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!
Even though the work, as in any other farm, never stops, the doors of Ridammerhoeve are open 6 days a week for the public, and most specifically for kids, who can help feed, brush and cuddle the baby goats, clean their stables, see how the goats get milked, and, if they are lucky, witness the birth of a baby goat!
It is so very cute to see all those children, each with their little bottle of milk, adopting a little kid (who are always very happy customers) and feed them as if they gave birth to them!
When my ‘kids’ are done feeding the goats, caressing the pig, horse and chickens and eating the delicious goat’s ice-cream, they still don’t want to leave as there is still a lovely, all-wooden playground to explore (and a real tractor to play with)!
Ridammerhoeve was started over 20 years ago and is still as popular as ever – I’ve spoken to many ‘older’ mums in Amsterdam who have told me that they too took their children to the goat farm!