Accessible Art for Children in Amsterdam

June 10, 2017 By Jolene den Boer 0 Comments

So, here you are in Amsterdam - one of the world’s great art cities, packed with incredible galleries and a vibrant art scene. But how do you share these treasures with your little one(s)? Fortunately, Amsterdam offers lots of fun ways to bring your kids and great art together.

Amsterdam has the highest density of museums in the world. Before beginning to explore them, it is highly recommended that you get yourself a Museumkaart; it will get you free entry to many of the museums all over The Netherlands. Children generally get in for free or at a reduced price at most art museums in Amsterdam. 

Rijksmuseum

Let’s start with the most obvious one: the Rijksmuseum. Luckily, this enormous museum is actually a pretty child friendly place. As in most museums, you are allowed to bring your own stroller, but the Rijksmuseum also offers strollers to borrow free of charge. If your kids are a little older, take one of the excellent family guided tours. It is suitable for children 6-12 years, and is an excellent way to discover the highlights of the museum. Your children will experience a tour full of stories, experiments, and challenges. These tours are available daily during the summer holidays (1-30 August, 2017) and Christmas holidays (25 December, 2017-1 January, 2018). Book in advance - this tour sells out quickly!

Free entry with the Museumkaart and for children up to 18 years old. Open daily.

Rijksmuseum Gardens

Did you know that every summer, the gardens at the Rijksmuseum are transformed into an open-air museum? This year, the works of Jean Dubuffet are being displayed. This promises to be an exhilarating experience. They consist of bright white, red and blue parts, and will surely appeal to your kids. Enter the gardens at the Museumplein-side, and enjoy some great Amsterdam summer weather close to one of the best museums in the world. Life is good.

Free of charge. Open daily.

ARTZUID

Every two years, you are especially lucky to live in Amsterdam. The area of Amsterdam Zuid turns into an open-air museum, in which you are free to wander about. ARTZUID is a biennial sculpture route and is especially great for kids. You can stroll by and around the enormous and impressive sculptures. The 2017 edition runs from 19 May - 17 September and focuses on Dutch post-war sculptors, that have been influenced by the famous De Stijl art movement. Bring a picnic basket and enjoy the fresh air and inspiration. ARTZUID also has some great education programs, including birthday party workshops and summer art camp.

Free of charge. Visitors pavilion (Minervalaan 1) open daily.

Stedelijk Museum

Modernist museums like the Stedelijk might not pop immediately into mind for a visit with small children, but the Stedelijk really does welcome families. They always have some sort of activity going on, including workshops where children can create their own art. They also run special family tours, such as Family Trails or their most special program, Blikopeners, in which you are guided through the museum by young people aged 15-19. They share their thoughts and perspectives on the artworks. If you have a teenager you would like to feel engaged with art, this is the tour for you!

Free entry with the Museumkaart and for children up to 18 years old. Open daily.

Amsterdam Light Festival

Every winter, Amsterdam has a special surprise for you. As the daily sunlight decreases, a different type of light illuminates the Amsterdam Canals. The Amsterdam Light Festival presents you with light artworks and installations. A new theme is selected every year, always in some way connected to the city. You can choose between a walking route (in the Plantage neighbourhood) or a boat route. The latter is especially great for kids 5 years and up. A canal boat takes you on a cruise, sailing by the artworks and installations. You can talk about the artworks with your kids while enjoying some drinks and snacks.

Free of charge.

Van Gogh Museum

The Van Gogh Museum has developed an original and engaging way for children to connect with the 19th-century Dutch master: Vincent’s Travelling Case. Free of charge, children age 6 and up can go to the information desk and get an actual suitcase filled with fun items and assignments in English or Dutch. Also a hit with kids is the replica Sunflowers painting that you can feel and smell.

Free entry with the Museumkaart and for children up to 18 years old. Open daily.

Museum of the Canals (Het Grachtenhuis)

The Amsterdam Canal Ring is a work of art in itself; it has been on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 2010. So, since architecture is also an art form, the Museum of the Canals is a great way to introduce your kids (aged 6+) to the beautiful design of Amsterdam's 17th century canal houses and the Canal Ring itself. Armed with an audio tour (available in seven languages), you enter a monumental canal house on the Herengracht. Once inside, a multimedia show begins, covering five different rooms and tells you the amazing history of Amsterdam and its canals. Your child will never look at them the same again.

Museumkaart not accepted. Children 0-5 are free. Closed on Mondays.


Jolene den Boer is a writer, creating art and culture-related content for magazines, websites and her art blog Spoonful of Art. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram. 


Photo Credit: alamy (header), Deborah Nicholls-Lee (Rijk's Museum Gardens), Wikimedia Commons (Light Festival)

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