Half day team event Hague area

Pack your bags! You’re going on a trip to the Netherlands. The grand finale: a half day team event Hague area with your work team. After a couple of days of trainings and workshops in the company’s Dutch headquarter you and your international colleagues head out for adventure!

boating Gouda event teambuilding Verita's Visit bootrace
Boat race corporate event Gouda area

Relaxing or active half day team event around The Hague

The global organisation you work for has given you carte blanche for a half day team event The Hague. It’s up to you and your team to decide if you want to do an active event or something relaxing. It could be a workshop Delft blue painting or a boat race on the Leiden lakes.

Delft blue workshop teambuilding Verita's Visit familie vriendenConnecting with your global team

Due to time differences it’s not easy to get your team members from US, UK, Europe and South Africa together in a meeting to discuss the subject of the trainings in the Dutch headquarter or the content of the company outing on the last day. So, emails go back and forth and you manage to set up a call  with some of the colleagues who have been in the team for a while now.

Local event inspired food tasting teambuilding Verita's Visit inspiratie proeverij lokaal festival

Dutch culture activities in cities around the Hague

These hardcore team-building event participants have quite some suggestions.  One of  them reminds you: “We’ve done a canal cruise in Leiden a few years ago and a cooking workshop in The Hague”. “The activity should definitely something fun. I don’t mind traveling outside of The Hague, see a different city” another colleague writes in a email. After a while yet another colleague adds:

“Indeed! See a bit of the area, would love it if we could incorporate some Dutch culture. Food would be great too.” 

King's Day local event  Verita's Visit Koningsdag activiteit family friends company

Fun group activity on Dutch food

Food does give an extra dimension to a group activity, you think. After having gathered all suggestions, you have an idea of what kind of half day team event Hague area could look like. After the trainings and workshops you don’t want to have to think too much. So, it should be a fun and relaxing outing. It should not take too long either. Some kind of tour in a historical city not far from The Hague to absorb the Dutch culture and maybe add something food-related.  Could you combine it with a local festival or typical Dutch event that already takes place?


You might also like:

Team activity The Hague during a conference

Team event Gouda culture & diversity

3 Creative outings in Leiden conference city


Holland greenhouse tomato facts

Some Holland greenhouse tomato facts to prepare for your visit to the Dutch horticulture hotspot. Just a few basics on the tomato plant and the vegetable itself.

Read more


custom made bike tour castles Hague kasteel op maat gemaakte tour Haag Verita's Visit

Hague castle event venue once a brewer's farm

There's a The Hague castle event venue, that was once was a brewer's farm. Jan, son of a  golf club maker made money brewing beer. On an estate the size of 7 rugby fields he built a farmhouse. Now, when you walk in the dense estate's forest it is not a farmhouse that's hidden from sight.

custom made bike tour castles Hague kasteel op maat gemaakte tour Haag Verita's Visit

Delft brewer's fortune

Jan Pieterszn. Colff doesn't want to follow his father's footsteps and make golf clubs. He does what many do in his days and opens a  brewery.  In de Witte Hoefijsser  - In The White Horseshoe-  is right next to the canal  in Voorstraat 2 in Delft. Two centuries later, in 1770, his grandson Pieter Maartenszn.  enjoys great fortune. He adds Hoeffijser to his name and replaces his great grandfather's 'Colffmaekerswoning' - house of a golf club maker- . Pieter proudly calls the new building 'House of Hoeffijser'.  It comprises a mansion surrounded by a canal and a small farmer's house. To make sure outsiders understand the difference between mansion and farmer's house the first is referred to as Large Horseshoe.

The woman and the Dutch estate

Mid 19th century brickmanufacturer Cornelis Schiffer van Bleyswijk renovates the whole estate and dedicates it to his wife Suzanna de Wildt. The Large Horseshoe estate is now De Wiltenburg, later known as Wittenburg. It still is not a Hague castle event venue, but this will change. At the turn of the 20th century an esquire knocks on the door and buys estate De Wittenburg.

custom made tour castles Hague kasteel op maat activiteit Haag Verita's Visit
Front side castle De Wittenburg

Wittenburg becomes a castle near Hague

Fashion changes with time.  Esquire Helenus Martinus Speelman has high demands when it comes to the design of his new house. His architect Johannes van Nieukerken has to make several designs before Helenus finally approves the design.   This is the moment the brewer's farm, the brickmanufacturer's house becomes the castle near Hague.  Parts of demolished houses in Amsterdam and The Hague form the castle.  When his mansion is almost finished and the tower is built, Helenus tells the workers to remove tower and upper floor. Still not happy with the result, he asks his friend, also promoter of the interests of Dutch castles, for advice. The upper floor and tower are rebuilt.

The Hague castle event venue & hotel

What was once a brewer's farm is now a The Hague castle event venue.  Royalty, ministers and corporates have been coming to this stately 4 star hotel and event locationfor ages. With the opening of the new restaurant, Sophie, named after the wife of Helenus you can now also enjoy the estate's tranquility  during a lunch, high tea or dinner in De Wittenburg.

side event location Hague Haag locatie personeelsuitje Verita's Visit
Lime tree lane towards castle near Hague

Explore the estate and it's surrounding

One extra tip: Explore the park which is full of monuments and monumental trees. From different sides you'll find great sneek peaks on the castle, its pond and outside terrace. When you you enter estate De Witteburg via the original lime lane you'll see the estate's border monument with the initials of Helenus.

History tour nature Hague geschiedenis activiteit natuur Den Haag Verita's Visit
Initials H.M.S. on estate's border monument

You can also reach this Dutch castle by bike. There is an amazing cycle route from The Hague to Leiden that passes several estates in this part of Holland. Some, like this castle near Hague are hard to spot in spring and summer due to the lush monumental trees.

The Hague castle event venue sneak peek

 


You might also like:

Royal The Hague Estate De Horsten

Venues in nature & outdoor team events in the Netherlands

Cycle Tour Sea & the City The Hague

 

Sources used:

 

http://www.colf-kolf.nl/1450-1700/8/details.htm

https://www.patriesvandorst.nl/over-ons/kasteel-de-wittenburg/

http://www.kasteleninzuidholland.nl/Pages/Wittenburg.htm

https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kasteel_De_Wittenburg

https://www.buitenplaatseninnederland.nl/wassenaar-de-wittenburg.html

https://www.restaurantsophie.nl/

https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC3VVP4_naar-het-kasteel?guid=c1c9eeb7-8e4c-4aec-8127-21bf8a0b77fb

https://www.wassenaar.nl/vrije-tijd-wassenaar/landgoederen_3866/

https://www.cipvw.nl/monumenten/133-buitenplaats-de-wittenburg.html

http://www.wittenburg.nl.transurl.nl/historie-kasteel-de-wittenburg/

 


Cycling Route The Hague Beach and Parks

For a nice bike ride in nature you don’t have to go far from The Hague city centre. This cycling route The Hague beach and parks is about 12 km. Enroute you see a windmill, glass houses, lots of water and an amazing mix of meadows, forest and dunes.

 

Church and Mill The Hague family bike Verita's Visit Den Haag familie uitje
Church and Mill The Hague

The place The Hague city was born

When you visit The Hague you most probably see the highlights of  the city centre: Peace Palace, Mauritshuis, Palace Noordeinde and the Parliament with its 13th century Hall of Knights – Binnenhof and Ridderzaal –.  Now Hall of Knights is an old building, but it is not the oldest in The Hague. If you want to see where the actual history of  the city begins and enjoy some good nature head about Southwest. Located about 7 km from the city centre is Loosduinen, a former village and since 1923 a district of The Hague.

Abdijkerk Den Haag Abbey church bike tour Holland Verita's Visit fietstocht op maat
Abbey church The Hague- same style as Hall of Knights

The woman who gave birth to 364 children

This cycling route The Hague beach and parks starts at the oldest building of The Hague. When you visit the Dutch parliament the name Floris VI might pop up. This count of Holland was the one who started the construction of the Binnenhof. Many years before that he was in Loosduinen. There he gave orders to construct an abbey. Apart from the church, there's nothing left of the abbey.

The Miracle of Loosduinen attracted many pilgrims to the church. For centuries childless women visited the grave of Margareta of Henneberg. Legend says she gave birth to 364 children in the year 1276. She died the very same year.

Windmill guided Hague bike tour Verita's Visit fietstocht rondleiding molen Den Haag
Windmill Hague bike tour Verita's Visit

Windmill The Hague

Just around the corner is The Hague windmill De Korenaer. It still produces flour. The grain was once kept in the building on the foot of the hill. It used to be the grain shed and now is a museum. The museum tells you how Loosduinen became known as the gardeners’ village, entrance of the vegetable and fruit growing area.

Apple picking in The Hague Park De Uithof

The cycling route The Hague beach and parks goes through multiple green areas with many polder and forest landscapes. From the windmill you  cross the bridge over the highway and are surrounded by nature. The Hague park De Uithof  is a beautiful green area with meadows, hills, lots of water. It also has one of the oldest orchards of pears, plums and apples. End of August you can pick fruit there. Cycle through the other side of the park to find a wide canal. There is a small road on the other side with a view on the glass houses of Westland. You now pass by the entrance of the largest greenhouse area in the Netherlands.

family bike tour Verita's Visit Hague Haag familie fietstocht met gids
Bloom in cycling route The Hague beach and parks

The Westland entrance: vegetable and fruit growing

The Uithof is connected with another park. Madestein is a great mix of shrubs, different trees that offer shade on warmer days, ponds and canals. From this park you cycle straight into estate Ockenburgh. Now part of the National Park Holland Dunes – Hollandse Duinen- the estate was created in the 17th century by Jacob Westerbaen. This poet was passionate about flowers and plants. Gardener for life, he is seen as the founder of horticulture and fruit growing. Some even call him the very first Westlander.

 The-Hague-beach-parks-cycle-tour.
From a series of The Hague parks straight to the beach

 

Cycling route The Hague beach and parks: distance

Follow the cycle path in The Hague park Ockenburgh and you’ll get to the dunes and beach. The cycling route The Hague beach and parks described here is a round of approx. 12 km. When you reach the beach  you can either cycle all the way to Hoek van Holland or head towards Scheveningen, the popular The Hague beach. This way you can easily keep cycling for as long as you want. At the end, the distance of this cycle route The Hague beach and parks is all up to you.

 

 

Read more


September activity The Hague Verita's Visit

Early autumn on The Hague road to Scheveningen

The other day, it was still August, I was on my way to my favourite summer bike path: the Scheveningseweg. When I got there I was  amazed that the trees already showed some signs of autumn. The colours made me smile, but I wondered if it was an early autumn on The Hague road to Scheveningen. Today, the 1st of September, on the official day of metereological fall, I found some answers.

Read more


september events The Hague Verita's Visit Holland

September events in The Hague 2021

We wave the summer holidays goodbye as the first signs of autumn creep in. Schools in the Netherlands have started again and everyone's back to work. Many expats in The Hague have just arrived. The Dutch language, the Dutch culture, the food & the people. It's not easy to get used to. Fortunately there are a few  September events in The Hague that make internationals feel at home. Read more


August Events in the Netherlands

Summer in Holland is fantastic. Long, colourful days with nice temperatures and a good amount of sunshine ( most of the time at least).   Whether you like music, food or flowers, t here's always something to do. Most of the time you can even combine all of your interests, passions and hobbies by going to one place or even one festival.  Now, to make sure you won't miss out on some typical Dutch activities during your Holland holiday I wanted to highlight some August events in the Netherlands that Verita's Visit organises themed food & flowers.

Read more


Making of Hague Peace Challenge: Palace Tour

A Hague Peace Challenge wouldn't be complete without a stop at the Peace Palace in The Hague.  To come up with a good question and a creative assignment, I wanted to visit this mustsee in The Hague again, but I needed an incentive. Then my friend Jacqueline Alders, owner of I Guide you Through The Hague  told me that the annual summer Peace Palace tours had started again.

Peace Palace The Hague front side Peace Challenge Verita's Visit
Front side Peace Palace The Hague

Guided Tour through Peace Palace

One of the main goals in my life is to find the exceptional, to get off the beaten track. A long time ago I worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. One of the many departments organised a trip to the Peace Palace and, like many, I was curious to find out how the building looked from the inside. So, I went along. I remember beautiful objects, stained glasses, amazing decorations.  if you haven't done it: a guided tour through the Peace Palace is definitely worthwhile. There is no proof that I went inside; you are not allowed to take any pictures.

This statue is a gift by Chili to the Peace Palace. It represents the women, children and elderly who suffer from war.
This statue is a gift by Chile to the Peace Palace. It represents the women, children and elderly who suffer from war.

Peace Palace tour

There is a guided tour offered at the Peace Palace in which you are allowed to take pictures. It's the guided tour through the garden of the Peace Palace. Our guide Roos - what's in a name- not only told us about the flora and fauna, the landscaping and the statues, objects and plants that were given to the Peace Palace by the different nations. She also explained how shortly after the competition for the design of the Peace Palace, three garden architects were invited to compete against each other for the design of the grounds around the building. Thomas Mawson won the competition and became the designer.

Peace Palace guided tour garden Verita's Visit

Peace in the Palace Garden

In an earlier post I have tried to define peace. Mawson associated peace with balance, harmony, symmetry, soft leaves and no thorns ( except for the roses), water. While walking through the garden I thought about the the base of the Hague Peace Challenge. imaginary situation of constructing a second City of Peace and Justice in the Middle East.  I thought it would be interesting to integrate Mawson's ideas in the design of the City or in The Hague Peace Challenge itself.

If you are interested in visiting the gardens ( only in Dutch, on request in English) or the Peace Palace itself, use this link.

 I want to know more about the The Hague Peace Challenge

 

Update:  In The Hague Peace Challenge the question and creative assignment about the Peace Palace will be based on what you see and hear in the Visitor's Centre. If you are participating in the challenge, it could be a good idea to visit the centre before. Go for the opening hours to the website .


Making of The Hague Peace Challenge: Definition of Peace

What does peace mean to you? This was the first question I asked family, friends and colleagues after I had set Sunday 25 September as the date for the Hague Peace Challenge. Interesting enough, no one gave the same answer. Apparently the definition of peace is different for everyone.

What's your definition of peace?
What's your definition of peace?

Peace: word association

Try. Try to give one solid definition of peace that explains the whole concept. It's impossible. Even more difficult is when you only want to highlight the positive aspects. No mention of war, no horrific scenes of violence, crime, poverty, death. Just positive words. I asked my friends, family and colleagues for a definition of peace, or at least some positive words that are connected to peace. Respect is a word many used. Then came tolerance, acceptance, freedom.  Peace can also be celebrated, think of the Gay Pride in Amsterdam.  Words, celebrations that already make me feel warm inside, full of happiness and joy.

My positive words to make a definition of peace
My peace word cloud

Peace in all its dimensions

Then I visited the exhibitionAsylum Search Engine in the Humanity House and I found out there are many layers in the concept peace. Everyone has different thoughts about peace. Someone living in a conflict zone thinks differently of peace than a refugee. And a refugee has a different idea about peace than you. There are even many different types of peace. Inner peace, world peace, religious peace. Most importantly, peace is something you need to work on every day. And most of us do, although we aren't really aware of it.

 

Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

A daily act of peace

In the Hague Peace Challenge you are going to actively work on peace. On the route past the international organisations and local initiaves you'll explore the different dimensions of peace and become aware of the many peaceful actions you already commit to in your daily life.

When I visualize The Hague Peace Challenge on Sunday, September 25 I  picture myself in front of this large group of people from different backgrounds and you are right there. After the instructions you and the other participants form teams of 4 people  and all these teams challenge each other.  Not compete, not fight, but challenge in order to get the best out of each individual. The best ideas, the most creative solutions. I see the teams come up with beautiful ideas to unite people and build and maintain peace.

Logo #PeaceisPossible campaign
Logo #PeaceisPossible campaign

To conclude I want to end with one beautiful definition of peace I found while trying to to define peace for myself. It is given by the Junior Chamber International ( JCI) , an organisation that has created a fantastic initiative: Peace is Possible. Their definition of peace is:

Peace is the ability to respect differences within our diverse global community, transcending the souvereignity of nations. Peace ensures human dignity and guarantees humanity is preserved for future nations. It's not just the absence of conflict, but also the prevalence of justice.

You might be interested in:

Hague Peace Challenge: building Peace &; Justice


The Hague Horse Drawn Carriage Ride in a Day Tour

The kids were exhausted. On the way back to their hotel in The Hague they just fell asleep. It didn't seem to matter that they were doing something unusual. The The Hague horse drawn carriage ride, the cherry on the cake of the whole tour, passed unnoticed. Did we do too much on this one day tour The Hague area?

Read more