Overijse Belgium

EAT SLEEP PLAY in the Druivenstreek‎

We have lived in Overijse Belgium area for over two years now.  What follows is the result of our exploration of this area with 2 young children (a baby and a toddler at the time) in tow. This is a splendid hilly area separated from Brussels by a forest Zoniënwoud or Forêt de Soignes in French.  It’s not difficult to catch glimpses of old greenhouses that litter this grape growing region. 



The Overijse Belgium is a 19 km drive from the center of Brussels - so it's not a bad alternative to staying in a Brussels hotel. You definitely get more space and value for your money and it's especially conveninet if you have kids and a car. It’s in the Dutch speaking Flemish Brabant and it encompasses  Eizer, Maleizen, Jezus-Eik, Tombeek and Terlanen and the town of Overijse.

SLEEP: Hotels in Overijse Belgium

Chateau Du Lac Hotel: luxury accommodation right at lake Genval. For something less pricy there is Hotel Panorama Overijse - at Hengstenberg 77, it's conveniently located close to the E411 and 20 minutes form the Zaventem airport. There is free Wi-FI and indoor and outdoor tennis courts for guests to use. For more options check out Hotels in Overijse.

The GRAPE.

Overijse Belgium is famous for spectacular grapes (they cost 30 euro per kg) or 12 euro if you purchase them in the local Delhaize. DON’T buy them from vendors by the road they charge insane prices! The grape is celebrated during the Druivenfeesten in August

PLAY: Things to do in Overijse Belgium

There are a couple of things to do in addition to enjoying the many walk and bicycle trails in Overijse Belgium.

Check out some maps from the tourist office to locate trails. There is easy entrance into a wooded area in Jezuis-Eik right across from the De Bosuil  centre. 

The cluster of restaurants provides a nice rest stop after your walk.

Marie's Garden

A a self-Picking place close 10 km from Brussels. Open from May to November this is the place to go for flowers and fresh veggies and fruits (converting to the organic farming). 

Valkenweg 116

3090 Overijse Belgium

info@mariesgarden.be


How fresh? Really really fresh – you get to pick them your self. The tomatoes are delicious! This is a brilliant outing with kids especially if you want to get out of Brussels for an afternoon or a day.  Noah, about 2 years old at the time of our first visit, adored picking all sorts of berries of the bushes.  

How it works: You park your car in the parking lot at the entrance to the farm, grab a basket and start picking.  There are special wheelbarrows for kids to collect their harvest.  Entry is free you pick what you want and pay for it on the way out. A board at the entrance displays the fruits, and veggies in season and their price.

Check out their website http://www.mariesgarden.be/en/mariesgardenbrussels for opening hours and harvest calendar. 

The Overijse Activity Cluster at Begijnhof 17

Without a doubt the playground in Overijse Belgium next to the commune house and old brewery is worth a stop if you have kids.  There is a play area for toddlers and smaller children as well as some cool climbing structures and a super high slide for the older and more adventures. 

This playground is great for dry, windy days as in a sort of a valley and protected by trees and Den Blank from the other side. 

You can also take a stroll around the big pond with some lively ducks and geese.

You can chill out with a drink at Den Blank next to the playground. There is a terrace as well as an inside seating area. Food is pretty standard and the prices are reasonable. 

Den Blank is the cultural center of Overijse – check out their program for movies, concerts, performances and exhibitions.  

GC de Bosuil at Witherendreef 1, 3090 is a center of Jezuis Eik – exhibitions, performing arts, concerts.  On Tuesday mornings from 9 to 12 there is Baby Café -- A place for parents to enjoy a chat and warm beverage while their preschoolers play.

Overijse For Rainy DAys

For rainy days the Overijse swimming pool is a great alternative. In addition to the regular pool there is a separate pool with warm temperature for babies.  Toddlers and older kids can hang out bigger one with a small slide one. There are also some impressive slides and a sauna for mama and papa.

Across from the pool is the library, once a month there is story time for kids (in Flemish).  On Saturdays you can visit the “toy library” – there is a symbolic membership fee and then you can rent out toys. We rented bikes, push toys, big cars, a garage and many smaller toys and games. An awesome alternative to buying all those big toys that take up all your living room space. 

What’s to See in Overijse

Check out the, Justus Lipsius' house and Town hall in Overijse or if you are looking for more touristy attractions start at the tourist center (Begijnhof 17 3090) 

Museums

  • Museum of grapes at Waversesteenweg 2, 3090 call for opening hours +32 2 785 33 75
  • Museum of Orchids at Mommaertsstraat 35 3090 

Churches

  • Baroque Onze Lieve Vrouwenkerk (Our Beloved Lady Church) In Jezus-Eik 
  • The Late Gothic Sint Martinus Church in the middle of Overijse

Belgium Castels

  • Bisdom Grotstraat 48 (has 12th-century towers) closed .
  • Castle of the IJse on Waversesteenweg in Overijse

More

  • Watermill -- Molenstraat 8

GYM

  • Sportcentrum Watermolen. Stationsplein 7b. 3090 Overijse.
  • Life Style Fitness Overijse. Brusselsesteenweg 402

Shopping. 

You can get most of your shopping done on Brusselsesteenweg. There is a cluster of shops starting at Jezuis-Eik and ending close to Overijse town Center. 

There is a Colruyt and a Delhaize on the Brusselsesteenweg 482 and 399. Origino offers organic food at Brusselsesteenweg 310.

Thursday morning is market day in Overijse – You have the full range of produce, vegetables, fruits, fish, meat (fresh and grilled)… all the regular things you find on markets. There is only one bread stall, it’s not brilliant quality (for delicious  artisanal bread -- La Hulpe Market on Sunday) and the owner gives the impression she has more important things  to do then to take care of customers.  Sorry for the rant, as a Canadian I still have not gotten used to Belgian customer service … I should try harder ;)

Where to EAT in 3090

You can enjoy a splendid view of Sint Martinus Church from De Met. There is an awesome selection of brews, decent food and great finger food (hapjes). The owners have 5 kids so it’s a fairly child friendly place with some crayons, toys and puzzles for your youngsters to enjoy. 

Brasserie Twalseree in Malaizen, (Rozierensesteenweg 2, 3090) is a place we return to regularly – mainly because of the toy room. There is a big garden in the back with a trampoline and outdoor toys for the kids. In the summer children can enjoy a dip in the swimming pool. 

There is a cluster of restaurants in Jezus-Eik: “Istas” and “De la Foret” are both decent choices, we have a sight preference for the second one. The Thai restaurant right across from them is very tasty although not the best value for your money. 

Another ethnic restaurant worth the mention is Krishna, an excellent Indian venue and the newly opened Wok Dynasty – an all you can eat Asian Buffet.  Italia Grill has excellent pizzas and terrible soups plus some waiters are too cool to be friendly while others go out of their way to make you feel welcome.

Jummi makes yummy sandwiches, but the service can be slow - especially at peak times.

For a very fancy and pricy venue try Restaurant Barbizon, it’s on our list – as soon as we secure a good babysitter. 

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