Amsterdam is well known for its picturesque canals, numerous bicycles, Dutch pancakes, and, of course, its provocative activities. However, traveling families need not avoid this beautiful city because it’s one of the most kid-friendly places in Europe.
As you wander this gorgeous city, you’ll see several playgrounds, parks, and families gathering together. There are also plenty of amazing things to do with kids in Amsterdam, leaving no shortage of family-friendly activities.
If you’re looking to travel to Amsterdam with kids, you’ll be happy to know it’s a very safe city. The streets are clean and well-organized, making them safe for drivers, bikers, and pedestrians. The transportation is also extremely efficient and easy to navigate.
So, if you desire an epic European adventure, don’t leave the kids at home with the grandparents. Book your next trip to Amsterdam and check out this list of amazing things to do with kids in Amsterdam.
10 things to do with kids in Amsterdam
1. ARTIS Royal Zoo
Artis Zoo is one of the top attractions in Amsterdam for kids. The zoo houses several species, from monkeys to butterflies to lions to penguins. The animal lover in your family can happily spend a whole day at Artis Zoo.
These tickets grant you entry into the Zoo and all its amazing exhibits, including the popular butterfly garden. The Zoo is very child-friendly and provides trolleys for families with small children.
In the summertime, the park stays open until sundown, featuring live music, fairy lights, and the sounds of nocturnal animals. Artis Zoo is one of the top things to do with kids in Amsterdam.
2. NEMO Science Museum
Amsterdam is abundant with kid-friendly museums, but the NEMO Science Museum will be a blast for kiddos, teens, and parents. The museum covers engineering, crazy weather events, deep space, and other scientific areas to promote learning.
Whether you’re interested in learning how sundials work or creating your own chemical reaction, NEMO Science Museum is a must-stop if you’re traveling to Amsterdam with kids.
3. WONDR Experience
Become a child again in the weird, colorful world of WONDR Experience. This Amsterdam immersive pop-up exhibition is a perfect activity for your family vacation in Amsterdam. This funhouse-like pop-up encourages visitors to sing, touch, and dance in its cotton candy-colored world. There’s karaoke, a giant ball pit, claw machines, and other thrilling activities for an epic afternoon with the family in Amsterdam.
4. Anne Frank Tour
This Anne Frank Tour is led by an expert guide that takes you through the Jewish neighborhood in Amsterdam. You and your family will discover secret WWII hiding places, see traces of the war on buildings, and learn more about the life of Anne Frank and her family. If you want to add a history lesson to your family vacation in Amsterdam, this is the tour to book.
It’s important to know that this tour is of the Jewish neighborhood and does not include entry to the Anne Frank House. If you’d like to visit the Anne Frank House, you can secure tickets online six weeks ahead or arrive early on the day of your visit.
5. Pancake Boat Cruise
One of the sweetest things to do with kids in Amsterdam is the Pancake Boat Cruise. This 75-minute tour of the city’s canals is the perfect family-friendly activity.
The boat ride serves famous Dutch pancakes with every sweet or savory topping you can imagine. The Dutch pannenkoeken is one-of-a-kind, and you cannot leave Amsterdam without trying a bite. If you’re looking for something to do in Amsterdam for kids, then grab tickets to the Pancake Boat Cruise.
6. 80s Roller Skating Rink
Looking for something fun to do in Amsterdam with kids? You can’t go wrong with this 80s Roller Skating Rink. Parents can groove to their favorite songs from the 80s and join their kids on the roller rink. Get all dressed up in neon-colored clothes and be transported back in time by spending a few hours at this amazing family-friendly activity.
7. Blue Boat Canal Cruise from Hard Rock Café
You can’t visit Amsterdam without booking a famous canal cruise. The Blue Boat Canal Cruise leaves from the popular Hard Rock Café, where you’ll see historic buildings, learn more about Dutch architecture, and take in Amsterdam’s beautiful sights. Plus, this cruise includes a “Kids Cruise” audio story and booklet for children. There’s also free Dutch snacks too! Be sure to add one of the most iconic things to do with kids in Amsterdam to your family vacation itinerary.
8. Upside Down
If you’re looking for a zany breath of fresh air during your family vacation in Amsterdam, then take a trip to the Upside Down. This exhibition features 25 rooms of interactive features that all play tricks on your mind so you don’t know what’s real or fake. One of the top things to do in Amsterdam for kids, everyone in the family will find something to enjoy at the Upside Down.
9. Van Gogh Museum
If you’re eager to bring the kids to a museum, then the Van Gogh Museum is the one to choose. Peruse the world’s largest collection of paintings, drawings, and letters from one of the world’s greatest artists, Vincent Van Gogh.
This entry ticket is for a specific time slot, so your family won’t have to wait in long lines to see his many masterpieces, including Sunflowers. Plus, the museum is kid-friendly, and the little ones even have the opportunity to draw their own masterpieces.
10. Bike Rental
Amsterdam is a paradise for those who love to get around on two wheels. The city has prioritized bicycle transportation, so riding bikes throughout Amsterdam is perfectly safe. Just be sure to follow the traffic signals!
💡Tip for your family vacation in Amsterdam: I Amsterdam City Card
One of the best things you can do for your family vacation in Amsterdam is to secure an I Amsterdam City Card. This card gives you access to the city’s public transportation, a canal cruise, discounts on bike rentals, restaurants, and entry to over 60 museums and attractions. This card will save you tons of money on all the top things to do with kids in Amsterdam.
Best parks in Amsterdam for kids
As you walk around the city, you’ll notice plenty of playgrounds, parks, and green spaces that are perfectly family-friendly. Amsterdam is well-known for its beautiful outdoor spaces, so here are a few parks that everyone in the whole family will enjoy.
Westerpark is west of the center and includes a spacious park and a market area with restaurants and independent shops. Westerpark regularly hosts carnivals, markets, and food vendors that frequent the park. It’s the perfect place to go for a long bike ride or set up a picnic blanket and lounge with the family for a couple of hours.
This entirely man-made park is three times the size of New York City’s Central Park. In English, its name translates to Amsterdam Forest, which is fitting for this naturally diverse park. Not only are there several recreational areas, but there are also lakes, petting zoos, a tree-top adventure course, and boat rentals!
If you’re traveling to Amsterdam in the summer, there’s also splash pools for the little ones to enjoy. If you’re tired of the city and the crowds, spend a pleasant afternoon in Amsterdamse Bos with the family.
Vondelpark is arguably the city’s most well-known park. Vondelpark is located in the Museumsquartier and is one of the best areas for biking or taking a stroll.
Grab a blanket and sit beside the many ponds, or grab lunch at one of the delicious outdoor cafes. You may even catch a free concert at the large open-air theatre. If you’re planning a family vacation in Amsterdam, then be sure to visit Vondelpark.
Best places to stay in Amsterdam with kids
If you’re looking for kid-friendly neighborhoods in Amsterdam, then there are a few different options.
If you want to stay close to the center of Amsterdam but far away from the tourists, then consider staying in Grachtengordel. Grachtengordel is Amsterdam’s canal ring and is near many of Amsterdam’s top landmarks but with more peace and quiet. You’ll be able to see the best of Amsterdam’s charming beauty and wander the picturesque canals without the late-night noise.
If you prefer to be a little bit more out of the city’s center while remaining near one of the best parks in Amsterdam, consider staying in Plantage. This beautiful residential area of Amsterdam is home to the ARTIS Royal Zoo. There are also plenty of delicious local cafes and restaurants in the area while still being only a short tram ride from the center. Plus, the NEMO Science Museum is within a ten-minute walk of the neighborhood.
Finally, Museumplein is one of the other best areas to stay in Amsterdam with kids. It’s home to the city’s most famous museums, like the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. Museumplein is a lovely area south of the canal ring with upscale shopping and dining options. The neighborhood is also close to Vondelpark.