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Luxembourg/Belgium 2 days with kids

Greetings,

We will be driving through Luxembourg and Belgium with our family of five (a 10 year old and two 12 year olds) on our way to Zeeland in the Netherlands and are looking for stop suggestions. We have two full days and one overnight for this leg of our trip. The overnight being just outside of Brussels. So not a whole lot of time, but we want to see a bit of something on our way. We have our own car, so can be a bit flexible. We enjoy the outdoors and do a lot of walking/hiking in our free time. We also like visiting the cities for something different (we live in a small village), but museums are not our first choice.

We will be there during school holidays in early August. To anyone with experience driving during this time, how are the roads? Lots of congestion or manageable?

I would appreciate any fun ideas of things to do in Luxembourg or Belgium with kids.

Bonus question: favorite activities in the Netherlands (we will be there for 8 days)

Thanks for your input.

Posted by
2134 posts

There’s a castle on a hill in Vianden, Luxembourg, that could be fun to visit. There’s a chairlift partway up the hill & then a little walk. Gorgeous views from up there.

Posted by
1998 posts

Things to do for the family in Belgium:

-Technopolis Mechelen: Interactive museum mainly for kids to learn and do things about science and technologie. Tickets ar expensive.
-Bokrijk: Open air museum, mainly about rural life in the past and well worth a visit.
-Pairi Daiza: Huge park, zoo and themepark, never visited so far but seems really good. A bit in the middle of nowhere halfway between Brussels and Lille in France.
-Durbuy: Small but lovely town in the Ardennes, nearby Adventure Valley, just mention it but no idea if the latter is worth visiting.

In Luxembourg are besides the already mentioned Vianden, Echternach and Esch-sur-Sûre nice places to visit. Gorges du Loup near Echternach is a hiking trail with cliffs in a forest.

In which part of Zeeland will you stay?

Posted by
22 posts

Thanks so much for the suggestions so far. I am excited to start googling all of these places and making some plans.

In response to the question, we will be staying about 45 minutes drive south from Rotterdam, near Ouddorp.

Posted by
1998 posts

Hi Roon,

Goedereede is a lovely place to visit and a few km’s from Ouddorp. Besides visiting the beach ofcourse further things to do:

-Steam tram / train RTM, (narrow gauge) running from nearby Ouddorp over the Brouwersdam to seaside resort Port Zélande.
-Steam train Goes-Borsele, standard gauge runs through the countryside to Hoedekenskerke and Baarland. Goes is nice too btw.
-Delta Park Neeltje Jans, visitor centre of the Eastern Scheldt Storm Surge Barrier. From there also boat tours.
-Maeslantkering west of Rotterdam. Huge storm surge barrier with visitor centre, interesting site I can recommend.
-Veere, lovely historic harbour place, boat tours there too. Walking over the ramparts for nice views. Parking outside town is free, places in town are very expensive.
-Middelburg, capital of Zeeland with lovely 17th and 18th century historic centre. Mini Mundi with scale models of historic buildings from the region, playground more for toddlers.
-Domburg, old fashioned seaside resort and nearby medieval castle, being a hostel too.
-Zierikzee, the same as Middelburg, boat tours too. Outside town near Ouderkerk Flood Disaster Museum
-Hellevloetsluis, only the southern part of the harbour is lovely, more interesting to my opinion if you like to visit historic ships like the Buffalo and lightship Noord Hinder.
-Vliisingen, not the most interesting, nevertheles good place for viewing ships passing by.

In case distance is no object you can drive to Bruges or themepark De Efteling, regarded as one of Europe’s finest.

Finally here a warning: Know that some places along the beach due to tidal movements and the current of the sea are dangerous. During low tide you can walk to some places but going back no more as soon the tide rises, let alone swimming. Last summer this caused a few drownings. So take notice of warning signs or get well informed about possible hazardous situations / locations.

Posted by
22 posts

Thank you, Wil, for your ideas! I'll get out the map and google and check them out. Planning always creates anticipation and excitement and is part of the fun. Can't wait to check out the places you've suggested. We will have a car, so road trips won't be a problem. We also want to drive up the Amsterdam while we are there for a day trip. How is the traffic in the summer holidays?

And thank you so much for your warning about the water. I will be there with my kids, so I appreciate the heads up and now know to be aware.

Posted by
39 posts

On the western outskirts of Brussels, there's Mini-Europe and the Atomium. There's also a water park and IMAX theater near that. It's totally a family zone.

To the north of Brussels, in Tervuren, the Africa Museum could be fun for kids (and adults too), plus it's in a giant park so they could run around if bored. The tram to get there goes through pretty forests so that could be enjoyable too, especially if they're not used to taking trams. (You can also drive and park there.)

Within Brussels, the music museum is kind of fun because you walk around with headphones and hear different instruments playing. The new (and FREE) House of European History also has headphones, is interactive and multilingual (all official EU languages) and might work for older kids. It's next to another park with swans on a big pond -- e.g., for a picnic with French fries from nearby Maison Antoine.

On the Eastern side of Brussels, the Rouge-Cloitre at the start of the Foret de Soignes has some amazing playgrounds (although your kids may be too old for that), as well as lots of walking paths through the forest and some pretty spots to eat or picnic.

Posted by
1998 posts

In August Zeeland (Ouddorp is actually in South-Holland but nothing of concern btw) will be anyway busy, especially during sunny days as everybody goes to the beach and back. The few times I go to Amsterdam is by train so little idea how congested the freeways will be at that time, no garantuee but think it will be manageable. Likely the management where you stay can say more. There are several P+R locations around Amsterdam for taking the metro or tram to the city centre. https://www.amsterdam.nl/en/parking/park-ride/

If passing Utrecht a visit to castle “De Haar” is worth considering. It looks medieval but built in the 19th century, a bit like Neuschwanstein but without mountains, nevertheless interesting to my opinion.