You may get a few funny looks when telling friends and family members you’re going to take the kids over to Amsterdam for an extended weekend.
“But what if they pick up the wrong cake or look in the wrong window?” you’ll probably be asked as your toddler’s grandparents look on in disbelief.
There’s no hiding Amsterdam does have a reputation, but what people forget is that it’s one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and one with a whole host of family friendly places and activities. From outdoor activities to rainy days exploring amazing constructions we take a look at how to give your child a memorable time in Amsterdam…for all the right reasons!
You have to be careful telling your child they’re spending the day seeing NEMO, because one thing is for sure the science centre is nothing like the adorable clownfish from the Pixar movie. However, it is just as enjoyable for the youngsters.
With exciting laboratories, a water world which helps kids understand the importance of dams, and room after room showing the fun side of science, children can be kept entertained for hours upon end. You can even climb the roof, look over the Dutch capital and decide exactly where to explore next.
The Cheese Museum
If there’s one thing that keeps a child quiet, it’s filling their stomach with delicious food, and there’s only one place to do that, at the Cheese Museum.
The Netherlands are well known for their cheese and the children will certainly have edam good time at the museum just a stone’s throw from Anne Frank’s house. There’s plenty to do around that side of town and the small museum has a number of activities including dressing up as a traditional Dutch cheese farmer alongside plenty of tasting.
Next door is the Tulip Museum, another of the country’s finest exports also worth exploring before heading across the water to one of the most poignant attractions in Amsterdam.
Anne Frank’s Huis
The Anne Frank Museum is one of the most important spots in Amsterdam, telling the tale of the young girl who became internationally known following her traumatic and harrowing experiences during WWII.
Her diary is taught throughout the world, and taking your children to her home will enhance their understanding further. However, queues can be incredibly long – and if there’s one thing we know children don’t like, it’s queueing – so it’s important you get there early. Tickets can be bought online to skip the line, but one thing is for sure, either way it’s well worth a visit.
Cycle in Westerpark
It’s likely you’ll be blown away by the amount of bicycles in Amsterdam, never mind the children, so taking them out on one will probably be something they’ll find exciting. Vondelpark has tons to offer children but can often be overcrowded, particularly during the summer.
Westerpark to the north of the city is much quieter and sits in quite beautiful surroundings. Partly an old gas factory, the park has been transformed into one of the city’s most exciting new areas with art houses, boutique cafes, and even a pool to splash around in making it ideal for both parents and kiddywinks alike.
Artis Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in Europe and puts smiles on hundreds of young faces every single day. Located in the heart of the city, only a short walk from NEMO, the zoo has around 750 species of animals from chimpanzees, to giraffes, to elephants, all in enclosures mimicking their natural habitat.
The zoo also includes an aquarium and planetarium meaning you can comfortably spend an entire day at the location. The new Micropia museum on the site explores living creatures even more with invisible life.
Madame Tussauds is internationally renowned with infamous sculptures of famous figures all over the world. Opening in Amsterdam in 1970, it was the first outside of the UK and has been in the heart of Dam Square since 1991 where it has become a major tourist attraction in the city.
Giving kids the chance to get up close and personal with the likes of Lady Gaga, Beyonce, and Elvis Presley, the life like figures are a real joy and it’s no wonder queues often snake around the corner. However, with Dam Square being one of the most popular in Amsterdam there’s plenty to keep you occupied whilst you wait including fantastic street entertainers who make Dam Square worth visiting for them alone.