Family and kids in Amsterdam City Centre
Many of the city’s most popular family attractions are located right in the historic heart of Amsterdam. From world-famous science and history exhibits to mind-boggling escape rooms, there are plenty of indoor attractions to while away a few hours on rainy days. On top of that, you’ll also find world-famous museums, watery playgrounds and an entire collection of tiny furniture for mice - only in Amsterdam right?
NEMO Science Museum
Interact with science and technology at NEMO spread over five floors of an impressive building at Oosterdok, which juts out of the water like the hull of a copper-green ship. Kids can make their own machines and creations in the Maker’s Space or unravel the mysteries of everyday physics through fun experiments at the Sensational Science exhibit. For a stunning view of Amsterdam, head up to the rooftop, which boasts a fun splashy play area - an open-air water sculpture that teaches little ones about solar power.
The Mouse Mansion
There is a whole catalogue of quirky museums in Amsterdam to explore, but none are more enchanting than The Mouse Mansion. This adorable little shop/studio in the heart of the picturesque Jordaan district was built by Karina Schaapman as the set for her series of children's books featuring squeaky characters Sam and Julia. Their crafty handiwork and magical environments will delight those who love all things small and wonderful, especially furry mice.
The National Maritime Museum
Offering endless entertainment for sea-faring families, The National Maritime Museum brings together a mammoth collection of maritime objects, not to mention a life-size replica of the VOC Ship Amsterdam moored on the jetty outside - you really can’t miss it. Start your swashbuckling tour with hands-on activities that illustrate life aboard in the 18th-century, then marvel at paintings, models, navigational instruments and maps which explain how Dutch sailors navigated the seas and how their travels impacted the world at large.
Historical Scavenger Hunt
Learn everything you need to know about the oldest quarter of Amsterdam on a history-packed scavenger hunt through the old town. The circular route is packed with unique locations and special stories - the perfect introduction to the city for high schoolers, students, families or groups of friends. Explore Nieuwmarkt, Chinatown, Zeedijk, Damrak and the Begijnhof before heading back along the Amstel past the Zuiderkerk. Purchase your scavenger pack online and get the map and information folder sent directly to your address to get you started.
Sing on stage with the outrageous Lady Gaga, test your IQ with Einstein or have your picture taken with The Avengers at Madame Tussauds'. Hundreds of life-like figurines brought together in this world-renowned museum just off Dam Square have been delighting families for decades. Inside, the new interactive IamArt exhibit gives you the opportunity to (literally) get inside the masterpieces of famous Dutch painters, including Van Gogh and Rembrandt van Rijn - but try not to get lost in one of Escher’s winding staircases!
Ripley's Believe it or Not
And now for something completely different. Ripley's Believe it or Not celebrates everything weird and wonderful over five floors packed with hundreds of downright bizarre artefacts and a stunning panorama of Dam Square. Have you ever seen a massive robot made entirely out of car parts of a bonafide T-Rex skull? Strap yourself into the moving 5D cinema for the ride of your life, test your balance in the spinning tunnel and explore a replica of an authentic Dutch windmill.
BODY WORLDS: The Happiness Project
Embark on a fascinating journey through the human body at this new incarnation of the world-famous Body Worlds exhibition. Gaze in awe at more than 200 real anatomical models of the human body, all preserved in plastic using a technique invented by a German physician in 1977. The current theme in Amsterdam is named The Happiness Project and focuses on the effects of happiness on our well-being to explore how our mood can affect our health.
The escape room craze has really kicked off in Amsterdam over the last few years, offering budding puzzle-solvers the opportunity to test their intelligence, creativity and problem-solving skills. Sherlocked is located in the catacombs of the Beurs van Berlage building – a city landmark in its own right. The story goes that it used to be the office of the building’s architect, Hendrik Berlage, and nobody has entered it since his death in 1934. Players are invited to unravel the mysteries of the room and the architect’s life, including the secret society that he once belonged to.