Amsterdam with Kids

Amsterdam, with its picturesque canals, vibrant culture, and family-friendly attractions, is a fantastic destination for a vacation with kids. This guide will take you through the best things to do, where to go, what to see, when to visit, where to stay, places to eat, and a detailed four-day itinerary.

What to Do in Amsterdam with Kids

Het Muizenhuis (The Mouse Mansion)

Explore the whimsical world of Het Muizenhuis, where kids can marvel at the intricately designed living spaces of the Mouse family. This free attraction features a bedroom, kitchen, library, and even a rollercoaster and bumper car for mice. Though admission is free, purchasing a toy or DIY kit will make the visit even more memorable.

Butterfly Garden at Hortus Botanicus

Hortus Botanicus is a serene botanical garden that includes a tropical forest, cactus hall, palm house, and a section with massive water lilies. The Butterfly Garden, filled with fluttering butterflies, creates a magical atmosphere that will captivate kids. The garden is open year-round, but it’s best to confirm before visiting. Entry is EUR 12.50 for adults, EUR 6.50 for kids over 5, and free for kids under 5.

NEMO Science Museum

NEMO Science Museum is a must-visit for curious minds. Spread across five floors, it offers interactive exhibits on mechanical sciences, energy, space, and human sciences. Kids can engage in hands-on experiments and watch live science shows. Entry is free for kids under 4 and EUR 17.50 for ages 4 and above. Booking in advance is recommended.

De Poezenboot – Boat with Rescued Cats

De Poezenboot, a houseboat shelter for rescued cats, is a unique attraction where kids can interact with friendly cats. It’s open on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.

Mechanisch Speelgoed – Best Toy Store in Amsterdam

Mechanisch Speelgoed is a charming, old-fashioned toy store with a vintage feel. Featuring mechanical toys that require winding up, it offers a delightful alternative to modern battery-operated gadgets. Entry is free, but you might end up buying a toy. The store is open every day except Sundays.

Canal Cruise Boat Trip

A canal cruise is an excellent way to experience Amsterdam. Opt for a one-hour boat trip to keep kids engaged. Prices range from EUR 16 to EUR 19.95, depending on the type of boat. This activity is free with the I Amsterdam city card.

ADAM Lookout and Extreme Swing

For older kids, the ADAM Tower provides stunning views of Amsterdam. The extreme swing at the top is an exhilarating experience suitable for kids over 11. A family discount is available on their website.

ARTIS – Nature Artis Magistra

ARTIS Zoo combines a zoo, aquarium, planetarium, micropia, and botanical garden. It offers numerous activities, such as animal presentations and interactive lectures. Admission is EUR 20 for kids aged 3 and above, but free with the I Amsterdam city card.

When to Go

Amsterdam offers different activities and experiences throughout the year:

  • Spring (March to May): Visit the tulip gardens of Keukenhof.
  • Summer (June to August): Enjoy open-air concerts in Vondelpark and beach trips to Zandvoort and Bloemendaal.
  • Autumn (September to November): Experience the city’s beautiful fall colors.
  • Winter (December to February): Go ice skating and visit Christmas markets.

Where to Stay

  • PH Hotel Oosteinde / Boutique Hotel Oosteinde: Centrally located yet away from the Red Light District, perfect for families.
  • Generator Amsterdam: A hostel offering private rooms suitable for families.
  • NH Collection City Center: Comfortable and centrally located.

Tips for Visiting Amsterdam with Kids

  1. Avoid Dam Square and De Wallen: These areas are not suitable for kids due to their adult-themed attractions.
  2. Get the I Amsterdam City Card: This card provides free entry to many attractions, a boat trip, bike rental, and unlimited public transport, making it cost-effective for families.
  3. Book Time Slots in Advance: Avoid long waits by booking attraction tickets in advance.
  4. Utilize Parks and Playgrounds: Amsterdam is full of parks and playgrounds where kids can play while parents take a break.
  5. Keep Plans Flexible: Surprise your kids with plans to avoid disappointment if places are closed or too busy.
  6. Look for Seasonal Activities: Depending on the season, enjoy activities like ice skating in winter or visiting the tulip gardens in spring.

Four-Day Itinerary for Families

Day 1: City Exploration and Canal Cruise

  • Morning: Visit Het Muizenhuis and explore the intricate world of the Mouse family.
  • Afternoon: Take a canal cruise to get an overview of the city.
  • Evening: Relax at Food Hallen and enjoy a variety of dishes.

Day 2: Museums and Gardens

  • Morning: Spend time at NEMO Science Museum engaging in interactive exhibits.
  • Afternoon: Visit the Butterfly Garden at Hortus Botanicus.
  • Evening: Take a stroll through Vondelpark and let the kids play at the playgrounds.

Day 3: Animal Adventures

  • Morning: Head to ARTIS Zoo and enjoy the various animal exhibits and activities.
  • Afternoon: Visit De Poezenboot and interact with the rescued cats.
  • Evening: Have dinner at a family-friendly restaurant near your hotel.

Day 4: Views and Toys

  • Morning: Take the ferry to ADAM Lookout and enjoy the views and extreme swing.
  • Afternoon: Explore Mechanisch Speelgoed and buy a vintage toy.
  • Evening: Relax with a final meal at Food Hallen.

Amsterdam is a delightful destination for families, offering a mix of educational, interactive, and relaxing activities. By planning ahead and considering the interests of your kids, you can create a memorable and enjoyable trip for the whole family.

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