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Amsterdam - Zaanse Schans

Around Amsterdam, there are several places to see windmills. Here's a good (kid) description of windmills, "The windmill has big arms that you put sails on to spin the arms that turn the wheels that scoop the water to somewhere else."
  Amstel Park – A single picturesque windmill is located on the Amstel River in the Amstel Park, south of Amsterdam. Rent bikes, take the bike paths along the Amstel River, have a picnic and make it a day. (You can follow the route that Rembrandt took when he painted outdoors, which I thought was fascinating, but my kids were oblivious.)
    Zaanse Schans – The best collection of windmills close to Amsterdam is the Zaanse Schans in Zaandam.
Kids in the big shoe at Zaanse Schans
    At the Zaanse Schans, the windmills work and you can climb out on the deck to see the sails thundering round and round (there are safety barriers so you can’t get too close.) It’s quite rackety and impressive inside the windmill too, watching the huge wooden gears turned by the sails!
    To get a glimpse of a 19th century Dutch household, stop into the Museum Het Noorderhuis. There are also stores where you can watch artisans at work. At the De Tinkoepel Tinnegieterij pewter shop, we watched pewter spoons being hammered into shape. For a quick snack, there's the De Kraai pancake house.
kids books amsterdam
windmill de kat  
Windmill de Kat
Hyo-mi Park, Jin-hwa Kim

Before visiting Zaanse Schans windmill village, read about historic uses for windmills – to grind flour, colors for dye, make paper, pump out water for more land to grow tulips. At Zaanse Schans the windmills have been restored, and their sails continue to go round and round. (Picture book)


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