From big wheels to big hats: 12 great things to do in April

Take in The View in Rotterdam. Photo: Marc van der Stelt /MS Fotografie

So much to do, so little time… Hanneke Sanou has a list of some of the best things to do in April.

View Rotterdam from a giant ferris wheel
Europe’s largest mobile ferris wheel is in Rotterdam until April 9, so you’ve still got a few days to appreciate the view. The ferris wheel is 55 metres high with 42 gondolas and can take 800 people an hour. Tickets cost €6 for an adult and €4 for children. Website

See museum highlights
All that glitters in this year’s Museum Week (April 3 to April 9) is gold, well, not literally. The week highlights the finest objects from over 400 museums around the country and will be encouraging visitors to seek them out with a display of life size gilded representations of three celebrated objects in different cities around the Netherlands.  Check out the website for the treasures chosen by each museum.

Savour delicious still lifes
At the Mauritshuis until June 25 Slow food – The Still Lifes of the Golden Age. A smorgasboard of 22 masterpieces illustrating the development of the art of the still life in the Netherlands and Flanders are featured, from the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam), the National Gallery of Art (Washington) and the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford), as well as every work by Clara Peeters held by the Museo Nacional del Prado (Madrid). Website

See migration through art
The Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art in Amsterdam is running a series of exhibitions about migration, starting with the multimedia installations of Indian artist Nalini Malani.  Malani is ‘the Marlene Dumas of India’, whose works on refugees and female oppression have lost none of their relevancy. Website

Nalini Malani, Transgressions, video/shadow play installation, 2001- Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Look at Mondriaan in bulbs
The theme of the 68th edition of the Keukenhof is Dutch design. A bulb mosaic and a garden dedicated to Mondriaan’s characteristic coloured squares will be among the offerings as will, of course, the usual riot of multi-coloured spring flowering bulbs. There are seven million of them but the Keukenhof is open until May 21 so you will have plenty of time to see them all. For a complete programme of events and activities go to the Keukenhof website.

Sneak a peek at Bea’s hats
Always the same hairdo, lots of different hats, that’s the headwear history of Dutch queen mother Beatrix. She’s held on to all her hats and now 111 of them are on show at the Loo royal palace. ‘The British queen has a big crown with diamonds and gold, the Dutch queen wore her hat like a crown,’ the museum’s curator said. Chapeaux! is on until August 27. Website 

Admire some superior creepy crawlies
From March 24 the Rijksmuseum Prentenkabinet is showing two works by the intrepid and pioneering entomologist and artist Maria Sybilla Merian (1647-1717) who travelled to Suriname to make delicate drawings and watercolours of the local creepy crawlies. German-born Merian made her home in Amsterdam where she died exactly 300 years ago. Website

Meet a press photographer
World Press Photo is organising a three day festival in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam from April 20 to April 22 where photo journalists and editors from all corners of the world talk about the stories behind the images. Guests include Iranian photographer and film maker Amak Mahmoodian, docucumentary photographer Daniella Zalcman and Time’s Instagram Photographer of the Year Ruddy Roye. Website

Get arty
The Orange Tea theatre presents Art, the highly acclaimed play by French playwright Yasmina Reza about the friendship between three people which is thrown into doubt when one of them buys a blank canvas. Is it art or pretentious rubbish? The Amsterdam-based company is staging the play on March 28 and 29 at the Toon theatre, Amsterdam West. Tickets cost €15 and can be bought here.


Spend a tiny fortune on King’s Day
Clear your diaries for April 27 because it’s high time to add to/offload your collection of old tat. Yes, King’s day is coming. Remember early birds catch the worms and that anything above fifty cents is daylight robbery. Start practicing your haggling skills and enjoy.

Bring a tent
There are plenty of Easter pop festivals this month. Check out Anouk and Dutch stalwart Doe Maar at Paaspop along with dozens of other popgroups in Schijndel March 14, 15 and 16. Website

Go deaf in Zandvoort
It’s the traditional start of the racing season in Zandvoort on March 15 and16 so why not enjoy the great outdoors and breathe in some petrol fumes. There will be truck racing and Porsches! Website

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