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Discover Amsterdam
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Live, Work and Study
Family exploring at Almere Jungle
Image from Roxanne Overdijk

Family day trips in the Amsterdam Area

As wonderful as Amsterdam is, there are times when kids are itching to get out of the city and explore some of the wonders beyond. The Netherlands is a small country and hugely accessible by public transport, car or even bike – check out our favourite day trips just outside of Amsterdam.

Castles & Gardens

Castle Muiderslot

A short(ish) cycle ride from Amsterdam’s Central Station is the beautiful medieval castle at Muiderslot.  Surrounded by a moat, with battlements to explore, ‘secret’ passageways to discover, and a fairytale courtyard straight out of Beauty and the Beast, Muiderslot tops our list for a quick getaway when the city is jammed. With the chance to become a knight or noble lady, take part in jousting and archery, scrabble up the 83 steps to the turret, and discover the long-drop toilets. Adventures are guaranteed!

Ouderkerk aan de Amstel

Not packed with attractions but a huge favourite for children when the weather is nice, Ouderkerk offers a slice of Dutch country living, just 20 minutes from the city.  Whether you reach it by bike, boat or car, you’ll be rewarded with riverside views of the Amstel, windmills, village life, and some of our favourite terraces for a bite to eat or a chilled drink. Nearby, don't miss Rembrandthoeve - an authentic farm still making two of the most traditional Dutch products: cheese and clogs. 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.

Old Holland

Zaanse Schans

Kids love this version of the Dutch idyll, the Zaanse Schans open-air museum - just half an hour from Amsterdam. With a line of Instagram-ready windmills and Dutch treats like stroopwafels, cheese and liquorice to taste, it may suffer from coach trip overload, but don’t rule it out. Our top tip is the museum at the visitor centre with the recreated chocolate and biscuit factory, The Verkade Experience and the chance to design your own chocolate wrapper (and take it home wrapped around a bar of the local stuff).

Volendam and Edam

The quaint villages of Volendam and Edam in the Old Holland region have lots to offer and make for a fun day out.  On Wednesdays, the pretty little town of Edam sees farmers bring cheeses by boat and horse to the town centre ready to be weighed and traded. Whilst at Volendam’s harbour, the speciality is fish, and there’s literally nowhere better in the Netherlands to get a fresh herring, straight off the boat – assuming of course that you aren’t in town to grab a picture of yourself dressed in traditional local costume.

Amsterdam Beach

Zandvoort and Heemskerk

When the sun comes out (and indeed, even when it doesn’t), there's never a wrong reason to head to the beach. Within just half an hour of Amsterdam, the beaches of Noordwijk, Zandvoort and Heemskerk provide hours of fun and fresh air along with some fabulous food at the many pavilions (often huddled around a fire pit with a hot Chocomel when the weather turns). If you're in Zandvoort, don't miss the Juttersmu-ZEE-um, which houses a fascinating collection of finds washes up on the beach, including buoys, bones, shark teeth, letters in bottles and even part of a rocket.

Flowers of Amsterdam

Keukenhof Gardens

In spring, the Keukenhof, the world’s most extensive flower garden, is worth a family trip.  The magnificent display reaches its pinnacle over just a few weeks each year, and if the hoards of visitors are too much, why not hire a bike and cycle through the surrounding tulip fields of Lisse for a bucket-list kind of experience? Once seen, never forgotten.

Olmenhorst Orchard

Just north of Leiden lies the wonderful Olmenhorst Orchard – a lovely family day out. In autumn, there are, of course, apples and pears to pick, but the rest of the year, you’ll often find unique activities and meals featuring organic products from the surrounding countryside. A delightful place to explore and run around, it is also home to a gorgeous farm shop packed with edible goodies as well as wooden children’s toys and gifts.

New Land

Aviodrome, Lelystad

Based North of Amsterdam at Lelystad Airport, this vast aerospace museum draws visitors back time and time again. It’s packed with planes to clamber aboard, both inside and out, where young pilots, stewards and stewardesses can complete a series of activities and earn their flying stripes. 

De Kemphaan, Almere

For an adventurous day out – and plenty for kids to do – head to De Kemphaan, close to Almere, where kids will delight in tackling the high ropes and zip lines of Klimbos Fun Forest Almere. Take a break at one of the local restaurants or even spend the night in one of the estate’s camping pitches or tipi tents on the nature campsite. Then head over to the unmissable Almere Jungle, which offers exotic animal surprises, a tropical cafe and exceptional play areas. This amusing wildlife park, staffed by passionate volunteers, has lashings of humour, imagination, and care regarding how the enclosures are constructed.


Teylers Museum

Image from Teylers museum Haarlem

Just 20 minutes by train from Amsterdam, go fossil hunting at the oldest museum in the Netherlands in Haarlem! Slightly older kids will love Teylers Museum, where fantastic fossils, preserved beasts, sparkling minerals and impressive gadgets are just some of the weird and wonderful items on display. Masterfully combining art and science, the museum is worth a visit just to admire the magnificent building. Kids up to 12 can even take a free treasure hunt through the collection.