Bruges is a town that seems ripped from the pages of a fairy tale. The romantic medieval city, filled with brick lanes and cut with canals, is perfect for strolling, but there is also plenty to appease the youngest in the crowd. The narrow lanes feel almost child-sized, and the town’s family-friendly attitudes creates a welcoming atmosphere, perfectly setting up a wonderful holiday to Bruges.
From unique museums to adventurous exploration that keeps everyone moving, here are six things to do in Bruges with kids.
Boat tours: Bruges is a manageable size to see as a day trip or weekend getaway, but you can also take a boat ride rather than tiring out small legs exploring every corner of the town. Tours depart from multiple docks along the main canals, and last around an hour. The excitement of cruising under low bridges and past canal-side homes with charming window boxes will enthral family members of all ages.
Friets for days: Belgium is famous for its chips – the food beloved by children worldwide. Eat them in front of the bell tower, where two stands are in continuous operation and there is ample outdoor bench seating to settle in and enjoy the take away treat. Opt for a large and give every family member their own tiny fork to dig into the freshly made friets. When each delicious morsel has been finished off, visit the Bruges chip museum known as the “Frietmuseum” (Vlamingstraat 33) to learn about the history of the Belgian obsession with the humble fried potato.
Wind down in the park: Bruges is filled with homes pressed together like gingerbread houses, but the town is also dotted with green, open space. Children will love the playground at Konigin Astrid Park named after a former Belgian queen. Whereas, the “Lake of Love” at Minnewaterpark is the ideal spot to watch the ducks and swans float along the canal.
Enjoy more than just beer at De Halve Maan: Looking to indulge in a pint even when traveling with kids? With outdoor seating and a large, open interior – De Halve Maan (Walplein 26) is Bruges’ only working brewery. While underage guests are unlikely to really enjoy the tour and explanation of the beer making process, they are indeed allowed to join. However, you do not have to take the guided tour to enjoy a pint. De Halve Maan has free wifi and even a small children’s menu, making it one of the best places in town to enjoy an authentic local beer in a kid-friendly atmosphere.
Rent a bike: With small streets and pedestrianized areas, cars are confined to a few main roads in Bruges. Cyclists, however, have the run of the medieval lanes. Bike rental shops like Eric Propelier (Mariastraat 26) offer bike hires with child seats at no extra cost so you can pedal through the charming historic quarter.
A sweet educational opportunity: With eye-catching displays, kids are sure to spot Bruges’ fantastical chocolate shops. The artisan chocolatiers make exceptional candies, but you can also turn the sugar rush into an educational experience at the Chocolate Museum (Wijnzakstraat 2). Visitors can watch chocolate being made, and learn about the history of cocoa during a self-paced tour before stopping off to buy extra treats.
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