February 9, 2015

Herge Museum. Photo credit: Tin Tin Press Club

If you're anything like me, by the time half term arrives, you can't wait to hop into your car and drive away to somewhere the whole family will love. To help you get inspired for your next family trip away, I've put together a list of some great activities you can do, and places you can stay. Plus, after a 35-minute journey across the Channel with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle , each of these brilliant places and activities are only a short drive away from Calais. So, get your family at the ready, and start looking forward to your best half term yet.

Day trips

Tintin in Louvain-La-Neuve

Just outside of the Belgian city of Brussels is The Hergé Museum, a building dedicated to the works of the famous Belgian cartoonist, Hergé. You and your kids can explore and admire the various photos, drawings and documents that have been brought together to form this captivating collection. At the museum you can learn all about his life and work, as well as buy your own little pieces of memorabilia, from toys to comics.

Chocolate in Brussels

If you and your kids love all things sweet, then a half term trip to the Brussels' chocolatier, Zaabar is definitely worth the drive. Inside the Zaabar factory, your kids will get to learn all about the history of chocolate, as well the process of making it, from picking the cocoa bean to tempering the chocolate. After getting a lesson in the art of confectionery, your kids will make their own chocolate bars, lollipops, truffles and mediants, a type of chocolate button that is topped with dried fruit and nuts.

Chocolate treats
Chocolate treats

Water fun in Paris

It's not quite the summer yet, but that doesn't mean you have to miss out on summer-style half term fun. We went to Aquaboulevard last year, and everyone in the family loved it, even my waterslide-fearing husband! Relax in the jacuzzi or sauna, while your kids slide through the belly of Jonas the Whale and take on the turns and twists of the Aquaglisse ride. Together, you can race down the Aquapiste ride at lightning speed, watch a film at the cinema, or relax in one of the on-site restaurants.

A family week away

A cosy break in Montreuil-sur-Mer

If you and your family love to be surrounded by vast green fields and charming little villages and towns, a half term trip to the town of Montreuil-sur-Mer will tick all of the boxes. Surrounded by the town's protective walls, it's filled with cobbled paths and quaint thatched cottages that make for the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of life back home.


Take part in one of the 16 tourist friendly walks through the countryside and forests of Montreuil-sur-Mer, and join the GDEAM (Groupement de Défense de L'Environnement dans L'Arrondissement de Montreuil-sur-Mer), who will teach you and your kids all about the local wildlife.

Alternatively, challenge yourselves with a lesson in canoeing, or enjoy a splash about in the water park, Agora.

A city trip to Lille

If you and your kids prefer the liveliness of city life, a trip to Lille is probably better suited to your half term trip away. Spend a morning or two wandering around Parc Jean Baptiste Lebas, where you can either relax on the wooden benches, or have fun in the kid's play area.

Alternatively, if your kids love animals, make your way over to the city's Zoo, Zoologique, where your kids can enjoy a natter with the cheeky parrots, watch the snakes slither around and the cute red pandas, as they clamber through the trees.

Red panda
Red panda

Wind down your afternoons with a game of bowling at Planet Bowling, where you can keep score of how many strikes you each achieve!

Ready for some family fun?

If you're feeling inspired for this upcoming half term, remember that each of these activities and destinations are only a short drive away from Calais. And, after a 35-minute journey across the Channel with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle , a half term abroad has never been so easy.

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