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
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
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 piece of music.
Play and swim
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.
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 for reducing textile waste. When it comes to shoes, Zippy’s Kinderschoenen is an independent footwear store adored by local parents. Their experienced team will professionally measure your little ones (without a fuss!) and have them out the door with quality shoes they’ll love. Then, 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
When it’s time to refuel from your day of discovery, there are some perfect family-friendly eateries nearby. Wicked Waffles is a winning choice for kids, serving up fluffy waffles (classic or gluten-free/vegan) with a seemingly endless selection of toppings - bacon and eggs, berries and syrup, goat cheese and figs and more. Or, for a relaxing afternoon on a terrace with waterfront views, travel around to KNSM Island where cafés like Kompaszaal and Kanis & Meiland serve child-friendly dishes, juices and snacks.