What are the best kids activities in Amsterdam?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Cecily Layzell

Mention that you are visiting Amsterdam with kids, and you’ll likely be met with raised eyebrows and some comment about coffee shops or red lights. But behind the clichés of adult pleasures is an extremely child-friendly city. Follow our recommendations for fun for all the family.

Canals. Amsterdam’s winding waterways and crooked houses hold just as much appeal for children as adults. Cruise the city’s canals in a glass-topped boat, or combine sightseeing with a meal on the Pancake Boat, which leaves from behind Central Station.

Museums. Many of Amsterdam’s museums have excellent kids programs (Rijksmuseum, Jewish Historical Museum, Tropenmuseum), but NEMO has to be the most fun. The target audience of this science and technology museum—housed in what looks like the hull of a giant ship and with a fantastic rooftop deck—is six through sixteen and almost everything is interactive, so touching is actively encouraged.

Parks. Let your kids blow off steam in one of Amsterdam’s parks. Vondelpark is popular with families, particularly Het Groot Melkhuis (The Big Milkhouse) café with its adjoining playground. Or head out to Amsterdamse Bos, an enormous wooded common that also boasts a goat farm where children can pet the animals.

Cooking. Located near Vondelpark, the Kinderkookkafe (Children’s Cooking Cafe) is a great rainy-day option. Kitted out with aprons and chef hats, under-12s whip up all sorts of tasty creations, from pizzas to pastries. The best part? Mom and dad don’t have to clean up afterwards.

Dining. Amsterdam’s restaurants are often small and by default intimate. For a little more elbow room, and in some cases paper and crayons to keep the little ones entertained between courses, try Amsterdam Café, NEL and Bazar.

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