Amsterdam Bos for Kids
As part of our summer staycation we headed to Amsterdam to find things the kids would love. We stayed at a holiday park just outside of the city, giving us access to the surrounding area.
We drove up on a Friday morning and dropped our Big Little off at the most fun little summer camp in the woods. Camp Terragon is a woods school sort of place. The kids get dirty, play with animals, cook their own lunch and build stuff. He had the best time and was actually mad that he wasn’t going to be in camp all week! The camp is multilingual, so he was able to use Dutch and English with most of the kids. There seemed to be a large group of Spanish speaking children, which was good exposure for our Big Little.
With the Big Little at camp we were able to tailor a day of activities for our Middle Little. For this we headed over to the Amsterdam Bos, with no real plan other than to explore what it had to offer. Turns out there is a lot there! We had our car making exploration easy. You could also use Greenline Amsterdam, which runs from the city to the forest.
You can start your visit at the visitors center. They are happy to provide information on everything the park has to offer. We wanted to take part in one of their walks, so we picked up the trail information and a packet for the Middle Little. (€1).
The packet is available in English, although I suspect the Dutch version is better as we got lost several times. We actually gave up when we took a wrong turn and ended up back on a different trail. I kept the sheet though as these are activities you could do on any forest walk.
Across from the visitors center is the Forest Fun Walk. If you have older kids reserve a spot in this high adventure course. Our little ones are too little, but everyone looked like they were having a blast!
If you have little ones head over to MiniPort. Here you can rent an electric boat that your little one gets to drive. Kids get a life jacket and a little sailor’s hat to borrow. Adults go in the boat with them, but the kids really do the driving.
Our guy was so excited! We ended up being out on the lake for 30 min. He docked us a few places and just generally enjoyed driving this little electric boat.
When you return the boat you get a captain’s certificate!
In this same area is the water playground. It’s a series of playground type obstacles set in the water. We crossed the first few and soon found ourselves stuck on an island when it started to pour. It’s really intended for older kids who can swim and are wearing their swimsuits. It looks like such fun though you’ll have a hard time resisting.
The goat farm would be worthy of a visit on its own. Here you get to visit and play with the goats. The Middle Little was not thrilled about this, but there is a playground for kids and goats to share! The goats were hungry though and kept nibbling on all our clothing.
There is another playground just for kids that the Middle Little was much happier about. There are some cool play things like this wooden tunnel.
And everyone loves a really shaky shake shake bridge. You can also roam around the farm and meet the animals. We wanted to buy our eggs here. You get to pick them from the chickens yourself, but by the time we arrived all the eggs were already gone!
We enjoyed some more playground time, just letting the Middle Little set the pace.
There is a little path that leads through the fields to a labyrinth. It’s actually one of the best we have been in as you can actually get quite turned around, particularly if you let the three year old make the choices. Instead of dead ends you just end up back where you started! There is a platform in the center that lets you see the maze and a gate to make exiting easy.
The goat farm has a cafe. We sat outside so I could enjoy a coffee. Jeff and the Middle Little ended up getting some goats milk ice cream – yummy. Oh yeah, and they bought a wedge of cheese to eat – totally a choice my Middle Little would have made.
We ended up grabbing a proper lunch at the pancake house in the woods. This place is huge and has much more to offer than pancakes. We couldn’t believe all the amazing choices.
The place is decked out for kids. You’ll find plenty of high chairs, baby changing facilities and even kids toilet seats in every stall!
We had planned to sit outside so the Middle Little could play while we ate, but the rain forced us inside. After the storm passed and we finished lunch we let him out to play some on the big playground. The path next to the playground goes to an overlook of a field. There is also a small deer park here.
We were having such a great time we nearly lost track of the time. The little boys were tired and we needed to retrieve the big from camp and head over to the holiday park. There is much more to do in the woods. Depending on the age of your kids and how much time you have there is a swimming facility, several more playgrounds and tons of water sports. The park is also completely bike friendly and would make for a wonderful ride.
A visit to the Amsterdam Bos is perfect for a day trip from anywhere in the Netherlands for locals and visitors or is a great city escape as part of a longer trip.