Experience Dutch culture hands on!

Planning a trip to the Netherlands and looking for a fun way to experience Dutch history, culture or genealogy? We offer a wide range of workshops to spice up your travels. Workshops are given at our beautifully restored farm in the Dutch countryside by our English speaking Dutch genealogist/cultural historian. You can find all options further down this page.

* All workshops last from 10 AM to 3PM and cost EUR 75,- per person. Price includes unlimited coffee/tea with cookies, Dutch lunch and all working materials. A minimum of two participants is required. We can also arrange for cozy, off-the-beaten-track accomodation should you wish to stay the night.

Clogs, Tulip & Mills

Did you know that there are clogs that were designed as a weapon? That tulips once were used as currency in the Netherlands? That the invention of sawing mills made the Dutch Golden Age possible? In this workshop we will tell you all the hidden stories behind the three big Dutch icons. And of course you can get creative with them as well, so you can go home with a Dutcher than Dutch self-made memento.

Sand, Soap & Soda

Your Dutch great-great-grandma had no access to off-the-shelf cleaning products. She managed with sand, soap and soda and other basic products available around the house or farm. In this workshop you will gain a fascinating insight into how Dutch households were run before the Industrial Revolution. You can have a go at making some of these products yourself like soap and brass polish.

Tales & Legends

Did you know that “white ladies” dwell in the Dutch marshes at night and that they snatch your children? Or that murdering thiefs ride across the night skies on develish goats? And that Saint Nicholas wasn’t such a saint to start with? In this workshop you will learn all about the rich Dutch folklore and its mostly pagan Germanic origins. We’ll create some spooky fun mementos for you to take home and scare your (grand)children with!

Coffee, Tea & Spices

The Dutch just love their coffee, tea and spices. We have traveled oceans for them, conquered nations and imposed unthinkable suffering on others just to get those precious beans and leaves to our swampy little nation. In this workshop you will learn all about the Dutch coffee, tea and spices trade and culture. You can get your hands dirty mixing typical Dutch “speculaas”spices and baking “speculaas” cookies. Which of course we will taste with a nice cup of coffee or tea.

Life Rituals

To know a people is to know how they deal with life’s biggest events: birth, marriage and death. In this workshop we will show you how the Dutch have dealt with these events over the centuries. It will give you surpising insight into how your ancestors lived and how traditions have survived in modern Dutch society. You will learn how to brew traditional “kandeel” and how to decorate a tradional “vrijerspop” (a cookie used to seduce a girl).

Traditional Costumes

One used to be able to read a lot from the clothes people were wearing. Where they came from, their social status, if they were married, if they were mourning…In this workshop we will tell you all about it. Still have pictures of ancestors in costume? Take them along and see what we can tell about them. Furthermore you will make a nice souvenir to take home using a traditional Dutch decorating technique known as “Staphorster stipwerk”(i.e. stippling from Staphorst).

Dutch Language

If you have Dutch roots but don’t speak the language this workshop is for you! You will learn –among a lot of other fun facts– where the Dutch language came from, why the Dutch make funny mistakes in English and what words English took from the Dutch. Of course we will teach you some elementary Dutch you can use right away.

Republic To Kingdom

If you want to really understand your Dutch roots you should know a bit about the curious history of this small country. It takes a certain way of thinking and acting to forge a mighty state out of an odd collection of swamps , woods and marshes. A mentality that still lingers in nowadays Dutch culture, traditions and play. You can get a real hand-on taste of that culture playing some fun traditional Dutch games such as “koekhappen”(i.e. cookie snapping) and “zaklopen” (i.e. sack running).

Dutch Genealogy

This workshop is a great way to get acquinted with Dutch genealogy. We will teach you the basics of genealogy in general and of the Dutch archival system and records in particular. You will learn how to find and read birth, marriage and death records. We will focus on online sources, so you can easily continue your research back home. If you bring along the name, date and place of birth of a Dutch ancestor born before 1914 you can start your tree right away.