A holiday at the beach with children, you don’t have to go abroad for that. Even in your own country you can enjoy the seaside and get holiday vibes. With ice cream in your hand and your feet in the seawater… Ostend is a vibrant city and besides the beautiful shopping streets for an extensive shopping day, the city also does very well on the scale of child-friendliness. It’s the perfect combination of city life and beach life, it’s the queen of seaside resorts and therefore a winner! We have listed a few tips for a successful family holiday on the Belgian coast.
1. Have a lovely carefree stay in Ostend
Leopold Hotel Ostend is a beautiful boutique hotel in the center of Ostend. Just 150 meters from the beach and a 5-minute walk from public transport to get directly to the Ostend train station. Therefore ideal to travel by public transport with your family.
If you are staying in our hotel with children, our family rooms are the perfect choice thanks to the extra space you have. Besides, you can enjoy our delicious breakfast with fresh pastries or freshly cut fruit, a creamy cappuccino or an intense espresso. We even have a waffle and pancake iron to let you enjoy it even more!
Have a worry-free stay because all our packages can be canceled free of charge until 4 pm on the day of check-in and you don’t have to pay until your arrival! Check out our availabilities now and discover our Ostend Package for an optimal stay at the seaside.
2. Running out of Vitamin Sea? Relax on the beach!
A shovel, a bucket and some sand molds, that’s enough for children to have a good time at the beach. They love to play in the sand and water. The most fun play is at the waterline. Waterways, sand castles, or sand islands, in good or bad weather, there is never a time for children not to grab that shovel.
One of the most popular things for children to do on the beach is to sell beach flowers for seashells. You can make flowers with them in advance or let them look for shells so they can buy them. Please note, only certain shells are used in the sale! If they enjoy it, you will see them standing proudly behind the counter of their flower shop.
Give them a souvenir to take home and look for some beautiful shells together, you can even use them to create something beautiful afterward!
3. Have a drink at a terrace on the sea dike
Nothing more relaxing than a walk on the promenade. Very often the dike is also perfect for rollerblading because there are slippery stones without many unevennesses.
But what would the Belgian coast be without renting a go-kart? The ‘billekarre‘ in Ostend, can also be a four-wheeled adventure for the whole family if you rent a family go-kart.
That Ostend is doing well on the scale of child-friendliness can be seen in the numerous playgrounds that can be found all over the city, there’s even a very cool skate bowl. Be sure to check out the playgrounds and skate parks in the center of Ostend.
4. Discover Ostend’s hidden pearls
Between the city center and the Oosteroever, you have a free ferry crossing. The ferry at the Visserskaai to the Maritiemplein is highly recommended to do with children and will be an experience they will not easily forget. Because which child is not curious about what can be found on the other side of the sea? And being able to discover it on a boat!
You will also find Fort Napoleon here for a historical visit, exhibitions, events, or a restaurant visit.
5. Admire the city as a true tourist
Would you like to explore the city a bit more as a tourist? At the Mercator dock you’ll find the beautiful sailing ship Mercator; a floating treasure chamber full of objects that you can visit every day. Very impressive for children who are interested in boats!
You also have the North Sea Aquarium, located on the picturesque Visserskaai. A museum kept alive by fishermen with the fauna and flora of the North Sea.
On the Visserskaai you will also find the famous fish ladder. An open-air fish market with a mass of fresh fish that is open daily and very fascinating for small children.
Would you like to take a relaxing tour through the city to see the many sights? Then be sure to take a tour with the Ostend Express, a miniature train that makes an approximately 40-minute city tour. Boarding point on the Zeeheldenplein.
6. Don’t let storms at sea ruin your holiday!
Of course, remember that it is usually colder on the coast than inland due to the sea breeze and that it may start raining here as well. However, don’t let bad weather ruin your holiday! There are plenty of indoor activities to do with children around the center of Ostend. Go to a trampoline park, a bowling alley, or an indoor playground where you can allow your little ones to play to their liking.
Would you rather enjoy watching a movie on a big screen with an extra-large popcorn in your hand? Then be sure to check out the movies they’re playing at the cinema.
P.S. During the summer, you certainly do not want to miss the beautiful sand sculpture festival on the beach. A walk in this exhibition is an absolute must. Artists from all over the world create gigantic sculptures out of the sand and it is wheelchair accessible!
Author Bio: Katie McGarr is a resident writer for Leopold Hotel Ostend, a lovely boutique hotel housed in a unique Art Deco building and located in the heart of Ostend City. When she’s not making art, you can find her writing inspiring articles about travel, food, and cultural appreciation.