Need a place to party? Amsterdam is bursting with great venues for children. Here are the top picks from the Amsterdam Mamas Facebook group.
Museums: Most museums offer art parties suitable for children aged 6+. Check out the Rijk's Museum and the Van Gogh Museum in Oud Zuid, the Tassen Museum in Centrum, and the Cobra Museum in Amstelveen (7+).
My Little Van Gogh: (Zuid) ♦ AMR 2016 Honourable Mention: Best Class for Toddlers, Best Class for Younger Childen, Best Class for Older Children, Best Party Services Provider, Best Children's Party Location ♦ Lovely room on the Amstelveenseweg where the owner can run an Arty Party for up to 10 children aged 1-6. Guests work their way round four different art areas. No need for party bags as they make their own take-home creation. The room is decorated for you, and art-themed refreshments can also be arranged.
CircusKinderfeestje: (Noord) The children can opt for magic lessons, circus skills or both. Located at the NDSM wharf.
Crafts and Cookery
020 Studio: (Zuid) Located close to the Hoofddorplein, 020 offer photo-shoot workshops with hair and make-up styling, crafting (t-shirt decorating, bracelet making, mobile-phone case making), and they also do cake decorating classes where the kids take their own cake home. There is the option of arranging pizza, cake and drinks for the party.
Cri Cri: (West) On the Overtoom, just south-west of the centre, Cri Cri offers brilliant crafting parties. The party takes place in a private room at the back of the shop which opens onto a small garden. Children get a little gift bag to take home after the workshop. Best for 7+.
Kinderkookkafe: ♦ AMR 2015 Honourable Mention: Best Children's Party Location ♦ (West) If you have a budding young chef in the family, let them develop their skills at the Kinderkookkafe, where the kids are the cooks. Located next to the Vondelpark, the venue offers loads of party options, including crafting, pizza making, and high tea. They also have a small outdoor playground, where the kids can let off steam.
Maakland: (Oost) Loads of party options here including cooking, den-building, animal care, and rocket-making. Jeugdland itself is one big adventure playground, which the party - if you can keep them together - will love. Located in Flevopark.
Lucie's Amsterdam: (Centrum) Lucie's is a boutique, right in the heart of Amsterdam, which sells home accessories and jewellery. They offer parties where kids can make necklaces from a selection of stones from the store. The guests go home wearing a wish bracelet. The idea is that when it comes off, their wish will come true. This party was well received by both boys and girls, and includes snacks and drinks in the cost.
Stip & Tijger: (Centrum) If your child likes cooking, singing, carpentry, or another creative activity, you can have a themed birthday party in this child-friendly space.
Woeste Westen: (West) Survival skills, cooking and crafts in the open air. (See Sports and Action below).
Zomerbloemenpluktuin: (Amstelveen) Huge range of craft workshops on offer. Kids bring their creations home with them. And there's flower-picking too, of course! Lots of catering options, including cake decorating, pancakes, or even a special kids' high tea.
Drama and Dance
AnaMorphic: (West) At AnaMorphic, on the Overtoom, you can bring your own food, cake and balloons and have a drama, dance or games party according to your child’s interests.
Damoves Peuter en Kleuter Dans: Dans Peuter/Kleuter Dans rent out their studio in the Pijp. Bring your own colourful tablecloth, food, drinks and decoration and book a dance teacher for a one hour dance class.
Dansschool Oostveen: (Zuid) Located at the South-West end of the Vondelpark, Dansschool Oostveen offer parties with a choice of dance lessons and themes. There is also the option to hire the studio to extend the party.
Toverknol: (Centrum) A friendly little children's theatre where the kids can dress up, watch a performance, and then dance, open presents, and eat cake. Performances are fun and interactive but require a basic level of Dutch. There is an option to book the whole theatre for your party and get a private performance. Best for children aged 2-9.
WendyGrin: (Westerdok) Wendy is a dance and pilates teacher who rents out her lovely dance studio on the Bickerseiland at a very reasonable rate. She can also host a dance party, if you like, and help you decorate the room. You can bring your own food. There is a handy playground just outside.
Wladimir Dance Studios: (Jordaan) This friendly studio offers dance parties for children aged 4+. The enthusiastic teacher gives a lesson based on your child’s favourite type of dance and music. At the end of the lesson, the children perform for the parents, who can hang out during the party and watch the lesson from the glass-walled café adjacent to the studio. The kids can have snacks and a drink in a party room which is decorated for you. You can bring your own food too - just ask. The studio is available for hire if you wish to extend the party.
City Farms: Snuggle with the animals at your local city farm. There are party rooms in the kinderboederij at De Dierencapel in the Harlemmerbuurt, Stadsboerderij Zimmerhoeve in De Baarsjes (see Emmy's article for more information), Kinderboederij De Werf in Watergraafsmeer, and in the Westerpark.
Clara Maria Cheese Farm and Clog Factory: (Amstelveen) What could be more Dutch? The children help out with various activities in the farm, whatever the weather.
Sport and Action
Baby Sensory: ♦ AMR 2016 Honourable Mention: Best Class for Babies♦ (Zuid) Baby Sensory and its programme for toddlers, Toddler Sense, offer a party package full of adventure that includes free play, a structured activity (gym, dancing, music, etc), and time for singing happy birthday.
Bounz Amsterdam: (Nieuw West) This trampoline centre is wall to wall bouncing. They offer various catering options: healthy ones, and ones which include McDonalds...
Buenting: (Amstelveen) Great venue if your child likes sport, dancing or martial arts. You can bring your own food and cake.
Fun Forest: ♦ AMR 2016 Honourable Mention: Best Children's Party Location ♦ (Buitenveldert) Located in the Amsterdamse Bos. Best for kids aged 7+. Active parties with a choice of formats, including stand-up paddle-boarding, treasure hunts and climbing. It's handy if some of the parents stay around to help.
Glow Golf: (Centrum) Walking distance from Central Station, Glow Golf offers putting parties in semi-darkness. Get the kids to wear white to make it more fun.
Klim Muur: (Centrum) Climbing wall with instructors close to Centraal Station. Pancakes, drinks and a certificate included.
Knijn Bowling: (Rivierenbuurt) Great for older kids. The party package comprises bowling, food, games, singing and a disco. For younger kids, you can book bumpers to help them channel the balls.
The Little Gym: ♦ AMR 2016 Winner: Best Class for Younger Children♦ (Buitenveldert) A fun, high-energy option for kids aged 1-12, located close to the Amstel Park. The venue provides the invitations and decorations and two instructors oversee the gymnastics. Weekends only. Book ahead.
Maakland: (Oost) Great for an outdoors party. See Crafts and Cookery above.
Mountain Network: (West) A climbing party for children aged 7+, located a short walk from the Erasmuspark. A professional instructor ensures 1.5 hours of fun climbing a 16-metre climbing wall.
De Natureluur: (Nieuw West) For an outdoors party with a choice of adventurous themes, this place is great. Suitable for 4-12-year-olds, with different formats for different age groups.
Sportscentrum Universum: (Oost) Hire a room and organise your own sports party.
Tunfun: ♦ AMR 2016 Winner: Best Soft Play/Indoor Playground ♦ (Centrum) A kid's paradise for 1-12-year-olds. Located near the Waterlooplein. Children can climb, slide and bounce their way around this former metro station and then eat poffertjes and birthday cake to refuel. There are various party packages available, including street dance, beauty salon, laser game, and pirate.
Vrog: (Oost) Friendly, thoughtful owners offer great trampolining parties with party packages that include decorations, drinks, food and a birthday cake. There is a nice café for the parents to hang out while a trainer supervises the children. For 12 years+, you can also book a Freerunning party.
Woeste Westen: (West) A great outdoor setting, close to the Westerpark, with a range of exciting packages for children aged 5-12. The emphasis is on learning practical skills in the open air but there are also plenty of bad weather options such as cooking pancakes and making jewellery.
Good for Toddlers
Baby Sensory: ♦ AMR 2016 Honourable Mention: Best Class for Babies♦ (Zuid) See Sport and Action section above. Baby Sensory offers a party package that includes free play, a structured activity (dancing, music, gym, etc), and time for singing happy birthday.
Messy Play: (West) Parties of 8-15 toddlers get to make a huge, happy mess in this brilliant concept in Bos en Lommer. Option to rent an extra room next door (at a bargain price) if you want to put on some food.
My Little Van Gogh: ♦ AMR 2016 Honourable Mention: Best Class for Toddlers, Best Class for Younger Childen, Best Class for Older Children, Best Party Services Provider, Best Children's Party Location ♦ (Zuid) See Art section above.
Dierenhotel Pocahondas: (Nieuw West) this animal hotel also offers children's parties. There are English-speakers on hand. The party package includes food and drink, a tour of the hotel, learning how to care for the animals, time for photos with your favourite animal, and an activity such as a treasure hunt, quiz, or colouring.
Pannenkoekenboot: (Noord) On the NDSM wharf, is a boat with a ball pool, which offers 75-minute party cruises for kids aged 3-12 years. The package includes pancakes, ice cream and drinks, as well as a visit to the cockpit and a gift for the birthday boy/girl.
Rooms for Hire
Just need a room? Here are the Mamas' favourites.
MiniChiChi: (West) An attractive and spacious room in a kindercafé on the Sparndammerstraat. The café can help with food and drink, and also offers cupcake decorating. You can also hire the studio if you want to do a dance or sports workshop.
Noorderspeeltuin: (Jordaan) Affordable room for hire. You can bring your own food and entertainment.
Octopus: (Buitenveldert) Located by the Gelderlandplein, this international playgroup’s room can be used for birthday parties on Wednesdays, Fridays and sometimes on weekends.
Robbeburg: ♦ AMR 2016 Winner: Best Children's Party Location♦ (Rivierenbuurt) Outside of their normal operating hours, the venue (and garden) of this international playgroup are for hire. The playgroup has a small kitchen, a seated area for the adults to relax, and a ball pool, toys, and a slide for the children. There are special child-sized loos and a baby-changing area. Best suited to children aged 5 and under. Note: The garden at Robbeburg cannot be used at the weekends. Book ahead as this venue is a popular choice.
Speeltuin Amstelpark: (Buitenveldert) This park has a free playground and petting zoo, as well as various fun activities for children for which you purchase coins at the snack bar. There are menus available for children’s parties and you can ask to bring your own cake.
Speeltuin Wittenburg: (Eastern Docklands) The building at the playground has its own kitchen can be rented extremely cheaply. There is plenty of room to run around inside during wet weather. The playground is huge and has a zipwire, trampoline and other fun apparatus.
Suikertantes Café: (West) With a playroom and a craft space, this child-friendly café in de Baarsjes is ideal for organising a fun and relaxed birthday party. The staff are friendly and helpful and make it easy for you.
Wijswest: (West) This venue in Amsterdam West is run by friendly, helpful staff and offers some truly yummy food. The popcorn machine and lemonade fountain will be a big hit with the kids. Delicious brunch provided with freshly-made juices and shakes, and pretty (and tasty!) personalised cupcakes. While the children play, the grown-ups can enjoy a latte. Good for everyone!
This article is based on an article written for Amsterdam Mamas by Margaret Smet, and has been updated and expanded by Deborah Nicholls-Lee and the editorial team.
The Mamas Recommend is a series generated from responses on our Facebook page from multiple sources. The opinions are representative of the individuals who contributed to it and not of Stichting Amsterdam Mamas. The information is current as of the date of publication. If you find any discrepancies or broken links, please notify us.