If you live in the UK and and have a young family, school going kids, you know how half term holidays can be the best of days or the worst of days depending on your planning of the break. This time we planned to go to Amsterdam. Now Amsterdam is known for its colourful nightlife, red-light district and its “cafes” not exactly the most family friendly reputation right? Yet this week, the twins, hub and I took a DFDS ferry crossing from South Shields ( a port near Newcastle, which sails overnight to IJmuiden, a port in Northern Holland. ) We decided to log our family friendly break of Amsterdam, and guess what…it passed our kido-meter test!
Three things I think are definitely worth doing:
- The Science Museum ( NEMO)
Buy your tickets in advance and spend a whole day in this wondrous building that looks like an upturned, sinking ship from the outside. It has 4 floors and each floor is a sensory experience. Right from a hands on chemistry lab, to a grow a bubble around yourself… each floor was fun not only for the the kids but also the grownups.( Ok I’m a big kid sometimes…ok, all the time:)) It is built around themes like water, kinetic energy, light, and has regular exhibitions including a night at the museum for the bigger kids among us, ahem. It’s very hard to pick a highlight or two but one must visit the rooftop that is both visually stunning ( you can see the entire city from the roof) and also very hands on it has the Energetica exhibit, which is designed to display how energy is harnessed. It sounds science-ey but I swear we had so much fun, we didn’t realise that we have been “learning”. The cafe at the top is also very good, its a buffet style experience with veggie and vegan options and a cut your own herb topping garden. I mean you just take the scissors which is provided over every herb and chop your own…I’ve never seen anything like this before!
- The Hop on hop off Canal cruise
Amsterdam is built on a network of waterways, much like Venice. And a great way of touring Amsterdam, and seeing the gorgeous architecture is a canal cruise. There are a few operators ( and I’ve been told some dodgy ones…) we opted for this as this gave us tickets for the bus (should we go for it) and the canal cruise. Though in hindsight we should have bought canal tickets only, as we toured all the (family friendly) tourist spots on water. It must be noted that it is essential that one downloads the app, as the hop on hop off canal points are not signposted and it is only via the app that we found our spot.
- This is Holland 5D flight experience
This is a sneaky little surprise. If you have a young family, id suggest that you do something else. If you have pre-teen kids and older, this flight simulator 5D experience is not to be missed. You take a free ferry from underground from the central bus station to the building and back. It was exhilarating, nothing like we experienced before and was nothing short of the best rollercoaster through Holland and its history.
Things we didn’t do but will be visiting for sure:
- Anne Frank museum
- Cheese Factory
- A’dam Lookout ( Swing on the top of a tower…crazy!)
Things we also did: We ate our weight in Stroopwafels ( A Dutch Hybrid between a biscuit and a waffle) and Pancakes( it’s not called a Dutch Pancake for nothing…)
Anything we missed that you think we should experience on our next trip? I’d love to know ~ Love Elle xx
Note of disclaimer: All opinions are my own, I have no affiliations with any company, there are no affiliate links on this post; pr samples have been kindly gifted by the company, but this has not affected my opinion, nor swayed it . Please check the ingredients list of all products that you buy, in case you have allergies to any of the products that I have mentioned. If you are particularly sensitive or even if you’re not, allergies can happen suddenly, even with products that you may have used for years. If unsure, please do a patch test on your elbow, and wait 48 hours before using any of the products I’ve suggested. Please do not copy, publish any photos on this blog or contents in its entirety or otherwise without my express permission.