This year we went on Luke’s official spring break! I was ready for the break because of Chicago’s long winter. For all the other years, we traveled whenever we found cheap airline tickets but this past spring Luke was in in kindergarten and we wanted to go somewhere during his spring break. We started the trip in Paris and then spent the rest of the trip in Amsterdam.
This was our first in Amsterdam so we didn’t know what to expect except that we would see a lot of bicycles, canals and tulips. We were in Amsterdam during what we thought would be the height of tulip season (late March/early April) but with the long winter, there were not as many tulips or tulip fields as I had hoped to see.
Other than the lack of tulips fields (due to mother nature), we fell in love with Amsterdam!! There were so many things for the whole family to love about Amsterdam that we plan to go back, but next time it will be in the summertime. Here are some things we loved about Amsterdam.
The Architecture and Canals of Amsterdam
I admit, I could walk the streets of Amsterdam for days and just admire all the facades and take pictures along the canals. My favorite area in Amsterdam is the Jordaan neighborhood. It was not too touristy or crowded in the area, which I love.
The NEMO Museum for Kids (and Adults)
The NEMO Museum is definitely a must-do and see for kids when in Amsterdam. The NEMO Museum in Amsterdam is a science museum with lots of interactive activities for kids to do and learn. Luke absolutely loved the Nemo Museum because there was so much to do and so many cool things to discover. He talked about it the whole time we were in Amsterdam. It was the highlight of his trip.
I was 20 weeks pregnant with the twins when we were in Amsterdam and gave myself a break one day so Charlie took Luke to the Nemo Museum. Something Charlie thought was cool was that the NEMO Museum has a rooftop garden that has great views of Amsterdam.
The Food Scene in Amsterdam
We had a fantastic dinner at Restaurant Bleu. I had the surf and turf and wanted more. Restaurant Bleu offers unlimited frites and salad with their dinner. The frites were perfect for Luke.
We had stroopwafls as snack every day and ate dutch pancakes for breakfast almost every morning.
Our Day Trip to Zaanse Schans for Windmills
We took a quick train ride to the town of Zaanse Schans to see the windmills. It was absolutely a cute town (until the tourist buses arrived). As a tip to avoid the crowds at Zaanse Schans, arrive early! There were plenty of picture opportunities in Zaanse Schans. We were living our best tourist lives!
Our Day Trip to Keukenhof Gardens for Tulips
I’ve always dreamed of twirling in a field of tulips, just like my dream of twirling in a field of lavender. So we rented a car and headed to Keukenhof Gardens to see the tulips the fields of tulips in the surrounding area. It quite a cold day but we managed to enjoy the gardens. I think what I liked most was outside of Keukenhof…there were so many fields of tulips about to blossom and hyacinths to admire.
A Pleasant Surprise in the Town of Zaandam
On our way to Zaanse Schans, we noticed this colorful building with such a funky facade in the town of Zaandam. We decided to check out the town on our way back from Zaanse Schans. The building is a hotel – the Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Zaandam to be exact. We took some pictures of the hotel and went inside to have some snacks and drinks. Our stay was too short but I want to be back to explore the town some more as it seems like lots of exciting things are happening there.
Our next trip to Amsterdam will definitely be in the summer time. I want to see the city in full bloom with the ivy and the trees filled with leaves. I think I’ll be okay with missing out on the tulips…