Amsterdam is a fun city for the whole family to enjoy, but where to start? Here are some top tips for the best hidden gems Yays' neighbourhoods have to offer for the young ones! Whether it be educational or just let-your-hair-down-for-all, these charming local things to do in Amsterdam will give you peace of mind when planning that special family holiday. As well as the ultimate Yays experience within the neighbourhood around your Yays apartment.
The Mouse Mansion
Tucked away in the Jordaan suburbs lies a tiny corner-shop with a tiny studio featuring the tiny works of Dutch author Karina Schaapman, called 'Het Muizenhuis' (Mouse Mansion). Beautifully crafted mice figurines are the stars of the show, with numerous handcrafted mansions and all their accessories. They then come alive into the charmingly written children's books featuring the adventures of Sam and Julia, and all their mouse friends and neighbours. Step into a world full of childlike wonder as both parents and children are warmly welcomed into one of the most charming little treasures of Amsterdam.
Members of the Schaapman family personally welcome and show visitors around Sam and Julia's miniature world, created by Karina in the early years of her children's childhood. Since then, Het MuizenHuis has become a great success with their children's storybooks, merchandise and even toys. The storybooks are available in multiple languages and can be purchased at the boutique shop.
Where to find it? This little fairy tale is only a 15-minute walk from Yays Bickersgracht and Yays Zoutkeetsgracht - a pleasant stroll through the Jordaan district with many canals, architecture and shops for you to explore!
NEMO Science Museum
An avid favourite amongst all Amsterdam visitors and locals alike, this museum is very easy to reach from all Yays locations and is a definite must for families, especially for those infamous Amsterdam rainy days.
With activities and exhibitions throughout the year, there's always something special going on for kids! The activities themselves will leave your whole family in hysterics, such as the awkward 'Teen Facts', where teens from all walks of life can prepare for adulthood without prying parent eyes.
Be prepared to inspire your inner scientist with exhibitions such as 'Life in the Universe' and 'Hands-On Chemistry', as you take a look at the farthest of the universes or re-enact your favourite childhood experiments. NEMO is the ultimate science adventure. Make sure to ask Yays concierge about tickets or buy your tickets online here.
Where to find? NEMO is a short walk from Yays Oostenburgergracht or The Yays - Crane Apartment and is located just behind the Amsterdam Maritime Museum.
Step inside every sweets lover's fairytale at Papabubble, a local candy shop that is buzzing with beautiful handcrafted candy art. On holiday in Barcelona, two friends were inspired by the wonders of Papabubble candy through the first ever Papabubble in that city. With the founder's blessing, they opened Amsterdam's first Papabubble and a dream came true for all candy lovers across the Netherlands!
Where to find? Ever wondered what goes into making such delicious edibles? Visitors are able to see the transformation of these colourful goods as a part of a lollypop making workshop. Close to both Yays Zoutkeetsgracht and Yays Bickersgracht on the vibey Haarlemmerdijk, a fun mixture of colours, flavours and art await. But is it art? We'll let you be the judge! All we are saying is... Yummmmm!
Quoting the museum, "after visiting Micropia, you will never see yourself, or the world, in the same way again". Great fun for kids in the ages between 12-17 years old and their parents, visitors will have the opportunity to interact with Micropia's lab technicians as they explain how microbes, bacteria and micro-animals are travelling through the human digestive system through the interesting, educational and hilarious 'Tour de Poo'! Part of Amsterdam's famous historic zoo, Micropia is not for the faint-hearted. Come and try out this local experience that is bound to leave your skin crawling (literally)!
Where to find? With a short 15-minute walk from Yays Oostenburgergracht, on the edge of Artis zoo, visitors can grow their very own Microbes too! Come and see how the most powerful living organisms in the world survive in the world's only museum of Microbes.
For families with older kids (>16), go retro at TonTon Club's arcade game paradise & restaurant in Westerpark with their fresh approach to retro gaming and Japanese/American fusion food. There are some heavy choices to be made for die-hard game fans: PacMan or Dance Dance Revolution? A juicy burger or ramen noodles? Whatever you choose, you are bound to hit nostalgia with gaming classics and funky milkshakes. Or just get old-school competitive with some famous board games available for borrowing.
Where to find? TonTon Club West is a 20-minute stroll through leafy Westerpark from Yays Bickersgracht and Yays Zoutkeetsgracht.
Want more tips for local kids-friendly attractions in Amsterdam? Stay tuned for part 2, or ask your local Yays concierge for tips during your stay!
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