Newyears Dive in Groningen

Nov 29, 2023 • 8 minuten leestijd

Newyears Dive in Groningen

They say it is fun!

To be absolutely honest with you readers! I have never done a New Years Dive.
To take a cold shower is already a punishment for me. 
The biggest excuse not to do it, well.. it is freaking cold!
Even if the wetter is quite mild for now, so maybe there should come a day that I dive into the newyear.

Some of my friends go every year and they seem to like it! And they gave us the photos to share!

'De Beste Stuurlui staan aan Wal' (this Dutch saying is applicable to my suggestions below)


How to Prepare for a New Years Dive?

For me really funny to tell others how to prepare themselves, whilst I am not diving into the NewYear!
The first suggestion I would do to punish you is to do a testdive, but before make sure to take this into account:

  • Register in time to the location where you want to dive!
  • Check if you are fit enough to do the dive
  • Take an extra set of warm and dry clothes, maybe even a polar suit oncie
  • Make sure to do a good warming - up before you take the plunge.
  • You would see that you dive at once, but the advise is to take it easy and step by step!
  • No heads under water, just a dip is enough and wear a warm beanie on your head. 
  • Keep breathing and relax (yeah right ;-))
  • No longer than 3 minutes (I would say 3 seconds would be enough as well, but maybe that would be not good for your 'cool'- image)
  • If you feel unwell and/ or stiff from the bones, go immediately out of the water
  • If you have done the dive, dry yourself and take on your warm dry clothes (And this is the funniest one suggestion for me as not actually going myself)
  • Take a big sip of brandy to warm up from inside and then your hangover from your NYE Party is gone as well. It is a win-win!


A bit of history

The tradition of take a cold plunge it already must longer present in other countries.
Like in Canada and there they have named it the Polar Bear Plunge.

Well I am not a polar bear. Sometimes I feel like one, but that has nothing to do with being able to stand the cold ;-)

In Canada they take the Polar Bear Plunge since 1920. Nowadays it is a huge event and thousands of poeple dvie into the water of the English Bay at Vancouver.

In the Netherlands

The New Years Dive started in the Netherlands around 1965 and one of the initiators was Jan van Scheijndel, a professional marathon swimmer. He swam many miles already at the IJsselmeer, the Kanaal and the Lake of Loch Ness.
In 1965 he and some others decided to go into the Noordzee at Schevening. It was back then just a small occassion, nothing big.

Since 1998, Unox, a Unilever food brand often associated with winter, adopted the Nieuwjaarsduik and ever since it is tradition to wear Unox branded winter caps and gloves.

It started getting really big during the Millenium in 2000. Then there were 10.000 participants that where brave enough to take the plunge. It was then 6 degrees during the day and the water temperature was a small 5 degrees.

Nowadays there are apm 89 locations on beaches and in lakes all over the country, each year around 30,000 people participate in this "Nieuwjaarsduik", with a record 36,000 participants on January 1, 2012.


The biggest event is in Scheveningen

Every New Year's Day around 10,000 people dive collectively into the icy cold sea water at Scheveningen, a Dutch beach resort town, since 1960. So if you want to do this and you like crowds! Go here!



In Groningen

Also in Groningen you can take the Polar Plunge an on different locations, luckily not too early in the morning.

The organization is in the hands of GZVW, the swimming club and rescue brigade from Winschoten. On their homepage they publish the Calendar with the locations.

The costs are LOW. This includes a hot cup of coffee, tea or chocolate milk, a bowl of UNOX pea soup and the well-known UNOX hat. Participation is at your own risk. First aid is of course available. Two large trailers are ready for dressing and undressing so that you are sheltered from the cold and wind.


Newyeardives in Groningen 

Check the below list for any updates on the newyearsdive. Probably you know about a dive that is not in here? Please let us know!

Newyearsdive not in the list?

Do you attend a nice newyearsdive in Groningen and it is not on the list? Please send them to


Book your accommodation

During New Years Eve, the city is full of celebrations. You can check the best NYE parties here.

If you would like to book an accommodation during New Years Eve, we still have apartments available. But only one of them has a big rooftop terrace!

You can book our Rooftop 31 apartment via THIS LINK






woensdag, 29 november 2023 | Geschreven door: Diet Daleman