The Expatcenter and Amsterdam Mamas welcomed hundreds of international families as part of the ongoing Amsterdam 2013 festivities.

On 15 September 2013, the Expatcenter and Amsterdam Mamas welcomed over 300 international families for a day at the Artis Royal Zoo. The event was held for international families living in the Amsterdam area as part of the Amsterdam 2013 programme. A total of 64 different nationalities were present – aptly representing the vibrant multicultural community of foreign parents and children living in or around the city. 

A family day for internationals

The programme included activities for all ages including musical acts, performances, workshops and classes. The total programme saw over 20 different activities for children and parents to take part in. Highlights included a lively Bollywood dance workshop, arts and crafts stations, baby sensory classes, face painting and a multi-lingual story-time. The event concluded with the presentation of a time capsule for the City of Amsterdam to Alderperson Carolien Gehrels.

A special year

2013 is a special year for Amsterdam. Over an eventful 12 months, the city is celebrating several important milestones and anniversaries. One of the milestones is the 175th anniversary of the Artis Royal Zoo. The zoo was chosen to host the event to further commemorate the jubilee celebrations. Expatcenter Director David van Traa says, "It was a great pleasure to see Amsterdam's vibrant international community enjoy this special event at Artis as part of the Amsterdam 2013 celebrations. The Expatcenter is proud to be able to provide a warm welcome to Amsterdam’s international citizens!"

Amsterdam Mamas

Amsterdam Mamas acted as co-organiser for the event with the Expatcenter. Amsterdam Mamas is a not-for-profit organisation for English-speaking parents in Amsterdam. They provide independent, peer-supported information services for parents and parents-to-be in Amsterdam. The group runs an active Facebook page with lively discussions, as well as a helpful website packed with valuable resources, testimonials and insightful articles. They've also recently set up a community support network with volunteer 'AMbassadors' in neighbourhoods around Amsterdam.

Positive feedback

The event brought together a vibrant crowd of international families, and was a huge success with adults and children alike. Keep reading to see what some of the guests had to say:

"Amazing day at the zoo - so many cool things to do... Thanks to all the volunteers – you are all wonderful. Wow. Great day!"

"Such a lovely, well-organised event. My family had a great day at Artis, and to see so many families combined of different nationalities there reminded me of why I love living in Amsterdam and being part of this community. Thank you!"

"What an amaaaaaaazing time we had this morning at the Celebrating International Families at Artis! Thank you so much for a great day!"

"I have two very happy, tired boys This group makes it so much easier for expats living in Amsterdam! Great event today!"