Pieter Grijpstra (1920-1998) was one of the founders of Linnaeushof. He lived in Aalsmeer, where he worked as a police officer between 1948 and 1964. Socially involved as he was, he established a department for the National Red Cross in Aalsmeer. As chairman he initiated several promotions and fund raising projects for the Red Cross and also for the big flood in Zeeland back in 1953.
In 1955 the surface, where Linnaeushof is located, was set up as a flower garden and the existing glass house was turned into a tropical flower show with over 1000 species of flowers. Pieter Grijpstra opened in this glass house a miniature flower parade and the income was donated to the National Red Cross. In the spring of 1956 the park was renamed to ‘Linnaeushof’. At that moment the park was visited by 30.000 visitors per year. After some difficulties in the beginning Linnaeuhsof started to create a small playground. This playground was opened on May 15th 1963 by Godfried Bomans.
His son, Frits Grijpstra (1947-1998), co-operated in the company since 1969 and Linnaeushof became more and more successful, the number of visitors increased up to 300.000 visitors per year. The flowers made room for more play structures. Big investments for great attractions and a strict policy regarding the safety for visitors leaded to a unique recreational park. Linnaeushof eventually turned out to be “Europe’s largest playground”.
Since 1999, Sander Grijpstra, took over the management and continued the success of Linnaeushof for the third generation. This success was also noticed by Aspro Ocio S.A. This is a multinational from Spain which took over the park in 2012. Aspro-Ocio is one of the largest European operator of leisure parks and centres. Founded in October 1991, Aspro Parks has since enjoyed strong and on-going growth, reaching its position of leadership in the leisure industry. In 2013, the Group employed an average of 1,600 staff, and over 3,000 during the high season.