We will be in Amsterdam in July with our daughter. I am sure we could easily fill three days in Amsterdam, but would you recommend taking a day or half day and traveling out of Amsterdam? We'd be interested in seeing something a bit more rural. Any suggestions for nearby towns / activities that would appeal to a 10-year old? Thanks!
Do you have Rick Steves Amsterdam, Bruges, and Brussels? If not, I'd recommend getting it. Despite the title, he doesn't just cover those three places, but has EXTENSIVE descriptions of daytrips from Amsterdam, as well as all the logistics (most are easy by train, but a few are more complicated). He also covers Ghent and Antwerp, if you're going to Belgium on this trip.
I don't have children and a friend has my copy of the book, so I can't make specific recommendations. But I remember that there are several places where you can see demonstrations of old rural ways (and probably participate as well), and some where you can see windmills. The train museum in Utrecht is very child-friendly, if you're daughter's interested in that, and Utrecht is a lovely smaller city (but it's not rural, so maybe not what you want).
You all might enjoy Zaans Schans, a recreated village with windmills and crafts people.
Or go to the beach http://www.zandvoort-holland.com/
Or just go to Voldelpark for outdoor time, it is very near museumplein.
And in musemplein you can climb on the IAMSTERDAM letters and have an outdoor picnic.
Enjoy the trip!
If the weather turns foul you might consider the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam. It's a highly interactive anthropological collection of exhibits that include art, music and dwellings primarily of cultures near the equator. It seemed to be designed for kids. It certainly brought out the kid in me.
My father is Dutch and we spent summers growing up in Holland. I'm going in August with my husband and two boys age 8 & 9. Here are some ideas from my itinerary that I loved doing as a child.
Day in Amsterdam -- Ann Frank House / Boat tour
Maduradam in morning / Scheveningen (Beach) in afternoon
Maduradam is a miniature town near Scheveningen -- http://www.madurodam.nl/en/
Scheveningen Beach -- http://www.holland.com/global/tourism/article/scheveningen.htm
Boating in Giethoorn through out the canals in kayak or small motor boat
Tershcelling Beach-- Take a ferry boat in the morning and rent bikes and ride to the beach. Fun fun day.
Biking through Friesland Windmills