Top 10 things to do in Amsterdam with kids

Amsterdam is a fantastic city to visit with children – it’s a great place for a wander, there’s some delicious sweet foods to pickup as you go and there are some super attractions to visit as a family. Here are our top ten things to do in Amsterdam with kids (with rainy day options too):

Things to do in Amsterdam with kids: Visit NEMO the science museum

This is so much fun for children, we spent a whole rainy afternoon in Amsterdam here and didn’t even see a quarter of it! There are so many areas to it and fun to be had for toddlers right up to teenagers and with a cafe, roof garden and a brilliant end of the day show this is one not to miss. You can read more about our time at Nemo Science Centre here.

Rainy day option

NEMO - Amsterdam - copyright:

NEMO, Amsterdam

Things to do in Amsterdam with kids: Take a trip to Vondelpark

Vondelpark is the large green space in the centre of Amsterdam. There’s a fantastic playground in the middle, cafes for grown-up coffee pick-me-ups and duck ponds galore. It’s a perfect place to run free and burn off some energy.

Things to do in Amsterdam with kids: Eat pancakes

You can’t visit Holland and not eat pancakes! I am not ashamed to say we ate a number of different pancakes on our trip around the Netherlands, all in the name of research of course! But the hands down best were at the Pancake Bakery in central Amsterdam. Their pancakes are huge and packed full of numerous combinations of flavours both sweet and savoury. Best of all the children’s pancakes come with surprise gifts.

Rainy day option

The Pancake Bakery - Amsterdam - copyright:

The Pancake Bakery, Amsterdam

Things to do in Amsterdam with kids: Hire bikes

By bike is the best way to visit this alluring city. Amsterdam is made for bicycles and the cycle paths are everywhere. If your kids are old enough it is a wonderful way to spend a day – cycling around and taking in the sights.

Things to do in Amsterdam with kids: Get exploring at Het Scheepvaartmuseum

Het Scheepvaartmuseum is Amsterdam’s Maritime Museum. This museum is huge and has a full sized replica of a 17th Century ship, The Amsterdam where you can learn how to fire a cannon, haul the cargo and steer the ship. Inside the museum are some fantastic interactive displays – our favourite was all about whales and why we need to protect this beautiful creature.

Rainy day option

Maritime Museum, Het Scheepvaartmuseum, Amsterdam - Copyright:

Looking inside a whale! At Het Scheepvaartmuseum – Amsterdam’s Maritime Museum

Things to do in Amsterdam with kids: Eat frites

Eating these large, chunky chips is a Dutch past-time and we loved getting a big cone and choosing the sauce to go on them. Go traditional with mayonnaise or opt for something different like curry or even peanut. They’re a great way to take some time out and rest during a day of sightseeing with a hot snack.

Rainy day option

Things to do in Amsterdam with kids: Visit the animals at the Artis Royal Zoo

We absolutely loved this Amsterdam zoo which really takes pride in creating a natural as possible environment for the animals and is involved in some fantastic conservation work. The zoo is incredibly large and you can easily spend a day here. With lots of indoor attractions like a huge butterfly atrium and an aquarium there are plenty of places to escape any showers too.

Royal Artis Zoo, Amsterdam - Copyright:

Royal Artis Zoo, Amsterdam

Things to do in Amsterdam with kids: Take a boat trip through the canals

This is the perfect way to see this city that is surrounded by and defined by water and it’s also a great way to rest weary legs! One of the best has to be the pancake cruises where you can see the sights whilst eating pancakes – what’s not to love?!

Things to do in Amsterdam with kids: Visit Anne Frank’s House

This is not one for very young children but I took my six and eight year olds in having spoken to them about the history in a sensitive way. The house where Anne hid from the Nazis and wrote so much of her inspiring diary is somewhere that brings this area of history alive and helps children understand how very real it was. Depending on the age and / or sensitivity of your children you can skip the more graphic displays at the end and spend more time in the Secret Annexe. This is history that should not be forgotten.

Rainy day option

Anne Frank House, Amsterdam - Copyright:

Anne Frank House, Amsterdam

Things to do in Amsterdam with kids: Take in the art at the Van Gogh Museum

This is one of our favourite art galleries and it is really child friendly. With special trails for 6 year olds and up, treasure hunts and art sessions this is a museum to really inspire children and definitely not a hushed space where they aren’t welcome.

Rainy day option

Have you visited Amsterdam with your children? Where are your favourite places to visit in the city?

32 Responses to "Top 10 things to do in Amsterdam with kids"

  1. The Diary Of A Jewellery Lover  April 22, 2015 at 8:37 am

    I can recommend a trip on the canals. It’s a relaxing way to see the city. I adore Amsterdam.

  2. Michelle  April 22, 2015 at 11:06 am

    I’ve never been to Amsterdam, but would to go!

  3. TwinsplusTwo  April 22, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Some great suggestions, the canals would be a hit with my children too. I’ve not been to Amsterdam!

  4. Mammasaurus  April 22, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    I love the Van Gogh Museum (though I did have a gun pointed at me when I tried to take a sneaky photo!) I’ve not done Amsterdam with the kids but I’m sure they would love it – something for later on in the year!

  5. North East Family Fun  April 22, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    We loved Artis zoo too – especially the lemurs and pelicans. Very child friendly and all on flat ground so no tired legs!

  6. angela hamilton  April 22, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    I need to visit Amsterdam I have heard so many good things about it and after reading this I know my kids would like it too

  7. Helen Neale  April 22, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    Amsterdam looks a great place to visit!

  8. mymodelmummy  April 22, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    I adore Amsterdam and would love to take my little girl. I did not realise there was so much to do there. Pancakes that come with surprise gifts sold it for me! And i never knew Amsterdam had a zoo. Would love to take my Hubby to the Anne Frank museum. I studied her history at school and found it very interesting.

  9. TheMadHouse  April 22, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    I adore Amsterdam, but have never been with the boys, this is somewhere I need to visit with the,

  10. Life as we know it  April 22, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    I had no idea that Amsterdam had so much to offer. The pancakes sound gorgeous!

  11. Rachel  April 22, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    The queue for Anne Franks House was massive the last time I was in Amsterdam and the rain was also horrendous so I never did get to go in.

  12. TSNCblog  April 23, 2015 at 9:07 am

    So many great things to do! I’d love to go someday xx

  13. BeautyAndThePrince (@Lisasbeauties)  April 23, 2015 at 10:22 am

    with all the rumours of amsterdam i would never have thought it was suitable for children

  14. kiddieholidays  April 23, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Can you believe we went to Holland but didn’t go to Amsterdam?! We spent most of our time in the south and in the coast. Oh well, we will have to go again. Looks like there is loads of fun things to do in Amsterdam with kids!

  15. Lucy Dorrington  April 23, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    I would love to take my son here. It is so underrated as a family destination, but there is so much culture and fun stuff for children!

  16. clairetiptop  April 24, 2015 at 9:49 am

    OOOh what fun I would love to go back to Amsterdam

  17. Jaime Oliver  April 26, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    This is fab, last time i went i didn’t have kids with me 🙂

  18. Emma  April 27, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    what a great place to visit.

  19. Laura  April 27, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    This is great! We went pre kids and would love to go back!

  20. Ickle Pickle (@IcklePicklex)  April 28, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    My biggest sis really wants to visit – Anne Franks house is top of her list x

  21. Clare Nicholas  April 29, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    Great tips, we’ve been lots pre kids to visit friends who work/live there but hadn’t considered it that much fun for kids

  22. Emma - The Mini Mes and Me  May 2, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    This is a city I really want to visit. I think it sounds fascinating x

  23. Agata @ BarkTime (@AgataPokutycka)  May 4, 2015 at 11:50 am

    I’ve never been to Amsterdam with kids; not sure why but I always think about this city as an adult place

  24. travellousworld  May 8, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    I remember helping a journalist composing an article like this during my internship. I think you made the right choices! I hope you and your kids enjoyed A’dam?

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  26. arvi  September 30, 2015 at 10:48 am

    Great Blog Post..I am always worried about family trip. It will inspire me to travel with family…..

    • globalmouse  September 30, 2015 at 1:36 pm

      Oh thank you for your message. The first step with travelling with children is the hardest, after that it gets easier and easier! Thank you for your message….and good luck for your first family trip! 🙂

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  28. gessell  May 2, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    Vondelpark is a great place with kids. And if you’re hungry (or just want to sit and soak up the sun) there is a great outdoor cafe/restaurant in the park called The Groot Melkhuis where there is a fantastic kids play area.

    • globalmouse  May 10, 2016 at 9:58 pm

      Thank you for the tips – Vondelpark is great is great isn’t it? Love Amsterdam so much!

  29. Hip2trek (@hip2trek_emma)  December 16, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    Great list of things to do and now I’m even more excited to take my kids just a few days after Christmas. I love idea of the canal trip with pancakes, that won’t need much selling to my family!

    • globalmouse  December 24, 2016 at 10:17 am

      Have a wonderful trip, it really is such a great place to visit with kids 🙂


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