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Discover Amsterdam
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Live, Work and Study
Kids skating and BMX at the skatepark on Zeeburgereiland
Image from Pauline Arkesteijn

Family and kids in the Oostelijke Eilanden

Amsterdam’s eastern docklands are the perfect spot for little pirates to island hop and discover the city’s seafaring past. These family-friendly museums, parks, shops and cafés provide hours of entertainment.

An adventure at sea

Image from Het Scheepvaartmuseum

The Oostelijke Eilanden neighbourhood carries historical significance as the departure point for Dutch sailing ships that travelled to far corners of the world. The National Maritime Museum relays this fascinating history for children of all ages. Kids will get excited as soon as they lay eyes on the replica of the famous Dutch East India Company ship moored outside. There are interactive family games that recreate the experience of life on board a 17th-century ship, maps and audio exhibits that tell the stories of 17th-century seafarers and how their travels impacted the world at large.

Music to their ears

Child listening to music at Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ Youth Concert children's performance
Image from Vera Duivenvoorden

This neighbourhood is renowned for its high-profile concert venues, Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ and Bimhuis, however there’s always a section in their programmes dedicated to children’s performances. Kids can unleash their inner Rockstar or concert pianist during the SoundLAB workshops, which make instruments available to budding musicians. The hands-on workshops encourage kids to experiment with sound and even create their own pieces of music.

Play and swim

Bogortuin outdoor swimming spot on Javaeiland
Image from Koen Smilde

The entirety of the Oostelijke Eilanden neighbourhood is really one big playground. Kids can let loose in the car-free Funenpark on the edge of Czaar Peterbuurt, get their skates on at the Zeeburgereiland Skatepark or take a dip on summer days at Bogortuin Park beach on Java Island. There’s also another superb designated swimming area at the Marineterrein with stunning views over the Maritime Museum and the docked VOC ship replica. Its also traditionally the starting point for Amsterdam City Swim - a charity sports event which takes place each August.

Child-approved shopping

Peanut butter jar from Pindakaas winkel
Image from Rick Akkerman

Inspiring children’s boutiques can be found throughout this neighbourhood, with highlights including Kids en Koters, a second-hand clothing store that also re-sells items your kids have grown out of. It’s a fantastic way to replenish their wardrobes and to do your bit to reduce textile waste. Treat your peanut butter lovers to a visit to De Pindakaaswinkel, where they can sample handmade, palm-oil-free peanut butter in imaginative flavours – looking at you, stroopwafel-cinnamon.

Dining out with kids

Kompaszaal café & event venue interior
Image from Kompaszaal

When it’s time to refuel from your day of discovery, there are some perfect family-friendly eateries nearby. For a relaxing afternoon on a terrace with waterfront views, travel to KNSM Island, where cafés like Kompaszaal and Kanis & Meiland serve child-friendly dishes, juices and snacks.