Living the Dutch life - November 2019

Autumn events for expats!

Affordable Art Fair

Take the chance to buy an original piece of art at The Affordable Art Fair taking place in Amsterdam 31 Oct-3 Nov. This unique concept makes art accessible to everyone. The event allows you to buy works of art by upcoming and established artists at affordable prices and also offers free workshops to attend. A broad range of art will be presented, from figurative to abstract and from traditional to avant-garde. Because of the low threshold and even the availability of childcare service the fair is perfect for a family day out!

Museum Night

See Amsterdam’s museums, literally, in a completely new light during the Museum Night taking place 2 November. Over 50 museums will participate during this art and culture themed night, which include well-known museums such as the Hermitage and Maritime Museum, but also some of the city’s smaller institutions. Once it gets dark you can enjoy many exceptional performances and workshops across the entire city. A single ticket allows access to all museums and also one free visit to a museum after the Museum Night. 


National School Breakfast

During the National School Breakfast week 4-8 November parents are allowed to send their child to school without breakfast for one day. More than 2.900 primary schools will participate in this yearly event in which all school children enjoy breakfast together in an educational way. They will be served a healthy and nutritious breakfast and learn in a fun way how important and simple it this to have breakfast. During this week there will be all kinds of special events. This year’s theme is: Take the time for your breakfast!


I Am Expat Fair

Learn all about life in the Netherlands at the leading fair for internationals on 9 November. The IamExpat Fair takes place twice a year, at different locations, and is designed to connect and support the expat community in the Netherlands. This edition takes place in one of The Hague’s oldest buildings, the iconic Grote Kerk (church). The fair offers information about a wide range of topics, such as housing, career, education and leisure. And there will also be free workshops and presentations to attend. Entrance to the fair is free after online registration.



Visit Eindhoven, the city of light, during light art festival GLOW 9-16 November. For one week the city becomes one giant exhibition with gorgeous light constructions, innovative works of art and numerous side events revolving around a different theme each year. This year the theme is called Shadows & Light. By nightfall a walking route will lead you through the city’s streets past surprising light designs in different colours and shapes.

Sint Maarten

Celebrate the Dutch kind of Halloween on Sint Maarten’s day 11 November, often called the feast of sharing. Children up to the age of 12 will knock on neighbourhood doors with lanterns and sing songs to receive a piece of candy or fruit in return. The songs often contain nonsense words or vague puzzling references to the origins of the feast day. Sint Maarten’s day is celebrated in parts of the North and South of the Netherlands as well the provinces of Flevoland, Overijssel, Gelderland, South-Holland and Zeeland. If you are living in one of these areas it is recommended to buy some treats and lantern sticks (in case your children will participate) in advance as these sell out fast!


Arrival Saint Nicholas

The Sinterklaas feast is the most beloved of all Dutch holidays and traditions. Although the actual celebration of the feast is on the evening of 5 December, all children are excitedly awaiting his arrival each year in mid-November. Saint Nicholas (Sinterklaas) will officially arrive by train on 16 November in the city of Apeldoorn together with his Pieten (helpers). And then he makes his way through the country on his white horse Amerigo. But in most other towns and cities unofficial arrivals will be organized as well. 

In the days leading up to 5 December Sinterklaas rides across rooftops at night listening through chimneys for good children and leaving them little treats in their shoes, which they leave by the fireplace or door. Traditional Sinterklaas sweets are chocolate letters, pepernoten (small spiced biscuits), gingerbread men and marzipan.



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