fun things to do with kids in the netherlands  - family travel   Travel for Kids

The Netherlands

Dutch windmill

"Holland" (North and South), is two provinces in the Netherlands, famous for its cities of Amsterdam, The Hague, Delft, and artists Rembrandt, Vermeer and Van Gogh. The scenic landscape doesn't come easy – a big chunk of the Netherlands is land reclaimed from the sea. Kids will enjoy exploring the canals, windmills, and dikes throughout the Netherlands.

  North Holland
    South Holland
The Hague (Den Haag)
    Noord Brabant
Tip: Ride the trains around the the Netherlands. Trains run frequently and there are "railrunner" fares for children ages 4-11 (children under 4 travel free). With one accompanying adult ticket, children can ride round trip anywhere in one day for a few euros. To see the train schedules, check out the Netherlands Railway – essential for planning your train trips.
family hotels amsterdam

Travel for Kids has lots of fun things to do with kids in the Netherlands, but you'll need a fun place to stay. Here's our own Travel for Kids hand-picked list of family hotels and apartment rentals in Amsterdam:

Amsterdam family hotels
Amsterdam family apartment rentals
kids books the netherlands
The Boy Who Held Back the Sea childrens books netherlands  
The Boy Who Held Back the Sea
Thomas Locker, Lenny Hort

Naughty young Jan plays hooky for the day, but discovers a small leak in the dike. While the rest of the town sleeps, Jan spends the night with his hand in the dike to prevent a flood. Luminous illustrations, like old Dutch master paintings. (Picture book)


Windmill de Kat
Hyo-mi Park, Jin-hwa Kim

Before visiting Zaanse Schans windmill village outside Amsterdam, read about historic uses for windmills – to grind flour, colors for dye, make paper, pump out water for more land to grow tulips. Plus map and fun facts about the Netherlands. (Picture book)


windmill de kat
Katje, the Windmill Cat netherlands childrens books  
Katje, the Windmill Cat
Gretchen Woelfle, Nicola Bayley

When a dike breaks, Katja the cat saves a baby, tossed about in her cradle in the swirling flood. Illustrations so real and warm, you can almost hear the wind pushing the great arms of the windmill. Based on a true story, the Kinderdijk is named to celebrate the baby that survived the flood in 1421. (Picture book)



Color-filled biography of Vincent Van Gogh with pop-ups, lift the flap, 3-D sunflower, swirls of Starry Night, fold together furniture in his yellow house. Van Gogh is one of the most popular artists today, but he sold only one painting in his lifetime. (Pop-up book)

Also, Van Gogh biography: Vincent Van Gogh: Sunflowers and Swirly Stars


Rembrandt and the Boy Who Drew Dogs amsterdam kids artist  
Rembrandt and the Boy Who Drew Dogs
Molly Blaisdell, Nancy Lane

On a summer day, Rembrandt and his son Titus spend the morning sketching outside the city; Titus wishes he could paint like his father. Titus practices for weeks, until he gets one just right, a drawing of his three dogs. A charming story, filled with examples of Rembrandt's paintings. (Picture book)


Johannes Vermeer
Mike Venezia

Mini bio of Johannes Vermeer – his paintings are famous, but the man himself is a bit of a mystery. He was a busy guy – Vermeer painted, he also managed an inn and had 15 children. (Picture book)


biography kids netherlands artist Johannes Vermeer
anna and johanna  
Anna and Johanna
Geraldine Elschner, Florence Koenig

A story inspired by two of Vermeer's paintings, The Milkmaid and The Lacemaker, two girls, born on the same day, exchange birthday presents for each other. And discover a secret. (Picture book)


Who Was Anne Frank?
Ann Abramson, Nancy Harrison

Illustrated biography of Anne Frank, about her life growing up in Amsterdam, going into hiding when the Nazis take over, living in the secret annex, capture and imprisonment, and enduring author of her famous diary. (Chapter book)


amsterdam world war ii kids biography Who Was Anne Frank?
The Greatest Skating Race kids world war ii netherlands  
The Greatest Skating Race
Louise Borden, Niki Daly

It's 1941, the Germans control of the Netherlands, and the canals are frozen. Ten year old Piet dreams of skating in the great Dutch race, the Elfstedentocht, but he has a bigger challenge, guiding a Dutch girl and boy to Brugge, across the Belgian border. An exciting story, with wonderful local color. (Picture book)


Boxes for Katje
Candace Fleming, Stacey Dressen-McQueen

After World War II, "Sugar is not found in Holland these days, so anything sweet is precious." Based on true events, in a tiny Dutch town, Katje receives a box from America with soap, socks and chocolate. Soon, more boxes arrive with food and warm clothes for the townspeople. In spring, the town sends a surprise to America – tulips. An endearing story, with heart-warming illustrations. (Chapter book)


netherlands kids world war ii Boxes for Katje
Sophie Stork's Amsterdam Adventure Book
Jacobine de Zwaan, Tatiana van der Linden

Take a trip around Amsterdam with Sophie Stork biking to the Vondelpark, visiting Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and Anne Frank House, playing in Artis, exploring the National Maritime Museum, and having a snack at the indoor food market Foodhallen. (Picture book)


(More children's books on other Netherlands pages)
travel for kids | the netherlands
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