Looking for brilliant ideas for tweens in Amsterdam? We’ve complied the list below to help you out. That said, don’t feel restricted by it. Whilst your kids may be at pains to let you know they are no longer little, there are heaps of suggestions on our Amsterdam for Kids list that will probably still appeal, and perhaps some suggestions on the Amsterdam for Teenagers list that will also tick the boxes. And although you might not want to share where you found them, we know lots of tweens who still love many of the delights on our Amsterdam for Babies and Toddlers list.
Have a browse of the suggestions below and click the headlines for full information on each of the listings.
Ten Best for Tweens in Amsterdam
Ahh, the in-betweeners. Those kids between about 8 and 12 who want more than a playground with a slide but aren’t quite ready for some of Amsterdam’s more grown up delights. The Netherlands is a fantastic destination for kids of all ages but in some ways no age-group is better served than tweens. The city’s kids are fiercely independent. Often cycling alone to school from a young age, Amsterdam offers numerous delights for those who know what they like, and perhaps more importantly know what they don’t! Fear not, even the trickiest tweenager will find things to love in Amsterdam.
Although even younger kids will enjoy Amsterdam’s most magnificent museum, by the time your kids hit double digits they should really get the most of the experience. Download the app before you go for wonderful audiovisual content about many of the greatest works or invest more time and take part in the Escape Game for a truly interactive way to enjoy the experience.
2. Pure Boats
Amsterdam is best seen from the water and Pure Boats offer the ultimate way to enjoy its greatest delights. Our pair adored their ride and were treated like royalty onboard. There’s nothing like a small boat to make the most of the canals and there really are none better than this fantastic operation.
Whilst this is the age that many young people visit the Anne Frank House for the first time, Amsterdam offers another extraordinary way for tweens to understand more about the impact of war on young people in Amsterdam and The Netherlands. The Junior Resistance Museum aimed squarely at 9-14 year olds is one of the most engaging multimedia museum experiences for young people anywhere. Don’t believe me? Read our post for more information and be sure to encourage a visit even if the Anne Frank House is already on your list or especially if you’ve missed out on tickets.
By this age the joys of shopping start to open up and markets can hold great appeal. One of our favourites is the market held on the first Sunday of the month at the Westergasfabriek. A glorious setting for a food and craft market packed with goodies to delight.
And whilst we’re on the subject of shopping…. I wouldn’t generally recommend shops in a list of things to do with kids, but big and little kids alike absolutely love the hidden-basement Copa Football Store near Central Station. Packed full of some of the most original and best t-shirts a fan will ever find as well as a shrine to the football gods, the footie fans in your life will definitely thank you if you pay them a visit.
Ahhh football. For those with an insatiable appetite for the beautiful game, there’s only one place to head in Amsterdam – Ajax. The only major club in the city, this is a pilgrimage for the dedicated. If a game is out of the question, why not take one of their excellent stadium tours, or make your way to the fan shop for a memento. For the truly dedicated head East to the birthplace of Johan Cruyff and take in the magnificent mural near where he grew up. There is so much to say about the mighty champions, do explore the link for all the detail.
For a rather different type of museum, why not explore the oddly fascinating Micropia. Although techincally part of Artis the zoo, this standalone museum is dedicated to all things microbe. Sounds strange? Well here’s their rather compelling sales pitch:
They are on you. In you. And you’ve got more than a hundred thousand billion of them.
They’re with you when you eat, when you breathe, when you kiss.
They are everywhere. On your hands. And in your belly.
And they meddle in everything.
They shape your world
We all know how fascinated tweens are with all things gross and bodily. This ticks all the boxes.
If your youngsters need to let off some serious steam, why not head to the Amsterdam Forest to swing between the trees. Visitors familiar with Go Ape in the UK will know the drill. Climb, swing, push your boundaries and enjoy the forest canopy from high. There are 8 courses for all levels of height and bravery. Take a deep breath and off you go (click on the link for our latest full review)… Or for those who enjoy less structured play, Jeugdland and Woeste Westen offer the chance to explore the natural environment without a Health and Safety officer in sight. Navigate across waterways on little rafts; pick up pallet boxes, a hammer and nails and build a fort; or find wildlife in ponds and wilderness. Amsterdam’s young Bear Grylls are in training.
9. Kopjes Cat Cafe and THE CATBOAT – cat lovers Amsterdam
Tweens who prefer to make friends of the furry variety will be enchanted by Amsterdam’s feline finds. Head to the catboat – a floating animal sanctuary which has provided a refuge for stray and abandoned cats since 1968 or visit the Kattenkabinet – a rather eccentric historic house/museum full of cat art and real cats. Our tip would be to make your way west and have tea in the city’s newest opening – the cat cafe “Kopjes” for a ‘cattucino’ and cake. You can read about all these options are more in our ‘catchup’ post here.
Whilst we wouldn’t recommend letting younger kids roam free in Amsterdam’s extensive cycle lanes, this age is perfect for getting into the saddle and exploring. Start in the parks or quieter out of town locations to build up a bit of confidence before heading into and over the canal ring for a uniquely Amsterdam city tour.
There you go, a plethora of choice. Be sure to check the rest of our Amsterdam kids’ section for tons more inspiration or head out of town and explore castles, villages, beaches and museums no more than half an hour away.
Whatever you do, make sure you bring the kids to Amsterdam for a visit. They’ll be sure to remember the experience for many years to come.