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The stereotypical tourists without children might visit the countless churches, museums, parks, squares, and architectural masterpieces. They would obviously want to saunter innocently through the alleyways of De Wallen red-light district, float dreamily along one of the numerous Amsterdam canals or cycle effortlessly over many of its 1,500 bridges.
Explore Amsterdam With The Children
What if you have kids and want to explore Amsterdam? How can you keep them happy in this kaleidoscopic city? Luckily, Amsterdam loves kids and it won’t take long to find a variety of tourist attractions to keep them entertained. It's as simple as A,B,C,D,E.
A is for Animals
Artis Zoo is the third oldest zoo on the planet and the oldest in Europe. An easy way to get there is by tram from Amsterdam Central Station. With its wide collection of animals from around the world, your kids will forget all about their game consoles when they see a 15-foot hungry crocodile staring right at them.
Open every day of the year, Amsterdam’s Artis Zoo charges approx 18.50 euro per child. This includes admission to the planetarium, if your child is in an astrological kind of mood. Also within the grounds are a Geological museum, and the beautiful Botanical Gardens are definitely worth a visit, if you can persuade the kids to go. If not, threaten to feed them to the crocodiles.
B is for Beats
The Sound Garden or Klankspeeltuin of Amsterdam is a fantastic place for your kids to develop their musical imagination. Various futuristic sound installations can be fully explored in a creative and friendly atmosphere. Your kids will love creating music using simple computer programs, or producing different sounds just by using movement and manipulating light.
They do not have to be able to play a single instrument to make music here; just being imaginative will produce compositions to be proud of. As a parent, you can hear the results at the end of the workshop. This is for children from 7-12 years old and costs a very reasonable 8.50 euro per child.
C is for Cooking
The Kids Cook Cafe or Kinderkookkafe is for kids up to 13 years old. Maybe you've had enough of sitting in restaurants, waiting to be served. Here, the kids can really get involved by actually cooking the food and serving it to the adults. It won’t be up to the standard of Gordon Ramsey, but who cares? Your kids will have the control that they always crave for, and you will not have to lift a finger.
There are adults there to help them come up with the dishes and stop them burning down the kitchen, so you can simply relax and be served by your kids for a change. You must book in advance to make sure your children can take part. This ingenious Amsterdam restaurant costs an average of 10 euro each.
D is for Discovery
From Amsterdam Central Station, it takes about fifteen minutes to walk to the NEMO Science Museum. This unmistakable building looms above the harbour like a huge green ship. It costs 12.50 euro per person, but children under 4 years old get in for free. Unlike many other museums, touching and interacting with the exhibits is an essential part of the experience. Kids will get so much enjoyment from the myriad of installations spread over five floors of the building. It really will expand their knowledge of all things scientific and technological.
E is for Exhilaration
Tunfun Playground or Speelpark is right in the centre of Amsterdam. It’s not just an ordinary indoor playground: Tunfun is a city of play. For children up to 12 years old, this vast play area has so many activities, it’s pointless listing them all. Football, slides, climbing walls, trampolines, craft areas, and a disco are just a few examples.
There’s a cafe for the parents, if you need a rest from all the blatant fun your kids are having. It costs only 5 euro per child, but if you pay a little extra they get lemonade, ice cream, and pancakes. As always, it’s best to book in advance.
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