On our recent drive from St. Louis through Chicago to Traverse City, we stopped at Nelis Dutch Village in Holland, Michigan. This was our second visit to the park in as many years.
Last year we went on a super hot August day with our then four-year-old son and one-year-old twin girls. Our family had so much fun.
Now that the kids are a little older and considerably more mobile, we decided to stop again at Nelis Dutch Village. The weather was the opposite this time.
However, it was July, and the temps were comfortable, with an occasional drizzle. So our experience covers both hot and rainy days, and it includes kids aged 1 through 5.
On our way to Nelis for the second time, we asked our kids what they remembered most from our previous visit. They said the rides, cheese, and fudge. I would have guessed the wooden shoes, but I think they will always be food!
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Where is dutch village
Upon entering Nelis Dutch Village, you will feel as if you have traveled to the Netherlands, but it’s next to a strip mall in Holland, Michigan. The exact address is 12350 James St. Holland, MI 49424.
The park is just a few stop lights off the highway.
How much are tickets to the Dutch Village in Holland, Michigan?
Park admission rates for 2022 are $14.00 for adults (16+) and $13.00 (3-15,) and children under 3 are free. You can save one dollar per ticket when you purchase online.
What’s even better than saving when you buy online is that, unlike most amusement parks, Neli’s Dutch Village doesn’t tack on service fees when you purchase your tickets online. Other amusement parks charge as much as a $13.99 processing fee. This is a considerable savings.
Once you purchase tickets online, you can use them on any date the park is open all season, from April to October.
The price for the visit is reasonable and affordable for the amount of fun your family will have while at the park.
Season tickets to Neli’s Amusement Park allow for unlimited daily visits. Adult season passes are $34, and child passes are $29 and are available online.
How to save money on admission to the dutch village in holland mI
If you are a parent of children under 3, their admission is free.
We had trouble finding Nelis’ Dutch Village coupons or discounts on the website and with searches. . You don’t need coupons, though. Even if you buy food, it is a very inexpensive visit.
There are special rates for active duty military and their families, plus a discount for veterans.
What are the hours at Nelis Dutch village?
The theme park and shops are open daily from April thru October. Hours can vary depending on the season.
During the Autumn (back to school time, and many of the park employees seem to be of high school age) seasons, the park and shop are closed Monday thru Friday but open on the weekends.
Most days, the Theme park and shops open at 10 am and close between 5 and 7 pm.
Neli’s Dutch Village has a very easy-to-read schedule.
The Dutch architecture
The first thing you notice when you approach and enter Nelis Village is the Dutch architecture. It’s pretty cool and gives a sense of dutch history.
The buildings are designed to mimic home and shops as they would be if you hopped on a plane and flew to the Dutch country itself.
The walkways are adorned by rows of green grass and lovely flowers. While we haven’t visited Neli’s in the Spring, we have been warned that while tulips are in bloom, it’s very crowded and boarder line challenging to find a parking spot.
The village holds an annual festival in mid-May, Tulip Time, where millions of Tulips are in bloom for visitors to flock in droves to Holland Michigan for a glimpse.
What to do at Nelis Dutch village
There are many fun things to do. It reminds us of a considerably smaller Silver Dollar City, except instead of being set in 1800s America, the theme park’s setting is in a Dutch village. It feels like an actual village.
There is a petting zoo, rides for kids, Dutch dancing, dutch dance lessons, and shops filled with Dutch-themed food and trinkets. Our small children loved the farm animals and would have spent hours feeding, petting, and talking with the animals if we had let them.
The Shops at Neli’s dutch village
Many of the shops offer a fun and unique experience. Of course, there is a gift shop, but there is also a fudge shop and a cheese shop.
Our favorite shop was the cheese shop. It offers a variety of cheese at reasonable prices. The unlimited cheese tasting started fun both times, but the kids were hard to pull away. Be prepared to pull them.
You can also see a cheese-making demonstration in the cheese shop several times a day.
Our children also loved the fudge shop and its free samples. Be prepared to leave with a variety of flavors to enjoy at home. Some of our favorites were the S’Mores and Mint Chocolate.
The fudge and cheese alone are worth the visit. Tastes are free, but full portion sizes are very affordable.
Included with each child’s admission (not included for under 3, but available for purchase) is a coupon for the kids to make their StrooplWafle Cookie- a Dutch delicacy.
Grab a bite to eat at the hungry dutchman cafe, they have a full menu to make you feel like you’re in Europe. The restaurant closes approximately 2 hours before the park.
The rides at the dutch village
A theme park wouldn’t be complete without rides. A few rides included with admission to Neli’s Dutch Village are a Ferris wheel, swings, and a self-propelled train ride. All of the rides are smaller and geared towards little ones.
Our youngest children especially loved the swings and Ferris Wheel. But, that’s not to say those of you who are children at heart can’t also enjoy the rides.
There are 11 rides. Your admission tickets include the rides.
Kids 36 inches and up could ride the swing ride alone.
Kids 48 inches up could ride the Ferris wheel alone. Smaller kids have to ride with an adult.
For petal pumper cars, kids had to be between 36 and 54 inches tall. These cars are like miniature trains that the kids pump a lever up and down to propel. No one over 54 inches is permitted to ride.
You must be 48 inches and up to ride the carousel without an adult. Younger children could ride the Carousal with an adult. The carousel is traditional, with hand-painted designs decorating the center. You can choose from conventional horses or a bench to ride on.
The Petting Zoo
Our kids loved the petting zoo. You can pay a dollar and buy a cake cone filled with animal feed to feed goats. Be careful. The larger goats are more aggressive and quick to grab any food they can get their mouths on. They weren’t bad, but they did box out the smaller ones.
The petting zoo had chickens, goats, ducks, bunnies, and a llama. The bunnies were adorable, and my children loved watching them chase one another around their spaciously caged area.
How old is Nelis Dutch Village?
The Neli family story begins in the Netherlands and crosses into the US in 1910 when 17-year-old Harry Neli’s traveled to America in search of rich farmland for his family.
Harry and his entire family ended up in Holland, MI, by Missouri (who knew!) and Illinois. The family started as vegetable farmers, which proved to be unprofitable. During the depression era, the family switched from vegetable farmers to a nursery business.
By the late 1930s, the Neli family tulip farm became a tourist destination, and Holland souvenirs became as popular as the tulip bulbs they sold.
The present location of Neli’s Dutch Village was purchased in 1952 and began as a retail outlet for tulip bulbs. Later in 1958, the first building for the Dutch Village was erected. By the 1970s, imported Dutch goods were marketed nationwide.
Neli’s Dutch village is a family affair, celebrating 100 years in 2022 with the 4th generation of Neli’s preserving the history and culture of the Netherlands.
Is Nelis Dutch Village pet friendly?
Nelis’ Dutch Village welcomes pets! Well-behaved dogs are permitted inside the Dutch Village but not in cafes, food shops, or near the petting farm.
Dogs must be on a leash, and clean-up is the owner’s responsibility.
More Tips for your family
- Events are scheduled every 20 minutes and include Schoolhouse lessons, delft pottery, Wooden Shoe Carving, How To Make Gouda Cheese, and How Cocoa becomes chocolate (YUM!)
- They provide a schedule of events and a map indicating where each shop is. Once inside the village, all buildings are marked with an address. The map is straightforward to read and navigate.
- Ask the folks in costume for help. Most ride operators dress in Neli’s Dutch Village Polos and Khaki’s.
- From time to time, a ride may be closed for a short time while the operator is fulfilling other park obligations such as Dutch Dancing or cheese-making demonstrations.
- On sight, there is a replica of an old Dutch school house with Dutch writings- check out the scheduled School house lessons designed several times throughout the day.
- There are plenty of restrooms. Our only knock on the park is their bathrooms need a remodel and update and could use more regular cleanings.
- Parking no additional charge and very close to the main entrance.
- It is a tiny park but feels much bigger than it is.
- 3-4 hours is plenty of time for the fun to experience everything the park has to offer.
- The Neli’s Dutch Village staff are all very welcoming, pleasant, and friendly.
- There is a shop to get coffee, Dutch food, and beer.
In summary: dutch village
Neli’s Dutch Village was a big hit with our family both times we’ve visited. Our kids had fun, we had fun, and it didn’t cost a small fortune. It was a wonderful time, both times we went. It is worth visiting if you are ever near Holland, MI.
You’ll create new family memories, you won’t be disappointed, and you also won’t break the bank, even if you stop by the gift shops for some souvenirs on the way out.
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Greg is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) with 22+ years experience in Financial Services. He has held numerous FINRA Securities licenses (series 7, 63, 65, and 66), and is an expert on Investment Products and Financial Planning. Greg has 22+ years experience as a real estate investor and degrees in Psychology and Philosophy.
Greg has been quoted/interviewed in Yahoo Money, Yahoo Finance, USA Today, Authority Magazine, Realtor.com, Business Insider, and others.
Greg is an avid runner, and the father to identical twin girls and their awesome brother. His love of budgeting and his kids led him to join The Great Resignation in 2021.
Disclaimer: Any Financial Tips on ChaChingQueen are general and informational. Speak with a professional about your specific situation.