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:
|Strand Zuid||MIFFY SHOP||@7, lovely for lunch|
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.
On the southern outskirts of Amsterdam is a huge park/woodland called the ‘Amsterdamse Bos’ (Amsterdam Forest). It offers great activities for kids, like swimming pools, playgrounds, a theater, a pancakes restaurant, and one of our family’s absolute favourite outdoor activities in Amsterdam: the macrobiotic goat farm ‘Ridammerhoeve‘.
The beauty of this goat farm is that it is really, in all reality, a goat farm! So besides it being a city farm, with the mere purpose of giving city kids the opportunity to get closer to animals and to teach them ‘where the milk is coming from’, the main purpose of this farm is to produce (organic) goat’s milk and make it into cheeses, yogurt, ice cream etc., all for sale at the little café, where you can also get a nice goats’ cappuccino! (more…)
Once a year, a magical event hits the city of Amsterdam… De Parade!
Although ‘De Parade’ does translate into ‘The Parade’, it is nothing like a parade – it is in fact a theater festival, disguised in an old-fashioned looking fair ground!
‘De Parade’ offers a mix of art, theater, film, magic, comedy and music, together with a good supply of food and drinks. The atmosphere is arty, bohemian, easygoing and trendy – every single hip person in Amsterdam seemed to be at the opening night last Friday! It’s a great place for people-watching and having drinks by itself, but the shows are really worth paying a visit. The theater makers now have an outlet for ideas that are hard to find an audience for the rest of the year, so you can see some really special performances here!
One ‘idea’ I saw and thought to be supercool, was a silent disco. About fifty people in an open air disco, all wearing headphones and dancing the stars of the sky, and occasionally all singing along with the lyrics. Such fun! I will definitely go next time! (more…)
ALSO IN THE AREA:
|Restaurant As — pure food|
Last week we finally had a nice and warm, summery day in the Netherlands, so a girlfriend and I took our children to one of the hip & cool city beaches here in Amsterdam: Strand Zuid (South Beach).
Behind the (big & ugly) congress centre, ‘Amsterdam Rai’, and on the border of the Beatrix Park pond, a lovely treasure is hidden: a beach in the middle of Amsterdam!
There are 2,000 square meters of sand, chill-out areas, bars & terraces with good food, sun-loungers, a beach volleyball field and showers. It’s great to bring your children here on a warm summer day; they can enjoy themselves in the sand and play with all the other kids, while you can relax a bit with a rosé and pretend to be in the Mediterranean…
It’s also not a bad place to come without children – for a stylish dinner on a nice summer evening… It’s open until midnight on weekends.
ALSO IN THE AREA:
|@7, lovely for lunch||MIFFY SHOP||Amstelpark|
The ‘Vondeltuin‘ is a lovely café/restaurant with a huge terrace AND playground in the most northwestern tip of the beautiful Vondelpark, a perfect place to bring children on a summery day. High chairs are available.
Bigger kids (and parents) can rent skates here — only 15 euros for a full day! Or 5 euros for the first hour and 2,50 for each next hour, if you’re less fanatic…
Don’t worry if you think you’re a disaster on skates – this is no excuse: a workshop can be booked at the Vondeltuin and before you know it, you’ll be an expert!
You will even be able to skate-carry that picnic around you picked up at the Vondeltuin (only by reservation)! (more…)
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In an old tunnel and pedestrian passageway, under a busy square in the center of Amsterdam, a kids paradise is created: TunFun. This indoor playground is the ideal place to bring your overactive kids on a cold or rainy day. There are playzones for different age groups, with trampolines, jump cushion, ball pools, slides, and much much more: plenty of opportunity for your kids to climb/kreep/crawl…
The venue looks odd but at the same time very cool - you actually do have the feeling you’re in a tunnel (a very spacious one, don’t worry); the tram can be seen passing by over your head! There’s a lot of scaffolding, graffiti and traffic lights going on, adding to the feeling of cool urbanity. Toddlers and pre-schoolers will love the challenges this place offers, but older kids (up to 12) will still love this place, because it’s so cool.
Plenty of benches and couches are provided for the parents to sit down have a cup of coffee and read one of the magazines or newspapers around.
Well, idealy. (more…)
ALSO IN THE AREA:
|La Savonnerie||Utrechtsestraat||De Bakkerswinkel|
Go out for breakfast in the Bakkerswinkel. A basket of different sorts of bread, muffins, scones and croissants makes way to your table accompanied by a much needed coffee and orange juice. Fancy jams can be found on the table. Open from 7AM – what a wonderful way to start the week!
After, take your children to the Amstelpark, where there is a lovely playground and a little city farm. A ‘real train’ can take you around the park – a sure hit with your little ones.
Had enough of the park? Go to the Scheldestraat where you can find the great kids’ shoe store Meys&Co (open from 1PM onwards), with Koter&Co across the street where they sell a big selection of the cool Dutch kiddie brand Imps&Elfs (and more).
Before going back home, don’t forget to visit Italian delicatessen Feduzzi for a cappuccino and one of their mouth-watering Panini. And don’t forget the babyccino for your little angel! You can pick up something for dinner here too – I promise you, the food is great and prices are reasonable.