10 European Things to see and do for Families this Summer!

August 22, 2018

It may be August but there’s still plenty of time for some fun in the sun with your family before the schools go back. We’ve assembled our top ten list of family friendly activities to enjoy in Europe this summer, and they’re all within easy driving distance of our French and Dutch destinations!


Breath-taking views from the Belfry of Bruges

Bruges offers a great day out for the whole family. Cute canals, cobbled streets and medieval buildings all add up to many hours’ fun exploring the quaint Belgian city. At just one hour’s drive from our Dunkirk port, Bruges has become something of a tourist hotspot, so make sure that you get there early before the crowds arrive. Looking to get a good overview of the city? Be sure to take the family up the 366 steps of the Belfry of Bruges and be rewarded with a spectacular panorama of the city and its surroundings.


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Check out the windmills at Kinderdijk

For a glimpse of the world famous Dutch windmills take the one and half hour drive from port to Kinderdijk, and you’ll be amidst no less than 19 of these iconic windmills. Kinderdijk features two museum mills that allow you to see what life was like when these windmills were constructed in the 18th century. Plus there is also the chance of taking a fun boat tour for a more relaxing way to see these typically Dutch sights.


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Explore the Atomium in Brussels

The Atomium in Brussels is certainly an eye-catching sight, but did you know that you can also walk though the tubes and spheres of this iconic Belgian landmark? Not only does the Atomium offer stunning 360-degree views of the city, but it also features a special children’s sphere that serves up plenty of fascinating facts about the building of this monumental structure. All within a two and a half hour drive of our Calais port.


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Experience the wonder of Mont-Saint-Michel

There are few European locations as dramatic as Mont-Saint-Michel on the northern coast of France. This island commune is so much more than just an outstanding photo opportunity, as children of all ages will love pretending to be medieval knights whilst roaming around the monastery and abbey. Mont-Saint-Michel is a three hour’s drive from our Dieppe port, but the journey will be well worth it once you tuck in to some of the wonderful local crêpes! Just remember to check the tide schedule so that you can plan your day accordingly.


Mont Saint Michel



Take a cycling tour of Ghent

Ghent could be Belgium’s best-kept secret and there’s nothing like taking a fun cycling tour for seeing its many medieval attractions. The city is less than a two hour’s drive from our Calais port, and by taking a cycling tour, you’ll be able to check out all of the main sights whilst saving your feet. As Ghent has the largest low-traffic pedestrian zone in Europe, it’s safe for kids and there are plenty of helpful cycle hire places too.


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Take a boat around Antwerp

What better way to experience the wonder of Antwerp’s architecture than by taking a boat tour around this pretty Belgian city? Antwerp is located under two hours away from our Dunkirk port and it is packed with stunning art museums for the adults, and plenty of tempting chocolate shops to keep the little ones interested. Take the kids on one of the many fun boat trips down the River Scheldt and get a different perspective on the wonders of Antwerp. There’s plenty of fun to be had in cruising around the city’s harbour where huge ships and shipping containers unload their wares, whilst the Jan Plezier boat trip even offers you an unlimited supply of pancakes!


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Tranquil Japanese gardens in Dusseldorf

The German city of Dusseldorf might be well known for its vibrant fashion and arts scene, but it’s also a fun place to take the kids too. The city has plenty of excellent attractions like the Neanderthal Museum, the Aquazoo and the Unterbacher See – Dusseldorf’s inland beach, but our pick is the tranquil Japanese Garden in the expansive Nord Park. It’s a great place for the kids to have fun amidst the eye-catching sculptures and cute conifer trees, and the Japanese Garden is the perfect picnic spot too!


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Roam around the Citadel of Lille

Visit the picturesque Citadel of Lille where pretty parklands and sleepy moats surround the 17th century military installation. Not only do the lush green spaces provide an excellent location for a picnic, but you are also close to the Zoo de Lille where over 110 animal species will keep the little ones suitably entertained.


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Bring history to life at Muiderslot

Muiderslot is perhaps the prettiest medieval castle in the Netherlands, and kids will love following the trail through the castle’s towers and turrets. There’s even a medieval knight’s route that shows off some seriously impressive swords and suits of armour. Whether you are watching a falconry display or are taking part in a treasure hunt, it will all add up to a great day out.


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Get scientific at NEMO

Who said that learning had to be boring? Take the kids to the NEMO science museum in Amsterdam and they’ll learn the wonders of the universe without even realising it! NEMO is packed full of playful exhibitions on everything from astronomy to chemistry, and it can even make mathematics fun.


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