Family Fun at Duinrell Wassenaar, a quirky theme park in Holland


There can’t be many amusement parks that list relaxation as one of their USPs. But the forest-flanked Duinrell, in south Holland, features birdsong, flowers, trees and quiet paths.

Duinrell sits on the site of an old farm, in Wassenaar, a leafy seaside suburb of the Hague in Holland which includes a royal residence and the most expensive street in the country.

If you’re driving to the amusement park, your approach is via pretty tree-lined streets, where well-dressed people in business suits and beach-ready families sail past on bikes.

Duinrell first opened its doors to the public in 1935. The one million square metre estate has developed to include an amusement park with 40 attractions; the indoor Tiki Pool, with over 1km of slides; and a holiday park area with chalet-style accommodation and camping pitches.

I’ve made a little video about our day trip to Duinrell:

Update for 2019: We loved our day out at Duinrell so much that we went back to stay for the week there, with Canvas Holidays. You can read about our week at Duinrell here.

Duinrell Amusement Park

On the week we visited, a school half-term in the UK but not a holiday in the Netherlands, Duinrell was quiet, with barely any queues.

Its rides and attractions are quirky, if not downright baffling. There’s Rick the Frog, the park’s mascot, and Lelli, his girlfriend. An apt choice: the Netherlands is nicknamed ‘Kikkerland’ (frog land) by its inhabitants because a lot of its terrain is wet soil, and amphibians thrive there.

On entry to Rick’s Adventure Castle there’s a take on Brussels’ mannequin pis; a tiny boy-statue revolves around, trying to squirt you with water from his penis. A giant man sitting at a table will, if you feed him a Euro, groan gutteral sounds, and spit out bouncy rubber balls at you. Maybe he heard the place was going to be full of Brits that week (it was).

It’s all a bit bizarre, and marvellous.

Dutch giant at Duinrell amusement park

This Dutch giant spat balls at anyone brave enough to put a Euro into the slot

Rick the frog with children at Duinrell

Rick the Frog is Duinrell’s mascot

Duinrell rides

On our day trip, it was difficult to do more than just sample Duinrell’s 40 attractions. The weather was fine, so we missed out on Rick’s Fun factory indoor playground, for younger children. Our daughter did spend a lot of time on the indoor carousel, though. The ride itself was a beautifully reconstructed model from 1864, set next to a pancake restaurant, which sent out a Willy Wonka-esque smell of chocolate into the air of the large conservatory building. The ride went slowly enough for children to be able to climb on and off the horses themselves in safety; this would be a good place to spend a rainy afternoon with the papers, a coffee and pancakes while the kids played.

There were also rides for older children, and adult thrill-seekers. Some, like the pirate ship and ferris wheel, allowed children under 1.2m if they were accompanied by adults. Others, like Wild Wings, brand new at our visit in 2016, were just for taller people.

people on pirate ship at Duinrell

My son loved the pirate ship

ferris wheel at Duinrell

Duinrell’s ferris wheel was gentle, and gave a good view of the park

Wild Wings ride at Duinrell

Wild Wings, which opened on 21 April 2016

The perfect Holland theme park

Perhaps fitting for a country where 26% of its land is below sea level, water featured quite heavily at Duinrell. A ride on the monorail took you over all the amusement park’s small lakes and streams (note of caution: you had to pedal the monorail yourself. Perfect for a nation of cyclists, but if you have jelly legs it’s probably not for you). Water pops up everywhere: as well as the mannequin pis, there are hidden fountains dotted around the park, with water jets that leap up to sprinkle you at random. The bumper boats were a hit with our children.

Apart from Wild Wings, the only other ride we had to queue for longer than a couple of minutes to ride was Splash, a big dipper where you can opt to sit in a covered boat, or cover yourself with just a rubber sheet, and get drenched.

bumper boats at Duinrell

The bumper boats were suitable for small children

girl and dad on bumper boat at Duinrell

Very small children needed to ride the bumper boats with an adult

aqua swing at Duinrell

Duinrell’s aqua swing was great fun

boy on monorail at Duinrell

My son, riding the monorail

Duinrell’s Tiki Pool/Tikibad

The Tiki Pool – or Tikibad, as it’s called by locals – is the largest indoor water slide complex in Benelux, with over 1km of slides. This was the only part of Duinrell that was busy on our visit. We entered towards the end of the day, after local school closing time, and the place was teeming with people shouting into the chlorine-infused air while bombing their way down the most fear-inducing slides. These included the pelican dive, with a vertical free-fall, and Blits and Flits, where you reach a speed of 60kmph. We took a wrong turn at the top of some steps and accidentally slid down Blits and Flits with our kids (6 and 4); when we hurtled out of the end, stunned and screaming (but also rather pleased with ourselves), we found a crowd of concerned-looking lifeguards at the bottom, who’d spotted us on the CCTV, and gathered to give us a talking-to. They’re pretty strict on safety in the Tiki Pool, with armbands being compulsory for anyone under 1.2m.

For younger children there’s an indoor lazy river, a toddler’s pool and mini slides. There’s also a deeper swimming area, with a wave machine, and a take-away area for snacks and drinks.

Tikibad at Duinrell

The Tikibad is the largest indoor pool complex in Benelux

Food and drink at Duinrell

Along with the Carousel pancake restaurant, the Tiki Pool’s takeaway and a stall selling delicious poffertjes (traditional bite-sized Dutch pancakes) there’s La Place restaurant. La Place is the biggest restaurant chain in the Netherlands but if you’re imagining a Dutch-style McDonalds, you’d be mistaken. Think Pret a Manger, but with fresher, more wholesome food that’s prepared right in front of you. As well as hot or cold sandwiches, fresh smoothies and lemonades you can watch a chef cook your burger or pizza, and sample scrummy cakes.

Sandwiches at La Place in Duinrell

The food at La Place was very fresh

Desserts at La Place

The desserts at La Place were tempting

How to get to Duinrell

Duinrell is easy to reach in Holland. It’s a 15-minute drive north of the Hague, and 45 minutes south of Amsterdam. Regular buses run to the estate from the Hague or Leiden. The Eurostar now runs direct services from London to Rotterdam and Amsterdam, where travellers can catch connecting trains to Leiden or the Hague. We travelled to Hook of Holland from Harwich via the Stena Line Ferry; from there, it was around 45 minutes by car to Duinrell. Ferries also operate between the north of England and Amsterdam; or, if you prefer, flights to Amsterdam Schiphol can be reasonably priced. There’s also the Eurotunnel from Dover to Calais, from which point Duinrell is only a 3-4 hour drive.

How much does Duinrell cost?

Entry to Duinrell amusement park is free if you’re staying on-site, and charges vary for day visitors. Under-3s go free. Some people staying on-site receive a discount on the cost of the Tikibad, and others pay nothing. If, like us, you want to combine a day visit to both the amusement park and the Tikibad, a number of different tariffs are available here. Duinrell’s amusement park is open from March to November, and the Tiki Pool is open all year round. Specific opening hours are available here.

On our trip to Holland, we stayed nearby, at Strandpark Vlugtenburg, and there is also accommodation directly stay on-site at Duinrell. With Wassenaar beach nearby and Amsterdam, Rotterdam and the Hague only a short drive away, Duinrell would make a good base for a holiday that keeps the children happy and lets you see the rest of Holland. You can book accommodation at Duinrell directly through the owners, or through other travel operators. If you’re interested to read more about south Holland, you may like these posts:

Places to visit in south Holland: six stops on a family road trip

A week at Strandpark Vlugtenburg

Windmills at Kinderdijk, near Rotterdam in Holland

A morning at Gouda cheese market

Music boxes and Old Masters at Mauritshuis, the Hague

What to see in Rotterdam in one day

A photo tour of Delft

Things to do in Leiden

  • Gouda
    A morning at Gouda cheese market

Pin for later:


We were given tickets to Duinrell and the Tiki Pool for the purpose of this post. All views are my own.




  • Liz Burton
    June 30, 2016 at 10:19 am

    My family would absolutely love it there.

    I’m most impressed with the food I think though – how different from the greasy fried fast food offerings you get at a British theme park!

    • Nell
      June 30, 2016 at 6:53 pm

      The food really was impressive. All that healthy stuff helped balance out the pancakes and pofferjes!

  • Helen
    June 30, 2016 at 10:20 am

    Ooh I feel like I need to go back now for Wild Wings, my kids would love it! I can’t believe you did all that in one day! I’m exhausted just thinking about it. It really is one of the few places I would go back to. Everything about it was brilliant for families.

    • Nell
      June 30, 2016 at 6:54 pm

      I agree – we’d definitely so back there. As well as Duinrell itself, there’s so much in the surrounding bits of Holland for families. I’ve fallen in love with the place!

  • JuggleMum, Nadine Hill
    June 30, 2016 at 11:03 am

    haha I nearly ducked on that video where the boy statue was having a pee!! So did you get in trouble with the lifeguards for falling down that slide?
    It looks like a fun family place to go and I’m glad you enjoyed yourselves!

    • Nell
      June 30, 2016 at 6:56 pm

      Yes the statue was a funny greeting to Duinrell! The lifeguards looked stern, but when they realised we were just a bit dim rather than being deliberately naughty, they let us off the hook 🙂

  • Gretta Schifano
    June 30, 2016 at 11:51 am

    It looks like you all had a brilliant time Nell – Duinrell really is a great place for all ages.

    • Nell
      June 30, 2016 at 6:57 pm

      We certainly did Gretta! I can see it would really suit the kids when they’re older, too.

  • Phoebe @ Lou Messugo
    June 30, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    This place sounds utterly bonkers! I love original theme parks, we have one near our gite and I send all our guests there and without fail they all love it. This one is right up my street though the water slides look too scary for me!!

    • Nell
      June 30, 2016 at 6:58 pm

      Those slides were terrifying! I’m usually pretty brave with that kind of thing, but I used looking after the kids as an excuse not to go on the more frightening ones 🙂 Your local theme park sounds good – I like anything that’s a bit different to the norm.

  • Anne
    June 30, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    What an amazingly quirky place. From the little weeing boy to the giant I think my kids would be thrilled. I’m no so sure about cycling the monorail though, I’d have to be a passenger. It all looks wonderful though.

    • Nell
      June 30, 2016 at 6:59 pm

      I was had work on the monorail! Especially because I had to cycle for my son too, as his legs were too short. Still, it was a great way to get an aerial view of the park.

  • Nikki Thomas
    June 30, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    Oh my goodness, a model that squirts water out of his penis!! My boys would find that absolutely hilarious! It sounds like a wonderful place to spend a day, the Tiki Pool looks like the best bit although I would prefer the food.

  • Fiona - Coombe Mill
    June 30, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    What a wonderful family adventure. My kids would be straight on all those stomach churning rides. What a fantastic view you must have had from some of them looking down over the park. It really looks like there is something for all ages here. No wonder you had a good time.

    • Nell
      July 1, 2016 at 11:19 am

      The views were gorgeous. So many trees!

  • Laura Asbury
    July 1, 2016 at 11:37 am

    What an amazing place! It looks like you had a wonderful time!

  • Erica Price
    July 1, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    I’ve heard quite a bit about this place and I’d really like to go there.

  • Emma Raphael
    July 1, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    Loved your in-depth review N! 🙂 Looks like a brilliant place to spend the day! I have been to a couple of Dutch theme parks as my Granny’s Dutch so we would stay with family when we were young and go to these kind of places… The Dutch do this kind of thing really well! 🙂

    • Nell
      July 1, 2016 at 8:05 pm

      This is my first one in the Netherlands. If they’re all like this, I’d definitely go back for more 🙂

  • Jen Walshaw
    July 3, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    This is just what I needed to read. We are off for a week in October. I am sure my boys will have THE BEST time.

  • Cass@frugalfamily
    July 5, 2016 at 9:56 am

    It looks amazing – no wonder you loved it x

  • Clare (Suitcases and Sandcastles)
    July 5, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    This looks like so much fun! I guess you need to bring a towel and spare clothes with you for all that excess water! I’m not a big fan of amusement parks but I think even I’d enjoy this. I like the way it looks quite old-fashioned. #MondayEscapes

    • Nell
      July 7, 2016 at 6:02 pm

      Yes, there were some beautiful vintage rides. The carousel in particular was gorgeous, but I didn’t have my camera with me to take a picture of it. We were about to go on Splash, so it was safely stowed away in a locker!

  • Laura
    July 6, 2016 at 12:06 am

    This place looks like such a great spot for families – we love Holland so it takes very little to persuade us to go but how fantastic does that funfair look for the kids!

    Laura x

    • Nell
      July 7, 2016 at 6:01 pm

      It was fantastic Laura. You must go if you get the chance!

  • Izzie Anderton
    July 6, 2016 at 11:59 am

    Looks like the perfect destination for a family day out. Thanks for the honest review x

  • Katie @ There We Go
    July 8, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    Ah, my two would love it here, although I wonder if they’re a bit young yet (almost 2 and almost 4) – was there much for littlies, would you say? Looks so nostalgic and lovely. #MondayEscapes

    • Nell
      July 10, 2016 at 7:16 pm

      There were a lot of more gentle rides, and apparently a soft play area indoors, which we didn’t have a chance to explore. The play areas were also really good, with swings, slides etc. I think your two would have tons to entertain them.

  • Packing my Suitcase
    July 11, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Wow, the park opened in 1935? That’s amazing!
    I love water rides, so I’m sure I would have lots of fun there, I’d love to go someday!

    Thank you for linking up with #MondayEscapes 😀

  • Sarah christie
    July 15, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    Nell I want to go it looks so different, that carousel is incredible the colours are stunning and we would love the water slides ,and the general quirkiness of the whole place. I love visiting unique places x

    • Nell
      July 17, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      It really was fab, Sarah.

  • jo
    September 30, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    I’ve enjoyed reading this as I’m just about to book for a week therewith friends next year.

    • Nell
      October 2, 2017 at 1:33 pm

      ooh, I’m envious! We’re dying to go back.


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