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7 kid friendly museums in Rotterdam

By Melissa Moncada Castillo
August 17, 2020

Museums are fun and educational. And Rotterdam has dozens of great museums to offer. But it’s no secret that not every museum is suitable for a visit with (young) children. Of course they should be able to enjoy themselves. Fortunately, there are some amazing kid friendly museums in Rotterdam!

Be sure to check out these things to do in Rotterdam with kids!


1. Museum Rotterdam

Musem Rotterdam heeft genoeg kindvriendelijke exposities en activiteiten voor kinderen! Dat maakt het een heel kindvriendelijk museum in Rotterdam.

Photo by Melissa Moncada Castillo.

In the heart of the city center you will find Museum Rotterdam (location Timmerhuis), our city museum. The museum tells the story of the people of Rotterdam and of Rotterdam, in all its multicultural, raw, hard-working and no-nonsense glory.

There is a special section for young kids: Kidstown. In Kidstown toddlers can go wild with large Lego bricks and there is a cool large dollhouse. And at the craft table, the kids can colour, draw and build their own metropolis with smaller building blocks.

In Kids Town van Museum Rotterdam kunnen kinderen lekker bouwen met de bouwstenen! Zo kunnen ze hun eigen metropool bouwen.

Photo by Melissa Moncada Castillo.

In the exhibition ‘Geschiedenis van de stad’ (‘History of the city’), kids learn everything about how Rotterdam has grown from a small town to a metropolis. For this exhibition, the kids receive a fun activity booklet: ‘Tijdreis Rotterdam’, which means ‘Time Travel Rotterdam’.

But there is more: during the summer holidays from 18 July to 30 August, primary school children can go to the museum with their jeugdvakantiepaspoort for the exhibition ‘Leeuwen op de Coolsingel’ (‘Lions on the Coolsingel’).

In short: plenty to discover and see for children in this special museum and according to Kidsproof Rotterdam, the museum is 100% Kidsproof.

Despite everything that Museum Rotterdam has to offer, however, it threatens to close after a negative advice on the subsidy for 2021/2024. This shouldn’t happen, so sign the petition to save Museum Rotterdam!


Rodezand 26, 3011 AN Rotterdam


2. Belasting & Douane Museum

Het Belasting en Douane Museum in Rotterdam is verrassend kindvriendelijk. Het museum leert kinderen meer over deze onderwerpen op een grappige, en vooral speelse manier!

Photo by Melissa Moncada Castillo.

At first glance, the topics “tax” and “customs” do not really make you think of something that can be fun for children. The Belasting & Douane Museum (Tax & Customs Museum) proves that the opposite is true. The museum knows how to make these subjects understandable for kids in a fun and above all playful way.

First of all, there is the Customs deck, a play deck where children can scan suitcases, just like at a real airport, but also “sail” in the customs boat with a simulator. Or they can use a simulator to take on the role of Doerak, the cuddly variant of the customs dog and mascot of the Museum.

Toddlers can indulge themselves with small variants of container ships and cranes or be creative with colouring pictures in the drawing corner. And there is a large picture book that children can use to browse around Schiphol.

Allereerst is er in het Belasting en Douane Museum het Douanedek, een speeldek waar kinderen koffers kunnen scannen zoals op een echt vliegveld, maar ook in de douaneboot met een simulator kunnen “varen”. Of ze kunnen via een simulator in de huid van Doerak kruipen, de aaibare variant van de douanehond en mascotte van het Museum. Peuters kunnen hun hart ophalen met kleine varianten van containerschepen en hijskranen of in de tekenhoek lekker creatief bezig zijn met kleurplaten. En er is een groot prentenboek, waarmee kinderen kunnen rondsnuffelen op Schiphol.

Photo by Melissa Moncada Castillo.

Fun and educational workshops for children are organized throughout the year, such as the workshop ‘Ben jij een goede douanier?’ (‘Are you a good customs officer?’).

For children from 7 years old there is the scavenger hunt, with which children can learn about taxes in a playful way. After all the research and learning, you can eat and drink with your kids in the Museum Café, which has a beautiful garden.


Parklaan 14-16, 3016 BB Rotterdam


3. Maritiem Museum

De indoor tentoonstelling van het Maritiem Museum in Rotterdam heeft talloze toestellen, zoals een zeilboot en een glijbaan in de vorm van een boot. De outdoor tentoonstelling is eigenlijk een speelversie van een haven. Je kids zullen wel even zoet zijn met zoveel te ontdekken en te spelen!

Photo by Melissa Moncada Castillo.

The Maritime Museum is one of the most kid friendly museums in Rotterdam. The aim of the museum is to raise awareness of the great influence of the maritime world on daily life.

There are fun and educational exhibitions for children of various ages, such as the exhibition ‘Zeemonsters’ (‘Sea Monsters’) (4+), ‘Offshore Experience’ (8+) and ‘Dealing with drugs’ (14+).

My personal favourite is ‘Professor Plons’, a fantastic indoor and outdoor exhibition for the little ones where they can learn in a playful way about everything related to boating and the harbour. There is a large ship where they can catch fish, but where they can also play as if they were at sea.

The indoor exhibition has numerous devices, such as a sailing boat and a slide in the shape of a boat. The outdoor exhibition is actually a play version of a harbor. Your kids will love having so much to discover and play!

Tip: buy your ticket to the Maritime Museum before your visit here!


Leuvehaven 1, 3011 EA Rotterdam


4. Villa Zebra

Villa Zebra is het kindermuseum van Rotterdam. In dit museum kunnen kinderen kennismaken met kunst door interactie ermee.

Photo by Melissa Moncada Castillo.

Villa Zebra is Rotterdam’s children’s museum. In this museum, kids can become acquainted with art by interacting with it.

For children from 2 to 6 years old there is the permanent exhibition ‘Zelf’ or ‘Self!’ where they come into contact with contemporary art in a playful way. The art installations in ‘Zelf!’ stimulate the imagination, language development, motor skills and creativity of young children.

There is the ‘De Groentekraam’ (The Vegetable Stall) where children can sell vegetables and ‘Circus Gibra’, where they can perform an act.

For children from 6 to 12 years old there is the ‘Woekerende Moestuin’ (Proliferating Vegetable Garden’). Based on the work of twelve artists, children here discover the theme of growth and bloom and they can follow an art workshop!


Stieltjesstraat 21, 3071 JV Rotterdam


5. Natuurhistorisch museum

“Een doodleuk museum” is de slogan van het Natuurhistorisch museum. En dat is het ook! Zeker schoolgaande kinderen kunnen hier hun hart ophalen: er worden namelijk altijd leuke speurtochten, workshops of andere activiteiten georganiseerd.

Photo by Melissa Moncada Castillo.

“A doodleuk museum” (which literally means a dead fun museum) is the slogan of the Natural History Museum. And that is exactly what it is! Especially school-going children can indulge themselves here: fun treasure hunts, workshops or other activities are always organized.

De exposities Biodiversiteit en Uitslovers zijn mijn persoonlijke favorieten: je kinderen zullen hun ogen uitkijken met zoveel prachtige en soms enorme opgezette dieren, wat is de natuur toch mooi!

Photo by Melissa Moncada Castillo.

Although the museum does not have special installations for young children, there is certainly plenty for them to see! The permanent exhibitions of the Natural History Museum are not only educational, but also very impressive for toddlers.

The exhibitions ‘Biodiversity and Exclusives’ are my personal favorites: your kids will be amazed with so many beautiful and sometimes enormous stuffed animals, nature is so beautiful!


Westzeedijk 345, 3015 AA Rotterdam


6. Wereldmuseum

Leer alles over culturen in het heden en het verleden in het Wereldmuseum in Rotterdam.

The Wereldmuseum tells stories about people and wants to inspire an open view of the world. A beautiful vision that the museum also wants to propagate in the current crisis.

In the permanent exhibition ‘Superstraat’, children can see how they are doing in the 1.5 meter society! In 75 minutes you and your kids will visit four neighbors who would like to keep a safe distance. Who will be the 1.5 meter champion?


Willemskade 25, 3016 DM Rotterdam


7. Museum Rotterdam: ‘40-’45 Nu

In addition to the main location (see above under 1), Museum Rotterdam also has a location that focuses on the bombing of Rotterdam during the Second World War.

In the exhibition ‘De Bouwplaats’ (‘The Construction Site’), kids from the age of 8 learn what it was like for Rotterdammers to lose everything during the war, but also how they managed to slowly but surely build the city into the metropolis that it is today with perseverance and hard work.


Coolhaven 375, 3015 GC Rotterdam


Hopefully you’ve found a great museum to visit with your family! These 7 fun and kid friendly museums in Rotterdam are ideal for a fun and educational day out with the kids. What is your favourite museum in Rotterdam? Share it in the comments below!


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