As most coffee-loving mamas can probably agree, there comes a time as our little ones grow when babyccinos just don’t cut it as the perfect cafe distraction. Our darling toddler doesn’t want to sit still for even thirty seconds to let us enjoy a sip of our hot cup of caffeinated goodness, there is too much fun to be had in the world (and the rest of the cafe!).
Inevitably at this stage takeaway coffees become your next best friend, so you can have your coffee and stay on the move with your active little one — and luckily Amsterdam has plenty of great cafes to provide you with your coffee fix while you’re out and about in town.
Here is our selection of top 3 favourite coffee spots that you can grab a quick (and really good) coffee from if you’re in the area – some even have nearby playgrounds! Of course you can always stay in and enjoy your coffee in the shop, as all of these cafes will also happily welcome you and your brood – but it’s nice to know you have the takeaway coffee option up your sleeve if needed.
Lot Sixty One was started up by a couple of Aussies – and they truly bring the hip, artisinal coffee scene that Australia has become well known for right here to Amsterdam. They roast their own coffee beans, which they also sell to many other cafes around town (so keep a lookout as these guys are synonymous with good coffee). Lot Sixty One take their coffee very seriously – 2 shots of espresso in your coffee is standard! You really can rely on them for a consistently good, strong and smooth cup of your favourite brew.
There are three locations around town:
There is also a Lot Sixty One here as part of the hip BounceSpace co-working space — this is located only a couple of minutes walking distance from the Vondelpark, Amsterdam’s largest park and a wonderful place to go with your family for a stroll or play.
The third Lot Sixty One cafe can be found here inside the Urban Outfitters store in the city centre, providing a great sneaky coffee stop if you’re shopping in town.
Toki only opened last year in the trendy Jordaan district (see map), but it’s already made quite an impact on the Amsterdam coffee scene. The cafe itself has a bright and spacious layout, with trendy decor – and you will often see little ones running about while their parents enjoy a coffee, so by all means take a seat and relax!
But if you did want to take in some of the beautiful surroundings of the Jordaan district, a stroll across the Brouwersgracht canal (one of Amsterdam’s most beautiful canals!) will bring you to a little outdoor play area that younger kids really enjoy. Here there are mini trampolines, swings and climbing frames – and it’s only a couple of minutes walk from Toki. There’s also a small play area on Vinkenstraat, not even a minute’s walk from Toki if you prefer to stay even closer.
In De Pijp district great food and coffee can be found in abundance, but you have to know where to look. A favourite coffee spot that is conveniently opposite the beautiful Sarphatipark is Scandinavian Embassy. The coffee here is always good, and they don’t just stop at regular coffee. You can enjoy a variety of beverages that are truly unique and often derived from some part of the coffee plant — such as coffee fruit kombucha or water kefir with dried coffee flowers! It’s definitely worth a visit, and so easy to grab a takeaway and walk across the road and into the park. (Oh, and if you happen to spy some cinnamon rolls on their counter when you visit, you will not regret adding one to your order!).
ALSO IN THE AREA:
|Boca’s Bar||De Taart van m’n Tante||De Pijp and the Albert Cuypmarket|
The Zaanse Schans windmills are a popular tourist attraction all year round, and their location just outside of Amsterdam makes for an easy day trip there. The windmills, which were relocated to Zaanse Schans in the 1960s , provide a glimpse into 18th and 19th Century life in the Netherlands, whereby these large wooden machines were used in the production of many essential materials (such as oil, flour and spices) as well as to perform vital functions such as sawing wood. Each windmill is operational and set up with information and displays inside so that visitors can learn how the production method works. Children of all ages can learn about and enjoy the windmills (although beware of some of the very narrow and dangerous staircases with younger children!) and the picturesque setting provides a beautiful context for this cultural experience.
Zaanse Schans also has a number of craft displays and small museums which all demonstrate different aspects of Dutch culture from over 100 years ago – many traditions which still continue into the present day (such as cheese and wooden shoe making). It is a really interesting place to visit for both children and adults, as there is so much to see and learn. You can really make an educational excursion out of a visit here, or you can just as easily spend your day taking in the scenic surroundings of these sweet historical buildings and windmills, enjoy some Dutch pancakes and pick up some sweet souvenirs.
You can reach Zaanse Schans by bus, train, car — or if you are feeling extra fit and adventurous you can even try cycling there from Amsterdam! It’s very easy to get around by foot (and pram) once you are there, as the whole village is quite small, and there are lots of indoor places to enjoy if the weather is not ideal.
Time to let you in on a little local secret…a restaurant bar with a nanny service (yes, you heard correctly, but shhhhhhhh!). Radion is not only a cool, retro-style restaurant and bar with a funky industrial feel (and a nice selection of beers on tap), but on Sundays they provide a nanny service so that you can enjoy a drink (or two) while your little ones are being taken care of and having a ball in the next room!
Radion is tucked away in what used to be an abandoned building, a few tram stops out of the centre — so it’s not in your usual touristy area by any means. The exterior is very unassuming, but inside they have effortlessly fused urban-retro-cool with a casual and inviting pub atmosphere. Open for lunch and dinner, Radion offers a tasty selection of pub meals and snacks — such as burgers, sandwiches, soups and pizzas, as well as a fully stocked bar. There is also an outdoor terrace that opens from Spring.
Meanwhile, in a large room across the hall is a play haven for children of all ages! An abundance of different toys, books, crafts and activities are provided to keep your children entertained. There are tents and play tunnels that are great for toddlers, crafts and painting for the older kids, as well as countless toys and a large chest of dress-up clothes. There really is something for everyone, and they also provide drinks for the little ones in fun kids cups. But of course the most exciting part is that every Sunday from 2pm Radion offers a nanny service whereby certified carers are here to watch the kids while parents can enjoy the restaurant and bar.
What is especially cool about Radion is that all of this comes together so effortlessly. It is really so relaxed here that you can sign up your kids to play in the playroom where they will be supervised (for free!) – but if they want to come hang out in the bar with you, it’s no problem. Even in the bar there are things to entertain them (such as a piano and foosball table). It is truly such an easy going pub experience for a family, and the perfect destination if you happen to be here on a rainy Sunday.
Louwesweg 1, 1066 EA Amsterdam
Mon – Fri 10am until late
Sat – Sun 12noon until late (Note: Nanny service only provided on Sundays from 2pm-6pm)
The easiest way to reach Radion from Amsterdam Centrum is via tram (tram line #2 will take you to the Louwesweg stop directly outside Radion) unless of course you are driving.
ALSO IN THE AREA:
|Foodhallen||The Hollandsche Manege||Fuoco Vivo, the best pizza in Amsterdam|
Nestled into the heart of the trendy district known as De Pijp you will find this little gem. De Kleine Parade is a kids concept store, cafe and atelier that offers a beautifully curated selection of kids clothes, toys, books, home deco and accessories. It is the ideal spot to come with your little ones if you want to have a relaxing break from the busy surrounding streets, whilst still being able to peruse the beautiful selection of goods in the shop.
The adjoining cafe offers a simple menu of hot and cold drinks, cakes and toasted sandwiches — perfect for that much needed pick-me-up during a busy day of shopping in this bustling neighbourhood. There is a dedicated space in the cafe where children can play with trains, blocks, a play kitchen and even a chest full of dress up clothes! The cafe is also conveniently separated from the shop (with a small gate dividing the two) so you can really enjoy your cup of coffee and croissant knowing that your little darlings are not getting up to any mischief where they shouldn’t be.
De Kleine Parade also contains a small atelier – a bright and spacious room that can play host to many different functions including birthday parties, kids yoga classes, kids craft workshops, sing-a-long afternoons and even macrame classes for adults! (You can always check out their Instagram or Facebook page when you’re in town to see if any special things are happening during your visit). When it’s not being used for a special event, the atelier provides extra seating space for cafe-goers and their little adventurers.
De Kleine Parade
Gerard Doustraat 142-144 Amsterdam
ph: 020 223 5837
Tues- Sat 9:00am – 5:00pm
Sun 10:00am – 4:00pm
ALSO IN THE AREA:
|De Taart van m’n Tante||Boca’s Bar||De Pijp and the Albert Cuypmarket|
The Vondeltuin is a lovely café/restaurant with a huge terrace AND playground in the most southwestern tip of the beautiful Vondelpark. It is the perfect place to bring children on a summery day. Here you can enjoy a meal and relax on the beautiful outdoor terrace, or just grab a coffee or drink from the bar and enjoy it while your children play.
The playground seems so simple, yet effectively keeps children of all ages occupied for hours! There is a giant sandpit that gets filled with toys for all to enjoy over the hot Summer months, as well as two big slides, and plenty of climbing structures that challenges all different age ranges.
Vondeltuin cafe shuts down over the Winter, but the playground remains accessible all year round.
1075 VR Amsterdam
+31 (0)6 2756 5576
ALSO IN THE AREA:
If you happen to be in De Pijp area of Amsterdam’s South, a great place to stop for drinks and a meal with the family is Boca’s Bar. The specialty here is ‘broodjes’ (little bread roll sandwiches) which are made and presented like a sort of tapas with many different and interesting flavour combinations. You can sample a couple of little broodjes or order a larger selection and make a full meal of it. Ordering is simple, you just tick the boxes of your choice on the checklist-style menu, and voila – your broodjes are ordered!
The food is served on large wooden boards great for sharing together, and there’s enough variety (savoury and sweet) to really cater for most tastes, young and old. There are even some very classic Dutch flavours on offer, providing the perfect opportunity to sample local foods such as bitterballen (small croquettes), old Dutch cheese with mustard, and hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles). The bar itself is very spacious with a nice selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to accompany your food. (They even provide colouring in for the kids, which – as a parent – is always a nice and welcoming comfort to see!)
The location is also opposite the street from Sarphatipark, a great spot to bring the kids for a play and some fresh air (if the weather permits!).
+31 (0) 20 675 99 45
1072 PA Amsterdam
Boca’s also have a location in the Jordaan district:
1015 MK Amsterdam
Open 7 days until late
ALSO IN THE AREA:
|De Kleine Parade||Le Pain Quotidien||Coffee to go?|
Inspired by such places as Torvehallerne in Copenhagen and the Borough Market in London, Foodhallen is The Netherlands’ first indoor food market, situated in Amsterdam’s West. It is part of De Hallen, a large complex of buildings that are a newly renovated old tram depot dating back to the 19th century. The entire space is still very new with a modern industrial feel (Foodhallen only opened to the public in 2014) and also houses a movie theatre, a craft space, a library with cafe, and different stores offering wares produced by local Dutch craftsmen.
Foodhallen is set up like a large food court, with permanent stalls lining the hall’s perimeter and ample seating space throughout. Each food stall offers its own specialty of cuisine and there is wide selection of international food options to choose from, including Spanish cured meats, French raclettes, traditional Dutch bitterballen, Vietnamese street food, Korean fried chicken, Turkish meze, and a gin bar — to name a few! There really is something for everyone.
The atmosphere is very casual and easygoing, and as such is a comfortable place to come with young kids in tow. If you want to enjoy some live music and a more bustling atmosphere during your visit, Jazz nights are on every Tuesday night from 6:30pm. As an added bonus, Foodhallen is entirely indoors so you can visit rain, hail or shine (which is a big plus in rainy Amsterdam!).
(On weekends De Hallen also hosts the Local Goods Market, which are a treat to peruse for unique local crafts and wares.)
Bellamyplein 51 Amsterdam
Open 7 days, 11am until late
ALSO IN THE AREA:
|Fuoco Vivo, the best pizza in Amsterdam||The Hollandsche Manege||Radion|
There’s a new kid on the block in Amsterdam’s Old South and it has fast become popular, not only among trendy city-goers, but also among young families thanks to its child-friendly design. Dignita restaurant specialises in brunch and has been developed with much love and thought, both in terms of décor and in their deliciously crafted menu. The café itself is light, open and spacious – and split across three levels, with seating that caters to different sized groups. In one pocket of the restaurant there is a small play area designated for children, which sits conveniently next to a large table that can be shared by multiple customers. The play area is aimed mostly at young toddlers (think wooden puzzles, plastic blocks and other small toys) however there is also a small selection of books that can entertain slightly older kids too.
Without question, the most exciting part of a visit to Dignita is the food (and the fairly decent coffee, too). The menu has been very carefully thought out and put together by a chef from New Zealand (who is also a qualified dietitian) and includes a diverse variety of meal options, ranging from healthy choices such as the ‘Earthworks salad bowl’, to more indulgent ones like a slowly braised beef cheek with decadent sides. The food really goes beyond the typical brunch options that most cafés offer, and every ingredient is of high quality and sourced locally and/or ethically wherever possible. As an added bonus, thanks to the chef’s dietetic background, their offerings cater to different dietary requirements exceptionally well.
Dignita also includes a small children’s menu which offers a couple of popular menu items in a child-size portion and price, as well as ice-cream floats and even a ‘Kids fluffy’ for the babyccino lovers out there. You can even get a little taste of New Zealand (and Australia) with some home made crumpets that do not disappoint!
Just in case you needed any more excuses to check them out, Dignita are also part of the Not For Sale social enterprise model – an international organisation that provides certified training programs and support to vulnerable groups and individuals. Knowing that 100% of their profits go to supporting the work of Not For Sale, you really have no reason to feel guilty indulging in this lovely space on your next visit to Amsterdam!
1075 EL Amsterdam
Telephone: 020 221 4458
Open 7 days a week: 09:00-17:00
ALSO IN THE AREA:
|Knutsel Frutsel, for your creative needs||Issa||Imps & Elfs|
MiniMarkt is a concept store for children and their parents right on Beethovenstraat just south of Museumplein. This place is so stylish yet cozy that you just keep coming back and it is such a good place to take a rest after a shopping spree on Beethovenstraat or a visit to the museums.
You can enjoy coffee, tea or juices together with tarts, sandwiches and salads while your child plays in the cute play area equipped with a train track, a cooking nook, books and much more.
On top of that they sell the most adorable toys, children´s decor, books, party supplies, clothes, stationery, also for grown-ups, everything selected carefully. It is almost impossible to leave the store empty-handed.
You can also celebrate your child´s birthday party there and they have a hairdresser come by once a week.
Does this all sound too good to be true? Almost, but miracles happen, go check it out!
Tel.: 020-221 7615
Monday to Friday: 09:00 – 17:30
Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 – 17:00
The Efteling is famous here in the Netherlands! It started as a ‘Fairytale Forest’ in 1952, and over the years the Efteling grew out into a large-scale theme park with roller-coasters and restaurants, most of them still inspired by fairy tale themes such as Sinbad the Sailor or Fata Morgana. But my favourite part is still theFairytale Forest, where you can find the Sleeping Beauty sleeping in her castle, the scary Dragon watching over his treasure, Snow White in her coffin made of glass, the candy house with Hansel and Gretel, singing mushrooms and much, much more to explore.
Visiting the Efteling is truly a joyful experience for the entire family. As soon as they can walk, little children will love the Fairytale Forest, and bigger kids will not want to skip this part either, although they will probably also want to go for a ride in one of the many other great attractions. A visit to the Efteling may take a day, but we usually spend two days where one day we hang out mostly in the Fairytale Forest and the other we explore the rest of the park. You can stay the night in the Efteling Hotel, where the experience goes on with theme rooms (we once stayed in the ‘Flying Dutchman‘ room) and dinners with real fairytale characters — cheesy, maybe, but the kids love it (and so do I).
Oh, just thinking about this pizzeria makes my mouth water. At Fuoco Vivo, pizzas are made the Italian way: from organic sour dough, baked in a wood oven that is made of volcanic earth. Toppings are simply the best, often organic and imported directly from Italy. No wonder this place is crowded with Italians! It feels as if you’re in Naples instead of in Amsterdam, which brings me to the child-friendliness of this place: I have yet to meet an Italian who doesn’t love kids.
ALSO IN THE AREA:
|Marqt||The Hollandsche Manege||Coffee to go?|
Nooo, this is not a candy store. It’s even better! At Knutsel Frutsel you will find everything you need for your children’s art & craft kit — or yours! Filled with the best products, from play-dough to paper, glitter to glue — you’ll find it in this shop. And the owners will give you expert advice on how to use the products (or get you inspired with a craft idea or two)! Oh, and if you think you’re done browsing and you’re getting ready to pay, a happy surprise will wait for you on the other side of the shop: wonderful toys, fun party-bag goodies, and the entire Schleich collection.
ALSO IN THE AREA:
|Imps & Elfs||Issa||Le Pain Quotidien|
One of my favourite international chains in the world must be Le Pain Quotidien (PQ). Even after, I don’t know, 10 years or so, I still am not tired of the deliciousness of the PQ tartines, cakes, salads and, well, everything. So the fact that the PQ finally came to Amsterdam has made me very, very happy! If you’re looking for a cute place to meet a friend for a cappuccino, or bring your kids for a scrumptious weekend breakfast, then this is the place for you. There are highchairs available and my kids absolutely love the fact that they can indulge in the many jams, honey and different Belgian chocolate spreads on the table (and so do I)!
ALSO IN THE AREA:
|Bazar||De Pijp and the Albert Cuypmarket||Boca’s Bar|
We love taking the kids over to the Amstelpark for a walk and a play in the big playground. It’s also a great spot for a summery picnic — in the quiet areas close to the river we’ve often seen rabbits hopping around our picnic blanket! Amstelpark also has a sweet little city farm and a ‘train’ that will drive you around the park and which the kids obviously love. There are a few places where you can have a drink and a snack but I prefer taking the kids to @7 on the Scheldestraat for lunch or a coffee (or for an ice cream next door in summer).
ALSO IN THE AREA:
|@7, lovely for lunch||Kid’s shoes from Meys & Co||Strand Zuid|
The Scheldestraat is a fun street to go to — you’ll find the Miffy Store there and a few other nice children’s shops. It is also fairly close to the Amstel Park, where there’s a big playground and cute little city farm. A good place for an informal lunch or coffee is at @7. In the back is a little play area for the kids, there are plenty of high chairs, and on the menu are great treats for kids like warm cheese toasts and bread with chocolate sprinkles. One of my favourite places to have coffee or lunch with a friend with the kids in tow!
ALSO IN THE AREA:
|MIFFY SHOP||Kid’s shoes from Meys & Co||Amstelpark|