Families at the Annual Meeting

Information on facilities in the ICC and things to do in Ghent for families.

This year's joint annual meeting 'Ecology across Borders' was held in Ghent, Belgium from 11-14 December 2017


We strive to ensure our meetings are as inclusive as possible and want to encourage families to attend the Annual Meeting. We have therefore added the below concessionary rates to recognise this.

Accompanying Person

If you are attending the meeting and have a partner or other person who does not wish to attend the scientific programme but would like to come along to the social programme, this rate would cover all lunches, coffee breaks, poster sessions and the welcome mixer. Only the dinner would need to be added as an additional cost.

Family Registration

If you are coming along to the meeting with children and both parents wish to attend the scientific programme, we understand that half of the time on parent will be looking after the child so will offer a discounted registration rate. Please note you need to be a member of one of the societies to be eligible for this discount.

At the ICC

The toilets on the ground floor and first floor by the lift and stairs in the ICC have baby change facilities.

There will be a family room located by the registration area of the ICC. This room will contain a microwave, fridge and have the blinds down for family use. Please feel free to bring toys to use in this area. It is your responsibility to ensure children are accompanied by an adult at all times.

In and around Ghent

Ghent is a beautiful city and one that is accessible and suitable to explore for families with young children.

Baby Changing Facilities

Most public toilets within the centre of Ghent have baby changing facilities, which you can locate on this map.

Things to do

All museums are child-friendly and free of charge for children and young adults aged 19 or under.

The World of Kina has been especially recommended, with gardens holding over 1000 species of plants and an indoor museum (might be preferable in December!) housing a unique fossil of a pre-historic reptile, a splendid diorama room with native birds and an interactive exhibition with thousands of rocks and minerals.

You can entertain the kids with some bowling and arcades at Overpoort Bowl.

Historical Ghent

Historische Huizen Gent unites 7 top monuments in Ghent: Gravensteen (Castle of the Counts), the Belfort, St. Peter’s Abbey, St. Bavo’s Abbey, Museum Arnold Vander Haeghen, d’Hane Steenhuyse and the Town Hall. These monuments are the face of the city and are all worth a visit!

During December last year the medieval fortress, Castle of the changed into a Winter Wonderland Castle, so let’s hope they do the same this year!

There are many other monuments and architecture to see around the city.

Seeing the city

You can take a guided tour with Vizit – the ‘professional strollers’ of Ghent. There are also free walking tours available.

Why not consider discovering Ghent along its stunning waterways by boat!

Where are Fosfor the Dragon’s glasses?

The Ghent Dragon Fosfor has lost his glasses!

If you have children ages 5 to 12 years old, they can take part in this exciting two-hour digital quest and help Fosfor the Dragon find his glasses while exploring the Ghent city centre. You can download the app online.

There will be new exhibitions and events on in December so do keep an eye on the Ghent events page leading up to your trip.

Christmas in Ghent

We’ve been lucky to hold meetings in cities with a great festive feel, and this year Ghent will not disappoint! Ghent has a great Christmas Market and Winter Festivities with an ice rink, ferris wheel and a kids village. Dates to be confirmed.

Child-friendly Restaurants

You can find a long list of child family restaurants on the tourist board website.

Ghent also has a new baby-proof restaurant where you can actually order baby food! Amélie et Moi: the site is under construction, but you can find them on Facebook. This is the first and only baby restaurant in Belgium!

Play Areas

There are lots of spaces for young children to play both indoors and outdoors.


There are a number of hotels that provide accommodation with family rooms, where they provide extra beds for children or where you pay a reduced price.


Hostel Uppelink
Hostel de Draecke
13 o’clock Hostel
KaBa Hostel
Backstay Hostel
Treck hostel
Hostel 47


Flandria Centrum
Ibis Gent Opera
Ibis Gent Kathedraal
Adoma Hotel
Hotel Gravensteen
Castelnou Aparthotel
Monasterium Poortackere
Hotel Onderbergen
Hotel Cathedral

4* Hotels

Ghent River Hotel
Sandton Grand Hotel Reylof
Marriott Hotel
Holiday Inn Gent Expo Hotel

Join in the conversation on Twitter with #EAB2017.