Planning an Amsterdam family vacation and thinking about what to do with your kids? Keep scrolling for my list of the best things to do in Amsterdam with kids worth adding to your Netherlands itinerary!
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Want to book a family vacation to the capital city of the Netherlands but not sure if there are things to do in Amsterdam with kids?
It’s a fair question! Amsterdam is popular with Bachelor and Bachelorette parties for several reasons. Its Red Light District and “coffee shops” might also make you wonder if you should be visiting Amsterdam with kids at all.
Luckily, Amsterdam is a city of many personalities. It’s not only a safe and welcoming city for families and children of all ages but it’s easy to figure out what to do in Amsterdam with kids too.
Between the picturesque canals, fun museums, markets, and parks, there are plenty of things to do in Amsterdam for kids in all seasons.
We recently visited Amsterdam with our 6-year-old and 9-year-old boys and we had a blast!
This guide covers all the best family-friendly things to do in Amsterdam with kids so that you enjoy a memorable family vacation!
Don’t have time to read a bunch of Amsterdam blog posts and reviews? Here are some of our top picks for visiting Amsterdam with kids.
Popular Amsterdam Tours/Activities
- Day Trip to Zaanse Schans and Giethoorn (easy way to day trip without any stress)
- Van Gogh Museum Kid-Friendly Private Tour (includes skip-the-line tickets)
- Family-Friendly Amsterdam Private Tour (it’s customizable and a great way to get kids interested in history)
- The Upside Down Amsterdam (fun, Instagram museum for families)
- Flytographer photo shoot (they are easy to book are really affordable)
Kid-Friendly Amsterdam Hotels
- Radisson Blu (great location with lots of family room options)
- Pulitzer Amsterdam (lots of kid-friendly amenities plus family room options)
- Volkshotel (unique hotel near Oosterpark and the Deppermarkt)
- Amsterdam Marriott Hotel (offers family rooms near the Van Gogh Museum)
- Conservatorium Hotel (spacious rooms in the Museum District)
Want to Rent a Bike in Amsterdam?
One of the best places to rent a bike in Amsterdam is MacBike Bike Rental because they usually have the cheapest rates and fantastic customer service. Check rates here.
25 Things To Do in Amsterdam With Kids
NEMO Science Museum
A world-renowned science museum, NEMO is absolutely one of the top things to do in Amsterdam for families.
It’s housed in a modern boat-shaped building on the harbor and is packed full of fun and interactive science exhibits, experiments, and shows.
It caters to and appeals to children of different ages plus kids under four go free. Check the latest rates and availability.
One of the best free things to do in Amsterdam with kids has to be the abundance of wonderful parks. And Vondelpark is one of the best.
You can stroll along the paths and check out the ponds, statues, playgrounds, and much more.
Rent a Clog Bicycle
This is one of the quirky things to do in Amsterdam while also being a quintessential Amsterdam experience.
Cycling is the most popular way for locals to get around the city. But if you have little kids, they’re probably too young to navigate the busy, cobblestone Amsterdam streets on their own bikes.
Luckily, you can rent cargo or box bikes and you can even hire ones with boxes in the shape of a clog. As clogs are an iconic symbol of the Netherlands, you’re sure to turn heads as you speed past.
They’re surprisingly affordable at only €20 to €25 per day to hire. Plus, if you’re traveling as a two-parent family, only one of you needs to hire a cargo bike for your kids to sit in.
Private or Guided Canal Boat Tour
Wondering what to do with children in Amsterdam in the evening or to take a load off for a while? Hop on a canal boat tour. You can join a public tour with an audio guide or even rent your own boat.
Amsterdam’s canals are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and you’ll all gain a better appreciation of them from a 75-minute boat ride. Check the latest rates and availability.
Tropenmuseum is an important ethnography museum that displays artwork and artifacts from non-western cultures. It’s interesting, but it’s not one of the best Amsterdam museums for kids.
Luckily, Tropenmuseum Junior is right next door! It’s one of the oldest children’s museums in Europe with lots of sensory exhibits similar to the ones in the main museum that your kids can touch and play with.
Day Trip to the Keukenhof Tulips
There are tons of great places to visit in Amsterdam with kids, but there are lots of great family day trip options too.
If you’re visiting Amsterdam during the tulip season from late March to mid-May, consider visiting Keukenhof. Yes, it can be busy, but it’s a huge open space so the fields never feel overcrowded.
Vincent Van Gogh Museum
When considering what to do in Amsterdam with children, art museums aren’t always at the top of the list. They usually aren’t very interactive and tactile which is a problem for curious children!
If you have artsy kids, there are children’s workshops at the Van Gogh Museum every weekend for kids aged six to 12. All workshops start with a guided tour, too.
We did a private tour of the Van Gogh Museum that was geared for kids and included a scavenger hunt.
De Werf Petting Farm
One of the best free attractions in Amsterdam is the De Werf Petting Farm. It’s a super small spot by the University of Amsterdam with animals like pigs, goats, and rabbits.
Young kids will love the very calm, friendly animals and there are places where you can sit down and eat some snacks.
Buy Traditional Souvenirs
There are some great things to buy in Amsterdam that will help your kids remember your fun vacation.
Clogs, tulips, bicycles, and windmills are all iconic images of Amsterdam and the Netherlands. Buy magnets of these images or postcards they can send home to themselves.
Vacuum-packed Dutch cheese is also a winner!
And if your kids love all things cute, check out the Miffy items! It’s a famous character from the Netherlands and you can find Miffy stuffed animals, books, clothing, and toys.
Het Scheepvaartmuseum is the National Maritime Museum. It might not seem like one of the cool things to do in Amsterdam for kids, but it is.
There’s an amazing replica of an 18th-century Dutch ship you can explore and you can even venture on a virtual voyage.
Children under three can visit for free and those aged four to 17 can get discounted tickets. Get skip-the-line tickets.
Westerpark is a small neighborhood in the western part of central Amsterdam. Just walking around this place is one of the best things to do in Amsterdam with children.
There are always markets and street food festivals as well as parks, movie theaters, and so much more to intrigue your kids as you wander around.
One of the best family activities Amsterdam can offer is the Rijksmuseum, home of Rembrandt’s painting The Night Watch.
Children under 18 have free entrance and there are optional activities you can try like Escape Games, Rembrandt drawing lessons, and guided tours for families. Check the latest rates and availability.
Artis Royal Zoo
Zoos are excellent places to visit for families no matter where you travel. So, one of the top things for kids to do in Amsterdam is to visit the Artis Amsterdam Royal Zoo.
Dating back to the 19th century, this city center zoo has chimps and zebras as well as tons of other exotic animals. There’s even an aquarium! Check the latest rates and availability.
Eat Dutch Pancakes and Stroopwafels
There are some great food options in Amsterdam for kids. As long as you don’t mind feeding them lots of sugar and carbs, of course.
Dutch pancakes and stroopwafels are not only cultural and delicious, but sampling these treats is also one of the best, cheap things to do in Amsterdam too.
Oosterpark Obstacle Course
Vondelpark might be Amsterdam’s most famous park, but Oosterpark might just beat it when considering the best things to do in Amsterdam for kids. It has an incredible playground that looks like an obstacle course and even a shallow wading pool.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not
Booking a vacation with your pre-teens or young teenagers? One of the most fun things to do in Amsterdam with kids who are older is to visit the Amsterdam branch of Ripley’s Believe It or Not.
It’s morbid, fascinating, and has genuinely unsettling exhibits. Check the latest rates and availability.
Eat Dutch Fries with Mayonnaise
When you’ve eaten as many Dutch pancakes and stroopwafels as you can, another of the best things to do in Amsterdam with family is to eat a cone of fries. You might think this hugely popular street food is French, but the Dutch would beg to differ.
Attempt to convince your kids to eat their fries with mayonnaise like the Dutch, but you may have to admit defeat and hand over the ketchup in the end.
Hortus Botanicus Gardens
Visiting gardens are great family things to do in Amsterdam and there are lots of them, but Hortus Botanicus is one of the best.
These botanical gardens date all the way back to 1682. Your kids can explore acres of exotic plants and several greenhouses.
Book a Family Photo Shoot
Whenever we travel, we almost always book a family photo shoot with Flytographer. They are super easy, affordable, AND it guarantees that I’ll be in some photos. You can get $25 off if you book through this link or use the code HAWAIITRAVEL.
If you’re based in the south of the city, one of the best things to do Amsterdam with kids is to head to Amstelpark.
There is no shortage of activities here as they have a mini golf course, a maze, and even a miniature train!
Madame Tussauds Amsterdam
If your kids are too old to play in parks but too young for Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Madame Tussauds is one of the best Amsterdam kids’ attractions.
They have fun, lifesize waxwork replicas of celebrities and notable people. The Amsterdam branch has lots of famous artworks as well as Marvel and film characters. Check the latest rates and availability.
The Upside Down Amsterdam
One of the most unique things to do in Amsterdam is to visit The Upside Down. There are tons of wacky pieces and installations and it’s a fun sensory experience for kids of all ages.
They have a lot of awesome photo ops but it’s also a cool place to play.
This truly is one of the best experiences in Amsterdam for families. It’s literally an indoor playground that appeals to people of all ages with huge ball pits and foam baths. The perfect rainy day activity! Check the latest rates and availability.
Anne Frank House
Are you traveling with your young teenagers? There’s no reason why you cannot visit the Anne Frank House, one of the city’s top attractions as well as one of the best things to do with family in Amsterdam.
Anne Frank was a young Jewish girl who went into hiding when she was 13 during the Holocaust. It’s a devastating yet fascinating story and there’s no way you and your kids won’t be touched by visiting the place where she and her family hid.
We actually went with our 6-year-old and 9-year-old and my oldest was quite moved with the whole experience.
Het Amsterdamse Bos
Spending half a day in Het Amsterdamse Bos is one of the preferred summer activities in Amsterdam by locals. It’s a national forest just south of the city that is easily accessible by public transport.
Here, you can check out an organic farm and a petting zoo, or sign your kids up for rock climbing at Klimpark Fun Forest Amsterdam. You can also just rent bikes or boats and enjoy the serenity away from the busy crowds in the city.
One of the top cultural things for kids in Amsterdam to do is to visit the markets. Bloemenmarkt is great because it’s a flower market on a huge barge. The colors are amazing and you can ask them to pick their favorites and take the bulbs home with you.
Flower sellers at Bloemenmarkt are used to tourists buying bulbs so they can even provide you with customs forms so you can fly home with your plants.
Things To Do in Amsterdam With Kids FAQS
Is Amsterdam family-friendly?
Most parents mull over the question, “Is Amsterdam suitable for families?” for a while before finally booking the vacation.
There’s no denying that there are lots of crazy things to do in Amsterdam. Its Red Light District is the most famous and active in Europe.
Bachelor and Bachelorette parties storm the streets every weekend seeking out the “coffee shops.” You might wonder if there even are any family-friendly things to do in Amsterdam!
Despite all this, Amsterdam is a very family-friendly destination. There are endless family activities in Amsterdam, family-friendly accommodation options, and transport options. Amsterdam is also a very safe city with very low crime rates.
How many days do you need in Amsterdam with kids?
There really are tons of things to do with kids in Amsterdam. You should consider booking at least three days here on your family vacation.
Three days in Amsterdam is just enough time for you to see all the highlights at a slower, kid-friendly pace. This allows for plenty of cafe and park breaks!
You could easily find other things for children to do in Amsterdam if you wanted to stay longer. Or, you could book day trips to visit the windmills and tulips.
Where is the best place to stay in Amsterdam with kids?
When you visit Amsterdam with kids, you want to stay in a central location close to all the main landmarks and attractions.
But you also want to steer clear of neighborhoods with a popular nightlife scene!
Districts like Jordaan and the Pijp are some of the best places to stay in Amsterdam with kids. They also offer good transport links and are beautiful. Accommodation options near Vondelpark will tick all those boxes too.
Is the Amsterdam City Card worth it?
The Amsterdam City Card, known as the I Amsterdam City Card, can certainly be worth it depending on your plans.
It provides free, unlimited access to public transportation, free entry to many museums (including the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum), discounts at restaurants and attractions, and a free canal cruise.
Where can I find a free canal cruise in Amsterdam?
Unfortunately, you’ll need to pay to do a canal cruise. I recommend doing one on an electric boat because it’s so quiet and you can really enjoy the scenery.
What’s the most popular Amsterdam museum?
The most popular museums in Amsterdam are the Rijksmuseum, which houses Dutch art and history from the Middle Ages to the present day, and the Van Gogh Museum, which features the largest collection of Van Gogh’s paintings and drawings in the world.
Where can I get the best Dutch apple pie in Amsterdam?
Winkel 43, located in the Jordaan neighborhood, is renowned for serving the best Dutch apple pie (appeltaart) in Amsterdam. The cafe is a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
Where can I find the best hot chocolate in Amsterdam?
While there are many great places to enjoy hot chocolate in Amsterdam, Chocolátl in the Jordaan neighborhood is often recommended by locals and tourists alike. It’s a boutique shop where you can savor a variety of top-quality, rich, and flavorsome hot chocolates.
What are the best Amsterdam science museums?
The NEMO Science Museum is a favorite among visitors, especially for families with children. It offers interactive exhibitions and hands-on experiments that make learning fun. The Artis Planetarium within Artis Royal Zoo is another place where you can learn about astronomy and the universe.
Who is the most famous artist from the Netherlands?
The most famous artist from the Netherlands is arguably Vincent van Gogh, renowned for his contributions to the post-impressionist movement. His works, such as “The Starry Night” and “Sunflowers,” are known worldwide. You can see many of his masterpieces at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
Is there anything to do in Dam Square?
Yes, there’s plenty to do in Dam Square! It’s home to the Royal Palace, which is open to the public for most of the year. The square also hosts the National Monument, a pillar that commemorates victims of WWII, and Madame Tussauds wax museum.
It’s often bustling with street performers, and it’s a great place to start a shopping trip, with many shops and department stores like De Bijenkorf nearby. Additionally, the square frequently hosts fairs, markets, and large-scale events.
Is Efteling theme park worth it?
Efteling is often considered one of the best theme parks in Europe, known for its fairytale-themed attractions and beautiful natural scenery. If you enjoy theme parks and are traveling with family, it can certainly be worth a visit.
Should you bring kids to Keukenhof gardens?
Absolutely! Keukenhof gardens is a wonderful place for children. The garden has a playground, a petting zoo, and even a treasure hunt.
The vast open spaces and beautiful floral displays can be enjoyed by visitors of all ages. However, it’s worth noting that the gardens are only open from mid-March to mid-May.
Things To Do in Amsterdam With Kids Wrap Up
Packed with suggestions for kid-friendly museums like the Anne Frank House, engaging tours, exciting day trips, and activities galore, a visit to Amsterdam with kids promises a treasure trove of fun.
This vibrant city tempts with a variety of scrumptious street food and offers an easy-to-navigate public transport system.
Compared to other European destinations, traveling to Amsterdam with children, even older kids, offers a more relaxed experience.
With many attractions within a comfortable walking distance, exploring is a breeze. Regardless of when you choose to venture to the Netherlands or the age of your children, crafting an itinerary filled with delightful and memorable moments will be effortless in Amsterdam!