After many requests I wrote this article about fun things to do in and around Eindhoven during the cold and/or rainy days coming up. During the nice warm summer weather, most people find a way to enjoy themselves. But the gray months sometimes cause a lack of fantasy for fun activities. Just like in my other article on insider tips for Eindhoven, I’m going to prove that there is fun here in our beautiful city all year round. Let me inspire you for the winter:
Opening of the ice skating season
In October the ice skating rink in Eindhoven opens the ice skating season again. I love to ride around the ice and then enjoy hot chocolate. You can rent skates or bring your own. Do you have a sports card from TU/e? Then get a skate sticker at the reception desk and you can skate for just 2.50 on Tuesday evening and Thursday evening from 20:00 to 22:00. You don’t have the sports card but still need to watch to your budget? Keep an eye on the site of the skating rink. I can remember that in the past years there were regular promotions with the Stadspas of Eindhoven, allowing all residents to skate at a much lower price at certain times during the week.
Address: Antoon Coolenlaan 3, Eindhoven
I love to watch a good movie every now and then, especially during winter. Make it extra cozy with some candles if you stay at home or enjoy a movie at the cinema. Eindhoven has Pathé, Vue, Natlab and De Zwarte Doos. All cinemas offer student discounts (Zwarte Doos has the best deal here) and the Vue also has the Cheap Tuesday where everyone can get in for 6 euros (and popcorn is only 1 euro on Tuesdays!). I also like the sneak preview (at Vue): seeing a movie that is not yet in the cinema but will be out soon. This is always a surprise so it can be good or bad, but for 7.50 it won’t hurt you too much.
Pathé – Dommelstraat 27, Eindhoven
Vue – Nieuwe Emmasingel 20, Eindhoven
Natlab – Kastanjelaan 500, Eindhoven
De Zwarte Doos – Den Dolech 2, Eindhoven
(Creative) forest walk
I love the beautiful colors of autumn. In any case, a walk in the woods is nice to recharge after a busy week, but it offers more. If you have children, it is lovely to take some fallen leaves and pine cones or chestnuts for a craft session at home. The pine cones can be fun to paint, with the leaves you can stamp or you can dry them, the chestnuts (if tame) you can roast and enjoy as a snack. The possibilities are endless (and free!) and the kids love it.
Two of my favorites forests:
Stratumsheide (Eindhoven): access from the end of the Heezerweg or from the Schuttersbosch neighborhood (end of Rendierveld)
Burgemeester Ossepark (Waalre, next to Eindhoven): access from the Koningin Julianalaan
Bring your A game
Games are perfect for long winter evenings. If you are fed up with your own games, or do not have enough people to play with, take a look at organized game nights or go to the thrift store for a cheap second hand game. The organized evenings can often be found on Facebook, for example at Soul Kitchen, the Hub (every Monday!) or Cosmos. And this is a fun way to meet new people and make friends! Some cafes also have fun games to play while you’re there, for example at Van Moll, Calypso and Soul Kitchen.
Soul Kitchen – Torenallee 55, Eindhoven
The Hub – Vestdijk 25, Eindhoven
Common Room of Cosmos – In Metaforum on the TU/e campus
Van Moll – Keizersgracht 16A, Eindhoven
Calypso – Stratumseind 83, Eindhoven
In November it is time for GLOW, the light festival of Eindhoven. You visit the most extraordinary light art in your own city and for free! Many catering establishments have special promotions so combine it with a GLOW menu or just go for a hot waffle at a stall along the route.
The winter is already cold and bleak enough. Let’s add some warmth! I think brunch is super. Take the time to enjoy fresh food and spend quality time together. There are enough places for brunch throughout Eindhoven, for example Van der Valk and FLO for that luxurious hotel feeling 🙂 (making a reservation is recommended). But you can also have a lovely brunch without much money! IKEA Eindhoven always has a brunch buffet on Sunday where the week’s 1 euro breakfast is extended with extras such as salmon, omelet and waffles. You’re all set for just a few euros. And you can get some interior inspiration after. Of course making a nice brunch at home is a good idea as well. Lidl nowadays has the fresh bakery with buns and coffee cakes in many locations that are really delicious. There is a lot of choice and it is cheap! Bottle of fresh juice, some more luxurious stuff to put on the buns and you’re good to go.
FLO – Veldmaarschalk Montgomerylaan 1, Eindhoven
Van der Valk – Aalsterweg 322, Eindhoven
IKEA – Ekkersrijt 4089, Son (next to Eindhoven)
When it gets colder outside, indoor activities automatically become more popular. Go for an afternoon of climbing. In Eindhoven there’s Monk or Neoliet. You can just rent all your belongings there and even book an instruction, so you can also go if you have never climbed or bouldered before. Student? Then you get a discount on the Thursdays at Monk.
Monk – Berkenstraat 1-A, Eindhoven
Neoliet Eindhoven South – Theo Koomenlaan 3, Eindhoven
Neoliet Eindhoven North – Vijfkamplaan 14, Eindhoven
Shop homemade tree decorations or just drink a glass of mulled wine and enjoy the atmosphere. The Christmas markets are a cozy day-activity. They are organized in and around Eindhoven, but you could also think of a day out to visit one in Germany or those in the caves in Valkenburg. Search on Facebook for ‘kerstmarkt’ at the events section and you will find plenty of them.
The Christmas thought
Just to stay in the Christmas spirit: whether you are religious or not, it is a great opportunity to contribute to your community and especially to those who have less. Ask at a local retirement home if you can help decorate or bake cookies with the elderly residents. Or bring a bag of (durable) food (which you may not even use yourself) to the Voedselbank which they can distribute among poor people so that they also have something extra during Christmas.
I love to bake something in the winter, especially on Sunday afternoon. Then my whole house smells nice for the rest of the day. You really do not have to be a kitchen princess to make something tasty. If you find it difficult, buy a mix of the brand ‘HomeMade’. They have a lot of mixes where you only have to add water, completely foolproof and still tasty. What I like about baking on Sunday afternoon: I finish things that are close to their due date and I’ll have something nice to share with friends or to take to work the next day. Win-win. A few examples? An apple and a pear left? Add some cinnamon and make a cake. What about left-over courgettes/tomatoes/mushrooms/other vegetables? Take some puff pastry from the freezer, add some egg and milk and hoppa, a quiche. This is also great to keep children occupied: they love to help, no matter what you bake.
If you’re more inside anyway, you might as well make use of it: clear up your house and start in your wardrobe. Afterwards, you can make friends happy with the things you don’t fit anymore and maybe find new treasures if they do the same. New clothes for free. Otherwise you can sell the unwanted items and earn an extra penny for the expensive December month. On Facebook, I regularly see events that are organized to sell second-hand clothing in and around Eindhoven. You can rent a stand there for very little money, for example at the Hub. Flea markets also remain popular in the winter. Wrap yourself up in a warm coat and hat and let’s do it!
Look around you at the free books that some people offer in little ‘garden libraries’. They finished the books and want them to have a new home. You can exchange a book to pay it forward or just take one with you. Ultimate recycling and you read a book that you probably would not have bought in a bookstore. For free, awesome right?
Eindhoven has them in several places, but I know one on the Rielse Dijk (at the row of small houses around numbers 41 to 49) and one at the Genneperweg (just past Tante Kees restaurant). If you know more, call out and I’ll add them here! 🙂