Belgium is an underrated destination for a family holiday, especially in autumn. Eat those waffles and enjoy all the fun things to do from city trips to Bruges and Brussels to adventure in the Ardennes. Easily reached by plane or train, Belgium is a great destination for an affordable family vacation you won’t forget.
You can also find all of these and more on our map.
For a quick teaser on what to do with your family, these are our top picks:
1. Visit Brussels with the kids
Belgium is nestled in the heart of Europe between France and the Netherlands, so Brussels is the beating heart of Europe. Come to this bustling and beautiful city in the fall for tons of family things to do!
We’re not kidding when we say Brussels has a bit of everything for everyone. From the gaming museum Pixel Museum to the unique puppet show of Theatre Royal de Toone, the kids can’t be bored in Brussels.
Plus, Brussels is one of the best places to visit to try out all the awesome Belgian food. The kids (and you!) won't forget all those waffles and chocolates. Or, why not have an educational day and go to the Atomium!
Where to Stay in Brussels
Budget - Generation Europe Youth Hostel
Within a 20-minute walk from the central Grand Place and Manneken Pis, there's also a shared kitchen and lounge with an array of activities you can enjoy on site.
Mid-range - Vintage Hotel Brussels
Time warp back into a funky 70s style decor in this stylish boutique hotel that includes a wine bar and spacious courtyard terrace.
High-end - Hotel Made In Louise
Chic and oh so effortlessly stylish, this hotel drips in luxury fit for any trip to Brussels.
2. Visit Bruges - the prettiest city in Belgium!
You won’t regret taking a trip to Bruges in the autumn. Take a canal boat tour to show the kids the stunning architecture without having to trek around the city - sometimes the convenient ways are the best!
After enjoying the views, bring the family over for an interactive museum experience at Bruges Historium to unlock the story of this stunning medieval city. You can even get a great view of the city from the very top of its tower. Armed with VR and kids activities, the Historium is a good place to visit for any family trip to Bruges. But there’s a special reason to visit Bruges in the autumn…
At the end of November, when winter is really beginning to step in, Bruges turns into a land of frozen art at the Snow & Ice Sculpture Festival. Artists gather in Bruges to carve beautiful sculptures from the ice.
Where to stay in Bruges
Beyond affordable, allowing you to explore the best of Bruges without sacrificing your budget!
Mid-range - Boat Hotel De Barge
Experience the historical canals of Bruges is a whole new way - by staying on this boat hotel!
This gorgeously well-preserved historical hotel lies alongside a canal where you can have breakfast in a vaulted cellar with pristine views of the water.
3. Get active in the Ardennes
Not every family trip is about hopping from museums to parks and playgrounds! We’ve got some Belgium holiday ideas for all our adventurous families too. Luckily, Belgium has plenty of options from kayaking to rock climbing! The Ardennes is your best bet for an active autumn holiday here.
Take your pick of hiking, kayaking, canoeing and paddle boating at the big and beautiful Barrage de Nisramont. There’s few better places for a trip in the Ardennes, especially for families than around here. There is a little walk option for the younger kids as well if you just want to give them a taste of the outdoors. A trip to the beautiful autumnal Ardennes with the kids is sure to make any Belgium family holiday unforgettable.
4. Horseback ride in the Sonian Forest
It wouldn’t be a fall trip without a walk into the beautiful colours of Belgium. Yup, there’s woodland walks aplenty. One spot you can’t miss is the Sonian Forest. Just a short drive from Brussels, the forest is actually a UNESCO World Heritage site. And for good reason! Walk beneath a canopy of autumn leaves as you escape into the forest.
Bringing the kids? Make an unforgettable fairytale experience by horseback riding into the forest.
5. Step back into history in Waterloo
Delve a bit deeper into Belgium’s history and culture at Waterloo, where the infamous Napoleon was defeated. From Napoleon’s last headquarters to the iconic Lion’s Head mound, Waterloo is a great place to visit for a history packed family trip. Trek to the top of the Lion’s Head for a view of the battlefield, then explore the rest of the Waterloo experience at its many museums. Perfect for older kids!
A trip to Waterloo is pretty convenient too. It’s tucked away in Walloon Brabant, not too far from Brussels if you want to switch things up and take a day trip to another city.
6. Trek the trenches of Ypres
When the kids are old enough to understand it, walking the steps of history really brings all those history classes into perspective. Bring the family for an educational but interesting trip to Ypres.
Ypres gets crowded on Memorial Day in November, where everyone gathers to hear the music by the Menin Gate. But Ypres any time in the autumn is memorable, especially when you get to visit the trenches. Yes, you can walk the actual trenches of the world wars at the nearby Sanctuary Wood and Bayernwald. Teaching the kids history is much easier when it’s right in front of them!
Ypres itself is also a great city to visit, with plenty of activities besides the history bits. Give the kids a break from learning at the nearby theme park and waterpark Bellewaerde.
7. Delve into the Caves of Han
When you think of autumn, you probably don’t think of caves! But hear us out. At the Caves of Han, you and the kids can step down into a world of history and light. Tour the caves to uncover the ancient rocky foundations of Belgium. The light show is definitely a must-see too!
Why visit in the autumn? Well, the caves lie in Rochefort in the Ardennes making it a perfect activity to combine with any trip to the Ardennes when nature is at its most beautiful. Rochefort has a family friendly camping site and a mountain bike rental in the city too, so it’s a great starting point for any family trip this autumn.
8. Visit the zoo
A zoo visit is a classic family trip and Belgium won’t let you down on that front. Antwerp Zoo lies right next to the train station, making it a perfect stop for any trip in Belgium. But its convenience isn’t it's only appeal - there’s plenty of animals to see and experiences to be had!
There are some smaller zoos in Belgium too, if that’s more your thing. Pakawi Park has less crowds but still good events, so you get to see the animals up close without all the hassle of a popular zoo.
Halloween in Belgium is a family event not to be missed. Plenty of towns and small villages too put on Halloween themed events. From parties in the city to spooky nighttime castle tours, there’s something for the whole family at Halloween.
Each November, Brussels celebrates Dia de Muerto (Day of the Dead) inspired by Mexico with facepainting and parades aplenty throughout the city.
Some museums and castles offer specially themed Halloween tours or treasure hunts. Be sure to check ahead where you go - you may find an unexpected Halloween treat!
You can also find all of these and more on our map.