15 things to do in Rotterdam with kids – that are fun for parents too!

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This information was gathered during our brilliant and busy trip to Rotterdam in October 2019. We purchased the Rotterdam Welcome Card at the train station which offers discounts and travel.  We absolutely love Rotterdam.  As well as having so much to do, the people were so nice everywhere we went – even when we got in the way of some of the very many cyclists!

  1. Take a tram : This was my boys’ favourite part of the trip I think! We used trams to get around the city when their legs were tired, but we also took two round trips to the suburbs to get a change of scene. Trams get priority at crossings, so you very rarely get stuck anywhere – although it makes crossing roads more challenging on top of bikes and cars! The Rotterdam Welcome Card deal gives you 1, 2 or 3 days use of all public transport. We also bought a tram specific map from the station, so we could see the routes better.
  2. Miniworld Rotterdam : Brilliant indoor activity! All of Rotterdam in miniature with lots of moving parts. The best bit for me is the whole exhibit goes from day to night on a regular cycle, so you get to see everything lit up too. We spent about 2 hours at Miniworld which we felt was enough.
  3. De Markthal : With an amazing interior and exterior, the Markthal contains a wide selection of foods to eat in or takeaway. There are about 100 fresh food stalls as well as restaurants and a few shops. We ate dinner here one night and we all enjoyed sharing food from several different stalls. The cube houses are next to the Markthal if you wanted to combine the trip.
  4. Plaswijck park : This place is absolutely brilliant! One of the best places I think we have ever taken the boys and I definitely recommend it. The indoor and outdoor activities were endless. If you are going in the Summer, it’s an all-day trip and bring swimming gear. We were there during a damp October half term weekday and the amazing indoor facility was absolutely packed with bigger kids. Bear this in mind if you are taking younger siblings. I can imagine out of school holidays it is bliss, but my poor 3-year-old got pushed around quite a bit!
  5. Natural History Museum of Rotterdam : Kids go free on Wednesdays! If your kids love looking at stuffed animals, fish, insects and skeletons this is the place to go! The museum is small but packed with things to look at. We only spent an hour inside as we popped in on our way to the Euromast Tower which is nearby. The museum is also next to the Kunsthal which we didn’t go into but it looked very cool from the outside.
  6. Pannenkoekenboot : If the trams were the boys top pick of Rotterdam, then the all you can eat Pannenkoekenboot came a very close second! Just to be clear, if you do not like pancakes there is absolutely no point in taking this boat tour! We thought it would be chaos and it partly was, but the pancakes were amazing – it really is an endless supply – and with great views of the city and a giant ball pit for the kids to burn off all the sugar, it was a brilliant 70-minute activity. The dock is next to the Euromast Tower and book in advance.
  7. Euromast park : This park doesn’t have an official name but its beautiful. Definitely take a walk through it if you are going to the Euromast. In the Summer I can imagine it’s the perfect place for a picnic. During October it’s somewhere to take some stunning autumnal photos. We didn’t get a chance to play minigolf Parkhaven– kids can play from 4 years old.
  8. Euromast : The best part is the Euroscoop – a rotating glass elevator with panoramic views of the city. The boys loved looking at the boats on the river as well as watching planes take off and land at the airport. This activity is obvious weather dependent so try to book on the clearest day of your trip.
  9. Maritime Museum : This museum an amazing indoor play area called Professor Splash. Even though the rest of the museum is not ideal for children, we still managed to spend a few hours there and the boys had a great time.
  10. Kids Marina : Right next to the Maritime Museum and lots of fun! Kids can take control of the electric powered boats themselves which was very exciting! The cost is for a 20-minute ride.
  11. SS Rotterdam : Despite this ship being absolutely huge, it seemed to take us ages to find – then we later found out we could have taken a water taxi! It’s an amazing sight from far away and the best way to see it is to book a tour. You can combine a visit to the ship with a look around the Port of Rotterdam.
  12. Villa Zebra : Located right next to the Willemsbrug bridge, Villa Zebra is a beautiful indoor play museum. The staff are lovely and its so clean and bright. If you need somewhere to sit down with a coffee while the kids have a play – especially if it’s raining – then give it a try. Check online for prices and if there are any workshops are on, so you make the most of your visit.
  13. Splashtours : Another one to book in advance! This is such a brilliant and fun way to see the city. Unfortunately, our 3-year-old was so tired he fell asleep – but the rest of us loved it! The journey is about an hour and the best bit by far is when the bus splashes into the river. You can pick up the Splashtour right next to the Euromast.
  14. Maastunnel : This is a bit of a random one! It’s the longest foot tunnel in Holland and connects the North bank and the South bank of the river. We came across it by chatting to a few locals and decided to walk through it – why not! The tunnel is vast, and the boys loved hearing the echoes from their voices. There isn’t anything to do on the South side, so we didn’t stay long but the views of the SS Rotterdam and the North side are very cool.
  15. Fenix Food Factory : We found the Fenix Food Factory over a tiny bridge covered in love padlocks opposite the Hotel New York. We only went in because it looked like a very cool building and it absolutely was very cool inside! We were surrounded by lots of foodie entrepreneurs making delicious cakes and coffee and lunches. It was somewhere nice and chilled to rest our legs. I had a delicious hot chocolate and we bought the boys a sandwich but there was so much more to choose from. And for beer lovers it is a must!
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