Brussels Christmas Market with Kids 2022

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The Christmas market in Brussels is one of the most impressive Christmas markets in Europe. Do not miss the light show at the majestic Grand Place! Read on this guide on the Brussels Christmas market with kids: practical tips, kids friendly restaurants and a map to help you plan ahead your visit

Having lived in Brussels for over 10 years now, here is what we do several times every year to enjoy the Christmas market in our hometown with our kids 🙂

When: 25.11.2022-01.01.2023

Tip
Opening times: Every day: 12.00-22.00
24.12.2022 and 31.12.2022: 12.00-18.00
The Christmas attractions at Bois de la Cambre are on 02.12.2022-08.01.2023!
Also the ice rink at De Brouckere is on 25.11.2022-08.01.2023!

Video

Here is a very short video, so that you have an idea of what it looks like

Christmas market in Brussels with kids

Tip
A Family’s Guide To Christmas Markets: Tips on planning your visit with kids
The following tips will help you know what to expect and to plan ahead your Christmas market experience with kids

*Where: the Christmas market in Brussels takes place at several locations all around the city center. As of 2021 there are Christmas attractions also at Bois de la Cambre. You can easily walk from one location to the other in the center in the order these are mentioned in the post (with the exception of Bois de la Cambre)

Attractions at each location

Grand Place (must!): light show and Christmas tree
Bourse: market stalls
Place de la Monnaie: après-ski village
Place De Brouckère (ice skating): ice skating rink and market stalls
St Catherine and Marché aux Poissons (must!): Ferris wheel, carousel and light show, ice monster, market stalls
Market stalls at Bourse, Sainte-Catherine and Place de Brouckère.
Bois de la Cambre: ice rink, sledging, carousels and stalls

Tip!
You can start the walk at metro stop Brussels Central Station, which is a few minutes walk from Grand Place, or park at a parking place in the center. See more details further below on how to reach the Christmas market in Brussels

In this guide on how to visit the Christmas market in Brussels with kids, you will find out what to do at each location and photos of what it looks like. You will also find kids friendly cafĂ©s/restaurants in Brussels city center and kids friendly cafĂ©s/restaurants at Bois de la Cambre, that are not far from the Christmas market. And on top of all that, you will find how to reach the Christmas market in Brussels and a map of the Christmas market in Brussels with two possibilities on how to walk around to see everything

Tip!
The main locations that you should not miss are Grand Place and St Catherine (also Place De Brouckère if you or the kids are into ice skating!)
[These are both indicated with a “must” next to the title below, so you don’t miss them!]

Grand Place (must!)

You can marvel at the magnificent Christmas tree at Grand Place, the main square of Brussels. Enjoy also the sound and light show at one of the most superb squares of Europe

Tip!
The light show changes every year – good excuse to go back again and again 🙂

Here is a very short video of the light show at Grand Place

The Grand Place is truly stunning during this period! Here is a selection of my photos – going there every year results in having tons of photos throughout the years!

The Brussels City Hall right behind the Christmas tree is awe-inspiring. If you live at the central Brussels commune, you can get married there (we did!)

There is also a life sized nativity scene at the other end of the Grand Place with real sheep! Now that’s something not to miss with toddlers and younger kids 🙂

Tip!
If you only have very limited time and you can only visit one place on this guide on Christmas market in Brussels with kids, then Grand Place is the place to visit! Above all, do not miss the light show at Grand Place!

Tribute to RenĂ© Magritte – new in 2022!
What: installation to honor the artist’s 125th birthday
When: 25.11.2022-01.01.2023
Where: in the courtyard of the City Hall, Grand Place

Tip!
Don’t miss the opportunity to see the Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert festively decorated just a few steps away from Grand Place! Here you can also find the best Belgian chocolate makers and enjoy a waffle. Furthermore, it is covered, so it can provide shelter from cold or rain if needed

Bourse

A short stroll from Grand Place you will find Bourse, the stock exchange of Brussels. There are several chalets around Bourse and at the Bourse square, where we always stop for the first hot chocolate of our walk after having enjoyed the light and sound show at Grand place

Tip!
The Bourse square is not a must location for the Brussels Christmas market (like Grand Place and St Catherine), but it is on your way from Grand Place to St Catherine

Place de la Monnaie

Enjoy a hot chocolate in a converted ski-lift cabin at the après-ski village

Also we usually shop all kinds of sweets at this cute market stall

This is where the ice rink used to be in past years – in 2022 there are curling rinks and a VR experience (technology meets Christmas market)

Place De Brouckère

Here you can find the ice rink and many chalets with food and drinks. This stop is a must on this guide on Christmas market in Brussels, but only if your kids love ice skating as much as ours 🙂

Tip!
It’s best to go as early as possible to enjoy the ice rink without the crowds.
It can get pretty crowded, especially on the weekends!

Opening hours
25.11.2022-08.01.2023
Every day 12.00-22.00
Except on 24.12.2022 and 31.12.2022: 12.00-18.00

Tip!
The ice rink is on until 08.01.2023!
The rest of the Christmas market in the center closes on 01.01.2023, but the ice rink and the Christmas attractions at Bois de la Cambre stay until 08.01.2023
(The Christmas attractions at Bois de la Cambre are on 02.12.2022-08.01.2023)

St Catherine (must!)

The biggest Christmas market in the center of Brussels is at Marché aux Poissons. Marché aux Poissons is the square right next to St Catherine, where all the stalls are

This is the second most important point after the Grand Place in this guide on visiting the Christmas market in Brussels with kids

A carousel with fantastic characters, a Ferris wheel and market stalls, an ice monster… So many things to do around here! Also don’t miss the light show on the façade of Sainte Catherine and the carousel at the other side of the church!

It can be pretty crowded here on weekends, so if you can, go during the week

Winter Vox

What: There are choirs (professional and amateur) singing Christmas carols
When: 26.11-17.12.2022, Saturday and Sunday at 15.30-19.00
Where: Black Tower (right behind St Catherine)

Kids friendly cafĂ©s/restaurants in Brussels city center 

If you are looking for a kids friendly café / restaurant, then this guide on visiting the Christmas market in Brussels with kids is here to help!

Chicago is right next to St Catherine. There is a kids corner, perfect to keep younger kids entertained for a couple of hours
Chicago Café
Rue de Flandre 45, 1000 Bruxelles
https://goo.gl/maps/tHNoeUQTB4dVGusq7

Also for a waffle and ice cream next to St Catherine, try Gaston.. Very good ice cream!
Gaston
Quai aux Briques 86, 1000 Bruxelles
https://goo.gl/maps/QmU7cgdB8XL76nFH7

Another kids friendly restaurant is the Wolf Sharing Food Market near Place de la Monnaie. There is a jumping castle on Sundays and activities for kids are organized regularly
Wolf
Rue du Fossé aux Loups 50, 1000 Bruxelles
https://goo.gl/maps/HV9YVj5xAm8Yz3jK6

Tip!
If you are looking for more indoor or outdoor activities, kids friendly cafés/restaurants, kids friendly places to stay and more, check out the map!

New in 2022

Mont des Arts

What: Samsung magic swings
When: 25.11.2022-01.01.2023, 12.00-22.00

This is interactive and fun for kids!

World Wild Schooling - https://worldwildschooling.com Brussels Christmas Market with Kids 2022 - https://worldwildschooling.com/brussels-christmas-market/

Photo credit: https://www.plaisirsdhiver.be/

Secret Garden

What: Secret Garden, light and sound installations, concerts, local comedians, saunas
When: 25.11.2022-01.01.2023, Wednesday to Sunday
Where: at Grand Hospice, near the Ferris wheel of St Catherine
Program to be found later here

Canadian First Nations

When: 25-27.11.2022
Where: Black Tower, behind St Catherine

Tribute to René Magritte

What: installation to honor the artist’s 125th birthday
When: 25.11.2022-01.01.2023
Where: in the courtyard of the City Hall, Grand Place

Bois de la Cambre – Wonder Woods

Every year Wonder Woods in Brussels takes place at Bois de la Cambre. Below you will find practical details on visiting Wonder Woods in Brussels with kids, photos and videos of the ice rink and the light installations

There are Christmas attractions at Bois de la Cambre (Wonder Woods): an ice rink, light installations, go carts and more!

While these activities are fun for kids, this is not an integral part of our guide on visiting the Brussels Christmas market with kids. If you have limited time in Brussels, you can skip the attractions at Bois de la Cambre

Tip
The Christmas attractions at Bois de la Cambre are on 02.12.2022-08.01.2023!
Also the ice rink at De Brouckere is on 25.11.2022-08.01.2023!

Check our post on Bois de la Cambre – Christmas edition for lots of practical details and the best attractions for kids

Kids friendly cafĂ©s/restaurants at Bois de la Cambre 

If you are looking for a kids friendly restaurant in Bois de la Cambre, then Brasserie de la Patinoire is next to a playground in Bois de la Cambre. This is more high end, so if you’re looking for something more laid back, check Woodpecker below
Brasserie de la Patinoire
Chem. du Gymnase 1A, 1000 Bruxelles
https://goo.gl/maps/wMpo4ZzCEbTb2KF17

For a more laid back option in Bois de la Cambre, there is Woodpecker, a kiosk near the lake with cold and hot drinks, burgers
Woodpecker
Carr des Attelages 1, 1000 Bruxelles
https://goo.gl/maps/q3PFJyYPBZJqfUV77

Also not kids friendly per se (ie there is no playground), Chalet Robinson is located on an island and you need to get on a small ferry to cross the lake! The crossing lasts for a few minutes, but it’s great for little kids. There are also pedal boats available
Chalet Robinson
Sent. de l’Embarcadère 1, 1000 Bruxelles
https://goo.gl/maps/2tvo8exj7uofrMLn7

Tip!
If you are looking for more indoor or outdoor activities, kids friendly cafés/restaurants, kids friendly places to stay and more, check out the map!

Practical stuff

A guide on the Christmas market in Brussels and how to visit it with kids would not be complete without tons of practical tips! So here we go…

*When: 25.11.2022-01.01.2023
Every day: 12.00-22.00
24.12.2022 and 31.12.2022: closing time at 18.00

*Where: the Christmas market in Brussels takes place at several locations all around the center. You can easily walk from one location to the other in the order these are mentioned in the post. There are also Christmas attractions at Bois de la Cambre

Tip!
You can start the walk at metro Gare Central or park at the parking place . The only part of the Christmas market that you cannot reach on foot from the city center is Bois de la Cambre. See more details further below on how to reach the Christmas market in Brussels and a map on how to get around the Christmas market in Brussels

*Where: Grand Place, Bourse, Place de la Monnaie, Place de Brouckère, Sainte-Catherine, Marché aux Poissons, Bois de la Cambre
*Start at Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert, Grand Place, then walk to Bourse, Place de la Monnaie, De Brouckère, St Catherine, Marché aux Poissons
*Bois de la Cambre is at a different location (about 10 minutes by car from Grand Place or an hour by public transport)
*You can find the official map of the Christmas market here
*You can find the official map of Brussels by Lights here
*Cost: Free entrance, but you pay extra for the attractions, eg for the Ferris wheel or the carousel
*You can find more info on the official site of the Christmas market here

Practical tips for families

*There is a baby corner in the City Hall at Grand Place! You can change the baby or warm up their bottle. Ask at the reception!
*This is a very popular event and it gets very crowded during the weekends. Try to visit on weekdays, if possible

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How to reach the Christmas market in Brussels

By train or metro

*Train/metro stop: Brussels Central Station (Gare Centrale). This is by far the best option, especially if you are visiting the Christmas market during the weekend!

*If you want to visit also by public transport the Christmas attractions at Bois de la Cambre after the walk in the center, count on about 40 minutes to get there (take the metro from St Catherine to Park stop, then tram 93 to Legrand and walk to the Christmas attractions). Keep in mind that the attractions at Bois de la Cambre are scattered around the forest, so it’s best to visit the Christmas market in the center and the attractions at Bois de la Cambre on two different days, if possible

You will find all practical tips on the Christmas attractions at Bois de la Cambre here

By car

Tip!
Keep in mind that the parkings can be full during this period and there is a lot of traffic congestion especially on the weekends. Use public transport to visit the Brussels Christmas market instead of a car, if possible!

*Parking: here is an underground private parking next to Grand Place
Interparking Brussels – Parking Grand Place
Rue du Marché Aux Herbes 104, 1000 Bruxelles
https://goo.gl/maps/Uadg3yfY6uLBxMrV7

*If you want to visit also by car the Christmas attractions at Bois de la Cambre after the walk in the center, count on about 10 minutes to get there. Keep in mind that the attractions at Bois de la Cambre are scattered around the forest, so it’s best to visit the Christmas market in the center and the attractions at Bois de la Cambre on two different days, if possible

Map of the Christmas market in Brussels

There are two possibilities on how to get around the Brussels Christmas market and both cover all the attractions mentioned above

A. One direction
*You go from Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert to St Catherine. You follow one direction and you see everything along the way. This route is the one we usually do, because we like to end our walk and spend most of our remaining time at the biggest Christmas market in the center of Brussels with market stalls, St Catherine, where you can sip hot chocolate and have something to eat
*Details: you can walk along the Christmas market following the order of the post: start at Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert, Grand Place, then walk to Bourse, Place de la Monnaie, De Brouckère, St Catherine, Marché aux Poissons. At the end of your walk, take the metro from St Catherine for two stops in the direction of Herrmann-Debroux to go back to Brussels Central Station (Gare Centrale), or simply walk back

Here is a Google map, if you want to follow the one way walk

World Wild Schooling - https://worldwildschooling.com Brussels Christmas Market with Kids 2022 - https://worldwildschooling.com/brussels-christmas-market/

B. Cyclical
*Walk in a circle from Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert and end up at the same spot walking back. That way you see about half of the attractions on your way to St Catherine and the rest on your way back
*Details: you can walk along the Christmas market in the following order: start at Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert, Grand Place, then walk to Bourse, St Catherine, Marché aux Poissons, De Brouckère, Place de la Monnaie

Here is a Google map, if you want to follow the cyclical walk

World Wild Schooling - https://worldwildschooling.com Brussels Christmas Market with Kids 2022 - https://worldwildschooling.com/brussels-christmas-market/

Of course, you can choose what exactly you would like to see and follow your own itinerary! These two are my recommendations if you want to see everything

More Christmas events in Brussels

Guide with family friendly Christmas events: St Nicholas events, meet Santa, Christmas markets, tractor parades, light shows, Christmas brunches with kids, theater shows and concerts and more!

Tip
This post will be updated every year with current events
Save it – or subscribe to the newsletter to get the updated post in your inbox!

Tip
Spirit of the North outdoor illuminated fairy tale light installations: these illuminated installations are not there every year, so don’t miss them!

See further below for details on Spirit of the North, an indoor play area for kids right next to Grand Place (you need a ticket to enter Spirit of the North, but you can wonder around the light installations for free)

Spirit of the North, Brussels

Spirit of the North is fun, interactive and a great addition to the Brussels Christmas market. Read on for lots of practical tips to plan your visit

Spirit of the North is right next to Grand Place!

Bois de la Cambre – Wonder Woods

Every year Wonder Woods in Brussels takes place at Bois de la Cambre. Below you will find practical details on visiting Wonder Woods in Brussels with kids, photos and videos of the ice rink and the light installations

Wonder Woods

Winterpop

*What: pop up local Christmas markets on the three weekends in December
*When: 02-18.12.2022
*Where: at different locations around Brussels (Neder-Over-Heembeek, Ambiorix, Laeken)
*For more details see here

Brussels by lights

*What: Christmas illuminations at specific places in Brussels
*Where: different locations around the city are illuminated every year
For more details see here

A Family’s Guide To Christmas Markets: Tips on planning your visit with kids
The following tips will help you know what to expect and to plan ahead your Christmas market experience with kids

Christmas markets are the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit. From twinkling lights to delicious treats, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. But when you’re travelling with children, it can be hard to know which markets are the best – and which ones make the most sense for your family. So, here are the 10 best Christmas markets near Brussels to visit with kids and practical tips to plan ahead

Brussels Christmas market is one of the best Christmas markets in Europe! Check here to see more gorgeous Christmas markets all over Europe

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Map

All places mentioned above are also gathered on the map!
Indoor and outdoor activities, kids friendly cafés/ restaurants, hotels and more all under separate layers

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