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Anyone had a long wait (with kids) at Schiphol?

9 replies

TW · 02/06/2004 19:25

I am taking my 5, 4 and 2 yr olds to France next month and we have a 5 hr wait at Schiphol on the way out. My mum is coming too. I am dreading having to kill this time. We get there around 8am and leave around 1pm. Does anyone have any suggestions? I almost wonder if there might be a bus tour or something.

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applepie · 02/06/2004 19:36

Hi TW, I spent about the same time there once with a 2 year old a couple of years ago. There are a few soft play centres around the terminals and a large viewing area to watch the planes come and go. You could check their website for info of these areas to check if there's one in your terminal area, or even pay for access to one of the premium lounges so you & your Mum can relax with a drink whilst the children raid the free biscuits and crisps shelves
Hope the trip goes well anyway.

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Piffleoffagus · 02/06/2004 19:50

lots of shops!!! I ended up buying a swatch watch and a gameboy stuck at schipol!!

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Tartegnin · 02/06/2004 20:16

I would consider heading out of the airport. The train is right at the airport and really easy to use. I think in the time you've got, you could even get to Delft, which is so charming and one hour there is good for have a stroll in the lovely town square and have a Dutch pancake. Maybe a daunting task with three kids, but if they're relatively compliant, it would be better than hanging out in the airport for that long.

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Beetroot · 03/06/2004 07:54

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CountessDracula · 03/06/2004 10:10

It has nice fish (fake ones) dangling from the ceiling in bits of it which may entertain your children for 15 seconds.

Why are you going to France via Holland? Seems a very long way round!

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annh · 03/06/2004 15:09

Also wondering why you would want to go to France via Holland but assume you are starting from somewhere other than the UK! We used to live in Amsterdam so know the airport well and would second saying that the airport is one of the better ones to be stuck in. You could theoretically get to somewhere like Delft in the time available but it would be about an hour on the train and personally I would fret about getting back on time. Also the station is not right in the centre so add on walking time with littlies and it's almost too much bother. However, Amsterdam is only about 15 mins on the train and they go all the time so you could do that. Once you come out of Central Station, there are loads of different companies offering regular canal boat trips through the centre which is a nice way to see a lot in a short time and our ds's always loved taking visitors around that way. Takes about an hour I think so should be perfect timing. If you couldn't face being a tourist as such, you could just get a train to station RAI (also lots of them) which is about 2/3 way into Amsterdam and walk from there (max 3/4 minutes) to Europa Park which would be lovely on a nice day. They have crazy golf, lots of space to run around, an adventure playground and a toddler playground and several little car and boat rides. There is also a cafe which serves drinks, ices, fries etc (might only open at 11). Both of those places are also close to major taxi ranks so if worst comes to worst you could always get a cab back to the airport without having to break the bank. Only word of caution about the playground is that the ground cover is sand so you could end up with very dusty kids on the flight after.

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Cam · 05/06/2004 15:26

TW, are you allowed to leave the airport on your stopover? If so, go to Amsterdam for a couple of hours (tram from Centraal Station to Vondelpark?) like annh suggests, if not, one thing that would kill a couple of hours is to get an early lunch in a lovely restaurant I found there. I think it's upstairs if I remember correctly and serves lovely seafood, etc.

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TW · 06/06/2004 18:50

This is brilliant advice everyone, thanks! We are flying from Glasgow to Bordeaux, and frankly anywhere is better than going over LHR!! But apart from anything else KLM had a excellent fare which is what prompted me to go for it in the first place. I actually used to have to go to Amsterdam for work (in my former life) so know that Schiphol is a great airport but have never travelled with the kids at all so am feeling more than a little daunted! I shall check with KLM whether we can leave the airport, as I think that would probably be the answer. While a nice meal is a good idea, I can't see that I can make it last 4 hours!! But thank you all so much for your help - great.

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suedonim · 06/06/2004 22:54

TW, I've flown to and from India via Schipol (from Aberdeen) with ds2, using KLM. We had time to kill and took the train to Amsterdam for a few hours. It was fun.

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