Children’s activities

A few ideas for children’s activities in Belgium. They range from outdoor walks and cycle rides, woodland exploration, play activities, to some museums that cater for the younger generation.

Leuven Botanical Garden

The Leuven Botanical Garden may be one of the smallest botanical gardens in Belgium, but it’s one of the most charming. It’s small enough to cover in an hour or two; it’s well laid out; and easily accessible with wheelchairs and children’s buggies.

Peregrine falcons in Brussels 2014

April 2014 update: Four eggs laid, three hatched and the youngsters doing well! Click here for a live link to the video stream!

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April 2013 update: The peregrines are back in the cathedral tower, and the female has already laid her eggs and is brooding them. You can see a live webcam of the nest here. Read the article below for background information onthese great birds, in the middle of Brussels.

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April 2012 update: this year’s eggs have just hatched: click and watch this video.

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Check out this great video (April 2011) of the peregrine falcon chicks in the center of Brussels!

St. Michael and St. Gudula’s Cathedral, Brussels

If you think that the only city birds present in Brussels are pigeons, jackdaws and those flashily feathered but annoyingly noisy parakeets, then you are in for a big surprise. Breeding in one of the busiest areas of the city is a pair of one of the most exciting birds in the world.

The area in question centres on St. Michael and St. Gudula’s Cathedral. In 2005 — to the delight of ornithologists — a pair of peregrine falcons nested on one of the cathedral’s towers, where they successfully raised four young. In 2006 three eggs were laid, although only one chick survived. Since then a pair of peregrines has returned every year – and 2011 is no exception (see video above).Read More »Peregrine falcons in Brussels 2014

Cheese Museum, Passendale. Sights and smells abound

They don’t make cheese like this any more!

De Oude Kaasmakerij, the cheese museum in Passendale in West Flanders, is a fun place to visit with children for an afternoon. It’s housed in an old farmhouse dating back to the 19th century, and features a reconstruction of a cheese factory from the 1930s, complete with original equipment. Multilingual displays describe how cheese was made in that period, while TV screens show video clips of the modern day production methods in the Belgomilk cheese factory down the road in the centre of Passendale.Read More »Cheese Museum, Passendale. Sights and smells abound

Horst Castle near Aarschot

Located in the Winge valley to the east of Leuven, Horst Castle has remained largely untouched since the middle of the 17th century.

To get the most out of a visit to Horst Castle, you should know what not to expect. There are no works of art hanging from the walls; no ancient tapestries in the bedrooms. The living rooms are empty of tables and chairs; the kitchen devoid of pots and pans. In fact, Horst Castle is empty and unlived in, and has been for over three hundred years. And that’s precisely why it’s worth visiting.Read More »Horst Castle near Aarschot

The hills are alive: La-Roche-en-Ardenne

Choosing where to walk in the Ardennes is not easy; there are so many wonderful areas to explore. But if you have never been to the Ardennes before, I would recommend La Roche-en-Ardenne. It’s an excellent place to start getting acquainted with this marvellous area of Belgium.

La Roche-en-Ardenne

One advantage of this location is that if you set off from Brussels in gorgeous weather and arrive in La Roche to find it pelting down with rain (which in the Ardennes is quite possible), then you can simply change your plan and visit one or more of the town’s museums: the Milling Museum, the Second World War Museum, the Pottery Museum, or even the Ardennes Ham Museum. The town also has a castle with a ghost, which conveniently appears every evening through the summer (although apparently not if it’s raining).Read More »The hills are alive: La-Roche-en-Ardenne