You can visit Hasselt with kids just fine in a weekend from the Netherlands. It is a cozy city, with enough entertainment for kids to keep you and your family entertained for two days. The city which is close to Maastricht can be reached in two hours from Utrecht by car. Because of the diversity of activities you can do in the city, there is something for everyone. We list the best sights and activities in Hasselt with kids for you.
Table of contents
Hasselt with kids #1: exploring the city
Hasselt is also called the capital of flavor, and there are plenty of joints in the center where you can sample Hasselt speculaas or chocolate, for example. You can explore downtown Hasselt with kids in a variety of ways. The city of Hasselt, for example, has a lot of street art in the city center. There is an app you can download that allows you to create your own route.
Furthermore, with kids, there are other walking tours you can take through the city center. For example, you have the nibble-nibble tour, where you are led from one tasty address to another, and at the end of the scavenger hunt you have a basket full for picnicking. Consider a sandwich, a cookie, some drinks and ice cream. On the map you are provided with, there are several tips on where to have a family picnic around town. Please note that you cannot do this hike on Sundays.
You can also book a family listening tour of the city in Hasselt. This route is for slightly older kids (ages 8 to 12) though, and you will be given a puzzle sheet and an ipad during this route. Through the ipad, kids are given information about the city and asked questions to fill in on the answer sheet. Eventually you have to find out who the mysterious voice is on the ipad. Afterwards, you’ll find the answer in a box at Museum de Stadsmus.
Hasselt with kids #2: Bokrijk open-air museum
This open-air museum is actually a kind of village with a large playground. The village consists of four different parts. So you have Haspengouw, East and West Flanders, Kempen and the old town – the Sixties. Walking through the village, you will come across old crafts at several houses. You will find actors throughout the village showing what life was like here in the past.
In Haspengouw, you go back in time to life around 1913, when World War I was about to begin. At the Flanders section there is also a kind of play forest area for kids to play. In Kempen you have the old houses with the various old crafts and here it is also possible for kids to attend workshops such as pottery, bread baking or candle making. In Old Town – the Sixties, of course, everything revolves around the 1960s. What did stuff and houses look like at this time.
At the museum you also have a very cool large playground that will delight kids. With a huge amount of climbing equipment and slides. Now if you don’t like this open-air museum at all, you can at least visit the playground, because it is separate from the museum and you don’t pay an entrance fee for the playground. Furthermore, there is also a water area here, where it is nice for kids to play in the summer. For the smallest kids, there is also a small play village with all the colored houses, where they can play.
The museum has restaurants in three different places where you can get something to eat and drink. Keep in mind that the different parts of the village are still quite a distance apart and quite a bit of walking. Especially for small kids who can’t walk very far, it’s then nice to take a baby carriage to the museum. For more information on the museum’s opening hours and admission prices , check here.
Hasselt with kids #3: Japanese garden Hasselt
One of the most famous sights in Hasselt is the Japanese Garden. You can reach the garden in about twenty minutes on foot from the city center. The gardens are quite spacious and you can have a great walk with your kids here. At the entrance you will receive a map and on it is a route you can walk through the garden and see the main attractions of the garden.
Kids can play in some places with the large stones and by the waterfall and water. There is also a section with large caged carp in the park. By the way, don’t expect all kinds of kids playing soccer on the grass here, as there is a pretty quiet atmosphere in the park.
Another place where you can have a great walk through nature with kids in Hasselt is Domein Kiewit. You will find a playground and a petting zoo, and the area also offers great walks for your kids.
Hasselt with kids #4: Plopsa Indoor Hasselt
If you are visiting Hasselt with kids who are still young, then a visit to Plopsa Indoor Hasselt should not be missed. We visited the amusement park with Sophie when she was about three years old and we had a great time here for a whole day. Actually, the amusement park is one big playground with occasional rides. Most of the amusement park is indoors, making it a good option even when the weather is not so good.
The theme park focuses on the TV stars of Studio 100, and most Dutch kids will know these characters from television, such as Bumba, Maya the Bee and K3. Do not expect big roller coasters here, but smaller attractions such as a small swing ship, carousel, a carousel and water boats. The only roller coaster the amusement park has is the Wicky the Viking roller coaster.
Furthermore, you also have several shows you can visit from the likes of Gnome Plop and Bumba. There are also plenty of eateries in the park to get something to eat and drink. However, the food is quite pricey, so a cheaper option is to bring your own food and drinks. There are places in the park where you can picnic with the family. For a detailed report on this amusement park read our blog Plopsa Indoor Hasselt with kids.
Hasselt with kids: other attractions
#5 Villa Imagination: this is a book museum, focusing on discovery for kids. Throughout the museum, kids can try things out. At the museum, you can also follow a scavenger hunt through various rooms.
#6 Park nature and culture: this park is located slightly outside the city (ten minutes away by car and 25 minutes by public transportation). The park is a whopping 15,000 square meters and contains 25 garden rooms. You pay a small entrance fee and in the park you will find several gnomes. You can take an excellent walk through the various gardens here.
#7 Indoor playground Pretland: you can also take kids to an indoor playground in Hasselt. Especially if the weather is a little cooler, this can be a great option to let your kids enjoy themselves for an hour or two to three.
#8 Kinepolis: as in most major cities in Belgium, you can take kids to the cinema in Hasselt. Of course, this is another good option if the weather in the city is a little less and you still want to do something with the family in Hasselt.
#9 Herkenrode Abbey Site: just outside the city a ten-minute drive from the center you will find this former monastery. You can book several experiential tours here, including the one “out for a walk with the unicorn. Kids are guided through the monastery through small assignments and stories. The different experience tours are also for different age groups. Among other things, you will visit the monastery’s herb garden and the kids’ senses will be stimulated.
Where to sleep in Hasselt with kids
Budget hotel: Hostel H
Mid-range hotel: Holiday Inn Hasselt, an IHG Hotel
Luxury hotel: Hotel het Menneke
To search for other hotels in Hasselt with kids click here for the complete list of hotels.