eindhoven/amsterdam with kids

Old May 4th, 2008, 09:48 PM
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eindhoven/amsterdam with kids

Hi there,

I have a chance to visit a friend in Eindhoven with my kids age 9 and 11. We can stay there for free and make day trips to Amsterdam, The Hague etc. Is this realistic or is it better to schedule some overnight stays elsewhere.
I have never been to the Netherlands so not sure...
Would a week stay be enough? My kids are great travellers but I worry about trying to do long days of touring with no rest during the day and then a long train home at night....

Thanks for any advice and any suggestions for attractions/activities that will appeal to them


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Old May 4th, 2008, 11:28 PM
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The first time I went to Amsterdam I was 12-13. I remember going to see windmills, cheese factories, wooden shoe factories, and most memorable, in fact to this day it still touches me, when I think of my visit to Anne Franks house. You did not say if your children are boys or girls, but, girls tend to be a bit more mature at 9 and 11 then boys, so , they most likely would be most open to reading Anne Franks diary , and then going to see her house would be a special experience. I have two boys and a girl, and I am not particularily sexist, but I don't know if most boys that age would get the same out of the whole experience.I know my boys were not big readers, and did not like books unless the main characters were mostly male.Anyways sorry to stray off there, but , even if you have boys , you could talk to them about Anne Frank, the war etc. They will be intrigued by the hidden stairway perhaps? Some of the photo exhibits in the museum section of the house may be too intense for your little one, frankly it was many years ago, things may be different now, but, it was my favorite site in Amsterdam. Even when I went back in my twenties,I remember it was so important to me to take my friend there,, EVEN before we went off to find the "coffee shops" . LOL

As for not getting too tired, kids are pretty strong, as long as you don't bore them with long museum visits, or too many churches or shopping , etc. . Find parks and build in lots of play time. Take a boat ride on canal.
Your friends will no doubt have some good ideas.
Also, I recall going to some sort of Lego musuem, where everything was made of Lego, scale models of many famous buildings. I have no idea where it was, but I am sure your friends do.
Have fun!
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Old May 4th, 2008, 11:50 PM
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A week would make for a nice introduction to the Netherlands. If you stretched things a bit you could see more of Holland (of course) but you could also make a foray into Belgium if that interests you.

As for staying in Eindhoven, you really have to decide if the time spent travelling is worth it or not.
Eindhoven - Amsterdam will take about 1:20 each way and The Hague will take closer to 1:45 each way. Factoring in the journeys to and from the train stations at both ends, you may find it to be a grind; especially so if you keep that up for a week.

In terms of things to do...

They would probably enjoy the outdoor "living" museums Zaanse Schans (www.zaanseschans.nl) and the Zuider Zee Musuem (www.zuiderzeemuseum.nl). Both are interesting, though if I were choosing one I would visit the latter.

The Kroller-Muller Museum could be a good choice too. The museum is located in a park and you are free to bike ride around (bikes are provided free of charge), visit a nice, outdoor sculpture garden as well as the world's second largest Van Gogh collection. If you want to give your children a taste of an art gallery, this might be the most fun option.


The following activities are in Amsterdam...
Check out Nemo, the city's science museum. It's geared towards children, it features plenty of fun and interactive exhibits, and it looks pretty cool too: Renzo Piano designed the building to look like a ship rising from the water.

Artis, the Amsterdam zoo and aquarium is also a good activity for children.

You'll want to go on a canal cruise I'm sure, and it would probably be fun for you guys to visit an outdoor market like the Albert Cuyp Market.

You could rent bikes and do some exploring on your own, or you could sign up for a bike tour (www.yellowbike.nl/en/).

Anne Frank House offers a good opportunity to teach youngsters about tolerance and injustice...in addition to touring the house where Anne's family hid during the war, there is small museum that offers activities for kids too.

When they get hungry, you can check out the Pancake Bakery (www.pancake.nl). And while I cringe at recommending McDonald's, the kids may find it fun to try the McKroket, the Dutch-only item. As with all McDonald's items, you can get a better one elsewhere
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Old May 4th, 2008, 11:53 PM
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Bozama is probably thinking about Madurodam in the Hague
www.madurodam.nl
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Old May 5th, 2008, 12:03 AM
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No Lego museum that I know of in the Netherlands. Maybe you are thinking of Madurodam Bozama?

Eindhoven is 1 hour 20 minutes by train from Amsterdam. Either direct or a change in Utrecht depending on the time. Den Haag is i hour 40 minutes away, again either direct or change in Utrecht.
There is not much in Eindhoven itself that is of interest, but if you have a free place to stay I would accept it.
You kids may enjoy a trip to De Efteling near Tilburg. Not the fairytale part but the roller coasters.
A week will give you a good taster of the Netherlands certainly, although the Eindhoven area is not that typically Dutch to a tourist.
You could also do a trip to Maastricht from Eindhoven, and Utrecht is worth a visit also. You will all enjoy the speelklok museum there - www.museumspeelklok.nl.
I would maybe consider an overnight stay somewhere around Amsterdam, so you can also go to Zaanse Schans (windmills)for instance.

Your children are young enough that you can buy railrunner tickets for them - €2 a ticket valid for one day, provided they are accompanied by a fare paying adult. You can buy them at the ticket machine along with your own ticket. Ticket machines don't accept credit cards but do accept ATM card with a Maestro logo on them - even foreign ones.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 07:39 PM
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Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions. The Anne Frank house is definitely at the top of my list and I know my children will get a lot out of a visit there. I heard there is a Tin Tin museum too - not sure if it's worth a visit..we have read every Tin Tin ever written! The outdoor museums and Kroller-Muller also sound wonderful.

If we opt for a night or two in Amsterdam does anyone have suggestions for somewhere safe and affordable. We just like clean rooms, comfy beds and great location. Global Guy has got me thinking trekking back and forth each day might wear thin.

thanks again!
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Old May 7th, 2008, 01:20 PM
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Most likely, I am incorrect about Lego museum, as I said this was a LONG time ago, and I was ushered around Europe by a special French grandmother determined I see everything, LOL. And as an adult I did not go to the Lego Museum, so you are most likely correct and it was in the Hague.
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Old May 8th, 2008, 12:54 PM
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Tin Tin is Belgian and I think that the Herge / Tintin museum might be somewhere in Belgium....Brussels if memory serves me. There is a comics museum in Groningen although most of the comics will be Dutch classics unfamiliar to your kids.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 09:15 PM
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Hi again,
I am firming up our plans. We would like to stay one night in Amsterdam in a room that has 2 double beds or a double, twin and a cot. We are 2 adults and 2 kids. (Queen better but that may be impossible!). Any hotel suggestions around $200?
Also wondering about day trips from Eindhoven to Belgium. Is that doable? Where would you recommend?
We would love to rent bikes and pedal in the countryside either in the Netherlands or Belgium.
We are 5 to 6 nights in the Netherlands with a base in Eindhoven.
We will then travel to Paris by train. Should we go from Belgium (and make an overnight there before heading off to Paris?)
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Old May 21st, 2008, 11:01 PM
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kpie, Eindhoven is not very exciting, but not a bad base either. Belgium is very close, but by train you have to change twice to get to Antwerp (by car it's an hour).

Do try to fit in the Efteling; it's a wonderful park, the kids will love it. It has some roller coasters, but it's mainly based around fairy tales, and set in beautifully landscaped gardens. The Dutch railways have a special offer for train, bus and entry to the Efteling. www.ns.nl

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Old May 22nd, 2008, 06:26 AM
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While you are in Eindhoven, your kids might enjoy visiting the non-profit Dutch Parrot Refuge. A very pleasant place to visit and not only is there a wide variety of birdlife at the refuse (not just parrots), there are also various domestic animals wandering around.
http://www.papegaai.org/index.php?ta...els&paginanr=1

It's best to go by car, but if not, you can catch a bus from Eindhoven train station to Oerle. From there, it's a longish walk, but scenic and not along main roads. Oerle is a pretty village and up the street from the ice cream place is a nice family-friend restaurant/cafe, serves excellent beer on tap (for you).
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 12:55 AM
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Close to Eindhoven, Den Bosch is also a very nice city, with a historic town center, beautiful church (St Jan) and lots of great restaurants and cafes.
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