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What's interesting & near Amsterdam?

(18 Posts)
solongandthanksfor Wed 06-Jul-11 14:03:28

Visiting the Netherlands this summer with dc and will be staying in Amsterdam, but also planning a night elsewhere somewhere near-ish. Any suggestions of interesting places to visit? Or places that are quite family friendly? Thanks

kreecherlivesupstairs Wed 06-Jul-11 17:29:22

The beaches up that way are lovely. We went to Efteling today. It is a gigantic theme park place. DD and her two friends had a ball. She is 10 BTW.

GnomeDePlume Wed 06-Jul-11 20:30:51

Delft - historic old town
Scheveningen - old fashioned seaside with lots of pancake houses etc, get there early
Blijdorp - excellent huge zoo in Rotterdam
Gouda - historic old town
Leiden - historic university town with Naturalis (natural history museum)

If your children are small then how about a kinderboerderij? A children's farm.

Go and see a korfbal match

Hire some bikes and go for a cycle ride

solongandthanksfor Wed 06-Jul-11 21:45:08

Thank you both for helpful suggestions. Ds is 3, dd is 6, so those sound good ideas. I'll look up Efteling - we've never done that kind of thing with the kids, so now might be the time. I've never heard of korfbal, Gnome, I'll look this up too.

solongandthanksfor Wed 06-Jul-11 21:47:16

We've got beach trips planned, but are there any other unmissable Dutch experiences (of the family friendly variety) that we should try?

GnomeDePlume Wed 06-Jul-11 23:31:37

It's really difficult to explain but Dutch pleasures are taken small and low key. We lived there for 5 years and really loved it but I cannot lie. The main Dutch experience is to have a nice time, modestly.

An important Dutch word is 'gezelig' it is sometime translated as 'cosy' or 'convivial'. Basically, having a nice time.

To experience Dutch culture:
- go to an eetcafe
- eat pannekoeken and poffertjes
- ride the trams (buy strippenkaarten or dagkaarten for this)

All of the above can be achieved in any Dutch city.

Have a lovely gezelig time!

kreecherlivesupstairs Thu 07-Jul-11 08:47:29

Don't think that Efteling would be suitable for a three year old.

oricella Thu 07-Jul-11 09:47:40

Strippenkaarten in Amsterdam are no longer valid - you'll need to buy a chip card (similar to Oyster)

The Efteling is fun, but will be busy and pricey. Willl be taking my 2 & 4 year olds next month - I'm banking on the fact they'll love the fairy tale forest and some of the gentler rides (and I haven't been in decades and fancy a look myself)

A more low-key park for the day would be Oud Valkeveen which is about 20 miles east of Amsterdam; you could combine that with a visit to the old fort town of Naarden and visiting some of the beaches along het Gooimeer or a visit to het Muiderslot

If heading for the north sea beaches I'd aim to avoid Zandvoort/Scheveningen and head further north (Egmond, Castricum etc)

Don't bother about korfbal though - unless you'd be inclined to visit a shinty match when visiting Scotland for example, I'd stay clear from that grin

kreecherlivesupstairs Thu 07-Jul-11 12:11:10

If anyone is interested in football, I think you can visit Ajax stadium. I know there is a car park connected to a train station there. We use it when we drive up there.
DD is mithering to go to Nemo. She saw it on a canal trip we did and got very excited. I am unable to link because of this steam driven PC ridiculously old and tempramental PC

OllieinOrange Thu 07-Jul-11 14:34:36

I'd second a trip to Delft - easy to get to the train and has all the things that make a city 'Dutch' (but is still small enough to wander around).
Lots of small streets with canals & bridges, large square wth church, lots of restaurantscafes/pancake houses with sunny terraces, nice shops, boat tours around the canal and lots of Delft blue pottery/clogs/tulips to buy - if you are that way inclined smile. Sure there is somewhere where kids can have a go at painting their own Delft blue plates etc - maybe google it?

solongandthanksfor Thu 07-Jul-11 17:28:37

Thank you all!

Gnome, I love your explanation of 'gezelig'. As a family, we love nothing better than just fiddling about, enjoying small pleasures such as very fine cups of tea and fine cake, so it sounds like it will really suit us.

Oricella, I'll definitely also check out Oud Valkeveen too online and Ollie, Delft sounds lovely.

We'll probably give korfball a miss! Have never been to a curling match (I think that's what you mean, oricella, rather than shinty smile) despite 20 plus years of living in Scotland...

oricella Thu 07-Jul-11 21:32:48

smile I certainly meant shinty - am far enough up north for that to be the local sport.. not even sure where the nearest ice rink is tbh

Some more links muiderslot, Tropen museum in Amsterdam (very good museum & lots of kids stuff) or visit Oudewater which is very cute old town (much smaller than Delft) where you can have yourselves weighed to make sure you're not a witch

have fun

hairtwiddler Thu 07-Jul-11 21:40:12

Burger's Zoo is a great day out, as is the Apenheul (monkey zoo). The Veluwe national park is great for cycling - they have free bikes there for visitors. The park includes the Kroller Muller museum.
Be sure to order poffertjes when you get to a pancake place!

GnomeDePlume Thu 07-Jul-11 21:51:02

Poffertjes are little pancakes served with butter and sugar

solongandthanksfor Mon 11-Jul-11 20:16:56

Sorry, got distracted and forgot to check responses.

Anyway, looking forward to poffertjes, think we might choose an overnight in Delft (although Oudewater with its witch connections looks interesting too).

And oricella, very blush about shinty! Not really something we come across in the central excuse, anyway.

gardeningsarah Tue 12-Jul-11 14:55:16

Another place worth visiting, is Madurodam,in Den Hague, its Holland in miniature. My children have been visiting it since the were 4 & 2 (they are now 10 & 8) and they still love it. The trams from Den Hague central station stop right outside.The website is Hope this helps.

midoriway Fri 15-Jul-11 11:05:08

I take DD to Amsterdam almost every year. I love it, it is a wonderful destination for families who are content to poke around and let a lovely city reveal itself. Very low key, always delightful.

My favourite places-

This is a cafe/play centre on the edge of vondel park. Children ages 3 - 10 pay a very small fee, and they are given all the ingrediants they need to make their own lunch. Then, in an impecably appointed kitchen, they prepare and cook their own lunch, and yours if you want. You- sit in the garden with a cold drink and a good book, kids- in the little kitchen slaving over a hot stove deliriously happy.

There is usually no need to make an appointment, there are no set class times, just turn up and pay 3 - 6 euros per kid, depending on the recipe they end up using.

Cafe Restaurant Amsterdam
Probably my favourite restaurant on the planet. It is slightly out of the city centre, so tourists rarely make it out. It is however, about 2 min walk from where the number 10 tram terminates, so very easy to get to. It is an old massive turbin hall, (think tate modern) so an epic size. Lovely service, perfect simple food, reasonably priced, incredible atmosphere, pure amsterdam- a combination of modern, historical, edgy, traditional.You could turn up order a coffee and a piece of toast, or champagne and oysters for the whole table and you will be treated the same- relaxed, casual efficient. Not many places offer £200 bottles of wine and kids colouring sets at the same table. Sophisticated, glamorous, urban family dining at its absolute best. Yes I am gushing, but everyone we have ever taken here has left dropped-jawed.

St Nicholas Boat Club
This is a small group of bonkers expats who run boat trips around the canals in tiny little run around open top old fashioned wooden boats. Like the best of Amsterdam it is slightly anarchic in a "go round the back knock 3 times and ask for frank" sort of way. Much nicer than the massive canal boat tours. Sitting slightly above water level, wind in your hair, not a kid in the city who wouldn't jump at the chance.

fruitshootsandheaves Fri 15-Jul-11 11:07:12

isn't there a mouse in a windmill somewhere round there?

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