The city of Dinant can be historic and interesting for adults to visit and completely boring for younger kids. However there are two activities that will definitely tide them over. You can rent electric boats right on the river and putter along a predetermined route. After you are done cruising along the river you can head up to the top of the citadel on the lift or drive. The lift costs you money and although adventurous, it can be a bit claustrophobic and you definitely can’t get a stroller up there. SO, the other solution is to hop in the car and drive to the top for free. I prefer this way as well because when it is time to leave, you just get in the car and go. You don’t have to wait in line to down on the lift nor do you have to walk all the way back to your car with tired children.
At the top of the citadel there is nice playground with a cafe (Les Canyons) with all the food and beverages you could want. The tables outside are situated so you can sit in the shade under the trees and you can see the entire playground in front of you.
Playground & Cafe: http://www.citadellededinant.be/en/food+and+drink-les+canons
Address: For Boat = Boulevard Sasserath 5500 Dinant (it is on the northern bank down the stairs from the church, in front of the cafe tables)
For Playground and cafe at the top = Chemin de la Citadelle, 5500 Dinant
Parking: Park across the river on the southern bank and walk across the saxophone bridge to save endless searching for parking spaces.
Hours: April 15-October 15 10am-6pm Closed during bad weather
Cost: 40 Euro per boat, maximum of 7 people per boat (I believe there is a small deposit you get back too)
Know before you go
Life jackets are mandatory for everyone but come with the boat. However, if you want to bring your own life jacket from home, that is ok too. I brought my daughters because she is quite small and I wanted to make sure it fit.
You do not have to have a license to drive the boat. Just money.
Stay out of the way of the people skiing the river, they are crazy.
The playground up top has some pretty steep drop offs so for younger ones keep your eye out.
The lift up to the top costs 8 euro per person and includes the tour of the citadel at the top. I don’t recommend the tour because it is done in french and is about an hour long. Little ones can not hold on that long.
To drive from the bottom up to the top of the Citadel, follow these directions.