The Netherlands is not just about Amsterdam. There are plenty of other stunning destinations to explore. One of the best places to visit in the country is Arnhem, situated in the eastern part of the country. Besides culture, history, and nature, Arnhem is also known for the Netherlands Open Air Museum. This open-air museum showcases the rich heritage and culture of the Netherlands and offers visitors a chance to step back in time and experience the country’s history.

In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the Netherlands Open Air Museum and what it has to offer.

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The Netherlands Open Air Museum Overview

The Netherlands Open Air Museum in Arnhem offers a unique opportunity to step back in time and experience the rich Dutch history.

The museum consists of a vast collection of buildings, which were transported from various parts of the country and reconstructed to create a village-like setting. The buildings include traditional rustic Dutch farmhouses, a fish-smoking house, a spinning cottage, windmills, and other structures that showcase the architecture and way of life of the different regions of the Netherlands through the different eras.

Visitors can explore the different exhibitions and learn about the social, cultural, and economic contexts of each building.

They can also participate in demonstrations of traditional crafts, such as pottery, weaving, and carpentry.

As you explore the open-air exhibits, you’ll find yourself surrounded by the sights, sounds, and atmosphere of previous centuries. The museum’s commitment to authenticity allows visitors to gain insight into the daily routines, customs, and traditions of the Dutch people from various past periods.

Interactive and Family-Friendly Activities

The museum’s exhibits are designed with families in mind. The interactive nature of the museum ensures that children can actively engage with history learning.
Kids can participate in hands-on activities, for example:
– Traditional crafts, such as pottery, weaving and woodworking.
– Traditional farmhouse crafts, such as milking a cow, making butter and baking bread.
– Learning how to operate the vintage tram.

You can also witness live demonstrations of ancient trades and artisans showcase their talents, providing a glimpse into the techniques used in blacksmithing, cheese-making, and other past-time practices.

These activities provide a deeper understanding of the skills and craftsmanship that were integral to Dutch life.

Netherlands Open Air Museum, Arnhem

Seasonal Festivities

Throughout the year, the museum hosts a diverse range of celebrations that offer a glimpse into Dutch culture. Each event is thoughtfully crafted to reflect the customs and traditions that define the Netherlands.

Each season has its own unique set of activities. In the springtime, visitors can experience the flower blooms.

In the summer, the museum hosts outdoor events.

Autumn showcases harvest celebrations, featuring displays of seasonal produce and traditional harvest-themed activities such as apple picking

Each winter, the Open Museum Arnhem is transformed into a magical winter wonderland. Visitors can experience traditional Dutch holiday activities like ice skating and tube sledding or warm up with a hot beverage. There are seasonal decorations and live performances.

Facilities at the Netherlands Open-Air Museum

The Open Museum offers visitors various facilities , such as :

  • Several restaurants, cafes and food shops such as a bakery and ice cream shop are located throughout the park, offering a variety of snacks and drinks.
  • A picnic area is available if you prefer to bring you own lunch.
  • A museum shop that offers various souvenirs like traditional Dutch crafts, clothing, and books about Dutch history and culture.
  • A playground, where children can play
  • A tram, which you can take for a ride around the vast park
  • There are also several restrooms located throughout the park.
  • There are plenty of benches and chairs located throughout the park
  • Wheelchair accessibility is ensured with designated paths and accessible buildings.
Netherlands Open Air Museum, Arnhem

Plan Your Visit

General Information

Location Schelmseweg 89, 6816 SJ Arnhem, Netherlands

Opening Hours and admission fees The museum operates year-round, with varying opening hours based on the season. Please check the official Netherlands Open Air Museum website for up-to-date information.

Accessibility The museum aims to be accessible to all visitors, with wheelchair-friendly paths and facilities.

The Netherlands Open Air Museum Arnhem

Other Places To Visit In The Area

Deventer – a picturesque Hanseatic town that offers a unique and off-the-beaten-path experience. This hidden gem is located within less than an hour of Arnhem.

Hoge Veluwe National Park – is one of the most famous national parks in the Netherlands. It is situated about 20km (12.4 miles) away from the Open Air Museum and is known for its unspoiled forests, dunes, and heathlands that provide habitats for various wildlife species including deer and wild boars. The park is also home to the Kröller-Müller Museum, which owns one of the largest collections of Van Gogh paintings in the world.

Apenheul Monkey Park – located about 27.2 km (17 miles) away from the museum. This park offers an opportunity to get up close and personal with a wide variety of primates. The park has many different species, including gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees, lemurs, gibbons, and more.

These are just some of the attractions you can find in the near area of Arnhem.

Tips for Visiting the Netherlands Open Air Museum with an Autistic Traveler

Our Experience

Our visit with our autistic child was positive overall, but we noticed a few things that might be helpful to keep in mind:

Prevent sensory overload The museum grounds are vast, offering many sights and activities to explore. This can be stimulating for individuals with sensory sensitivities. The variety of sights, sounds, and activities may lead to sensory overload for some. Consider planning short visits and focusing on specific areas of interest to avoid sensory overload. For our family, a visit of 2 hours was perfect, more than that might have been too much.

Avoid Sensory Triggers Some of the historical buildings at the museum may have a distinct, musty smell, which can be a challenge for individuals sensitive to odors. Be aware of that.

Avoid Crowded Areas During peak visiting times, certain areas, especially restaurants and eateries, can become crowded. Consider arriving early or having a meal at less busy times to ensure a more relaxed dining experience. Alternatively, packing a picnic and finding a quiet spot could also provide a more relaxed dining experience. In addition, the playground was too crowded and loud during the day, and we couldn’t even get near by.

Take Breaks With so much to see and do, taking regular breaks can be beneficial for all travelers, and especially for autistic travelers. There are plenty of quiet areas or designated rest spots on the museum grounds where your family can take a breathe and recharge as needed.

In Case of Becoming overwhelmed

There are many quiet paths and rest spots around the museum, where you can take a break and recharge as needed.

In conclusion, the Open Air Museum in Arnhem can be a great destination for autistic travelers, but some aspects, like the size of the museum, sensory challenges, and crowded areas, might require thoughtful planning. By considering these factors and making the necessary preparations, you can create an enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

Netherlands Open Air Museum, Arnhem


The Open Museum Arnhem is an excellent destination for travelers looking to experience the rich history and culture of the Netherlands. The museum allows visitors to explore traditional Dutch life in a village-like setting.

The is a great destination for families looking for a fun and educational day out. With 100 historic buildings, a beautiful outdoor setting, and various activities for children, the museum offers an interactive experience for all ages. If you are looking to explore Dutch culture, then Open Museum Arnhem is a recommended destination.

Thank you for taking the time to read this! If you have any questions or would like to share your experience, please leave us a comment below.

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