Fancy a spur of the moment break with the kids before the extended Easter school holidays end?
If so,how about Southern Belgium? At just about 1 hour away from Brussels it’s an easy choice as a short break option. Unspoiled landscape, soft rolling hills, pretty villages and even ski slopes are the backdrop for fun filled ideas in Wallonia – it is the green heart of Belgium.
Belgium may be relatively small in size but, as a couple of fabulous attractions listed below demonstrate, it still has plenty to offer – and a few surprises too.
Belgium’s beautiful southern region has plenty to offer as well for that much-needed day out and that includes Dinant, home of the Citadelle Museum and the famous birthplace of saxophone inventor Adolphe Sax.
It is here that you will find the terrific outdoor “Dinant Aventure”, operated by Dinant Evasion. It comprises different programmes, ranging from rope bridges, nature walks and laser games to cross country cycling, telepherique and “deathrides”.
The courses, set in a natural “bowl”, also features one of the country’s longest bridges (100m long and 40m above ground) and a 60-metre high platform, the longest in Belgium, from where you can do some hair-raising bungee jumping. The activities, ranging from 2.5 to 5 hours, are suited for all occasions and the challenges can take place between colleagues, friends or families. You can get to choose your own formula too and all this is done under the strictest supervision by trained guides who speak French, Dutch and English.
Close to the valley of the river Lesse, overlooking the Meuse, the 18 hectare Dinant Aventure park is nestled in an old sandstone quarry and part of the EU’s Natura 2000 initiative which, among other things, seeks to restrict over development on such land. The whole site includes adventure courses; a hiking trail, which follows the route of the high flying course; a 5,000 square metre multipurpose lowland; 200-seat BBQ area and 50-seat covered tent.
It may be hard to imagine, from the sedate river below, that so much is happening among the trees but Dinant Adventure makes for a great half day outing.
Still down in Wallonia, meanwhile, the Euro Space Centre, just off the E411 motorway near St Hubert, is a science museum and educational tourist attraction. It is devoted to space science and astronautics. The centre includes simulators of space flight and micro-gravity on topics like weightlessness and its effects and even has space adventure camps.
If you fancy making a weekend of exploring space then you do that here too. You can also train like an astronaut and float around using simulators, build your own rocket or operate a galactic mission and learn to live like an astronaut in space.
The space hub is where you can test your cognitive abilities and your resistance to free fall and centrifugal force. Mars is the current theme, including how to get to Mars, how to land there, how to live there and what can we do there.
A centre spokesman said, “It took us a year of work to arrive at the result that you will see in a few moments. But we are proud of the result. Between interactivity and its informative content, the mission is more relevant than ever: to bring space science to the fore.”
The centre, indeed, is both cultural and educational and visitors ask themselves questions about our fascinating universe.
“The aim is to make the centre a benchmark in the dissemination of aeronautical sciences.”
The centre, which (like Dinant Evasion) is fully compliant with all current sanitary requirements, expects 100,000 visitors per year even in this strangest of years.
It hopes to ensure that people have access to space knowledge by adapting its content all the time.After an investment of some €13 million and a year of work, the centre now has new attractions for the general public including a free fall slide, Space Rotor and Mars Village. The ticketing system means visitors can reserve their place according to the date that suits them. This allows the centre to both limit the number of entries and facilitate the flow of visitors inside the building. Visitors will have to buy their tickets online at ticket.eurospacecenter.be. If the tickets are purchased before the day of the visit, they will be €2 cheaper. The number of visitors will be limited to 300 per day. All entertainment is included in the admission price.
The centre is open every weekend and all school holidays.
If you fed up being stuck at home during the never-ending health pandemic you might welcome such great places to visit. Despite all the restrictions they have managed to stay open.