I think I was about eight when I had a birthday party at Planckendael, a well-known animal park here in Belgium. It consisted of some kind of treasure hunt throughout the zoo and we had to accomplish different tasks while also seeing lots of the animals in the park.
I remember that at the very beginning of the game, we had to cross this little pond by walking over a tree-trunk, but as it was February and rainy, the trunk was really slippery and of course this birthday girl ended up getting her feet wet. My mom, who has tiny feet, offered me her shoes and spent the rest of the afternoon waiting for us somewhere inside, on her socks.
My mom rocks.
More than just animals
I’ve returned often to Plackendael after that birthday party. It’s not a zoo where all the cages are lined up next to each other. No. The animals have quite some space (I know this is very disputable when talking about a zoo), there are big walking lanes with plants and flowers among them. There are playgrounds for children, picnic tables and grass lawns where you can rest a bit. The pictures from my last visit aren’t that great, but I’d still like to share them with you:
Address: Leuvensesteenweg 582, Mechelen
- By car: there’s a big (not free) parking lot right in front of the entrance
- By bus: take bus 284, 285 or 286 at the train station of Mechelen
- By train: take the train to the station of Mechelen and hop on the Planckendael shuttle afterwards
Admission: €24 for adults, various discounts available
- Monday – Friday: 10 am – 6 pm
- Saturday – Sunday: 10 am – 7 pm
Website Planckendael (only in Dutch and French)
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