Last month, we were very lucky to get Courtney from Babyccino to write up a week in London. Now, I’m excited to tell you that we have another fun European city to explore: Amsterdam! Esther has two little ones almost the exact ages as my two… now if we could just schedule a playdate. She’s a busy Dutch stay-at-home mom with a ton of good ideas for rainy days and sunny days in her home city.
Go out for breakfast in the Bakkerswinkel. A basket of different sorts of bread, muffins, scones and croissants makes way to your table accompanied by a much needed coffee and orange juice. Fancy jams can be found on the table. Open from 7AM – what a wonderful way to start the week!
After, take your children to the Amstelpark, where there is a lovely playground and a little city farm. A ‘real train’ can take you around the park – a sure hit with your little ones.
Had enough of the park? Go to the Scheldestraat where you can find the great kids’ shoe store Meys & Co (open from 1PM onwards), with across the street Koter & Co where they sell a big selection of the cool Dutch kiddie brand Imps&Elfs (and more).
Before going back home, don’t forget to visit Italian delicatessen Feduzzi for a cappuccino and one of their mouth watering Panini. And don’t forget the babyccino for your little angel! You can pick up something for dinner here too – I promise you, the food is great, and prices are reasonable.
TunFun is an indoor playground that your children will LOVE. There are different soft play areas for different age groups, and there are also benches and a lounge area for the grown ups. A good place to start the day with a cup of coffee! (And a great place to go if it’s raining)!
Artis, the Zoo of Amsterdam, is not far from here. Because of the mix of historic, listed buildings, huge amounts of green and great variety of animals, this is truly a magnificent place to spend half a day.
In the unfortunate but not unthinkable case of bad weather, Artis provides many indoor activities for your children and yourself to enjoy: the aquarium, the greenhouses, reptile house, Planetarium and the new butterfly-garden.
The playgrounds and restaurants are very good, but if you feel like having lunch in a different environment, you can go to restaurant Plancius, across the street from Artis. It’s a good place to go with children (high chairs are available).
Make your way to the Central Station because right next to it lays NEMO: the science centre. Great for kids! There only rule here is: its forbidden NOT to touch! [Under age 3, admission is free!]
From the sloping roof-piazza, the view over Amsterdam is magnificent. In summer, this roof-piazza transforms to a city beach (sand, bean bags, stunning harbour views and tapas-style snacks)!
If the weather is not good enough to enjoy lunch on the roof (it happens often in Amsterdam, this is why I keep mentioning it), you better go to the new Public Library next door. On the top floor is a self service restaurant with a wonderful selection of fresh food, sandwiches and fruit juices (yes, cakes too), with again a great panorama over Amsterdam and plenty of high chairs. After lunch, you can visit the VOC ship (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie) in front of NEMO to have a taste of life on a ship in the Golden Age (18th century).
Go shopping in the Nine Streets where boutique after boutique makes you wish you came with a truck instead of a pushchair (to load all the goodies in)!
After, take your little ones for lunch in restaurant Pancakes – high chairs, toys, kids’ menu and friendly staff is available! Or, get ‘friet’ with mayonnaise at the ‘Vlaams Friteshuis’ in the Voetboogsteeg, arguably the best Belgian French Fries in Amsterdam.
Grab your bakfiets (or rent one) and make your way to the Amsterdamse Bos.
Go for a long stroll, let your children run around for a bit, and then visit the macrobiotic goat farm. There are chickens, pigs, and, of course, goats. Kids can help feed the baby goats and are allowed to cuddle. The cheese factory can be visited and there is a cheese shop – so don’t worry too much about dinner; goat cheese will do just fine. The playground is made from all natural materials and there is a maze!
You can have lunch here, or at ‘Boerderij Meer’, with chickens and peacocks roaming around the farmyard. In summertime there are wading pools, and an adventure island (with footbridges and a little ferry) to be explored; building huts is allowed here!
After the journey back home, put your children to bed early as they will be exhausted, and enjoy a quiet evening with your man (or find a babysitter and hit the streets of Amsterdam. Cheers to the weekend!
We thank Esther and the ladies from Babyccino so much for sharing their cities with us. I’m particularly happy with this post about Amsterdam because there are several fun activities and at least as many kid-friendly restaurants to try!