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Discover Amsterdam
Meetings and Conventions
Live, Work and Study
Image from Thomas Erdmann

Family and kids in Castles & Gardens

Unleash your inner knight, damsel or fairy-tale villain at the historical fortresses, chivalric castles and country estates of the Castles & Gardens region, which has everything you need for a great family day out.

Explore a Medieval castle

Image from Mike Bink fotografie

Built around 1285, Castle Muiderslot is possibly the Netherlands’ most impressive and best-preserved castle. Take a tour through the remarkable knight’s hall, towers, dungeon and armoury or dress up like a real knight and try jousting. Children can participate in a scavenger hunt, climb into the Westertoren (West Tower) and find out what it is like to wear a suit of armour. On top of a varied events agenda throughout the seasons, the castle hosts children's tours on Wednesday afternoons.

Climb the ramparts in Naarden

People walking towards the canal in Naarden.
Image from Koen Smilde

The history of the remarkable snowflaked-shaped town of Naarden is explained at the fascinating Dutch Fortress Museum, which features canons, weapons, uniforms and some exciting audiovisual presentations. Children can experience how the soldiers protected Amsterdam and its surroundings from enemies from the east and explore the dark corners of the fortress, where the soldiers once fought, lived and slept. There are also opportunities for shooting, golf and boat tours. Don’t miss the chance to walk along the ramparts and view the fortress from the museum’s boat. Ever wondered how much a kilogram weighs on the moon? Don't miss Naarden's Weegschaal Museum (weighing scales museum), where you can discover everything there is to know about the origins of measuring and weighing.

Sail to a mysterious fortress island

Proef Pampus bij Fort Pampus
Image from Proef Pampus

Raise the flags and man the guns! For a family-friendly and historical day trip from Amsterdam, hop on a ferry and discover the UNESCO World Heritage Forteiland Pampus. The island has an extensive events calendar, including the Proef Pampus food festival and a special pirate week in May and a kite festival in June. Also, the island puts a special spotlight on culture in August, and in October, it hosts a Light Festival.

Enjoy child-friendly dining and play areas

At Restaurant Bruis in the charming town of Blaricum, there are pancakes, burgers, salads, BBQ and more. And if that’s not enough to keep the kids happy, there is also an outdoor playground, indoor fun floor and a cinema. And don't miss Restaurant Leuk in Bussum, which is gaming heaven! It has a large play basement with Nintendo Wiis, Playstations, X-boxes and even two real racing chairs. For those kids that don’t like gaming as much, there’s also a giant air hockey table, football table, lego and a shop to grab some goodies. Crafting, playing, watching cartoons or gaming, there’s something for everyone at Leuk.

Experience a retro play paradise

Oud Valkeveen is a play park, play ground. this amusement park has rollercoasters for kids
Image from Martin van Lokven | Visit Gooi & Vecht

Located just outside Naarden, old-school thrills and shows feature at this traditional amusement park. With attractions for kids of all ages, the Oud Valkeveen play paradise offers a perfect, fun-filled day out. After starting as a pancake farm, the venue has grown into a much-beloved amusement park with rollercoasters, slides, trains and climbing frames.

Hunt for fossils and minerals

Museum Hofland
Image from Louis van Hattem

Step back in time at the Geologisch Museum Hofland (Geological Museum) in Laren, which offers an educational insight into the history of our planet. Its focus on geology, minerals and regional prehistory will appeal to all ages. Hunt fossils, learn about earth’s stones and plates, and even see how Neanderthals lived in the museum’s prehistoric cave.

Cool off in an outdoor pool

Looking for a place to cool off on a hot day? The Zwembad Sijsjesberg outdoor swimming pool in Huizen is the perfect place to take the kids on a sizzling hot day. Located between a forest and fields of heather, the pool features a diving tower with a separate jumping pit and a large family slide. There’s also a toddler pool, large sunbathing areas, a sports field and a sun terrace with sunbeds. 

Take a mini hike through a stunning park

cows grazing in a grass field
Image from Visit Gooi & Vecht

Stroll around the grounds of the unique Jagtlust country estate outside of Hilversum on a mini walking route (just under 1km) as you admire this beautiful old country house full of history. Enjoy the countryside and architecture on this child-friendly route, which also features the chance to gather chestnuts and explore a cave.

See how clogs and cheese are made

Perched at a stunning riverside location along the Amstel, Rembrandthoeve is an authentic farm that’s still making two of the most traditional Dutch products: cheese and clogs. Step back in time as you watch skilful craftsmen transform a block of wood into these iconic old Dutch wooden shoes - and try on a pair yourself! Or follow the farmer on a dairy farm tour to see how traditional Gouda cheese is crafted with wonderful, unique flavours. Free tours (including cheese tastings) are available daily!

Join in the activities at a botanical gardens

Beautiful pathway and big trees in the green forest at the Pinetum Blijdenstein botanical gardens in Hilversum.
Image from Shutterstock

Tucked away in a residential suburb within walking distance from the centre of Hilversum, Pinetum Blijdenstein is a stunning botanical garden. The greenhouses are packed with exciting tropical plants, and the grounds are home to incredible tree species. Keep an eye on the agenda as Pinetum regularly organises activities for green-fingered little ones.

Take to the trees

Looking for a unique experience amongst the treetops? The Klimbos Fun Forest, just outside of Amstelveen, is a high-rope adventure park. It allows visitors to move through the Amsterdam Forest on ropes, ladders, bridges, zip lines, and other climbing elements. When you're ready for refreshments, head to the nearby Ridammerhoeve Goat Farm - also in the Amsterdamse Bos - to pet the animals and enjoy a goat's milk ice cream.