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Family fun – activities for all ages in Brussels and beyond

18:46 29/03/2013
The Easter holidays may have kicked off with a flurry of snow and the forecast remains unseasonably chilly, but theme parks and attractions around the country are all opening their doors. Here’s a lowdown on outdoor – and fortunately some indoor – entertainment for all the family

Brussels

Atomium – Kids’ sphere

Square de l’Atomium (02.475.4775)

Mon, Tue, Thu (excluding public holidays), 18.00-10.00 Educational project invites primary-school children (six to 12) to spend the night in one of the spheres.

Cirque Royal

81 Rue de l’Enseignement

APR 6, 14.00 Oui-oui et le grand carnival, Noddy show (in Fr).

C Ramic Art Café

112 Rue Lebroussart (02.648.4872)

Wed & Fri, 14.00-19.00, Thu, 14.00-23.00, Sat & Sun, 10.00-18.00 Ceramics workshops for children and adults.

Le Wolf  

18 Rue de la Violette (02.512.1230)

MAR 31, 11.00-12.30; APR 1, 14.00-15.30 Brunch: book reading and Easter egg hunt (in Fr; ages four to seven).

Océade

Bruparck, 3 Voetbal en Kampioenschapslaan (02.478.4320)

Sat, Sun, public & school holidays, 10.00-22.00; APR-JUN, Tue, Wed, Thu & Fri, 10.00-18.00; Sat & Sun, 10.00-21.00Family water park plus sauna.

Mini Europe

Bruparck, 20 Boulevard du Centenaire (02.474.1313)

Until JUN 30, 9.30-18.00; JUL 1-AUG 31, 9.30-20.00 Mini Europe.

JUL 20, 27 & AUG 3, 10, 17, 22.30-00.00 Mini-Europe By Night with musical fireworks.

Parc de Bempt

323 Chaussée de Neerstalle (02.376.6996)

APR 27-OCT 6, Sat, Sun & public holidays, 14.00-18.00; JUL & AUG, Sun & public holidays, 14.00-18.00 The Small Steam Train of Forest, a picturesque trail of almost 1km.

Royal Park

Parc de Bruxelles (02.279.6424)

MAY, JUN, SEP, Wed, Sat & Sun, 15.30; JUL & AUG Wed-Sun, 15.30 Guignol au goûter, 11th edition of the international puppet show that will entertain young and old.

Tour & Taxis

86C Avenue du Port (0900.87.900)

Until MAY 31, Mon-Fri, 10.00-17.00, Sat, Sun, school & public holidays Inside the Station: Princess Elisabeth Antarctica Exhibition. Experience daily life in the frozen south and the importance of polar science.

Théâtre La Montagne Magique

57 Rue du Marais (02.210.1590)

APR 17, 15.00, April 20, 18.00 La cigogne et le coucou, staged by Agnès Limbos (in Fr; five and up). APR 21, 15.00 La collection Crayoni (in Fr; eight and up).

Wolubilis

251 Avenue Paul Hymans (02.761.6030)

APR 21, 10.00 Children’s Day (parents also admitted): Shows, activities and workshops. Includes Bramborry by Théâtre de la Guimbarde and Theater De Spiegel (two-and-a-half and up; in Fr) at 11.30.

 
Outside Brussels

Adventure (Durbuy)

1 Rue de Rome (086.21.28.15)

Until SEP 30, 9.30-18.30; OCT 1-NOV 3, 10.00-16.30 Belgium’s largest adventure park is hidden away in an 800-hectare wooded site, just outside the country’s self-proclaimed smallest city, Durbuy. The Ardenne park offers more than 60 activities plus numerous accommodation options.

Adventure Park (Wavre)

152 Rue Sainte Anne (010.22.33.87)

Until NOV 11, 10.00-18.30 (see website for full dates and times) Treetop adventure for all the family at Bierges. Three courses graded by difficulty plus free-climbing area, a course for younger children, bungee jump and new forest jump. New this season is a space jump that propels you to a height of 17m.

Aventure Parc, Wavre

Antwerp Zoo

26 Koningin Astridplein (03.202.45.40)

Daily from 10.00; JUL & AUG, until 19.00 Located next to Antwerp’s Central station, one of Europe’s oldest zoos has a population of more than 5,000 animals. It opens this season with new and interactive areas including a bird palace, hippo universe and a new activity in which zookeepers talk about their work.

Blegny Mine

23 Rue Lambert Marlet (04.387.43.33)

Tours in French, daily, 11.00, 13.30 & 15.30; Sun & public holidays also 14.30 Industrial heritage site (recognised by Unesco) just outside Liège. Guided tours and group visits plus a cruise programme and gourmet tour. Audio guide in English, Dutch and German.

Bobbejaanland (Kasterlee)

45 Olensteenweg

Until NOV 3 (see website for full dates and times) Family amusement park founded by the late pioneering Flemish pop/country singer songwriter Bobbejaan Schoepen. Attractions for all ages including thrill and water rides and a spinning coaster called Dizz, created for the park’s 50th anniversary in 2011.

Boudewijn Seapark (Bruges)

12 Alfons de Baeckestraat

Easter holidays 10.00-17.00 (see website for full dates and times) Dolphins, attractions and plenty of activities for younger children.

Brussels Kart (Groot-Bijgaarden)

11 Alfons Gossetlaan (02.467.28.00)

Daily, Mon-Fri, 12.00-midnight; Sat & Sun, 9.00-midnight Indoor and outdoor karting for individuals and groups. Children’s sessions, Sat & Sun, 9.00-13.00.

Caves of Han-sur-Lesse

2 Rue Joseph Lamotte (084.37.72.13)

Until AUG 31 (see website for full dates and times) Spectacular underground natural domain near Rochefort. Plus tourist train, safari and themed events throughout the year.

Chevetogne Provincial Domain

MAR 30-NOV 30, 9.00-18.00 (see website for full dates and times) Nature, recreation and cultural park close to the town of Ciney in Namur province. The 550-hectare site includes themed playground areas, nature museum, sporting facilities and restaurants plus numerous accommodation possibilities. MAY 4 & 5 Passion Robinson International fair for huts, gypsy caravans and treetop cabins.

Domein Bokrijk (Genk)

1 Bokrijklaan (011.265.300)

Until SEP 29, 10.00-18.00 (closed public holidays) Outdoor museum and adventure park with nature walks, cycle paths and children’s attractions, including pottery, crafts, horse and cart rides.

Ecoparks Adventures (Tournai)

1 Rue de l’Orient (0474.0770.68)

MAR 30-NOV 3, daily during school holidays, 13.00-19.00 Treetop adventure park with numerous options for families, plus more than 60 workshops and activities, including two 300m-high zip wires (ages six and up).

Euro Space Center (Transinne)

1 Rue Devant les Hêtres (061.65.01.33)

All year round The educational and recreational centre is next to the E411 motorway, in the centre of the Ardennes. It provides information on astronomy in Belgium and holds family space weekends.

Labyrinth (Barvaux)

Rue Basse Commène

JULY 6-OCT 2, daily, 10.30-19.30 Giant maze made out of maize. This year’s theme is Robin Hood with installations and activities. Mini maze for the under-eights.

Pairi Daiza (Brugelette)

1 Le Domaine

Until NOV 3, 10.00-18.00 Formerly known as Parc Paradisio, the 55-hectare zoo and theme park includes an Indonesian village and Chinese garden. There are 5,000 animals on show including elephants, giraffes, rhinoceroses, monkeys, birds, fish, reptiles and bats. Built in the gardens of a ruined Cistercian abbey, an additional attraction for less-junior members of the family is the newly reconstructed Cambron Brewery, producing four brews.

Pairi Daiza

Pass (Frameries)

3 Rue de Mons (070.22.22.52)

Mon, Tue, Thu & Fri, 10.00-16.00 (18.00 during school holidays); for other days check the website Interactive science exhibitions for children and adults plus themed activities.

Planckendael Zoo (Mechelen)

582 Leuvensesteenweg

Easter holidays, MAY & JUN until 18.00; JUL & AUG until 19.00 (see website for full dates and times) The animal park was originally a reserve of Antwerp Zoo. The two zoos now share animal collections. Planckendael also runs a nature conservation programmes. Additional activities for children.

Plopsaland (De Panne)

De Pannelaan

Until AUG 31, daily during school holidays; otherwise Wed, Sat & Sun (see website for full dates and times) Theme park on the Belgian coast with figures from Flemish children’s TV series. Includes six roller coasters and two water rides.

Plopsa Indoor (Hasselt)

Grenslandhallen

Until AUG 31, daily during school holidays; otherwise Wed, Sat & Sun (see website for full dates and times) Indoor theme park with figures from Flemish TV children’s series.

Rail-bikes (Dinant)

116 Rue de la Molignée, Warnant; 82 Rue de la Gare, Falaën

Ongoing Ride the rail tracks on special trolleys in the scenic valley between the Meuse and Sambre rivers. Departs from Warnant or Falaën with a choice of tracks (takes 90 minutes to three hours).

Sea Life Blankenberge

116 Koning Albert 1 Laan (050.42.43.00)

Daily 10.00-17.00 Aquariums with more than 2,500 creatures from all over the world, including sharks.

Walibi & Aqualibi (Wavre)

100 Blvd de l’Europe

Until NOV 3, 10.00-18.00 (see website for full dates and times) Theme park plus tropical swimming pool complex. Attractions for all ages, including high-thrill and water rides.

Aqualibi

 

Written by Sarah Crew