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Amsterdam - Museum Quarter

Vondelpark

Vondelpark The Vondelpark is a large area with grass, trees, ponds and flat pathways (perfect for bikes or strollers). This is a great spot to bring toddlers, also to take a bike ride. I have a vivid memory of the kids biking through the Vondelpark, speeding along smooth paths like leaves blown on the wind.

Van Gogh Museum – Don't miss the Van Gogh Museum, chock full of van Gogh's most famous paintings. Van Gogh is an artist that seems to resonate with kids – find your favorite scenes of the homey yellow house, Vincent's bedroom, sunflowers, gardens and fields.

      Be sure to pick up the excellent children's audio tour of the Van Gogh paintings, or the self-guided treasure hunt from the front desk. The treasure hunt is good for older kids.
      After you've looked at all the Van Gogh's, there's also Renoir, Monet, Gaugin and Pisarro paintings on the upper floor.
      Tip: Read our blog post: "Van Gogh's Sunflowers: Light on Light"
      Behind the Van Gogh Museum is a big grassy area, small playground, little pond and snack bars with ice cream, waffles and cold drinks.

Rijksmuseum – Through the art works, kids can get a sense of Dutch history, from the Golden Age to global voyages. Here's where you'll see the biggies of Dutch art, especially the painters Vermeer and Rembrandt (at the top of the list is Rembrandt's incomparable The Night Watch).

   

Kids will also like "food paintings," still life works with good Dutch cheese and bread, or heroic paintings of sea battles. Don't miss the exquisite doll houses from the 17th century and ships models.

     

This is a popular museum, so buy Rijksmuseum tickets online in advance, and avoid ticket lines.

Tip: The Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum are right next to each other, but don't go from one to museum to each other. Each museum is so rich; plan your visit to each museum as a separate outing.
kids books amsterdam
     
Vincent's Colors - kids books The Netherlands  
Vincent's Colors
Vincent van Gogh, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Vincent van Gogh's own words are paired with his paintings – violet irises, pink sky, green shutter, blue and white vase, "a yellow sky with yellow sun" – it truly makes the paintings come alive. (Picture book)

 

     

Before you visit the Van Gogh museum, read about the life of the artist – growing up in Holland, learning to paint, how he worked, and his paintings of swirly stars, his house, friends, and sunflowers. (Picture book)

 

 
Vincent Van Gogh: Sunflowers and Swirly Stars
     
 

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)

 

     
Rembrandt
Mike Venezia

Fun biography of Rembrandt, one of the greatest painters of all time, who lived in Amsterdam all his life. Rembrandt liked to spend time with his family, and painted his mother reading, his wife dressed in bright clothes and jewels, his son doing homework, and plenty of pictures of himself. (Picture book)

 

 
amsterdam kids biography Rembrandt
     
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)

 

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