Family fun at Center Parcs

Family fun at Center Parcs

by: Genevieve Northup | .
Stripes Europe | .
published: July 05, 2016

Enjoy long summer days at one of Center Parc’s 26 outdoor resorts in Belgium, England, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Everything — lodging, restaurants, indoor activities, outdoor recreational facilities, classes — is designed to meet the needs of your family.

Ditch the tent
Ever wake up clawing at bug bites and massaging your neck after a rough night’s sleep on the ground? Well, you don’t need a tent or sleeping bag anymore.

Center Parcs cottages have living areas and furnished kitchens. To feel at home while on vacation, purchase perks like in-suite breakfast, pantry and kitchen cleaning basics, and log delivery for wood burning fireplaces. Meal boxes contain the ingredients, recipes and equipment for raclette, grilling, hot-stone cooking and more. If traveling during the holidays, consider budgeting for an in-cottage Christmas tree, traditional meal or catered party.

In England, Center Parcs’ Exclusive Lodges are private homes with multiple bedrooms and connected bathrooms, Jacuzzis, saunas, game rooms and upgraded kitchens. At Elveden Forest and Woburn Forest, guests may splurge on a Spa Suite deal that includes evening meal vouchers, spa treatments, gym access, breakfast and hotel-style lodging.

For something out of the ordinary, England’s Sherwood Forest and Longleat Forest have posh two-story tree houses reminiscent of five-star ski lodges, while Le Bois aux Daims in western France offers whimsically decorated two-story tree houses. Located between Hanover and Hamburg, Germany, Bispinger Heide features modern two-bedroom house boats and tree houses. In the Netherlands’ De Eemhof and Het  Meerdal, little ones will be entertained 24/7 by outdoor play houses and indoor play rooms of the two-bedroom Kids Cottages.

Amenities under one roof
The Market Dome is a central meeting place for meals, entertainment and information. Here you can stock up at the grocery store, eat at one of several restaurants and catch an after-dinner show.

Indoor water parks provide hours of splash time — rain or shine — with water slides, lap pools, wave pools, water playgrounds and whirlpools. At select Aqua Worlds, snorkelers can explore submerged towns and swim past underwater fish aquariums. Swimming and scuba diving lessons may be available.

Most Center Parcs have adult spas for full-body relaxation in saunas, hot tubs and steam rooms. Some parks have surprise extras: an indoor ski center, Europe’s largest playground, an 18-hole golf course, an indoor fun park, a teen center.

Fun for everyone
Active families will find offerings such as tennis, mini golf, archery, volleyball, bowling, basketball, aerobics, mountain biking, climbing walls and ropes courses. During winter, some locations have sledding and skiing. Lakefront and beachside properties have windsurfing, kitesurfing, wakeboarding and paddle boarding. Guests can even rent kayaks, paddle boats and canoes.

Educational opportunities include the Wannabe program, where children ages 4 and up role-play as bakers, circus performers, artists, magicians, spies and royalty. At the academy, courses cover subjects from singing and soccer to 3D printing.

Book at least two months out to save 10% or more in Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands. www.centerparcs.com

Tags: aquarium, art, Belgium, biking, budget, Christmas, England, Europe, family, France, Germany, golf, holiday, holidays, hotel, Kids, mountain, Netherlands, outdoor, ski, skiing, summer, wi
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