8 Free Things to Do at Center Parcs

One of Center Parcs’ greatest benefits is the number of activities available. However, much like the cost of Center Parcs lodges, these activities can be very expensive.

Luckily, I’ve visited Center Parcs several times and found several free activities to enjoy. Implementing a handful of these activities helps you save money on your Center Parcs trip.

1. Swimming at the Subtropical Swimming Paradise

Swimming at the Subtropical Swimming Paradise is the best free activity at Center Parcs.

However, the Subtropical Swimming Paradise is much more than just a swimming pool. Here, the water is heated to 29.5C, and includes:

  • Wave Pools
  •  Water Slides
  •  Children’s Water Play Area
  •  Cabanas

When I visit Center Parcs, I find we spend two to three hours at the Subtropical Swimming Paradise most days.

Be sure to check your Center Parcs packing list to ensure you pack everything you need for swimming.

2. Go on an Incredible Bike Ride Around the Village

Cycling is the best way to get around a Center Parcs village. You can hire bikes at Center Parcs. However, this comes at a hefty price. Instead, keep your trip budget-friendly and bring your own if you can.

The roads around the Center Parcs village are lovely and smooth. However, if you’re looking for more adventure, there are plenty of hills and routes in the woods.

If you’re travelling with kids, prioritise bringing their bikes. On a recent trip to Center Parcs, my nieces and nephews spent hours on their bikes in front of the lodge. Since Center Parcs is car-free, you don’t have to worry (as much) about them.

3. Visit the Fantastic Outdoor Playgrounds

There are several outdoor playgrounds dotted around each Center Parcs village. Each playground is free to use and has a variety of equipment to suit all ages and interests.

Each playground at Center Parcs is different, so be sure to check out each one on your visit.

The Center Parcs playgrounds are great on check-in and check-out days, as the number of other activities available is often limited.

4. Try to Spot All the Wood Carved Animals

A great free activity for little kids at Center Parcs is to spot the carved animals around the village. Some animals are carved into old logs, while others have been made into benches.

Sadly, there is currently no map or list of each carved wooden animal at each Center Parcs village. Hopefully, Center Parcs will release this information soon.

5. Build Sandcastles on the Beach

You’ll find a small beach area around the lake at each Centre Parcs village. Here, you can play in the sand and build sandcastles if you have a bucket and spade.

This is ideal for a summer trip to Center Parcs and keeps the little ones entertained for hours!


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6. Play Board Games

Sadly, Center Parcs lodges don’t include board games. However, this is where planning for a trip to Center Parcs comes in, as I highly recommend bringing a board game (or two) with you.

This is great for a rainy day or for adults to play when the kids have gone to bed. You can bring a family favourite from home or even pick up something new (to you) from a charity shop.

7. Take a Stroll Around the Lake

The lake is a focal point of every Center Parcs village and hosts several water-based activities.

One of my favourite Center Parcs traditions and free activities is walking around the lake, especially in the evening as the sun sets. I find it the perfect way to end the day and burn off that last bit of energy.

The kids can take their bikes, or we can all walk together. Either way, it’s a Center Parcs tradition we as a family have all come to really enjoy.

8. Feed the Wildlife

One of the most charming things about Center Parcs is the wildlife. On my trips, I’ve seen a variety of birds, both red and grey squirrels, ducks and ducklings, and even deer.

As such, I highly recommend bringing bird feed and nuts for the animals so you can feed them. You can feed the animals outside your lodge. However, if you don’t fancy listening to the ducks quack all night, you can go for a walk and take the food with you instead.


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Thanks for stopping by! Do you have experience with this trip or want to share some of your own tips? We’d love to hear about it! Comment below and let’s chat!

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