If you wish to save your sanity from kid chaos on a rainy day then read on! Amsterdam Mamas bring you the whole gamut of recommended hot spots to keep your small person entertained.
Soft Play, Trampolines, and Bowling
Escape to these urban jungles that have the usual round of climbing frames, ball pits, trampolines and the like to tucker out the kids. While the kids jump, climb, hop, and leap, you can surf the waves of the free Wi-Fi that most of the play areas offer. They also offer tasty snacks to recharge your kids at the end of an active session. Tip: With younger kids, try to go before noon, as it is less busy and the entry is at a discounted rate. Also, if you are sure to be a regular, then invest in a multiple-entry card, which works out cheaper.
Amsterdam Centrum|For 1-12 years|Free Wi-fi|♦Winner: Best Soft Play/Indoor Playground, Amsterdam Mamas Recommends Awards 2016♦
Located in a huge underground play space, Tunfun is great fun for children up to 12 years. It has age-specific zones – from a ball pit for little ones to explore to trampolines and jungle gyms for the high-energy pre-teens. And once the kids are exhausted, you can settle down for a quick bite at their snack bar.
2. Monkey Town
Uithoorn and Purmerend|For 1-12 years|Free Wi-Fi
If you are closer to Uithoorn or Pumerend, then heave your fidgety offspring to Monkey Town and let them run loose over the climbing frames, ball pits and trampolines.
Amsterdam Zuidoost|For 1-12years|Free Wi-Fi|♦Honourable Mention: Best Soft Play/Indoor Playground, Amsterdam Mamas Recommends Awards 2016♦
Escape to the shopping arcade of Amsterdam Arena for some retail therapy and kidmusement. A Mama says she liked that they had designated areas for the little ones.
4. Chimpie Champ and Jump XL
Aalsmeer|For 1-12 years old|Free Wi-Fi
Just a 10-minute car ride from Schipol is a haven for jetlagged weekends. With the trio of soft play, whooshing jumbo jets, and a line up of 39 trampolines at Jump XL at your disposal, you are guaranteed a day well spent.
Amstelveen|For 4 years +
Enjoy some flipping and jumping on trampolines under the supervision of coaches. For adults and older kids, there is an indoor golf facility.
Amstelveen|For 4 years +
Why not go bowling with your children? For the younger ones, they are nice enough to put up bumpers so that the balls don’t end in the gutter!
Amsterdam Oost|For 2 years+
Minivrog with parents ( 2- 6 years), Combo Trampoline and freerunning training (6 years +), Freerunning (8 years +). timetabled according to age.
Baby and Toddler Groups
Most baby and toddler groups hold drop-in sessions for very young children. Some of these are run by parent volunteers and the others by the local Ouder and Kinderen centrum. They are a great place to mingle with other local and international parents. Tip: Be ready to join in the rhyme sessions in Dutch and you will find yourself joyfully humming ‘In de Maneschijn‘ all the way home.
Amsterdam Zuid|For 0-4 years|♦Winner: Best Children's Party Location, Amsterdam Mamas Recommends Awards 2016♦
This is non-profit playgroup run by volunteers. It is a friendly place to escape to with your little one and meet up with other international parents. Check the website for the schedule and the article on our website before you go.
Just opposite the Gelderlandplein shopping centre in Buitenvelder, this is again a parent-run playgroup for international parents. Check their Facebook page for more updates. The beautiful Amstel Park is a walking distance from the playgroup if you choose to plan a whole day out.
10. Ren Je Rot
Amsterdam West|For 0-4 years
Located in the gym hall of the community centre, this place offers exciting play for the kids. They have soft mats, mini trampolines, and hula hoops to keep your active ones busy. Sometimes they hold yoga classes too.
Various locations|For 0-4 years
These are free or paid morning sessions organized by local bodies. To find one, contact your Local Ouder and Kind Centrum (OKC). They sometimes run a toy and book library as well.
For the little gymnasts or musicians, there are several classes to hone their skills or just have some fun. Most have classes that are grouped by age. Some have a drop-in option that can be booked a day in advance. Tip: Go for a free trial class to see if your child enjoys it before booking for the whole course.
Amsterdam West|For 1.5-5 years
They run activity classes for kids, from ballet to yoga. There is a shop and café.
13. Bouncy Bunch
Multiple Locations|For 6 months-4 years
Shake a leg at this course run by an English mama; with singing, dancing, and music to exercise your little bundles of energy.
Amsterdam Zuid|For 0-13 months|♦Honourable Mention: Best Class for Babies, Amsterdam Mamas Recommends Awards 2016♦
Let your little one indulge in a world of colours and texture. Sit back and appreciate their reactions as they explore the world around them.
15. Muziek op Schoot
Amsterdam Oost|8 months-4 years
Go on a musical journey with your budding Beethoven who would love to touch, strum, rattle, shake, and drum the real musical instruments at these classes.
16. Mini Disco
Amsterdam Zuid|2-9 years
Get those dancing shoes out and jive away with your kids at mini-disco. The classes are held once a month on Friday evening so both parents can join in too!
17. Messy Play
Amsterdam West|6 months-4 years
Perfect for children who love to squish and squash. Messy play allows them explore the tactile world. See them having fun. I bet adults would enjoy trying their hand at modelling some clay as well!
18. The Little Gym
Amsterdam Zuid|4 months-12 years|♦Winner: Best Class for Younger Children, Amsterdam Mamas Recommends Awards 2016♦
Use this play gym for sparking interest in sports in your little ones. There is something for everyone to enjoy and learn.
Amsterdam Oost|3-10 years
Apenkooi, meaning 'monkey cage', is a multi-sport facility for children. Check website for dates and details. They have free trial sessions and the option of a drop-in class.
20. Sporthal De Pijp
Amsterdam Zuid|4-10 years
One Amsterdam Mama recommends play at Sporthal de Pijp ‘There are activities for kids and you can take your young one as well.’ Contact directly for more details.
Multiple locations, Amsterdam|2-7 years|♦Winner: Best Class for Toddlers and Best Class for Older Children and Honourable Mention: Best Class for Younger Children, Amsterdam Mamas Recommends Awards 2016♦
They offer classes from sports activities to dance, all indoors during the winter months.
22. Jacaranda Tree
Amsterdam Zuid|0-4 years|♦Honourable Mention: Best Class for Babies, Amsterdam Mamas Recommends Awards 2016♦
A Montessori play group with lovely materials and a calm and friendly atmosphere.
Shop and Play
Shopping with kids is the ultimate nightmare for parents with young children. The answer to stress-free shopping is the new childrens concept store. You can shop for children's products, get their hair snipped, and sip a latte in peace while your little one is engaged in soft play and munching away on a banana sandwich. All locations are in Amsterdam Zuid.
23. Mini Markt
Beethovenstraat|♦Honourable Mention: Most Child-Friendly Restaurant or Cafe, Amsterdam Mamas Recommends Awards 2016♦
Ruysdaelstraat|♦Winner: Best Local Children's Shop and Honourable Mention: Most Child-Friendly Restaurant or Cafe, Amsterdam Mamas Recommends Awards 2016♦
25. De Kleine Parade
This list has been compiled from the recommendations of our members on the Amsterdam Mamas Facebook group.
Jaya Rai is an expat and mum to a joyful four-year-old. She loves to explore outdoors when the weather is kind!