Spirit of Christmas at 3 country estates near Haarlem

Published on 28 November 2019

It’s easy to get in the fesitive December mood with so much Christmas Fairs throughout The Netherlands. Some are organized in city centers, some are open-air markets, some fairs will be held in old churches or even better at beautiful country estates. Are there fairs or events on some of the many beautiful country estates near Haarlem? In fact there are!

Spirit of Christmas at 3 country estates near Haarlem

Castle Christmas Fair at Buitenplaats Beeckestijn

You’ll definitely will get in the festive mood, wandering around at this old estate with it’s beautiful landscaped gardens. The perfect place to find some inspiration to decorate your home or find Christmas presents for your beloved ones. Admire the stands and listen to live music performances. Castle Christmas Fair, November 28th – December 1st Buitenplaats Beeckestijn Rijksweg 134 1981 LO Velsen-Zuid Open every day at 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., on Sunday December 1st from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Directions It’s a 15-minute car drive away from Haarlem. By bus, it will take about 45 minutes to get to the venue when you depart from Haarlem station. Check 9292.nl for the exact time table. Tickets Tickets can be bought online or at the entrance. Note: The ticket price mentioned online is excluding 0,80 Euro cents transaction fee. Parking tickets can also be ordered online or paid for at the venue.

Christmas at Keukenhof Castle

From December 11th – January 5th, you’ll get the chance to experience the Christmas atmosphere at this beautiful estate. During this period, a lot of activities will be organized on Wednesdays and weekends. December 11th, from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. This afternoon you can create nice Christmas centerpieces. The gardeners working at the estate will provide you with material straight from the garden. The only thing you have to bring is your own basket or plan plot.

Turn On The Lights

Be there with your kids at 4 p.m. It’s time to turn on the lights of the largest Christmas tree at the estate. Afterward, hot chocolate will be served for the kids and their (grand)parents. December 14th, the estate is open from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Today the doors of Keukenhof Castle will be opened. Visitors can admire the beautifully decorated interior on the ground floor. Outside you can sit around a bonfire, listening to live music while having hot chocolate and marshmallow or a gluhwein. You can also explore the estate by a ride in an open-air wagon. Dive into the Christmas story, starting at 5.30 p.m. – 8 p.m. A well-lit pathway will lead you to different stalls. At each stall, a small part of the Christmas story will be told to the audience. Other activities and info will be announced soon on the website of Kasteel Keukenhof. Kasteel Keukenhof Keukenhof 1 2161 AN Lisse Entrance and parking are free; there will be exceptions for certain activities, e.g. evening parking on December 14th is 3 Euro. Directions From Haarlem, it is approximately a 30 minutes car drive.

Xmas Fair, Oud-Poelgeest Castle Oegstgeest

In Oegstgeest, 40 car minutes away from Haarlem and only 15 minutes away from Leiden, you’ll find Oud-Poelgeest Castle. At this estate, the second edition of the Xmas Fair will be held. Looking for Christmas decorations, a Christmas outfit or Christmas presents, you can find it at the Xmas Fair. Compared to the Christmas markets in the bigger cities in the area, this is a cozy Fair with 28 stands. Xmas Fair Oegstgeest, December 7th – 8th, open noon – 8 p.m. Kasteel Oud-Poelgeest Poelgeesterweg 1 2341 NM Oegstgeest Entrance and parking are free. It is not possible to park at the estate. Signs will send you to a parking lot near the castle Directions Oud-Poelgeest Castle is approximately 40 minutes away from Haarlem. Check your navigation for directions. If you use public transport, the best option is to take the train from Haarlem to Leiden. In Leiden, it’s approximately 20 minutes bus ride to the bus stop near the castle. Check the time table on 9292.nl                      

On May 4th, people in the Netherlands pay their respect to all victims who have died in wars or peacekeeping missions since the beginning of Worl War II by a 2-minute silence throughout the whole country.

This year a commemoration with the public is possible again.

National Commemoration

Every year at 7:50 p.m., the National Commemoration will take place on Amsterdam’s Dam Square.

King Alexander and Queen Maxima will walk through a veterans’ guard to lay a wreath on behalf of all citizens of The Netherlands. After this ceremony, there will be a 2-minute silence throughout the whole country.

Furthermore, public transport and road traffic will come to a standstill.



The main commemoration will start in the St. Bavo Church at the Grote Markt.

A silent march will start at the church, Riviervismarkt side, and ends at the Dreef. Here, victims of war will be commemorated by laying wreaths at the memorial of ‘Man in front of the firing squad.’

Commemorations will also take place on the Westergracht, Burgemeester Reinaldapark and Jan Gijzenbrug.

The full program can be found on this website.


Eerebegraafplaats Bloemendaal in Overveen

One of the many honorary cemeteries can be found in the Kennemer Dunes at the Zeeweg in Overveen.

This cemetery was consecrated on November 27th, 1945, by the reburial of Hannie Schaft, a famous Dutch Resistance fighter.

Three hundred seventy-two resistance fighters were re-buried at this cemetery.

Silent march to the memorial cemetery

From 6 p.m. to p.m 6:40 p.m. a memorial service will be held in the building of ‘Publieke Werken’ on the Brouwerskolkweg in Overveen
This service is open to relatives of the fallen and all who are interested.

6:40 p.m. set up of silent march right after the roundabout, corner Brouwerskolk – Zeeweg.

6:55 p.m. start of the silent march to the memorial cemetery

8 p.m. 2 minutes of silence

The silent march is a tribute to the fallen and thoughts about freedom and peace.

On May 4th, people can visit the cemetery between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. As of 7 p.m., the cemetery will be closed at 7 p.m.



Dutch flags will fly half-mast from 6 p.m. until sunset on government buildings. The same rule applies to citizens. For them, this rule is not a directive.

Broadcast on tv

NOS will broadcast the national commemoration ceremony live from 7:50 p.m. on NPO.