Amsterdam with Kids

Posted on Jan 20, 2016 in Amsterdam
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Amsterdam

When you think of children in Amsterdam you think of skating, skiing, snowball fights, and tobogganing. Your vision is almost correct, for children can do those things plus about one hundred more activities. Yes, Amsterdam is the home of the Van Gogh museum and the Anne Frank house, but you might want to save those adventures for when the kids are older. The city loves children and has many age appropriate and fun activities waiting for you!

5 Reasons Why to Take the Kids with You to Amsterdam

  1. Education, history, and culture become fun for the kids in Amsterdam
  2. The people in Amsterdam love and cherish children
  3. The city is easy to navigate with children and the walks along the canals are scenic
  4. It is not an expensive city with many free and discounted attractions
  5. It is a locale that you can return to year after year, because there are so many adventures for children of all ages

Things You Need to Know When Getting Ready to Travel to Amsterdam

  • December-March is the rainy season.
  • The city is easy to navigate, but the many canals require a watchful eye on the younger children.
  • Except for the Red Light District, children are welcomed in all areas and establishments.
  • Bring sweaters and comfortable walking shoes.
  • If you visit in the rainy season, forget the umbrella (some of the walk areas are too narrow) and bring rain jackets and rain boots (if you forget the children’s rain attire, Meys & Co. and Koter & Co. in Amsterdam on Scheldestraat can provide you with your needs)

 

Our 7 Top Recommendations:

Windmills at Zaanse Schans

Green windmill at the Dutch Zaanse Schans near the river

Green windmill at the Dutch Zaanse Schans near the river

Just outside Amsterdam, easy to reach by any means of transportation, take your children to a trip back in the past, in a traditional Dutch atmosphere of 18th-19th centuries. The project started in 1961 and various wooden building from throughout the region (windmills, barns, houses, and crafts-shops) were gathered here. But do not imagine that you will be visiting another museum, this is not the case. The place is as life full as it was centuries ago: the mills are still in use, you can see people practicing specific crafts (carved wooden shoes, cheese production, cocoa processing, etc.).

Kids will be absolutely amazed and so will you, probably. Be prepared to spend here at least half a day, but if your schedule allows, you can even spend a night here.

Important to know when you are taking the kids:

  • Access in the area, most attractions and workshops is free of charge, but there are some places with entrance fee;
  • Zaanse Schans can be visited the entire year, but you should better check the schedule on the website in advance for the opening hours and days of each place you want to see;
  • You are welcome to explore the entire area by yourselves, but there are also organized tours;
  • The dedicated app could be a nice wizard for your trip to Zaanse Schans!

http://www.dezaanseschans.nl/en/

 

Science Center NEMO

Science Center NEMO

Guided by a simple philosophy, “Discover the world for yourself”, NEMO offers children of all ages an expedition to science and technology areas, through interactive exhibits, movies, workshops and demonstrations. Hosted in a modern, ship-shaped building in the harbor district of Amsterdam, the Science Center invites kids to exhibitions such as: Water World, Search for Life, Amazing Constructions, Water Power, Journey through the Mind, Laboratory, etc. As numerous museums all around the world, NEMO Science Center gives a great deal of importance to the direct interaction of children with the surrounding nature, stimulating their imagination, encouraging them to make experiments and understand science and technology beyond their plain definitions.

Things you need to know when taking the kids:

  • Very well structured website, where you can find useful information about the prices, admission schedule, how to get there, etc.;
  • Make sure you plan a stop here. And do not worry: the location is fully equipped with everything you might need for your kids, no matter their age;
  • Workshops are conducted by professionals in the area, with maximum safety for your kids;
  • Go on top, on NEMO’s roof, for an amazing view of Amsterdam’s historic center, • Pets are not allowed in the museum.

http://www.e-nemo.nl

 

Madame Tussauds

Amsterdam_Madame_Tussaud

Opposite to the Royal Palace in Amsterdam, you can stop for a visit at Madame Tussauds. Dedicated mainly to children and teenagers, Madame Tussauds Museum in Amsterdam opens its gates not only with old-fashioned wax characters, but a lot of modern technical effects and displays. The wax exhibits are structured into four main categories – Sports, A-List, Culture & Arts and Royals. Visitors can see Michael Jackson, David Beckham, Princess Diana, Barack Obama or Lady Gaga, along with a lot of local celebrities, including members of the royal family or important political or business characters. And to see the starts they love so close to them will be a great joy for your children, no matter how young or old they are.

Things you need to know when taking the kids:

  • You can book the tickets online; not only it will save you some money and the usually long lines outside the museum, but their policy is very flexible – tickets are available for two months from the acquisition date;
  • An official app Madame Tussauds is available, including full gallery of characters in the museum’s locations throughout the world, games and quizzes;
  • You and the kids will be surprised by the high craftsmanship and attention to details;
  • Don’t forget your camera; children will love to show their friends pictures with all the celebrities they have “met” there.

http://www.madametussauds.com/amsterdam

 

Electric Tram Museum

Your children probably imagine that public transportation has always been as modern as today. This is just one of the reasons why you should visit the Electric Tram Museum in Amsterdam with them. This museum takes your entire family back into the past, showing you some of the first models and taking you to an approximately 7 kilometers long journey, crossing parks and restaurants areas. Exhibits are gathered from various European cities and they were built between 1910 and 1960, but maintained in very good condition or restored by volunteers. In fact, all personnel operating in the museum works on a volunteer basis.

Things you need to know when taking the kids:

  • Kids will live a full experience, as the museums recreates a full vintage atmosphere, with conductors dressed up in historic uniforms and the smell of the varnished teakwood;
  • Enter the depot to show the children how historical trams are maintained and restored;
  • In the spring, tram trips start on Easter, when a rabbit with chocolate presents rides along with the visitors – a real joy for the little travelers.

http://www.museumtramlijn.org

 

Botanical Garden

Botanical Garden aMSTERDAM_0

Created in the middle of the 17th century as a medical plants garden for doctors and pharmacists, the Botanical Garden in Amsterdam (Hortus Botanicus) is one of the oldest in the world. It holds over 6,000 species, some of them very rare or unique, such as an agave cactus over 2,000 years old or a 154-year-old huge water lily. You can also visit the collection of carnivorous plants and find out information about their interesting capture mechanisms. Kids will most surely love it. The place gives you some relaxing moments away from the city’s crowded streets and invites your children to discover plants from different climates. The coffee shop in the Orangery is the perfect location for you and the kids to finish this insight into nature.

Things you need to know when taking the kids:

  • There is a webpage dedicated to kids, http://www.dehortuskids.nl/, in English and Dutch, including an interactive map with the location of fifteen plants keeping world records – the tallest tree, the plant with the smallest seed, etc.;
  • Guides and information are available at the entrance;
  • Take the “tree route” – consisting of 24 protected trees, some of them more than 200 years old;
  • Special events and workshops for kids are available throughout the year;
  • Explain the children the rules they have to follow.

http://www.dehortus.nl

 

Amsterdam Dungeon

dungeon

This attraction is perfect for preteens and teens. This age group is often neglected when it comes to entertainment, so it refreshing that Amsterdam’s Dungeon caters to this group. It consists of eleven different and entertaining shows such as witches, pirates, and magic music. The Amsterdam Dungeon is located at Rokin 78, 1012 KW Amsterdam.

Important to Know When You Are Taking the Kids:

  • A group of ten people or more gets a 25% discount.
  • Unless your children are very mature, it is not suitable for children over ten
  • Pre-purchasing tickets online (http://www.thedungeons.com) will give you a discount.
  • There are restaurants onsite and in this area of Amsterdam that cater to children. This part of Amsterdam is super family friendly with stroller areas, stroller rentals, featured children’s restaurants with child friendly menus, and shops for the young ones.

http://www.thedungeons.com/amsterdam/en/

 

National Maritime Museum

Amsterdam National Maritime Museum_0

Waterways and ships play an important part in the rich history of Amsterdam. Located near the Old Harbor is the National Maritime Museum. There are several inside and outside options at the harbor museum. The most fun outside is the exploration of the replica Dutch East India Company ship called “The Amsterdam.” Your kids will love the fun and exploration on the water and inside of the museum. Do not skip this adventure!

Important to Know When You Are Taking the Kids:

  • There is a maritime library open from 9am-5pm, which sometimes has arts and crafts and scavenger hunts for the kids.
  • The upper decks on “The Amsterdam” are only suitable for children over thirteen (they are not child proof).
  • For your pirate costumes and replica Amsterdam sea related artifacts there is a neat gift shop.
  • There is a most child friendly restaurant on the premises.
  • After your visit walk along the docks and view the modern ships of Amsterdam.
  • Consider bringing a picnic and sitting to watch the sights on the water while you dine.
  • Adults (0ver 17) cost $20.00.
  • Children aged five to 17 cost $10.50.
  • Children under age five are free.

http://www.amsterdam.info/museums/netherlands_maritime_museum/

 

Artis Royal Zoo

a lion in artis,amsterdam

A lion in Artis, Amsterdam

Located in the center of Amsterdam, this 175-year-old facility can provide a full day of family entertainment. After you finish touring the planetarium, zoo, butterfly house, and small children’s petting zoo…there is a lovely café located near the African exhibit. The zoo also allows you to bring a picnic and enjoy it while seated on one of their many green spaces.

Important to Know When You Are Taking the Kids:

  • Wear comfortable walking shoes
  • Set aside five or six hours for the attraction
  • Have the children wear comfortable clothes?
  • Children under the age of three are free
  • Children aged three to nine cost $ 22.50
  • Children aged ten and older cost $ 27.50
  • The zoo is open from 8 am to 6 pm

http://www.artis.nl/en/artis-royal-zoo/

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