Amsterdam has a new attraction for kids and it is so great we immediately added it to our ‘top five things to do in Amsterdam’.
Het Huis van Aristoteles (‘The House of Aristotle’ – named after the famous philosopher and inventor of the senses), is a children’s museum which offers activities ‘that challenge the senses and stimulate creativity, fantasy and curiosity’.
The first exposition in the museum is called Heldenstad (‘HeroTown’) and is inspired by the famous Dutch children’s book, ‘Pluk van de Petteflet’. There’s a 6-meter-high building envisioning the ‘Petteflet’ (see picture), with all sorts of great things to be explored: various little bedrooms furnished by children from different cultures and backgrounds, dress up clothes, dolls, trains, etc.
There is even a kitchen with ‘Mrs. Helderder’ (‘Mrs. Clearer’ – a character of the book), who vigorously tells all the children to help her clean, because ‘it is all so filthy’. My daughter was polishing shoes and mopping floors for nearly one hour; she had rosy cheeks and a big smile on her face!
Pluk van de Petteflet is probably only familiar to you if you are Dutch, or have lived in the Netherlands for a fairly long time. I don’t think it has ever been translated! But if you’re interested, you can read our friend Irene’s review of the book on B:Kids.
There are also ’laboratories’ in which children can experiment with only natural materials — they can make their own shadow-theater, there are plenty of dolls, books, toys, and little corners to be explored.
The museum is directed toward children from 4 to 8 years, but my children (1½ and 3½) had the time of their life!
Really, I highly recommend this place.
Also, the museum happens to be located in a wonderful area of Amsterdam, Westergasfabriek, where there is a park, playground, tons of cute cafés and restaurants (de Bakkerswinkel amongst them), and a city farm, all within walking distance.
Picture: polishing shoes in Mrs. Clearer’s kitchen