If you fancy something festive that will appeal to all the family, head to beautiful Bruges this winter. From 24th November 2018 to 6th January 2019, the Festival of Ice and Snow Sculpture Bruges will be taking place. To celebrate the 90th anniversary of Mickey Mouse, the festival will be Disney inspired which is sure to impress those young and old.
Artists come from all over the world to create a magical world created from ice with favourite characters from Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars and stunning iconic Disney palaces. This unique display is held in a thermal hall with a temperature of -6˚c so be sure to wrap up very warm. The festival can be found just in front of Bruges Central train station. Tickets are available at the entrance of the festival and prior reservation is not necessary. Tickets cost € 12,00 for adults, € 8,00 for 4 – 11-year olds and free admittance for children under the age of 4 years.
To carry on the fairy tale, head to Bruges Christmas market. With twinkling lights and brightly coloured stalls, it transforms the Grote Markt (Market Square) into a winter wonderland from 23 November 2018 -01 January 2019. Children will feel like they really are in the Frozen movie once they get their skates on and enjoy the open-air ice rink with the medieval 83m-high belfry towering above them. Let them enjoy a ride on the traditional carousel or even better on a horse-drawn carriage along the cobbled streets. All that combined with delicious warm Belgian waffles and plenty of chocolate, they will have all the ingredients for a perfect day.
Bruges is easily accessed with flights to Brussels from many regional UK airports and then a frequent train service on to Bruges. Taking just 3 hours and 30 minutes from London St Pancras and a quick change in Brussels, the Eurostar is another great way to get there and what child doesn’t love a train journey. There is also the added bonus that children under 3 travel for free on their parent’s lap.
Where to stay:
There are several hotels in Bruges which are ideal for a family visit. The 4* NH Brugge and 4* Crowne Plaza Brugge both have spacious family rooms and are perfectly located for sightseeing without tiring out little feet. The 3* Novotel Brugge Centrum also has all this, along with an indoor and outdoor play area and a definite selling point for older children, an X-box with kinnect in the lobby. If you are looking to splash out on something more luxurious, the 4* Navarra Hotel located just off the market square offers family rooms and free breakfast for under 12s in a beautiful listed building. Children can also take a break from sightseeing in the lovely pool located in the cave-like basement.