Amsterdam is enormously family friendly and there are dozens of brilliant things to do with babies and toddlers (hundreds if you count all the playgrounds) so here then is a list of the 10 most toddler-friendly things to do in Amsterdam – which just happens to be one of the most family friendly cities in Europe.
Don’t feel limited by the age recommendations given here – we know lots of teens and tweens who still enjoy many of the suggestions on this list and a fair few toddlers who are 3 going on 13 and might enjoy some of our other posts too!
Click on the headline links for more information on every suggestion… and enjoy!
Top 10 for Babies and Toddlers in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is a brilliant city for little ones. With a relaxed pace, a culture that celebrates fresh air and dozens of city farms and playgrounds you’ll be spoiled for choice. Getting around is easy, the city has a chilled out vibe so you won’t find anyone staring if your minis are playing up and you’ll find lots of other English-speaking mamas who are happy to help if you need a hand. So what are you waiting for? Amsterdam is waiting for your cherubs. Ready, get set….
Hire a bakfiets (a bike with a bucket on front) or a “mama bike” (a bike with seats in-front and behind) and cycle little ones around town. Your toddlers will absolutely love the sights and sounds and at this age its still not too brutal on mama or papa legs. That said, if you’re struggling, ask for an electric bike (we promise not to tell!)
Amsterdam’s version of Central Park is packed with things to do for little ones. As well as lakes to feed ducks and some wonderful playgrounds, the park is also home to the gorgeous Groot Melkhuis (Big Mikhouse) a cafe with a much loved sandpit and playground outside. Stop off for a “warme chocomel met slagroom” – a hot chocolate with whipped cream – and set your minis free.
Imagine a cafe where even the smallest kids get to prepare their own meal as well as yours. A place designed for the very tiniest chefs packed with local mums in the know. The Kinderkook Cafe on the edge of the Vondelpark is that place – a beloved Amsterdam institution that is completely designed around little ones giving them freedom to have fun, get messy and learn. For crawlers there is an indoor slide and play area too.
A firm favourite with locals, Amsterdam’s goat farm set in the woods is loved by little people. A chance to bottle feed baby goats, frolic with them in their pens, romp in the playground and shop in their organic store and cafe for local produce. Why not spend some time here before heading onto the nearby Pancake House below.
Our kids have always been thrilled by this incredibly special place. A huge pancake cafe in the woods with masses of seating, a gorgeous playground with small animals and undoubtably the best pancakes in town. Take a walk through the woods and reward yourself and your littles with sweet or savoury pancake for tea.
One of our more recent Amsterdam discoveries is the utterly delightful Mouse Mansion in the Jordaan. A miniature dolls house world in a workshop/studio packed with knitted mice. Children can’t get enough of this glorious fantasy world – the creation of the brilliant Karina Schaapman whose books are being turned into a film. A must visit for mini mouse lovers. (And for those who can’t get enough of ‘Sam and Julia’, head to OBA the Public Library where the original giant Muizenhuis is based.)
Whilst we generally steer clear of soft play centres, on Amsterdam’s coldest and wettest days parents flock to TunFun. Packed with slides, trampolines, ball pools and jungle gyms your kids will love it even if, as their accompanying grown ups, you’ll wish you’d brought ear plugs along.
In our experience, younger children love transport, and there’s nothing bigger or more impressive than the planes at Schipol Airport. The terrace has a wonderful view and even offers a full size plane to clamber aboard for the curious. With a cafe on site and the prospect of a double decker train to get there, this is a firm favourite with our future pilots.
Boats. And pancakes. For the young its a match made in heaven. Make your own and sail the River Ij with a ball pool in the hull. The view isn’t that of the idyllic Amsterdam canals, but who’s looking out the window when there’s pancakes and sprinkles for tea. It’s sickly, it’s messy but it’s a toddler dream.
10. City Farms
Amsterdam’s very best offering for kids are the city’s numerous urban farms. Head to the hidden “kinderboerderij” or children’s farm in The Pijp, the wonderful “Stadsboerderij” or City farm in Oosdoorp or the petting farm in the Westerpark. For a greater range of furry, fluffy and feathered adventures, Elsenhove just on the edge of the city is a magical destination.
So there you have it. A round-up of the best on offer for younger kids in the city. The list isn’t comprehensive. There are so many parks and playgrounds to recommend as well as museums and attractions that younger kiddos would enjoy. Take a look at our posts with 10 Best Things to do in Amsterdam with Kids and 10 Best Things to do in Amsterdam with Tweens for further inspiration and be sure to check out our suggested 48 hour itinerary for more.
Looking for somewhere to eat with your littles? Visit our post with 30 fantastic child-friendly places to eat, or why not head further afield and explore our Out of Town suggestions here which includes castles, beaches, museums and even Europe’s biggest playground – all just a short hop away.
Whatever you do, hopefully we’ve provided enough incentive for you to take the family to this marvellous city and explore it for yourselves. It’s time to take Amsterdam off your bucket list – the city is waiting and its a wonderful destination for the whole family.