The Hague in the Netherlands is one of the most enchanting cities in Europe. And if you are looking for a great place to take your kids, then The Hague won’t disappoint. It’s like visiting a fairy-tale land with kings, queens, and castles. Adults and children alike will love this charming European city. There are so many things to do in The Hague with kids, that you shouldn’t even think twice if you’re planning to travel to The Hague with the whole family. In fact, a family trip to this coastal Dutch city is an excellent idea!
This travel guide includes the best attractions and activities in The Hague with kids, plus provides lodging recommendations, and an itinerary for visiting this unique city in the Netherlands.
About The Hague
The Hague is the seat of power and home of the Dutch Royal Family, making it one of the most important cities in the Netherlands. Although Amsterdam is the official capital, The Hague is the administrative center. Here you will find essential government institutions and organizations, including the International Court of Justice, Academy of International Law and the international law library.
While Amsterdam, with its famous and beautiful bridges, is the most popular city for tourism, The Hague, or Den Haag in Dutch, is equally worth visiting.
It’s an easy day trip from Amsterdam, so if you have a limited amount of time it is a great day-trip addition to any Amsterdam itinerary.
Roughly 515,000 people live in The Hague, which is situated on the North Sea coast in the Netherlands. It is the third largest city in the Netherlands, and the only large city with beachfront access. This makes The Hague a very popular summer destination for the Dutch, as well as visitors from other parts of Europe and from around the world.
FIND THE BEST TOURS, DAY TRIPS, AND EXPERIENCES IN HAGUE HERE.
Where to stay in The Hague with kids
If arriving to The Hague by train, the city center near Den Haag Central Station, is one of the best places to stay in the city. Babylon Hotel is conveniently located across from the train station and is just an 8-minute walk from the main shopping area and only 10 minutes from Binnenhof Castle.
Scheveningen is another popular area of The Hague, particularly if you are planning to spend a lot of time at the beach. There are lots of hotels along the beachfront area. From the ultra modern Inntel Hotels Den Haag to the monumental Grand Hotel Amrath Kurhaus there are hotels and apartments in this trendy district for various budgets and travel styles.
Three day itinerary for visiting The Hague with kids
Many people visit The Hague as a day trip from Amsterdam or Rotterdam. However, ideally, you’ll want to give yourself at least 2-3 days in The Hague with kids. This allows you to take in all the popular sites plus fit in plenty of fun activities for children in The Hague. Here is a suggested itinerary to help you plan your visit.
Day 1 in The Hague with kids
- Binnenholf Castle
- Old City
- Lunch near Scheveningen Pier
- SEA LIFE Scheveningen
Day 2 in The Hague with kids
- Palace Noordeinde (Wednesday mornings are best!)
- De Haagse Market (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday)
- Drievliet amusement park
Day 3 in The Hague with kids
- Day trip to Leidschendam
Fun things to do in The Hague with kids
To get the little ones really excited, here is a list of places you can take the entire family when in The Hague.
Walk where royalty once did at Binnenhof Castle and the Old City
The Binnenhof castle compound is the heart of the city. It is a spectacular 13th-century Gothic castle, home to the top government offices in the Netherlands. It is politically and historically significant to the country, and the cool medieval designs could also attract little children. Furthermore, kings, queens and royals once lived here.
The Inner Court in The Hague is perhaps one of the most significant places in the historical Binnenhof compound. Many important events in the Netherlands have taken place in the Inner Court. Be sure to spend some time exploring and take a stroll through the cozy streets of the Old City, as this area has a lot of things to see and do in The Hague.
Explore a miniature city at Madurodam
Madurodam, located in Scheveningen, is another great stop in The Hague with kids. This area has entertained over 50 million people since it first opened in 1952. Hence, it’s safe to say that it is one of the best spots in the city.
Luckily, it was built with little children in mind. It is a theme park that features exact miniature replicas of important Dutch buildings, objects, and landscapes.
To be exact, it is a 1:25 city scale model, complete with tiny traditional buildings and famous landmarks that you can find around the country, like markets, canals, the windmills of Zaanse Schans, or the thatched roof houses like you’ll see in Giethoorn, plus important sites such as Schiphol Airport, the Port of Rotterdam, and Dam Square. Your children will love it! Not only can they see the exhibits, but they can touch and play with them. With that, they can have the whole experience.
You will notice that the little windmills are turning, airplanes moving, boats floating along the canals, and trains running through the park. Indeed, everything is real but in mini sizes!
Another attraction your kids will love is the mini Delta Works section of the park, where they can use water to prevent floods and put out fires. Do you have kids that just enjoy music? The mini-festival stage is where they can mix beats just like their favorite DJs.
You can also join the fun with several hands-on, interactive experiences for visitors of all ages. You and your kids can load containers onto a cargo ship in the miniature port of Rotterdam or help a plane take off at Schiphol.
Madurodam has a heart-warming story behind it. The park was built in memory of George Maduro, a resistance hero during the war. Park revenue was put towards the Madurodam Support Fund Society, which benefits children in need.
Learn about ocean animals at SEA LIFE Scheveningen
SEA LIFE in Scheveningen is another establishment explicitly built with children in mind. Take your kids to SEA LIFE Scheveningen to discover a whole new world underwater. SEA LIFE Scheveningen is an aquarium located across the famous Scheveningen beach.
The place offers plenty of activities for children, with spectacular creatures straight from the depths of the oceans. During open feeding sessions, you and your kids can feed the penguins, otters, and piranhas. The kids can also hold a starfish in their hands at the Touch Pool.
Discover all the fun activities along the Scheveningen Pier
From the aquarium, it is also a good idea for your family to go on a stroll at Scheveningen. Walk along the picturesque seaside port where you’ll find a beautiful beach, an esplanade, a lighthouse, and a pier. The place is a picture-perfect harbor landscape that everyone can surely appreciate.
There are spots specifically for the little ones, as well. Visit the pier and let your children whizz down the zip line, bounce around the Play & Bounce, or take a ride on the SkyView Ferris Wheel.
When visiting in September, make sure to take part in the Kite Festival to see the blue sky filled with streams of different colors. In winter, bring your family to the Cool Event and skate on a covered ice rink on Kurhausplein.
Scheveningen was once a sleepy fishing village but is now a popular seaside resort area. The Scheveningen Pier is a promenade that dates back to the early 20th century and is now an entertainment and shopping complex.
Also found here are Sculptures by the Sea, which were built underground instead of atop the sand dunes. A trip to The Hague is definitely not complete without a visit to Scheveningen, especially when traveling with kids.
Relax or play at Kijkduin beach
Your next stop is Kijkduin, another beach resort with just as much to offer the kids as the nearby Scheveningen. Many say Kijkduin is a hidden paradise that people of all ages will surely love. There are several family-friendly resorts that you could stay in, if looking for a beach vacation.
Stroll down the seaside pavilions, fly a kite with the kids, or just watch them run up and down the famous dunes.
Witness royal traditions at Palace Noordeinde
One of the many enchanting palaces in The Hague is Palace Noordeinde. Although it is amazing to look at, children may not get that excited here unless you visit on a Wednesday morning.
Visit the palace with your family on Wednesday mornings to witness the pomp arrival of a foreign ambassador, listen to the national anthem being played and follow the inspection of the guards. This is always a unique and special moment.
The palace is the working residence of the Dutch monarch, so the palace itself is not open to the public. However, the palace gardens and exterior are accessible for visitors to enjoy.
Palace Noordeinde is located in Haagse Bos, a vast natural park with a 2-kilometer open space and the oldest forests in the Netherlands protected from deforestation since the Middle Ages. This is the perfect place to teach your little ones to appreciate nature. Also, the park’s most notable attraction found inside Haagse Bos is Huis ten Bosch, although it is not open to the public. Huis ten Bosch is a palace surrounded by a moat.
Learn through hands-on play at Museon Museum
The Netherlands is known for its many important museums. Here in The Hague, there is one museum that is especially for the children – the Museon.
The Museon is a museum for culture and science. Your children will be inspired to discover the world and treat it with respect after visiting One Planet, the museum’s central exhibition. They will learn how to take care of our planet and keep it livable for everyone in a fun way. Young visitors will be mesmerized at the NatGeo Focus Gallery and National Geographic’s permanent photo exhibition, which changes themes twice a year.
The Museon’s temporary exhibitions feature an array of topics suitable for kids. They include dinosaurs, space travel, climate change, illusions and the Roman Empire. The museum is never the same because often there are new exhibitions and many activities for the whole family.
Kids can experience and learn things by watching, listening, reading, and doing many things themselves. Also, they don’t have to whisper and can touch many of the exhibits.
Children will definitely love hands-on activities like digging up medieval treasures, designing their own family crests and even snacking on some insects.
Go on a thrill ride at Drievliet Theme Park
After spending time learning and exploring, it’s time to let your children let loose and have a grand time jumping onto exciting rides. Make your way to Drievliet amusement park, and let your kids try the rollercoasters, thrill rides, playgrounds or other safer rides for younger children.
In addition to the rides, Drievliet also offers exciting and adventurous shows, specifically the Jungle Show or the fun-filled pirate spectacle in the Parktheater.
The excitement here is contagious! No worries, though, it’s a small park. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about losing your kids. Drievliet is the perfect day out for your family.
Surround yourself with tropical butterflies
Leidschendam, just outside The Hague, is a great place to spend a day or even just an afternoon. The main draw to Leidschendam is Vlinders aan de Vliet (Butterflies by the Vliet), a tropical oasis that will leave your kids speechless watching hundreds and hundreds of colorful butterflies. There is a variety of butterflies from all of the world’s warmer regions. And because of that, the butterflies are not used to the winter climate, and so the place is open only from February to November.
The place is well-loved by adults and kids, and now it is one of the most frequently visited attractions near The Hague. There are also birds, reptiles, fish and insects to keep the kids fascinated.
Final thoughts about visiting The Hague with kids
The Hague is known as the international center for peace. It had a significant role in promoting peace around the world after the devastating world wars. Yet, The Hague has a fun side to it, too.
It is an amazing destination for little children, with attractions that let them learn and have fun at the same time. Plan your next trip to The Hague with the kids. They will surely have a blast.
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Author Bio: Ask The Dutch Guy is your go-to guide when it comes to The Netherlands. The goal of Ask The Dutch Guy is to showcase the beauty of The Netherlands and to inspire others to explore the country. Read more about Ask The Dutch Guy. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.