Text and Photos by Rebecca Balkum
Part of the play area Bokrijk, BE
Bokrijk is located in a beautiful wooded area near Genk where you can easily spend all day or just a few hours, depending on your desired activity level. It boasts the country’s largest outdoor playground that caters to all ages of children. From the local area it is about a 45 minute drive to exit Midden Limburg, following signs that wind you through the woods to the park entrance. Parking, which is 3 Euros for the day, allows access to the playground, open air museum, various biking trails and the castle grounds. The playground is FREE, and has separate areas for children 8 and younger, as well as a wide expanse of entertainment for older ages. For a minimal fee, the following are also available: small go-carts or motorcycles, pony rides, a water play area to cool off when the temperatures rise, and two mini golf courses, with a choice of difficulty level. There are a couple of snack stands to choose from plus three restaurants, with more complete menus.
The open air museum is a fun and educational example of 19th century life in Flemish Belgium. This area showcases three different regions. Haspengouw is interactive, with actors role playing characters from 100 years ago. Kempen portrays 500 years of historic life in a natural, wandering, country setting. Oost-en West-Vlannderen (Flanders), is complete with houses and trade shops full of activity, showing details of everyday life, including spinning, weaving, hat making, and tobacco processing. Also available is a chance to try out your skill with the “games” of the time period, such as walking on stilts, a race with wooden shoes, or an old-fashioned pole and hat game. View the website for more in depth descriptions and listings of special events, like the high tech sound and light show tour at night.
|Old hat making shop, Oost-en West-Vlaanderen area, Bokrijk|
Tel. +32 (0)11 265 300
Fax +32 (0)11 265 309