Museums for Children in the Netherlands

May 10, 2013 By Editorial Team 0 Comments

The ultimate list of family-friendly museums in The Netherlands, recommended to you by the Mamas.

For a small country, the Netherlands is packed with museums that the entire family will enjoy. Before you go exploring, consider purchasing the Museumkaart. It's highly recommended by our Mamas to get discounted or free entry to roughly 400 museums in the Netherlands. 

NOORD-HOLLAND:

Museum Stoomtram
Hoorn/Medemblik/Enkhuizen
Free entry for children under 3 years old.

Between the historic “Zuiderzee” towns of Hoorn, Medemblik and Enkhuizen, restored steamtrams meander from village to village across the Westfrisian countryside. Then transfer to an old-fashioned steamer with a fantastic saloon-deck for a sail along the coast of lake IJsselmeer. Pay a visit to the Museum Stoomtram and step on board for one of the most thrilling journeys through time. This is the registered Museum focusing on the history of the steam tramways in Holland. During the holidays, there are themed rides with a meet and greet with both Sinterklaas and Santa Claus.

Amsterdam Mamas love this place as the kids, especially train fanatics, love it.

Bakkersmuseum
Medemblik
Free entry with the Museumkaart and for children under 2 years old.

In the quaint village of Medemblik lies another, yet smaller, bakery museum located in an old bakery. They won first prize in Rekels Children's Museum of the Year 2012, over musea like Tropenmuseum (winner of 2013), Scheepvaart, and Aviodrome. This museum "lives" as they have continuing demonstrations, workshops, and activities. On Sundays children can decorate a home baked cookie. The glass house restaurant serves great delicacies. Also, combine two in one and go for a ride on the local steam train!

Amsterdam Mamas love this as Medemblik is a lovely town and the museum is small and intimate.  

ZuiderZee Museum
Enkhuizen
Free entry with the Museumkaart and for children under 3 years old.

In 1932, the Afsluitdijk (IJsselmeer Barrier Dam) closed off the former Zuidersea from the North Sea, and the inland lakes thus created were called IJsselmeer and Markermeer (meer is Dutch for 'lake'). The museum is oriented toward the history of this area and accommodates an authentic church, a fish-curing shed, a mill, a cheese house, shops and dwelling houses from surrounding fishing villages on 15 acres. Staff and volunteers demonstrate historical crafts from everyday life at the beginning of the previous century. There are workshops for children in some of the buildings, offering activities such as dressing up, soap making or toy boat building.

Amsterdam Mamas love it as there is plenty of room for the kids to run around (keep a close eye on them with the open water of Lake Ijssel!) and you can combine it with a trip to nearby Sprookjeswonderland also located in Enkhuizen.

FLEVOLAND:

Aviodrome
Lelystad
Free entry with the Museumkaart and for children under 3 years old.

Two hundred years of aviation on the map all come together at an old airport in Lelystad. There is the possibility to go for a short flight tour in a Cessna 172. Movies starring planes, actual planes to touch and climb into, a viewing platform of the landing strip, a soft play area where the little ones can pretend they are luggage and have to make their way over an obstacle course, this museum proves a great deal of fun or the whole family. 

Amsterdam Mamas love this place as it is an outing for the whole day!

UTRECHT:

Spoorwegmuseum
Utrecht
Free entry with the Museumkaart and for children under 3 years old.

This railroad museum at an old train station built in 1847 is a train lovers' dream come true. On show: the history of trains, miniature train tracks, a look to the outside world from the train drivers seat, a big outside area with a sightseeing train, tracks, and a work shop; plus every year Thomas and Chuggington come to visit! 

Amsterdam Mamas love it as there is plenty to do for children, big and small. 

Speelklok Museum
Utrecht
Free entry with the Museumkaart and for children under 4 years old.

The Speelklok Museum collects, preserves, presents and restores an extensive and internationally renowned array of self-playing mechanical musical instruments. The museum houses one of the world's foremost collections of automatic musical instruments and one of its major roles lies in spreading its knowledge of the collection to a wider audience. Kids will enjoy the four animated films which bring the pieces in the collection to life. Each day Annabel the Musical Clock, Ron the Orchestrion, Oscar the Belly Organ and Madeleine the Dance Organ can be seen on screen in the Music Factory, the children’s section of the museum. The films have been made by third-year students at the Faculty of Art, Media, and Technology at Utrecht School of the Arts.

Amsterdam Mamas love it as children are mesmerized by the beauty of the music and by the wonderfully-decorated organs.

Dick Bruna House

Utrecht

Free entry with the Museumkaart and for children under 1 year old.

Adjacent to the Central Museum lies the Dick Bruna House, who is known from Amsterdam to Tokyo from his Miffy books. Over 7.000 illustrations are on display, not just of Miffy/ Nijntje, but also of Boris Bear, Poppy Pig and Little Dog Snuffy. Children can listen to audio books too!

Amsterdam Mamas love it as it provides a playful introduction to the basics of visual art, challenging them to experiment with colors.

ZUID-HOLLAND:

Naturalis
Leiden 
Free entry with the Museumkaart and for children under 4 years old.

Naturalis Biodiversity Center is a place for young and old, from school children to amateur scientists, to marvel at life on Earth, the diversity of nature and the underlying processes. It also gives visitors the chance to see behind-the-screen processes for themselves. 37 million objects on display make it a world-class, natural history collection ranking fifth in the world, both in size and in content.

Amsterdam Mamas love this place as there is so much to see; the little ones won't have enough eyes.

Panorama Mesdag
Den Haag
Free entry with the Museumkaart and for children under 4 years old.

The Mesdag is a famous 360C panorama of the view from a lighthouse so cleverly painted, the lighting changes with the time of day. It is the largest painting in the Netherlands (14,5 x 114,5 meter). Prepare a "bingo card" in advance and have your child look for certain things in the painting and cross them off. Then venture off to the beach at Scheveningen, or nearby miniatureland Madurodam.

Amsterdam Mamas love it as, even though the rest of the museum can be a bit boring for (younger) children, the panorama painting itself is well worth the trip.

GELDERLAND:

Openlucht museum
Arnhem
Free entry with the Museumkaart and for children under 3 years old.

The Netherlands Open Air Museum uses authentic buildings, objects, and true stories to bring the past to life. Go on a journey through the last two hundred years. The museum has farmyards, farmhouses, cottages and businesses, a farmer’s café and shops. The museum is located in a lush forest area.

Amsterdam Mamas love it as it is a great outing in warmer weather.

Bakkerijmuseum
Hattem
Free entry with the Museumkaart and for children under 3 years old. 

A collection of anything to do with baking, from milling to the end product, is found in this museum which started off as a private collection. An 18th-century kitchen, a 16th-century area where the baker and his family used to live, an old fashioned shop selling all kinds of goodies, and lots more. They organise baking workshops too!

Amsterdam Mamas love this as their souvenir shop is delicious. De-li-cious! 

Read also about Museums for Children in Amsterdam.


These recommendations are brought to you by numerous Amsterdam Mamas and put together by Olga Grant, with additions by Donna Bardsley and Ana Crisostomo.


photo credit: hawktrainer via photopin cc

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