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CONTACT THE AUTHOR:
Cynthia Harriman
PO Box 6547
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cyn
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All information on this website is © 2005, Cynthia Harriman, unless otherwise noted.








Belgium
excerpted from Take Your Kids to Europe

Belgium is an often-overlooked country with a lot going for it. It's a country of transitions, a place that's long been smack in the middle of great happenings. Two thousand years ago the outer edge of the Roman Empire bumped up against German tribes here; even today you'll note a surprisingly obvioius line where houses turn from stucco to brick, language changes from Romance to Germanic, bread turns from long sticks to "normal" loaves, and beds are made with down coverlets instead of blankets.

One good place to visit in Belgium is the Children's Museum (Musée des Enfants) in Brussels.

Brussels' children's museum is a treat for 4-12 year olds. Here kids can drive a tram or raft, sit in a dentist's chair, be a fireman or a farmer, produce a TV program, knead dough, or become a fairy tale hero. Most activities are so tangible and hands-on that kids won't feel any language barrier. Note the limited hours, below!

While you're in Brussels, delight the kids with a trip to the famous Mannekin Pis fountain depicting a boy who's... well... let's just say the word "Pis" transcends any language barrier. Some say this 1619 statue honors a boy who put out a fire with the only water hose available to him; others admit it's simply Belgium's way of thumbing its nose at pretentiousness in art.


The Children's Museum is at 15 rue de Bourgmestre. Open 2:30-5:00 pm on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday and during school vacations. Admission 5.00 Euros. Mannkein Pis is in the Rue de l'Etuve, 100 meters behind the Town Hall.


This is just one of the entries on Belgium in Take Your Kids to Europe. If you'd like more, click here to get information on ordering the book.