Best cafés with outdoor play areas
The only thing better than relaxing on a sun-soaked terrace on a summer afternoon is knowing that the kids enjoy it as much as you are. These top-rated cafés and restaurants have the best outdoor play areas (speeltuinen) to entertain the whole family on your next relaxing lunch or coffee break in Amsterdam.
Parked in the middle of Vondelpark, Groot Melkhuis is undoubtedly one of the city's top-notch speeltuinen (playgrounds) - and the mountains of screaming kids couldn't agree more. With various swings, a zip wire, slides, and sandpits, there's plenty of space for everyone to run about in this colossal outdoor area. The cafe serves various snacks and refreshments, including stone-oven pizzas on weekends.
Anyone seeking a beach holiday without leaving the city should head to the Kaap urban beach - a colourful refuge just along the water from IJburg. The outdoor space includes various family picnic benches, a kid's playground, and a trampoline. There are plenty of accessible items on the vegetarian menu for even the fussiest of eaters to fill up on.
Looking for a place where the kids can romp around whilst the grown-ups chat? De VerbroederIJ is a beach pavilion with a large terrace, a community garden and plenty of outside space for the children. Keep an eye on the agenda for community meals, workshops and live music around the firepit. It's one of Amsterdam Noord's most wholesome hotspots.
House of Bird
Test out the speciality beer and seasonal menu at House of Bird Brewery’s tasting room, surrounded by the spectacular nature of the Diemerbos. The kids will feel right at home with ample space to run around on the terrace, a boxed sandpit and forest huts for the older ones. The nearby woodlands are the ideal green space for a family walk afterwards.
In the middle of Noorderpark, café-restaurant Pompet adds a touch of French finesse to the neighbourhood. The menu is filled to the brim with Franco-inspired dishes, they serve a multitude of French natural wines, and they have a real jeu de boules alley. The large playground opposite makes this a great spot for weary parents to wind down as the little ones play.
Just west of NDSM, the NoordOogst Urban Agriculture Project is the home base of several initiatives that inspire green thinking. Stop by for bi-monthly farmer’s markets, eat freshly plucked veggies, and sip local beers at Pof. This family-friendly restaurant only serves produce grown in its immediate surroundings, including all the vegetables and locally-reared meat and cheese products. Trees, wild gardens and water surround an excellent playground for children.
This beloved cafe with its adjacent play park is the beating heart of the Bos en Lommer neighbourhood, tucked away in a secluded corner of Erasmuspark. Terrasmus caters to all ages serving a range of fresh juices, tostis, cakes and ice lollies to eat on the terrace or take away. You'll regularly see parents meeting up to kick back with a local beer as the children are entertained.
The urban beach at Jaap Eden provides an idyllic location for a family outing. Kids can play in the sand as you lounge on deck chairs and feast on delicious dishes like smoked salmon salads, three-cheese fiocchetti pasta and pancakes. The adjacent ice rink makes for a fun family day outing in the winter months.
Pause at Pulitzer
This garden terrace at Amsterdam’s luxe Pulitzer hotel is a tranquil setting tucked away from the busy streets. The quiet courtyard is the perfect space to play and the kids’ menu is filled with classic favourites like burgers, pasta and ice cream.
De Pluktuin Amstelveen
De Pluktuin Amstelveen is a pick-your-own garden with an impressive playground. The café regularly hosts children’s parties, craft workshops and serves kids’ high tea with cupcakes, fruit kebabs and lemonade with edible flowers.
The large windows overlooking the IJ River are great for little ones who like to watch ships sailing by. On sunny days, kids can play on the spacious terrace and sandpit, and in cooler weather, head inside to the collection of toys, games and colouring activities. Every weekend there’s a kids’ entertainment programme too.
As one of the most child-friendly restaurants in Amsterdam, Haddock has a huge play area, football pitch and indoor playroom complete with table football and other toys. The programme of kids’ events like craft sessions, discos, performances, and even a weekly visit from a children’s hairdresser, will keep you coming back.