Summer fun for all the family in Belgium


Pinocchio at Abbaye De Villers-La-Ville

It’s a story that has been re-imagined time and again: written in 1883 by Italian writer Carlo Collodi, made popular to a new young generation in 1940 (and to several generations after) by Disney and reworked and modernized by American television series Once Upon a Time more recently. Now, Brussels theatre company, DEL Diffusion, has updated the story with a modern twist for the stage at Abbaye De Villers-La-Ville in Brabant Walloon.

Directed by Stephen Shank, the show retains the main elements of the timeless classic, but the live stage performance entrances young and old alike as it brings new life to the magical story of the marionette Pinocchio.

The atmosphere of Abbaye De Villers-La-Ville adds its own dash of fairy-tale magic to the performance. After watching the performance, enjoy a guided tour of the abbey whose ruins are amongst the oldest in Belgium.

DEL Diffusion was founded in 1987 by Patrick Longee and Rinus Vanelslander. The company’s performances have attracted nearly 500,000 spectators in that time.

Pinocchio runs until 9 August. Tickets are €32 for children and €38 for adults.

Dino Expo Adventure

Looking for an exciting day out in these ever-so-long school summer holidays?

If so, you would do well to head to Antwerp Central Station where something a little surprising is lurking among the commuters and trains.

The busy station is playing host this summer to a new exhibition of 50 lifelike dinosaurs, with the largest, the Diplodocus, measuring a whopping 23 metres in length.

Visitors will find themselves up close and personal with many of his `cousins´, including, of course, T-Rex. You also get to ‘meet’ Torvosaure, a European cousin of T-Rex which has recently been discovered by Christopher Hendrickx, a Belgian scientist, as representing a ‘new’ species of dinosaur.

Kids (and adults!) can also enjoy a ‘dino hunt’ which gives you the chance to win a miniature dinosaur.

There is also a ‘dino lab’ where kids can dig up dinosaur bones, learn about fossils and take part in many other activities all to do with dinosaurs.

The ‘Dino Expo Adventure’ has already been seen by over 100,000 people and makes for a great day, whatever the weather. It runs until August 31 and is open every day from 10am except Monday. Ticket prices range from €12.95 for children and OAPs to €14.95 for adults.

The Tintin Rally

Ready, steady, go!

Once again this year, Moulinsart is joining forces with the Comics Festival to whisk visitors away into the world of our favourite little reporter. More than 60 classic cars and bikes featured in the Tintin stories will be on show on Sunday 7 September. The rally will be setting off on a journey around some of the comic book highlights of Brussels, taking in the Hergé Museum in Louvain-la-Neuve as well. The vehicles will end up in the Place des Palais, where they will stay for the rest of the day so that members of the public can take the opportunity to admire them.

The rally is part of The Comics Festival, running throughout the weekend 5-7 September, including Comics Night taking place in the Parc de Bruxelles, the Balloon’s Day Parade, the Tintin Magazine Rally, guided tours and comic exhibitions at the festival and throughout the city.

During this one-off weekend, the Parc de Bruxelles will welcome museums, exhibitions, publishers, bookshops, boutiques and signing sessions.