Amsterdam is a lovely city that attracts millions of tourists from all over the world every year. With its world-renowned museums, picturesque canals, and marvelous architecture, the capital of the Netherlands offers plenty of family-friendly attractions and activities to enjoy. Whether you wish to rent a private boat and cruise the canals or reconnect with nature at the wonderful Vondelpark, a visit to the Dutch capital promises to be a memorable experience.
However, there is more to this lovely country than its fabulous capital. From fascinating theme parks and museums designated especially for children to villages with Instagram-ready windmills, there is no shortage of fun day trips for the whole family from Amsterdam.
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Best Family-Friendly Day Trips from Amsterdam:
1. Children’s Book Museum, Hague
Located right next to the Central Train Station in Hague, Children’s Book Museum is an ideal day trip from Amsterdam for parents with children. Kinderboekenmuseum is home to many book characters including Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, Little Donkey, Frog, and many others.
Whether you are traveling with a toddler or with an older child, this fabulous museum offers a variety of interactive exhibitions suitable for both the little ones and kids who are a bit older. The good news is that some of the exhibitions at the museum are bilingual.
2. Efteling Park, Kaatsheuvel
One of the oldest theme parks in the world and the most famous amusement park for kids in the Netherlands, Efteling Park in Kaatsheuvel should definitely be included on your list of places to visit outside of Amsterdam. This lovely park covers around 500 acres of land and has over 30 attractions and dozens of shows.
From the fata morgana the Arabian nights boat ride to the corkscrew roller coaster Python, there are numerous activities to keep the children entertained throughout the day. Keep in mind that the park is usually very crowded and its best to visit it during the low season.
3. Spoorwegmuseum (Railway Museum), Utrecht
There are many cool things to do in Amsterdam and a lot of excellent museums worth exploring, but one of the best family-friendly museums in the Netherlands can be found in the city of Utrecht. Welcome to Spoorwegmuseum (Railway Museum), a perfect place for mini-train lovers who wish to admire old trains and enjoy a variety of interactive displays and ride simulators. You will have an opportunity to see the Royal train compartments, as well as the original station hall. The easiest way to get here from Amsterdam is by train.
4. Keukenhof Gardens
Famous for their display of tulips in bloom, Keukenhof Gardens are one of the largest flower gardens on planet Earth. The gardens are located just outside of the small town of Lisse and the best time to visit this place is during the last two weeks of April when the tulips are in full bloom.
Keukenhof is actually divided into several different gardens and my favorite ones are located next to the windmill and around the pond. What’s also great about this place is that there are plenty of activities for kids ranging from coloring sheets to treasure hunts.
Image by HelloAmsterdam
Gouda is a famous Dutch cheese town and a must-visit day trip destination from Amsterdam. Less touristy than Edam, Gouda is home to dozens of picturesque cheese shops and attracts thousands of tourists on a daily basis. The best time to visit this lovely town is during the cheese market which occurs from April till the end of summer.
It’s also worth mentioning that not everything here is about cheese. The popular Stroopwafel seems to be invented here and there is a small café where you can see how they actually make this Dutch delicacy. To keep your children entertained, make sure to visit the wonderful Lego shop in Gouda which also boasts a nice playground area.
Often referred to as the Dutch Venice, Giethoorn is a picturesque village with a complex series of enchanting canals. A ride in a gondola is the best way to explore this charming village and admire its colorful farmhouses, meadows, and gardens.
Giethoorn is also well-known for its museum that showcases a 19th-century farmhouse with costumed actors. The only downside of this place is that it tends to get overcrowded with tourists, especially during the summer season.
Image by HelloAmsterdam
7. Zaanse Schans, Zaandam
Located just a 30-minute drive from Amsterdam, Zaanse Schans is a lovely neighborhood in the town of Zaandam. Here, it is all about picturesque windmills, green wooden houses, and local treats like stroopwafels.
One of the main draws here is the child-friendly Zaans Museum that features interactive exhibits and the recreated chocolate and biscuit factory where you can design a chocolate wrapper. There are also two artisan workshops available. The first one is about different types of cheese, while the other demonstration focuses on making the clogs.
If you are looking for a short road trip from Amsterdam, visit the beautiful village of Muiden and its medieval castle called Muiderslot. With plenty of hands-on activities for the little ones, this fairytale fortress is one of the most child-friendly castles in the country. Explore the secret passageways and enjoy a variety of demonstrations including the fabulous jousting practice.
Located just a short drive from the Dutch capital, Edam is a small picturesque town and a popular destination for families traveling with children. From the picturesque cobblestoned streets dotted with charming houses to postcard-perfect bridges, Edam has it all.
The main attractions here are the famous cheese shops where you can sample and purchase a variety of delicious cheeses. The best time to visit Edam is during the summer season when the town organizes a fun cheese market every Wednesday.
Utterly beautiful, Sprookjeswonderland is a fun theme park located in Enkhuizen. Expect to find everything from thrilling rides and awesome ladybug boats to mechanic horseback rides and old-timer cars. Don’t miss the magical fairytale forest where your kids will come across fairytale characters like wizards, elves, and gnomes.
The easiest way to reach the park is by hopping on a direct train from Amsterdam Central Station to Enkhuizen. From there, you can either walk to the park or take the special Sprookjeswonderland tram.
Do you know of any other great day trips from Amsterdam? Let me know in the comments below.
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