Amsterdam for families: Things to do with children

With its manageable size, intriguing attractions and child-friendly cuisine, Amsterdam is a great place to take children of all ages. Think canal trips, parks, imaginative displays at the museums and pancake restaurants galore. Meanwhile, families with older kids might like to explore the city by bike. Children are very welcome in restaurants and most attractions – maybe give the Red Light District a miss, though, if you don’t fancy explaining it to youngsters!


Amsterdam is very child-friendly and it’s easy to find supplies in the supermarkets (including baby food, formula and nappies if need be), as well as locate cafés and restaurants set up for kids of all ages.

Dutch food is pretty child-friendly too – think pancakes, stroopwafels, sandwiches and more. The main thing to be aware of if you’re still reliant on a buggy is some narrow, cobbled streets.

Hint: A lightweight stroller that can be carried, plus a sling, will get you round the trickiest parts of town – till you can get back on the tarmac.


The hands-on science and technology exhibits and virtual reality games at NEMO will keep all ages (including big kids at heart!) entertained. The Scheepvaartmuseum (Maritime Museum) has special exhibits for children, as well as the huge Dutch East India Company ship to explore. The enduringly popular Madame Tussauds waxworks museum presents all the latest stars of music and film.

At the Artis complex you can explore the Planetarium. Take an adventure through space and learn all about Planet Earth. 

Hint: Tropenmuseum introduces children to new cultures in a playful way.

Explore Amsterdam

This picturesque, hip city has something for everyone, from beautiful canals and architecture to fascinating museums and galleries. Enjoy coffee and culture with a city break in Amsterdam.

City tours

Children usually love tram rides, and be sure to take them on a canal cruise – seeing a city from a different perspective is great fun. Some tour operators provide special themed boat tours or a dedicated commentary for kids.

Hint: Try the Amsterdam Circle Line for a relaxed cruise and some hop-on, hop-off services.


You may fear that taking to the streets of Amsterdam or getting out into the countryside on two wheels is not an option if you have small legs to think about. However bikes are the ultimate family-friendly, eco-friendly transport mode and this is a city made for cycling. A spin in a bakfiet is a hugely fun way to get around. With room for two small kids, these “box bikes” mean you can pedal away with an eye on your little ones, while they have all the fun of whizzing down the street without the inevitable weariness.

Hint: To hire a bakfiet, try Bim Bim Bikes.

Out and about

Amsterdam is full of fabulous parks where children can burn some energy. As well as space to run around, plenty are well-equipped with playgrounds and cafes, even water to paddle in or hire a pedalo. Throughout the summer there are activities in major parks and squares: street theatre, face-painting and hands-on art shows will ignite the kids’ enthusiasm.

Hint: The Vondelpark is conveniently close to the centre, while the vast array of space and things to do in the Amsterdam Bos make this a must for families.

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