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The very best issues to do in Bruges with youngsters

My very own first go to to Bruges got here after I was an adolescent, after I was immediately received over by its ridiculously fairly historic streets (and chocolate) – and with a lot to do in Bruges with youngsters, I knew it could be successful with my daughter too.

A view of the historic red brick houses of Bruges and its belltower seen from the canal - the best things to do in Bruges with kids
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I wasn’t incorrect. Visiting for a day journey throughout our keep in Ghent, we’re heading again to Bruges – or Brugge, to offer it its Flemish title – once more for Christmas when this chocolate field of a metropolis will get some added winter wonderland magic.

And whether or not you’re visiting in February rain, summer season solar or winter frost, you’ll discover so many issues to do in Bruges with youngsters – quirky museums, interactive historical past, chocolate galore, and a few nice methods to sightsee, all in a compact centre which is simple for households to get round. Right here’s my choose of one of the best.

The Choco Story chocolate museum

A go to to Belgium with out chocolate could be a missed alternative – and Bruges is house to its personal chocolate museum, Choco Story.

Cut up into three sections, a go to shares the 4,000-year-old historical past of chocolate, from its origins to its look in Europe and the key of making one of the best chocolate, in addition to quirky information such because it as soon as getting used as a drugs.

The gathering has virtually 1,000 objects to assist be taught extra, together with some Playmobil scenes among the many extra in-depth info and a youngsters’ model of the audio information – plus in fact, there’s additionally the possibility to style some, after seeing the way it’s made.

You possibly can watch an illustration of how chocolate goes from bean to the completed deal with: we watched the Choco Story specialists rework the uncooked elements into hazelnut praline stuffed goodies earlier than attending to style a few of these and a few plain chocolate items.

There are additionally child-friendly workshops the place youngsters can get arms on and create your personal chocolate concoction – you can even guide household workshops.

Purchase Choco Story tickets with free cancellation in addition to a reserve now, pay later possibility

Go to the Historium

One of many largest causes to go to Bruges with youngsters is its fabulous historic centre – so a go to to the Historium, to be taught extra in regards to the metropolis’s previous, is a implausible possibility for households.

Taking you again to sooner or later in 1435, throughout Bruges’ Golden Age, there are seven themed rooms to take you on a journey by means of historical past. And in the event you assume that sounds very boring for youths, it’s really very family-friendly.

You’ll discover movies telling tales as you stroll round this historical past museum, in addition to interactive video games for youths and dressing up. You possibly can go behind the scenes of the portray of certainly one of Van Eyck’s nice works, plus there’s a panoramic view of the Markt, the principle market sq. of Bruges, from the balcony.

Add in an audio information plus a household path to observe, in addition to the choice to improve for a VR expertise (for kids aged 6+) and also you received’t be bored. It’s additionally an ideal possibility for a wet day in Bruges with youngsters in the event you go to in winter as we did.

You should purchase tickets with free cancellation in addition to entry with digital actuality improve

Climb the Belfort (Belfry Tower)

Positioned within the Grand Place, the medieval Belfort – or Belfry Tower – is certainly one of Bruges’ tallest buildings and most distinguished landmarks.

The 83 metre construction towers over the remainder of the historic metropolis and you’ll climb the 366 steps to the highest of the Belfort for spectacular views over town’s rooftops and out to the encompassing countryside.

In your means up, you may cease off on the treasury, for a well-earned break and to see the place town’s charters, seals and coffers had been held in the course of the Center Ages. 

A view looking up towards the Belfry in Bruges, one of the city's three historic towers - climbing the Belfort is one of the most memorable things to do in Bruges with kids

If the tower climb is an excessive amount of for little legs, you may nonetheless admire the tower from the surface and hearken to the music of the tower’s carillion, which consists of 47 bells.

The carilloneur performs the bells on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 11am to noon, and there are normally additional carillion live shows within the evenings throughout summer season.

Entry is included within the 72-hour Musea Brugge card together with 11 different museums and monuments

Observe a strolling route

One of the simplest ways to understand Bruges’ fairly streets and historical past is on foot – you may merely wander round to your coronary heart’s content material or strive following a strolling route or strolling tour.

Throughout our go to, the vacationer info centre had a booklet with 4 household trails across the metropolis, mentioning decorations on buildings, eye-catching statues and sharing quirky information.

The Golden Triangle stroll, beginning on Blinde Ezelstraat close to the Burg takes you previous a number of the key websites. Observe the path to Burgstraat, Wapenmakersstraat, Academiestraat, Jacob Van Ooststraat and Kuipersstraat to the Eiermarkt, Markt itself and again alongside Breidelstraat to Burg.

Alongside the way in which, look out for the bear on the coat of arms, a statue with the phrase ‘love’ in 40 completely different languages, and one other statue impressed by a Mozart opera.

It’s also possible to discover child-friendly guided strolling excursions of Bruges, together with this 90-minute strolling tour led by a neighborhood.

Or there are a string of self-guided excursions you may observe in your telephone, together with this scavenger hunt taking you to 10 key websites in Bruges and a Metropolis Highlights Exploration Recreation, with a collection of challenges.

When you’re visiting with older youngsters who love historical past, this self-guided tour of Medieval Bruges introduces you to extra of the historical past as effectively.

Take a ship alongside the canals

One other enjoyable method to discover Bruges with youngsters is on a ship cruise across the metropolis’s picturesque canal system, letting you expertise the historic metropolis from a completely completely different perspective.

View along the Spiegelrei canal in Bruges - a canal boat tour is one of the best ways to see Bruges with kids

On board the family-friendly boat tour, a educated information tells you all in regards to the websites you go and the historical past of town as you journey, and so they’re normally nice at preserving the knowledge easy to maintain youthful youngsters engaged.

There are a number of boat departure factors across the metropolis providing excursions. The cruise lasts round half-hour, which is right for little ones with shorter consideration spans. 

It’s also possible to get tickets for a mixed boat cruise and strolling tour

Take a horse drawn carriage trip

Whereas that is positively a novelty expertise designed for vacationers, a trip in a horse-drawn carriage (caleches) continues to be some of the memorable methods to discover Bruges with youngsters.

Even in the event you don’t counsel it your self, youngsters are sure to identify the horses everywhere in the metropolis and beg for a trip anyway, so it’s value being ready!

Horse drawn carriage in the Market square in Bruges with bright yellow wheels and the belltower visible in the background - one of the most memorable things to do in Bruges for kids

The carriage rides begin from the Grand Place and take you on a soothing guided tour by means of the slim metropolis streets, passing lots of Bruges’ most well-known landmarks – most of the guides may even share fascinating information and tales in regards to the metropolis (although it varies) and children could have likelihood to trip up entrance with the motive force.

Most carriage rides embrace a cease at both Minnewater Lake or the Windmills so the horses can take a break and you’ll stretch your legs. Not the most affordable expertise although at round 60 Euros for half an hour.

Eat fries on the Frietmuseum

What child doesn’t love fries? Effectively, do you know that fries had been really a Belgian invention? And Bruges is even house to the world’s “first and solely museum devoted to potato fries”.

The Frietmuseum is a unusual museum dedicated to the historical past of potatoes and the manufacturing of Belgian fries.

Hand holding a plastic container of fries with a fork in and mayonnaise with the blurred streets of Bruges in the background - as well as eating them, the Frietmuseum is a fun place to visit in Bruges with kids

And whereas this may occasionally sound a little bit boring on paper, there are literally loads of enjoyable issues contained in the museum to maintain youngsters of all ages entertained, together with a fries cone slide to get down the steps and strange potato weapons.

After visiting the museum, you may – in fact – additionally seize some fries to eat from the basement fryshop. Belief us, you’re positively going to be craving some at this level – your complete museum smells of them!

Or in the event you don’t make it to the Frietmuseum, head to the ‘Frietkot De Markt‘ within the Grand Place to strive a number of the finest potato fries in Brugge.

Purchase Frietmuseum tickets with free cancellation, in addition to a reserve-now pay-later possibility

Purchase some chocolate

Whether or not your go to to Choco Story has simply whetted your urge for food otherwise you’re searching for a scrumptious memento to take house (effectively, to remove… it may not final till you get house!), there are some nice chocolate retailers to browse in.

So many, in actual fact, that you just’ll hardly ever be greater than a truffle’s throw away from someplace to purchase a variety, many with a restaurant serving sizzling chocolate in addition to Belgian waffles and ice cream.

For some relatively extra uncommon flavours, head to The Chocolate Line the place the weirdly great (and nonetheless scrumptious) flavours embrace wasabi, sake and popping sweet. Although not all blended collectively.

Additionally they import all their very own cacao to make chocolate as effectively.

Or Olivier’s Chocolate Store and Bar is a good place to get sizzling chocolate (darkish, milk and white) in addition to selecting up some goodies to remove. Adults can get a Belgian beer there to go along with the chocolate, which works unexpectedly effectively.

Go to the windmills of Bruges

Bruges is a metropolis with a protracted mill historical past, and within the Sixteenth-Seventeenth centuries, there have been as many as 25 windmills within the metropolis.

Right now, solely 4 stay; Sint-Janshuis mill (or Sint-Janshuismolen), Koeleweimill, Nieuwe Papegaai, and Bonne Chiere, all wanting like they’re straight from the pages of a youngsters storybook.

The mills are positioned shut to one another alongside the historic ramparts within the northeast of town, so you may take a stroll alongside the peaceable canal and go to all 4 in as little as 10-Quarter-hour. 

View of the Sintjanhuismolen, one of the windmills on the outskirts of Bruges - one of the most unusual things to see in Bruges with kids

Sint-Janshuismill is the one mill the place grain continues to be floor and is open for the general public to step inside and be taught in regards to the milling course of – rather more enjoyable for youths to get pleasure from studying about milling by seeing the mechanism in operation.

It’s also possible to climb to the highest for wonderful views over town. The mill is closed in the course of the winter months, aside from a couple of particular opening days.

Entry is included within the 72-hour Musea Brugge card together with 11 different museums and monuments

Wander across the Beguinage

The ‘Princely Beguinage Ten Wijngaarde’ is part of town made up of a big tree-filled backyard surrounded by small white homes and a church – and a stroll by means of the tranquil backyard is among the finest issues to do in Bruges with youngsters who want a break from the usually crowded metropolis streets.

Relationship again to 1245, The Beguinage was initially house to the Beguines, emancipated laywomen who nonetheless led a virtuous and celibate life. Right now, it’s a monastery for the sisters of the Order of St. Benedict. 

View along the canal towards the small arched stone bridge and buildings of the Beguinage - one of the historic sights to see in Bruges with kids

On a go to to the Beguinage, it’s possible you’ll even spot a number of the Benedictine nuns worshipping within the central courtyard or taking a stroll across the peaceable backyard. 

And for a small price, you may go inside one of many Beguinage homes to see what life was like for these residing there in the course of the Seventeenth century. It’s round a 15-minute stroll from the centre of Bruges.

Folklore Museum

The Folklore Museum is one other fascinating place for households to study strange every day life in Bruges within the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Set inside a renovated Seventeenth century house, the museum options an previous classroom, a pharmacy, a confectionery store, a grocery store, and an genuine bed room inside. Youngsters may even love the collection of conventional toys and kids’s video games you may strive for yourselves.

If doable, go to on the primary or third Thursday of the month when a ‘spekkenbakker’ (sweetmaker) provides conventional candy making demonstrations, which is at all times an enormous hit with youngsters.

Entry is included within the 72-hour Musea Brugge card together with 11 different museums and monuments

Hire a motorbike to discover the countryside

In case you have greater than a single day or a weekend in Bruges with youngsters, it’s straightforward to get out of town for a short time and discover a number of the wider area as effectively – Bruges is a reasonably small metropolis, so there’s solely a certain quantity to do for households.

Hire some bikes for a day and head out to see extra of the attractive surrounding countryside. There are lots of bike paths and quiet roads round Bruges, so there’s no want to fret about site visitors. 

View on the Damse Vaart canal in the village of Damme near Bruges, one of the cycling routes to try near Bruges for families

You possibly can cycle from Bruges to Dan Haan or Ostend on the coast, or uncover a number of the close by castles and one of many charming villages within the area, akin to Damme and Jabbeke.

And in case your youngsters are too younger to cycle on their very own, you can even hire bikes with little one seats.

Minnewater Lake & Park

One other pretty place to flee the busy metropolis centre is the Minnewater; an space within the south of Bruges made up of Minnewater Lake, aka the Lake of Love, and Minnewater Park. 

Begin with a stroll over Lovers Bridge for a number of the finest views over the lake. The legend goes that in the event you cross the Minnewater Bridge along with your accomplice, you’ll share everlasting love. 

Lock house on the water at Minnewater Lake near Bruges - a great place to escape the crowds in the city if you're visiting Bruges with children

You possibly can then take a peaceable stroll across the picturesque lake. Don’t miss the Gunpowder Tower and the small Gothic citadel.

Subsequent door, Minnewater Park is surrounded by timber and has a playground, pond, fountain, sculptures, and extra. Loads to do to maintain the youngsters occupied for an hour or two.

Christmas in Bruges with youngsters

When you’re contemplating visiting Bruges in the course of the winter, you’ll discover a string of additional causes to guide a visit round Christmas in Bruges with youngsters.

In addition to two of Belgium’s loveliest Christmas markets – a conventional one on the Markt, and one other targeted extra on crafts and regionally produced items at Simon Stevinplein – there are additionally a string of actions as a part of the Winter Glow competition.

Decorated and illuminated Market square in Bruges, which is lit up each year for Christmas - one of the best times to visit Bruges with kids

Operating from late November till early January, Winter Glow features a Gentle expertise path previous completely different artworks, the possibility to go ice skating on the Minnewater plus a strolling path by means of the historic centre designed to take you previous a number of the finest lights and decorations, in addition to over 500 Christmas timber.

Be careful too for the Star Procession, with greater than 100 actors (and sheep!) plus an orchestra re-enacting the Nativity, together with locals having fun with the normal Christmas dive from the Carmelite Bridge into the chilly canal.

journey to Bruges with youngsters

When you’re planning a visit to Belgium with youngsters, the easiest way to journey to Bruges from the UK is by practice – the Eurostar runs straight from London to Brussels, the place it’s straightforward to hook up with different Belgian cities and cities.

Blue and white sign reading Brugge, the Flemish name for Bruges in Belgium, at the city's railway station - train is the easiest way to get to Bruges with kids but you can also fly to Brussels

There are additionally common flights to the nation’s worldwide airport in Brussels. There may be additionally a world airport, Ostend-Bruges, however at the moment there are fewer flight routes.

Quick trains from Brussels to Bruges take below an hour from Brussels Midi, connecting with Eurostar, or you can even journey to Bruges direct in round two hours from the airport.

There are additionally a number of ferry routes to northern France together with Dunkirk, which is an hour from Bruges by automobile, in addition to the Eurotunnel to Calais. Or you may journey by ferry to Ijmuiden, the port for Amsterdam, from Newcastle-upon-Tyne

For extra inspiration for household journey in Belgium, take a look at my high issues to do in Ghent with youngsters and one of the best issues to do in Brussels with youngsters

Disclosure: This publish accommodates affiliate hyperlinks – any purchases you make are unaffected however I’ll obtain a small fee

Important picture/Belford/canal/carriages/fries/windmill/Beguinage/biking route/Minnewater/Christmas market courtesy of Depositphotos, all others copyright MummyTravels


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