SMIKEF

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SMIKEF

Brussels
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Favorite activities:
Indoor Activities, Outdoor Activities, Theme Parks, Other, Parks / Nature Sights, Zoos / Aquariums, Museums, Theaters / Cinemas / Music, Playgrounds, Other

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  • Chopin

    Reviewed 29 April 2018

    The Chopin Museum was an interesting tour into the troubled life of Frederic Chopin.  Although much of the material probably is geared more towards adults, the number of interactive stations gives younger visitors an opportunity to play and explore.  There were a few drawbacks, however.  I kind of expected music to be a constant theme in the museum, but I was surprised not to hear much music around the exhibit.  Many of the exhibit areas were eerily quiet.  Granted, you could turn on music at some stations, and one room did have regular music playing, but in at least half there was no music playing.  Some of the interactive features were down while I was there, maybe 10-15% of them.  The functionality of my visitor card also came and went.  If they can work the bugs out of the system, I think it is a good museum and worth a visit, especially on Sunday, when it is free.

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    Tips

    Be prepared to get tickets in advance though if you go on Sunday because I had to wait an hour to enter because access is limited by the building's capacity. There are elevators, so there should be access for strollers, etc.

  • Ideal for a Sunday Outing

    Reviewed 29 August 2016

    The Museum may not be designed specifically for kids, but there are a few areas that will be attractive for children. By far, the coolest place for the kids is the Aircraft hall. I would honestly go as far to say that this is one of the most impressive collections that I have seen outside of the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. The World War I aircraft collection is particularly noteworthy, but probably less interesting for the kids. The jets, on the other hand, are bound to appeal to them. The main hall and the collections of uniforms and armor will probably give most people a yawn after the third of fourth case, but the WWII exhibit has a little more context and the diorama set-ups appealed much more to the kids. The World War I tanks exhibit was particularly impressive to me and the boys. I'd never seen a WWI tank up close like that before. Parts of the Museum could use a little bit of a facelift in some areas, but it seems that they are in the process of a systematic overhaul. The cafeteria is not particularly impressive (and has weird hours), but does the trick if you are in need of a bite to eat. Nevertheless, it is a great place to visit in combination with a stroll in the park afterwards. Perfect for a rainy day, too.

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  • A Good Spot for a Rainy Day

    Reviewed 15 August 2016

    The proximity of Planet Kid's to Brussels' suburbs makes it the ideal retreat for a rainy day, of which Belgium seems to have many. You only pay for the kids, which is fair given that the parents can't exactly use the facility to play. The play areas have video monitoring that allows parents to sit in the central area and observe their kids, while also enjoying a book or catching up with online interests using their gratis WiFi. The door access also is controlled, which is important given our security-conscious world, so no one can come in randomly off the street. If the weather is nice, there are some outdoor cart areas, where the kids can drive around a mock driving course. The cafeteria has a reasonable menu with a decent selection of hot meals and beverages. Ok, so why only three stars? First, in certain areas, items seem a little shabby and it appears that the facility owners probably could spend a little more time on maintenance and or cleaning. While that is forgivable, since kids are unforgiving to the equipment, I was a little more frustrated about the issue of water. Planet Kid's policy is that no one can bring their own food or beverages. So, you have to buy their water. Unfortunately, they don't serve tap water without some flavored additives (a pitcher of which costs 4 Euros) and their fancy bottled mineral water also will run you 4 Euros (practically the cost of admission). If you opt for just a glass of water in a plastic cup, that's 1.20 Euros. Yeah. With kids running around like mad and sweating, keeping them hydrated could be a costly affair. In my mind, easy access to water is akin to easy access to toilets, but again that's just me. Lastly, I find it a little unfair when places that charge admission still have features inside that require coins to operate. The outdoor race courses have some electric cars that require 1 Euro and only run for a minute. Two kids, and a couple rounds later, you've paid your admission again. All that said, I still can see myself going back again thanks to the location and the fact that my two boys (5/8) had a blast and kept themselves entertained without complaint for four hours. Life is give and take, so in the overall cost-benefits analysis, Planet Kid's breaks even.

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  • A Great Value for the Price

    Reviewed 14 August 2016

    Located only about 30 min from the bulk of Brussels, De Nekker is closer than the shore and likely a whole lot more fun. First of all, I was pleasantly surprised that after forking out 60,70, 100 Euros for Children's attractions in the Brussels area, this park cost me only 10 Euros total for me and my two boys (5/8). The park is broken up into several playgrounds and a lakefront beach. I had to pull them away. The cafeteria also was affordable and had decent quality fare. Lifeguards were available too, so there was no need to keep the constant watchful eye on the kids and I could enjoy my book. Overall, a great place that, given the price, I could see us returning to pretty often. We spent three hours there, and the boys could have easily spent another hour or two there.

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  • Pricey but Good

    Reviewed 08 August 2016

    The Zoo requires a minimum of about six hours to see all the major exhibits. Overall, it was a great experience for the kids. The animals seemed to be in good health and the exhibits were in relatively good condition. I was taken a little aback by the price of admission. For two kids and two adults with parking, the price was right around 100 Euros. Of course, with lunch, ice cream, and a bunch of other little amenities, expect to leave the zoo 150 Euros lighter than you arrived, so try to find a day with nice weather (yes, this is a challenge in Belgium as today was supposed to be sunny and come the morning, the forecast changed to cloudy with a chance of rain). The Europe, America, Oceana, and Africa sections followed a logical path, but the Asia section I found slightly confusing. And although one could find maps around, there were not the usual signs for major attractions. Yet, once we got the hang of it, we were able to navigate the park pretty easily. The highlights were the Penguins, Parrots, and Giraffes. Having been to many major zoos, I was impressed by their collection of Giraffes. Rarely have I seen so many together. They are really elegant creatures and watching them move in a group was really something else.

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  • Kid Friendly Place for Hanging Out in the Trees

    Reviewed 08 August 2016

    Arrived around 1400 and stayed until about 1800 with my two kids and their nanny. My 8 year old easily navigated the White, Yellow, and Green courses, while my 5 year old had a challenging time with the white course. I think the age on those courses is borderline 5-years old as I am not sure that every 5 year old could handle it. The same with the zip lines, which are rated for 5 years old. Without an adult on either side of a young child, they easily could have get stuck up top. My 8 year old did the zip lines on his own, no issues. While there were plenty of monitors on the ground, they weren't exactly the most responsive folks in the world. But, hey, this is Europe and in that context they at least were nice. The park provides heavy jumpsuits for navigating the course, so in the summer it can get hot in those. I recommend wearing some light gym clothes underneath. The highlight for my 5 year old was the net play area above everything in the trees. No harness was required and with the net under his feet, he passed a good two hours up there without boredom. So, while the adults do the harder courses, the little ones can play up there. Overall great experience.

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  • Perfect Size Museum for Grade Schoolers

    Reviewed 31 July 2016

    The museum is a mid-sized facility, and while it may leave adults craving more substance, the visuals given by the dioramas helped my kids (5,8) put the landings at Omaha Beach in a little more clear context. It also was the perfect length for them, in that it took us around an hour to get through the whole thing. In that way, the kids glean what they can from it without getting too oversaturated or bored with details. Children under ten are admitted free, which is good since I think they have the most to benefit from this type of museum.

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  • Very Well Done Museum

    Reviewed 31 July 2016

    Hands down, one of the best museum experiences I have had. This museum somehow made learning about Monks in the 13th century fun, interesting, and educational. The exhibits not only were educational, but beautiful. The aesthetic work put into each exhibit made me want to see and listen to each one. The audio guide lent a child's perspective by letting the visitor listen to a virtual interview between a child and a 12th century monk who explained the answers to the child's questions. My two kids (then 4 and 7 years old) also enjoyed the museum. Highly recommended for anyone passing through this part of Czech Republic.

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  • Educational and Fun

    Reviewed 30 July 2016

    I brought my two kids (5,8) to help acquaint them with the Battle of Waterloo. There were some really good exhibits. The content of the audio guides was very detailed but tended to be at the high school level. Nevertheless, my kids insisted on listening to all the audio points they could find. There were interactive paintings, exhibits for all ages, and a very informative "4D" film about the battle. The ticket also gave you access to the famous lion mound and the "panorama," a painting which is similar to the Gettysburg "cyclorama" in the USA. At the top of the mound, for an extra fee, there was a "5D" virtual reality goggle headset that allowed you to observe the battle from the top of the mound. It really helped to put the battlefield in context, even for my 5 year old. The restaurant mentioned above is outside the museum itself, but clearly affiliated with the venue.

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  • Great for All Ages

    Reviewed 30 July 2016

    Took my two kids (5,8) and their nanny (18) today and we spent about 5+ hours at Technopolis an could have easily spent more. The four of us cost about 50-60 Euros. The place is well maintained, clean, and over 95 percent of the exhibits are functioning properly. My kids didn't even realize that five hours passed. The cafe was well stocked with warm and cold dishes. The only thing I could offer is that they could try to give a little more variety to the warm dishes. The nanny enjoyed herself and so did I. Comparable to just about any quality science center in major metropolitan areas.

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