The Mamas Recommend: 10 Tips to Survive an Amsterdam Winter

November 18, 2015 By Catina Tanner 0 Comments

Winter has arrived in Amsterdam but, with a bit of planning, your mood can stay sunny! Here are our community's tips, for making the most of the colder weather.

Many of us dread the winter season with its cold, short days. But did you know that winters in Amsterdam can be magical? With a little preparation, winter can be super gezellig, filled with warmth and cozy family fun. No one knows this better than our Mamas; when one of our members asked for tips on how to survive the winter in Amsterdam, the community responded in force. We've condensed the responses to give you their top 10 tips to not just survive, but enjoy, winter in Amsterdam.

1. Waterproof your wardrobe – Winter can be pretty wet, whether it’s from the cold drizzle or the occasional snowfall. Having a good winter coat and a pair of waterproof boots is a top priority. Our Mamas' advice: don't go cheap –invest in good quality when buying boots and coats for you and your family. 

2. Wear layers when going outdoors – Nowadays, you don’t have to look like a stuffed bear when wearing layers. A polyester-blend thermal undershirt and fleece stockings for under your trousers will do just fine. Several Mamas recommended a waterproof down coat to top off your layers. 

3. Stock up on all things wool – Wool is a necessity for keeping warm on the coldest of winter days. You can find wool or wool-blend products easily in Amsterdam...hats, scarves, gloves, socks, sweaters, tights, underwear (just kidding).

4. Buy yourself oliebollen – Yum! Oliebollen, round balls of fried dough dripping with powdered sugar, are only sold around Christmas and the New Year. They're a sort of magical holiday food that not only fill your belly but also warm your entire body – no wonder the Dutch love their oliebollen. The perfect treat for a cold day in the city. 

5. Have a night out with your sweetheart – Winter is the perfect time to catch up on your date nights and spend some quality time with your partner. If finding a sitter is a problem, it's a great excuse to cuddle up on the sofa when the kids are tucked in bed, and feed your Netflix addiction.

6. Plan a weekend getaway – If the cold becomes too much, then a long weekend away to a warm and sunny destination could cure the winter blues. The break could recharge your batteries and maybe afterwards you will be ready to return to the cozy winter nights in Amsterdam. For the rest of the winter, several Mamas suggest using light-therapy lamps to feel the warmth of the sun.

7. Treat yourself to 'me' time! – I know, we barely have time to brush our hair most days, let alone spend a day at the spa. However, our Mamas recommend making time to treat yourself, whether it be for some posh pampering at a spa, or simply a stolen moment at home during naptime. Aromatic bath beads and candles can turn your bathroom into your private mini-spa.

8. Schedule play dates and meet-ups with friends – What better time than winter to catch up on play dates? Hanging out with friends will keep you cheerful and keep the kids busy too. Amsterdam has activities throughout the winter months for every age group. A hit with our Mamas is ice skating at Museumplein. It's also the perfect place to treat yourself to some more oliebollen and a steaming cup of mulled wine!

9. Get your daily dose of vitamin D – The short days of winter can often cause a dip in our vitamin D levels. And we know that can make for one cranky mama. To battle those winter blues, the Mamas suggest taking a supplement during the dark days of winter.

10. Have yourself a hot drink – Shake off the cold with a nice cup of tea or, if you really want to indulge, a hot chocolate topped with whipped cream. Lace it with rum and you can survive even the coldest winter day in Amsterdam.


This list has been compiled from the recommendations of our members on the Amsterdam Mamas Facebook group.


Catina Tanner is an expat mother of two enjoying the rollercoaster ride of being a mommy...in a land far, far away. You can read more about her adventures over at her blog The Amsterdam Mama.


photo credit: Flickr via photo pin cc

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