keep you entertained. But what else can you do? Here some ideas for cold or rainy-day activities, in and around the city.
Go to the beach
Yes really. Apart from a refreshing and brisk walk on the beach, some of the beach-clubs in Bloemendaal-aan-zee and Zandvoort are open all year-round. And with roaring fireplaces, can be very cosy on cold and rainy days. A favourite of ours is San-Blas. With it’s cheery decor, tasty food – and even some resident birds – it’s a great place for the whole family.
Watch any Winter Olympics, and you’ll know that the Dutch are crazy about ice-skating. The moment there’s a cold spell, people start speculating about when they can put their skates on and glide about. If it is cold enough, then many of the natural ponds and even the canals, are declared fit for skating on. But even if they aren’t, you can still go ice-skating every day in Haarlem at the Ijsbaan Haarlem rink. Skates can be hired here for a fair price. A great cold and rainy day activity for young and old!
Go skiing or snowboarding
Of course there aren’t any real slopes in Haarlem (or even the Netherlands), but you can still have a great day out on the slopes. SnowPlanet is located halfway between Amsterdam and Haarlem, in the Spaarnwoude recreation park. All the equipment you need is available to rent, or buy, on site. The restaurant has an authentic alpine feel, and so yes, you can even apres-ski in Haarlem.
Go to the movies
Going to see a film is almost everyone’s favourite cold and rainy day activity. The great thing about movies in the Netherlands, is that they are always shown in the original language (with Dutch sub-titles). The only exception is for children’s films (as children can’t really read well). But even then, most movie houses also screen both the original language and the dubbed version of children’s films where possible (just check the website). The Pathe Haarlem movie complex is central, modern and clean and features all the latest block-busters. Alternatively, the Toneelschuur shows art-house and foreign-language films – but of course, unless you speak Danish or read Dutch – you’ll need to be selective about your choice here.