Family and kids in Westerpark
The ideal neighbourhood for wild ones, animal lovers, budding creatives and chocoholics, Westerpark offers plenty of attractions for little ones to enjoy themselves. From getting stuck in the mud at an adventure playground to creating your own architectural designs: there is something for kids of all ages!
With its various ponds inhabited by hungry ducks, herons and water hens, and vast expanses of manicured lawn where families can spread out on the grass on sunny days, Westerpark is a great spot to enjoy a few sun-soaked hours. A peaceful abode, its romantic centerpiece is a pond with a fountain, surrounded by benches and framed by willow trees that make a lovely shaded picnic spot . Elderly locals stop their bikes for a quiet chat while throwing bread to the seagulls, and families walk their dogs or watch their kids scoot along the winding dirt paths. In the warmer months, there's even a shallow pool for the little ones to splash about in.
Founded in 1978, Amsterdam's De Krakeling holds the title of being the only youth theatre in the Netherlands that programmes exclusively for children. Their top-drawer agenda encompasses mainly Dutch and Flemish theatre along with puppet shows, music and dance performances. All ages are welcome but the focus of the theatre is on audiences between the ages of 4 and 18.
Museum Het Schip
Budding architects are requested to report to Museum Het Schip! With a treasure hunt through the museum and various crafts activities, this unique museum is a great choice for young creatives. Kids can make copies of Amsterdam School designs, get started with clay models, or make their own works of art in one of the many other workshops. Check the website for the current children's programme.
Kinderboerderij Westerpark and Buurtboerderij Ons Genoegen
Why does a chicken sleep on only one leg? And why can't you always pick up a rabbit? At Kinderboerderij Westerpark, little ones can learn about all kinds of animal breeds, including donkeys and goats, but also bees and an eagle owl – one of the largest owls in the world. Cuddle the animals, have fun in the playground or stroll around the stables and meadows. A little further north of the Westerpark, you’ll also find Buurtboerderij Ons Genoegen. This farm is run by volunteers and people with a distance to the labour market. Pop by to eat a delicious pancake or enjoy regular live music and crafts afternoons.
Het Woeste Westen Nature Playground
Splashing about in the mud, catching aquatic animals and sailing on a raft: it's all possible at the Het Woeste Westen Nature Playground. Here you can really get mud-behind-your-ears dirty! This fantastic playground is the perfect place to let the children get adventurous by taking on challenges and taking (responsible) risks with nature. A slightly cleaner, but certainly no less fun playground is the Spartelvijver in the Westerpark. On hot days, this is the ultimate place for little water rats to splash around and cool off.
Enter into a world of delicious and colourful chocolate at the Tony's Store next to Tony's Chocolonely headquarters in Westerpark. Chocoholics are welcome to taste the latest flavours and learn everything about how this 100% slavery-free chocolate is made. Are you going for the white raspberry popping candy or the classic caramel sea salt? Choose your favourite as you pull out the craziest flavours from the wall!
Ketelhuis Cinema & Cinekid
For a moment of peace and quiet, it's never a bad idea to plop the kids down in front of a great movie and there’s nowhere more fun to do that than at the big screen. Ketelhuis Cinema regularly organises a children’s film programme, both during the week and at the weekend. The films last about an hour, the sound is turned down and walking in and out is no problem. This fantastic venue is also home to the annual Cinekid festival in October which hosts a wide variety of screenings and activities tailored for children.
Not only can you enjoy a delicious lunch at Bakkerswinkel on the Westergas site, but did you know that you can also put together your own picnic in the takeaway shop? Collect all your favourite goodies before exploring deeper into the park to enjoy it on your own rug. From sandwiches to sweet and savoury pies: the tastiest, homemade food is available here every day.
Café Restaurant Amsterdam
For a child-friendly dinner, Café Restaurant Amsterdam on Watertorenplein is a fantastic option. This iconic restaurant in a former machine pump building has been a firm favourite with parents and children for years. With a special play corner and a tasty children's menu, every child will feel right at home. Don't forget to leave some room for pudding, because the menu contains no fewer than 23(!) desserts.