Fun Things to Do for Kids: A Family-Friendly Guide

Sofia Van Dirk

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Netherlands is renowned not just for its iconic windmills, tulip fields, and serene canals, but also as a wondrous playground for the little ones. Think of the country as a massive open-air museum, brimming with delightful discoveries bound to captivate young minds and young-at-heart adults.

This guide is here to illuminate those hidden gems, much-loved favorites, and all the fun things to do for kids while soaking in the vibrant Dutch culture. Ready to embark on a memorable Dutch adventure? Let’s dive right in!

Key Takeaways:

  • The Netherlands boasts a rich blend of city attractions and countryside delights for kids.
  • Beaches offer serene family-friendly spots for relaxation and play.
  • Interactive museums in the country uniquely combine education with entertainment.
  • Embracing traditional Dutch experiences adds an authentic touch to your adventures.
  • The country’s seasonal events provide vibrant, family-friendly festivities year-round.
  • Strategic planning, from biking to snacks, enhances the family travel experience.
  • A range of resources, from apps to books, ensures informed and smooth travels.

Fun Things to Do for Kids: Vibrant Cities and Kid-Friendly Attractions

Whether you’re wandering through the bustling streets of Amsterdam or admiring the futuristic skyline of Rotterdam, there’s a myriad of enchanting sights and sounds that will keep those young eyes wide and curious. Here’s our joy-packed tour of some of the best kiddo-approved attractions:


NEMO Science Museum

Stepping into the NEMO Science Museum is like diving into an ocean of wonder. With its hands-on exhibits and interactive displays, kids will be transported into a world where science comes alive! From creating giant soap bubbles to exploring the universe, NEMO promises a day filled with discovery. And parents, don’t miss the rooftop terrace for panoramic views of Amsterdam!


Imagine introducing your kids to majestic lions, playful monkeys, and mysterious reptiles, all in the heart of Amsterdam! ARTIS Zoo, one of Europe’s oldest zoos, is a lush green oasis and home to over 700 animal species. The delightful chirps and roars make it feel like a melodious symphony of nature.


Maritime Museum

Ahoy there, young sailors! Rotterdam, with its rich maritime heritage, welcomes you to the Maritime Museum. Board historic ships, play captain for a day, and discover the fascinating world of sea voyages. This place is an ocean of stories, where tales of adventures on the high seas come alive.


From navigating mini canals in paddle boats to racing down slides and greeting farm animals, Plaswijckpark is an amusement haven. With sections dedicated to play, water, and animals, it’s like three joy-packed adventures rolled into one!

The Hague

Madurodam Miniature Park

Ever wished to see the entirety of the Netherlands in just a few hours? At Madurodam, watch your kids’ eyes light up with delight as they stroll through tiny replicas of Dutch landmarks. From little windmills to bustling airports, it’s a mini-world full of maxi-fun

Sea Life Scheveningen

Dive deep into the wonders of the aquatic world at Sea Life Scheveningen. From cheeky clownfish to mesmerizing jellyfish, this underwater kingdom is sure to spellbind. And the cherry on top? The exciting touch pool where the little ones can get up close with starfish and crabs.

Related: The Best Water Parks in the Netherlands: Guide & Tips (2024)

Dutch Countryside Adventures

fun things to do for kids

From enchanting windmill dotted landscapes to serene waterways that look like they’ve leaped straight out of a storybook, the countryside promises an escape into the idyllic charm of the Netherlands.

Zaanse Schans

Breathe in the fresh country air and feel the magic of time standing still at Zaanse Schans. This picturesque hamlet is like a canvas painted with traditional windmills, wooden houses, and artisan workshops.

The whispering winds carry tales from the past, while your kiddos can gleefully watch how clogs are made or how windmills work their ancient magic.

Giethoorn: The Venice of the North

Oh, what joy to glide silently through serene canals in whispering boats! Giethoorn, with its car-free charm and fairy-tale bridges, offers a peaceful retreat. Children can play pretend, imagining tales of water sprites and dragonflies, while parents can relish the gentle beauty of nature. Don’t forget a picnic basket for that perfect waterside lunch!

Keukenhof Gardens (seasonal)

Springtime in the Netherlands is synonymous with a riot of colors, thanks to the blooming tulips. At Keukenhof, kids can frolic amidst endless rows of vibrant tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths. The sight of a sea of flowers swaying gently in the breeze, with the sweet scent of blooms filling the air, is nothing short of a dream come true.

Beach Day Fun

The Dutch coastline, with its golden sands and refreshing North Sea breezes, is the perfect playground for families craving a day of seaside delight. Ready to feel the ticklish sensation of sand between your toes and watch the kiddos build their dreams, one sandcastle at a time? Dive into our guide for the ultimate beach day fun!


Dubbed the “Pearl by the Sea,” Zandvoort is a beach lover’s paradise. Here, kids can revel in the joy of chasing waves, fly kites that dance with the clouds, or hunt for intriguing seashells. Beach clubs dotting the coast make it super easy to refuel with tasty treats, all while soaking up the sun’s gentle embrace.


Oh, the bustling allure of Scheveningen! With its iconic pier, giant Ferris wheel, and a promenade brimming with energy, there’s never a dull moment here. Little adventurers can explore fun beachfront playgrounds, while the more laid-back can cozy up with a good book, the rhythmic sound of waves playing the perfect background score.

Activities to Dive Into

  • Sandcastle Extravaganza: Armed with buckets and spades, unleash your family’s creative spirits and construct towering castles and intricate sand sculptures.
  • Beachcombing Treasures: Embark on a scavenger hunt, discovering curious sea treasures – from shimmering stones to driftwood wonders.
  • Sunset Serenity: As the day winds down, gather around, and bask in the mesmerizing spectacle of the sun dipping below the horizon. It’s the perfect moment for those cherished family snapshots!

Interactive and Educational Museums

The Dutch have mastered the art of blending learning with oodles of fun. Prepare to journey through time, dive deep into the world of wonders, and let curious minds run wild. Whether you’re nurturing a budding artist, a curious scientist, or a history buff-in-the-making, there’s a treasure trove of discovery awaiting!

Teylers Museum in Haarlem

Step into a world where art meets science and history. Teylers Museum, with its grandeur and antique charm, is like a time capsule. Kids can marvel at the stunning collection of fossils, get spellbound by centuries-old scientific instruments, and stand in awe of masterpieces from great artists. Every corner whispers tales of yesteryears, beckoning young explorers to delve deeper.

Spoorwegmuseum in Utrecht

All aboard the excitement express! The Railway Museum takes you on a thrilling ride through the annals of train history. Experience the romantic era of steam trains, marvel at modern speedsters, and hop onto interactive rides that weave tales of railway adventures. The gleam in your child’s eyes as they pilot a mini train is truly priceless!

PreHistorisch Dorp in Eindhoven

Travel back in time and live a day in the shoes of our ancestors! At the PreHistoric Village, families can immerse themselves in the daily lives of folks from the Stone Age to the Middle Ages. Participate in ancient crafts, sail in prehistoric boats, and gather around for enchanting stories from tribal elders. It’s not just a museum; it’s a time machine!

Unique Dutch Experiences

The Netherlands, in its splendid and quirky glory, offers a smorgasbord of experiences that are quintessentially Dutch. These aren’t just activities; they’re immersive journeys, delightful traditions, and vibrant celebrations that make memories twinkle a little brighter. Are you ready to embrace the spirit of the Netherlands and dive into some of its most whimsical wonders?

Wooden Shoe Workshops

Dive into the world of the iconic Dutch wooden shoes. These aren’t just footwear; they’re a testament to Dutch craftsmanship. Visit a traditional workshop, witness the art of clog-making come alive, and maybe even try tapping your feet in these wooden wonders. It’s a dance of culture and tradition that you won’t forget!

Cheese Markets in Alkmaar and Edam

The bustling cheese markets of Alkmaar and Edam are a sensory delight. Watch cheese-bearers in their colorful costumes showcase rounds of delectable Dutch cheeses. The lively auctions, the chimes of cheese bells, and of course, the rich flavors of Gouda, Edam, and more—this is cheese heaven!

Canal Cruises

Ah, the romance of gliding through the tranquil canals of Dutch cities! Whether it’s the enchanting waterways of Amsterdam, Utrecht, or Leiden, a canal cruise offers a fresh perspective on cityscapes. As the boat meanders, watch stories of history, art, and architecture reflect in the shimmering waters. And for kids, spotting ducks and waving at fellow travelers is pure joy!

Related: Interesting Things to Do in the Netherlands in 2024

Seasonal Events and Festivals

Whether it’s the pastel beauty of spring or the cozy charm of winter, every season in the Netherlands unfurls a tapestry of events and festivals that promise fun for the whole family. Let’s embark on a festive journey, one season at a time!

Spring: King’s Day (Koningsdag)

Oh, the orange frenzy of King’s Day! Cities and towns transform into sea of orange as the Dutch come together to celebrate the king’s birthday. Streets turn into lively flea markets, boats parade in decorated splendor, and music echoes from every corner. Kids will adore the carnival rides, face painting, and games. It’s a royal fiesta not to be missed!

Summer: Varend Corso

Imagine a parade, but on water! The Varend Corso is a floating flower festival, where boats adorned with flowers, fruits, and veggies glide along the Westland canals. Children’s eyes will light up seeing the elaborate boat decorations and the cheerful atmosphere. Summertime in the Netherlands has never been this blooming beautiful!

Autumn: St. Martin’s Day (Sint Maarten)

As autumn leaves paint the ground, children with lanterns light up the night. On St. Martin’s Day, kids go door-to-door, singing songs and collecting treats. The glowing lantern processions and the sweet melodies make this festival a heartwarming celebration of sharing and gratitude.

Winter: Sinterklaas Arrival

Ho ho ho! Sinterklaas sails into town! This legendary figure, accompanied by his cheerful helpers, the Pieten, marks the beginning of the festive season. Town squares host performances, parades, and sweet treats like ‘pepernoten’ and ‘speculaas’. Watch your kids gleam with excitement as they put their shoes out, hoping for a little surprise from Sinterklaas!

Related: Dutch Holidays 2024: A Guide for Foreigners

Tips for Parents

From making travel a breeze to ensuring those tiny tummies are always happy, here are some golden nuggets of wisdom to sprinkle onto your Dutch journey!

  • Embrace the Bicycle Culture: The Dutch and their bicycles are a love story for the ages. Cities are incredibly bike-friendly, and renting bicycles for the family can be a delightful way to explore. Some places even offer kiddie seats or tandem bikes. Pedal on and see the country the Dutch way!
  • Keep Snacks Handy: Hungry kids are… let’s say, less enthusiastic explorers. The Netherlands boasts scrumptious snacks like ‘stroopwafels’, ‘bitterballen’, and ‘poffertjes’. Keep a few treats in your bag to keep those energy levels (and spirits) high!
  • Familiarize with Local Etiquette: While the Dutch are super welcoming, it’s always good to know a few etiquettes. For instance, always greet with a cheerful “Hallo!” and it’s common to give three cheek kisses when meeting friends. A little local manner goes a long way!
  • Flexible Itineraries are Gold: Kids have their own rhythm and sometimes, the best-laid plans need tweaking. Keep your itinerary flexible. Maybe swap a museum visit for an extra hour at the beach or take an unplanned stop at that charming playground.
  • Safety First: While the Netherlands is generally safe, always keep an eye on your little ones, especially in crowded places. A simple wristband with your contact details can be handy in case your child wanders off.

Additional Resources

  • 9292: Your all-in-one solution to public transportation in the Netherlands. Bus, tram, or train, this app has your back.
  • Iamsterdam: Dive deep into Amsterdam’s vibrant soul. Discover events, attractions, and local favorites.

ABOUT Sofia Van Dirk

Sofia van Dijk is our resident Relocation Expert at Born and raised in the Netherlands, Sofia possesses extensive knowledge of Dutch culture, local customs, and the practicalities of living in this unique country. She studied International Relations at the University of Amsterdam and spent several years working for an international relocation company before joining our team.

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