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
Sooo pleased that Het Huis van Aristoteles made it on your list of favourite things to do in Amsterdam, Esther!
We look back at a a fabulous time with all the kids, who celebrated Victor’s 4th birthday there during it’s opening week!! I especially loved the oriental storyteller, keeping all our kids quiet and attentive (how great is that 😉 with traditional children’s stories from far away countries…
I can really recommend the place for children’s parties, as the people involved with this imaginitive children’s museum are ever so kind and friendly. Where else will you find the unique mix of professional actors, artists and staff, all genuinely aiming to make your child’s day a unique and memorable one?!
Suddenly I feel much less depressed about the non-stop rain pouring down today… You have reminded me of a great weekend destination!
xx Tati (Victor’s mum)
wow, now I really want to visit Amsterdam! That sounds incredible!
Oh Esther, why am I not in Holland with David! He loves Pluk van de Petteflet (so do I… I have to admit, it is one of the earliest books I can clearly remember with great fun and exitement!).
I went there during the winter holidays week and it’s really a good place to entertain children! And if you have the “stadpas” you only pay 3 euros.
Thank you for telling us about this place.
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