Center Parcs Europe for swimming mad under sevens.(14 Posts)
Can anyone recommend me a Center Parcs in Europe that would be best for younger children 3-7yrs? We visit Elvedon most years but would like a change for next year. A great swimming complex will be key as the kids usually want to spend most of there time in the water, but other age appropriate activities would be great.
Netherlands/ Belgium probably preferred locations - I have looked online but the website is a bit crap to navigate round, so any personal recommendations would be brilliant.
De Vossemeren in Belgium has a pool almost identical to Elveden, although it also has a little outside snorkelling pool where you can look at different fish. As well as the pool there is also the most amazing indoor pirate themed play area which is all included in the cost of your holiday. You could spend hours in there.
We have also been to Erperheide (the other Belgian CP) which is great for young children. The pool is pretty similar to De Vossemeren but doesn't have the big Monkey Splash slide. Erperheide has a huge soft play area called Baluba which is great. The parks are around a half hour drive away from each other and you can visit the other park for the day free of charge once you are staying at one of the Centre Parcs.
We loved them both but De Vossemeren is probably our favourite. There is another children's area there with mini golf, trampolines, go karts, little bumper cars etc too. All the activities in this area where just a few euros each. Oh and both parks have a little petting farm which is free to visit. We found we spent a lot less on extra activities at the European Centre Parcs as more is included in the price of the holiday.
Thanks pinkchampagne1 thats really helpful. Great that you can visit a nearby park as well! The petting Farm is a nice addition. Spending less then when we go here would be a real bonus.
Erperheide, De Vossemeren and De Kempervennen in Holland are all a short drive from each other so you can spend a day trying out each of them if you wish. We spent a day at De Vossemeren whilst staying at Erperheide in February.
Another thing I forgot to mention was that you can take young children down the rapids and flumes with you so long as they are wearing a swimming vest. They don't check as to whether they can swim or not first like in the UK.
Thats good. Have you ever done Efteling whilst over there? I am wondering whether or not to combine the two.
Also, getting there, I am wondering what route? We are close the Harwich so the ferry is a good option, but I wondered how other routes might compare in costs and journey time. Lots to consider!
I have checked out both sites and think we will go for one of them - do they have pool areas geared toward younger ones? Like the pirates cove at Elvedon?
Both De Vossemeren and Erperheide have a small toddler area with a few slides etc but they are not as big as the pirate cove at Elveden. My four year old nephew seemed more than happy in the toddler area though, in-between looking at the fish in the snorkelling pool and trying out the bigger flumes on his dad's lap.
Your children are also the perfect age to enjoy either the amazing pirate area at De Vossemeren or the Baluba soft play at Erperheide. Both places are a young child's Heaven!
I have never tried Efteling myself but have heard good reviews from those who have.
As for travel, we live in the South East so used the Eurotunnel and drove. The cost varies but shouldn't cost much over £100 for a return trip for under 5 nights. Once in Calais it took us just over 3 hours to drive to either the Belgian parks. I believe the Harwich ferry drops you a lot closer so less driving time.
The plaza area is so much nicer at the Belgian parks, De Vossemeren in particular, as they have live flamingoes, turtles, parrots and various fish. They also have stepping stones and rope bridges which the children love.
We stayed in a VIP lodge both times. With the VIP lodges you get WIFI included plus a sauna, nice big barbecue and fresh bread delivered to your door daily.
Its sounds like either one would be a big hit!
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, its great to have some direct feedback!
Yes we went to Efteling when we stayed at De Kempervennen. It was about a 50 minute drive from there. Definitely worth visiting. It is huge though and you won't see it all in a day. We wished we'd booked two days there but we went on our way home and had to catch the Eurotunnel.
We went to Het Heijerbos with our 3 boys (11, 8 and nearly 4) for May half term and it was brilliant- huge swim area with slides and second jungle themed dome with birds, climbing frame, waterfalls and play area. Small toddler play areas in the pool but 2 large slides and outdoor pool area with rapids too and a snorkelling pool - our 3 went in all of them.
Late arriver on the thread...we've did de Vossermeren last summer (CBA to check spelling) and de Efteling multi times. There is also a cheaper version of Centreparcs (might be Sunparks) who have a nice enough place at De Haan on the coast (though make sure your room isn't next to the dog toilet in the summer!). Unlike the UK we weren't constrained by 3 night weekends/4 day midweek at CP (I think we found De Haan on Booking.com). Duinrell also seems popular (have driven past, but haven't stayed).
Cost-wise, if you are constrained by school hols, it is best to go at the end of August (around the bank holiday) because the schools go back earlier in that part of Europe.
Het meerdal near venlo is excellent - brill pools, lakes and play areas.
One next door limbursge peel not as great (no soft play or lakes for water sports)
Efteling is alright - similar to Alton towers I guess (we only really saw the kiddie stuff) the kids enjoyed it - pricey though.
There is a kids soft play in venlo which is amazing!!! Puts the uk ones to shame! Worth a visit on a rainy day in the area.
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