Expat families will be pleased to know that there is more for kids to see and do in Amsterdam than one might think. Outdoor activities abound and this bicycle-friendly city is a great place for families to get out and stretch their legs.
New arrivals soon realise that the Netherlands is a small country, and getting around from one city or town to the next is fairly easy. While Amsterdam itself hosts a fair number of child-friendly activities, a drive or bus trip out of the city is also recommended for families, whether for a weekend break or a simple day trip.
Family-friendly activities in Amsterdam
In Amsterdam, it's easy to pack a picnic and head to one of the city's fabulous parks or stroll along the canal walkways. Residents also regularly take the kids rollerblading in Vondelpark as a popular outdoor activity.
Animal-loving expats will enjoy a trip to ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo, which is home to an aquarium, planetarium and an arboretum.
Expat parents with smaller children can take their toddlers to TunFun Speelpark, an indoor playground in the heart of the city where kids can run around and let off some steam. Older children can learn from educational attractions such as the Anne Frank House near the Westerkerk.
Family-friendly activities outside of Amsterdam
Families with children needing a little more excitement should set a weekend aside to enjoy the Efteling theme park's exciting rides and activities. This fantasy-themed amusement park is located in Kaatsheuvel, just over an hour's drive from central Amsterdam.
A great way for children to come to grips with their new home is a trip to Madurodam, which features miniature Dutch-styled buildings, factories and streets. This interactive park is located in The Hague and is less than an hour's drive from Amsterdam.
►For more on being a parent in the city, see Having a Baby in the Netherlands
"Kids never stop to amaze you; as everywhere they adjusted quickly and blend in perfectly. They are at an international school here, of which there are several in the Amsterdam region. As a parent, the Amsterdam environment does fill me with concern sometimes, but up till now they have proven me to be a grumpy old man." Edward talks about his children settling into Amsterdam in this expat interview.
"At first with the housing, my son was quite frustrated. We were living in a hotel and he and our cat were depressed, they were limited. Once we got our own place and got him in a school things relaxed." Read about Monique's experience moving with a family.
Are you an expat living in Amsterdam?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Amsterdam. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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