You don’t have to be Dutch to go here, but when you leave this village you might feel a connection. There’s something for the whole family to choose from.
With a Ferris wheel ride in the shape of a windmill, Nelis’ Dutch Village in Holland, Michigan maintains its national theme throughout the attraction. Look for staff dressed in authentic costume and notice the distinct Dutch style of buildings in the well-maintained replica village.
The popular attraction has its roots in the early 1900s when the first member of the Nelis family immigrated to America from the Netherlands and eventually settled in Holland, which was a settlement at the time. A tulip-farm was started and soon became a destination point for visitors. Walk through the village that has 30 structures and be entertained by Klompen dancers, street organs, a carousel and much more.
Ask staff about the tulips that are still a major component of a mail-order business. Have fun on rides that are included with admission, such as Harry’s Windmill Ride that gives the illusion of riding on the structure’s large blades. The carousel is always immensely popular, while the petting zoo is usually in demand.
When it comes time for food and a beverage, the Hungry Dutchman Café offers Dutch and American dishes. Don’t leave the village without trying a “banket,” an almond pastry, or one of the many other delicacies made on the premises. Drop in to the Nutty Dutchman ice cream shop or have a picnic at one of the tables scattered through the village.
Find items to take home with you, such as the Netherlands’ famous cheeses, Dutch chocolate, homemade fudge, peanut brittle, Delftware and tulip bulbs. Consider purchasing a pair of iconic wooden shoes that will always remind you of your visit.
Nelis’ Dutch Village is located on James Street and is fully accessible. The park opens in late spring about the time tulips begin to bloom. Be aware of frequent closures after August for special events with their website indicating the village’s hours.
Visit the stores that are open most days throughout the year. Children 2 years old and under are admitted free and seniors get a discount. Leashed, well-behaved dogs are permitted.