Kids may get bored in Amsterdam's art museums, but they're likely to be interested in the Anne Frankhuis. At Tropenmuseum Junior, Linnaeusstraat 2 (tel. 020/568-8233; www.tropenmuseum.nl; tram: 9, 10, or 14), a section of the Tropenmuseum, kids learn about exotic tropical countries and their people through stories, songs, dances, games, and paintings. The Science Center NEMO does a good job of appealing to the inner nerd. Madame Tussauds is always fun for kids, though if they're too young, they could be frightened by the wax statues.
Children can be amateur farmers for a while at Geitenboerderij Ridammerhoeve, Nieuwe Meerlaan 4 (tel. 020/645-5034; www.geitenboerderij.nl; bus: 170 or 172), inside the Amsterdamse Bos. They get to feed 150 goats and lambs (along with chickens, a calf or two, and a few potbelly hogs); clean coops and pens; milk a goat; bottle-feed baby animals; and maybe even, between the months of January and April, be lucky enough to see kid goats being born. On Saturdays, they can watch goat's milk being turned into cheese. The farm is open Wednesday to Monday from 10am to 5pm; admission is free.
Before taking the kids back to the hotel for a nap, take them out to the tiny Kinderboerderij De Dierencapel, Bickersgracht 207 (tel. 020/420-6855; bus: 18, 21, or 22), an urban petting zoo in the Western Islands neighborhood, west of Centraal Station. Endearing piglets, kids (of the goat species), lambs, chickens, ducks, and rabbits nibble, root, and peck along the banks of the Bickersgracht canal; there's a play area too. It's not a bad place to bring a picnic when the weather's fine. The petting zoo is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to 5pm; admission is free.
Equally entertaining is Kinderboerderij De Pijp, Lizzy Ansinghstraat 82 (tel. 020/664-8303; www.kinderboerderijdepijp.nl; tram: 12 or 25), a children's farm off Ferdinand Bolstraat in the down-at-the-heels De Pijp (the Pipe) urban district south of the center. Here, in addition to the animals mentioned above, kids can get close to donkeys, ponies, peacocks, and turkeys. The farm is open Monday to Friday from 11am to 5pm, and Saturday to Sunday from 1 to 5pm; admission is free.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.