The Mamas Recommend: Kindercafés in Amsterdam

March 15, 2016 By Alexis Wilson Briggs 0 Comments

Parents with small children are often in search of a way to balance adult social time with playtime for their children. The Kindercafé concept is a great solution. Amsterdam Mamas share their favourites below. Latte Macchiato anyone?

Amsterdam has what you’re looking for if you’re looking for an escape from the weather, a place for a play date, a unique stop for visitors, a workspace, a restaurant to feed yourself and your kids where they are free to explore, or a new café to meet a child-free friend and enjoy uninterrupted (maybe less-interrupted) conversation.  

There are many styles of so-called “play cafes,” which range from kid places with space for adults to adult places with space for kids. New cafes are opening all the time, but here is a good list to get you started. 


Ruysdaelstraat 9-11-13
Monday to Saturday 9:00-17:30; Sunday 10:00-17:30  

Blender is the most frequently recommended play café and it is easy to see why with its extensive children’s menu and dedicated play area at the back of the café. The space has a children’s shop attached but completely gated off from the main dining and play areas. The play area includes two wooden slides with stairs to help little ones burn off energy, ride-on toys, drawing materials, a foosball table and a few large baskets of toys. They also offer workshops and dance classes as well as a hairdresser on Saturday. While some have complained about the noise level and how crowded the space becomes, those in the know recommend going in the morning between 9:00 and 11:00 while most children are in school in order to get the best of what Blender has to offer.

 Winner, Best Local Children's Shop, in the Amsterdam Mamas Recommends Awards 2016 

 Honourable Mention, Most Child Friendly Restaurant or Cafe, in the Amsterdam Mamas Recommends Awards 2016 


Overtoom 205 
Monday to Saturday 10:00-18:00; closed Sunday  

Boezemvriend is your destination if you are searching for a supportive place to breastfeed your child, made clear by the beautiful photographs of mothers nursing their children which fill their website. It is clear from the moment you step inside that this is a space dedicated to providing information and support to you and your infant child. They also have sling morning walks every Thursday 11:00-12:00 as well as breastfeeding courses, “carry yoga,” and pump rentals. They have an extensive website which details all the workshops and program calendars. Boezemvriend shines like a beacon for parents of infants out of a sea of play cafés catering to toddlers and older children. However, the space is also safe for toddlers to explore, and the restaurant includes healthy snacks for older kids as well. There is a large shop attached which is stocked with anything you may need in those early months (nursery furniture, nursing bras, pacifiers, and even raincoats) or for a baby-shower gift. There is a ramp at the door and plenty of space for strollers, which makes this the perfect place for infants and their parents.

Café Belcampo

Hannie Dankbaarpassage 10
Monday to Wednesday and Friday 9:00-18:00; Thursdays 9:00-20:00; Saturday and Sunday 10:00-18:00  

Café Belcampo is a reading café in the De Hallen branch of the Amsterdam Public Library in the old tram depot, a huge building that allows for plenty of space for strollers inside. It is attached to the library which has a children’s area with tables and children’s books. Amsterdam Mama members describe it as “a reading café with a relaxed vibe.” The menu offers many choices for children, including fruit salad, smoothies, and sandwiches. A corner of the café has a dedicated space for little ones to play with a few toys or work on a project at a small table. If they need to run around, bringing a small bike or scooter is an option to allow them to ride around in the depot for a bit. 

Cobra Café

Hobbemastraat 18 
Monday to Sunday 10:00-18:30  

Cobra Café is located in the Museumplein nestled next to the “I am Amsterdam” sign with views of the Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum, and Van Gogh Museums. You can view the skating rink and the skate park ramps from the café, which opens onto two large terraces for children to enjoy. It can be reserved in the evenings for events and describes itself as “a modern lunch café.” When it is sunny, the children can use the playground that is set between the skate park and one of the terraces, which has a play structure (which includes a large net swing and a slide with logs to climb) as well as gravel for digging. The area is blocked off with a cement riser, providing some protection from plaza traffic, perfect for older kids to climb and young ones to safely explore. Cobra Café is a good place to rest between museums and allow the kids to enjoy some playtime while fueling up for the rest of the day.

De Kleine Parade

Gerard Doustraat 142-144 
Monday to Saturday 9:00-17:00; closed Sunday

De Kleine Parade is tucked into the Albert Cuypmarkt and can be a great place to pop into when visiting the street market. If your child likes to try to escape, this is the perfect stop because they have a gate that closes the café and play area off from the shop and font door. There is a play kitchen as well as a train table to keep little hands busy but not a lot of room for older kids to run around. There is a large room in the back which can be rented for parties. They can arrange a variety of themes for you, including painting, nail polish, or craft parties. They serve breakfast and lunch in the café, inquire for an up-to-date menu at the counter which is staffed by warm and lovely ladies who seem to be quite patient with the toy obstacle course they navigate to deliver orders. The shop is full of lovely and thoughtful choices and is well worth a look while you visit. The entrance and front room is wide enough to accommodate a stroller without any stairs to navigate.

 Honourable Mention, Best Local Children's Shop, in the Amsterdam Mamas Recommends Awards 2016 

Groot Melkhuis 

Vondelpark 2 
Wednesday to Sunday 10:00-17:00; closed Monday and Tuesday  

Groot Melkhuis is ideal for a nice day outside as the playground within the gates has everything a child could want: a sandbox, zip line, a pedal merry-go-round, swings and more. Every weekend, when the weather is good, they have a bouncy castle. The café is has a selection of sandwiches, baked goods, and the usual offerings, as well as some good choices for children. It is in the Vondelpark next to the Kinderkookkafé, not far from an even larger playground, so it offers a nice opportunity for parents (or grandparents) to have a rest from chasing children around the park while everyone enjoys a snack and (hopefully) some sunshine.

Haddock Restaurant 

Ijdijk 8 
Sunday to Thursday 10:00-1:00; Friday and Saturday 10:00-15:00

While it is an adult restaurant and not a true kindercafe, Haddock is exceptionally friendly for children and is one of the few child-friendly places that stay open for dinner. It has a room for children with a TV, as well as toys, craft and art supplies, foosball and children’s books. Outside, there is a large grassy area and a sandbox. They also set up a small pool or sprinklers in the summer months. Sunday afternoons at 14:30 there is an organized craft session. On Wednesdays, you can also bring your kids to the children’s hairdresser. There is free parking, though you can easily reach the restaurant on Tram 26 from Central Station. 


Vondelpark 6B    
Monday to Sunday 10:00-17:00  

The Kinderkookkafé offers children an opportunity to make their own food, a treat that some parents find helps their children to become interested in food they usually resist. At the self-service counter you can pay per item for your child to make cookies, pizza, fruit shakes and smoothies, cucumber and carrot puzzles, keekjes (cupcakes)and more. Every first Saturday is an open dinner for children 8 and older to cook, and more dates for dinners are announced in the summer. There are toys and books indoors and a small playground outside. The whole area is gated. Children of all ages enjoy using the tokens to help get coffee or tea from the machine. You can also contact the café for a schedule for other classes including dance lessons held throughout the week. Kinderkookkafe is near the Overtoom exit, nestled between the playground with the paddling pool and the Melkhuis, so on sunny days a whole day may be made of this corner of the park.

Lunchroom Lastig

Christiaan Huygensplein 33
Monday to Thursday 9:00-17:00; Friday 9:00-18:00; Saturday 10:00-18:00; Sunday 10:00-17:00 

Located in the Watergraafsmer neighborhood, Lunchroom Lastig is a bright and cozy space offering something for kids of every age: toys, books, games, a large well stocked drawing table and even a game room downstairs (for ages 6 and up) with fussball, billiards, and computer games. The breakfast and lunch menus feature items that appeal to both adults and children as well as many Indonesian specialties.


Kinkerstraat 66 
Tuesday to Saturday 10:00-18:00; Sunday 11:00-17:00; closed Monday  

Marvin is a café specializing in breakfast, lunch, and takeaway. The ground level has cooking-related gifts and food products (including a Marvin line of granola, pesto, olive oils, chutneys, jams, sauces, and soups). Downstairs there is a small play area with a chalkboard wall and a play kitchen, as well as a table for adults to enjoy their drinks and food while watching the children play. Upstairs is a larger dining area serving delicious and healthy food, though the menu is limited after lunch because the kitchen doesn’t stay open. The feel is of an adult place with a kid space, good for a few kids at a time, and perfect for meeting a child-free friend for coffee or lunch. Strollers can be tricky on the few stairs between levels but the staff is very patient and happy to accommodate whatever space you need. They also do events, catering, and cooking workshops which are advertised on their website.

Mini Chi Chi Club 

Spaarndammerstraat 43H 
Tuesday to Saturday 10:00-17:30; closed Sunday and Monday  

Mini Chi Chi Club, located north of the Westerpark, offers a shop, café with organic food and fair-trade coffee, as well as a play-kitchen and toys for children. In addition, they offer dance, yoga, and massage for parents and children; a full calendar is available here. They have included a lot of thoughtful details such as a slide instead of stairs, EKO and SKAL certified sourdough bread from their own mother dough, and products made by people with intellectual disabilities under the guidance of professional bakers. This is a hidden gem.


Beethovenstraat 5a 
Monday to Friday 9:00-17:30; Saturday and Sunday 10:00-17:00  

Minimarkt has a train table and a small corner for babies as well as a shop and a children’s hairdresser available Friday 10:00-17:00 (with a chair in the shape of a car). The train table has a wrought iron frame that has caused some concern for Amsterdam Mamas members, as well as stairs that are attractive for some children. Similarly, some little ones find the attached shop to be distracting, so this isn’t a foolproof solution for letting your children play on their own. Minimarkt does offer WiFi and encourages people to come and work while they enjoy their homemade cakes and other treats as well as organic salads and other food. Minimarkt also offers food for children including fruit, gingerbread, sandwiches and they can decorate cupcakes. A back room is available for parties and workshops but they do not permit outside food.

 Honourable Mention, Most Child Friendly Restaurant or Cafe, in the Amsterdam Mamas Recommends Awards 2016 

Suikertantes Café

Havelaar: Douwes Dekkerstraat 2

Friday and Saturday 10:00-17:00; closed Sunday to Thursday

Suikertantes Café is located at Combiwel locations and is run entirely by volunteers. There are lots of toys available as well as outside play areas. The highlight is the cooking opportunity the volunteers arrange two days each week at each location. It is reportedly similar to Kinderkookkafe, so if your children love the Vondelpark version then it is worth visiting one of these Suikertantes Cafés to broaden their cooking experience.


Europaboulevard 1 
Monday to Thursday 17:00-22:00; Friday to Sunday 16:30-22:00; Sunday Brunch 11:30 to 16:00  

Vandaag is a higher-end buffet that has its own play area for children that includes a ball pit and an area to work on crafts. For older children, this is a good option to get them fed and let them get out of their seats while the adults linger over dinner. There is a minder in the room to make sure everyone stays safe, and the door to the playroom is visible from the dining room. It can get very busy on the weekends, but they serve brunch on Sundays and may be a reprieve for busy parents in the middle of the week.

Wachterlied Paviljoen

Wachterliedplantsoen 13
Monday to Friday 9:00-13:30

This spacious yet cozy cafe with a large outdoor seating area is an especially nice place to visit on a sunny morning. Actually part of a community centre in the Bos en Lommer neighbourhood in West Amsterdam, it is directly next to a playground so there is plenty of space for small ones to explore safely. The very friendly staff serve up a simple but satisfying menu of tostis, pancakes and homemade baked goods.

Wijs West

Bilderdijkstraat 62
Tuesday to Friday 8:45-18:00; Saturday and Sunday 10:00-18:00; closed Mondays

Wijs West is a spacious café with a large play area that includes a chalkboard wall, play kitchen, dollhouse, pushcart and ride-on toys, as well as other fun activities to entertain your child. The play area is next to the tables and, although it is not closed off, it is divided from the front door by a large bookcase, clothing racks, and a display table. A truly dedicated runner may make it to the front doors, but not without going past the café tables and your watchful eye. They also have a children’s hairdresser in a separate room that is also used for organized activities like art classes and yoga for children aged 2.5 upwards. The café serves organic food with a creative menu for you and your child, as well as sugar-rich and sugar-free desserts. The entrance has a large door and no stairs, which that makes it easy to navigate with a stroller throughout the café. There is also a shop with cute clothes and toys as well as a friendly staff and owners.

 Honourable Mention, Best Local Children's Shop, in the Amsterdam Mamas Recommends Awards 2016 

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.

Alexis Wilson Briggs is a Civil Rights Attorney, a former Criminal Defense Attorney now consulting as a U.S. Drug Policy Expert, as well as wife, mother, and happy Amsterdam transplant from Oakland, California. She and her family are avid travelers, currently seeking the perfect beach and the perfect croissant.


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