Looking for free things to do with kids in Antwerp?
The summer is almost halfway done. Some of you are having a blast, others are struggling with keeping their kids occupied. If you are like me, a single mom on a budget, you want to keep the vacation costs low. So here are a few of my favorite places to go in Antwerp with my 5 1/2-year-old
So what free things can you do in Antwerp with kids?
One of my favorite things to do with my girlfriends and kids is visiting a child-friendly summer bar. And “Antwerpen” has a lot of them. For all types of people. The family people, the hipsters, the fancy pants …and so on.
We have been to the “Zomerbar” at the Sloepenweg for a few years now, just because my son loves it so much, heck even my 25 year old and her boyfriend love it.
You have an open-air library and there is even a volunteer who will read a story to the children twice a day.
This year they built this awesome a boathouse with slide up in a tree.
And when it is really hot outside, they put out puddle baths for the kiddos to cool off in.
Coming by electrical bike? Great, you can even charge your battery there.
Have some spending money? Book a circus show. Or order some great food from the food trucs there. Believe me, you will love the Zomerbar, or you will find another one that suits your needs better. Give them a try.
Check out this LINK to see if there is a Summer bar near you.
PETTING ZOO’s (kinderboerderijen)
You have many of those here in Belgium. Most of them also have a tavern and/or a playground in the vicinity. For us, in Brasschaat we love going to the Mikerf Farm. It is situated in the ‘De Mik” domain where they also have a real castle and towers. You can picknick at the lake before or after visiting the farm animals. It is a magical place.
You can even order a “fairytale walk” (
Other farms that we have visited:
- Kinderboerderij Rivierenhof – DEURNE
- Struisvogelnest – LIER
- Tivoli Kinderboerderij – MECHELEN
- De Bonte Beestenboel – HOOGSTRATEN
But you already knew this idea right?
Our favourite playgrounds?
- Melkerij Peersbos – BRASSCHAAT
- Melkerij Nachtengalenpark– WILRIJK
- Provinciaal Domein Rivierenhof– DEURNE
- De Bosrust – ESSEN
- Gerlachekaai Playground– ANTWERP CITY (NEW AND LOVE IT!)
If you are planning a trip to Bokrijk or would not mind driving out a bit further, we highly recommend the playground next to the open-air museum. IT IS HUGE! You can pack a picknick and easily stay there all day. Read about my review of our day trip to Bokrijk HERE.
They offer the opportunity to walk barefoot for some distance and to feel the natural ground and various materials with bare feet soles.
In addition, visitors can enjoy balancing or climbing and walk through brooks or even rivers. Some barefoot parks include playground sections designed for bare feet. These healthy combinations of barefoot hiking and playing have become popular tourist attractions.
I’m including a few small free ones, but if you don’t mind spending a bit of money on a memorable trail, then I would strongly recommend the barefoot trail in Zutendaal. (google translate if needed).
We absolutely loved it there. We went there when my son was a toddler and I carried him half way on my back in the carrier and will never forget walking through a deep thrench with water up to above my belly button, with a sleeping toddler on my back. Going back with my 5 year old again for payback time. Ha!
Some of them have air conditioning, some organize workshops. Ours in Brasschaat even has a play area. So go look online and make a morning of it.
I like going on Monday’s because you also have the weekly market going on and my son loves to then get the waffle on a stick. Yep, it’s a real thing. And delicious.
Most towns have their own library.
Some towns have play fountains. Just check online or ask in your local towns Facebook group .
The ones we have tried out:
- Park Spoor Noord
- Kapellen fountain “Dorpsplein” (use google translate if needed)
- Merksem , Burgemeester J. Nolfplein.
ROOFTOP OF THE MAS MUSEUM
What a great piece of architecture and design. The MAS has free admission. There is only an entrance fee for the permanent and tempory exhibitions.
Located in the trendy “Eilandje”
Keep an eye on their website, they organize many child activities and workshops like treasure hunts. And this during most school holidays for all ages.
tel. +32 3 338 44 00
BOEKENBERG SWIMMING LAKE
The swimming facility in the Boekenbergpark in Deurne is an ecological swimming pond. Plants purify the water in a natural way, so the pool contains no chemicals. There is a large pond of 73 m long with a depth between 1.80 and 2.50 m. There is also a small play pool with a depth of 50 cm and a large lawn area to sit and lie on.
Yes, also this place is FREE!
What do you need to bring then?
- Fitted swimsuit,
- An elastic band to tie long hairs together.
- A 2 euro coin for the lockers.
Van Baurscheitlaan ter hoogte van nr. 68
tel. 03 411 19 95
I’m going to end this post with the cheapest and for me one of the nicest free activities, and those are playdates.
When it comes to playdates, I choose to keep it simple. I am not winning any “hostess of the year” awards—but I am totally okay with that. I keep the food and fanfare minimal these days, but I like to think that both the adult and child guests enjoy themselves while in our home. The kids get to play with other toys (kids love our dress-up rack) and mom’s get to relax, talk and enjoy some good coffee or tea. As simple as that. When you invite, you get invited back, especially useful in the summertime when in need of a pool. 🙂
Am I missing something you LOVE? Just let me know in the comments below.