9 fantastic things to do in Belgium with kids

Dinant town in the Ardennes Belgium

Our curated selection of the best things to do in Belgium with kids: best places to visit in Belgium with kids and family attractions you cannot miss.

Belgium is a lovely destination for a family vacation in Europe.

Perched between France and the Netherlands and easy to reach by train, car and plane, Belgium is full of kid-friendly attractions and is an easy and pleasant place to visit with kids.

In Belgium, you have pretty villages, exciting cities, miles of cycling routes, beautiful countryside and food that includes waffles and fries – easy to see how it is simply perfect for kids!

We lived in Belgium for a couple of years and, during this time, we discovered many wonderful places that are perfect for a family vacation in this often overlooked country.

These are the top things to do in Belgium with kids, according to our family!

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Belgium with kids map – our favorite places

9 fantastic things to do in Belgium with kids: our top picks!

Explore Brussels with kids – the exciting capital of Europe and comics

I have called home Brussels for well over a year and find it a fantastic city to visit with kids in tow.

view of Brussels garden with grand place in the background
Cityscape of Brussels from monts de art Belgium

Compact and beautiful, you find many child-friendly attractions in Brussels that make it perfect for kids of all ages.

If you are in Brussels with a toddler, you will love the city many parks.

Parc du Cinquantenaire is beautiful and lovely to run around, the Etangs de Ixelles are great for an afternoon at the pond feeding the ducks and Brussels Park, in the city center, has lovely climbing frames.

Brussels’ stunning Grand Place, one of the most beautiful squares in the world, is breathtaking, large and car-free, perfect for kids to run around.

Kids of all ages are sure to adore Mini Europe, a reconstruction of Europe’s main landmarks on scale 1:25 that is absolutely fantastic for kids and adults!

Want to learn about the real Europe? Then, have a stroll in the European Quarter and plan a visit to the European Parliament for an exciting and educational experience for teens!

Last but not least, families with small kids and teens especially can immerse themselves in the rich comics tradition of Brussels with a visit the Comics trail or the comic museums.

You can find our guide to the best things to do in Brussels with kids here.

Top Tip: stay at the family-friendly NH Collection Gran Sablons hotel for a family stay in the heart of the city.

Visit fairytale Bruges with kids

The pretty city of Bruges (Brugge) is one of the most visited spots in the country and one of the very best places to visit in Belgium with kids.

Bruges (Brugge) cityscape with water canal at sunset, Flanders, Belgium
Bruges (Brugge) cityscape with water canal at sunset, Flanders, Belgium

The town seems out of a fairytale!

Small and historical, Bruges has the typical appearance of a chocolate box town, plus the charm of a historical European market town and the dynamism of a university city.

Visiting Bruges with kids is fun and easy.

The town is easy to reach by train from Brussels and it is largely car-free, so you know kids will be safe and mostly free to explore.

In terms of things to do for kids in Bruges, there is a good choice of family attractions here.

Families can explore Bruges’ small streets and canals, learn about the history of the city in the family-friendly Bruges Historium, learn to make authentic waffles, climb the belfry tower (over 360 steps, make sure you are up for the challenge!) and visit the local chocolate museum!

If you are visiting Belgium with kids in December, you must also come to Bruges for its stunning Christmas market.

It takes place in Bruges’ historical main square and it is out of a magical fairy book!

Top Tip: most people visit Bruges as a day trip from Brussels and this means crowds during the day can be intense. If you can, stay the night: the town is at its very best at sunset and early in the morning! Find family-friendly accommodation in Bruges here.

Cycle around wonderful Ghent with kids

Ghent (Gand )is a stunning historical town in Belgium wonderful to visit with kids.

Canal in the old town in Gent in a beautiful summer day, Belgium
Canal in the old town in Gent in a beautiful summer day, Belgium

The city is larger than Bruges, to which is often compared, but it is as family-friendly if not more.

There are several things to see in Ghent for kids, which you can reach on foot or by renting bikes, a popular way to visit Ghent at any age.

Attractions in Ghent for kids are the Castle of the Counts, the only medieval castle in the Flanders region with a moat (and a torture chamber, but I refused to visit so I cannot comment about it!), the belfry tower and kid-friendly museums such as the Museum of Fine Arts (they have family trail), and St Peter’s Abbey which has a fun kid-friendly audio tour.

Ghent in summer has plenty of outdoor activities perfect for kids such as cycling, many parks and the opportunity to discover the cities from its canals going kayaking or with a canal cruise!

In winter, Ghent has a lovely Christmas market and makes for a fantastic weekend getaway from Brussels or even further afield.

Provisional dates for Ghent Christmas market in 2021 are From 9th December to 31st December 2021.

Book early as it is very popular!

Find family-friendly hotels in Ghent here

Explore the stunning beguinage of Leuven with kids

Leuven is a pretty university town and my favorite place in Belgium to get my kids acquainted with the idea of a beguinage, typical of this area.

A beguinage is a cluster of ancient houses built around a central courtyard and historically inhabited by the beguines, devoted religious women living in solitude.

The beguinage was a place for them to live in an enclosed community where to feel safe and protected and is now an important historical attraction, listed as UNESCO World Heritage site since 1998.

The Cluster of houses has a pretty garden in the center, and while there is not much to do here for them, it is a very pretty spot and a great place especially for older kids, who are likely to be fascinated by the quietness and peculiarity of the space.

Find family-friendly hotels in Leuven here

Visit historical Waterloo

If you are looking for an interesting and educational experience for kids in Belgium, then you want to bring them to visit the Waterloo battlefield.

Lion's Mound, Monument raised on the battlefield of Waterloo where Napoleon was defeated, Belgium
Lion’s Mound, Monument raised on the battlefield of Waterloo where Napoleon was defeated, Belgium

The place where Napoleon notoriously found his demise is not a beautiful attraction and an easy one to visit with kids of any age.

The area has an interesting museum, perfect for kids who may enjoy learning about the tactical aspects of the battle and it also has ample outdoor areas where the camp would have been pitched, as well as the Waterloo Mound, which is topped by a huge statue of a lion.

Make sure you climb to the top and joy the view of the battlefield and the country around it!

The battlefield is not entirely accessible by strollers and in terms of interest, it is most suited to kids of primary and secondary school age.

If you have little ones, however, they can still enjoy the outdoor proton of the attraction and there are onsite restaurants that are good for a snack!

Visit the World War I trenches in Ypres

During WWI, Belgium saw terrible fighting and still bears vestiges of that time in the form of trenches, cemeteries and museums about the event of that era.

if you have kids of the right ages to tackle difficult topics such as the war, the place to go is Ypres.

The best places to learn about the battle files of Belgium with kids are the Tyne Cot cemetery.

This cemetery has over 1200 graves, many of which of soldiers of unknown identity, the German cemetery, the Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres, the Menin Gate war memorial and the actual trenches at the Yorkshire trenches and dug out

A trip to this area makes for big conversations however, you can easily lighten the mood with then a visit to Ypres, with is a lovely town with a pretty center.

Find family hotels in Ypres here.

Get sporty in wonderful Ardennes

So far we have talked about towns and villages but Belgium also has stunning natural areas, the most beautiful of all being the Ardennes!

The town of Dinant, in Belgium: row of houses overlooking the river

The Ardennes is an area blessed with lovely mountains, rivers and villages and it is a delight to visit with kids.

Here you can rest hike, go kayaking, go cycling and then rest in one of the many family-friendly hotels in the area.

I recommend you stay at least a couple of days in the area to enjoy the outdoor opportunities it has to offer and you stay in pretty Dinant, a lovely base to discover the area!

Have a look at this guide to the best things to do in Dinant to see why we recommend it!

Find family hotels in Dinan here

Pick your favorite chocolatier

Belgium is famous for its delicious chocolate and you will find chocolate specialties and shops everywhere!

If you have a chocolate lover in the family, Belgium will be their little piece of heaven!

For the best experience, we recommend starting with a visit to a chocolate museum (Brussels and Bruges have good ones) so they can learn what goes into making chocolate and then get a taste from each shop, so they can expertly pick the one they like the most!

Eat moules, frites and waffles

Chocolate is not the only kid-frienly food of Belgium.

Up high on the list of kids favorites you also have frites (French fries, which despite the name are a Belgian specialty) moules, aka mussels, and waffles.

The food alone makes it clear why Belgium is great for kids!

What to pack for visiting Belgium with kids

Belgium is very seasonal and what to pack depends on the time of the year you are visiting.

In general, winters in Belgium are very cold and you can expect snow. Wrap up well and make sure you have a stroller footmuff and a waterproof baby carrier cover if traveling with a little one.

Summer tends to be mild in Belgium but you are never guaranteed the weather, some summers are lovely and hot, some are grey and miserable, so layers are your best bet!

To visit with kids, I recommend in all seasons a good all-terrain stroller or a compact stroller.

The all-terrain is handy if you plan on time in the Ardennes, while a compact one will be useful in Brussels and villages, where space especially in restaurants may be scarce.

I hope you enjoyed this quick family guide with the best places to visit in Belgium with kids and it inspired you to visit. Safe travel planning!

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3 photos of Brussels, Bruges and Dinant with text: 9 fantastic things to do in Belgium with kids

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