From fairy tale forests and magic pancake houses to wildlife safaris and epic theme parks, we share the best attractions for kids in the Netherlands.
It is often said that the Netherlands is one of the best countries in the world to raise children. And with so many exciting attractions on offer in the low-lying nation, it’s not hard to see why. From talking trees and floating pancakes houses to safaris that bring you face-to-face with wild animals, there’s more than enough to entertain little ones. Just check out these fantastic things to do with kids in the Netherlands.
Want to explore all the exciting family activities and attractions the Netherlands has to offer? Then check out online ticketing platform Tiqets and buy tickets to the country’s top museums, zoos, aquariums, theme parks, and more. Whether you purchase them in advance or last minute, you can get digital tickets instantly sent to your phone with no fuss.
Little children will feel like giants when they enter the fantastic miniature world of Madurodam in Scheveningen. The popular park features small-scale replicas of the most famous landmarks, cities, and landscapes in the Netherlands. Since it opened in 1952, tens of millions of visitors have come to walk among the beautiful tulip fields, peek inside old canal houses, and count the miniature planes at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. Families can have loads of fun spotting the Rijksmuseum, Binnenhof, and other famous Dutch landmarks.
They can also enjoy watching the 65,000 miniature inhabitants of Madurodam go about their daily lives. While fun, Madurodam is also somewhat of an educational experience. Kids can learn about Dutch history and traditions on the movie screens dotted around the park. They will also learn some fun facts along the way. The 21 interactive attractions add even more fun to your visit. Little ones can load containers on a cargo ship at the Port of Rotterdam and make an airplane take off from Schiphol. They can also mix their own DJ beats to get the miniature festival-goers dancing. The ‘de Waterwolf’ indoor attraction, meanwhile, teaches kids how land is kept dry. It features a replica of the De Cruquius steam pumping station which they can operate to fight against the water and pump the Haarlem Lake dry.
Madurodam, George Maduroplein 1, 2584 RZ, The Hague
Fewer places in the Netherlands are more magical than Efteling. Covering 180 acres, an area twice the size of the original Disneyland, the theme park is one of the oldest in the world. It is also the largest in the country. Since it opened in 1952, it has been bringing the world’s favorite fairy tales to life, attracting a whopping five million visitors each year. Needless to say, Efteling is one of the most popular attractions for kids in the Netherlands. Little kids – and big kids at heart – come from all over the land to wander through the Fairytale Forest and meet their favorite storybook characters. Here they can peek inside the house of Little Red Riding Hood, come face to face with fire-breathing dragons, and meet a magical talking tree! Not only that, but there are 36 rides to enjoy which are suitable for all ages.
Toddlers will love riding the many merry-go-rounds, traveling around the world in the Carnaval Festival, and spotting fairies on the famous Droomvlucht (Dreamflight) ride. Older thrill-seekers, meanwhile, can get their kicks on the double-loop corkscrew roller coaster, Python, or the terrifying De Vliegende Hollander (The Flying Dutchman). There is plenty of theatrical entertainment for the entire family, too. Several exciting shows are held every day, including Europe’s biggest water show and the dramatic Raveleijn stunt show with horses. Families can also stay overnight at the enchanting Efteling Hotel or the Efteling Village Bosrijk.
Efteling, Europalaan 1, 5171 KW Kaatsheuvel
3. Beekse Bergen Safari Park
Little animal lovers will have the time of their lives getting up close with their favorite animals at the Beekse Bergen Safari Park. Located between Tilburg and Hilvarenbeek in the south of the Netherlands, the park is home to approximately 1,250 animals from over 150 species. Just like during an African safari, visitors have the chance to spot zebras, giraffes, lions, leopards, and other creatures while driving along the 5-kilometer marked route by car. And if they want to know more about the animals, they can also hop on a bus safari with an experienced ranger.
They can also choose to take a boat or walk through the multitude of natural habitats on offer. Feeding times are a highlight of the safari park experience. These give visitors the opportunity to get up close to various animals and learn about their eating habits from a ranger. Another popular attraction is the famous bird show which features all kinds of birds and presents interesting facts. Families can also stay overnight at the Safari Resort and sleep among the wild animals. Alternatively, they can stay in the holiday park and enjoy the beautiful wooded surroundings.
Beekse Bergen Safari Park, Beekse Bergen 1, 5081 NJ Hilvarenbeek
4. Center Parcs
The Center Parcs franchise has earned a glowing reputation over the past fifty years for its fantastic range of sport and recreational facilities, swimming pools, and holiday villas for families. Often surrounded by tranquil natural landscapes like parks and forests, the centers provide a relaxing environment for families to enjoy some quality time together. The Netherlands alone boasts nine Center Parcs resorts which offer a variety of fun activities for kids of all ages. These include everything from water sports and swimming to climbing and escape rooms.
Whether you’re traveling with toddlers or teens, there is something to keep everyone happy, come rain or shine. At destinations like Het Heijderbos, for instance, kids can stroke rabbits, goats, and other animals at the Children’s Farm. They can also go pony-riding through the forest. Other locations such as The Kempervennen, meanwhile, invite kids aged 5 to 11 to hop aboard a Jeep and go wildlife spotting on a safari. And if your little ones love the ocean, the wide sandy beach at Park Zandvoort is sure to be a hit.
Center Parcs, various locations around the Netherlands
5. Slagharen Theme Park and Resort
Another top attraction for kids – and big kids – in the Netherlands is Slagharen. The popular theme park boasts 34 exciting rides and activities to keep visitors of all ages happy. Adults and older children can get their thrills on Gold Rush, the first triple launch rollercoaster in the Netherlands. They can also experience complete weightlessness by plummeting from a height of 40m on the stomach-flipping Free Fall ride. Younger children, meanwhile, can enjoy attractions such as the Wild West Adventure boat ride and The Pirate swinging ship. There are some fantastic shows and street entertainment on offer too. These include the Western Circus Show and meet-and-greet opportunities with characters like Cowboy Joe and the Red Bandit. The resort also has a kids club for children up to 12 years old.
As well as being a theme park, Slagharen also includes a 5,200-square-meter Mexican-themed water park called Aqua Mexicana. Here, kids can have loads of fun hopping on the 10 water slides and giant bubble-bath; this can fit a whopping 70 people in it. They can also let loose in the aquatic play areas. Meanwhile, their parents can relax on the terrace against the backdrop of Mexican-style palm trees. But if that’s too much to squeeze into just one day, you can stay overnight at the resort. There are several themed cottages to choose from, including Cowboy Cottage and Raccoon Lodge. Or better still, you can sleep inside a Wigwam!
Slagharen, Zwarte Dijk 37, 7776 PB Slagharen
Located just an hour’s drive from Amsterdam, Sprookjeswonderland is a great alternative to Efteling, especially if you have young children. Although there are no nail-biting rides or elaborate stunt shows on offer, there is still plenty to spark little ones’ imaginations. The fairy tale wonderland boasts everything from a beautiful nostalgic carousel and floating boats shaped like ladybugs to life-like mechanical ponies and a rocking ship. Similar to Efteling, the park also features a fairytale forest. Children can walk along the trail dotted with red toadstools and peek inside the houses of Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, and other beloved fairy tale characters.
The park is also home to a big playground which includes slides, climbing equipment, and a charming little merry-go-round. Kids can also meet goats, llamas, and even kangaroos at the small petting farm. Often praised by parents for its manageable size and affordable entry fee, the park is ideal if you don’t fancy tackling big crowds and queues. The easy-to-follow layout and great access for buggies also make it a popular option for parents with toddlers in tow. Surrounded by woodland and ornamental gardens, the park also offers plenty of space to relax and enjoy a picnic. That’s if you aren’t tempted to swing by the pancake restaurant for a tasty treat.
Sprookjeswonderland, Kooizandweg 9, 1601 LK Enkhuizen
7. Hans & Grietje Pannenkoekenhuis
What could be more fun than tucking into delicious pancakes sprinkled with all your favorite toppings? How about doing so inside a magic pancake house? Located in Zeewolde in the polder of Flevoland, the Hans & Grietje Pannenkoekenhuis is like no other pancake restaurant. Here the tables float, the rooms are turned upside down, and the floors move back and forth; all at the push of a button and pull of a string. Little rascals can have heaps of fun turning the world upside down in the Groninger room, playing princess in the Bling-Bling room, and experimenting with a Time Machine.
Aside from the whacky rooms and interactive elements, the whimsical pancake house also features an extensive outdoor play area. This includes trampolines, inflatables, a fun go-kart track, and a Big Candy Tower. The latter includes fun slides, a real Candy Museum, and an adjacent terrace with mysterious Witch Tunnels. With so many exciting things to explore, kids are sure to work up a big enough appetite to enjoy the tasty pancakes on offer. And with every combination of toppings you can imagine, they will be totally spoilt for choice.
Hans & Grietje Pannenkoekenhuis, Sternweg 2a, 3898 LJ Zeewolde
8. Walibi Holland
With 35 rides and attractions, ranging from fun to thrilling, Walibi Holland is one of the most popular amusement parks for kids in the Netherlands. The park is famous for its five white-knuckle rollercoasters and stomach-flipping Skydive bungee drop. With ride names like UNTAMED, Goliath, and Lost Gravity, you know you’re in for an adrenaline rush. That said, there is more than enough to keep younger children happy, too. If they aren’t quite old enough to be thrown up in the air or spun upside down, they can enjoy several rides that fall under the Kids category.
These include a classic carousel, Merlin’s Magical Castle, and spinning cars. The park also hosts regular events and promotions throughout the year, including the Halloween Spooky Days and Good Good; when the attractions stay open until 23:00 during the summer months. If you want more time to enjoy the rides, however, you can stay overnight at a cottage in Walibi Village. These cater to groups ranging from four people up to 16 plus.
Walibi Holland, Spijkweg 30, 8256 RJ Biddinghuizen
Featuring more than 350 indoor and outdoor play structures, go-kart tracks, and an aquatic play center, Linnaeushof provides an overwhelming amount of fun for kids. In fact, it is the largest playground in Europe and one of the most popular attractions for kids in the Netherlands. Children of all ages can ride the cable cars, jump on the trampolines, and go pedal boating and go-kart racing. And that only scratches the surface of what’s on offer at Linnaeushof. The park also boasts an 11-meter-high Pirate’s Nest, mini-golf courses, a super slide, and much more. The indoor and outdoor playgrounds also make it the ideal place to take kids, come rain or shine.
Among these is a separate toddler and kindergarten playground to keep younger guests happy and entertained. Little ones can enjoy the many swings and climbing equipment; not to mention an air cushion in the shape of a real castle with a drawbridge. Older kids, meanwhile, can hoist themselves up the Toffe Toren (Cool Tower) or tackle the obstacle course. On warm days, the water playground is a great place to take kids in the Netherlands. Here, they can cool down and ride the many water slides, all surrounded by towering palm trees.
Linnaeushof, Glipperweg 4c, 2104 AK Heemstede
10. NEMO Science Museum
Located in the heart of Amsterdam, the NEMO Science Museum is the largest science center in the Netherlands and presents a different scientific theme on each of its five floors. Curious little visitors can begin their journey on the first floor, learning about DNA and chain reactions. Here, they will also discover a room that contains giant dominoes and contraptions. These include a giant bell and a flying car. From there, they can move through the different levels of the building, learning as they go.
As they move upwards, they will discover a science lab where they can do science experiments. These include testing vitamin C in certain substances and looking at DNA. They will also come across a display about the human mind as well as a performance hall where movies about science are screened. The top floor of the museum features a café, a children’s play area, and a fantastic view of Amsterdam down below. Perfect for children of all ages, the NEMO Science Museum is one of the most popular attractions for kids in the Netherlands. Now, who said learning about science wasn’t fun!
NEMO Science Museum, Oosterdok 2, 1011 VX Amsterdam