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Vondelpark: Amsterdam's Green Oasis
Beloved by locals and popular with tourists, the Vondelpark is a 120-acre oasis of green in buzzing Amsterdam, southeast of the Leidseplein. Opened in 1865 as the Nieuwe Park, it was later renamed after 17th-century Dutch playwright Joost van den Vondel. In the 1960s, Vondelpark was a magnet for peace-loving “flower children.” In the ensuing half-century, it has evolved into a symbol for a place where everything is possible and (almost) everything is allowed. The park hums with activity in summer, when residents converge to enjoy Amsterdam's rare sunshine. Bring cheese, bread, wine, friends, and a few musical instruments to chill on the grass. Vondelpark is home to a skate-rental shop, an open-air theater, a playground, a bandstand, and a rose garden.
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The Parks and Playgrounds of Amsterdam
Amsterdam does playgrounds right. Witness: the triple swing.

Unlike the anodyne, paranoia-driven parks of the United States, these playgrounds are meant to make kids dirty and proud. Water flows into sand and dirt freely. Rickety wooden play structures encourage imagination.

We also sampled the wares at Sarphatipark, in the De Pijp neighborhood, and the perfectly placed play structure on Museumplein outside the Rijksmuseum. Both were pronounced excellent by our expert.
The Parks and Playgrounds of Amsterdam Amsterdam  The Netherlands

Rock 'n Roll at Friday Night Skate
If you're a sporty type, there's hardly a better way to tour Amsterdam than on wheels. Not the kind that attach to a bicycle frame, but those you strap onto your feet for a skating adventure. If the streets are dry, you can join one on any Friday night at Vondelpark, when local skaters convene for a 20km roll around the city. If you're not skilled enough to brake well, opt for a more conventional way to see the Dutch capital. With skating skills that are up to speed, partake in a tradition that's been bringing out folks to rock 'n roll on wheels since 1997.

Friday Night Skates are held year-round, barring mega-inclement weather. Anyone can participate, free of charge. Helmets and other protective gear are encouraged. On holidays, there are special theme tours, including a masquerade skate on Halloween and Santa Skate in December for which you can purchase Mr. & Mrs. Claus outfits. Check the website for weekly updates.
Rock 'n Roll at Friday Night Skate Amsterdam  The Netherlands

Get around like the locals in Amsterdam
Of course you have to rent a bike when you're in Amsterdam. I rented this one from a small shop near the place I was staying, in Jordaan.

A great day: get to the Anne Frank house early, when lines are a bit shorter, then walk a block down Bloemgracht when you've finished your tour to find the little bike shop, called Bike City. Then spend the rest of your day riding around the city. Don't miss nearby Vondelpark. There's plenty to explore, especially on bike, and it was both active and relaxing at the same time.
Get around like the locals in Amsterdam Amsterdam  The Netherlands

The city’s largest park is also its most popular although it rarely feels crowded. It’s a pleasant place to enjoy the outdoors after a visit to the nearby Rijksmuseum. Choose to stroll in the shade of the chestnut trees or relax on the grass beside one of Vondelpark’s many ponds. Within the park you can find a lovely rose garden, a few cafés and an open-air theater where free shows sometimes play.
Vondelpark Amsterdam  The Netherlands

1071 Amsterdam, Netherlands