It is advisable to stay indoors at this time of social distancing. We can still go outside so long as we follow the government’s current guidelines to stay at least 1.5 metres away from other people – this holds true whether you are in the supermarket or the street. If you do decide to go out, you could still catch a glimpse of the flower fields if you follow the advice to stay safe. Better yet, stay home and enjoy the spring sunshine from your balcony.

At all times, be sensible and check for the latest guidelines before going out; this is a rapidly changing situation*

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Get fresh air

We all have been unexpectedly trapped at home quarantined, cut off from our social circles. And while we’re doing our best to fight the coronavirus pest, let’s see how we can make the best out of this time.

First, let’s appreciate the bonding opportunity with our beloved family members and be easy on yourself and the kids. School subjects will be forgotten but your relationship will be influenced by every moment – you choose in what way. It might be hard to get along for those who are not used to being stuck at home with the whole family.

Not to go crazy, you may want to go out to explore the neighbourhood. It is advisable not to go to playgrounds because the germs live for a couple of hours on surfaces, so you can catch something even when nobody’s around.

Where to go around Haarlem?

Flower fields

It is the time of year when you can go and see the flower fields (the Keukenhof is closed until further notice). Grab this opportunity, take a car or a bike and go on your own flower watching tour, and be sure to take plenty of nice photos. It is something you have to see at least once in a lifetime. Check the Flower Radar website for the most recent updates on the blooming fields.

lilac flower field

Go for a bike ride through the countryside to catch a glimpse of the flower fields.

The dunes

Good for hiking and biking, if you’re not afraid of biking on uneven surfaces. You may even see some bison roaming free in Zuid-Kennemerland national park (Note: see advice for visiting the national park at this time here).

The beach

Be it Zandvoort or Bloemendaal aan Zee, the beach is always beautiful. Just check the weather forecast – you don’t want to be at the beach on a very windy day. Otherwise, why not go there for a nice stroll? Go by bike or car; public transport is best to be avoided during this period. (Note: the mayors of both Zandvoort and Bloemendaal currently urge people to stay away from the beach; see here.)

Elswout house

The park surrounding Elswout house contains various bridges and follies.

Elswout

I’m surprised to sometimes hear from people that they’ve never been to Elswout. This estate of Elswout house has landscaped gardens that are open to the public. It is a nice park with deer and sheep to look at, and some great trails to walk.

Amsterdamse Waterleidingnen

Stroll along canals and along the forest paths, spot the deer and various birds, and pick up pinecones.

Engelandpark

This is a nice park in the south east of Haarlem, with lots of trees, ducks in the pond and neat trails to walk. Normally, you can also take a free ferry ride across the Spaarne nearby at Spaarneveer (the ferry is currently not running due to the corona outbreak).

Houtpark

A great spot near the city where you can walk along the paths and spot the deer in the Kinderboerderij de Houthoeve. Maybe you could have a picnic when the weather is nice?

Or just sit on a bike and go for a ride, or let your kids cycle or ride their scooters and practice motor skills.

Deer in Houtpark

Deer in Houtpark.

This article is based on the original blogpost on Frogs in the Box.

When outside, follow the government’s guidelines to stay at least 1.5 metres away from other people

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*This is an ongoing situation and it is advisable to check the websites of the relevant authorities to obtain the most up-to-date information.

To keep updated with advice from the government and the RIVM, head to:

http://government.nl/coronavirus

http://rivm.nl/en/novel-coronavirus-cover-19

Julia Smile
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