Travelling with kids gives you a fresh perspective on the world, and nowhere is that truer than in Amsterdam. Despite a wild-child reputation, the city makes the perfect playground for kids, with its hands-on museums, sprawling parks, and maze of bridges and canals. Treks across town can be tiring, of course, as can city-centre crowds, so it pays to be strategic when you’re choosing where to stay.
Within easy reach of the Canal Ring, in peaceful, leafy Oud-West, Hotel Roemer has spacious family rooms and a calming courtyard garden. Museumplein’s a ten-minute stroll away, and Vondelpark is even closer; a handsome expanse of lawns, lakes and glades, dotted with first-rate playgrounds. To the north, De Hallen’s also worth a wander, with its cinema, weekly kids’ activities and lively indoor food hall. We’ve picked eight addresses to explore in the neighbourhood, from laid-back brunch spots and kids’ concept stores to a mind-expanding museum.
The genius of this bright, airy children’s concept store is that everything’s under one roof: clothes, toys, homeware and a buzzing café. Sip a restorative flat white while the kids hit the indoor play space, with its jaunty bunting, ride-on trikes and hubbub of excitable toddlers. A simple menu caters to all ages, running from baby-friendly purées to sandwiches and salads.
Discerning parents love this handsome shop, set on the edge of De Pijp. It sidesteps throwaway plastic in favour of traditional toys, from lambswool knitted bears to pastel-painted stacking sets. There are pocket-money trinkets too (think sticker sets and pirate eye-patches), along with chic essentials like bibs and bamboo bowls. Upscale clothes add to the appeal, from knitted baby bonnets to Bonton dungarees.
Brunch is a pleasingly decadent affair at this cosy neighbourhood café, set on one of Oud-West’s prettiest streets. There’s a toddler-friendly sofa by the window, and a long communal table for larger broods. The menu runs from buttery brioche French toast to triple-decker croque monsieurs. Even the eggs benedict arrive on a croissant, though cereal, fruit and soft-boiled eggs cater to simpler tastes.