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Discover Amsterdam
Meetings and Conventions
Live, Work and Study
Family walking by canal with child on Da Costakade
Image from Koen Smilde

Family and kids in Oud-West

With its hidden cultural gems, sporty and creative activities and direct access to Vondelpark, little visitors to Amsterdam will find much to enjoy in Oud-West. The sleepy tree-lined streets and wealth of public green spaces make the neighbourhood a relaxing and welcoming area for families to explore together.

Hollandsche Manege Riding School

Child horse riding at Hollandsche Manege riding school
Image from Marie-Charlotte Pezé

Strolling down the busy Overtoom, you might come across the faint farmyard whiff usually associated with horses. That’s because tucked away behind this busy shopping street is Amsterdam’s most unusual architectural gem: The Hollandsche Manege, an 18th-century riding school with opulent Baroque interiors. Children, teens, and adults can enjoy riding classes here, which are designed for ages 8 and up. Visitors can look down on the trotting ponies from the balcony of the stunning café.

Vondelpark playgrounds

Groot Melkhuis café-restaurant playground for kids
Image from Groot Melkhuis

Flanked by Vondelpark and intersected by peaceful residential streets with quiet squares, visitors to Oud-West have easy access to a treasure trove of public play areas. At the southernmost tip of Vondelpark is the idyllic Vondeltuin, a family-friendly garden with a nearby play structure for kids to burn off steam whilst parents sit back on the terrace. Elsewhere in the park, you’ll find a fantastic playground next to Groot Melkhuis and an outdoor paddling pool which transforms into a hive of splashy activity on warm summer days. For some further monkeying around, the Vondelpark Canopy Walk is a challenging adventure course concealed by foliage that consists of climbing platforms, rope bridges, and tree trunks.

Vondelpark Open Air Theatre

Childrens performance at Vondelpark Openlucht Open Air Theatre Theater in summer
Image from Levien Priem

Every summer, the Vondelpark Open Air Theatre brings the community of Oud-West together for its varied range of open-air performances and live music The youth programme includes special workshops on Saturday afternoons and theatre courses that run through the summer holidays. Budding actors will even have the chance to debut on the big stage.

Kinderkook Cafe

Kinderkookkafe exterior
Image from Kinderkookkafe

Why does food always taste better when somebody else has cooked it for you? At the Kinderkook Cafe, you can really put your feet up as the kids learn how to cook and serve meals to their lucky guests. Since the cafe opened its doors in 1981, this unique initiative has been teaching children the responsibilities involved in running their own restaurant as well as some essential hospitality skills. Classes are organised depending on age groups, and, of course, adult supervision and help are always on hand.

De Hallen

 There is plenty of entertainment for young visitors at the former tram depot De Hallen. Enjoy a great lineup of children's films at the FilmHallen, whilst the OBA De Hallen public library regularly schedules children's activities. You'll frequently find special children's afternoons organised in The Passage, where the little ones can do crafts to their heart's content or enjoy a puppet show. Hungry after all the fun? In Café Belcampo, parents can relax as the children play in the kids' corner.

Kid's stores

Image from Ines Maudire

From expanding the children's wardrobe to finding great sustainably made gifts, Oud-West has a fantastic lineup of children's stores. Lovers of brands like Bobo Choses, Mini Rodini and Tiny Cottons have come to the right place at Big&Belg on Jan-Pieter Heijestraat. For excellent (wooden) gifts, WijsWest on Bilderdijkstraat and Goochem on Constantijn Huygenstraat are favourites. Or head to Old West on De Clercqstraat for beautiful second-hand clothing, (new) gifts and children's books. Jun Jun, another second-hand treasure store, is just down the street.

Kinderboerderij Zimmerhoeve

Check out the chickens in their comfy coops and watch the pigs wallowing in the mud at the Zimmerhoeve city farm. This much-loved community-oriented project has been teaching younger visitors about the environment, farming and the food chain since the 1990s. Kids can learn about the different animals found on a traditional Dutch farm, from those rambunctious goats to the extraordinary composting power of worms. Hopefully you’ll have the chance to say goedemorgen to Mus (Sparrow), the farm dog who hasn’t yet learnt to herd sheep but does enjoy being petted by the farm volunteers.

OCCII Kinderpret

Not far from Vondelpark, OCCII is a community-focused creative arts centre run mainly by volunteers and rooted in the squatting movement. Kinderpret, the unique theatre programme for children, encompasses a range of accessible performances, musical spectacles and hands-on workshops that will appeal to various ages. Young visitors might find themself immersed in shadow puppets, building giant foam structures in the courtyard garden, or all settling down for an afternoon of tall tales and storytelling.