Although winter might bring with it some frosted mornings, there is still plenty to do in the Leiden region during the winter months! From December's festive Christmas markets and ice-skating to January heralding in the New Year (and the chance to try out that infamous Dutch New Year's swim), and February's Valentine's Day celebrations, there is always something to do in the Leiden region this winter. You can check out all that the Leiden region offers below.

Museums - Discover one of the many museums in the Leiden region!


Although pakjesavond ('gifting evening') is not until December 5th, Sinterklaas's official arrival in the Netherlands (Sinterklaasintocht) begins in November. Throughout towns and cities in the Netherlands, you can witness his arrival (usually by boat), and his journey is often heralded by traditional Sinterklaas songs. Once on land, he will make his way through the town or city on horseback, providing everyone with the opportunity to watch his journey and, if you're lucky, be gifted some free pepernoten (traditional Dutch biscuits) during the day.

The Leiden region's various municipalities will be celebrating Sinterklaas's arrival in different ways throughout November.

Learn more about Sinterklaas

Winter Wonder Weeks

December marks the beginning of Leiden's Winter Wonder Weeks! From ice-skating on the Nieuwe Rijn to festive Christmas markets, there are plenty of activities and events that are perfect for the whole family. Leiden even has its very own (online) Advent Calendar from the 1st - 24th December, providing you with a small gift each day that you check on it! 

Learn more about what to do during the Winter Wonder Weeks

Festive Activities in the Leiden Region

Fun for Kids

There is always something fun for children to do in Leiden. From a fun children's programme in one of the Leiden museums to special children's walks such as the Murder Mystery Walk. You can also book a funny children's or youth performance in one of the Leiden theatres! Would you rather go to the petting zoo, the swimming pool or visit a playground? You will discover it all.

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Girl at museum

Let's go on an adventure!

Young Rembrandt Studio

In the Young Rembrandt Studio, the 17th-century house at Langebrug 89 in Leiden, Rembrandt spent his younger years (1606 – 1630) learning how to draw, paint and make etchings at the hand of his mentor Jacob van Swanenburgh.  This is a unique stop on the Leiden Rembrandt route that gives a glimpse into the life of the young Rembrandt. A special seven-minute ‘video mapping’ projection introduces you to the young master painter and the most important key figures in his life. 

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The best playgrounds

There are several fun playgrounds for children in Leiden. In the Waterland Boerhaave  at the Rijksmuseum Boerhaave children can play in a super fun playground and discover water in a new way. 

The playground "de Tuin van de Smid"  ensures a fun time as well as the new nature playground De Doorbraak! Roll up your sleeves and start dicovering!