Amsterdam has many parks within the city area, the most popular and largest of all is Vondelpark. Its history as a park, dates back to the middle of the 19th century and was first opened to the public in 1865. It is centrally located to the south of the city center and is frequented by locals as well as tourists.
The park now covers over 120 acres and is filled with beautiful trees, shrubs, lakes, an open-air theatre and children's activity areas. There is a combination of wide open spaces, as well as more manicured areas such as the formal rose garden. These areas are intertwined with winding pathways and park tracks through the forested areas.
The park is named after the Dutch poet and writer Joost van den Vondel, whose statue can be found within the park. The park plays host to several free outdoor entertainment performances including plays and concerts. These are usually held in the summertime when the weather is conducive to outdoor activities.
There is plenty to do and see especially for children with six different playgrounds to choose from. The Film museum, which is the national center for film in the Netherlands, is also located near the center of the park. They put on performances for children on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons.
Near the center of the park, close to the location of the Film museum is the Vertigo café where you can get a light snack or meal as well as some wine and, of course, beer. Other eateries include the Groot Melkuis (The Big Milkhouse), 'tBlauwe Theehuis (The Blue Teahouse), Vodeling and the Vondeltuin (Vondelgarden).
Vondel Park is a fantastic green oasis, though it is often crowded with joggers, skateboarders, walkers and people sunbathing when the weather is fine but there will always be areas to find solitude and to relax.
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