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Best Outdoor Activities in Brussels

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Centre équestre Le champ des licornes is a charming horse riding grounds where you and your family can go horseback riding. Trained handlers will help your children handle the hourses as they trot around the stable grounds. This is perfect spot for a birthday party for ages three and up.

The Sonian Forest is a luxuriant expanse of wooded terrain that extends over a sprawling 4,421 hectares (10,920 acres) just beyond the city limits of Brussels. This forest of beech and oak once formed a part of the ancient Charcoal Forest, with roots that can be traced back to the Roman era. Over the centuries, large portions of the forest were cut down to provide lumber for construction. Most notably, Napoleon's impressive Boulogne Flotilla was built using oak harvested from the Sonian Forest at a cost of over 22,000 trees. To avoid any further losses, the forest is now a protected natural area. Beneath a leafy canopy alive with birdsong, the Sonian Forest hosts a number of popular attractions like Joachim Zinner's Beech Cathedral, the Bosmuseum Jan van Ruusbroec and Rouge-Cloître Abbey. Activities like hiking, fishing, horseback riding, wildlife watching and cycling can be enjoyed here.

L'Ecurie Eliot Hador is a large equestrian center and training ground located just outside Brussels. Newcomers can take a beginners course in horseback skills while advanced riders can brush up on their technique with more serious training. The center is a treat for kids birthday parties where children can take some supervised rides on the stable's fleet.

Ecurie St Eleuthère is one of Belgium's premiere riding schools, employing only certified instructors to guide newcomers and seasoned riders in both introductory horse riding and advanced technique. The certified handlers are a treat for kids parties, allowing children to ride worry free side by side with veteran instructors.

For the 50th anniversary of Belgian independence in 1880, King Leopold II commissioned the creation of Cinquantenaire Park, also called Jubelpark, and its grandiose triumphal arch. Today, you can visit the museums located here or you can rest on the plush lawn and admire the solemn manor houses. The Great Mosque and the Temple of Human Passions can also be found here. Every year on July 21st, on the National Holiday, there is an evening fireworks display. Jubelpark is an ideal spot for everyone.

Known as one of Brussels' best parks, the beautiful Bois de la Cambre borders both the Sonian Forest as well as the hip Avenue Louise. The park itself contains a small lake with an island in the center, Robinson's Island. It is the perfect place to relax after a long day of shopping, and you can also visit the Abbaye de la Cambre while you are there.

Domein Drei Fontainen is a lovely natural space just north of downtown Brussels, offering several different areas in which you and your family can connect with nature. An immaculately landscaped Italianate garden features perfectly maintained lawns, stunning topiary and hedgerows of cheery flowers, while more rustic walking paths offer more visual escapes from the urban bustle outside the grounds. If your kids are with you, don't miss the playgrounds that make this park a family favorite.

Facing the Egmont Palace, on Rue aux Laines, Egmont Park is home to several sculptures. Of all the statues within, the statues of Peter Pan and that of Price Charles-Joseph de Ligne are much adored. A slice of peace and quiet amid the bustle of the city, the park makes for a nice walk or a short picnic, no matter how old or young you are. Parc d'Egmont also incorporates interesting attractions that seem like they're right out of a fairy tale like an old Gothic well and an Orangerie, to name a few.

Club Equestre d'Estaimpuis is a lovely riding school in Brussels, offering pony rides for children and horseback riding for adults. A large open prairie offers ample space in which to trot, and stables on site are available for closely monitored boarding.

Spanning a sizable area in the valley of Woluwe, the emerald expanses of the Woluwe Park offer a wealth of natural beauty. The velveteen green spaces of the park have stood the test of time since they first arose at the behest of King Leopold II. During the Universal Exposition of 1897, the king wished to build a massive park that would draw the eye of the bourgeois, at the same time linking the Cinquantenaire and the domain of Tervuren with one another. The park evokes instant awe and wonder, with its quiet leafy alcoves, sparkling ponds, and nearly 300 billowing trees that feature across its broad expanse. It is also home to ducks, swans, gulls, and Egyptian geese, who are seen frolicking merrily along the park's tranquil ponds.

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