Kingsday is being celebrated on 27th April this year to commemorate the birthday of King Willem-Alexander. As well as bringing out the bright orange outfits to commemorate the day, there are countless different events and activities to get involved with. Here is a selection of them to inspire you.
Where to Go on Kingsday: Flea Market
As usual, Amsterdam is the heart of the festival and one of the big parts of the holiday is the citywide street sale. In Dutch, the vrijmarkt means free market but this doesn’t mean everything is being given away! What it means is that this is the one day of the year where normal people are free to sell their second hand goods without needing a traders permit. The result is that the streets and parks of the city are transformed into one of the largest flea markets anywhere in the world.
Dotted among the second hand stalls are also a wealth of food stands so while out doing a spot of bargain hunting, people can sample a wide selection of local and international food and drink.
Where to Go on Kingsday: Family fun
As well as joining in the selling frenzy at the flea market, there are also plenty of events to keep the kids occupied during the day. In Amsterdam, Vodelpark is the first place to visit as it is reserved for people selling toys and children’s clothing, so the kids can spend their pocket money. Many older kids take to being buskers for the event and tend to gather in Vodelpark to sing. The park is opened from 9am on the day.
The NDSM Vrijhaven is also known for being a children’s hotspot with street market stalls dedicated to all the things kids like to spend their pocket money on. There are often face painting stalls as well as games and sports events around the city as well.
Elsewhere on Kingsday
Most cities around the country hold celebrations of some sort on Kingsday with the flea market idea spreading from Amsterdam around the Netherlands. The Grote Market square in Haarlem is one example, with similar fairs held in Rotterdam and The Hague.
In Utrecht, the city centre is taken over with the flea market while decorated boats take to the canals. For the families, Park Lepelenburg and Miffy’s Square are the two main locations where toys and children’s items are to be found, along with a range of musical acts performed by the children to earn extra pocket money. There is also a big focus on music around the city, with everything from jazz to pop and rock being played. Some of the main spots for these live shows include squares such as Domplein, Janskerkhof and Neude, with some of the country’s trendy young DJs showing off their skills alongside a variety of bands and other acts.
Where to Go on Kingsday: The royal family
King Willem-Alexander has promised to continue the traditions of Queen Beatrix and to visit different places around the country, with the exact locations being made known just before the event. Members of the royal family will be accompanying him to be treated to special performances, craft demonstrations and even to get involved themselves. More information on the Royal Family during KIngsday.