Crazy (water) fun along the Meuse
If you have no far-flung trips planned with your children this year, then don’t worry, there’s plenty of fun to be had in your own country. Especially in the RivierPark Maasvallei, where the main ingredients are: water, wild river landscape, time for each other, beautiful landscapes, weird and wonderful animals and the odd ice cream thrown in here and there.
1. Enter the tribe of the New Savages!
Find out if you are wild enough to join the Tribe of the New Savages during the New Savages Walk. This active walk is a fun family activity for children from 8 years and older and their parents. With the help of assignment cards, you will discover the area while appealing to your wild, adventurous side.
Booklets and wildcards are available for 6 euros from the tourist information office in the Meuse Centre ‘De Wissen’ and in the webshop of ‘Wandelen in Limburg’. Add binoculars and a few sturdy walking boots, and you're fully equipped for a journey full of surprises through a stunning nature reserve with beavers, countless water birds, Konik horses, Galloways and ... goblins! Give your bush credibility a boost and learn the battle cry of the Tribe van de New Savages on the beaver path in Dilsen-Stokkem: "Savage, wake up!”
2. Canoeing on the Meuse
From the water, everything looks different. And what could be nicer than paddling on the water while watching the Konik horses on the banks frolicking about? If you prefer a kayak, then that is also available. Having fun on the water is there for everyone.
Don't forget your picnic! Along the way, you'll find numerous stops in beautiful, wild settings. Having your sarnies on the banks of the river … what could be better!
Info and reservation
Kajak Maasland: +32 (0)89 71 73 90; www.kajakmaasland.be
Kano Maastricht: +31 (0)434 07 19 50; www.kanomaastricht.nl
Kajaktour Limburg: +31 (0)438 51 95 82; www.kajaktourlimburg.nl
3. Crossing the water with cargo bikes or bicycle trailers
When you go on holiday with children, you already have to carry so many things, you often don't feel like (or have a place for) packing your bikes. No worries, with tourism Kinrooi, it is easy to rent them: electric, cargo bikes, tandem or bicycle trailers, ... there’s something for everyone! Thanks to the handy cycling route network and the flat, car-free winter dikes, you'll be able to ride for kilometres on end, undisturbed, enjoying the beautiful views of the Meuse and the Meuse lakes along the way. You are guaranteed to find stopping places where you can enjoy a nice drink or a cooling ice cream for the smallest cyclists.
Tip: Make your cycling trip even more fun by crossing the water by ferry! Before you leave, check the sailing times of the ferries to avoid disappointments and extra kilometres.
4. OERRR nature park at the ‘Hompesche Molen’
No sleek, standard playground, but natural, wild nature. That's the OERRR nature park at the ‘Hompesche Molen’ in Stevensweert (NL)! The Dutch nature association ‘Natuurmonumenten’ has created a very nice playground here, using only natural materials. Blowing away the cobwebs, enjoying freedom and fantasy, balancing on tree trunks or getting your hands muddy - this park gives children space. And it gives parents time to enjoy the peace and quiet on the decks. Good to know: the ‘Molenplas’ and the nature park are equipped with wheelchair- and pram-friendly paths!
And when the mill is open, you can climb upstairs and see where you just played. Because the ‘Hompesche Molen’ is the tallest mill in Dutch Limburg. Take a moment to watch the animation film of the famous sand wizard Gert van de Vijver, in the foot of the mill, where the story of the Count of Hompesch, the mill and the region comes back to life.
Hompesche Molen: +31 (0)475 551 815; ; www.hompeschemolen.nl
5. Swimming in the open air
Swimming in the Meuse is unfortunately very dangerous and prohibited, but you can take a refreshing dip in some Meuse ponds! Floating on the water or lazing on the beach on a hot summer’s day ... You could be forgiven to think you’re in Italy:)
At these beaches come with the necessary amenities such as bars, toilets, changing rooms and often small playgrounds.
A few day beaches in the RivierPark Maasvallei:
- De Steenberg in Ophoven (Kinrooi, BE)
- De Kis in Stevensweert (NL) (closed in the 2018 summer season)
An overview of the daytime beaches in the Meuse lakes near Roermond, near the RivierPark Maasvallei can be found on the website of VVV Midden - Limburg.