For all you coffee-loving Amsterdam Mamas and Papas, we have created a list of our favourite playgrounds with cafés. Relax and enjoy your coffee, while the kids run around and play.
Amstelveld & Café Nel
This is one of our favourites. Parents can enjoy a lovely view of the canal area, and kids have easy access to a sandbox, slide, and a big football “field”. It is situated in the centre of the city, so easy to combine with a shopping trip, but with enough space to feel safe and out of traffic.
Herenmarkt & take your pick!
OK, it is not really a playground with a café as there is no café on the playground itself. However, the Haarlemmerstraat, which is just around the corner, is packed with places for take-away coffee and snacks that can be consumed on one of the playground benches. Our favourite places are Vinnies Deli and Il Tramezzino. The playground is suitable for all ages. It offers baby swings, a sandpit, climbing frame and slide and a small basketball court.
Palmgracht & Restaurant Lucca
Not for the early birds as this restaurant doesn’t open until 3 pm, but a great spot for an after-school drink or even a bite to eat, as this Italian restaurant also serves kids favourites such as pizza and pasta. You can order in or to-go. On the other corner of the playground, you’ll find Café Palm Springs, with a nice terrace, which is a neighbourhood favourite – but this café is also not an early bird place. The playground offers something for all ages, from a baby swing to ping pong tables. Bring your own bats though!
Familie Noord (Family North) is a local initiative of parents who were looking for an outdoor location for their kids to play and to organise activities and meet up with other parents. Their last location was the campground in the Vliegenbos, which it is closed as the campsite opens up for its regular visitors. We do not know what their next location will be, but it is a good one to follow!
This natural adventure playground for bigger kids, to the east of the Flevopark, is where nature meets the city. The café serves coffee in vintage china cups and you can order various hot and cold snacks. There is a large terrace overlooking the main playing area. Kids can build huts, canoe, fish, stroke the animals in the petting zoo, and really enjoy the outdoors. For rainy days, they also offer indoor activities such as drawing and table football. Jeugdland also offers a variety of workshops called Maakland, including “edible nature”, “bakery” and “construction/building”.
Tea House Flevor
Tea House Flevor is located in the middle of the Flevopark, next to the playground. They serve drinks and simple snacks, such as pancakes and toasties. There is plenty of outdoor seating to watch your kids while they enjoy the zip wire, swings, wendy house and climbing frames.
Van Beuningenplein & Het-Paviljoen
Located on the Van Beuningenplein, this café is ideal as they serve coffee, alcohol, pancakes, and tapas – so anything you might need! The playground is great for any age, from crawling babies in the sandbox to pre-teens skate-boarding. The owner has young kids of his own and is truly dedicated to making it family-friendly. Plus live music on Sundays!
Erasmuspark & Terrasmus
Located in the Erasmuspark, right next to the playground and with access to the park, this café is great for all ages. They serve a large variety of fresh fruit juices, toasties, soups, beer, wine and of course coffee. If you’d rather eat in the park, you can order take-away as well. They have great activity programme from Easter hunts to live music.
Westerpark & Het Woeste Westen
Playground the ‘Wild West’ focuses on letting kids play in the wild. Sand, water, playing in a stream, catching frogs – it’s all possible. There is a small shack that offers shelter on a rainy day and serves coffee, tea, juice and some small snacks that can be enjoyed on the basic terrace. So, not a luxurious café, but definitely worthwhile!
Vondelpark & Groot Melkhuis
Not the best coffee in town, but a great playground suitable for all ages and located in the middle of the beautiful Vondelpark. Next to the playground for 3-12-year-olds, they also have a sandpit and small slide and swings for under 3’s. The playground is only accessible during the opening hours of the Groot Melkhuis. The restaurant is self-service and has a large terrace.
Vondelpark & Kinderkookkafe
Not many people know that the garden of the Kinderkookkafe hides a small playground with two swings, a slide, and a sandbox. Great for little toddlers that are ready to venture out on their own. The garden is closed with a gate, so you can let them wander around freely, without worrying about them escaping, and truly enjoy your coffee. The café is fully aimed at kids and run by volunteers. It is filled with toys, drawing materials, kid-sized picnic tables. Kids can make their own pizza, sausage sandwich or cupcakes. They also offer sandwiches, toasties, and soup.
A petting zoo with a large playground and a canteen, which is open to the public during opening hours. Here you will find fresh eggs, honey, coffee, tea, soft drinks, cakes and ice cream.
Buitenveldert / Amstelveen
Amstelpark is not known for its great food, but the playgrounds are always a treat for kids, making it one of our favourites. There are a couple of cafés and you can also enjoy your food and drink picnic-style on the grass or sit down at one of the tables. The park offers a playground, paid rides, mini golf, a petting zoo and you can go on a train ride through the park.
Petting zoo Elsenhove
A petting zoo with a big playground and a café. You can walk around amongst the goats, sheep, ducks, rabbits, even a cow. At 4 pm kids are invited to help feed the animals. Next, to the café, there is a small playground suitable for the littlest ones. Around the back is a natural adventure playground for older kids. They also offer a variety of activities in the holidays and on the weekend.
Amsterdamse Bos & Goat farm Ridderhoeve ♦ Winner: Best Day Out (outside) for Families in the Amsterdam Mamas Recommends Awards 2016 ♦
The goat farm is located in the Amsterdamse Bos. It has a variety of animals such as chickens, pigs, cows, horses – and of course goats – and over 100 sheep! There is also a playground right next to the restaurant, which offers breakfast, lunch and high tea. Besides the regular kids’ food, they also serve and sell their own produce. For a small fee, kids can collect their own eggs or feed the goats.
This list has been compiled from the recommendations of our members on the Amsterdam Mamas Facebook group.
Photo credit: Wikimedia, ‘Groot Melkhuis’
Kyra Schiffers is Dutch and has lived in the US, Spain and Mexico and now calls Amsterdam her home. She enjoys the vibrancy of the city with her man and two girls (aged 4 and 1). She works as a marketing consultant for the entertainment, film and culture industry. You can find her on Linkedin.