When in Amsterdam it's got to be TUNFUN!

If, by chance, you find yourself in the city of Amsterdam and you are with the kids - especially if they are restless and tired of the golden history, canals, bicycles, and anything faintly resembling tourism - it is highly suggested you get your children over to Mr Visserplein near to Waterlooplein. In a reclaimed section of automobile underpass is situated a sort of amusement park called 'TunFun'. A fairly well known secret to many a parent in the city, it is the ultimate in everything geared to natural energy and excitement. Of course, the place is not filled with mechanical rides, rollercoasters, or anything associated with a typical amusement park in the USA. No, this place relies on good old-fashioned physical imagination. A large playground (huge in the eyes of a 5 year old) with just about anything you can think of to entertain enthusiastic children! I witnessed the place on two different occasions, once while crowded with roaring children, and the other occasion with just a handful. The setup is designed to appeal to any child aged from 1 - 12 years old, and a few adults willing to risk getting stuck in one of the climbing tunnels. There are large sections of climbing apparatus, crawling space, and slides. There are two or three different plastic ball 'pools' (one with a slide), there are trampolines, and even a bouncy castle (if my mind did not deceive me). Further, there is even an indoor soccer field, a small disco, beauty parlour, and seperate areas for smaller children. My kids loved the array of things to do so much, that after 10 minutes their shirts were off and they were burning up a storm. They move so fast through everything that it is almost pointless to try and keep up with them! And, TunFun is a safe and secure setting. You don't have to feel like you have to be on top of the kids - they come and go, usually appearing out of nowhere for a quick drink or snack. Most parents sit in the central area where all child traffic moves to and fro - this is where the cafe is situated with plenty of benches. Some parents chat in groups, some read the newspaper, some just look relieved that their children are having fun - tons of fun! Personally, I only wished the cafe offered slightly better choices for snacks and drink - not that the kids complained. But, seeing the excitement on their faces made this small complaint a fleeting one. Children, unable to communicate in the same language became instant friends - and there was rarely a child misbehaving, if at all. The staff were very welcoming and friendly too. My children especially loved these scooter-type things that rode close to the ground called SmartKarts. The children had figured out fast that you could take the thing to one end of the place and coast down to the center using what used to be one of the car lanes - quite a distance for kids. And zooming past me, I could see that it was going to be like returning to hell trying to get my kids out of the place. Eventually, on both occasions, I did - but be prepared to let them fly, tumble, run, crawl, and bounce for a good few hours. Bring a good book, you'll get to read it, I promise. TunFun has a website where you can get all the information you need, and thankfully it comes in English as well. SO, if you think you have an equally fun, or interesting, place for kids in your town or city, we'd like to hear about it here at nonchalantmom. We're all into sharing great ideas! Email us at ideas@nonchalantmom.com.

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