A bumper edition of entertainment: 14 great things to do in June

From beer tasting to bunkers, from posh frocks to a rather spooky sounding Pillowman – here’s a round-up of 14 great things to do in June.

Try the other Dutch beers
Dutch brewers are opening their doors to the public with brewing demonstrations, beer tastings and presentations on June 1,2 and 3. Go to the website to find a brewery at walking distance and discover there is more to Dutch beer than a certain very big lager-producing company would like you to believe.

Visit a bunker

Photo: Bunkerdag.nl

June 9 is national bunker day, a unique opportunity to visit the bunkers that were part of the World War II Atlantic wall defense line and which are normally not open to visitors. Website

Watch a film on the beach
There’s open air summer entertainment beachside at cultural centre De Pllek (NDSM-werf on the IJ) with Films with a View Sunscreenings every Tuesday from June 5. Go to the website to find out about the programme and tickets.

Bring sandwiches
The Holland Festival kicks off again in June with a programme choc a bloc with theatre, dance, film, music and combinations of all four. Venues are spread throughout the capital. Keep an eye out for freebies such as the open air big screen presentation of Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffman by the National Ballet and Opera Company on June 21 in Park Frankendael (surtitled in French and English). June 7 to July 1 Website

Be scared


The English speaking Orange Theatre Company presents The Pillowman, a spine-  chilling and dark comedy about fiction spilling over into violence, or is it the other way around? The play, by Irish writer Martin McDonagh, explores the horrors of life in a totalitarian society. June 8 and 9. Website

Think Pinkpop
Pinkpop used to be held on Pinksteren (Whitsun) but has now shifted towards the summer. If you are lucky enough to find a ticket (we did warn you in May) the festival dates for this year are June 15, 16 and 17. The lineup includes Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters and Bruno Mars among many others. Website

Come into the garden
If you have ever wondered, and who hasn’t, what lies behind the elegant canal houses of Amsterdam here’s your chance to find out. Some 30 private owners and organisations lucky enough to occupy a canal house are opening their garden doors to the public. The theme of this year’s Open Garden Days is garden design. June 15, 16 and 17. Website

Have a look at the new Rembrandt

The newly discovered Portrait of a Young Gentleman, widely attributed to Rembrandt, is on show at the Hermitage in Amsterdam for a short period before being sold for gazillions of euros. See it while you can. Until June 15. Website

Behold the blob
The Rijksmuseum entertains tourists and staycationers alike with a number of summer exhibitions. KWAB, Dutch design in the age of Rembrandt focuses on an ornamental style based on blobs. The Rijks describes it as ‘syrup dripping from a spoon’ and very delicious it is too. From June 30 Website

Go to the park
The Parkpop festival is really three in one: there is Parkpop Downtown on Friday June 22 in the centre of The Hague, Parkpop Saturday night on the 23rd and Parkpop proper the following day in the Zuiderpark. Parkpop Saturday night is the only bit you have to pay for and features Kim Wilde, Clouseau, Jason Donovan, The Boss UK, Kiss Forever Band, De Dijk, Martijn Fischer, Hot Chocolate, Gruppo Sportivo, 90’s NOW!  and many others. Website

Find a frock
The Centraal Museum in Utrecht is celebrating a ‘master of Dutch couture’. The master in question is Jan Taminiau whose creations are on show along with some of the things that have inspired him over the years, such as art, photography and design. How does a posh frock come into being? What lies behind Máxima’s postal bag jacket? Until August 26. Website

Bike your way around art

Free white bikes at the Veluwe national park. Photo: Onderwijsgek via Wikimedia Commons

The Hoge Veluwe Nature Park has plotted a two-hour cycle tour of a number of works of art which have all been inspired by their natural surroundings. How do works and nature influence each other? Should they be dynamited forthwith or are they an enhancement? Your are invited to ponder these and other questions on June 2 or June 30. Website

Chill with Chillida
The Rijksmuseum wants its visitors to get some fresh air as well this summer and has organised an outdoors treat: a stroll around the gardens of the museum where the museum’s annual sculpture show features ten of Bask artist Eduardo Chillida’s large steel structures. It’s the first time the works can be seen together in the Netherlands. From June 22. Website

Stop press: the Queen’s English Theatre Company is putting on two short plays
– ‘A Chip in the Sugar’ and ‘Bed Among the Lentils’ – by Alan Bennett this month, and they are touring the country. For dates see the website.


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