Hallerbos: The Bluebell Forest

 

Spring is a magical time in Benelux. In The Netherlands the tulips are the star of spring but everything is in bloom. It seems that everywhere is full of magical colors and wonderful smells. Last year we went to the Kuekenhof and had a great day. If you have never been before I really recommend it. We decided against it this year because my daughter has gotten extraordinarily adventurous since then. As any of you with toddlers know, they can be a real handful and I really didn’t want to spend a day chasing her through crowds of tourists and trying to keep her off the grass. Plus she likes to pick flowers and that’s generally frowned upon there!  I decide to try something different and visit Haerbos: The Bluebell Forest instead.

 

I heard about Hallerbos and was instantly intrigued. I heard that there was a magical forest about 1 1/2 hours from my home that had so many bluebells that it looked like a carpet of blue.  It’s just outside of Brussels in Belgium.  It’s within my “1 1/2 hour day trip”  limit. I have a problem spending longer that that one way in the car for only one day. I decided that we should check it out a few days ago and I’m so glad we did. It is every bit as beautiful as I could have hoped.

Visitors are asked to keep to the paths but the place is so huge and there are so many different paths that there is plenty of room to run. My kids had a great time looking at bugs and trying to find the perfect walking stick.

 

There were also plenty of places to take amazing pictures.

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The day we went it was cold and a little rainy. It wasn’t bad enough to keep us indoors but it wasn’t ideal outside time weather. The kids really enjoyed it for about an hour and then started complaining that they were cold and tired. My husband and I ended up carrying them a lot. All in all we stayed for about 3 hours and I think thats pretty good for a 4 year old and a 1 1/2 year old to be out in not so great weather.

The pictures are worth every minute and really thats why we go to these places, right? In the hopes that we will capture one beautiful moment on film (it’s not really film any more, now I guess it’s to capture one beautiful moment for Instigram).

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“Just stand there and put your arm around your sister. PLEASE! I’ll get you an ice cream!” This is the best that I could get.

There are a few things I wish I would have known:

  • The paths are really big and nice. If I would have realized that it wasn’t a muddy hike through the woods I would have brought our wagon or at least the stroller. I know that we only saw a small portion of the forest and if the kids would have had a ride we would have seen much more.
  • The “pavilion” is really just an open area with a sign and (on the day we were there) an ice cream truck. I was picturing a cafe, no such luck.
  • There is parking all up and down the street. We first went to the info center and the parking lot was full so I started to panic a little.  We kept driving a little and found plenty of places to park just outside the forest. All we had to do was cross the little street and start down a path.

I really want to go back in nicer weather. Next time I will pack more food and drinks and bring the wagon. I think the kids will last much longer and we will be able to explore more.

This is a link to the visitors information ( and its in English. YAY!!!) Check the dates before you go because the bluebells are only around during certain  times of the year but it seems there are things going on all year around.  Hallerbos

 

I really hope you get the chance to visit. It really is amazing.

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