Family outing in Durbuy: our activity ideas with toddlers

The smallest city in the world is charming. But some of its most popular activities are not always ideal for children under 6 and their parents looking for relaxation. Our solution for a successful getaway with your little ones in this beautiful region of the Ardennes? Try our off-the-beaten-path plans for young children.

To keep toddlers busy, you have to think about something flexible, fast, easy, and moderately risky. And, above all, we must remember that they marvel at things that seem innocuous. Here we go for a family outing in Durbuy!

Travelling to the Middle Ages in the old town

Durbuy is an old medieval city with everything you need to imagine stories of princesses and knights: from small winding streets and picturesque bridges over the Ourthe, to the castle of the Counts of Ursel, and a massive rock in the shape of an « u » turned over that dominates the city. So, let your children pick a stick and conquer the city and its fortress, just like knights.

Kids did you know that…

Durbuy was initially a small island? Its round shape reveals that there was a time when the river was entirely around it. The name « Durbuy », of Celtic origin, comes from the words « hard » (wood) and « bu » (water).

And that…

The Homalius Rock (also called the anticline) is over 300 million years old?

Play a game of neolithic hide and seek around the dolmens

The charming village of Wéris is famous for its megalithic site. To learn everything about these impressive stone monuments, visit the House of Megaliths. There you will also find a selection of walks suitable for children and even pushchairs!

Some roads are forbidden to vehicles, which allows toddlers to frolic without danger. In the vicinity of the southern dolmen of Oppagne, you will find a paradise of hiding places, with many spots to sneak, climb… And trees offer a nicely shaded picnic area during the summer, so that you can enjoy the view.

Kids did you know that…

The dolmens and menhirs do not date from the Gauls (as the Asterix albums suggest) but from about 3000 BC (Neolithic period)? And that they are old collective graves or places of worship?

Yum, jams!

The Confiturerie Saint-Amour is a local artisan company that prepares nice things made with plants and fruits of the Ardennes. From jams, of course, to jellies, as well as vinegar and even plant care products. The workshop, where fruits are simmering in large antique copper basins, can be visited and a short film explains the steps involved in producing jam. The company prepares classics such as strawberry, raspberry, and rhubarb. But it is mainly for their more original combinations that you will appreciate this place: the jam « Délice des Fagnes » (blueberries, cranberries, currants), the jelly with flowers of elderberry, the blueberry vinegar or, to repair the skin, their balm with marigold.

Kids did you know that…

Freshly picked dandelion and lilac flowers produce excellent honey-flavoured jellies. Try them in a yoghurt: as sweet and comforting as a hug!

Make this good time last with your family

Extend this quality time with your family and stay in a holiday home suitable for children and close to Durbuy!

Stroll in a 100% natural sculpture garden

Topiary art consists of « trimming trees and shrubs to obtain various forms, geometric or other » (thank you, Mr/Mrs Larousse!). The Topiary Park is dedicated to nature sculpture, and it’s simply stunning. Do not think this park is just for older people! Whether one is a connoisseur of the genre or utterly clueless, the skill of the gardeners here commands respect and admiration. Boxwood and other species become works of art: geometric sculptures, human figures, animals… And what families will appreciate more is that you can walk at your own pace on the paths of this natural museum, without taking a guided tour, which is rarely suitable for children. Here, they have 1 hectare to run and 250 figures to marvel at. For sure, your kids and you will feast your eyes. Expect them to ask you to do the same in your garden… or they might even try it themselves! ;p

Kids did you know that…

Some plants here are over 120 years old!

Make a little climb to Belvedere and go down to the Ourthe

The « Durbuy Loop » is a marked trail of about 5 km that starts and ends in the heart of the city. What we like about it is its diversity: it takes you through woods, on pleasant winding paths, up and down, as well as along bucolic meadows, and at the water’s edge. Parents of young children, be aware that here you should use a baby carrier and not a pushchair. It will allow your little ones to see the trees better. ;D After the climb in the first part, it gets better: you reach the Belvedere viewpoint, which offers the best panorama on the city of Durbuy and the meanders of the Ourthe. Tip: from here, tired (little) feet can reach the city centre by a shortcut. The brave will continue on the trail through the Forest of Chapli, where you will enjoy absolute tranquillity, which is always welcome. The walk ends with a descent (another good point to motivate the troops) down to a plain, and finally next to the Ourthe, before joining back the bubbling life of Durbuy.

Kids did you know that…

Durbuy is the smallest city in the world? From the Belvedere, you can see for yourself!

Dive into nature

You may want to leave aside the excitement of Durbuy during your getaway. So follow us along this special family walk of 4 km. The trail starts at Heyd, just off Durbuy. You walk along the woods, enter a magical clearing, approach a small stream, stroll among the meadows in bloom… And to finish in style, you can enjoy a beautiful panoramic view from the heights of Heyd.

Because of its short distance and ease, this walk is suitable for young children. Plus, it immerses you completely in nature. Your children will have a lot of fun: walking on the trunks of fallen trees, collecting a thousand treasures in the forest, playing hide and seek, picking wild flowers, tasting forest fruits (only if the adults know which, of course!), ricocheting in the creek, feeding grass to the cows…

In short, this walk offers you a summary of the best that nature in the Ardennes has to offer.

A small plus in summer: the trail is under the shade of trees.

Kids did you know that…

Some wild plants that you will see on your way are dangerous, but others are edible or can even heal.

Curious? Read our guide to find out more about wild plants in the Ardennes. It takes place in Wéris, also near Durbuy, and it will amaze the whole family, from 6-7 years old.

And if you took the time to breathe?

A day with the kids can be exhausting, we all know it. Restore your energy in a charming rental and enjoy some quality time with your family, close to home.

Nature & discovery