It’s the first Monday of Summer Vacation and I’ve decided to take a relaxed approach to how we fill our days. The months are going to fly, this I already know, with sleep-away camps and sports camps and a few camping trips already planned, we’re going to arrive at the beginning of the next school year as if we left for a walk across the State and only ended up rounding our city block.
It’s gorgeous with plenty of wildlife to watch and the end of the Spring flowers to see. We saw a family of swans, muskrats eating and swimming, and lots of birds and bugs.
As we were leaving I remembered Windmill Island is close to the park and, if I was right, it’s free for residents of the City of Holland. I wanted to check it out.
TRUE! Free all day long for us, every day they’re open (save for the week of Tulip Time). I was super excited.
It was fabulous.
There’s so much to see and do, and with this being free to Residents, it’s like our own personal oasis. The carousel ride is free, the park is updated and multi-aged friendly. There are picnic tables literally every where. Water you can kayak in (bring your own), all kinds of flowers to meander through, it’s stunning. There’s even yard games for the kids to play and music is often wafting in the background. A small cafe and gift shop and tons of opportunities to learn more about the Netherlands. There’s horses on the island you can watch or bing an apple to treat. They’re nice, and they’re used to people. You can bike around the island as well (bring your own, or bike TO the island from your home).
We enjoyed a lively and informative tour of the working Mill and even met the Miller in house.
You can buy the flour milled right here in Holland on Windmill Island, too. We tried but they were sold out today.
Did you know that they used to use the blades of the windmill as a local billboard to communicate? And during the wars they had signals to the town about where the troops were. Fascinating. The entire mechanism of the mill is crazy complicated and our Miller is the only female certified Miller by whatever association based in the Netherlands – it’s very prestigious. And she’s going for her Masters. Or something. On the tour we took there were folks from Germany! They’re touring the great lakes and made a stop in Holland to see the Windmill.
People, if Germans travel to see this gem and it’s in our backyard for free … I’m telling you. Geek out and get out. I can’t wait to go back.
It was a great (and mostly free) day. (I spent $2 on my cup of coffee. 😉 )