A man-made forest (1928) situated close to Amsterdam, Amstelveen and Aalsmeer. A good place to relax and enjoy nature, with excellent facilities for families with children.
Some things to do:
- Marked walking routes ranging from 4-7 km.
- Jogging routes of 5 km, 10 km and 21 km.
- 14 km long route for bikes. Bikes can be hired at the main entrance on the Van Nijenrodeweg (+31 20 644 54 73, http://www.bikerentalamsterdam.nl).
- Goat farm (great for the kids, see http://www.geitenboerderij.nl/).
- Open air theather (± july-august, see http://www.bostheater.nl/).
- Two pools for kids and several playgrounds.
- Canoes and pedal boats can be hired at the "Grote Vijver", the big pond
(+31 20 645 78 31, http://www.kanoverhuur-adam.nl/, make sure you have ID with you as deposit).
- A pancake house, Boerderij Meerzicht
(+31 20 679 27 44, http://www.boerderijmeerzicht.nl/).
- A ferryboat that will take you close to the pancake house or to the beaches on the other site of the lake the Nieuwe Meer (http://www.rederij-oeverloos.nl/).
- Visitors’ centre close to the main entrance at the Bosbaan (rowing course)
Open: Tuesday - Saturday from 12.00 to 17.00, Sundays from 10.00 to 17.00
(+31 20 545 61 00).
- Camping (http://www.campingamsterdamsebos.nl/).
An interactive map can be found here:
Address: Bosbaanweg 5 (Visitors´s center)
Directions: Busses of the GVB and Connexxion stop on the Amstelveenseweg, the Amsterdamseweg and Bosrandweg. For information phone 0900-9292 or have a look at the website of the Amsterdamse bos (Mainly in Dutch but with an English section).
- Hiking and Walking
Your kids will love Elsenhove, with its farm animals and playground.
Children can learn here in a playful way about the animals on the farm.
Every day at 16.00 they can help the farmer feed the animals.
Open (see the website for the most up-to-date info!):
Closed on Mondays
Address: Bankrasweg 1, Amstelveen
Directions: Bus 125, 174, 175, 176
Car: Exit "Ouderkerk aan de Amstel" on the A9, right at the traffic lights. Take the first road on the right, and immediately to the right to Elsenhove.
By bike from Amstelveen, to the right of the Oranjebaan on the path for bikes.
Phone: +31 20 496 39 97
- Family Travel
- Theme Park Trips
Visit the website of the museum to get an impression of the current exhibitions.
This museum was elected "Best Museum of 2008" by the Dutch newspaper AD.
The museum can easily be visited if you have some hours layover at Schiphol Airport: Bus 300 (called Zuidtangent) direction Amsterdam Bijlmer goes directly from the airport to the bus station in Amstelveen, which is next to the museum. It takes 15 minutes by bus and the bus goes every 6-7 minutes.
See the website for other directions.
Address: Sandbergplein 1, Amstelveen
Directions: Next to the main bus station.
Phone: +31 20 547 50 50
- Museum Visits
A tip for the kids: The goat farm "De Ridammerhoeve" in the "Amsterdamse Bos" (Amsterdam forest). But also nice for older goat-lovers...
This is a "biological" farm, consisting of a goat-farm, cheese factory, farm for children, chicken farm, farm shop where you can buy goat-cheese etc, and a terrace where you can have a coffee and a small lunch.
Open: Every day except Tuesday from 10.00-17.00. From 1 November - 1 March also closed on Mondays.
Check out the website (Dutch) for more info and/or pictures.
Address: Nieuwe Meerlaan 4
Directions: In the forest (by bike or foot), follow the signs "Geitenboerderij".
Phone: +31 20 645 50 34
- Family Travel
The Ouderkerkerplas (The Lake of Ouderkerk) is close to Amstelveen and a popular place for sunbathing and swimming, especially for families with children. It is also a good lake for windsurfing and diving. The Ouderkerkerplas is an important area for birds, that stay there during the winter when acces to the lake is closed.
The lake, south of Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, is man-made and very deep (±45 m) because its sand was used for the construction of the highway A9.
Ouderkerk aan de Amstel itself is also worth a visit!
Directions: From Amstelveen:
Bike: Go right after the brigde over the river Amstel, straight ahead all the time until you reach a horse-riding school, turn left there.
Car: Go straight after the bridge over the Amstel (Burg. Stramanweg), follow the signs.
- Water Sports
- Hiking and Walking
The puppet theatre (Amstelveens Poppentheater) is a theater for kids with a combination of puppet-, music- and object theatre.
The shows are in Dutch of course, so check in advance if the show is appropriate for your kids if they do not speak Dutch.
Address: Wolfert van Borsselenweg 85a
Directions: Bus 170 and 172, stop "Kruiskerk". Walk through the Charlotte de Montpensierlaan and then to the left into the Wolfert van Borsselenweg.
Free parking available.
Phone: +31 20 645 04 39
- Theater Travel
At several locations in Amstelveen there are swimmingpools for kids, often with a small playground. The swimming pools are in use from May-September. The pools are filled with water between 08.00 and 12.30, when the weather forecast is sunny and 21 degrees Celcius or higher. The swimmingpools are emptied again between 18.00 and 20.00. When there is the possibility of thunderstorm, the pools are not filled with water as a precaution.
They can be found at the following locations:
• Broersepark (see my Boersepark tip as well)
• Lucas van Leydenweg
• Den Bloeyenden Wijngaerdt
• Alpen Rondweg
• Grote Beer
• Duin en Kruidberg
Also in the Amsterdamse bos there are two swimming pools with playground. They are located the large playing field (Speelweide) and near the entrance on the Van Nijenrodeweg.
CLOSED SINCE 11-2009!!!
The Netherlands are famous for their wooden shoes, also called clogs ("klompen" in Dutch).
At the wooden shoe factory Ratterman in Amstelveen you can get a free demonstration about the history, traditions and the making of the authentic Dutch wooden shoes.
They also have a giftshop where you can find anything from miniature wooden shoes to the traditional Royal Delft porcelain.
A visit to the wooden shoe factory can be combined with e.g. an 1 hour walk around the lake De Poel and a visit to cafe/restaurant Silversant, see my other tips.
Address: Noorddammerlaan 22, Amstelveen
Directions: In the area "Bovenkerk", close to the lake "De Poel".
Phone: +31 20 645 83 44
Have a look at the website for more information about current exhibitions and directions.
Note that the museum has limited opening hours!
Address: Dorpsstraat 50, Amstelveen
Directions: The old center of Amstelveen
Phone: +31 20 641 57 54
- Museum Visits