From cinematic folk music to cello stars, from ceramics in the church to art on Insta: these are the 10 tips for activities in the Alkmaar region

New sequel to ‘Midzomerfair’ in Oudkarspel: ‘Swaanzaam Festival’ on 30 and 31 July in the De Swaan play park. An event for the whole family. Featuring: food trucks, a 100 meter assault course, rodeo, ‘mega Twister’, ‘shuffleboard live’, a foam party, game shows, a balloon clown and live music. Around 5,000 visitors are expected. Tickets and info:

Exhibition by Gon Bello

Opened for the first time: Gon Bello’s exhibition space (on the left in the picture) at Lange Akker 21 in Limmen. From 30 and 31 July, she presents her work to a wider audience. Gon Bello is a sculptor. Instead of first making an example in clay, she immediately goes to work with stone. She is aware of the shapes and colors that determine the result. Her art varies from figurative to abstract. She has previously exhibited at home and abroad. More info: Opening hours: every last weekend of the month from 11.00 to 17.00 (or by appointment: 06-16619105).

Cello stars in Hortus

Two young cellists play in Hortus Alkmaar on 31 July from 15: Renate Apperloo and Fedor Grigoriev. They play works by Antonio Vivaldi, Domenico Gabrielli, Francesco Geminiani and Luigi Bocherrini. The Baroque is central to this programme. The accompanying basso continuo is also performed by the cello. International Holland Music Sessions organizes the concert. More info:

Cinematic people in Egmond

Mankes will play in Hoeve Overslot on 31 July from Singer-songwriters Selma Peelen and ‘The Weak And The Strong’ play various instruments and bring a mix of ‘cinematic folk with a touch of Northern European and Mediterranean regions complemented by noisy and dark textures’. Entry based on voluntary contribution, pin not possible.

A little further on, on the same 31 July, from 20:00, there will be a musical poetry evening in the Castle Chapel in Egmond aan den Hoef with poems by Edward Kooiman and music by the Favonius Ensemble. Ingrid Zwart uses material from nature to create a work of art that is exhibited. Free entry, doors open: 7.30pm.

Nature and culture

Put on your hiking boots, because IVN is on the move again. On 3 August from 19.30 there is a dune walk from Parnassia Park in Bergen aan Zee. The route goes past some characteristic buildings and through the dunes. The guide tells about history, dune management and nature. Duration: 2 hours. Price: €3.00. Dune card required. Info & registration: Hans Stapel,

Outdoors in the summer

Sporty through the summer? Then you can go to Outdoor Park Alkmaar. Here, children from 8 to 12 years old and from 12 to 16 years old can brave obstacles in the ‘Obstacle Race’ every Wednesday during the summer holidays. Times: from 10.00 to 12.00 or from 12.00 to 14.00. Together with an experienced instructor, you go ‘on an adventure’ through the park. Price: €13.50. If you prefer to watch it all from a distance, there is ‘Family Picnic’. With a full picnic basket, you can explore the park from the picnic table. Cost: €37.50 (picnic basket incl. entry to the park for two adults and two children). More info:

Hey Boerema

Rotterdam organist Hayo Boerema plays woo. 3 August during the summer evening concert in Grote Kerk Alkmaar. He composed ‘Bad Tempe’ for the Van Covelens organ. Passacaglia also plays Buxtehude, Alain, Bach and his own improvisation. There is also a free cheese market organ concert in the Grote Kerk every Friday from 12.00 to 13.00 by European organists (chosen by the city organist Pieter van Dijk). More info:

Art on Insta

Have you ever discovered art through Instagram? ArtistsCentrumBergen was inspired by art on the social media platform and created the exhibition: ‘#InstaArtKCB’. Visitors are asked to take two photos: with a work of art and a selfie featuring the creator. They can post these pictures on ‘Insta’. The exhibition can be seen in the KCB exhibition room in museum Kranenburgh until 18 September. The opening is on 31 July at 17, where Jan van der Vegt reads from his recently published poetry collection. Photo: Ubaldo Sichi. More info:

Ceramics in the church

Until August 7, a summer exhibition can be visited in Zwarte Kerkje in Zuidschermer with work by ceramicists from the KMK collective, guest exhibitor Hanneke Galama, spatial work by Monique Geleijnse, mixed media by Marja van Etten and the sculpture group ‘Readers’ by Karin Melchers. Art is for sale, proceeds go to church restoration. Open: Sundays from 11:00 to 16:00.

Cabaret and music

Maartje & Kine (July 29), Carel Kraayenhof and Leoni Jansen (July 30), Sophie Straat and Thijs Boontjes (July 31) are on the program for Zomer op het Plein at Canaplein. This weekend is all about cabaret and music. Maartje & Kine bring their ‘Norwegian experiences’ in the cartoon ‘Speelbeesten II’. Carel Kraayenhof and Leoni Jansen (from Beemster) play a repertoire of world music and tango with instruments such as bandoneon and bodhran. The Dutch folk singer Sophie Straat and Thijs Boontjes sing Dutch folk songs with their dance and show orchestra. More info:

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