Things To Do In Belgium When You're Ten
May 31, 2011 12:15 PM   Subscribe

My daughter and I will be in Brussels for seven hours on Friday. What shouldn't we miss?

She's ten, culturally curious, but a fussy eater. She likes fountains and modern art. I'm kind of the same. Any recommendations gratefully accepted.
posted by tigrefacile to Travel & Transportation around Belgium (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The Herge Museum? I am dying to go.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 12:19 PM on May 31, 2011

Best answer: This musical instruments museum, set in a beautiful old Art Noveau hotel. I'm not a musician, but I had a great time, and you can wander around with a pair of headphones on, put your foot on a special spot, and trigger a sample of the instrument you're looking at. Tons of instruments from around the world, all gorgeously crafted and decorated, and a few you can play! It would be tremendous fun for a ten year-old and wasn't all that expensive to get in to as I remember (she'll get a discount.)
posted by WidgetAlley at 12:30 PM on May 31, 2011

Best answer: My wife and I spent a lot of time last summer wandering the city looking for the comics murals. It's a fun way to see Brussels and you can do most of them without going too far from downtown.
posted by gerryblog at 1:13 PM on May 31, 2011

Best answer: Maison Horta!
posted by zia at 1:27 PM on May 31, 2011

In terms of food, you will find an abundance of frites (it feels wrong to call them French Fries in Belgium), more chocolate than you can shake a stick at and the glorious Liege Waffle. In particular you must try the Liege waffle as it will be both familiar to you as well as very distinctive. The sugar crystals inside are a very nice surprise.

Since Brussels has a lot of ex-patriots, you can pretty much find any food you desire. With that said, my rule of thumb for picky eaters is to be on the look out for Pizza Quattro Formaggi (4 Cheese) and Croque Monsieurs (basically a hot grilled ham and cheese sandwich).
posted by mmascolino at 2:41 PM on May 31, 2011

Best answer: You know about this guy, right? Technically a fountain.

Brussels is in the running for Most Impressive Sight in the World: the Grand Place. I'm not a 10-year-old girl, but I'm also not exaggerating: If I had seven hours in Brussels, I would spend the first 90 minutes there. Then I would go here and order the sausage with the sweet onion relish and some fries and some Trappist ale I hadn't tried yet. By now, hopefully, it would be night, so I would go back to the Grand Place and just stare at it for another couple of hours. Since four hours staring at buildings is probably excessive for most people, you guys will have plenty of time for the 10-minute walk to a museum like this one.
posted by troywestfield at 6:42 AM on June 1, 2011

Best answer: Some suggestions from a Belgian friend of mine:

Go see "La Grand Place", and "Le Musee de la Bande Dessinee"

The great market square will plunge them into the middle age, and the Musee de la Bande Dessinee is actually in a Victor Horta Museum.
The building itself is worth it...and the content is awesome too.
posted by kimota at 8:30 AM on June 1, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks all.
posted by tigrefacile at 11:44 AM on June 1, 2011

I'd say filled chocolates, Grand Place and the comix museum already refered to. Maison Horta is a bit in the outskirts for such a short time (if you don't take taxis all the time)
posted by KimG at 1:56 PM on June 1, 2011

On the street sculpture front, as well as the Manneken Pis, you could go and take a look at De Vaartkapoen. It's outside the Communauté Française in Molenbeek, about a mile north-west of the Grand Place. There's also La Cycliste, a cartoon cat on a bicycle. That's about 400m north-east of the Grand Place, opposite the far end of the spectacular Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert shopping arcade.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 2:08 PM on June 1, 2011

Response by poster: We saw the Grand Place in two lights, as a sedate, though breezy tourist hotspot, and later as a chaotic booze-fuelled, chant-filled football festival venue. We wandered around a lot and had an amazing time. The park was cool, and all of the Mont Des Artes is nifty, if only for the views over the city. Curse that paving though. Ten year old took a tumble on a bloody great hole in the pavement (4" cube blocks, several missing on the only hill in the whole of Belgium). Thanks again for your recommendations.
posted by tigrefacile at 2:08 PM on June 3, 2011

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