In and Around Brussels with kids: Technopolis

Spring is definitely in the air, which for most families means more time spent outside. Hurrah! However, there are still many rainy days to come  – we are in Brussels after all! It’s always nice to have an indoor alternative for those rainy days when you don’t want to be stuck at home, but don’t want to venture outside either.

In and around Brussels with kids: technopolis

Technopolis

Technopolis is one of 3yo Sprout’s favourite spots for a day out. It’s just outside Brussels, in Mechelen, only a 20 minute drive. It is a truly hands-on science centre which caters to just about any age group.

Inside the big complex (which is currently undergoing expansion) you can find The Children’s Science Centre (TCSC), advertised as being for ages 4-8 – but don’t let this put you off if you have younger children. I would say your average 2yo would get a kick out of it, as would their parents.

In and around Brussels with kids: technopolis

Construction site

Inside TCSC you find an entire town, with a working crane to build a house, an ambulance with working sirens, a vegetable patch, a pizzeria, a garage and a bank where you can even print your own money with your picture on the bills!

In and around Brussels with kids: technopolis

Pizzeria

The best part? This area is closed to visitors without small children and the button to open the doors from the inside is out of children’s reach, meaning they are in a safe, age-appropriate area where they can wander freely without the fear of getting lost.

In and around Brussels with kids: technopolis

Garage

Within the area there is also an adapted restroom with little toilets and sinks (along with the bigger ones), and a changing table. If you would like to stay for lunch, there is a small cafeteria with healthy-ish kids’ meals (currently undergoing work, so check before you go).

Technopolis 4

And of course, don’t forget to have a look at the rest of the centre; one of my son’s favourite attractions is the water elephant near the cafeteria (very handy if you’re still eating and they are done, or you’re busy feeding a smaller one. Even my 8mo baby had a blast the last time we were there!

In and around Brussels with kids: technopolis

Baby water play

It can get pricey though, and if you plan on going back, I definitely recommend getting an annual subscription. It also comes with additional discounts and perks, such as a free entrance to the Boudewijn Seapark in Brugge.

The best time to go? I would definitely say school holidays and weekends since it can get pretty packed with school visits on school days.

Don’t forget to vote for your favourite book for the read-along! We’re at a tie at the moment and I’m looking forward to announcing the winner this weekend!

What we’ve been up to

I keep writing posts in my head, but somehow they never make it onto the computer!
Well it’s been nearly a month since I last posted, so instead of making excuses, I’m just going to give you a little glimpse of some of the things we’ve been up to based on the pics I find on my camera.

First, someone turned 3 (I know I wasn’t going to post anymore face pictures if him, but couldn’t resist the birthday pic. Plus, didn’t get many photos that day because I was busy having fun)! And ended up having quite a big, mostly unplanned, birthday party. Sprout was a happy camper, and I think everyone who came was as well. There was no theme, no planned activities and, um, thanks to my forgetfulness, no party favors either since I forgot to hand out the homemade play dough “build a monster” I had prepared. I’m slowly still giving them out as thank yous as I run into people. And speaking of forgetfulness, I may or may not have locked us out of the house the evening before his b-day (leaving the key IN the lock from the inside, making it impossible to open with R’s key) which may or may not have resulted in us forking over €200 (!!!!) for a locksmith to open it in under 5 min (minus 2 hrs waiting time, of course)…

We had chocolate cake made by moi (nothing fancy, but oh so yummy – see pic above). I used this recipe for the cake, and this one for the icing (adding tons more cocoa powder to it to make it less sweet and more, um, chocolatey). Birthday boy approved and it quickly disappeared.

There was also a cardboard rocket-ship, partially finished, that I insanely made after seeing some biggish boxes heading for the recycling bin at the craft shop. You can’t waste cardboard, right? And since he’s been on an astronaut kick for ages (partially due to this book he loves) I decided to make it into a rocket-ship late in the evening. I totally expected it to fall apart with so many kids jumping in and out of it, but it’s still in our living room. maybe we’ll paint it and add the bottom “fins” or whatever they’re called. or maybe not. I already let him have a go at it with markers, pastels, etc. Let me know if you’d like me to share how I put it together. I don’t have pictures, but it’s fairly straightforward.

He also received many gifts, which we’re thankful for, but I have to figure out how/where to store so many toys. I usually rotate them, but don’t know where to store the out of rotation ones in our small apartment! Any ideas? We didn’t help by giving him a quite large wooden spaceship with many little bits… but we couldn’t resist buying it for him. You see, after Christmas we came across it at a shop and he wanted to buy it (it’s very, very rare for him to ask us to buy something). I explained it was a very big purchase, usually for a special occasion like Christmas or a birthday. So he hung on to that and would occasionally mention his “birthday spaceship”. He showed so much patience and self-control, we decided to get it for him. He plays with it every. single. day. Plus, it’s really well made – will last a looong time.

We’ve been having really grey, rainy, soggy, icky weather for about a month now, which means we’ve also been doing lots of indoor art projects and such. Speaking of which, I’ll soon have to write a post about the toddler (preschooler?) art group I’ve been hosting for over a year now.

In this photo we were doing contact paper (sticky paper) collages with feathers and tissue paper.

And we finally got around to planting some seeds! I hope to have a post on that as well *sigh*.

That’s some of the things we’ve been doing. What have you been up to this Spring?