Elsenhove City Farm

Speelboerderij Elsenhove (Elsenhove Play Farm) is situated in the Elsenhove recreational area, on the edge of Amstelveen between Oranjebaan, the A9 and river Amstel. Young and old can become acquainted with farm animals here. If you are lucky, you can witness the birth of a lamb or calf. Or you may see a chicken or a duck with many little chicks. You can even play in the play garden, relax on the terrace with a drink or an ice cream. There are always things to do. You can have a look at the eggs of the various chickens. Or you may visit the Peat Barn to grab some of the peat history of Amstelveen. And children may also help feed the animals at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. In short: not only a great fun place, but informative as well!

Rare breeds

There are many very rare old-Dutch species that are hardly found these days: Dutch belted cows, North-Holland blue hens, Veluwe moorland sheep, curved-bill ducks and Dutch spotted goats.
With the help of the search map ‘Rare Dutch Species’, visitors can go and find them. Thanks to the blossoming shrubs in the spring and the berries in the autumn, Elsenhove has a great biodiversity (the variety in plants and animals).

 

Volunteer jobs

Children from the age of 10 can come and help on a daily basis (after school) taking care of the animals and doing other useful jobs at the farm: jobs include feeding the rabbits, cleaning out the animal shelters and brushing the animals. Adults are welcome to help the Elsenhove Volunteers Foundation organise and carry out activities.

Good fun and ‘green’

Elsenhove is also a sustainable location: The Bean Goose (Rietgans) building is an example of sustainable building, it has solar panels and a great deal of inland wood has been used. A sustainable map about the Elsenhove Play Farm is available, complete with tips to be used at home. Children can enjoy the recently renovated play garden and the natural play location, laid out for children up to approximately the age of 12. The Elsenhove Play Farm Volunteers Foundation regularly organises activities.

 

Catering and children’s parties

As many local, organic and fair-trade products as possible are sold in the tearoom throughout the year.  The tearoom is open from Tuesdays to Saturdays between 10 and 16:30 hrs; and on Sundays between 14:00 and 16:30 hrs.

You are of course free to have picnics at Elsenhove and bring your own food and drinks, except at the terrace in front of the tearoom ‘In den Pappot’ or inside. The Kota log cabin is particularly suitable for children’s parties. Please visit info@thuisopelsenhove.nl for further details.

Donors

The Elsenhove Play Farm Volunteers Foundation can be supported by becoming a donor. Please let us know and send an e-mail to elsenhove@amstelveen.nl  A ‘pig’ is located at the door on the way out. There is also a possebility to donate by pin. If all the visitors make a small contribution in the pig, the farm can continue to be run on a high-quality level and the animal shelters can be improved.

Activities for schools

Groups are more than welcome to pay a free visit to the play farm. Please let us know and send an e-mail to elsenhove@amstelveen.nl

An educational programme is available especially for primary schools of Amstelveen, such as the lessons ‘Farmer is looking for Help’ and ‘Eating and being Eaten’ about products for and of animals. Bicycle rides are organised through the Middelpolder for secondary education, with assignments for research in the recreational area of Elsenhove. Please visit www.nmedichtbij.nl for both these target groups.

Waterdiertjes zoeken

Opening hours

  • Tuesdays to Saturdays 10:00 – 17:00 hrs
  • Sundays 14:00 – 17:00 hrs

Closed

All Mondays (except for Easter Monday and Whit Monday), 1st January, King’s Day (Koningsdag), Liberation Day, Ascension Day and the 25th and 26th of December.

Adress

  • Speelboerderij Elsenhove
  • Bankrasweg 1
  • 1183 TP  Amstelveen

T 020 – 545 71 66

E elsenhove@amstelveen.nl

W www.elsenhove.nl

Access

Elsenhove is situated in a rural area, an excellent operating base for walks and bicycle rides. Elsenhove Play Farm is located on the bicycle junction route (see www.fietseninnoordholland.nl) and the North-Holland path. There is ample parking space for bicycles and cars.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the play farm accept remote animals?

The play farm does not accept animals that are given up. The reason is that there is no room for them and that these animals can carry diseases. That is also why no pets can be accepted during the holidays. Click for addresses for organizations that do accept distance animals here.

 

Does the farm also sell rabbits?

In principle, the farm does not breed the rabbits on the farm. Via www.ikzoekbaas.nl you can see which animals are offered through Dierenbescherming Nederland. To purchase rabbits, please visit www.konijnenbelangen.nl

 

Photographing and filming

You are of course allowed to take photos and videos on the grounds of the play farm for your private collection. However, if you want to make recordings professionally, you must contact the manager of Elsenhove. If you take and/or use photos or film material professionally without permission from Speelboerderij Elsenhove/municipality of Amstelveen, you are committing a criminal offense and may be legally prosecuted. Photo or film shoots must be reserved in advance. You can call 020-545 7166 or via elsenhove@amstelveen.nl.
You do not need to reserve in advance for wedding reports.

Photo shoot (up to 10 people) costs € 150 excl. VAT per half day (4 hours) provided that business operations are not disrupted.

Film recordings (up to 10 people) costs €100 excl. VAT per hour provided business operations are not disrupted.

For a crew of more than 10 people, rates on request.

When publishing, we request that ‘Elsenhove Play Farm, municipality of Amstelveen’ be mentioned.

 

Can I rent rooms on the play farm for parties and meetings?

It is not possible to rent rooms for parties and parties. To organize birthday parties for children, please contact info@thuisopelsenhove.nl

 

Can children help feed the animals?

Children can help feed the animals at 4 p.m. This mainly concerns chickens and rabbits.

 

Can school classes, after-school care groups, etc. also go to the farm without taking a lesson?

School classes, after-school care groups and such are very welcome, even without following a lesson program on the farm. However, there are a few rules:

  • Children may only visit the farm under supervision.You are responsible as a supervisor.
  • Equipment may be available on site for the lessons that are given, but you are not allowed to use this.
  • Animals may not be picked up and/or fed, nor should children chase them.
  • The picnic tables in front of the building ‘In den Pappot’ are for customers of the tea house.

We would like to know in advance whether groups will be coming. You can register by sending an email to elsenhove@amstelveen.nl

 

Can I become a volunteer on the farm?

Approximately 35 volunteers are actively involved in the farm. They help with minor maintenance, organize activities, staff the catering industry, etc. The organization of all this lies with the board of the Volunteer Play Farm Elsenhove Foundation. For more information, send an email to elsenhove@amstelveen.nl, request information from the farm manager or from volunteers who are active at events.

 

Is the farm wheelchair accessible?

The farm is wheelchair accessible. There is a disabled toilet in the stable. There is no disabled parking at the farm. The meeting room on the 1st floor of the building ‘De Rietgans’ is not wheelchair accessible.

 

Is there a disabled parking space at the entrance to the play farm?

No, there is no disabled parking. This part of the Bankrasweg is closed to motor vehicles. In addition to pedestrians, cyclists and moped riders, only drivers of disabled vehicles are legally allowed on this section of road. Any motorist who drives from the large car park to Elsenhove is formally in violation and runs the risk of being fined, unless they have an exemption. A disabled parking card does not provide exemption from the closed declaration and holders of a disabled parking card cannot be exempted from the closed declaration by means of a bottom sign. The legal rules for undersigns do not allow this.

 

Is there a baby changing table?

There are two baby changing tables, near the toilets and in the service house near the playground. Kindly request to use this for changing babies instead of doing this on picnic tables!

 

Can I bring my own food and drinks?

You can use the picnic tables to enjoy your own refreshments. Do you clean up the waste yourself? The picnic tables in front of the tea house are for visitors who have purchased refreshments in ‘In den Pappot‘.

Can I bring a dog onto the site?

Visitor dogs are not allowed on the premises. Elsenhove itself has a farm dog, so the animals are not startled if a stray dog suddenly comes running onto the property. Of course, official assistance dogs such as guide dogs are welcome.

 

Can I feed animals as I sometimes do at other petting zoos?

It is not allowed to feed animals, not even hay, grass, leaves, etc. Children can help the manager feed the animals at 4 p.m. This mainly concerns chickens and rabbits. It is not good for the health of the animals and it can also make animals annoyingly pushy.

 

Why do many animals have ear tags?

Play farm Elsenhove is registered with the government as a real farm. That is why the play farm must adhere to national rules. Goats, sheep and cattle must be individually recognizable. That is why they receive an ear tag with an individual number as a young animal.

 

Why are the cows kept indoors in winter?

All cows in the Netherlands are kept indoors from November 1 to approximately May 1, depending on the weather. In winter the pasture is much too wet and the cows would destroy everything. Moreover, the grass does not grow, so there is no food for the cows.

 

Do cows have horns too?

Yes, in most breeds, both cows (females) and bulls (males) have horns. These are often removed when the cows are young, so that they cannot injure each other later.

 

Are there any lambs yet?

At Elsenhove, lambs are not planned so early in the spring. Only when there is a better chance of good weather are the lambs born. The first sheep or goat lambs are usually expected around mid-March.