With 17 village parks spread throughout The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and France, Center Parcs Europe could be the answer to your rainy day, long weekend, what-to-do-with-kids blues.
It’s a village. Equipped with apartments and hotel rooms in various sizes, a family from 4-8 can find just the spot to call their own for a weekend, weekday trip, or a full week. Bring your own linens and food to prepare in the small kitchenette if you’d like and you’re ready to go explore. With walking and riding trails, you can go all over the enclosed park from activity to activity. Click on the activities link – you’ll find everything from saunas to childcare, water skiing to horseback riding. It’s amazing!
Each of the Center Parcs is built around a natural habitat, so you’ll find forests and lakes full of outdoor activities to enjoy. But, they are also all very different. Some have large indoor play centers for younger children. Some have classes. Some have BMX bike trails. Just check out the website.
Discounts are available for early and late bookings as well as large groups.
To find the park that is best for you, peruse the map showing you the parks and what main activities that they offer. You can also look at the “village rating” for each village. Click on that link and it will break it down from 1-5 leaf ratings based on age group and quality of attractions. The majority of the parks are within a two-hour drive from here.
To see everything included at the park, go to the park information page, then click on the PDF map and enlarge it so that you can see the list of activities in the right hand column. There will be a lot there that isn’t advertised on the main page. Boating, biking, swimming… this is a place that is fun all year.
The portion below Courtesy of the American Spouses of Brunssum Travel Information Guide
Vosmeeren Parc in
The basics- you rent a cabin type accommodation from one of 3 options Friday to Friday, Monday to Friday and Friday to Monday. There is a large pool complex at each parc that is available on check in days, before you check in on day of arrival and after you check out on your last day.
The accommodations are basic. We had a cabin for 8 persons. Rooms were small with 2 beds in each room. One room did have a double bed. We had a full bathroom and one extra toilet. Living area and kitchen. Kitchen did not have regular oven but had stove top/microwave and refrigerator. You can pay extra for linens (would recommend to cut down on what you have to pack). There are also different levels comfort, deluxe- some come with dishwasher and/or washing machine.
Suggestions: I felt it worth it to pay the extra to be in a cabin closer to the main pool area, easier on tired kids. It is very casual, jeans/shirts/shorts. Recommend a robe for pool area if you get cold easily.
Our Experience: We went Mon to Friday to Vosmeeren Parc in
Things that are helpful- there is a good size grocery store on site and it was fairly reasonable in pricing. They do not sell medications over the counter so you need to bring anything you might need for medicine, pain med/children’s meds etc…
Restaurants are decent, not too expensive as you might expect with a place like this but it is helpful to make reservations for dinner especially if during a busy season.
- toilet paper
- extra towels as there are no washer/dryers in the cabins but there is a washerette on site
- if bringing bikes is easy, do it. Otherwise you can rent bikes there.
- roller blades are also fun as the parc is car free other than on the day you check in and out.
The CenterParc at Erperheide
My family and I visited the Centerparc at Erperheide during spring break this year. We stayed in a 3 bedroom standard deluxe villa. I have 2 children, Megan is 23 months old JP is 5 years old. This place was perfect for spending time with the family.
Booking this vacation over the internet was a little intimidating because there are so many activities and extras listed. (The website is www.centerparcs.com. So it may be easier to call to make the reservation 0032-11-61-62-63 and someone can help you decide exactly what would be right for your family.
But basically, it is a large compound on about 500 acres of land. Included in the price of your villa you have access to Aqua Mundo and Baluba. Aqua Mundo is a huge indoor water recreation area. There are 4 slides, a rapids pool, a wave pool, a pool that has fish tanks in it so it feels like you are snorkeling, 2 hot tubs, a big baby pool with a slide and an outdoor pool and hot tub. Baluba is an indoor recreation area that has a ball area, a huge climbing area with slides, a moon bounce, kiddie go-carts and several other age-appropriate play areas.
For the adults, there is a bar and tables for having a drink and a snack while the kids play.
Also, there is a stage where they have kid shows. There are several outdoor play areas throughout the compound and a small petting zoo. I did not book any additional activities in advance. I thought it would be a good idea to see the place and then decide what we wanted to do. As it turns out, my kids didn’t need anything else to keep them occupied. They were more than happy to swim in Aqua Mundo or play in Baluba.
There is a kids club were you can leave your kids and you can pay per activity if you only want them to be there for an hour or two.
There are activities for older children. These include: archery, zipwire, big swing, and outdoor climbing. Also, there is a cycling center where you can rent bikes. There are several places to eat but we found them to be a little expensive.
The villa itself was OK. It was nice having 3 bedrooms and a kitchen but it was not very “deluxe”. Basically it was just a step above a cabin in the woods. And they don’t provide you with anything unless you pay for it (i.e.: sheet package, towel package). Overall, we had a great time. The park was clean and the staff was very friendly and helpful and we will definitely go back for another visit.
Here’s another website that I found that could be helpful.