It’s never too early to plan ahead and we believe it is the perfect time to plan a family trip to Amsterdam at Christmas and make unforgettable memories. If you are looking for child-friendly holidays in Europe then Amsterdam is the place to be. Amsterdam in the winter is a place for the family bucket list. From ice skating rinks to Christmas markets, the capital of Holland has a lot to offer during the holiday season. We have therefore come up with a few reasons on why you and your family should visit Amsterdam at Christmas to end 2019 on a high note. If you are curious about things to do in Amsterdam at Christmas with the kids then keep reading!
1. Amsterdam Winter Paradise
For the ultimate Christmas experience, the Amsterdam Winter Paradise (het Amsterdamse winterparadijs) is the place to be! The event takes place at the RAI and begins on Friday 21 December until Sunday 30 December. The event lives up to its name and has everything included into one event such as an indoor and outdoor Christmas market, a circus, a skating rink, food trucks and even a children’s disco. All of which makes it the perfect family-friendly event.
2. Dutch Christmas Treats
There is nothing children seem to love more than sugary treats, which is why they are sure to enjoy all the delicacies that come with Christmas time in Holland. Chocolate letters are one of the treats that are hard to miss as they pop-up in nearly all stores during the festive season, not only a sweet treat, but also a nice present idea. Pepernoot is another Christmas confectionary that is usually given out by Sinterklaas, the Dutch Santa Claus, and his helpers. This takes place during the famous Sinterklaas Dutch parade in the Dam Square, a memorable event for children, on the 18th November, when Sinterklaas arrives. Oliebollen is a classic Dutch snack that is very popular leading up to New Year’s Eve, it is a warm delicacy that is deep fried and is usually topped with powdered sugar. Similar to a doughnut it is a quick treat to eat on the go while you explore the city that children and anyone with a sweet-tooth would enjoy. The oliebollen food trucks seem to pop up around November so keep an eye open or simply follow the delicious smell of cinnamon in the air.
3. Amsterdam Light Festival
Christmas is never complete without some Christmas lights to set the atmosphere and when you visit Amsterdam at Christmas you see it has been taken a step further with the Amsterdam Light Festival. From 28 November 2019 until 19 January 2020 this festival consists of more than 50 spectacular light installations that are spread throughout the city. For a unique way to view the artwork and escape the cold, a canal tour can be booked with blankets and hot chocolate offering the ultimate comfort which is perfect for families with toddlers. You can also opt for a stroll and walk through the city as you watch the different installations. To find out all you need to know about the Amsterdam Light Festival click here.
4. Christmas Ice Skating
Ice* Amsterdam is a popular skating rink located at the front of the Rijksmuseum, this is one family activity that makes for picture-perfect moments. As the skating rink is surrounded by the Amsterdam Christmas markets, it is an activity that is suited for the whole family. There are also other skating rinks that pop up around Amsterdam such as Ijsbaan Leidseplein which is a smaller rink surrounded by Dutch Christmas treat food stalls, keeping you warm after you skate. On the other hand, Jaap Eden Ijsbaans is a more enormous ice skating rink covering 400 metres of ice. As can be read, there are a lot of options to choose from for those who wish to go ice skating in Amsterdam.
5. Amsterdam Christmas Market
So, does Amsterdam have Christmas markets? Even though Christmas markets are not traditionally Dutch, Holland still participates in this Christmas activity. The Amsterdam Christmas markets take place between late November and early January and can be found in different locations like the famous Dam Square, Museumplein, and Leidseplein. Just like the Amsterdam Winter Paradise the atmosphere is family oriented with ice skating rinks, hot chocolate, and Christmas shopping. Every year, the large Christmas tree in the Dam Square is lit up on the first week of December and accompanied with Christmas carols and festive food, making for a great family Christmas experience.
6. New Year’s Eve
If you decide to visit Amsterdam at Christmas, then New Year’s Eve is not a holiday that you want to miss out on. The entire city comes alive at night and at midnight a spectacular show of fireworks lights up the sky. The fireworks can be watched from indoors or from anywhere around the city. Older kids are more likely to enjoy this vibrant night as the world ushers in the new year.
Ready to book your family holiday in Amsterdam?
First let’s talk about the weather! You may be asking yourself ‘does it snow in Amsterdam at Christmas?’ The answer is that the Netherlands weather is very unpredictable which makes it hard to predict the conditions but snow in December doesn’t remain a rumour. As it is indeed winter in December, cold temperatures with rain can be expected, you’ll therefore want to pack your waterproof jackets and warm clothes. Nevertheless, Amsterdam is sure to give you and your loved ones the most unforgettable memories this Christmas which is why it remains a top pick for both young and old alike.
If you decide to have a fun-filled holiday and visit Amsterdam at Amsterdam, then have a look at our holiday parks that are nearby the city.