The Hoxton, Amsterdam

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Located in the heart of the Herengracht district, one of Amsterdam’s most desirable addresses, The Hoxton hotel is a great place to explore this super cool city with the family.

We spent a long weekend together exploring the museums, the markets and simply hanging out with friends and we fell in love with the place.

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The Hoxton was originally five separate canal houses and they’ve done a great job stylishly decorating the hotel leaving its original features in place. The views of the canal and the traditional Dutch houses are dreamy. The rooms vary in shape and size ranging from a tiny Shoebox to a larger Roomy. We checked into one of the Roomy rooms and there was plenty of space for the two of us with a beautiful desk and lounge area. We asked if they’d accommodate children and they were more than enthusiastic to offer cots and interconnecting rooms. The trademark breakfast ‘bag’ which is hung at your door in the morning with a pastry, yoghurt and juice was perfect for room service. We also ate at Lotti’s, the in-house restaurant, and it was delicious. We managed to make time to eat at Sla , De Luwte  and Rijsel which were all divine.

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The beauty of The Hoxton is that it is so conveniently placed. The Museum Van Loon, the flower market and the Stedelijk Musuem are nearby and they will even loan bikes free of charge so you can get around the city even quicker. It’s a short walk to the Van Gogh museum and also to Anne Frank’s house which are must visits with the family.

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I would not hesitate taking the girls back with us next time (this stay was an anniversary break). Although you will find the amount of young professionals visiting the hotel will outnumber those with children it is still a perfect stay for a city break!

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This post has been shared by our lovely contributor Vanessa after her recent visit to Amsterdam.

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Radion

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Radion
Louwesweg 1, 1066 EA Amsterdam
ph: 020 452 4709
Opening hours:
Mon – Fri 10am until late
Sat – Sun 12noon until late (Note: Nanny service only provided on Sundays from 2pm-6pm)

*Map*

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.

 

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De Kleine Parade

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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.

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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.

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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.

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De Kleine Parade

Gerard Doustraat 142-144 Amsterdam

ph: 020 223 5837

merel@dekleineparade.com

Opening hours:

Tues- Sat 9:00am – 5:00pm

Sun 10:00am – 4:00pm

Mon closed

*Map*

 

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Vondeltuin

Vondeltuin

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.

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Vondeltuin cafe shuts down over the Winter, but the playground remains accessible all year round.

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Vondeltuin
Vondelpark 7
1075 VR Amsterdam
+31 (0)6 2756 5576
*Map*

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Boca’s Bar

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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!

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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!)

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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!).

Boca’s Bar

+31 (0) 20 675 99 45
Sarphatipark 4
1072 PA Amsterdam

*Map*

Boca’s also have a location in the Jordaan district:

+31 (0) 20 820 37 27

Westerstraat 30
1015 MK Amsterdam

Open 7 days until late

 

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Foodhallen

food hallen, eating out, amsterdamInspired 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.

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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.

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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!).

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(On weekends De Hallen also hosts the Local Goods Market, which are a treat to peruse for unique local crafts and wares.)

Foodhallen

Bellamyplein 51 Amsterdam

Open 7 days, 11am until late

info @ foodhallen.nl

*Map*

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Dignita Restaurant

Dignita, Amsterdam, Cafe, Restaurant, Brunch

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.

Dignita, Amsterdam, Cafe, Restaurant, Brunch

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!

Dignita, Amsterdam, Cafe, Restaurant, Brunch

Dignita Restaurant:
Koninginneweg 218HS
1075 EL  Amsterdam
Telephone:  020 221 4458

Open 7 days a week:  09:00-17:00

*Map*

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Fuoco Vivo, the best pizza in Amsterdam

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.

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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)!

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@7, lovely for lunch

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!

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House and Park Frankendael

In the 17th century, the Dutch Golden Age, it was the fashion for Amsterdam’s wealthiest merchants to buy a plot of land outside the city and build themselves a stately country house. The beautiful old House Frankendael, located about a mile east from the city centre in Watergraafsmeer, is one of those country estates and in fact the only one remaining in Amsterdam.
It is located in the historical Park Frankendael, which is a lovely place to visit for a relaxing stroll with the family. There’s a playground to be discovered and also a little ruin on a (tiny) island. The restaurant in the old coach house of Frankendael House is open 7 days a week and is a good place for breakfast or lunch combined with a visit to the park — especially in summer when the terrace at the back of the house is open.
The famous restaurant The Kas is also located in Park Frankendael, in a huge greenhouse dating from 1926, and is a great place for dinner, with or without children.

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Restaurant As — pure food


One of my favourite restaurants in Amsterdam is Restaurant As. Located in a modern chapel on the edge of the Beatrix Park, this is slow food at its best! The cooks use organic, seasonal food from local sources and are big on treating the food the way it should be treated, so that it tastes exactly like what it should taste like. They smoke their own salmon, cure their own ham and bake their own bread. A pig and some chickens roam around at the back of the restaurant and remind us respectfully of where it all comes from.
Children are welcome and have enough room to play and even run around. And in summer there’s a lovely, big terrace.

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Delle 4 Stagioni

Delle 4 Stagioni is the neighbourhood Italian restaurant that every Old-South family knows about. It is located in a beautiful old butcher’s shop with all the original antique wall tiles still present (and depicting the four seasons). The restaurant serves a good Roman style pizza, tasty fresh pastas and has a decent wine list. The manager, the very kind Giulia Consonni, has a friendly word for each child and takes them to the kitchen in the back of the restaurant for an ice-cream cone as dessert — provided the little ones eat their dinner, obviously! (more…)

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Burgermeester

Even though they don’t serve French Fries at Burgermeester (Dutch for mayor), they do serve the most delicious burgers! Think burgers with Blonde d’Aquitaine beef and truffle, lamb with red onion compote, wild duck with Chinese cabbage, salmon with grilled asparagus and lemon mayonnaise… Or the vegetarian burger with falafel and grilled vegetables — all of them super tasty, and accompanied by potatoes, corn on the cob or salad, fresh fruit juices or milkshakes.
Even though the food is upscale, the setting is definitely super relaxed, like a fast food joint ought to be. Meaning food is served quickly, and kids crawling over benches won’t be a bother!
Best of all? All the deli burgers come in mini varieties — perfect for little tummies (or big tummies that like to try them all)!

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Bazar

bazarIn one of Amsterdam’s hottest neighbourhoods, de Pijp, you can find Bazar, a restaurant serving Arabic dishes in a middle Eastern atmosphere.  I really like Bazar, mostly for it’s relaxed atmosphere.  No dressing up, no big prices, nothing fancy but on the other hand super relaxed and kid-friendly.  Mini picnic tables are put next to the grown-up’s table so the little ones can eat in style.  Highchairs are available, colouring plates and crayons free to use and a little corner with television is present.  A kid’s menu is available and the ice-cream is a favourite!  Great to meet up with friends with kids, the staff really doesn’t mind the little ones running around.  They even like to play ball!

xxx Esther (more…)

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