One of the great things about Haarlem is its surroundings. When trying to come up with a good plan to get the kids outside, especially on a weekend, you can be sure that there is not only one event but several that tempt even the most concerned about too much exposure to fresh air (and we have 2 of them at home…).
In fall, a place we absolutely love is Landgoed de Olmenhorst. It is a 30 minute ride by car from Haarlem, but well worth the trip. During our last visit the parking guides mentioned that the crowds coming in on a weekend resemble the ones at Efteling, and this gives you an idea of its popularity, but in our experience even on a very sunny day it feels ok if you come in the morning.
You get a short instruction on the right technique and then you can stroll through the rows of apple trees by yourself, picking just the ones that look the most delicious to you- our kids really like it! After you paid for your apples you can repeat this experience picking some more pears, and if you’re happy with your harvest and ready to move on the landgoed offers a lovely field with some benches surrounded by a playground, some food stalls and an area where you’re little ones can do rounds on 3 cute ponies (led by more or less cute teenagers).
You can also adopt a tree for around 30 euros a year depending on what kind of tree you choose and check in with your wooden friend all year round, you even get updates like when it is in bloom. And whatever your tree carries on its branches is yours to pick!
Good to know: Parking is 3 euros, and on weekends you have to sign up for a timeslot via the website to avoid too big crowds https://www.olmenhorst.nl/activiteiten/appels-plukken/