Did you know that the public library in Amstelveen offers an extensive collection of books written in other languages than Dutch? They have a considerable collection in English and some examples of other languages available are: German, French, Hebrew and Japanese.
Apart from a large number of magazines, there is also a music collection (cds/sheet music) and a selection of films and computer games available.
The main library is located at Amstelveen Centre (Stadshart). Address: Stadsplein 102, 1181ZM Amstelveen.
Opening times: Monday 11:00 – 19:00; Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 10:00 – 19:00; Friday, Saturday 10:00 – 18:00; Sunday 13:00 – 18:00.
Amstel Expats appreciates the difficulties encountered by internationals, when they start learning Dutch. Therefore Monique den Haan was delighted to be invited to teach a new beginner’s course at Tupker Taaltraining, a local company that specialises in Dutch language courses.
Utilizing local support expertise as a Dutch language trainer proved to be very effective. Understanding the communication pitfalls, frequently experienced by internationals and discussing them in class, ensured that lessons were: interactive, educational & enjoyable.
Monique: “As daunting as it may seem at first, learning Dutch can actually be fun and using Dutch in practice is likely to enrich your local life!”
If you enjoyed the Harry Potter books and films, now is your chance to step inside this famous wizard’s magical world by visiting the global Harry Potter exhibition in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
In this amazing exhibition, guests will get an up close and personal look at the artistry and craftsmanship that went into creating the iconic props and costumes that appeared throughout the Harry Potter films.
Authentic artifacts will be displayed in elaborate settings inspired by locations from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. For more information and to buy tickets, go to: http://harrypotterexpo.nl/en/#home
They raise the world’s happiest children – so is it time you went Dutch?
According to Rina Acosta and Michele Hutchison, two expat mums living in the Netherlands, Dutch children enjoy freedoms denied to children in the countries they come from.
10 things that set Dutch children apart from those in the UK and the US:
-Dutch babies get more sleep.
-Dutch kids have little or no homework at primary school.
-Are not just seen but also heard.
-Are trusted to ride their bikes to school on their own.
-Are allowed to play outside unsupervised.
-Have regular family meals.
-Get to spend more time with their mothers and fathers.
-Enjoy simple pleasures and are happy with second-hand toys.
-And last but not least, get to eat chocolate sprinkles (hagelslag) for breakfast.
Their observations are likely to strike a cord with many international parents, who are raising a family in the Netherlands. Click here to download the full text of their article.
Wiebke’s Weinachten, the first Christmas shop in Amstelveen
This festive season (2016), Wiebke’s Weinachten, opened its doors in the main shopping centre of Amstelveen. If you are still looking for some Christmas presents and decorations, Wiebke’s Weinachten is the perfect place to go.
The shop offers lovely gifts, ornaments and delicatessen from around the world, but especially from Scandanavia and Germany. You will also find popular English books for adults and children. Wiebke’s Weinachten is located at Binnenhof 21, 1181ZA Amstelveen.
For gift collection and more information (Dutch only) go to:
A real vineyard opened in Amstelveen in 2006. This summer you can not only visit the vineyard, but also enjoy an exclusive dinner.
Friday, the 19th of August 2016 – Tapas & Paella
Friday, the 16th of September 2016 – Mediterranean Evening
For more information on the vineyard, its location and to make your dinner reservation, go to: www.amsteltuin.nl
Personal recommendation: the Japanese cherry blossoms are in full bloom in Amstelveen
Spring seems to have finally arrived. Last Sunday (3rd of April) everybody seemed to be out-and-about enjoying the good weather. We visited the Japanese Cherry Blossom Park in Amstelveen, it was both busy and beautiful.
Do not wait to long, if you want to see these blossoms bloom. Please note that on the 9th of April the annual Cherry Blossom Festival will be held, therefore public visitors are welcome only after 15.00. Location: 1182DB Amstelveen.
Amsterdam Light Festival, 28 November 2015 – 17 January 2016
Amsterdam lights up again during the 4th edition of the Amsterdam Light Festival. This year’s theme is Friendhip. Discover artworks made by (inter)national artists around the historical town. You can experience the winter light festival through various exhibitions, events, boat tours (Watercolors) and walking routes (Illuminade). More information, including the full programme on: http://www.amsterdamlightfestival.com/en/
Food is at the heart of our celebrations, whether it is Thanksgiving, Christmas or Hanukkah. Can food be healthy and festive? The answer is yes! Participants will cook recipes devised in consultation with nutritionist Kyrin Hall (www.kyrinhall.com) and prepare a five-course celebration meal under the guidance of Chef Ivo Schellen, who is passionate about educating people about the impact of nutrition on health and well-being.
Date: Sunday, 1 November 2015
Time: 12:00 to 17:00 (please note 5-hour duration)
Open to anyone, who wants to learn more about the link between cancer prevention and nutrition. Especially welcome is anyone, whose life has been touched by cancer. This event is presented by ACCESS Cancerlink, which is a nonprofit organisation.
Celebrating Halloween is becoming more and more popular in the Netherlands. Dutch theme parks have also discovered this event. If you dare to be scared by creepy monsters, witches and haunted houses, check out these parks:
- Toverland, Sevenum, info: http://toverland.nl/en/
- Walibi, Biddinghuizen, info: https://www.frightnights.nl/en
- Avonturenpark Hellendoorn, info: https://www.avonturenpark.nl/
- Drievliet, The Hague, info: http://drievliet.nl/nieuws/item/516-happy-halloween
- Julianatoren (for younger children), Apeldoorn, info: http://www.julianatoren.nl/
The opening of the new entrance of the Van Gogh Museum is celebrated on 5 and 6 September with 125,000 sunflowers on Museumplein. This beautiful sunflower labyrinth is open to visitors free of charge.
Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890) is one of the Netherlands’ most famous artists. He also lived and worked in France for a long time. This summer it is exactly 125 years since his death and throughout the year, various European cultural institutions are organising exhibitions and events linked by the theme of ‘125 Years of Inspiration’.
Van Gogh Museum, Paulus Potterstraat 7, 1071 CX Amsterdam, Phone: (0)20 570 5200
For more information and online ticket sales, go to: http://www.vangoghmuseum.com/en
Most people are familiar with the Keukenhof, the world’s largest flower exposition, but the North of Holland hosts more flower gardens, such as the Hortus Bolborum, located in Limmen, which is approx. 30 minute’s drive from Amsterdam.
At the Hortus Bolborum, they specialise in historical bulbs, enabling you to see some old varieties, that are not commercially grown anymore. The garden can be viewed from 6 April – 16 May 2015. Address: Zuidkerkenlaan 23a, 1906AC Limmen.
From 12:00 – 16:00 you are invited to visit the annual winter market at the British School. Lots of fun for the kids, arts & crafts and international food market. Everyone is welcome, you do not need to have children at the school to join in with the festivities. More information is also available on: www.britams.nl/news
Location: British School of Amsterdam, Fred. Roeskestraat 94a, 1076 ED Amsterdam.
Admission fee: €2,00 for adults & kids for free.
September is the best month to start new classes in the Netherlands, so why not start a Dutch course to improve your Dutch language skills and make it easier to have a local conversation? TopTaal provides Dutch courses specifically for expats. In co-operation with Bridging the Gap Foundation, they are starting new groups now. For more information contact TopTaal by phone: 020-7163690 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kate Berger, founder of the Expat Kids Club and certified instructor of mindfulness courses presents the benefits of mindfulness for children and youngsters during an information session held on the 3rd of September from 9:30 – 10:30.Location: MOC Lindenlaan 75, Room #309, 1185LC Amstelveen. Later this Autumn, a Mindfulness Program especially for teens (12-15 years old) is starting from the beginning of October running for 8 weeks
To register, please contact Kate via phone: 06 – 148 32 702 or e-mail: email@example.com. More information is also available on: www.expatkidsclub.com/mindfulness
Indian expats seeking medical advice are invited to contact the new digital medical service desk at Amstelland Hospital. Being in a country, where you are not yet acquainted with local healthcare options and practices, makes it hard to find your way around. The India desk aims to guide expats with health concerns to the appropriate channels and specialists.
The helpdesk is located at Amstelland Hospital in Amstelveen. For more information, please contact the India Desk’s service staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website: www.indiadeskamstelland.nl
Visit the centre of Amstelveen and enjoy a host of Japanese culinary and cultural activities, including:
- Orchestra and musical performances, e.g. Taikodrums
- Shows: Japanese dancing, martial arts and traditional kimono fashion
- Workshops such as: Japanese tea ceremony, calligraphy, Manga, origami, etc.
- Exhibition of beautiful Bonsai trees and masterclass of the Japanese Bonsai master, TiagaUrushibata
The festival can be visited for free. More information and full programme on: www.japanfestival.nl/en/
On Saturday, the 7th and Sunday, the 8th of June 2014, the World Championship Team Tennis is organised at Sportpark “De Kegel” in Amstelveen.
Already the following teams have registered: France, U.K., Thailand, China, Suriname and United Nations. For more information on this tournament and/or to register your team, visit the website: www.worldtennis.nl
The Dutch Royal family will visit the centre of Amstelveen to join in the festivities organised by local sports, dance and hobby clubs. Music bands will be playing to enhance the festive atmosphere. Celebrations start around 11.00.
You can also find more information on the day’s programme, street markets and recommended travel options via: www.amstelveen.nl/koningsdag. In order to open the English information page directly, use this link: King’s Day information.
You know that Spring time has arrived when the Keukenhof opens its doors. The world’s largest flower gardens can be visited in Lisse. Experience the beautiful colours, floral mosaics and get inspiration for your own garden, visiting the theme gardens, that reflect a special trend, such as cookery, family or recycling.
This year’s main theme is Holland, therefore the Amsterdam canals with their special atmosphere have been re-created in the Oranje Nassau Pavilion. To plan your visit and view more information on the park, check: www.keukenhof.nl/en/
The city square (Stadsplein) of Amstelveen will be transformed into a colourful Indian festival, where visitors can learn more about Indian customs, henna tattoos and making India related arts and crafts. You will also be able to purchase beautiful Indian shawls, jewellery, Indian sweets, etc.
Furthermore, Indian restaurants from the Amsterdam region will be serving delicious food, whilst you can enjoy various musical and dance-performances. As the event takes place in a huge tent, the festival is weather-proof!
Personal recommendation: China Light Rotterdam
The Chinese light festival can be visited in the ‘Park at the Euromast’ in Rotterdam until the 14th of February 2013. Over 40 Chinese artists have built a fairytale paradise complete with laser shows and music & dance performances. Experience the magic world of China with more than 35 light objects of flowers, animals, the temple of heaven and an amazing dragon.
It is a fun event to visit with your family. We thoroughly enjoyed it even with the rain!
Soaring tempartures? Go to one of the city beaches in Amsterdam to enjoy the good weather
During the summer, the city can be hot and stuffy. By car you can easily drive to the sandy beaches of the North Sea in about 30-40 minutes. Some examples are: Scheveningen, Zandvoort and Wijk aan Zee.
However, you do not need to leave Amsterdam to visit the beach. Around town there are several urban beaches offering sand, food & drinks without leaving town.
Strand West, a city beach located near the Houthavens (wood docks) in the Westerpark district. Address: Stavangerweg 900, 1013 AX Amsterdam. Bijburg aan Zee, a sandy beach located in the New IJburg district. Address: Muiderlaan 1001, 1087 VA Amsterdam.