It might be most famous for its white and blue pottery, but the city of Delft has much more to offer! Lynn Morrison from Delft MaMa shows us why Delft is an ideal day trip for families.
Lying nearly equidistant from both Rotterdam and The Hague, Delft could easily be nothing more than a bedroom community for the nearby larger cities. However, its historical importance, beautiful canals, and picturesque squares make it a must-see for most tourists. International employers in the area fill the town with a vibrant, multicultural and highly educated population.
The official City of Delft website is packed full of information (in English) for tourists and residents alike.
Delft MaMa: See the locations of local playgrounds and find out when and where our playgroups meet.
Het Prinsenhof and Sint Agathaplein: This former royal palace was also the location where William of Orange was assassinated. You can tour the residence and see the bullet hole from the famous shot. The center also hosts regular cultural activities, so it is worth checking their schedule to see if anything interesting will take place while you are there.
Vermeer Center: You can’t see Vermeer’s famous paintings at the Vermeer Center, but you can learn all about his life here in Delft. The center covers three floors and includes a film about his life, items from his home, a workshop, and copies of his famous paintings. There is also a nice café where you can take a break.
Oude Kerk: Vermeer, Van Leeuwenhoek, and other important figures from the 1500-1600’s are buried in this medieval church which dates back to the Middle Ages. The leaning tower is reminiscent of Pisa – walk up Oude Delft for the best views.
Nieuwe Kerk: The new church lies on the Markt Square in Delft and is famous as the last resting place for the Dutch royal family. Nearly every member of the Dutch royal line has been buried there – ranging from William of Orange up to the most recent deaths in 2002 and 2004. You can climb the bell tower for amazing views of Rotterdam and The Hague.
Delftware: No visit to Delft would be complete without purchasing a piece of the iconic blue Delft pottery. There are 6 factories that are open for tours and countless shops selling both real (expensive) and fake (inexpensive) Delftware. If you are more interested in making your own original piece, then Royal Delft offers a number of workshops.
Leger Museum: If you want to know more about the history of the Dutch army, visit the Leger Museum (Army Museum) in Delft. The museum is free the first Friday of every month and organizes regular activities for kids.
Science Centre Delft: Take a step into the future with the hands-on activities at the new Science Centre Delft. Sponsored by TU Delft, researchers share information on their discoveries and bring science to life for children and adults of all ages.
Botanical Garden: When the weather is nice, take a stroll through the TU Delft botanical gardens. You can see hundreds of different types of flowers and plants and learn about different environments.
Weekly Markets: Every Thursday and Saturday Delft hosts a market in the town center. Thursday’s market is a mix of food, clothing and flowers, while Saturday is primarily food and flowers. During the summer, a large antiques market that stretches across the center augments the Saturday market.
Delftse Hout: Get some fresh air in the local Delft woods. Located right outside of the historic center, the Delftse Hout has lakes, beaches, bike and running paths, old windmills, cafés and playgrounds open all year-round.
Kinderboerderij and Waterspeeltuins: Kids in Delft get closer to nature at the two children’s farms and water playgrounds. One is located in the Delftse Hout (near Ikea) and the other in the Tanthof neighbourhood.
DOK Library: Voted in 2009 as the best library in the Netherlands, DOK library center is a fantastic place to pass an afternoon. The large children’s section on the first floor has a café, books galore, video games, music players, special reading/play rooms, dress-up clothes, regular activities and helpful staff to point you in the right direction.
Swimming Pools: There are three swimming pools in Delft and all of them are kid friendly. The Sportfondsenbad group has two pools respectively located on the East and West sides of the historic center. The Gemeente sponsors a public pool in the Tanthof neighborhood that has multiple kiddie pools and a waterslide.
Indoor Playground: Kids aged 0-12 love to burn off energy at the local indoor playground. Part of the Kids Playground chain, the Delft location has dedicated soft play areas for the 0-4’s and 4+’s, trampolines and a dance floor. It is a popular spot for birthday parties and can easily host large groups.