Rotterdam Half Day with Toddlers
A stormy Sunday seemed like the perfect time for some local exploration. The wind was strong so we ditched the bikes and walked to the bus station instead. The bus takes about the same amount of time as biking to the Delft train station but is decidedly cozier on these wintry days.
The train is always easy and we even had enough time to grab a Starbucks at the Delft Station before our train to Rotterdam Blaack. The Rotterdam Blaack station is more centrally located to several attractions than the Rotterdam Central Station.
Immediately across the street are the Cube Houses. These houses were designed to show how high-density houses could still leave plenty of space on the ground level. Thirty-nine of the planned fifty-five houses were built in 1977. Walk up into the cube houses; the changing views are amazing.
We popped our heads inside to see the many different chess pieces. I guarantee you will be amazed at all the different styles of boards and pieces. We even got to vote in this year’s Chess Design Competition!
The plan for lunch was the Rotterdam Market Hall. (Just on the other side of the train station.) Unfortunately, the market does not open until noon and the rain was coming. We delayed our market hall visit until our way back to the train station as it is the perfect distraction as you wait for the train. The market knows this and has a digital train station schedule by the door. There are so many delicious options! Delicious looking dragon fruit. We tried some ice cream. I had an amazing, ginormous macaroon! Don’t forget to look up at the mural on the arched ceiling!
The Maritime Museum is just a few blocks away from Rotterdam Blaak. We walked it in the rain. There are pay lockers and free coat racks available when you enter the museum. I probably do not need to mention it but the Maritime Museum is part of the Museumkaart program.
We grabbed lunch at the museum cafe. As always we were impressed by the cafe. We split some sandwiches – the goat cheese with walnuts and honey was yummy!
There was a marzipan craft in the lobby for a small charge (€2). The three-year-old and I had a great time making up a marzipan Sint.
The Maritime Museum is packed full of interesting things for kids and adults. The top floor has a kids play area (indoors and outdoors) that is wonderful and educational. I did get a severe splinter under my nail while helping the boys tie some knots, but the staff had a first aid kid available and patched me right up. The rain kept us from the outdoor play area, but it also looked amazing.
There is a movie that shows the current conditions in the port of Rotterdam. The boys loved watching the video of the boats coming in and out of the harbor. Each exhibit has things for the kids and most of the videos are subtitled in English. There was not a single exhibit that the kids did not enjoy, even if our visit was quick.
Despite being on a ship for a week over the summer (read more here) the kids loved the exhibit on cruise ships.
We even found a cloth pirate flag in the gift shop that will be the perfect addition to our outdoor play area.
As planned we hit the market on our way to the train station. We got everyone topped off with treats before our train & bus rides home.
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