In and Around
There are more delightful Dutch spots for families
than most realize by DANA REBMANN
TELL ANYONE THAT YOU’RE PLANNING a trip to Amsterdam with kids, and puzzled looks paired with snide comments are likely to follow. But the city’s reputation — typically centered on its red-light
district and marijuana — can be deceiving. Though not typically thought of
as a family-friendly destination, the Netherlands’ capital city and its nearby
neighbors have plenty of perks for families. And canals, traditional Dutch
villages and windmills are just the beginning.
WHERE TO START
Hit the ground running — or floating, rather — down
Amsterdam’s 165-strong canal system. Along with
helping traveling broods get the lay of the land, canal
tours have a fun way of sneaking in a bit of city history
while pointing out landmarks and cultural highlights.
A number of operators offer tours, and sightseeing by
boat beats walking any day.
Though most kids don’t want to spend hours in a
museum, choosing an artist or two to focus on is
easy thanks to the city’s plethora of museums, such as
Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Rembrandt House
Museum and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. With the
exception of Rijksmuseum, all of these (and a canal city
tour) are covered by the I Amsterdam City Card, which
can help families save a little bit of money when on the go.
The Anne Frank House is a must-see for school-age
children who have read her diary. Note: It needs to be
booked well in advance to avoid standing in line.