Home CITY TOUR Amsterdam with children: What to do with children?

Amsterdam with children: What to do with children?

© Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS, Institute for Plastination, Heidelberg, Germany, www.bodyworlds.nl

Amsterdam with children | If French fries, pancakes and bitterballen, or deep-fried meat croquettes, are national specialties in the Netherlands, then there’s no need to worry about a trip or city break to Amsterdam with kids.

In the morning, the Rijksmuseum. At noon, contemporary art is in the Municipal Museum. In the afternoon, the Amsterdam Museum or a walk through the luxury shopping center Magna Plaza is no fun for any child.

So one half of the day belongs to the sightseeing program for adults and the other to a spectacle for the younger visitors to the city. City trips with children are always an experience if the travel program is balanced.

Of course, the 5-year-old girl would go to the goat farm instead, and the 10-year-old soccer fan would take a look at the Amsterdam Arena instead. Therefore, here are a few tips on what to do in Amsterdam with children.

There’s plenty to choose from, and there’s sure to be something for everyone from 3 to 15 years old in the following suggestions. If it’s pouring rain, there’s fun for big and small at Ripley’s Believe It or Not – Featuring Robert Ripley’s unforgettable stories and incredible and strange finds in the center of Amsterdam, Dam 21.

Artis Zoo

Artis Zoo

A visit to the zoo is always a classic on a city trip with children. Amsterdam’s Artis Royal Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in Europe, with some buildings over 100 years old. Over 700 species of animals give a fantastic overview of the entire animal kingdom. This traditionally kept zoo also features a variety of plants and a large stand of old trees along winding paths. The park-like zoo houses a zoological and geological museum, a planetarium, an aquarium, and an insectarium. Of course, there is also the obligatory children’s playground.

📍 The Royal ARTIS Zoo is located in the center of Amsterdam. The address is: ARTIS, Plantage Kerklaan 38-40, 1018 CZ Amsterdam.

Buy online tickets for Amsterdam Zoo

The zoo is worth seeing. It is open daily from 9:00 to 17:00, from March to October until 18:00. In June, July, and August, the zoo stays open until sunset. It has modified opening hours only on December 31 (9:00 to 16:00) and January 1 (10:00 to 17:00).

Also interesting for young and old is Micropia, an interactive museum about microorganisms, on the Artis site. The adjacent Artis Grote Museum is more suitable for children aged 8 and up. Here, too, some things are interactive. More information about the two museums can be found in the article about Amsterdam’s ARTIS Royal Zoo.

You can access the zoo by public transport, Tram 14 from Centraal station, Artis stop. Drivers will find parking about 150 meters away from the main entrance of the zoo. There are discounted parking tickets for holders of access to the zoo. You can find more information in my article on parking in Amsterdam.

Tropical Museum

Tropical Museum
Ziko, 2010-01 Tropenmuseum, CC BY-SA 3.0

Today’s Amsterdam Tropical Museum was founded around 1864 and initially taught the Dutch population about life in what were once their country’s most important colonies. Today, it is one of the most recognized ethnological museums in Europe. It offers an unparalleled interactive time travel for young and old through the culture and development of tropical countries, as well as the life and traditions of its inhabitants.

A highlight is undoubtedly the Children’s Museum part, which offers a lot of fun and learning for visitors from 5 to 15 years old. Unfortunately, it is a relaxing museum gem of Amsterdam, which is often overlooked. In addition, it is comfortable and ideal for a visit with children.

  • Address: Tropenmuseum, Linnaeusstraat 2, 1092 CK, Amsterdam
  • Opening hours: Tue – Sun from 10:00 to 17:00, open Mondays on holidays, in the vacation season, and in July and August. It is closed on 1 Jan, 27 Apr, and 25 Dec.
  • Directions: Tram 3, 7, 14 and 19. next stops Eerste van Swindenstraat, Linnaeusstraat and Alexanderplein.
  • Parking space: Mobypark – 1 minute away

Online-Tickets to the Tropical Museum


Vondelpark in Amsterdam

The Vondelpark is a classic urban city park where locals and tourists meet, and everything is allowed. Things get busy here when the flowers start to bloom in spring. A city trip with children can be pretty stressful. Here, you can relax and simultaneously be in a paradise for children.

The little ones quickly find contact everywhere, whether on one of the numerous playgrounds, in the summer on the water playground, or in the Kinderkookkafé, a popular children’s kitchen, where the little ones can learn to cook. There is a restaurant, but picnicking is popular here when the weather is nice. There is also a bicycle rental service here.

The park is next to Museum Square; one parent can watch the kids. At the same time, the other takes the opportunity to briefly visit the RijksmuseumVan Gogh Museum, or the contemporary Municipal Museum.

Tip: Stayokay HostelThis charming hostel overlooking the park is reasonably priced and on my list of top 10 hotels in Amsterdam. More suggestions for family-friendly hotels in Amsterdam are at the end of the text.

Nemo Science Center

Nemo Science Center
© Nemo Science Center Amsterdam

Many people think the green Nemo building near Amsterdam’s central station is more like a spaceship. But it is one of the best museums for children in Europe.

Almost everything in NEMO is interactive. Touch and participation are the order of the day in this adventure playground for children. Dozens of experiments teach young visitors about physics, chemistry, biology, and technology.

With many clever games, children from 5 to 15 years and older teenagers and adults have real fun here. Three hours can efficiently be planned for the visit, so it is an excellent long-term activity for children, primarily if it should rain in Amsterdam.

It’s not relatively cheap, but the entrance – Tickets – is worth it. Those with limited time should at least enjoy the free exhibition on the large roof terrace with its water cascades.

Tip: Within sight of the Nemo is the Maritime Museum, which deals with the maritime history of Amsterdam. Children will undoubtedly notice the Dutch East Indiaman, a typical sailing ship from the 17th and 18th centuries, visible from afar. A bit of Pirates of the Caribbean is included in the museum tour.

Tickets to the Nemo Museum

Canal Cruise and Houseboat Museum

Canal Cruise and Houseboat Museum

✅ Canal CruiseEverything related to boats and water interests children and teenagers. The great advantage of traditional canal trips in Amsterdam with children is the pleasant duration of the journey, which is from 60 to 75 minutes. The time passes quickly, there is much to see, and you can also walk around on the canal boat. There are no risks from the safety point of view. On the page Canal rides in Amsterdam – All tickets & offers, you can find sufficient suggestions for a canal ride.

✅ Houseboat Museum You can see houseboats everywhere, passing by the canals. This arouses children’s curiosity to look at life in such a vessel. The Houseboat Museum offers a unique opportunity in a former freighter anchored on the Prinsengracht. While not a must-see during a visit to Amsterdam, it offers an entertaining diversion and even a play area for children. Everything worth knowing is also on the website of the small museum on the water.

The canals of Amsterdam are something extraordinary. Indeed it is also interesting for young people to learn something about the history and especially the construction of the canals. This is best done at the Museum of the Canals, centrally located at 386, Herengracht. With a multimedia presentation and an audio tour, it will certainly not be boring.

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Flohmarkt Waterlooplein

Flohmarkt Waterlooplein

Well – for many adults, instead, a stinking regular flea market that you do not necessarily have to visit. Here, you can find old, new, junk, and valuable. Browsing here is certainly fun for children. Especially with the souvenirs you will undoubtedly find something cheaper than in the tourist stores in the city center. Food stalls, cafes, and stalls with sweets are abundant.

It is effortless to get to Waterlooplein right at the metro stop. Centrally located, you can watch for an hour comfortably with the kids in passing…

Comic books – Children and young people who like comics are more likely to find what they are looking for in the Chinese quarter of Amsterdam, which is no more than a 10-minute walk away and is otherwise worth seeing, for example, at Henk Comics, Zeedijk 101.

Body Worlds

Body Worlds in Amsterdam
© Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS, Institute for Plastination, Heidelberg, Germany, www.bodyworlds.nl

At first glance, one might think Body Worlds Amsterdam unsuitable for younger visitors. But already millions of young people have visited this exhibition. Recommended is this attraction for children from 6 years. But younger children are also welcome, and guided tours are offered for school groups of all ages. The visit is also for educational purposes.

Prepare your kids for what they will see, and they will learn all about anatomy and health during the tour. Children can sometimes learn more about how their bodies work here in 1 to 2 hours than in 2 years of biology classes. Body World Amsterdam is a fantastic exhibition for children of all ages. Online-Tickets.

Tickets to the Body Worlds exhibition

Goat farm, petting zoo, and children’s farm

In Amsterdam, there are many accessible facilities where children can see and touch small animals, usually only found on a farm. For tourists, it is often a significant concession to the youngest visitors on a city break. Here are a few suggestions, all not so far from the city center:

  • De Uylenburg – Petting zoo in Rembrandt Park, Staalmeesterslaan 420, Tram line 13, stop Helfrichstraat. Daily from 10:00 to 17:00.
  • De Ridammerhoeve – Larger children’s farm and organic farm in the Amsterdam forest, rather a full day trip. Access is better by car/cab, public parking Goatfarm, info: www.geitenboerderij.nl/en/.
  • De Pijp – Petting zoo in a residential area, Lizzy Ansinghstraat 82, streetcar line 12, stop Cornelis Troostplein, daily from 11:00 to 17:00, weekends from 13:00.

Johan Cruijff ArenA

Johan Cruijff ArenA
Tsonga4, Amsterdam Arena , Farbe von Marc K, CC BY-SA 4.0

Undoubtedly, for many boys, the highlight of their Amsterdam stay. A guided tour of the Ajax Amsterdam venue. It is the largest stadium in the Netherlands and has a lockable roof. Everything is there: playing field, coach and substitute players bench, locker room, player tunnel and press room, and football museum.

✅ Tour times, directions, and admission prices are available on the stadium tour provider’s page. In Ajax Fan Shop, you get a 10% discount when buying a souvenir – Cruijff ArenA stadium tour.

This is Holland

Children like the free boat ride from the Amsterdam Centraal ferry terminal to the Buiksloterweg pier on the northern shore of the North Sea Canal, which connects the North Sea with the IJsselmeer. Then, after a few meters walk, right next to the Amsterdam Tower, visible from afar, a unique virtual flight experience awaits that will more than thrill children. This is Holland Tickets

A more detailed description of this flight simulator with the latest technology can also be found at the end of my article, Amsterdam Lookout. Please note that children under four years of age, persons under 102 cm tall, and pregnant women are not allowed to participate in the top event of ‘This is Holland’, the 5D Flight Experience.

Tickets for This is Holland

Mini Golf in the Dark

Playing mini golf is boring. But not minigolf in the dark – black light 3D minigolf is different from what you have seen before. The 3D glasses make the minigolf more complex and fun for the whole family. The facilities are near the Nemo Science Center and Maritime Museum, so you can easily combine visits here.

Aloha tickets are already available here, De Ruijterkade 153, 1011 AC Amsterdam. If you want to experience more at the same place with friends or family, you can find tickets for Laser Tag Amsterdam here. Another facility for mini golf in the dark is Glowgolf Amsterdam, Prins Hendrikkade 194. Entrance through the restaurant Noah’s Arq. Opposite the Maritime Museum.

Laser Tag is another great activity for smaller or larger groups. Here, there is often a minimum age or number of participants. Everything necessary is also on the official homepage – Laser Tag in Amsterdam.

Madame Tussauds Amsterdam

Madame Tussauds Amsterdam

Madame Tussauds Amsterdam is one of the main attractions of the canal city. The principle of a wax museum is well known to adults. Still, it is often the first opportunity for children and young people to experience Shrek, pirates, or a royal couple differently. Detailed information in the section Madame Tussauds.

Tickets for Madame Tussauds Amsterdam

Eating with kids in Amsterdam

Eating with kids in Amsterdam

When it comes to food, Holland is a paradise for children. French fries and pancakes are unhealthy daily, but the family is complete and satisfied for a few days. The pancakes taste slightly different than at home, and the fries with varied sausages are also particularly delicious.

If you’re out and about in the city, take a break for refreshments at The Pancake Bakery at Prinsengracht 191, a classic and quaint pancake restaurant. Like much else in Amsterdam, the cuisine is also multicultural. So there’s everything from healthy vegetables and fresh salads to pizza and spaghetti.

Superlatives for children – On the way with the De Pannenkoeken boat, eat as many pancakes as you want during a 75-minute trip.

Staying in Amsterdam with children

Staying in Amsterdam with children

Of course, a vacation apartment is always the most comfortable and effortless solution when traveling with children. Get up, have breakfast when and how you are used to, and spend the evening undisturbed with parents, siblings, or other companions. For this purpose, you can also find a corresponding offer in Amsterdam in the relevant Internet portals. Airbnb is allowed in Amsterdam, and the request is also large here.

However, you can stay in a hotel if you prefer a laid breakfast table in the morning and a made bed in the evening. Larger hotels with extensive breakfast buffets are more suitable than small romantic hotels. There is a cheap tip already above in the section Vondelpark. Another suggestion is the Hotel Arena from my list of the top 10 hotels in Amsterdam.

📍 Bilderberg Hotel Jan Luyken – Excellent location, child-friendly extras, extra bed available, babysitting and childcare on request, breakfast buffet and high chairs, small welcome gift for children. 4-star. Jan Luykenstraat 58, Oud-Zuid, 1071 CS Amsterdam.

Book the hotel Jan Luyken online

📍 Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Centre – Central, near the train station, tram in front of the door, or a 10-minute walk to the city. Family rooms. A highlight is the rooms with a view of the harbor or the train station. There is always something going on and something to see day and night for young and old. The Nemo Museum and the Maritime Museum are close. Piet Heinkade 11, Zeeburg, 1019 BR Amsterdam.

Book Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam online

📍 Houseboats – An adventure for children would be booking a typical houseboat. Due to the central location, it is not cheap but a unique experience… With children, pay attention to safety above all else. Here are a few suggestions: Amsterdam Houseboat Amstel or Prince Royal!


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