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Kids canoeing in nature park De Kemphaan.
Image from Jorn van Eck

Unique things to do with kids in the Amsterdam Area

If you're looking for interesting family activities, consider taking the trip out of Amsterdam and into the surrounding region. From adventuring across the magnificent Dutch countryside to discovering fishing villages and outdoor museums, here are some of our picks for the perfect family day out in the area outside of Amsterdam.

Flowers of Amsterdam

Let loose at Europe’s biggest playground

Image from Linnaeushof

More than 350 playgrounds and attractions await at Linnaeushof in the Flower Strip! From mazes to the Pirates’ Island, obstacle courses and even cable cars, the whole family is guaranteed to have a ton of fun. Separated into various areas based on age, the playgrounds are perfect for smaller and older kids alike. For more to do in the Flowers of Amsterdam region, explore Keukenhof Castle or, if you come during spring, its blossoming gardens of tulips at Keukenhof.

Venture deep into space

boy looking at astronaut exposition
Image from Space Expo

Space Expo lets the little ones discover the universe, and they can even earn their very own astronaut diploma! Space Expo is the visitor centre of ESA ESTEC and the Museum of Space Travel. André Kuipers' original Soyuz capsule is on display, there’s a model of the International Space Station (ISS), so big you can walk through it, and don’t miss the life-size scale model of the Moon landing.

Old Holland

Try on traditional costumes

Image from Geert Snoeijer

Volendam in Old Holland is known for its traditional costumes, music and fish, whilst the characteristic tiny houses, made incredibly picturesque by the beautiful harbour, create an atmosphere of friendliness and romance. Don’t miss, all in VR, the Experience Volendam takes you back to 1916 when Volendam was a small fishing village. The charming hostess, dressed in original Volendam costumes, tells the story of traditional clothing and how people lived and worked. Next is a virtual walk in an old Volendam street. Will you help the fisherman during his adventure?

Ring the bells

The historic weigh house of Monnickendam.
Image from koen smilde

Venture into Monnikendam in Old Holland for a look inside its clock tower, the Waterlands Museum de Speeltoren, featuring a complicated system of pulleys and gears all working in concert to produce the loveliest sound. This museum offers the chance to play an organ, ring the bells and find out how the angel on top of the tower blows its trumpet. With plenty of enchanting artefacts from the area, this is the perfect place to start a day trip through Monnikendam and Edam. Our tips nearby? Don’t miss the Monnikendam harbour, Volendams Museum and Fort bij Edam.

Castles & Gardens

Visit a fortress island

Seen across the water, the tiny island of Pampus in the Castles & Gardens region looks like any other island. But adventurers who take the chance to explore this unique location will discover that it’s not a natural land mass at all but a submerged sea fort built in the 1890s to protect Amsterdam from enemies. After a restoration in 2007, you can now visit Fort Pampus by boat and explore its secret tunnels - and it’s also a popular location for events.

Plunge into medieval life

Image from Mike Bink fotografie

You won’t find a better playground for the whole family than the 700-year-old moated Castle Muiderslot in Muiden, in the Castles & Gardens region. Follow the Tower route tour through the decorated halls and discover how the castle was defended in case of danger. For extra fun, try the children’s quest tailored for children from 6 to 11. There are many fun assignments and riddles to complete across the castle and its gardens! Once you’ve had your fill of medieval fun, don’t hesitate to stop in Muiden for a meal and a walk along the canals. Keep an eye out for special activities, markets, and masterclasses on the Muiderslot calendar.


Scale new heights

Climbing room inside of Mountain network
Image from Ines Maudire

The perfect place for little daredevils to scale to new heights, Klimmuur (Climbing Wall) Haarlem was the first climbing wall to open in the Netherlands and offers a range of activities for children. As well as training courses for kids, the centre hosts special days where they can have a go to see if they like climbing if they haven't done it before, check out the youth club or join bouldering sessions. And after you’ve had your fill of adventure, there should be plenty of time to explore Authentic Haarlem.

Burn off steam

The Spaarnwoude recreational area is located between Amsterdam, Haarlem and Velsen. At Spaarnwoude, you can walk, bike or skate while enjoying the characteristically Dutch landscape. There’s plenty of space to play and relax, as well as tons of activities like paintball, a climbing wall, a putting green, canoeing, swimming and more. The recreational area also hosts several large events every summer.

Amsterdam Beach

Explore ancient ruins

The ruins of Brederode are the remnants of castle Brederode near Santpoort-Zuid.
Image from koen smilde

The dunes of Amsterdam Beach offer much to discover for little visitors. Take them back in time by visiting the Ruïne van Brederode (Brederode Ruins) - a ruined medieval castle with a moat, dungeon and far-reaching views from the highest turret. Kids can dress up as knights or damsels to explore the ruin’s many rooms and towers and play traditional wooden games at the ye very olde outdoor café. If you’re lucky enough to visit in June (check the website for dates), you’ll have the chance to watch the Knight's Tournament, but keep an eye out for other events and concerts held at this historic site throughout the spring and summer.

New Land

Conquer the sea

Batavialand is a museum in Lelystad where you can find out how people built wooden sailing ships 400 years ago. Board the spectacular VOC ship the Batavia, dive into the history of Flevoland, and experience the stories of the pioneers.
Image from Koen Smilde

Take a journey spanning 7,000 years of Dutch history at Batavialand in Lelystand New Land. The shipyard shows how the Dutch have mastered shipbuilding over the centuries. Climb aboard a replica of the famed Dutch East India Company ship, the Batavia, to get a feel for the water. Then, head to the wharf to learn traditional seafaring trades such as sailmaking, knot tying and metal forging. Inside the museum, the kids can play and learn about water management at the interactive IJsselkogge exhibition and the dangers of the deep.