I guess nearly every visitor to Belgium usually goes to Bruges or Brussels, but have you ever heard of Bokrijk? Today I am happy to share with you a tip for a day trip to a very beautiful place located in Limburg, not so far from where we live now! In the middle of Bokrijk forests, there is a place that can take you in the past and show you how people lived hundreds of years ago in the Flemish countryside. Domaine de Bokrijk is a large open-air museum with old authentic houses, farms, windmills, and a church. During normal (non-corona) times, you can see some animations by people dressed like in the olf times, you can participate in demonstrations and even certain workshops. It is a nice way to see how the past inspires the future of the region. It is extended on a surface of 550 ha, including hiking and biking paths, a large pond, and an arboretum.
We visited Domaine de Bokrijk when my mum was here by the end of June, on the same day as the Royal family who came here to support local tourism in the difficult corona times. In these times, there were not many visitors, and the exposition “The world of Bruegel” (art exposition devoted to the Flemish Master) was still on throughout the site as it had so much success last year. We all enjoyed an agreeable walk through the open-air museum, saw interiors of some of the ancient houses, where we traveled back in time, had fun with the little one in the herb garden, and had a picnic in the park.
If you come here in normal (non-corona) times with children, they will enjoy various animations/demonstrations or workshops, there is also a play garden. Also, they have buggy friendly access almost everywhere as well as changing facilities for babies. I am sure we will be back one day when Adeline is bigger and can fully enjoy it too.
Once the open-air museum closed, we went for another walk in the beautiful Arboretum and we also made it on foot to the De Wijers pond and walked through the water. This is where “Cycling through Water” happens, which is a very popular and unique experience in Bokrijk. Basically there is a cycling path leading through a pond De Wijers connecting one bank with another. In the middle, your head is on the level of the water and it´s funny to see all the landscape, ducks, swans from this perspective! 🙂 If you can´t come with your own bike, you can rent one nearby. More about “Cycling through Water” experience here.
The park, arboretum, and biking paths are accessible for free and most of the time during the year, the open-air museum is usually open from April to October. Beware that now during the corona times, you need to book a ticket online on their website where you can also find more information.