New expat moms often ask me what activities are available for kids in Brussels, Belgium. Not being a parent myself, I was always at a loss for advice. So, I decided to ask the experts – the expat Moms themselves.
They pulled through with some great advice we share, in their words, below. We’ve also compiled a list of blogs and resources for parents in Belgium, at the bottom of this post.
Stephanie Manasseh – Founder of the Accessible Art Fair and Mom to daughters aged 7 and 4.
I love taking my kids to Park Georges Henri in Woluwe St Lambert. The park is small enough for them to run around without worrying too much about them going astray. There is a nice flat area for them to cycle in and some great green space for picnics in warmer weather.
They built a fantastic sandbox with climbing frames, swings, and slides for the bigger kids and there is a smaller area for smaller ones nearby. There is an area for parents to sit and often people end up chatting, so it’s a great place to meet people! Capoue, which serves up the best ice cream in Brussels is nearby.
I also like taking them to Cook and Book where it’s kids friendly. There is a great big space out front for kids to play and burn off some energy!
Nicole Gustafsson – Writes about her ‘beautiful adventure in Brussels’ at Life of Bear and Dragon, which includes loads of great ideas for parents. She’s Mom to a 1-year-old daughter.
If your best time of day falls in the afternoon then it doesn’t get better than Maison Ouverte in Woluwe Saint-Lambert. Easily accessible by metro, Maison Ouverte sports a beautiful playroom with space for both those working on tummy time and those perfecting their chalkboard artistry. Friendly staff, shiny new toys and good company make this my go to spot for weekdays in Brussels. Read more about Maison Ouvert on Nicole’s blog.
Apolina Fos – Creator of the delicious Bombay- Bruxelles food and recipe blog.
There are also several indoor playgrounds: Funny Club (ages 1-10) at 7 Place J.B. Degrooff in Woluwé. [You can find a listing and ratings of other indoor playgrounds at Le Petit Moutard]
Otherwise, long walks in the Soignies forest, or in one of the parks in Brussels is our favourite way of passing time.
For older kids, there’s the Poseidon Sports complex, which has a skating rink that keeps them occupied if they still have the energy after swimming. [Children’s swimming classes are available here from ages 3+]
Sandra Amorim – Writes about ‘the Adventure of having children in Brussels’ at BXL Sprout, a fantastic resource for parents in Brussels. She’s Mom to two boys, 3 years and 8 months.
Technopolis – Technologielaan, 2800 Mechelen – Just a 20min drive from Brussels, Technopolis is a truly hands-on science centre which caters to just about all age groups. Inside the big complex, you can find The Children’s Science Centre (TCSC), for ages 4-8 – but don’t let this put you off if you have younger children; my 3yo son loves this place. Inside TCSC you find an entire town, with a working crane to build a house, an ambulance with working sirens, vegetable patch, pizzeria, garage and a bank where you can even print your own money with your picture on the bills! This area is closed to visitors without small children and the button to open the doors from the inside is out of children’s reach, so they are in a safe, age-appropriate area where they can wander freely without the fear of getting lost. Within the area, there is also a child-friendly restroom with a changing table. Don’t forget to have a look at the rest of the centre. Both my 3yo and 8mo love the water elephant near the cafeteria!
Not sure what to do with older kids, in Brussels? Back in 2011, we had a great guest post from Brussels expat Janice, on 5 Teen-Friendly Activities In and Around Brussels.
Here is a great map of indoor activities for parents and children, created by one of our readers.
Need even more advice and inspiration on what to do with your kids in Belgium? Here are some more resources and blogs for expat parents in Belgium:
- Brussels Childbirth Trust
- Brussels Before Primary
- BXL Sprout
- Excursion en Famille (French)
- Flour Child
- Good Night, Sleep Tight
- Life of Bear and Dragon
- The Little Explorer (English, French, Dutch)
- Twice Mice
- Waterstones English bookstore holds a children’s reading every 3rd Sunday afternoon.
Do you have a favourite activity you do with your kids in Belgium? Have a blog or resource we should add to our list? Leave your advice in the comments below.