We got to know Sanne Hop on Instagram. Using the name @sannehop she regularly posts beautiful pictures of her four children and their wonderful house in the middle of Amsterdam. They have lived there for 15 years and love the child-friendly city. We asked her about her favourite places, which she was pleased to share with us…
A very nice surprise, next to Artis (the zoo) is café restaurant De Plantage. It has the most gorgeous outside space where the children can run around and play in a huge fountain. I think it’s ideal for lunch, after a visit to the zoo. But for dinner as well, to enjoy a long, warm summer night outside…
When we go out without our children, something that doesn’t happen that often, we love to go out to restaurant Choux. The most friendly people are working there with the freshest, seasonable products.
A great café to go either with or without children is Pllek. The atmosphere is open minded, free, warm and creative. It’s a place in the new and upcoming north of Amsterdam. You can just have a drink or a bite, but also watch a movie or enjoy their ongoing art expositions. And every now and then they have a music festival going on.
I am not really the ice cream eater in our home, but my children are. Their very favorite place to go is Van Soest in the Utrechtsestraat, near our home. They serve the best Italian ice cream.
Another favorite is IJscuypje, with now 14! locations throughout the city. They serve 12 sorts of flavors and next to that they serve a variable seasonable flavor every day.
On the opposite of our home is the fantastic Muziektheater, where one can see the Dutch National Ballet and the Opera. I used to dance a lot when I was younger, and I love to visit the ballet.
Next to that we love our many theatres too. During every summer, the Dutch traveling theatre festival De Parade is in Amsterdam. With over a 100 different theatre, music and dance performances, little restaurants and bars, we feel it’s the ideal night out. Or day out, since they have a fantastic children’s program too.
There are lots and lots of good playgrounds in Amsterdam. The one in Artis zoo is fantastic, with the greatest slides. But on a daily basis we love to go to our neighbourhood playground Amstelveld. There is a lovely café as well, bar Nel, which makes it the most ideal place to go together with your children. While you enjoy a coffee, sandwich or glass of wine, the children can play.
Of course there are many, many parks as well. We love to go to either the Vondelpark or the Oosterpark. Both are fantastic parks to hang around in the grass, enjoy a playground or a little pool.
I really love to support the individual shops in Amsterdam. There are quite a few, offering a wide range of beautiful wooden toys, natural craft supplies and of course clothes:
De Zaailing is my favorite shop for children. It’s an anthroposophic store with the most wonderful wooden toys, the best selection of natural craft supplies and beautiful natural clothes (also for adults) made from wool and organic cotton.
De Kleine Parade is a new shop in the lovely and creative area called de Pijp. It’s a brilliant kid’s concept store, with everything you would expect from a concept store. The most wonderful clothes, toys and a lovely bar and play area for the children. And it is run by the loveliest sisters.
A very hip kids’ shop is Big & Belg. Their collection is very modern and extensive, selling brands as Bobo Choses, Vans and Mini Rodini.
For myself I love to go Sky, a little boutique in de Negen Straatjes, nine small streets located in De Jordaan with the loveliest boutiques. They sell a few of my favorite brands like APC, Les Prairies de Paris, Isabel Marant Etoile and their own fantastic brand Atwood.
As mentioned, we often visit one of our many parks. Next to the ones I mentioned we also love the Flevopark. Located in the East of Amsterdam, it’s an ideal place to spend a day as a family. The park itself is amazingly quiet and green, there is a very big outside pool called the Flevoparkbad, and there is Jeugdland: a fantastic nature playground where my children would go every day if they could. For the adults it’s nice to know there is a hidden gem in this park: Distileerderij ‘t Nieuwe Diep, where one can enjoy a drink on their great terrace.
Amsterdam has many theatres. My favourites are:
De Stadsschouwburg: The Municipal Theatre is the main venue for theatre lovers. Toneelgroep Amsterdam, the theatre company that calls this theatre its home, is renowned for its daring productions of classical and modern plays. The building alone is worth a visit.
Royal Theater Carré: It’s a grand theatre located on the river Amstel, very near our house, which hosts concerts, shows, cabaret and musicals.
A very interesting museum is Nemo, where younger and older children can discover a world of science and technology. They are able to do experiments in the laboratory and discover all kinds of things. My children all really love to go there. On Nemo’s roof there is the largest terrace of Amsterdam, where you can overlook the city. Very cool!
We all love to go to the cinema Tuschinski, near our home. I think this is one of the most cherished buildings in Amsterdam. Designed in the Art Deco style of De Amsterdamse School in architecture, the building is very impressive and worth a visit, even if you are not seeing a movie.
It’s hard to pick a favorite place, because the city is so rich of good spots, but if we have to pick one it would be our little beach Blijburg in the IJburg area (open during summer and winter). It’s a place that breathes freedom, where one can eat, drink, swim, enjoy live music and sit in front of the fire.
A hidden gem would be De Hoftuin. Also very close to our house, this is a place we love to go on a daily basis. It’s the beautiful garden of the also fantastic museum De Hermitage. The children love to play in this quiet area. And in the restaurant they give vulnerable people a place to work in the kitchen and they try to minimize their environmental impact by using mostly organic, fair trade and local products. They have their own vegetable garden. It’s a beautiful and restful place you would rather keep to yourself…
Thank you so much for all your tips and favorite places of Amsterdam dear Sanne! If you’d like to see more photos of her beautiful family life you should have a look at her Instagram @sannehop.