Some of the links might be affiliate links and, at no extra cost to you, we earn a small commission. See our disclaimer for more info.
Planckendael Zoo is a fantastic animal park located in Mechelen, Belgium. It offers a diverse selection of animals from all over the world and tons of playgrounds, making it a great destination for families with younger kids.
Here are practical tips to plan your visit to Planckendael.
Planckendael Zoo boasts a diverse selection of animals from all over the world. From giraffes to rhinos, you can see a wide range of fascinating creatures.
Playgrounds in Planckendael
Upon entering the zoo, you’ll find a larger playground near the main entrance, complete with a section for toddlers. This playground is fun for kids before they start exploring the animals – but it might be best to keep it for the end, as it’s difficult to leave it 🙂
Planckendael Zoo is filled with lots of playgrounds scattered throughout the park. It’s a fantastic feature, especially if you’re visiting with little ones who need some extra playtime and fun amidst all the animal adventures.
Water Play Area in Planckendael
One of the highlights of the zoo is the water area in the Africa continent, where kids can have a blast playing on the ship and around the ship in the water.
Are you looking for more water playgrounds? We have compiled a MEGA guide with water playgrounds, pools, lakes and more!
Read more: Water Fun MEGA Guide
Tree Top Trail
This was a favorite for our kids! Just a note, it is not stroller-friendly.
How to Visit Planckendael with Kids
Planckendael Zoo is organized by continent, making it easy to navigate and explore. Each continent has a specific route to follow, ensuring that visitors can enjoy a comprehensive and immersive experience. You can obtain a free map at the main entrance, which will help you navigate through the various exhibits and attractions.
If you are going with little kids, it’s best to choose a couple of continents to explore and come back another day to see the rest.
Restaurants in Planckendael
When it’s time for a meal or a snack, you’ll be pleased to find a variety of restaurants within the zoo.
Near the restaurant Toepaja , you can find a fun playground. The restaurant offers a range of options including burgers, nuggets, pasta bolognese, sandwiches, and snacks. There are plenty of choices to satisfy everyone’s appetite.
Picnics are also allowed in the park at the seated areas. At the restaurants, you need to consume one item per person to be allowed to picnic.
Is Planckendael Stroller-Friendly?
Planckendael Zoo is stroller-friendly and wheelchair-friendly, with the exception of the Tree Top Trail and the African Village. The zoo aims to provide accessibility to all visitors, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the experience.
Renting a Stroller or a Wagon
For families with young children, the zoo offers convenient rental services. You can rent a pushchair for kids under 3 years old, providing a comfortable and convenient way to explore the park.
Additionally, there are wagons available for rental for kids aged 3-11 years old. These wagons can make the visit more enjoyable and convenient for older children. Wheelchairs are also available for free rental, but it is mandatory to make a reservation in advance.
Planckendael VS Pairi Daiza?
When comparing Planckendael and Pairi Daiza, both animal parks offer unique experiences.
Pairi Daiza is amazing, with its theming and immersive environments that transport you around the world. However, it’s worth noting that due to its large size and numerous attractions, it can be challenging to see everything in just one day (plan at least two days!).
On the other hand, Planckendael is a great choice for families with younger children. It has plenty of small play areas scattered throughout the park, which makes it really enjoyable for the little ones.
So, depending on what you’re looking for and the ages of your kids, you can decide between the theming of Pairi Daiza or the tons of play areas at Planckendael.
Read more: Pairi Daiza
Parking at the zoo requires payment, which can be done at the entrance before you leave. There are two additional payment points closer to the parking area, providing convenient options for visitors. Remember to take care of the parking fee before exiting the zoo.
- Parking 1: At the entrance of ZOO Planckendael.
- Address: Leuvensesteenweg 582, Mechelen.
- Capacity: This parking area offers 400 spaces.
- Parking 2: Across the street from the animal park.
- Capacity: This parking area provides a larger capacity with 1600 spaces.
- Access: To reach the entrance from Parking 2, there is a tunnel under the street that ensures safe passage.
These two car parks offer ample parking, with Parking 2 being the larger one.
If you’re planning to visit the zoo frequently, consider the family membership option. By upgrading to a membership within 5 days of your initial visit, you’ll be refunded the cost of your day ticket. This can be a great option for families who want to enjoy the zoo multiple times throughout the year.
- See prices and book tickets
- Dogs are not allowed in the zoo.
- The zoo provides seven toilet blocks scattered throughout its premises, all of which are wheelchair accessible and equipped with baby changing tables.
If you’re coming from Schuman, Brussels, the zoo is just a 25-minute drive away. Alternatively, you can easily reach the zoo by train, with a travel time of approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Planckendael Zoo is located at Leuvensesteenweg 582, 2812 Mechelen. You can find directions to Parking 1, which is the closest parking area to the main entrance, using the following link: Google Maps Link.
Is Planckendael stroller-friendly?
Planckendael Zoo is stroller-friendly and wheelchair-friendly, with the exception of the Tree Top Trail and the African Village (steep paths).
Can you rent a stroller or a wagon in Planckendael?
Yes, you can rent both at the entrance.
Can you rent a wheelchair at Planckendael?
Yes, you can rent a wheelchair at the entrance. You need to reserve in advance.
Pairi Daiza is the biggest zoo in Belgium. It is worth a visit – keep in mind most probably you will not see everything in a day!
Read more: Pairi Daiza
The Antwerp Zoo is in the heart of Antwerp and is full of play structures. Perfect for younger kids!
Read more: Antwerp Zoo
Brussels with Kids
Here are the best things to do in Brussels with kids!
Read more: Brussels with Kids
Travel Planning Resources
Jo Koni (Georgia Konidari) is a writer and the creator of World Wild Schooling, a digital platform dedicated to travel. She is on a mission to explore the globe and share her experiences with fellow travelers. You can follow Jo on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube.