Europe, Wanderlust

5 tips for visiting the Van Gogh museum, Amsterdam with kids

Whether you’re interested in old masters, modern art or something in between, Amsterdam has some incredible art galleries with the three big names around Museumplein.

And if you’ve ruled out visiting them because you have kids, think again. You might not get hours to gaze at the artworks, but Amsterdam has made its culture as friendly as possible for kids.

van-gogh-museum-sunflowers-tipsPIN FOR LATER

Not possible with a todder, you say? Our recent visit to Amsterdam says otherwise… So here’s my top tips for visiting the Van Gogh museum with kids.

1. Get an I Amsterdam card
Not only is entry free but you’ll skip some of the queue to get in. There’s a separate line for card-holders, which was a lot shorter on our visit. Plus you don’t need to stay for hours to get your money’s worth (under 18s are free) – although there is masses to see if you can.

2. Keep your buggy
You have to leave large bags in the cloakroom before entering but buggies are fine – if you don’t have your own, they have ones to loan as well. This way, you needn’t worry about smaller visitors in the throngs around popular paintings, or tired/bored meltdowns as you whizz around. There are lifts between the floors as well.

3. Get a guide
There are audio guides for kids available in Dutch and English – the family guides are tailored for different ages and designed for six to 12-year-olds. I spotted quite a few younger visitors listening intently (and more than a few adults, as there’s a lot to learn about Van Gogh’s life and different styles).

4. Make a game of it
There’s also a treasure hunt kids can complete, with a small prize at the end. Minnie and I also created our own toddler-friendly version for two-year-old attention spans. At the entrance you’re given a floor map including collection highlights. Minnie took charge and had to spot each of the paintings as we walked round, which kept her entertained for at least 20 minutes. She was surprisingly good at it too…

i-amsterdam-sign-travel-guide5. Burn off some energy
The I Amsterdam sign is about three minutes away, towards the Rijksmuseum. The perfect place to run around before a nice quiet museum, or getting to climb all over it is the ideal bribe for afterwards.


Disclosure: My I Amsterdam card was courtesy of the tourist board. The decision to visit the Van Gogh museum, and to take a two-year-old with me, was my own.

Image: marlies bouten/Flickr; Tim Samoff/Flickr



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