Amsterdam is a world-renowned destination for adults, but in reality, it’s also loaded with fun for kids big and small. Where else can you visit a working windmill, take a boat cruise down a canal and have the daylights scared out of you in a dungeon all in one day? Combine those fun things with excellent museums, historical treasures and oodles of outdoor fun in sprawling parks, biking, and boating and you have the trappings for the best family vacation ever! There are hundreds of fun family experiences to enjoy in Amsterdam, I thought I would highlight some of the best.
Explore by Bike or Boat
Parking is almost impossible and bike lanes are a plenty. Cycling is definitely one of the best ways to get from A to B in Amsterdam. Get a bike with a rear fitted child seat or have kids ride in front on a bakfiet, a cargo style tricycle great for families with lots of gear. Plan your itinerary to include the famous flower market, the centuries-old canals, and houseboats. Another great way to see Amsterdam is from the water. Book a boat cruise around the city! Most tour boats cruise from the center and last less than an hour.
Check Out the Museums That Cater to Minis
No trip to Amsterdam would be complete without a visit to one of its famous museums. Check out the Nemo Science museum or Ontdekhoek (Discovery Corner). Both allow kids to do hands-on science experiments. More favorites for local kids and visitors alike are the Van Gogh Museum, The Amsterdam Dungeon, and the National Maritime Museum. All cater to kids big and small, offering unforgettable family fun.
Let Loose at the Park
Amstelpark is a wonderland for kids and grown-ups on the outskirts of Amsterdam. It has beautiful gardens, a massive playground, a petting zoo, and a little train that loops around the park. Vondelpark is a sprawling green oasis among the canals and historic buildings in the heart of the city. It’s a paradise for kids with its outdoor theater productions, six playgrounds including a dizzying array of slides, swings, rides, and a wading pool for splashing around when it’s warm.
Get Friendly with the Animals
Amsterdam has petting zoos spread throughout the city. Many of the mini farm-yards let kids feed and pet furry creatures. The Artis Royal Zoo is another place to visit animals. Located in the center, kids are able to get closer to the animals than in larger zoos.
Hit the Library
Perfect for rainy days, Openbare Bibliotheek is the largest library in Europe! It’s a seven-story state of the art building on the waterfront that has an entire floor dedicated just to kids! It is a great place to spend a day filled with hundreds of books and cozy overstuffed furniture to enjoy story time. Bigger kids will enjoy movies, music and free internet on one of the 600 computers available to visitors.
There is also no shortage of kid-friendly hotels in Amsterdam with options to fit every budget. Consider a Holland Pass to save on activities you want to enjoy. It offers discounts at popular museums and attractions in Amsterdam.