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Five fun things to do in Ghent with children

Wondering if Ghent is a place to visit with your kids? It is! There are a lot of fun things you can do in Ghent with children. Here you will find a list of five child-friendly things we did during a stay in Ghent, Belgium.

 

1: Visit Gravensteen Castle – The Castle of the Counts

Knights, swords, torture-instruments, a moat, a guillotine and toilets with a “dump-hole” to the street. What’s not to like for two boys aged six and nine? Not much, according to our boys who spend half their time in some imaginary world where I’m sure elements of Gravensteen can be found now. The Gravensteen you see today was built in 1180 by count Philip of Alsace and was modeled after castles he had seen while participating in the second large crusade launched from Europe. Before its construction, there stood a wooden castle on the same location, built in the ninth century by Arnulf I (918–965), Count of Flanders. When you enter Gravensteen you embark on a journey that takes you through all the castles most important rooms. First stop is a very impressive big hall, and from there you go to rooms such as the chapel, the Knight’s Hall, the pantry and a room where a unique weapons collection from the Middle Ages is displayed. As Gravensteen also functioned as the Court of Justice of the Council of Flanders from the fourteenth century you can see a whole room filled with torture instruments such as The Rack, The Wooden Horse and a large selection of thumbscrews. You also get to go to the roof and walk on the castle-wall. All in all a really impressive experience for adults as well as kids.

Where: Sint-Veerleplein 11. (You can’t really miss it)
Price: 10 € for adults. Children under 19 years of age are free.
Find more info on Gravensteen here: The Castle Of The Counts.

Gravensteen Castle

 

2: Do a boat trip on the canals

We, and this includes our kids, find that one of the most enjoyable ways to explore a city is from a boat, and in Ghent you really want to make some time in your schedule for a boat trip. The view from the water gives you the full experience of Ghent and that special relaxed atmosphere displayed on the banks of the canals. You can choose to go on a traditional boat trip through the historic parts of Ghent, but you can also go on a picnic boat trip, hop on and of the water tram during the weekend, rent a canoe and much more. We chose to do a traditional boat trip with a duration of about 45 minutes. The trip takes you past some of the most beautiful and historically interesting buildings in the city.

Where: Kraanlei 2
Price: 7.5 € for adults. Children under 12 years of age cost 4.5 €.
Find more info on boat trips in Ghent here: Boat trips.

Boat trip in Ghent

 

3: Burn energy at Blaarmeersen

Kids like to be active, and at Blaarmeersen, a recreational area close to the historic city center of Ghent, you can be sure to find some sort of activity they will enjoy. The area covers 100 hectares and you can indulge in activities such as swimming, kayaking, windsurfing, skateboarding, playing volleyball, tennis etc. The temperature kept going up, up and up when we visited Ghent, so one day we decided to skip sightseeing in the boiling city center and go for a swim in Blaarmeersen. We were pleasantly surprised by the whole area, the water and the beach. Being from Denmark where oceans are for swimming and lakes for fishing you tend to be a bit skeptical when introduced to the idea of swimming in a lake. Is the water clear, clean and fresh, you wonder? And even though there is no getting around the fact that ocean water is clearer and fresher than lake water, the water in Blaarmeersen is very pleasant, and the beach is filled with soft sand. On top of that, there is a waterslide, which is a huge plus when you go with kids. If you want to go for a real swim you can also do that as there are lanes for the ‘serious’ swimmers. There are also lifeguards, and if you bring small children there is a whole area dedicated only to them. We really enjoyed our “cooling-off” day at Blaarmeersen.

Price: Swimming is free.
Find more info on Blaarmeersen here: Blaarmeersen.

 

4: Buy Cuberdons

Buy Cuberdons, a cone-shaped sugary Belgian candy, hard on the outside – gooey on the inside, and watch your children’s faces contort. A bit cruel – but fun. Cuberdons come in many colors and look very tempting, but I think they are an acquired taste. They are so sweet you want to kick a rhino in the balls. But hey, we come from Denmark, the home of licorice.

Where: Groentenmarkt.
Price: Depends on how many you want.

Buying Cuberdons in Ghent. One of the many fun things you can do with children in Ghent, Belgium. | Ghent travel | Ghent itinerary | Ghent with kids | Things to do in Ghent | Ghent Belgium|

 

5: Explore Graffiti Street

Graffiti art is by no means dead in Ghent, and there are a few places you can go to see it. One of the most known places is Werregarenstraat. This is a street that was opened up to graffiti artists in 1995, and since then it has become an institution. The winding alleyway is totally covered with spray paint designs, but none stay for long as Werregarenstraat is a living canvas.

Where: Werregarenstraat.
Price: Free.

Graffiti Street in Ghent, Belgium. one of the many fun things you can do with your kids in Ghent. | Ghent itinerary | Ghent travel | Ghent Belgium | Ghent sightseeing | Things to do in Ghent |

 

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The city of Ghent is a hidden gem in Belgium that can be enjoyed by adults as well as children. Here you find a list of five fun things to do if you have brougt your kids to Ghent. | Ghent travel | Ghent with children | Ghent travelling | Ghent Belgium | Things to see in Ghent | Ghent itinerary |

 

15 thoughts on “Five fun things to do in Ghent with children”

  1. This is a great post. I went to ghent on a rowing camp so never got to explore properly! This is a great post and that candy looks amazing! You have a great mix of things to do with kids to keep them entertained!

  2. Interesting you didn’t mention about the Ghent altar pieces? I learned about them from the film The Monument Men.

    1. Line

      Ha, ha – have to see that movie. Our kids tend to get a bit bored when we go to see stuff like altar pieces, so we skip doing those things when we all travel together

  3. So many fun things to do here. I actually think a lot of these are great for adults too 🙂 I would love to take a tour of the castle as it would be interesting to see the vintage torture tools.

    1. Line

      Yes, we always try to find something all of us enjoy. Makes it so much more fun to travel together.

  4. Looks like you managed to keep the kids entertained and occupied. Did they enjoy the castle? We missed Ghent while in Belgium, but will try to squeeze it in when we are in the region next.

    1. Line

      They loved the castle. Two boys and a castle…..doesn’t get much better:-)

  5. Anja

    I cannot believe I didn’t see/do/try any of the things you listed during our day trip to Ghent. It rained cats and dogs when we visited, but at least we found shelter in a palce that had delicious burgers. 🙂 Cuberdon sound fun- I can totally imagine that feeling when your face contorts of something being to sweet (or sour, we used to buy some extremely sour chewing gum when kids, and my face starts contorting even at the thought of it now). 🙂

  6. Candy and castles and a beach. I never would have guessed that Ghent would be such a fun time for a couple of boys. It sounds like a wonderful family visit.

  7. Certainly looks like a video game with the ancient architecture. I can see why kids would enjoy it there! Id love to try the sweet treat although I’m not overly confident in my ability to crack it! I hope to go to Belgium one day so this will go in my list!

  8. Never knew Ghent is so much child friendly. The children would certainly enjoy the boat trip in canal and the fun rides in Blaarmeersen if not everything. Not only would children, but as an adult I too am sure of enjoying all of these places.

  9. Pingback: 15 things to do in Ghent: The free, the fun and the tasty things

  10. Pingback: Must-see Ghent: Gravensteen Castle - Babies With Backpacks

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