North Holland with kids: what’s there to do?
What is there to do with kids in the province of North Holland? We did some research recently and it turns out that you can easily set aside quite a few weekends here to see and do everything. We list for you the best activities in North Holland with kids based on different vacations in this province!
Table of contents
North Holland with kids: fun cities
You can visit some great cities in North Holland with kids. The following cities are definitely worth visiting:
- Amsterdam: of course, our capital city should not be missing from the list. There is enough to do in Amsterdam for kids to have a great time for a whole week! For example, you have several nice museums there such as Nemo, Upside Down and Youseum. In addition, Artis Zoo is in the middle of the city, you can enjoy biking in the vondelpark and there is a large playground in the fun Amstelpark. Of course, taking a tour boat through Amsterdam’s canals with your kids is also definitely fun. We wrote an extensive blog about Amsterdam with kids, writing about no less than 28 fun activities.
- Haarlem: this fun city in North Holland is definitely recommended to spend a weekend there with kids. For example, the city center is very beautiful, with its famous courtyards, and there is the possibility of taking a tour boat to explore the city from the water. Of course, a visit to nature playground the Paddenstoel in the lovely Haarlemmer Nursery is not to be missed. In addition, a weekend trip to Haarlem combines well in the summer with the beaches of Zandvoort and Bloemendaal, which are a stone’s throw from the city. You can visit these beaches from Haarlem by bike, which we will come back to later in the nature section.
- Alkmaar: The province of North Holland is associated with cheese and you have cheese markets in several cities. So too in the city of Alkmaar every Friday morning during the summer months. For older kids ages 6 and up, there is the opportunity for a guided look behind the scenes of such a cheese market. In addition, you can also take a boat through the canals in Alkmaar. You can rent these yourself or book an organized cruise. For younger kids, Alkmaar hosts the Elfendeurtjestocht, in which several doors are hidden in the city center for kids to find. In addition, it is a half-hour bike ride from the center of Alkmaar to the beaches of Egmond aan Zee. You can also have great nature walks with kids here, and there are also beautiful old windmills all over the area. Check out the blog walking past windmills in North Holland for a similar walk.
- Zaandam: in this city you have the Zaanse Schans located that you should visit with kids at least once a morning or afternoon. You can walk among the mills and there are several old crafts you can take a look at such as clog making and cheese making. You also have the Zaans Museum, where kids can design their own wrapper for a chocolate bar.
- Volendam: it is always fun to take a photo in the village in traditional costume when visiting North Holland with kids. We wrote the blog Volendam with kids about it.
North Holland with kids: amusement parks
You can’t really go to a big amusement park in North Holland with kids, but there are some smaller parks that are great fun for kids.
- Sprookjeswonderland: this theme park is located in Enkhuizen and is aimed at the youngest kids. There are many carnival-like attractions such as a carousel, train and roller coaster. There are well-known fairy tales and lesser-known fairy tales in the fairy tale forest. There is also a large playground and a petting zoo. Another big advantage of the amusement park is that the entrance fee is less than half that of most major amusement parks in the Netherlands. You can have a great day here with your kids.
- Linnaeushof: this is Europe’s largest playground and can be found in Bennebroek. With as many as 350 playsets and attractions, kids won’t get bored here anytime soon. In addition to most attractions being outdoors, there is also an indoor playground on the grounds. If you come here in the summer then the large water playground is also highly recommended. Our daughter can always enjoy herself for hours here. Again, prices are similar to fairy tale wonderland.
- Artis: in addition to the animals on display, the zoo in Amsterdam has a large playground, a children’s show and often hosts various workshops. In any case, enough activities to keep you entertained here for a day at this zoo with your kids.
North Holland with kids: nature
There is also plenty of entertainment in terms of nature activities in the province of North Holland with kids. For example, you have the following national parks located there:
- Zuid-Kennemerland National Park: this nature park is a stone’s throw from Haarlem and we cycled this fun 25.2-kilometer bicycle route through the beautiful nature reserve. You also pass the beach of Bloemendaal here. We were there in winter, but we can imagine that when the weather is nice and everything is in bloom the area is even more beautiful. There are plenty of places in the nature area for kids to have a good time in nature. Note: there are quite a few hills in the route, so it’s still pretty intense cycling at times!
- Dunes of Texel: in this nature reserve on peninsula Texel (one of the Wadden Islands) you have a network of paths and you can therefore make several walks here. So here you have hikes of less than a kilometer to hikes of 20 kilometers. Highly recommended here is the 1.5-kilometer walk on the Sommeltjespad, where kids can look for stone figurines.
North Holland with kids: museums
You can go to quite a few museums in North Holland with kids. Most museums can be found in Amsterdam. We name the best ones below:
- Instagram museums: some people won’t really put this under the category of museums, but for kids (and parents too) this is a lot of fun. In Amsterdam, you already have three such “museums”(Upside Down, Youseum and Wondr) and the two we visited were really awesome. Kids can dress up, play in large ball pits or trampoline in a giant gumball machine while parents play along and take pictures.
- NEMO museum: the science museum in Amsterdam is also great fun for kids. Kids can do a lot here especially in the form of experiments. We always do like it when you can do things yourself and that you don’t have to just watch and that is certainly the case at NEMO.
- Rijksmuseum Muiderslot: this castle in Muiden is especially fun if kids enjoy visiting a castle. The castle is not super big, but it looks beautiful inside. We were there as you may see with St. Nicholas and then in and around the castle there were activities everywhere related to St. Nicholas. You can imagine, of course, that our daughter loved it.
North Holland with kids: beaches
Of course, in our North Holland with kids travel blog, we cannot forget the beaches, which are numerous in the province. Here we name the most child-friendly beaches:
Zandvoort: In Zandvoort you have many family-friendly beach bars. At beach tent Thalassa, for example, you have no less than two playgrounds around the beach tent. Other beach tents with play equipment for kids include Tent6, Ahoi19, Ubuntu, Baz and Plazand. Close to this beach within biking distance is Bloemendaal aan Zee, where beach tent Gestrand is very fun for kids. Here you have indoor and outdoor various play equipment for kids.
Dune Lake ‘t Wed: year-round you can swim in dune lake ‘t Wed at entrance koevlak. The vast beach is a great place for kids to play. There are swim lines in the water and toilet blocks.
Texel: in the Wadden Islands you have kilometers of beach, so there is always a place on the beach for you and your kids. In addition, the beaches are very clean. Look for shells with your kids at low tide and buy a kite, as you have whole sections of the beach to yourself here.
As you can see, North Holland has many beautiful places. For even more attractions in this province, read the blog beautiful places in North Holland.
Where to sleep in North Holland with kids?
North Holland with kids: Amsterdam
Banks mansion hotel
We found the Banks Mansion Hotel in Amsterdam to be a delightful hotel right in the center of Amsterdam. The hotel has a kind of All-Inclusive principle, so you can have a nice afternoon drink in the lobby with a snack and a drink. The rooms of this hotel are also very luxurious and the ladies of the family always love it when there is a bathtub in the room. We wrote a comprehensive review about this hotel, which you can read here. We think this hotel is a great base if you are exploring North Holland with kids.
We also really liked the Volkshotel in Amsterdam. The atmosphere in the hotel is casual and hip, and for kids there is plenty of space on the first floor to play games and the like. The rooftop restaurant is also totally fun, and as an added bonus, the hotel also has three rooftop hot tubs, with stunning views of the city of Amsterdam. We wrote an extensive review of this as well.
North Holland with kids: Haarlem
Carlton square Haarlem
In the middle of the lovely city of Haarlem is the hotel Carlton Square Haarlem. Besides getting a luxurious room here, it includes a good restaurant and the possibility of renting bicycles. We had the family room at our disposal and wrote an extensive review about it as well.
Hotel Lion D’or
Another hotel that sits right in the center of Haarlem is Hotel Lion D’Or. This cozy hotel opposite the train station has a café lounge area, where you can have a drink and play a game with your kids. We also wrote a comprehensive review about our overnight stay at this hotel.
North Holland with kids: Alkmaar
Kings Inn Alkmaar
In the center of the city of Alkmaar, we slept at the Kings Inn hotel. This cozy hotel on the canal, has a nice restaurant attached to the hotel, where you can have a great bite to eat with your kids. In addition, the hotel rents out boats in the summer that you can use to explore Alkmaar’s canals. For more information about this hotel read our extensive review on it.