Amsterdam is a vibrant, exciting city with lots to offer visitors of all ages. If you’re traveling to Amsterdam with children, there are many kid-friendly attractions and activities to enjoy. Here are 20 great ideas for things to do in Amsterdam with kids:
Explore the Science Center NEMO – This massive, interactive science museum on the banks of the Ij is designed to fascinate kids with exhibits on science, technology, and sustainability. Kids can experience lightning storms in the weather station, learn about biomechanics while riding a bike across a high wire, and explore sustainability solutions at the water laboratory. The hands-on exhibits allow kids to touch, build, think through problems, and have fun learning.
Tour the Amsterdam Canals by Boat – Seeing Amsterdam from the water gives a unique perspective on the city. Many Amsterdam Canal Cruise boats have multilingual audio guides to keep kids entertained while they take in views of the skinny houses lining the canals, ornate bridges, and bustling streets. Several boats even have special kids’ commentary or guides dressed as pirates to amuse little sailors.
Visit the Amsterdam Zoo – Get up close and personal with over 200 animal species at Artis Amsterdam Royal Zoo located right in city center. From petting small goats and sheep at the children’s farm to seeing the majestic lions and giraffes, kids go wild for the zoo. Be sure to catch a sea lion feeding show and take a ride on the zoo’s miniature railroad.
Rent a Pedal Boat at Vondelpark – After touring museums and sights, kids need room to burn off energy. Head to sprawling Vondelpark and rent paddleboats to cruise around the ponds. Pedal boats come in fun animal shapes like ducks, whales, and frogs. While pedaling through reeds and under bridges, kids may spot real ducks and swans along the water as well.
See a Show at Madame Tussauds Amsterdam – What kid doesn’t enjoy posing next to eerily lifelike wax figures of celebrities like Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and Brad Pitt? At Madame Tussauds wax museum, kids of all ages have a blast recognizing figures from sports, music, film, history, and Dutch culture. Interactive exhibits like the haunted house ghost ride bring the waxworks to life.
Play at TunFun Indoor Playground – On rainy days or when kids just need to bounce out some energy, head to TunFun indoor playground next to the Amsterdam Arena. The labyrinth contains huge inflatable slides, trampolines, ball pits, climbing walls, and tunnels suspended from the ceiling that kids can explore for hours while parents relax with free WiFi in the lounge below.
Learn History at The Amsterdam Dungeon – For older kids who love thrills and adventure, The Amsterdam Dungeon brings over 500 years of the city’s sinister history to life through hysterical interactive theater shows and rides. Journey through creepy plague scenes while costumed actors jump out to scare, take a scary ghost boat ride in the dark, and sentenced to torture by a crazed medieval bishop. It’s scary fun!
Go Ziplining over Amsterdam Forest – Kids 7 years old+ can see Amsterdam from thrilling new heights as they zipline over thick pine forest at SkyHigh Amsterdam. Trained professionals outfit kids fully in gear to soar down lines over 300 meters long, giving panoramic views of the forests and cityscape. It’s an unforgettable Amsterdam experience.
Explore the Tropical Butterfly Greenhouse – Over 1,000 colorful butterflies from around the world flit through the humid, tropical greenhouse enclosure at Artis Amsterdam Royal Zoo. Kids delight at seeing butterflies land on their hands to feed on slices of fruit provided by the zoo. The abundance of native flora, trickling water features, observation hive, and lush planting make it a tranquil indoor garden oasis.
Visit Miffy Museum – At this charming museum in Utrechtsestraat, kids enter the cute, colorful world of beloved Dutch rabbit character Miffy. The white, minimalist building has several floors of interactive story rooms where kids play with shapes, colors, puzzles, building blocks, and more alongside Miffy and her friends Snuffy, Barbara, and Poppy. Every room offers cute photo-ops for kids to join Miffy on adventures.
Ride an Amsterdam Tour Bus – To quickly see top Amsterdam sights and monuments while resting little feet, hop on an Amsterdam tour bus. Buses depart frequently from Centraal Station for hop on, hop off tours of the canal belt, museum district, and outer neighborhoods. Kids will love listening to lively commentary on attractions like the Royal Palace and National Maritime Museum tailored specifically for young audiences.
Watch a Diamond Polishing Show – At museums like Gassan Diamonds and Coster Diamonds, kids marvel at dazzling gems and jewelry displays. But most mesmerizing is watching expert polishers cut facets and polish diamonds right before your eyes. Kids learn how rough, dirty stones transform into brilliant gems ready for engagement rings and necklaces. The hands-on craft of diamond polishing always impresses.
Go to an Ajax Football Match – For a high-energy sporting event, catch a football (soccer) match at the Amsterdam ArenA stadium. Hometown heroes Ajax Amsterdam have tons of youthful fans who go wild cheering, chanting songs, and waving flags in the bouncing stands for the full 90 minutes. Kids infected with the fans’ passion will better understand why football is the Netherlands’ most popular sport.
Visit the Van Gogh Museum – Budding young artists particularly appreciate the Van Gogh Museum as it goes beyond passively viewing paintings. The museum’s “Meet Vincent Van Gogh” exhibit invites kids to explore materials Van Gogh used, sit in his chair, and even enter a 3D reproduction of his famous Bedroom painting to understand his work on a deeper level. Audioguides adapted for children as young as 8 keep them engaged with the artist’s colorful life story.
Take a Day Trip to Zaanse Schans Village – Just a quick train ride north of Amsterdam transports families 100 years back in time to historic Zaanse Schans village. Here kids experience how Dutch villagers lived in windmill-dotted landscapes by seeing traditional crafts like cheese making and clog carving. Explore iconic windmills to discover how they cut wood, ground spices and paint. Kids gain insight into Holland’s innovative past.
Make Cheese at Reypenaer Cheese Experience – At this working cheese maker in Amsterdam Noord, kids learn the craft of making Gouda cheese the traditional way from cow to cone during an informative demonstration. Kids sample cheeses of varying ages then make their own “cheeseheads” by dipping a toy figure into warm wax. Parents enjoy seeing time-honored cheese making methods still producing Reypenaer’s award-winning cheeses today.
Eat Poffertjes at the Pancake Bakery – After all that sightseeing, what kid wouldn’t relish piping hot poffertjes? At eateries like The Pancake Bakery, fluffy bite-sized pancakes topped with powder sugar and butter make the perfect treat. Kids gleefully douse the mini pancakes stacked high on plates with syrups in flavors like strawberry, caramel, and chocolate. Poffertjes fill kids up with enough sugar to fuel more Amsterdam adventures!
With interactive museums, artistic exhibits, action sports, boat tours, playgrounds, theme parks, and tasty snacks, Amsterdam offers engaging activities sure to occupy even the most energetic kids from toddlers to teens. Getting around by foot, bike, tram or metro makes it easy for families to explore Amsterdam’s abundant family-friendly attractions.