Carnival with kids in Belgium: All you need to know!

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Carnival in Belgium is a family-friendly event that is celebrated in many cities throughout the country. It is a great opportunity to enjoy some fun and exciting activities with kids every year. From parades and costume parties to live music and traditional food, there is something for everyone in this vibrant and colorful carnival. Read on for kids-friendly carnival events, where to buy costumes (and some cute ones), and tips for enjoying carnival with kids in Belgium!

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Carnival in Belgium

The best thing to do with kids is to attend one of the many carnival parades that take place around the country. These parades are filled with vibrant costumes, vibrant music, and even more vibrant people. The parades usually start in the morning and last until late into the night. In Brussels, the biggest parades occur in Marolles, Saint-Gilles, and other locations. Other cities hosting parades include Binche, Malmedy, and Aalst.

If your family wants to get in on the fun, there are plenty of places to buy costumes in Belgium. In Brussels, there are a variety of costume stores located all around the city. In Belgium several stores specialize in carnival costumes and accessories, including masks, wigs, wings, hats, and more.

Carnival in Belgium is a great opportunity for your family to come together and enjoy some fun and exciting activities. From the parades and costume parties to the live music and traditional food, there is something for everyone in this vibrant and colorful carnival. So, if you are looking for a fun-filled family experience, then the carnival in Belgium is a great choice.

Where to rent costumes

You might be able to rent costumes at your local toy library! Keep in mind that not all of them have costumes or are as cute as the one in Ixelles, but it’s worth a mention 🙂 This is not a carnival activity, rather the little ones can discover the costumes collection and rent new toys at the toy library!

When: there are costumes all year round (you can rent a costume for Halloween too!)
Where: Costumes, trains, Duplos, cardboard games… Kids can play and rent toys at the Ludothèque! You will find a list of toy libraries in Brussels and in Belgium here

Where to buy costumes

Online

You can find costumes online in shops like Amazon (we have made a list with our picks below) and big clothes stores such as H&M and Primark. Several brick and mortar shops for costumes and toy shops sell costumes for kids and we have assembled a list further below

Our costume picks

Here are a few options, if you are looking to order online:

This princess/unicorn costume is so cute and the sizes go from 100cm to 150cm

Link for princess in Belgium
Link for princess internationally

For little pirates between 3 and 6 years old

Link for pirate in Belgium
Link for pirate internationally

For Star Wars fans these costumes are available between 3 and 14 years old

Link for Darth Vader in Belgium
Link for Darth Vader internationally

Link for storm trooper in Belgium
Link for storm trooper internationally

This tiger costume is perfect for toddlers (and there are lots of other animals too!)

You can find it here (only available on Amazon.de)

Brick and mortar shops

Here’s a list with brick and mortar shops to support local businesses

Brussels center

Palais des Cotillons
https://palaisdescotillons.com/
Rue du Lombard 66, 1000 Bruxelles
02 512 23 20 https://g.co/kgs/pWihUY

Picard – Megafun
https://www.feestwinkels.be/picard-megafun.html
Rue du Marché au Charbon Kolenmarkt 43, 1000 Bruxelles
02 512 23 87 https://g.co/kgs/NGUJ9d

Etterbeek

Oliwood toys
https://oliwoodtoys.be/fr/
Av. de la Chasse 94A, 1040 Bruxelles
02 319 53 91 https://goo.gl/maps/Ny8RvpJRqdGuR7BL6

Ilea
https://www.ilea.be/
Rue de l’Etang 133/135, 1040 Bruxelles
026466695 https://goo.gl/maps/NfyFsutSUWoumHzm6

Ixelles

Oliwood toys
https://oliwoodtoys.be/fr/
Chau. de Waterloo 529, 1050 Ixelles
023195395 https://goo.gl/maps/v562Yf5vRQK2hEcCA

Stockel

Oliwood toys
https://oliwoodtoys.be/fr/
Avenue Baron Albert d’Huart 24-26-28, 1150 Bruxelles
026727972 https://goo.gl/maps/giwJC8MkxfXSEV8Y7

Watermael-Boitsfort

Oliwood toys
https://oliwoodtoys.be/fr/
Rue Middelbourg 58, 1170 Watermael-Boitsfort
025694687 https://goo.gl/maps/TKANQWRGv3t4scKQA

Woluwe-Saint-Lambert

Oliwood toys
https://oliwoodtoys.be/fr/
Av. Georges Henri 286, 1200 Woluwe-Saint-Lambert
026622402 https://goo.gl/maps/EhzwzgoKV3YBoM8AA

Woluwe-Saint-Pierre

Boutchic
http://www.boutchic.be/
Rue de la Station 135, 1150 Bruxelles
027727447 https://goo.gl/maps/1c5H4zMHgBXRB3aZ7

Waterloo

Jour de FĂŞte
Chau. de Bruxelles 410, 1410 Waterloo
http://www.boutique-jourdefete.com/magasin-jour-de-fete-waterloo/
023154589 https://goo.gl/maps/TazhxnPcmY3LF7dg8

Oliwood toys
https://oliwoodtoys.be/fr/
Chau. de Bruxelles 390, 1410 Waterloo
025342304 https://goo.gl/maps/z6kcdfViVUeUqXkL9

La Hulpe

Oliwood toys
https://oliwoodtoys.be/fr/
Centre Commercial La Mazerine – 13, Av. Albert 1er, 1310 La Hulpe
025698717 https://goo.gl/maps/XztJ3YcLrKTAjQjV7

Leuven

Topolino
http://www.topolino.be
Parijsstraat 15, 3000 Leuven
01 623 34 42 https://goo.gl/maps/kAEN3QkZ2mpQCQEC6

Carnival Events

Weekend of 18.02.2023

Manneken Pis

Manneken Pis will be wearing the costume of Bolivian Diablada on 18.02.2023, the costume of Gille of Binche on 21.02.2023, the costume of the carnival of Dolhain on 25.02.2023

Woluwe-Saint-Lambert

Carnival disco party with interactive show for kids 3-9 years old

When: 19.02.2023
More info here

Carnaval Villers-la-Ville

When: 17-19.02.2023
More info here

Carnival of Binche

At Carnival of Binche (Carnaval de Binche in French) you can meet the Gilles, male locals as of 3 years old dressed up in their hay-stuffed costumes

When: 19-21.02.2023
More info here

Lundi gras – day of children
More infor here

Mask coloring walk for kids 3+ years old
When: 5, 12, 19,20.02.2023, 23.02-04.03.2023 (closed on 26.02.2023)
More info here

Eupen

The climax of the carnival is the Rosenmontag or Rose Monday, which is the most remarkable day. The origin of the name “Rose Monday” can be attributed to the carnival of Cologne and the rituals of the Pope during the Middle Ages, when the day was blessed with a rose on the Monday before the start of Lent.

Credit: ostbelgien.eu

When: 16-21.02.2023
More info here

Malmedy

When: 18-21.02.2023
More info here

Laetare Stavelot

A tradition that started in 1502 and is still going on strong with a procession and fireworks

When: 18-20.03.2023 (yes, in March, not a typo!)
More info here

Credit: http://www.laetare-stavelot.be

Halle

A procession, carnival fair, fireworks

When: 18-20.03.2023
More info here

Carnival fair of Halle

On Stationsplein, Leideplein, along the Leide, Parking ‘De Bres’ and Possozplein.
From the Saturday of Children’s Carnival to the Wednesday after the Carnival weekend

When: approximately mid-March-beginning of April
More info here

Blankenberge

Children’s carnival procession, the tour of the VuĂ»le Jeanetten, the carnival dive and more. The highlight is the carnival procession on 19.02.2023

18-25.02.2023
More info here

Carnival procession
When: 19.02.2023
More info here

Carnival fair
When: 18-26.02.2023
More info here

Kids carnival dance
When: 12.02.2023
More info here

Koksijde

Children’s Carnival party

Show and prizes for best dressed
When: 15.02.2023 (Wednesday) at 14.00
More info here

Carnival procession

When: 19.02.2023, 22.02.2023
More info here and here

Aalst

Good to know
Although this is one of the biggest carnivals in Belgium, there have been controversies surrounding it in 2019 and 2020. Aalst was accused of antisemitism and in response it asked to have its UNESCO heritage status removed.

Aalst Carnival
When: 19.02.2023
More info here

Winter Fun Fair
When: 10-26.02.2023
More details here

Magical Carnival Walk
Walk for kids costing EUR 5 or EUR 15 (with sceptre)
More details here


Weekend of 25.02.2023

Marolles

Venetian parade in Marolles

When: 25.02.2023
More info here

Château d’HĂ©lĂ©cine

Venetian parade at Château d’HĂ©lĂ©cine, a great provincial domain with playgrounds, farm animals, jumping castles, and more! It makes for a nice plan for any sunny day. This is a great carnival event to attend with kids in Belgium!

When: 26.02.2023
More info here

Château d’HĂ©lĂ©cine

Playgrounds, jumping castles, a lake, animals, restaurants, puppet show – this is a great place to spend time with your family!

Quartier Nord

When: 25.02.2023
More info here

Bollekeshoef

When: 25.02.2023
More info here

Nivelles

Kids carnival
When: 25.02.2023
More info here


Weekend of 04.03.2023

Planet Kids

Planet Kids is an indoor playgroud with an outdoor area with pedal cars and a room with jumping castles. It’s worth checking out especially on a sunny day.

Looking for more indoor playgrounds? Check our guide on indoor playgrounds in Brussels and around – there is a separate section with play areas for toddlers and prescoolers only!

When: 25.03.2023
More info here

Saint-Gilles

When: 04.03.2023
More info here

Oostende

When: 03-05.03.2023, Kids carnival on 04.03.2023
More info here

Wezembeek-Oppem

Parade and animations

When: 05.03.2023
More info here

Pairi Daiza

Venetian Dome, dancing for kids and carnival atmosphere at one of the biggest zoos in Europe. Read more on Pairi Daiza here

When: 18.02-04.03.2023
More info here

Weekend of 25.03.2023

Watermael-Boitsfort

The Coin du Balais carnival

When: 25.03.2023 (yes, March)
More info here officially

Germany

Cologne

Ok, not in Belgium, but it is one of the best carnivals in Europe and very close to Brussels!

When: 11-22.02.2023
More info here

Dusseldorf

Don’t miss the Children’s and Youth Procession on Saturday, Kö-Treiben on Carnival Saturday and the Rose Monday Parade

When: 16-22.02.2023
More info here

Aachen

The Shrove Monday procession is the highlight of the carnival of Aachen

*Read our guide on what to do in Aachen with kids

When: 16-22.02.2023
More info here

Aachen

Here are practical tips on what to do with kids, kids-friendly restaurants and where to stay with the family in Aachen

More Carnival Events

Floralia

Floralia usually has a Venetian parade – which is a gorgeous spectacle by the castle and among the tulips. This year the date is not announced yet, but you can take a look at our post on Floralia from previous years

Floralia Brussels 2023

Experience the beauty of Groot-Bijgaarden castle during the springtime Floralia exhibit. Here are practical tips for your family visit

Plopsa Indoor Hasselt

Confetti party at this indoor amusement park

Read our post with photos, a video and practical details on Plopsa Indoor Hasselt

When: 27.01-28.02.2023
This is on every day at 16.00 or 17.00 depending on the day

Plopsa Indoor Hasselt

Plopsa Indoor Hasselt is an indoor family-friendly amusement park. Read on for practical tips to plan ahead your visit with kids

Children’s Museum

“Wings to Grow” fun and interactive exhibition for kids

Read our post with photos and practical details on the Children’s Museum

When: 18.02-05.03.2023 (except 27-28.02.2023)
More info here

Grottes de Han

Grottes de Han will be offering a carnival event during the school vacations, but it has not yet been announced officially

Grottes de Han is a huge domain with caves, wildlife park, playground, play structures along the path in the forest; a great experience for kids

When: during school vacations
More info will be added once the event is announced

Grottes de Han

Huge domain with caves, wildlife park, playground, play structures along the path in the forest; a great experience for kids

Prehistomuseum

Prehistomuseum is an interactive, kids-friendly museum where kids can hunt a mammoth or light a fire!

When: 20.02-03.03.2023
More info here

Prehistomuseum

Prehistomuseum is an interactive, kids-friendly museum where kids can hunt a mammoth or light a fire!

Technopolis

Technopolis is an interactive and fun science center for kids with cool shows and demonstrations. This is easily one of the best indoor activities for kids!

Technopolis offers workshops during the carnival school holidays for kids 8+ years old – although these are not carnival-specific for kids in Belgium, they are still fun

When: 18-26.02.2023
More info here

Technopolis

An interactive and fun science center for kids with cool shows and demonstrations. This is easily one of the best indoor activities for kids!

House of European History

House of European History is a modern museum with lots of kids-friendly corners.

There are new family trails for kids 6+ years old for this Carnival holiday!

When: 20-26.02.2023
More info here

Ferme et Compagnie

Ferme et Compagnie is a nonprofit working with handicapped people and they usually organize a Carnival-themed event for kids in Belgium every year

When: 18.02-05.03.2023
More info here

Past Events

Nieuwpoort

Mini disco and show, drinks and snacks. EUR 2 per kid, free for adults

When: 11.02.2023
More info here

Woluwe St Pierre

Lots of animations for kids, jugglers, face painting, and balloons. EUR 4 per kid (under 2 free entrance). Reservation obligatory

When: 11.02.2023
More info here

Tips for enjoying a carnival with kids

Carnivals are one of the most exciting and thrilling experiences that one can have. Going to a carnival with kids can be an amazing experience for everyone in the family. Here are some tips that can help make the carnival experience more enjoyable for everyone involved.

First and foremost, safety should always be the top priority when going to a carnival with kids. Make sure your children know not to wander away and to always stay close to you. Also, it’s important to keep an eye on the rides (if there is a carnival fair) and make sure that any safety instructions are being followed.

Another tip for enjoying the carnival with kids is to make sure they stay hydrated and take breaks. Carrying water bottles and snacks is a great way to keep your kids energized and happy throughout the day. It’s also important to plan ahead and know what rides your kids are allowed to go on before getting to the carnival (if there is a carnival fair).

Bringing extra money is also a great idea when going to a carnival fair with kids. There are usually a lot of games and other attractions that your kids may want to try. Having some extra money will ensure that they’re able to have some fun and participate in all the activities.

Finally, taking lots of pictures and videos is a great way to capture the memories of the carnival with family. Taking pictures and videos of your kids having fun will make the experience even more enjoyable and memorable.

Overall, going to a carnival with kids can be a great family experience. Just make sure to keep safety in mind, bring plenty of snacks and water, and take lots of pictures to capture all the fun. With a little bit of planning and preparation, everyone can have a great time at the carnival.

Carnival break with kids in Belgium: what to do?

Looking for more things to do during Carnival break?

Take a look to our Carnival break with kids in Belgium post for inspiration!

Carnival break with kids in Belgium

From carnival events to Venetian parades, and kids-friendly museums to water parks: here are the best spring break family activities in Belgium

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