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Tour art with kids in Rotterdam North

Did you know that Rotterdam is the city with the most art in public spaces? Everywhere on the streets you can find extraordinary sculptures and murals that you can see for free and for nothing and whenever you want. This time, we created a 3.8 km route consisting of eight artworks through Rotterdam Noord, a colourful and hip working-class neighbourhood full of galleries, vintage shops, kebab shops and lunches. Walk with us?

The walk starts at the back of Central Station (Blijdorp side). Keep the canal on your right.

1. In the city/ The young man on the island (2013) - Henk Visch

Look, there in the water we already see the first sculpture. There is a bronze puppet standing on an island, wide-legged and with his arms in the air. Is he happy or is he waving so exuberantly because he wants to get off the island? Spoorsingel, off number 61.

2. Kryptonian Ice Lake (2013) - Onno Poiesz & Guido Marsille

The concrete tree-trunk benches are perfect for sitting on for a sandwich or a drink, for quietly looking around or actively climbing over. And what are those upturned boots and (precious) stone doing there? Make up an exciting story together. Older kids will probably recognise the reference to Superman in the title. Walk across the Hoevebrug and then turn right into Jacob Loisstraat. Spoorsingel 35, along the footpath.

3. Papekiet (2014) - Albert Kramer

See that greenish-yellow bird with the long tail there on top of the edge? The residents' association thought the white housing complex could use some colour. So Albert Kramer designed the 4.3-metre-high Papekiet. Papewhat? The sculpture is a cross between a parrot and a collared parakeet, hence its unusual name. Using a sensor and two small solar panels, the bird automatically jumps on during the evening twilight. What kind of sound would a Papekiet actually make? We walk down Jacob Loisstraat and then turn left into Van der Sluysstraat. Jacob Loisstraat 33B.

4. Streetart (2019) - Nina Valkhoff

Hip Oude Noorden is the place for colourful murals and this mega-sized artwork is one of them. What an eye-catcher! The botanical painting with the huge bumblebee is an ode to nature and insects that are endangered. Walk right onto Walenburgerweg and cross Schieweg, turn right on Schiekade to Bergweg. Van der Sluysstraat, at number 80.

- Hungry bellies
Got a hearty appetite from all that walking? You can go to Happy Italy from 12 noon. This child-friendly fast Italian with play corner is located in Bergweg Station. It also looks cool inside with all those authentic elements of former train stations. At COPPI Koffie & Fietsen, apart from coffee and food, you can also have your (racing) bike repaired and shop for nice things. In need of a sunny terrace? Then order a delicious bagel and a fresh juice at Bagel & Beans on Eudokiaplein.

5. Mermaid (2006) - Chris Ripken

Wow, this fairytale mermaid made of coloured mosaic is sure to catch your kids' attention. If the weather is nice, they can even cool off a little at the spray fountain next to it. And look closely, at the bottom of the basin swim four golden mermaids! Next to Holy Family Church, behind Eudokia Square, you'll find a small playground. And here, too, we spot art. See the metal monkeys and flowers on the church fa├žade? Of course, you can't walk past city bakery Urban Bakery Rotterdam without buying a tasty cupcake. Eudokiaplein.

From Eudokiaplein, we walk on to Bergweg, past Studio de Bakkerij and then into Bleiswijkstraat.

6. The penguins (2002) - Herman Lamers

We are not even at Blijdorp Zoo and yet today you can see penguins at this play area. The cool thing about these penguins is that you get to touch them too. Do the statues feel smooth or rough? The five-by-five-metre platform, on which the penguins stand, looks like a stage. It has the pattern of geographical rings on the atlas, referring to the origin of the birds, namely the South Pole. Can your kids walk like a penguin too? Bleiswijkstraat 18-20, on the square.

Turn left onto Zegwaardstraat, then right onto the multicultural Zwart Janstraat. Is there a nice little shop for you? Take Noordmolenstraat to get to Noordplein.

- Harvest market & tea drinking
On Noordplein every Saturday, you can do fresh shopping at the Rotterdam Harvest Market. A nice place to taste and enjoy together! Also located here is Lof der Zoetheid, the place to be for the tastiest afternoon tea.

From Noordplein, walk along Heer Bokelweg under the Grafisch Lyceum and emerge on Benthemplein near the Hofplein Youth Theatre.

7. Untitled (1970) - Karel Appel

What bright, contrasting colours this glass-in-concrete relief by famous artist Karel Appel has. If you look closely, you can see different organic shapes in the stained glass. What do you all see in it? The artwork is actually even more beautiful to see from the inside. You can admire it once you go to a performance of Hofplein Youth Theatre. Outside, on the water square, children can play football and basketball, skate, chill and play on the steps. Benthemstraat 13, Zadkine/Hofplein.

We set course towards the Hofbogen and Luchtsingel. Walk back a bit, again under the Grafisch Lyceum and cross Heer Bokelweg to Raampoortstraat.

- Hofbogen
In recent years, this unique part of Rotterdam has emerged as a creative hotspot. In the arches under the old railway line of Noord railway station, you will find food, drinks, fashion and design.

8.Luchtsingel (2015)

The Luchtsingel is the 390-metre-long wooden footbridge connecting Rotterdam North to the city centre. It is decorated with pieces from Ramsey Nasr's poem Mi have a dream. For children, walking across this bright yellow bridge is a real treat!

On Luchtsingel, we walk towards the Passage/Schieblock, eventually ending up back near Central Station, the end point of our walk.

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