Hi! I’m Megan and I currently live in Amsterdam with my husband Brian and our son William (16 months old). Originally from the Midwestern United States, our love of traveling (and Brian’s job) brought us to Amsterdam in November 2016! Brian works for a midstream energy company and I stay at home with Will. Before our relocation, I had a career as a management liability insurance underwriter but now, I volunteer for a local parents group and enjoy my time as an expat mom!
We live in Oud Zuid, one of eleven unique neighborhoods that comprise the city of Amsterdam. We’re an active family that loves to be outside so this neighbourhood suits us well with its easy access to the Vondelpark (more on that later!). Cycling is the quickest way to explore the city but the public transit system is fast, reliable & stroller friendly.
6:30 AM MORNING
Brian wakes up early and goes for a run in the Vondelpark while I get an extra 30 minutes of sleep. Will is awake around 6-6:30am but plays quietly in his crib until we get him around 6:30-7:00am. Many cafes don’t open until 9am (or later) on weekend days so we have a quick snack & coffee at home before heading out at around 8:30am. If the weather is nice, we go for a family run through the Vondelpark, which has a paved path of approx. 5km, and plenty of play areas for all ages. We stop about halfway through our run at the Melkhuis, which is also one of the only areas in Amsterdam with an abundance of bucket swings and a small zipline for older kids. Our other favorite stop is at the Speeltuin (playground) and Kinderbadje (splash pool) just behind the Melkhuis. On the way home, we stop at one of the many flower stalls and buy fresh flowers.
11:00 AM LUNCH/BRUNCH
After all of the running & playing, we’re all hungry for brunch! I am a huge brunch fan. When I was a kid, I ate so many pancakes in one sitting my relatives still discuss it! With an abundance of kid-friendly brunch places around the city, it can be difficult to choose.
Our current favorites are Dignita, Foodhallen, Lotti’s, Greenwoods Keizersgracht and Bakers & Roasters. Although many of these places don’t have a children’s menu, the options are kid-friendly. If we can’t decide on a restaurant, the Foodhallen is our go-to place: a giant indoor gourmet food court with everything from gourmet hotdogs to Indian food to frozen yogurt!
After a satisfying meal, it’s time to head home for naptime from 12-2:30pm. Will doesn’t sleep in his stroller so we divide & conquer our to-do list. I normally go grocery shopping and run other small errands while Brian works on small household projects and meal prep. There are supermarkets in Amsterdam but we also like to take advantage of the amazing specialty shops. We have a favorite bakery (Le Fournil de Sebastian), butcher (Slagerij Van Dam) and cheese shop!
If the weather is nice once Will’s nap is over, we head out on a 20 minute bike ride to Artis Royal Zoo. It’s a lovely zoo with plenty of animals, including giraffes, zebras and elephants! There is even a playground, in case Will needs to get out some extra energy. The free (€2 deposit which you get back upon its return) pushcarts allow us to travel light and can be found all over the zoo, not just at the entrance! Artis also has an aquarium and a planetarium in case the weather turns inclement during our visit.
Let’s talk inclement weather – yes, it rains frequently here but it rarely rains all day long. We always dress in layers and make sure to bring some sort of rain protection with us. The best part about the rain are the beautiful flowers that pop up in the springtime! If the weather doesn’t allow us to spend time outside, there are an abundance of indoor options. Amsterdam has amazing museums but we love the Nemo Science Museum for its all ages hands-on activities.
Our last stop of the day is normally at a café. Many of the CoffeeConcepts locations have a small kids corner with blocks or other toys that entertain Will long enough for us to have a quick latte or fresh mint tea. I also love Caffenation for its amazing espresso, funky vibe and great kids’ corner full of Legos.
We enjoy cooking so we frequently eat dinner at home. By the end of the day, we’re usually all too tired to make it out again! When we do go out for dinner, we try to stay close to home. Our favorite pizza place is Sotto Pizza, where they serve Neapolitan style pizzas with tasty ingredients. For a cozy date night, we like to go to Marathonweg and for a special occasion, we’d get the rijsttafel (rice table, an Indonesian dish) at Blauw!
Our son loves to read so our evening normally ends with a few minutes of playtime and as many storybooks as Mom & Dad are willing to read.
For the Day in a Life Series we have featured families from countries around the globe. The series aims to give our global Bebe Voyage community a personal and authentic account on what a perfect weekend day looks like for families around the world.