You know what’s a godsend for people in Amsterdam with kids? The kinderbadje at Westerpark, that’s what!
Thanks to last weekend’s spectacular sunshine, we’ve practically been living at the Westerpark kinderbadje, or paddling pool, for the last couple of days. It’s a wonder we haven’t grown webbing between our toes. Now that quite a few of my friends and I have little ones, it’s much harder to get together for a picnic on a sunny day. I blame the kiddie pools—it’s next to impossible to tear friends away from their neighborhood kinderbadje.
Naturally, I think the one in our neighborhood is the coolest. A few reasons why:
- Water is changed daily, and contains no chemicals because it’s recycled to irrigate the greenery in the park. Clean and green!
- A grassy, sunny slope right next to the pool is perfect for sunbathing and picnics.
- Right around the corner from a good lunch, wood-fired pizza, quality coffee (they have flat whites!), even mussels and gin and tonics. Not that babies should have coffee or gin and tonics, but hey, we parents need to get through the day somehow.
- Ice cream! How can you not end a summer day at the pool with ice cream? Just a few meters away, Ijscuypje also makes sorbet milkshakes with rum—strictly for Mama and Papa, of course.
It was Tala’s first time at the pool last Friday, and this certified water baby is hooked. She loves crawling on her hands and feet in the shallows…
then taking great shaky strides with one hand with a death grip on Mama, the other splashing in the water.
Most of all, she’s fascinated by the older kids, squealing in delight (perhaps even envy) when she sees them swim, splash and run. I’m hoping it inspires her to get up on her own two feet and run after them… or am I?
These pictures of Tala at the kinderbadje were enough to get Papa packing up and leaving the office at 3:30 p.m. on a Friday! Thankfully, this is the Netherlands, where doing so is considered totally normal on a warm day. Marlon wasn’t the only dad in his office clothes at the pool, I can tell you that.
Having Tala is making me rediscover my city in a whole new way—call it Amsterdam 2.0, or Amsterdam with kids. With her chubby little hand in mine and the sun on both our faces, I can’t wait to experience more.