Top 10 things to do in Amsterdam with kids

Amsterdam - Copyright:

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?

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