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Home Travel Guide Current Travel Guide Current Travel Guide Netherlands family adventure in Amsterdam!

Netherlands family adventure in Amsterdam!

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Discover Amsterdam – Netherlands’ family favorite destination.
Explore Holland with the kids.

 

Amsterdam -  an ideal family adventure destination.

    Amsterdam is often overlooked when considering a family vacation destination. It is thought of as a city with more adult sights and entertainment. But after a holiday in Netherlands’ capital city of Amsterdam last summer with my friend Char and her children,  Lev and Reece,  I not onlyVondelpark - a family favorite! was amazed at the variety of child-friendly activities, but impressed with Amsterdam’s educational attractions, including museums, arts, events, zoos, and parks. There are many family friendly hotels and restaurants with what Lev called “the Cool Factor.” It’s not surprising because there are plenty of Dutch parents bringing their children up in Amsterdam.
    Share my adventure with Char, Lev and Reece and our family-fun discoveries while traveling in Amsterdam.
 

Getting Around in Amsterdam

Travel in true Dutch style is on a rented bike, or a ‘water taxi’ and both are kid-fun alternatives to a car when it comes to exploring one of Europe’s most iconic cityscapes. Cars are more difficult to maneuver around the town’s narrow streets than they might be in other European cities, making Amsterdam a much more relaxing cycle.

On the Museum Trail

Amsterdam is a city full of history, culture and art. I found that you must plan your museum visits around the children’s ages. Lev and Reece enjoyed many of the exhibits in the museums we visited, but after a while, they were easily distracted. I first was discouraged, but then delighted in discovering what the kids found entertaining and what exhibits kept their attention.

Kids love the Nemo Museum. Plan plenty of time for this attraction.NEMO Museum - The NEMO Science Museum offers interactive exhibitions such as a giant humanoid robot, Elektra, who explains electricity, along with a variety of loud, bright and wonderful gadgets and exhibits to attract and engage kids and adults. http://www.e-nemo.nl/en/?id=1
 
Amsterdam Dungeon - A guided tour around the dungeons offers some of the city’s more gruesome history, often a scare for young and old alike. This tour is advised for ages 10 and older. http://www.the-dungeons.nl/amsterdam/en/index.htm

Artis Zoo - Located in the city’s green Plantage district is the Artis Zoo, home to an amazing variety of wildlife. This zoo first opened its doors to visitors in the 1800s. In addition to the zoo is an aquarium and zoological museum – all are open year-round. http://www.artis.nl/en/artis-royal-zoo/
 
Jewish Historical Museum - This museum opened before the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands and has specific exhibits for kids, like Max the Matzo cracker, a favorite of young children. The museum offers a collection of historical objects and tours to the Anne Frank Huis, an extraordinary museum. http://www.annefrank.org/, http://www.jhm.nl/english

Hit the Beach

Not only are there some fantastic urban beaches just within Amsterdam’s city limits, but a 45 minute drive or a shorter train ride from the city centre is located the seaside town of Noordwijk aan Zee (or in English: “North District on Sea”)
Noordwijk Beach - the best beach in Holland!
Strand IJburg - Your beach experience needn’t take you out of the city, so why not jump on the city bus and travel a short distance to Strand IJburg Beach – ideal for building sandcastles and swimming.

Strand West - An easy distance from the city centre, Strand West has regular summer events and is home to a kid-friendly restaurant. Though this makes for another great beach to build sandcastles, it should be noted that this beach does not allow swimming for safety reasons.

Noordwijk Beach  - In the Netherlands’ famous bulb growing region,  near Keukenhof Gardens you’ll find Noordwijk the ‘best beach in Holland’- miles of sandy beach within 45 minutes of Amsterdam. Check out the European Space Agency’s visitors’ Space Expo, also located in Noordwijk.

Great Places to Eat

Amsterdam offers the traveling family with plenty of cafes and restaurants that cater to kids with a number of niche restaurants serving traditional, as well as what could be classed as ‘fashionable’ cuisines.
 Kids can't resist the Pancake Boat!
The Pancake Boat  - Not only do you get a 2-hour cruise around the harbor of the city with amazing views, you and the kids can eat your fill of pancakes with all the toppings. http://www.pannenkoekenboot.com/home.aspx

Kinderkookk Cafe - This restaurant is close to the beautiful Vondelpark and the city’s museum quarter, where you’ll find Rijkmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. KinderCookk Cafe is just the thing for your budding chef – watch your pizza prepared in a most entertaining performance. www.kindrkookkafge.nl

De Bakkerswinkel - This small bakery-café has popped up in three areas of the city. De Bakkerswinkel offers a relaxed setting - the kids can play and everyone can eat well at a reasonable price, with plenty of traditional Dutch baked goods and goodies on the menu. http://www.debakkerswinkel.com/

Where to Stay

Amsterdam offers plenty of stays and lodging for the family. You’ll find that restaurant and museum staff are more than happy to help families. If you are using a child stroller or pram you’ll find many museums and hotels lack lifts or elevators, and present a tight squeeze or small space, like at the Anne Frank Museum. Call ahead for information.

The most buHotel Amstel Botel - family boat adventure!dget-friendly - Hotel Amstel Botel is a family hotel with a definite novelty factor. It’s a hotel on a boat! It is a drive out of town, but next to the Pancake Boat. This 3-star hotel can be a bit on the gezelli (quaint side), but it makes for a great base if you’re touring about town. http://www.amstelbotel.nl/

 



Moevenpick Amsterdam - close to the historic city.The most child-friendly - Moevenpick Amsterdam has its own jetty for water taxis and canal boats and is within walking distance of the historic city. This beautiful modern hotel is great for kids of all ages with children under 12 staying free of charge. http://www.moevenpick-hotels.com

 

 

 

Hotel Arena offers family apartment stays.Best of the BestHotel Arena Amsterdam is more affordable than the other centrally located hotels. It has its own restaurant and bar and is located across the street from the Artis Zoo. Consider spending a little extra to stay in one of the hotel’s apartment-like rooms, which offer a homey feel with plenty of space for the family.
http://www.hotelarena.nl/


Amsterdam Tourism: http://www.iamsterdam.com
Holland Tourism: http://www.holland.com/us/tourism.htm

~Adam Spawton-Rice is an honorary uncle, and a fussy foodie and avid  traveler always in search of  great  food and travel experiences.

 

Where are Tricia and Marla?


Tricia and Marla climbed these steps to this magnificent temple. Where are Tricia and Marla?
Click here to find out. 

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