Top Belgian adventure parc reopens to provide much-needed post-coronavirus tonic

It’s back! After an enforced and prolonged closure due to the coronavirus pandemic one of Wallonia’s most popular activities – Aventure Parc at Wavre – is back.

The park reopened at the weekend and has already proved a huge hit with scores of visitors flocking through its doors for some thrills and adventure among the tree tops.

With the summer holidays approaching, it’s reopening is perfectly timed but visitors should be ready for a host of new rules and guidelines.

The ongoing pandemic means everyone attending must respect sanitary and social distancing rules.

Three things that must be followed include taking your own “outfit” that covers up to the ankles (ordinarily this would be supplied by the parc); wearing gloves (these can be provided on site) and, thirdly, anyone aged 12 or over must wear a mask at all times (except when high in the trees).

People are also asked to respect a 2 metres distance from other folk at all times and only one person is allowed on a platform at any one time.

Even the benches in the parc have not escaped the new rules: each are marked saying that they should be occupied by a maximum of one family at a time.

Due to the need to respect current rules, access to the parc itself is reserved for people who “live under the same roof”.

In addition, the parc’s terrace is currently closed and group formulas, such as birthdays, team building plus school visits are currently suspended. For now, the parc will also only open at weekends and on public holidays.

Restrictions aside, everything is back to normal at this most popular of outdoor activities. The current hot spell makes it an even more attractive proposition for a day out.

It offers no less than 22 acrobatic courses, 220 games between the trees and 36 ziplines..

In terms of visitor attractions it has proved a real success story.

Ever since 2004, the parc has evolved, grown and innovated across the board, from safety and comfort to a newly remodelled reception/café.

All safety equipment is provided and, so as to avoid overcrowding, the parc is normally only accessible to a limited number of participants at any one time.

Its sheer size – it is one of the biggest of its kind in Belgium - makes it possible for everyone to tear down ziplines and swing between trees in a large space without feeling crammed in.

Instructors are constantly on hand to help participants, provide advice and make any visit friendly. The supervisors have been specially trained in supervision, first aid, and various obstacle course and acrobatic techniques.

Unlike a lot of attractions, there is no time limit. The entrance ticket allows you to remain on the site for the whole day with no time limitation.

The parc has received a quality mark awarded by the Walloon Region and boasts a safety system - "first turning zipline" - that is unique and, again, one of a kind in Belgium.

In 2014, the “Jungle Jump” was introduced which now compliments the “Forest Jump” and “Space Jump.” Look out too for the “Tyro Tour” and “Tyro Kids.” (The jumps and laser games are currently closed).

The parc also welcomes people of all nationalities, not just Belgians, and its team is bilingual or even trilingual.

It is best to come prepared so a good tip is to wear comfortable clothes (sport shoes if it is wet).

Activities take place even in rainy weather but may be stopped in certain cases, for example, a storm. If an activity has to be stopped because of bad weather a new ticket may be offered. A good tip: if the weather seems threatening, contact the parc beforehand to make sure it is open.

Every participant is given an outfit and safety gear (including a harness, lifelines, pulley and gloves) to go round the course (obligatory).

After expanding so much energy you may have built up an appetite and the good news is that you can have something to eat in the cafeteria.

You don’t have to be super fit for all this: a normal physical shape is enough to be able to complete the courses. The more difficulty levels are progressive and you can stop when you want.

It is very easy to reach and is just 1km from Wavre's train station and 20 minutes from Brussels. If travelling by car it is just 2 km from the E411 motorway (take exit 5 if you are coming from Namur or exit 5 if you are coming from Brussels (the road to Aventure Parc is signposted from the motorway).

Visitors here usually spend about three hours on the course but, even if climbing, jumping and swinging is not your thing you can still access the site and encourage the adventurers with a visitors' entrance fee costing just €2.

There are several routes, depending on your age (and ability). Admission is €26 for people aged 5-9 and €30 for anyone 10 or over. You must book a visit either on the website or by calling.

So, with the parc now open again, why not get out and discover one of Belgium’s best adventure experiences.. It is billed as “unlike any other” in the country and if you pay a visit it you’ll see why.

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Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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