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Ideas for a solo teen in AMS for 5 days?

My husband and I have a conference to attend in Amsterdam June 20-24. We extended our trip, booked tickets and invited our 13 year old to join us. Roundtrip through Paris June 11 - June 28. We will be spending 4 nights in Paris then the next 3 in Ghent and Rotterdam before arriving in Amsterdam June 18 - June 28. Our conference is 5 solid days and I'm in the process of trying to find options to fill her time. We were in AMS as a family 3 years ago and then another quick visit just this past Christmas, so we have already done the typical tourist things and I know she feels very comfortable in the city - it's one of her favorites. As a family, we travel quite a bit so she's a seasoned traveler. What I can't seem to locate are any services/guides that I could hire to entertain/keep her safe for the 5 days we are occupied. The hotel doesn't offer concierge service. I was hopeful that she could get some figure skating in as she's an ice skater, but it appears the ice arenas are seasonal/outdoor. She enjoys art, dance, theater, biking, hiking, science. . . Lots and lots of interests . . . Any suggestions?

Posted by
77 posts

While I can think of several tour options you could send her on, like guided bike tours, museum tours etc., she would still need to get to and from the tour meeting point. Have you considered bringing Grandma?

This sounds like a wonderful trip, I hope you find a solution!

Posted by
20 posts

Unfortunately Grandma isn't an option this time.
An ideal solution would be an active college student (female) who could take her on local adventures, but I'm at a loss as to how to connect with one.

Posted by
306 posts

Kellis -
The au pair website can give you the option you are looking for to find a college-age female.
Other options:
You also might contact a church if you are religiously affiliated to see if they have a older youth group.

since she is an ice skater, does she belong to any organizations that might have an affiliation you can contact?

You might consider contacting the sponsors or organization of the conference for help.
Your professional organization may have a website or Facebook page where you might have some luck

Posted by
20 posts

Great suggestions campbelldp! I had glanced through the aupair website previously but based on experience, thought it was geared exclusively to placements in the US. With your suggestion, I went back through and saw that the do have local caregivers listed. So that is definitely helpful!

Still open to ideas if anyone knows of other resources locally. Many thanks!

Posted by
11 posts

Are you Americans? For an additional layer of familiarity that might make things easier, you could reach out to the local American "expat" community for options, resources, or suggestions....perhaps through The American Women's Club:
Or possibly through the American School:, where you might want to engage not only with school administration but with parent groups (such as their equivalents to what we would call the PTA in the US).
Who knows, there might be some summer camp she could fit into....and I understand there are lots of international schools in Amsterdam; see this:

Posted by
20 posts

Thank you Karen. These were all new resources to me. Appreciate the suggestions!

Posted by
2674 posts

I wonder if you can find the equivalent of 'summer camp' for her....though your dates may not sync with a normal camp week. Otherwise, look for workshop/day sessions that deal with her interests. Private art lessons or dance.

Not sure how you would go about it, but how about something like a student exchange where she spends time during the day with a family.
This forum has provided great feedback, but I might also suggest something like tripadvisor forum which might capture a different sector of locals for feedback.

Posted by
20 posts

I am replying to my own post in case it is help to others. I followed up with the suggestions offered and came away with a few more possibilities.
From the American Women's Club suggestion, I received the suggestion of: This company,, advertises with our club and is reputable.
Another suggestion was to find a college student at University of Amsterdam - University of

And finally: There are ~75 museums in Amsterdam, so the odds are in your favour that you will find something that suits her! And don't forget that the beach is only 45 minutes away by car, maybe 1.5 hr by train/bus.

I also got in touch with Rebecca @ Wheely Dutch Bike Tours. From doing various searches, the name came up repeatedly. While she didn't have any bike tours already arranged, she did say that it would be no problem at all for my daughter to join.

As we get a little closer, I will start putting more of the specifics in place. Very happy to have at least a few options available as I think it will be an amazing opportunity for all of us. Thanks for all the suggestions!