Sightseeing Brussels with kids

What can you do in Brussels with kids? Well quite a lot actually! We visited the city for a weekend and we actually ran out of time. A good reason to visit the city again during a vacation to Belgium. You can therefore have a great time here for a few days in this capital of Belgium. Following our visit to this city, we list the best activities in Brussels with kids.

How to get to Brussels with kids?

For most families, Brussels is a fine distance from where they live, which is why the city is often visited by car. We ourselves have also visited the city of Brussels several times with the city. Still, you do often have traffic jams around Antwerp and just before Brussels by car. This can take you a lot longer than you planned in advance.

Another option can be to go to Brussels with kids is the train. By train you can get to Brussels from Amsterdam in just over two hours, while by car it will take you at least two hours and ten minutes, not counting the roadworks and traffic jams. So in practice, the train is usually a lot faster. For more information on the train connection from the Netherlands to Brussels, take a look here.

1. Atomium

One of the most famous activities you can do in Brussels with kids is to visit the Atomom. A visit to the Atomium in Brussels had been on our list for a long time and this was also the first activity we planned in our weekend.

This is also partly because the Atomium is located north of the city of Brussels and we practically pass it on our route to the city from the Netherlands. Therefore, for many Dutch people, it is an ideal activity to do first or last during a city break to Brussels with kids.

There is plenty of parking around the Atomium and we arrive at the Atomium just before it opens. It is not crowded at all, so we can easily park the car. Pay attention here, because parking in the main parking lot (which we did) costs ten euros per day. If you only stay an hour (or two) just to see the Atomium, this is a lot of money.

Along the roads closest to the Atomium, you can also park your car and there you only pay a small amount per hour, so it’s a lot cheaper on a short visit.

Built for the World’s Fair, the Atomium has nine spheres. From the outside, this is already a beautiful sight and you also see many tourists taking pictures here in all sorts of booths with the various spheres in the background. Of course, we also took some time here to shoot some fun photos with the family.

We had heard that it could be quite crowded, but when we were there on Saturday morning it was very quiet. Still, it is advisable to buy tickets online in advance so you will definitely not have to stand in line. Upon entering, we are photographed and take the elevator all the way up to the upper sphere.

Here you have a great view of the Brussels area with kids. You will also find plenty of information about the area and if you have seen this then you can take the elevator back down and then you can continue down the escalator to various other spheres.

In these spheres you will find information about the Atomium, but there is also a very cool light show in different spheres. They did a really cool job of this, which we thought was a very nice addition to our visit to the Atomium. Since we got there a little before the Atomium opened, it was still very quiet and we had the Atomium almost all to ourselves.

We spent a total of 1.5 hours there and found it a very fun activity to start with during our city break to Brussels. For more information on opening hours, entrance fees and further information, take a look at the Atomium’s Dutch-language website.

When at the Atomium, you can combine this attraction with a visit to Mini Europe. This can be compared to Madurodam in The Hague, only Europe is recreated in miniature. However, there is less interaction for kids, which is more the case in Madurodam. When we were there, Mini Europe was not open so we did not visit it.

Brussels with kids
Brussels with kids

2. Museum of Natural Sciences

The Museum of Natural Sciences in Brussels does have similarities to Museum Naturalis in the Netherlands, as here the dinosaur skeletons are also one of the highlights of this museum. So in Brussels they call this museum the dino museum. We visited this children’s museum in Brussels on Sunday morning right when the museum opened and found it to be a really cool museum.

You can do 2 different scavenger hunts with kids at this museum in Brussels. These two scavenger hunts are for different age groups. For example, there is a scavenger hunt for kids ages 6-8 and a scavenger hunt for kids ages 9-12. The scavenger hunt takes about an hour and takes you through 12 of the museum’s top exhibits. During the route, there are plenty of interactive points, where kids can get information about everything they see.

What can be recommended for young kids is for parents to download the IZI travel app, where a number of videos about the museum can be played during your visit to the museum. This gives kids an even better impression of everything there is to see without having to read. You can also bring along a step for small children, so the kids can see everything well in the museum.

At this children’s museum in Brussels, you actually have three different section to visit. The first part is all about animals. We found this a very nice section with lots of stuffed animals. Wonderful to be able to admire so many beautiful animals up close. Another section is all about the dinosaur.

Here you can see very large specimens of dinosaurs, whose bones they found and reassembled completely in the museum. Unbelievable how big these beasts must have been.

The third part is centered on humans. We ourselves found this to be the least part of the museum. For kids, there is plenty to do at the museum and see. Our daughter had a very good time here for two hours. So they have a bike and kids can see if they can ride a bike faster than a dino can walk.

There is also a restaurant at the museum where you can get something to eat and drink. You can park your car for free in front of the museum, but parking spaces here are very limited. We really recommend this museum during a city trip to Brussels with kids. For more information about this children’s activity in Brussels just visit the museum’s website.

Brussels with kids
Brussels with kids

3. Children’s Museum Brussels

You can take kids to a museum all about kids in Brussels. The Children’s Museum in Brussels is located in the south of the city and from the Grand Place in the city center it is about a half-hour bus ride away. As the museum itself also points out, the themes here are: play, learn, invent and create.

What’s great about this children’s museum in Brussels is that it’s a real hands-on museum. In different rooms, are different workshops for kids, each with its own theme. There are five different workshops you can attend at the Children’s Museum, and they are the crafts, building, theater, fairy tales and cooking workshops. These workshops are supervised by French-speaking and Dutch-speaking facilitators.

In addition to the different workshops that kids can participate in, there are also different corners, each with a different theme, in the museum. The themes are superpowers, everyone creative, friendship, cultures and paradises. Kids can dress up, do assignments, watch movies and do crafts.

If you want to participate in different workshops, you can easily pull a day ahead here with your kids. Of course, it is also a good option when rain is predicted in Brussels. Just keep in mind that it can be very crowded on these rainy days then. The museum also has an area where you can eat and drink.

For more information about the museum’s opening hours and admission prices, check out the museum’s website here.

4. Comic route walk through the city

Brussels is a beautiful city and especially on the Grand Place in the center are beautiful historic buildings. There are also plenty of nice stores and restaurants here, of course. You can take several guided walks around the city with kids in Brussels.

So you have the free walks held by non-professional guides through the city. These locals reveal their favorite addresses and neighborhoods during a tour of the city. This way, you will just get to places of the city, where you normally as a tourist would not easily get to. Most of these walking tours start at the city’s Main Market.

A fun free walking tour of Brussels with kids is the Comic Route. Street art can be found throughout Brussels starring comics such as Tintin and Astrix and Obelix, for example. We took an entire walk through the city in search of these cartoon characters. Beforehand, we checked this website to see where all the wall art can be found in the city.

We always use the app in a city, because you can download the maps in advance and you basically never walk the wrong way in a city. As far as we are concerned, this is really one of the finest apps we use during our travels. We pinned the different drawings with red dots in the app, then visited about 10 different wall drawings.

Because these ten drawings can be admired in different parts of the city, we were able to see a large part of the historic center in the meantime, and our daughter also really enjoyed looking for the different drawings with us. In addition, they are also just really cool drawings to look at. We really highly recommend this if you are taking a city trip to Brussels with kids.

Brussels with kids
Brussels with kids

5. Chocolate Museum

In the city center (near the world-famous Manneken Pis statue) is the city’s Chocolate Museum. Belgium is known for its delicious chocolate, and you’ll also see dozens of stores in Brussels selling this delicious treat. A visit to this museum was therefore not to be missed during our city break to Brussels.

Upon entering, you will be given a device with audio to use in the museum. You scan your device at various places in the museum and then get information about this part of the museum. At the museum, you will get information about the entire process of chocolate making. There are also several displays for kids during the route where they can do things like make a puzzle or answer some questions about chocolate.

The tour of the museum ends at the tasting room where demonstrations on chocolate making are given every so often. Here you can see the different processes of making chocolate and afterwards you can also taste different chocolates. And that it is delicious chocolate we can certainly attest to that.

In total, we were inside the museum for about 1.5 hours. We did not expect to see so much information about the process of making chocolate. For more information on opening hours, entrance fees and the museum, check out Choco Story Brussels’ Dutch-language website.

Brussels with kids
Brussels with kids

Other children’s activities Brussels

Besides these five fun activities in Brussels with kids, there are of course many more activities to do in this city. We have briefly listed them for you:

#6 King Boudewijn Park: Also near the Atomium is King Boudewijn Park (5 minutes away by car, 27 minutes walk). If you want to escape the busy city of Brussels with kids and take a walk among greenery, this park should not be on your list. This park has several playgrounds for kids of different age groups. For example, there is a playground for children ages 3 to 7, as well as a playground for kids ages 7 to 12. There is also a petting zoo in this park.

#7 JumpXL Brussels: just like in the Netherlands, in Brussels you can go jumping with kids for an hour (or two). In the Netherlands, we have visited JumpXl’s locations regularly and our daughter always finds this a very cool activity where she can get rid of a lot of energy. If you are looking for an active children’s activity in Brussels then JumpXL Brussels is definitely a fun option for you!

#8 Park Playground Brussels: if you are looking for a cool activity to do in Brussels with kids, this VR experience is very cool. Park Playground is in several cities and the concept is basically the same everywhere. We ourselves did this activity in Eindhoven with our family and we thought it was a very fun activity.

You’re going to do some individual games with VR glasses first, so that you have control of the controllers and get used to the glasses, and then you’re going to do a game of your choice with the family together. It is very coolly done, because you see each other in space and you have to go and do all kinds of tasks. We thought this was a very cool experience.

#9 Bike tour of Brussels: you can also explore the city of Brussels with kids from a bike. The Dutch company BajaBikes organizes 3.5-hour bike tours with a Dutch-speaking guide and during this bike tour you will visit the city’s main attractions. We took that kind of bike tour of Paris with BajaBikes and found it a really fun way to explore the city.

For children, these bike tours of Brussels are also very suitable, as they also have child seats for kids to go on the back of the bike with the parents and they also have children’s bikes for children as young as eight. For more information on these bike tours of Brussels with kids, take a look here.

#10 Cinquantenaire Park: if you’re looking for a city park that includes a playground in Brussels with kids, this is a nice option. The Cinquantenaire Park is located slightly outside the center of Brussels and from the Grand Place you can walk to this Brussels city park in about half an hour.

#11 Autoworld: you can also check out all kinds of cars in Brussels with kids.In Autoworld they have a wide collection of old and new cars. This car museum is located in the east of the city and you can park for free in front.

#12 Coudenberg Palace: in the cellars of the palace here you can do a scavenger hunt where kids search for the necklace of the Golden Fleece.

Brussels with kids
Brussels with kids

General sights of Brussels with kids

Of course, in addition to the many children’s activities in Brussels, there are some general sights to see in Brussels with kids. We list some of them.

#13 Manneken Pis: This statue is world famous and will capture the imagination of many kids. The statue can be found in the center of the city, so it is definitely fun to visit this statue during a city trip to Brussels with kids. Just keep in mind that the statue is not super big and obviously there are lots of tourists standing around the statue to photograph it. The figurine has different clothes on each time.

#14 Grand Place: this is the central square of the city of Brussels and we love it. Of course, around the square you have plenty of nice restaurants and cafes where you can grab a bite to eat and a drink. If you take a city trip to Brussels with kids you will almost always end up at the Grand Place at some point.

#15 Royal Palace: you can also visit the palace with kids during the summer months in Brussels. Only during the summer months is the Royal Palace in Brussels open to the public, so you can visit the palace. Reservations will be required and admission will be free. So this is a free children’s activity in Brussels.

Children’s museums Brussels

We already described above three different children’s museums in Brussels that you can visit, but there are even more museums. We list the best museums to visit in Brussels with kids.

#16 Belgian Comic Museum: you can have a blast in Brussels with kids in the field of comics. In fact, there are a number of museums dedicated to comics. If your kids can read and like comics then this could be a fun option. This museum is not much for young children, as it is mostly exhibits for them to look at and there is little to do for these kids.

#17 MOOF: also a comic book museum, but slightly more interactive than the Belgian comic book museum. There are also several large cartoon character statues throughout the museum and a play corner. So this museum is a lot more interesting for kids who are still young, though.

#18 House of European History: this is a museum for kids ages 6 and up, and upon arrival at the reception desk, you will be given a family backpack and a family tour of the museum and can explore the museum rooms and collections.

#19 Hall Gate: this is the museum of art and history. With kids ages 5 and up, you can do a scavenger hunt and have to find different animals in the museum, and for kids ages 7 and up, there is an interactive tour.

#20 Sewer Museum: you can visit a museum underground in Brussels with kids. The Sewer Museum is dedicated to sewer workers and you can go dozens of meters underground and learn all about the city’s water cycle. The museum is free for kids under eighteen to visit, and you can walk through the museum without a guide. The Sewer Museum is a free children’s activity in Brussels once a month. On the first Sunday of the month, the museum is free to visit.

#21 Trainworld: if your kids are absolutely crazy about trains, this museum could be a fun option to visit in Brussels with kids. Trainworld also has a scavenger hunt for kids through the museum, where kids have to do all kinds of tasks. This children’s activity in Brussels is suitable for kids ages six to 12.

Playground Brussels

You can take kids to several playgrounds in Brussels. We list the best playgrounds in Brussels below.

#22 Hallepoort: In addition to the museum, Hallepoort also has a fun playground for kids. They have a large fort here in the park with various climbing equipment. We visited this playground and our daughter spent some time climbing the ropes here. Keep an eye on your kids, though, because there are several bums walking around at the park as well.

#23 Red Monastery Playground: this playground is located in a nature reserve on the edge of the Sonian Forest. You can play with kids on a huge pirate boat at this playground in Brussels. Also at this playground in Brussels there is a cable car and a course with obstacles that kids can do. Near this playground is also a petting zoo that you can visit with kids here in Brussels. Of course, this is a free children’s activity in Brussels.

#24 Playground Renier Chalon: This is another large playground where you can play with kids of different ages in Brussels. Here, smaller children can play in the sand with a shovel and a bucket, and older kids can have fun on the playground equipment and at the table tennis table. This playground also has restrooms, which is always convenient with kids.

#25 Playground Georges Henri Park: at this playground in Brussels, you have a number of play equipment incorporated into funny figures. For example, there is a large wooden doll that kids can climb on and there is also a kind of spider, from which several slides go off. There is also a maze at this playground in Brussels where kids can play.

#26 Playground Scheutbos: This playground is also the place to be in Brussels with kids of all ages. Playground Scheutbos has two sections. One part of the playground is for young kids and is centered around the wild west and the other part of the playground is for older kids with much more playground equipment suitable for them.

Brussels with kids
Brussels with kids

Family-friendly restaurant Brussels

You can, of course, choose from many options for eating in Brussels with kids. Brussels is a big international city and of course that makes for a lot of different options. We had an extensive lunch on both Saturday and Sunday, eating at Toukoul and Ninja House.

Toukoul: We came across this Ethiopian restaurant online and were immediately very excited. The restaurant has a nice interior that immediately puts you in African atmospheres with all the masks hanging on the wall. In addition, the food there is delicious. We ordered a large vegetarian dish, where the idea was to eat with your hands. Especially for kids too, this is a nice addition that for once they don’t necessarily have to eat with cutlery.

Ninja House: On Sunday, we had an extensive lunch at this Japanese restaurant. The principle here is the familiar all you can eat principle. You pay a set fee and then can order sushi and other dishes until you are completely full. It had been a long time since we had done this and for the first time with our daughter. We had a pleasant afternoon here in the center of Brussels.

Of course, you have many other family-friendly restaurants in Brussels. We list some of these family-friendly restaurants in Brussels.

Chicago: another family-friendly restaurant in Brussels, this restaurant also has plenty of options for kids such as pastas, burgers and salads. The restaurant also has a play corner for kids, so they can enjoy playing with other kids here before and after dinner. You can go to this Brussels restaurant with kids for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Jour de Fete: This family-friendly restaurant in Brussels is very colorful and the restaurant is known in Brussels for its creative menu. Every day here you can choose from five dishes, of which there is always a dish with meat, one with fish, a vegetarian dish, a pasta and a seasonal dish. If you are looking for a restaurant where you can eat a healthy meal in Brussels with kids, Jour de Fete is definitely a nice option in Brussels.

Chalet Robinson: to get to this family-friendly restaurant in Brussels, you have to get to it via a raft. In fact, the restaurant is located on an uninhabited island. The menu includes many dishes that kids like such as spaghetti, burgers and fries. At this restaurant, there are also plenty of play opportunities for kids. For example, there are pedal boats that you can use to get out on the water with your kids.

Bel Mundo: this family-friendly restaurant in Brussels is located in the renovated BelVue brewery. Located in the Molenbeek neighborhood, the restaurant is not only a social work organization but also a restaurant working with sustainable and local products. Certainly the prices here are very reasonable and the atmosphere is nice and loose! That’s always nice with kids anyway!

Brussels with kids
Brussels with kids

Family-friendly hotel Brussels

Ibis Styles Hotel Brussels Centre Stéphanie

We slept at the Ibis Styles Hotel Brussels Centre Stéphanie hotel in the city center during our city break to Brussels. A hotel that offers good value for money. We had booked a double room with an extra bed added. The room had all the facilities of a fine room and the breakfast in the morning was also delicious. We wrote an extensive blog about this hotel.

For more information about this hotel, take a look here.

Brussels with kids
Brussels with kids

Where to sleep in Brussels with kids: other options

You can sleep in Brussels with kids at even more places than the Ibis hotel. We list some good options in the different price ranges.

Budget hotel: Hotel Agora Brussels Grand Place

Mid-range hotel: Hotel Noga

Luxury hotel: Hilton Brussels Grand Place

For a list of all hotels in Brussels with kids, take a look here for more information.

For a good accommodation in Brussels with kids, it is best to use the website. We book most of the hotels of our trips on this website. What we mainly look at when booking a hotel with our daughter is the location, obviously the price, the size of the room and the reviews given. The latter is very important because it usually gives you a good idea right away of what to expect from the hotel.

Brussels Card

If you plan to travel a lot by public transportation (many attractions are spaced out in the city), it might be advantageous for your family to purchase the Brussels Card which gives free admission to various museums and allows you to ride public transportation and Hopon Hopoff buses for free in the city. You can take a card for 24/ 48 or 72 hours. For more information about this card, please check here.

Also, when traveling, check out flying from Brussels with kids. Often tickets from Brussels are quite cheap. We ourselves fly from Brussels more often than from Amsterdam. If you don’t fly until the evening, you can also add a day in Brussels. In doing so, also check the parking Zaventem website for the cheapest parking options at the airport.

Climate information Brussels with kids

Best travel time Brussels with kids

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