Nies, from Reismicrobe, reports:
De Haan with children: variety galore
My name is Nies, 34, I have one little boy, Morris (3), and one baby girl Zola (9 months) and I am married to Geert. Via Reismicrobe (Travel bug) I want to inspire readers and other globe-trotting families to explore the world together. On my blog, I bring you tips & tricks for amazing family travel with young children and motherhood. Our motto: "Not all classrooms have four walls".
Aaaahh De Haan! My favourite town on the Belgian Coast! Devoid of high-rise, no apartment blocks lining the streets but neighbourhoods that ooze Belle Époque. I love it, the perfect destination for a weekend away with the children.
Last weekend, the four of us headed to De Haan for a breath of invigorating sea air. Glorious! Lady Luck was on our side because, in spite of the cold, we were greeted by a bright blue sky and sunshine.
Nice for everyone: with our without offspring in tow …
The heritage trail: Belle Époque in the heart of the dunes
This trail starts at the former tramway station (now the De Haan tourist office), where you buy the pass for 2 euro. It shows you De Haan’s unique charm: winding avenues and naturally sloping terrain and takes you through the picturesque ‘Concessie’ quarter, along typical cottages and villas, with, here and there, a modernistic accent.
Yippee, in De Haan there’s lots to do for families with young children. Obviously, you’d hire a go-cart to race up and down the promenade. A must! Building sandcastles on the beach is a no-brainer too of course. But then …
Well, let me tell you, in De Haan you can play pitch & put in Astridpark, get your fill of water in Aquafun Sunparks, or watch your children turn into veritable circus artists before you very eyes at De Sierk (closed during wintertime).
Also the play areas in the woods in and around De Haan are fantastic. We decided to visit ‘Het Wonderbos’ and, together with our 3-year-old son, Morris, we went looking for wood gnomes. On hearing what we were going to do there was no stopping him! And what a great time he had!
During our weekend away, we stayed at Apart!, which includes a scrumptious breakfast at Het Moment! (highly recommended by everyone on my Instagram account). Perhaps you may remember it as the Coqisserie, as it was called before.
Over the coffee shop there are a number of apartments that cater for families. There is a private car park and their divine, much acclaimed, breakfast is included. We loved the idea of staying in an apartment, as the children could go to sleep while mum and dad could have some time to themselves in the sitting room. Also when the children want to have a rest or nap during the day, it’s a lovely place to return to.
Back to the famous breakfast! Truly delicious! And a lovely setting! Yep, you’ve got it, we were truly impressed. So much so that we even went back for lunch there. Yes, if it’s good, it’s worth broadcasting.
I would love to give you a few more ‘Must Eat’ tips but was it because we were there during the long weekend of 11 November perhaps? Everything happened to be fully booked! We checked out some 5 restaurants before we eventually found a table in a place I wouldn’t be in any hurry to recommend here … hi hi! In other words, book your table is the message.
But I am happy to pass on the dining tips I got via my Instagram account: Bistro De Kruidenmolen, B.A.Z. (Bistro Aan Zee), Bleu Chaud, Bistro Villa Julia …
After lunch at Moment! it was time to head back home again … We made a detour via De Spioenkop (dune) in Wenduine before we bid the coast goodbye and, boy, am I glad we did! What a view! De Spioenkop measures in at a height of 31 metres (the one but highest dune). There are various paths and also steps incorporated into the dunes that lead to it and it is wheelchair and buggy accessible (steep slope). A glorious spot!