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18 ideas to get the family out and about this spring, from zip wires to zoos

11:22 08/04/2019
Leave the screens behind and get the whole family to one of these open-air attractions
  1. Walibi is a family-favourite for all ages, including rides such as new roller coaster Tiki-Waka. Aqualibi is a Caribbean-themed indoor pool complex with slides, wave pool and kids’ zone.
    6 April-3 November
  2. Test your acrobatic skills and head for heights at Aventure Parc Wavre, a treetop park with 23 varying routes plus zip line and jump options. From age four.
    Until 11 November
  3. Atop Namur’s citadel, Parc Attractif Reine Fabiola offers traditional playground activities for three- to 12-year-olds plus climbing circuit, go-karts, mini golf, picnic area and cafe with terrace.
  4. Adventure Valley Durbuy is Belgium’s largest adventure park, on an 800-hectare site in Luxembourg province. More than 60 activities (including kayaks, cycling, climbing, escape room, potholing and zip line). Overnight options include glamping, chalets and villas.
  5. Enjoy sport and adventure activities at the Outsider Ardennes, centred on the river Ourthe, quarries and the beautiful countryside.
    Until 30 September
  6. Urban adventurers can explore the historic city of Tournai with a discovery game and family entries to the Belfry and Natural History Museum, with the City Pass Tournai. 
  7. Animal Park Bouillon has native and exotic animals plus a playground and restaurant with terrace.
  8. Pairi Daiza is a zoo and theme park with an Indonesian village and Chinese garden. Animals include elephants, giraffes, rhinos, monkeys, birds, fish, reptiles and bats.
    Until 4 November
  9. You’ll find an abundance of water sports at the Eau d’Heure lakes, plus a nature park and outdoor activities for all ages. Accommodation also available.
  10. Bellewaerde Ypres is slightly off the beaten path, and combines an animal park with rides and waterslides. A stunt show is among attractions for younger visitors.
    Until 3 November
  11. A castle grounds on the outskirts of Antwerp are the idyllic setting for the Middelheim Museum, filled with art installations, large playground and family-friendly restaurant.
  12. The Belgian coast is packed with activities for all ages, from classic kwistax (pedal carts) to traditional water sports and promenade walks. A Coast Pass offers discounts at many sites; children under six travel free on the coastal tram.
  13. Feast of Fools is a temporary exhibition that provides a playful way of visiting the grounds of Gaasbeek castle and discovering works by Flemish and international artists.
    Until 28 July
  14. There are cool art installations for the family at Speelbos Kattenbos, in a Limburg forest. A similar experience can be found at Klankenbos (Forest of Sounds) with its magical noise installations.
  15. Plopsaland De Panne is a theme park near the coast based on the children’s TV series. Roller coasters, playgrounds, water rides and entertainment.
    6 April-5 January
  16. Originally a reserve of Antwerp Zoo, Planckendael shares animal collections, with everything from zebras and giraffes to bonobos and koalas.
  17. Kids’ farm Tivoli Estate offers lots of activities on weekends and during school holidays.
  18. At Mega Speelstad you’ll find a variety of attractions, including rides, bumper cars, mini-bowling, giant Lego room, bouncy castles and fairy-tale village. Adults get in free.

This article first appeared in The Bulletin spring 2019. Pick up your copy in newsagents today...