Show & Tell with Babyccino: Amsterdam

December 2, 2011 0 comment

You’ve heard me rave before about Babyccino, a blog (and now also a shop of shops) dedicated to family lifestyle. Behind the name, there are 3 mothers located in 3 different cities. Great concept! Courtney based in London was featured last year about her family sabbatical in Australia (read it here). Today, it’s Esther from Amsterdam who shares the best of her hometown. Amsterdam is the perfect week end escape (especially if you live in Europe), with so much more to offer than just a week end actually. I was amazed how family-friendly and also family-size this city is… we were there earlier this fall and I got to try many of Esther’s wonderful addresses. Thank you Esther…and Enjoy Everyone!

Meet the Van de Paal family

We are a Dutch family currently living in the south of Amsterdam. We have three children — Sara (6) and Pim (4) and Ava, who is just 1 year old. We’ve lived in New York, Brussels and London before moving back to the Netherlands 7 years (and two kids) later.

Daily inspiration

Babyccino Kids is an international lifestyle and parenting blog, hoping to inspire fellows mums (and dads!) with recipes, crafts, product reviews, and general parenting . We also recently started a shopping portal where we represent some lovely children boutiques. I love blogging because it means I can spend time with my kids and call it work!

Sweet Home Amsterdam

If you’re in Amsterdam with a family you should have a boat tour in the canals one day: such a great way to see the city without ending up with overly tired children! Also, I would recommend to rent a bakfiets for a day and just cycle around the city (see the family portrait above!) — it’s the best way to sightsee and the kids really love it.

Your favorite spots

The Vondelpark is a nice park in the city centre with plenty of playgounds (just cycle around with the bakfiets and you’ll get to them). In case of rain there’s the Kinderkookcafé (located in the Vondelpark) where kids can bake their own cookies or pizzas.

The Botanical Gardens (Hortus Botanicus) are usually very quiet (especially on weekdays) and a nice place for a stroll and lunch.

Artis is the name of the Amsterdam Zoo and it’s a beautiful park, where you can get really close to the animals. There’s plenty to see indoor in case of rain. There are also some really good playgrounds.

The Tropenmuseum is our favourite. It has so much to offer to both young and old, we’re never bored when we go! The restaurant offers international dishes AND poffertjes (mini pancakes that children love).

Hungry?

Our favourite restaurant is Restaurant As, which is around the corner from us — both with as without children, in fact! Our favourite pizza place is Fuoco Vivo (makes my mouth water just thinking of it!). At Burgermeester they serve astronomical burgers, and they come in mini sizes too.

 Tired?

I haven’t stayed there myself, but I’ve heard that Hotel Vondel is nice to stay with families, very close to the city centre but in a fairly quiet street. It’s also very close to Vondelpark.

Where did you get this?

Bring back some Dutch cheese (cumin cheese is worth a try)! Sterrenmix tea is a lovely herbal blend that I’ve only found in the Netherlands. Also don’t forget to visit HEMA — the famous Dutch store with wonderful, colourful, simple and modern designs for about everything one needs in life (for VERY reasonable prices). Check out the baby department, the little gifts, the stationary, cards, wrapping paper, etc.

And then there are the flower bulbs, of course!

There are plenty of wonderful shops in Amsterdam, but here are some streets that I particularly like:

UTRECHTSESTRAAT

This whole street is filled with great shops. Here are some of my tips:
– For the best coffee go to de koffiesalon
– Jan (on number 74)  is my FAVOURITE gift shop in Amsterdam.
– Marqt is lovely for organic groceries (and such a cool store)
– There’s also a really good chocolate shop (Van Soest)
– Studio Bazaar (kitchenware)
The NINE STREETS in the JORDAAN are crowded with lovely boutiques.
– I love Mendo for the art books, Skins for cosmetics, Buffet van Odette is nice for lunch and close to the 9 street, Scheldestraat (for kids). Here you will find the Miffy shop (Nijntje in Dutch). Great Italian coffee and take-away food at Feduzzi. Clothing and shoes at Koter & Co and Meys & Co. For lunch try @7 with a little play corner in the back (and the cutest toy shop ever next door), And Pisa around the corner for the best icecream.  And stop by Haarlemmerstraat too
Also, &Klevering is one my other favourite gift shop in Amsterdam. They have multiple locations.
And these are some really worthy places to visit too:

KNSM island

Keet in Huis: a great children lifestyle shop

Sissy Boy Homeland: for clothes and interiors, with a nice café

Pol’s Potten: for interior & deco

Special tips?

It can rain a lot in Amsterdam so come prepared! Public transport is well organized and affordable so don’t be afraid to use it. And language wise: you will find that everybody in Amsterdam speaks English, which will make your stay so much easier (imagine having to speak Dutch)!

Pim in the Hortus Botanicus

Babyccino now represents a wonderful collection of children boutiques, which you can find at babyccinokids.com!

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