Move over Sinterklaas here comes Christmas! After summer, this is my favorite time of the year. I think there is something magical about December. It’s all about family & friends and lots of warmth and togetherness.  And don’t forget the tree, listen to corny Christmas songs all day, drink gluhwein, make snowman pizza’s and visiting a Christmas market. Luckily Amsterdam is joining us with the Christmas spirit cause there are so many fun family Christmassy things to do! Here are our 12 favorites.

12 Christmassy things to do in Amsterdam

  1. Amsterdam light Festival  & walk | November till January 17th. Every year Amsterdam is transformed into a city of lights with the help off (inter)national light artists. The festival is fun for young and old and you can either choose to see the light spectacle by boat or take a walking tour. The boat route, Water Colors, offers a unique view of the city from the perspective of Amsterdam’s famous waterways. We always take the tour with Rederij Lovers and the kids love it. Or you can bundle up and get outside for the walking route, Illuminade, that takes you past 20 light artworks through the neighborhoods Weesper and Plantage in Amsterdam East. For more info about the festival, the water color route or book guided walking tours visit
  2. Sissy Boy Christmas market | December 12th | Amstelveld This is one of the must-visit markets during this time of year. Tout Amsterdam will try to find the perfect gift here. You can find design stuff, exotic furniture, vintage jewelry, fashion and listen to nostalgic Christmas music.  There will be all kinds of food stands and the best Gluhwein (according to them). There will be a kids corner with nanny’s where your kid can do some crafts while you go shopping. For updates and see who is coming go to their Facebook page here
  3. Light exposition Clifton Mahangoe | December 12th till January 12th Westergasterrein After last year’s success you can find the work of Mahangoe again in the park. Combine it with a warm drink at Pacific or if you have game fanatic kids go to the just opened TonTon Club with tons of arcade games and good food (TonTon’s Facebook).
  4. Funky Sunday X-mas market | December 13th | Westergasterrein The cheerful stalls are loaded with opportunities to work out everybody’s Christmas list, with handmade articles, gourmet food products, rare vintage finds all in a funky Christmas atmosphere. And don’t forget the food stands with hot cocoa, crepes, meat pies, mulled wine and other delicacies that will warm you soul.
  5. The Nutcracker family concert | December 13th | Muziekgebouw If you would like to introduce your kids to classical music this is the Christmas family concert you must go to. The story of the nutcracker will be told by Angela Schijf and the symphony orchestra will play the classic ballet music from Tchaikovsky. Tickets are for sale via tel: 020 788 2000 and
  6. Pure Winter Markt | December 13th | Amstelpark Here you can discover, taste and learn about all the different foods. Try some cheese, Surinam roti, Indian curry, American pie or fresh oysters. Order an organic beer, hot cider or wine to go with that and take a seat on one of the many terraces throughout the market. Enjoy the ultimate winter atmosphere, the smell of the fireplace and some music. Your kids can take a spin in the solar-powered merry-go-round. You can combine it with some grocery shopping cause you can find fresh produce and foods to stock your refrigerator as well.
  7. Family circus Zanzara | December 17th  till January 3rd | Westergasfabriek Think of ‘De Parade’  kind of atmosphere but then with acrobats, live music and fun and breathtaking acts for the whole family. Just watch the video’s here and you know what I mean. You can reserve tickets via 06 33 59 46 95 or go to
  8. Silent Night  | 19 en 20 December | Concertgebouw. Celebrate Christmas with music! The whole family can sing along with all the Christmas songs from Silent night to Jingle bells. There will be lights and ornaments and maybe even some chocolate. For tickets visit 
  9. Christmas event |19 & 20 December |Fruittuinen van West There will be a Christmas market, music and telling story’s around the campfire. More info will follow soon on
  10. Paradiso Playground – Winter Edition-  | December 20th | Tolhuistuin After a sold out edition this summer Playground Paradiso will be back with a winter edition of the mini music festival for kids. Our boys loved it last summer (and so did we) so we will certainly go again.  On the 20th kids can enjoy an afternoon filled with music, gospel songs, pop-up shows (Lilian Jackson (Spargo) and  guitarist Thomas Bekhuis) and songs and stories from Jenny Lenna. Our mini’s can show off their dance moves at the kid’s disco or have their face painted and make balloon guitars. All this while you enjoy your gluhwein. For more info and tickets:
  11. Go ice skating | till February 28th | Museumplein The prettiest ice skate rink in Amsterdam is on the Museumplein. From December 18th – 27th, you can make it a double ice experience with the magical and tasty Christmas Village on Ice* next to the rink. A true adventure of warm winter chalets who offer you a variety of lifestyle, fashion, Christmas gifts, music and delicious food.  
  12. Museum of the Canals | Herengracht 386 Learn how the canals in Amsterdam were created. We visited this museum during Museumnacht and it was amazing. The way they tell the story with the use of media projections is done in such a cool and innovative way. And the house itself is just amazing. During the holidays, the rooms will be decorated abundantly and there will be a huge Christmas tree and the chandeliers will guarantee a jolly Christmassy mood. For more info visit

 (image from: Pinterest )