One Day in Amsterdam (Toddler-in-tow, Optional)
I recently discovered the joy of international travel with a toddler. It is exhausting. And totally rewarding. Our end game was Amsterdam, and once the six-hour flight (aka purgatory) was over, our trip got off to a great start.
These museums, restaurants, and sites are all family-approved, though a toddler is hardly necessary to enjoy them. In fact, I can pretty much guarantee you will enjoy them either way – a sample day in the life that I highly recommend you replicate.
Breakfast at De Bakkerswinkel
This breakfast/lunch spot has two locations and even a take away outpost for all your quick snacking needs. I particularly liked their aggressive opening time – 8am, very early by European standards, not to mention their kid-friendly vibe (shelves of toys and books in the corner nook). Do not, I repeat, do not miss the scone of the day, lemon curd, or house made jams. I definitely smuggled some home in my suitcase.
The Rijks Museum
Walk off breakfast with a stroll across the city to the Rijks Museum. Take your time and peruse the grounds. It abuts one of the most gorgeous parks in the city, Vondelpark, worth an afternoon on its own. Buy tickets in advance and flash your phone at the door. Early am on a weekday is the way to go when visiting their national treasures. No one likes to see Rembrant’s The Night Watch with throngs of tourists snapping away. What is it about people taking pictures of pictures that gets me every time? Trust me, the postcard you pick up at the gift shop will be a higher quality image. Don’t miss their impressive collection of still lifes, from the city’s Golden Age. While there, make a pit stop at the museum café for some fuel, or take away for the next leg of your journey (Soup en Zo is a quick walk from the Rijks canal stop, a particular favorite of ours).
Canal Boat Tour
Bring lunch and relax, letting someone else do the navigating for a change. The tours cruise all along the city canals and waterways. A 24-hour ticket allows you to get on and off like a bus. It’s a slow, but beautiful way to get around and see the city at the same time. You’ll appreciate the seat, chance to catch your breath, and cold beer on board.
[Insert NAP time for little’s and grown-ups if jet-lag requires it]
Tucked away in an adorable neighborhood, it is quite simply one of the prettiest zoos I have ever seen. Tour the gardens, cross the island of lemurs (where they roam free), and rent one of the quirky kid friendly wagons to tote your little around in. Let the zoo do the work entertaining your family and relax.
Dinner at Burgermeester
Luckily, there is an outpost of the popular chain across from the zoo main entrance. Dine in one of the cozy booths or outdoor tables, or just take away. Skeptical of a good burger in Europe? Don’t be. They have the basics covered, as well as some fancy extras – think truffle egg salad and pancetta, which was oddly delicious. You won’t find fries or beer here, but there are delicious baked potatoes and shakes, so good you won’t miss ’em.
Noelani shares her favorite activities, places to shop, and ideas for city living – all with kids in mind. Peruse all of Noelani’s posts on The Boston Day Book here. Be sure to catch up with Noelani on her life and style blog, Mon Petit Chou Chou. Follow along on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Image Credit: Noelani Zervas