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Things to Do for a Family With Teenagers in Amsterdam

by Candice Coleman

Amsterdam is a city of 800,000 residents, and it is often billed as both a romantic location for couples and a city rich with history for families and travelers. Teenagers may appreciate the opportunity to experience another culture, as well as to experience history firsthand. There are more than 50 museums in the city, so you will have plenty of opportunity to find something for everyone in your group.

Art And History

In 1944, 15-year-old Anne Frank hid with her Jewish family and friends before they were betrayed and killed during the Holocaust. Today, the Anne Frank House has been converted into a museum (annefrank.org). Visitors can see the diary room, containing Anne's original diary and other writings. Short films and exhibits explain the importance of human rights, and visitors can enter the secret room where Anne Frank hid for two years. Rijksmuseum (rijksmuseum.nl) features art by the century, with works dating from the 1100s. The Asian pavilion features artwork from countries such as Japan and Thailand, with work dating from 2000 B.C. to A.D. 2000.

Sports

In 1928, Amsterdam hosted the Olympic Games. Known for its architecture and design, the stadium where those games occurred has since become Olympic Stadium (olympischstadion.nl). An exhibit, "The Olympic Experience," features the history of the 1928 games. The stadium is open to spectators, which still hosts athletic games and marathons. The Ajax Experience (english.ajax.nl) is home to a youth soccer club, where players are trained for a professional career. Teens and families can learn about famous players, view trophies the club has won and participate in the training players undergo as part of the Ajax Experience.

Nature

As you travel through Amsterdam, you will likely see several colorful tulip flowers. The flower is so prevalent that a museum exists in its honor. The Amsterdam Tulip Museum (amsterdamtulipmuseum.com) features information on how these flowers spread around the Dutch countryside, as well as how they have appeared in art and film. Families can buy seeds for the flowers in the museum's bulb shop. If the tulip museum appeals only to your teenage daughter, the family might prefer a stroll through Artis Royal Zoo (artis.nl). From its butterfly pavilion to its planetarium and insectarium, visitors can get a detailed look at nature.

Food And Drink

As your family travels through Amsterdam, you will notice one thing that you and your teens may appreciate: coffee. Greenwoods (greenwoods.eu) features a selection of hot drinks like coffee and cream teas, as well as desserts, breakfast and dinner. Families can even pack up their meals for a picnic in the canals or parks. Restaurant Zazas (zazas.nl) opened in 2003 and features appetizers like pan-fried scallops and tuna tempura. Main courses include ravioli, grilled rib eye steak and fillet of lamb. Polish it off with a dessert like lemon tart with nutmeg cream or bread and butter pudding.

About the Author

Candice Coleman worked in the public school system as a middle school and high school substitute teacher. In addition to teaching, she is also a tutor for high school and college students.

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