Windmill Island Gardens in Holland, Michigan is a unique and beautiful destination to visit with your whole family. It is the perfect place to experience natural beauty wrapped up in a historic, educational opportunity.
In order to maximize your time at Windmill Island Gardens, you can use this handy guide to best explore Windmill Island Gardens with your family!
10 Things Kids Love About Windmill Island Gardens
#1 Watch a Movie in the Post House
Every 15 minutes, a movie describing Windmill Island Gardens plays in the Post House. This is the perfect introduction to your fun-filled day at the Island and gives a great preview to the Windmill Tour.
#2 Listen to the Amsterdam Street Organ
The antique Amsterdam Street Organ plays at quarter to and quarter past the hour. Dance along with your kiddos to the different songs designed to liven up parades. Make sure to take a family photo in front of the organ, too!
#3 Wander up to the Windmill
After you finish at the organ, wander through the gardens and over the bridge towards the windmill. Each garden bed this year is themed to resemble the colorful patterns of native Michigan Butterflies!
Inside each flower bed is an informational card and photo to teach kids of all ages about the butterfly that the bed resembles. There are a multitude of great photo opportunities along this path!
#4 Tour the Authentic Windmill
Learn a little history with your kids! Go on a guided tour of the De Zwaan Windmill and learn about the history of the mill and also about how it currently operates. This is the last windmill to leave the Netherlands and the only authentic, Dutch working windmill in the United States. This is an experience that you won’t get anywhere else in the U.S.
#5 Watch the Dutch Dance and Style Show
In the summer, between 11 am and 4 pm, there is a dutch dance on the hour next to the windmill. Watch the dance with your kids and learn about the costumes worn by the dancers.
#6 Explore the Little Netherlands Display
Walk through a miniature display of a dutch village. All of the pieces were hand carved and hand painted by early settlers. Children love to see the tiny display.
#7 Send Dutch Mail
Write a note and slip it into their authentic mailbox from the Netherlands. Postcards are available for purchase at the Gift Shop, located right by the Dutch mailbox.
#8 Take a Carousel Ride
Did you know their carousel is from the Netherlands? Kids can choose from over 30 animals to ride on! Parents can ride on the bench or watch and take photos from outside.
#9 Burn Energy in the Play Area
If your kids still have energy to burn, head to the play area (right behind the carousel) and let them run. Enjoy the playground, miniature house, giant checkers, and more! (BONUS: If your kids are into the Pokémon Go craze, Windmill Island has 2 Gyms and 5 Pokestops.)
#10 Walk through the Children’s Garden
Located adjacent to the Play Area, the Children’s Garden is the perfect place to end the day with your little ones. With unique looking and different textured plants, kids will love it!
A FEW REMINDERS:
- There is a decent amount of walking at the Island, so bring your stroller or wagon along for younger kids.
- There is a picnic shelter in the park, so feel free to bring a lunch for your family (limited concessions also available in the gift shop).
- The only restrooms on the Island are located in the Post House.
- Have questions during your visit? Ask anyone in costume or visit the Visitor Services area in the Post House.
While this outlines the big attractions at Windmill Island Gardens, there is much more to offer as well. There are many educational and play opportunities at Windmill Island Gardens in Holland, MI!
Be sure to plan a day visit with your family soon.
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