Belgian Ardennes with kids: 13 top activities!
The Belgian Ardennes with kids are really great! Especially if you as a family enjoy outdoor activities. The Belgian Ardennes are not far from the Netherlands, so you can get to the Ardennes from the Netherlands by car in just a few hours. Coming from the Tilburg area ourselves, we drove within two hours to the campsite where we stayed during our time in the Belgian Ardennes. In two hours we were in an environment totally different from what we are used to in the Netherlands. Based on our vacation to the Belgian Ardennes, we list the best activities in the Belgian Ardennes with kids.
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Belgian Ardennes with kids: fun cities
You can visit some great cities in the Belgian Ardennes with kids. We visited several during multiple trips to the region and list the most fun cities below.
#1 Namur: this is one of the most fun cities to visit in the Ardennes with kids. This town is fun to visit for an afternoon. One of the best activities for families with kids in this city is the Queen Fabiola amusement park. Well amusement park. It’s mostly a big playground, but fun to go to for an hour or two. From the center you can take the cable car up the mountain, from where you still have to walk a few minutes to this park. At the cable car itself, there is a nice restaurant with great views of the city of Namur. This is a great place to have a drink.
In addition, it is also nice to visit the city center for a while. We had a bite to eat here and walked around town. It has a cozy downtown and in several places you can see beautiful street art. Many families with kids also visit the city’s citadel, but we did not do this ourselves.
#2 Dinant: The town of Dinant is also nice to walk through for a few hours and have a bite to eat here. Dinant is a lot smaller than Namur, though, so you’ll have seen it faster. Again, a citadel, which you can take a cable car to. We found it especially a very photogenic town with a cozy center. A funny detail is that you can find saxophones all over town here. You can also go on the water in Dinant with kids, but when we were there in the summer the water level was so low that this was not possible.
#3 Liege: We hesitated whether to place Liege in the list of most fun cities in the Belgian Ardennes with kids. It is one of the largest cities in the region, and it is a good place to go if your kids like museums or if the weather in the region is cooler. For example, Liège has several museums that are great for kids such as the Science Museum, the Archaeoforum and the Liège Aquarium. In summer, it is also fun to climb Montagne de Bueren for a nice overview of the city. We wrote the extensive blog Liege with kids about this city.
Belgian Ardennes with kids #4: Rail biking
One of the most fun activities to do with kids in the Belgian Ardennes is rail biking. We went railbiking at Les Draisines de la Molignée. You have three different options here that you can choose in terms of routes. You can cycle a six-kilometer route and an eight-kilometer route or you can cycle them both and then you will cycle a total of fourteen kilometers.
We ourselves biked the eight-kilometer route because it was the shortest in terms of time. In total, you will be on the road for two hours. You ride along a railroad track and actually cycle a certain route in succession. If you are at the end of the trail, you can have a drink at the restaurant located there and then you can bike back.
We thought it was a fun activity with our daughter. The weather was nice and the surroundings are beautiful. The cycling is not super hard, and on the way back you almost don’t have to pedal, as the trail slowly descends already. You can have three people on a bike. Two people pedal and the third person sits in the middle. With small children, two kids can also fit in the middle of the bike. For more information, take a look at this Dutch-language website.
By the way, there is another railroad in the Belgian Ardennes where you can ride a railbike and that is in Elsenborn. Again, you spend about two hours cycling and the principle of cycling is about the same as what we just described. For more information about this route, check out this Dutch-language website.
Belgian Ardennes with kids #5: Activities Rocks ‘n Rivers
When you think of the Belgian Ardennes, you think of outdoor activities and we did several during our vacation in Belgium. We stayed at the Dutch campsite Domaine du Bocq, where we did several activities. For example, we stacked crates at the campsite with a guide and also went archery. A little outside the campground we went climbing and abseiling at the rocks with the organization Rocks ‘n Rivers, which are affiliated with the campground.
We found it very convenient that at the campground reception we could check each day what activities were being organized and that we could sign up for them just like that. In addition to the activities described above, you can also go climbing at a tree climbing course and you can ride a scooter down the mountain. Unfortunately, our daughter was a little too young for this, but it’s a good reason to come back to this cool area again!
Belgian Ardennes with kids #6: Walibi Belgium and Aqualibi
If you want to spend a day at an amusement park in the Belgian Ardennes with kids, it is fun to go to Walibi Belgium. This amusement park has very many different roller coasters and you can easily spend an entire day here. In fact, we spent two days here. We visited the amusement park one day and we visited the Aqualibi water park one day. Both are great fun to visit and we wrote an extensive blog about both parks, which you can find below.
Belgian Ardennes with kids: other activities!
There are many more activities you can do in the Belgian Ardennes with kids. We ourselves haven’t done everything yet, so we have another good reason to go back once. We briefly list the other activities you can do below.
#7 Bouillon Castle: you can visit several castles in the Belgian Ardennes with kids. One of these castles is the castle of Bouillon. You can visit this castle and kids can either listen to an audio guide or they can go on a treasure hunt (kind of scavenger hunt). In addition, there is a raptor show at the castle that you can visit. You can combine this activity with the Bouillon Zoo, for example.
#8 Forestia: this is a hilly park in a forest and is a 15-minute drive from the town of Spa. In this wildlife park they have different kinds of animals you can admire such as bears, wolves and deer. It is a spacious park and you will be on the road for a while if you want to admire all the animals. The park also has a restaurant and a playground. There is also a climbing park next to the wildlife park that you can visit with different courses and zip lines. In short, you can have a great time here in the Belgian Ardennes with kids.
#9 Houtopia: at this center, everything revolves around the five senses: taste, smell, look, hear and see! You have dozens of experiments here that you can do related to these senses. The advantage is that everything is explained in Dutch, so it is all easy to understand even for Dutch families. There is also a large playground outside for the kids. This is also a great activity if you go to the Belgian Ardennes with kids and the weather is not so good.
#10 Caves of Han: The Belgian Ardennes are also very well known for the many caves you can explore in the area. The Han Caves are perhaps the most famous of all these caves. You walk through these caves a 2-kilometer route led by a guide and this tour takes about 1.5 hours. It is also possible to visit a wildlife park at these caves, where they also have bears, wolves and deer that you can admire.
#11 Adventure Valley Durbuy: if you are looking for a place in the Belgian Ardennes with kids where you can do lots of outdoor activities then this is a very good option. You can purchase a pass here, which allows you to do lots of activities. So you can play in the playgrounds, mountain biking, Via Ferrata climbing, climbing in a climbing park, tubing and much more. Many of the activities do require kids to be taller than 110 cm, so be sure to check the Adventure Valley Durbuy website in advance to see what your kids can do here
#12 Safaripark Monde Sauvage: this park is a 25-minute drive from the city of Liège and you can visit this safari park by car. In addition, you can also visit the park on foot. Also at the park is a petting zoo and a large playground for the kids.
#13 Bouillon Zoo: if you are still looking for a nice zoo during your vacation in the Belgian Ardennes with kids, this zoo is a great option. As we mentioned earlier, you can combine a visit to the zoo with a visit to the castle. You can walk a route at this zoo, where you will encounter all the animals of the zoo, and most of the major African animals are represented here. In addition, the zoo also has two different playgrounds for two different age groups. You can have a great time here for half a day!
Where to stay in the Belgian Ardennes with kids?
Camping Domaine Du Bocq
We stayed during our vacation in the Belgian Ardennes as we described above at the Dutch campsite Domaine du Bocq. We found this to be a really cool family-friendly campground! So at the campground, as we mentioned earlier, you can do all kinds of outdoor activities and there are also plenty of other things to do at the campground.
For example, the campground has a nice playground located near the reception, there is a kind of nature playground with a whole course in the middle of the campground, and the campground is also located on a river, allowing kids to play in the river during the summer months. We spent several days there and really liked it. Our daughter also had a great time here. We wrote about our experiences at this campground the blog Domaine du Bocq with kids.