Maybe it’s just my inner child wanting to be freed, but Spellenhuis is what I wish had existed when I was a kid: a games shop with a full slate of daily activities where you can play every game in the shop for hours on end, with no obligations, other than a reasonable five-euro fee and the (sometimes assertive) hope that you order a plate of nachos. Of course, there are committed gamers who shop up in droves for competitive events. But “gezellig”, the quintessential Dutch word for “relaxed, good times” is a perfect fit regardless.
I’m not talking about video games that require basic military training in order to “play.” Spellenhuis is all about board games, strategy games, card games, chess and checkers, and more than a few award-winning new games that put innovative twists on old standards like Magic: The Gathering, Pokemon, and Settlers of Katan. First dates looking for a safe environment come here. Parents with bored yet bright children come here. Like-minded game fanatics come here. And, if you stay to play and like the games you’re trying out, you get reasonable discounts on any purchases for home.
Is there a better way to spend a rainy day? Given that there are a lot of rainy days in the Netherlands, if you want to meet and mingle in an innocent, family-friendly locale, this might be your best option.