Meetjesland for kids

Meetjesland for kids

Let's play

Even the little ones can have a wonderful time in Meetjesland. Plenty of places to romp around and explore! And parents won't be bored either...

Fun cities, villages and places

Eurocity in Lievegem is the largest indoor children's playground in Flanders (online reservations only). You can confidently leave your children in the 2,500-square-metre heated playground. Meanwhile, you can enjoy a great restaurant or go bowling.

Another tip is Dinodorp in the Aalter borough of Knesselare. Or Maldegem: welcome to Kidsjungle, with kid's parties, pancakes and loads of fun. For the smallest monkeys, there is a play cage with soft play downstairs and a climbing wall upstairs.  For slightly older children, there are play cages, a cinema room, two ball pools, two trampolines, a bouncy castle, a children's disco and a deathride with blacklights.

But it doesn't all have to be big and flashy. Zelda&Zorro in Evergem-Doornzele is the place to meet and unwind in a contemporary and kid-friendly living room setting. The ultimate family-friendly place on the edge of the city, the port and beautiful Meetjesland.

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Going out and playing in Het Leen

For a child-friendly family outing, Het Leen Provincial Domain is on everyone's wish list. Het Leen is a thriving forest of no less than 278 hectares. Children can play to their hearts' content. There is a cafeteria with a summer terrace and fun playground, a play forest and numerous playing fields. The perfect spot for a picnic or children's party.

The educational forest centre and arboretum will show you hundreds of fascinating facts about the forest. You can also find a host of materials that will guide children through the mysteries of the forest. There is a bird watching hut for early risers. With some luck, you can even spot deer there, if you are very quiet. 

The main entrance to Het Leen is the imposing and recently renovated Forest Information Centre at 80 Gentsesteenweg. All walks through the domain also start from there. But first: let's climb! Opposite the entrance to the Forest Information Centre is an observation tower no less than 21 metres high and 6 metres long. The glass platform gives you an excellent view of Het Leen and its surroundings. Not for the faint of heart! 

You can visit Het Leen, during daylight, through the central entrance: Provinciaal domein Het Leen, Gentsesteenweg 60, 9900 Eeklo (T +32 9 376 74 74). Cyclists can bike through it from cycling node 58 of 55 in Eeklo towards node 57 en 54 in Lievegem, in both directions.

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Gnomes in the Drongengoedbos

With its 750 hectares, the Drongengoedbos the largest contiguous forest area in East Flanders.  It extends across Aalter and Maldegem. With its many beautiful lanes and heathlands, it is the ideal base for hours of hiking and cycling. 

The main entrance to the forest is the Drongengoedhoeve, where you will also have the opportunity to taste Meetjesland specialities. The Drongengoedhoeve was built in 1746 as a working farm of the Drongen Norbertines. The place is especially popular for its cafeteria and lovely terrace. The ideal place for a regional beer. Be sure to visit the kitchen garden with its long forgotten vegetables and herbs. You will be plunged into the monastic atmosphere of three hundred years ago.

Little ones can follow the Pinnemuts gnome trail (2 km) in the Drongengoed Landscape Park. Children up to and including the first grade are introduced to all facets of the forest in a playful way. The trail starts at the Drongengoedhoeve and during the hike, Gnome Pinnemuts shows the way. Halfway through, you can read aloud the story of Witch Kweetetal who urgently needs to pee. Also highly recommended!

Biking or hiking are the best ways to explore Drongengoed. We prefer not to see cars in this area, help us taking care for this natural reserve. Follow the parking signs, please. Or start in the villages around (Ursel, Kleit, Oostwinkel, Knesselare). You'll discover Drongengoedhoeve between cycling node 75 and 68.


Outdoor swimming in Doornzele

Fancy a swim and some casual relaxation at the water's edge? On the old football grounds of VV Doornzele in Evergem is a beautiful natural swimming pond that attracts a lot of swimmers during summer. The Offside recreation domain is a wonderful place for the whole family, with plenty of peace and quiet above all. In the summer months, a professional lifeguard keeps a watchful eye. In return, you pay a small fee. But there's a discount for those who come by bike!

And there's more. Offside also has a playing field and a park theatre that also becomes an outdoor cinema. There is plenty of children's entertainment, a playground for young and old, and (of course) a football field. Owners Veronique and Johan have transformed the former football canteen into a tasteful and welcoming pub with a nostalgic nod to the football past of this special place between Dries and the harbour.

Buitenspel Evergem, Groenweg 7a, 9940 Evergem (M +32 478 66 01 35). Open in july and august between 14:00 and 20:00. Entrance 5 euro.

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Romp around in the Huysmanshoeve

If there is one place in Meetjesland that everyone knows, it is the Huysmanhoeve. The gatehouse from the 13th century is the oldest building in Eeklo and perhaps in the entire Meetjesland. The iconic community centre was built in the 17th century and today serves as a Provincial Regional Centre. Numerous biking and hiking trails start here, small and large participate in activities, and schools visit for unforgettable educational days. The people at the tourist information centre will be happy to find the best places in the region for you and your family.

Tip: be sure to take a walk through the orchard, herb garden, berry garden and vegetable garden. A delight for the eye as well as for all your other senses. Coming for a visit with your children or friends? Then brace yourself for a day of fun and discovery. Try the curling area or farmers' golf - or opt for cosiness with a board game in the local bar, accompanied by a drink and a local delicacy. Children will have fun in the mud kitchen, the tree trail or the wiglo (willow igloo) on the large domain. They will have the day of their lives!

Huysmanhoeve, Bus 1, 9900 Eeklo (T +32 9 377 86 00) is open from april 1st til october 1st, wednesday til sunday, from 11:00 to 18:00.