Menu

10 x best outings for kids in Amsterdam

…because who wants the young ’uns to be down in the Dam?

Planning a visit to Amsterdam? Then you’re probably finding it hard to choose between all the great city attractions. Yet while some –  like the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum – certainly do take younger visitors into account, few kids will keep smiling if museum-going is the only thing on offer. So for parents who want their kids to enjoy a positively unforgettable day in Amsterdam, we share ten tips for the best children’s outings in the capital.

Planning a visit to Amsterdam? Then you’re probably finding it hard to choose between all the great city attractions. Yet while some –  like the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum – certainly do take younger visitors into account, few kids will keep smiling if museum-going is the only thing on offer. So for parents who want their kids to enjoy a positively unforgettable day in Amsterdam, we share ten tips for the best children’s outings in the capital.

The Vondelpark is a green oasis in the centre of Amsterdam where there’s always something going on, yet where you can still relax

#1. (Eating pancakes in) The Vondelpark

It’s an easy walk from the Museum Quarter to the Vondelpark: a green oasis in the centre of Amsterdam where there’s always something going on, yet where you can still relax. The 47-hectare city park welcomes children with delights such as a paddling pool, playgrounds, spacious lawns, challenging bridges and, of course, urban ducks. Take a scooter along for the pleasantly smooth tarmac paths and zip through the hipsters on their inline skates and skateboards. Put a ball or Frisbee in your backpack and forget everything else for a while, then settle down at the Groot Melkhuis tired but satisfied. This popular pancake house has a beautiful setting in the middle of the park and a sizeable playground. Big plus: on Wednesdays and at the weekend you’ll find a bouncy castle here.

Groot Melkhuis, Vondelpark 2, grootmelkhuis.nl/en/

#2. ARTIS Zoo

Don’t be misled by the title ‘city zoo’: ARTIS is big enough for a whole day’s fun. What sets ARTIS apart, being the oldest zoo in the Netherlands, is its wealth of monumental buildings and animal houses. The zoo isn’t limited by its history however – it continues to modernize by building a larger elephant enclosure and giving the animals more space. In ARTIS you can come face to face with gorillas, snakes, wolves, elephants, giraffes, jaguars and many other creatures. The beautiful butterfly garden guarantees a lot of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’, and in the Monkey House you can have fun trying to spot small monkeys, a prehensile-tailed porcupine and sloths among the tropical shrubs. Don’t forget to have a go on the jumbo-sized slide near the chimpanzees!

Plantation Kerklaan 38-40, artis.nl/en/

In ARTIS you can come face to face with gorillas, wolves, elephants, giraffes, jaguars and many other creatures
From the water you’ll enjoy a whole different view of the canal houses than from the crowded streets

#3. Canal cruise … or rent a pedal boat

Boat trips are boring? Not in Amsterdam! From the water you’ll enjoy a whole different view of the canal houses than from the crowded streets. While you admire the city from the water, the little ones can enjoy their own adventure on the Blue Boat Kids Tour. With an audio story in their ears, they get to spot canal sights using real pirate binoculars. It’s educational too, as they need to find the answers to all the questions in their tour booklet. A great time is guaranteed! Prefer to explore the canals independently? Pedal boat your own way through Amsterdam’s canals – an adventure for the whole family.

Blue Boat, Stadhouderskade 501, blueboat.nl/en/canal-cruise-amsterdam/kids-cruise/
Stromma pedal boats, Stadhouderskade 520, stromma.com/nl-nl/amsterdam/sightseeing/rondvaarten/pedal-boat/

#4. Museum tram to the Amsterdamse Bos and Boerderij Meerzicht

Amsterdam has squeezed a park into its city centre, but for a wood you really have to go to the outskirts of the city. To make the trip special, take the old electric museum tram to the Amsterdamse Bos, Amsterdam’s local wood. The tram is an attraction in itself with its wooden benches and lots of bells. In the warmer months, the tram (destination Amstelveen) will take you to the main entrance of the Amsterdamse Bos, where the kids have plenty of space to run around for a while. That’s a good thing, because if you then head to Boerderij Meerzicht, plenty of sugary treats will be on offer. Pancakes are considered the speciality of this eatery and rightly so. After dinner, take a moment to relax with the wandering deer and then start the walk back via the large playground with its cable car.

Amsterdamse Bos entrance, corner Amstelveenseweg with Van Nijenrodeweg, https://www.amsterdamsebos.nl/english/

Boerderij Meerzicht, Koenenkade 56, boerderijmeerzicht.nl/english

The tram is an attraction in itself with its wooden benches and lots of bells
The billies and nannies share the spotlight with pigs, ponies, cows and chickens

#5. Petting and feeding the baby goats at the Ridammerhoeve

Need more things to do in the Amsterdamse Bos? Then follow the signs to Ridammerhoeve. This goat farm is a true children’s paradise, especially at the weekend. With more than 150 goats, this is a place where large numbers of kids can pet, cuddle and even feed the furry kids a bottle of milk. The billies and nannies share the spotlight with pigs, ponies, cows and chickens. If you want to escape the animal company for a while, you can have a great time in the maze or the big playground. Warm weather? Let the kids splash about in the children’s pool within walking distance of the goats.

Nieuwe Meerlaan 4, Amstelveen, geitenboerderij.nl/en

#6. WONDR

Swimming in candy must be every kid’s dream – and WONDR makes it come true. This hotspot, created for influencers and social media fanatics, isn’t just an Instagram attraction; it’s also a wonderland for the little ones. Sing Let it Go with one of the karaoke machines, shower in confetti, swim in a mega ball pit and dance in a mirror room. OTT? Certainly, but also really special. WONDR makes childhood dreams come true, even if you sometimes have to wait for your dip in the candy bath. Good to know: WONDR has special KIDS TIME slots, so that children up to the age of ten don’t have to wait while the person in front takes their 600th selfie.

Meeuwenlaan 88, https://www.wondrexperience.com/en/

Swimming in candy must be every kid’s dream – and WONDR makes it come true
Building, designing, testing… in this museum, the iPad won’t leave your bag for a second

#7. NEMO

On Oosterdokeiland, a stroll from Central Station, you’ll find the NEMO science museum. Sound dull? Not at all: NEMO is one big educational playground. The strikingly designed museum contains five sizable floors, each bulging with activities and discoveries. Building, designing, testing… in this museum, the iPad won’t leave your bag for a second! Play with the elements, discover and improve the world with technology, research how natural phenomena work and take on the role of a professor. Plus, the roof (Energetica floor) offers a great view over Amsterdam, and you can play with fountains and work with water here to your heart's content. NEMO is so big that you could easily walk around it for several days, so before you visit it’s a good idea to decide what you really don’t want to miss.

Oosterdok 2, nemosciencemuseum.nl/en/

#8. Jewish Historical Museum – Jewish Museum junior

The junior section of the Jewish Historical Museum teaches kids about Jewish culture in a playful way. Step into the home of the Hollander family and get to know their traditions and way of life. The three-story house includes a study, music room and kosher kitchen. While Max de Matze takes you on an adventure, you learn interesting facts and complete challenging assignments. Follow the aroma of freshly baked bread to the kitchen, which is divided into two colours. Deciding which foods go with the dairy and which with the meat, you make your own hallah (braided bread roll), then bake it while you play Jewish musical instruments. An educational experience for every child and worthwhile for parents, too.

Nieuwe Amstelstraat 1, jck.nl/en/location/jewish-museum-junior

 

The junior section of the Jewish Historical Museum teaches kids about Jewish culture in a playful way
Here, on the edge of the Flevopark, you have all the space and freedom in the world

#9. Jeugdland Amsterdam

City centre too cramped for the kids to burn off their energy? Then try an adventure in the nature play park Jeugdland (Youthland) Amsterdam. Here, on the edge of the Flevopark, you have all the space and freedom in the world. Dozens of pallets, heaps of nails and hammers of all kinds are ready for construction and carpentry fun. Tired of making a creative contribution to the oversized wooden village? Then swing over the water on a zipline, run around in the playground or go canoeing. Tip: don’t visit this children’s village in your best clothes, because protruding nails can cause a snag.

Valentijnkade 131, jeugdlandamsterdam.nl

#10. A’dam Lookout

The name says it all: from this hotspot, there’s a magnificent view over Amsterdam. See the city from a height of 100 metres, spot the Rijksmuseum, the Westertoren and the Nieuwe Kerk and relax on the observation deck. No need to relax? You don’ have to, in fact real daredevils head for the Over the Edge swing, on which you can nonchalantly swing back and forth over the edge of the tower. Not for children under 1.20 metres tall by the way, but little ones will no doubt still be impressed by the 100-metre drop and the flashy lift with lights that catapults them to the highest floor. With a green-screen photo of you balancing on a beam high in the sky while seeming to eat a sandwich, a visit to the Lookout wins you bragging rights, too.

From Amsterdam Central, take the ferry across the IJ to Overhoeksplein 1, adamlookout.com

The name says it all: from this hotspot, there’s a magnificent view over Amsterdam
De nieuwste nsfavourites in je mailbox? Meld je aan