We visited Center Parcs De Haan back in February for the third year running, once again enjoying a relatively cheap and fun week away. I enjoy visiting this park for several reasons. Firstly the price for our family of 7 is about a third of what we would pay for one of the UK parks. We always choose one of the lakeside villas which are modern, spacious and well-equipped (and my kids love feeding the ducks from the deck on the back of the villa!) There is also always loads to do. The Aqua Mundo (main pool area) is well sized with two water chutes and two rapids rides (one of which had recently re-opened last February) to keep the kids occupied. There is also an outdoor pool heated to the temperature of an outdoor bath, always fun to go in when snow lays on the ground around you! There is also a large kids indoor play area and a multitude of sporting options including tennis, table tennis, badminton, squash, crazy golf and cycling. The park is also excellently situated, less than ninety minutes drive from Calais and short drives away from the beautiful towns of Brugge and Gent. As we also had the 100 year anniversary of the outbreak of WW1 this year we took the opportunity to visit Ypres (including the excellent Flanders Fields museum) and the nearby cemetery of Tyne Cot. A well recommended trip. There are some downsides. The changing rooms for the Aqua Mundo still remain only suitable for people the size of Kate Moss, best to try and visit the pool either early or late to avoid the queues for changing. Oddly for a park which is mostly occupied by Brits and the French there is a strange lack of UK newspapers in the shop which is always frustrating. Coincidentally there are always several German papers despite barely seeing any German holidaymakers during my visits to the park? There are also a lack of english TV channels which is frustrating on a cold winters night when everything else has shut. Lastly I am not overly fond of the couple of overpriced restaurants at the park. Better to either eat in your villa or when you are out and about during the day...avoid the buffet restaurant in particular. All in all though Center Parcs De Haan offers a fun week away for the family with plenty enough activities to occupy your time......and the park is certainly a lot better value for money than it's UK counterparts!
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