Bokrijk is for a lot of people in Belgium pure nostalgia. As a child, I visited it a few times, but that is almost 20 years ago (time flies).
For children, Bokrijk is amazing: there are a lot of animals, a large playground, different workshops and a place where you can play old peasant games. But also for the not so little children, it is fun: you can play with toys from the time you were young, enjoy nature and taste the beer that is brewed in the Bokrijk brewery.
But what is Bokrijk exactly?
Bokrijk is a park and museum complex that is most famous for its open-air museum. This was officially opened on April 12th 1958. The beating heart of Bokrijk are the different buildings giving an impression of rural life from the 17th century until 1950. The focus is primarily on farmhouses and barns but also the important buildings of a village like a school, church and blacksmith can you see in Bokrijk.
This village life comes to life thanks to the different actors. Children can follow a lesson the way it was back then. Or what to think of a sermon by the pastor? Or maybe you run into the shepherd with its sheep.
Sheep are not the only animals that you can see in Bokrijk. You can also take a ride with the covered wagon.
The different areas
Bokrijk is divided into different areas: Haspengouw, East- and West-Flanders, Kempen and The Sixties.
In Haspengouw you can visit a village like it was during the mid 19th century. It is here you will find the pastor giving sermons or the school. A little bit outside the village is the Bokrijk brewery where they brew beer following an old recipe and still the old fashion way. A few times per year, Sunday is brewing day. At the website, you can find out when that is. But even when there is no brewing being done, it is interesting to visit the brewery. And of course, you can taste the beer.
In East- en West-Flanders you can enjoy the enjoy nature during a quiet walk.
Kempen is the biggest part where you can see how people lived 100 years ago in rural areas. There are different houses but also an old candy store (nostalgia). You can participate in different workshops like pottery or baking bread. Or how about the folk games that you can play in the play barn: bowling, shuffleboard or walking on stilts. You can do it all.
In the Sixties, you go back to a past not that long ago. They come back to life in an electronics store, at the movies or in a living room. You get a passport at the entrance so you can experience the Sixties like a flight attendant, a student or a miner.
Although we aren’t children of the Sixties, we recognized a lot. Especially in the field of electronics or supermarket products, many memories came to mind. Very nicely done!
Food and drinks in Bokrijk
At Bokrijk you can enjoy the traditional Flemish cuisine like Belgian stew, chicken with apple sauce or a farmers omelette. I had a platter with West-Flanders cold specialities like dried ham, cheese and pate. Delicious!
A day at Bokrijk is fun for young and old. You can have a nice walk here and enjoy nature and animals. And also the big child will also have a lot of fun here! Nostalgia at his best!
Children under the age of 3 can visit the open-air museum for free. Children from 3 to 12 pay 2 euro while adults pay 12.50 euro. The playground and the park can be visited for free. More information can be found on the website.
Different hike and bike routes cross Bokrijk. Since April 2018 you can bike (or walk) through the water at junction 91. On both sides of the bicycle path, the water is at eye level: a very special experience.
There aren’t hotels in Bokrijk itself. We stayed at Yup hotel in Hasselt, which was not only perfect to explore Bokrijk but also to visit Hasselt. If you want, you can also book a hotel in Genk.
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