Ville Fertile in Meyrin – the best indoor play area for kids!

Ville Fertile in Meyrin – the best indoor play area for kids!

Have you already discovered that when it comes to family-friendly events, a lot of times the free events and those not in the city centre are especially fun? This is surely the case with the new exhibition in the Theatre Forum Meyrin!

It is divided into “Ville Fertille expo” and “Jardiner la Ville” construction paradise.

Part 1

“Ville Fertile” is the exhibition part of this event. It explains the importance of nature within the urban architecture and shows inspiring examples! Spending a bit of time in this area is important. It will help children understand their task in the next room.

Part 2

“Jardiner la Ville” is the construction site and a small exhibition of rocks and different types of soil. There is also a compost-making toilet example (exactly same as in several eco-buildings in the canton).
In this lovely, big room, you’ll need to be strong to not to yell “WOW” (like I did), or to run like a maniac to the bricks (like Z did). It’s a creative paradise with one task: create buildings, cities, whatever you like but don’t forget about nature.

The fun

Wooden panels on the floor mark the borders of the construction site, and many many and more boxes by the walls contain a rich variety of building materials. When we entered, I yelled “WOW”. Z, being more adjusted to cultural places than her mom, stayed calm, controlled her emotions but failed with stopping her legs from running to the bricks! And not only bricks! There are elements mimmicking grass, water, or moss. Bricks come in various shapes, colours. We only left, after 1,5 hours, because we were hungry.

PRACTICAL TIPS

The Theater is easily accessible by trams/buses, there is big parking just in front of it, a commercial centre and a good Italian next door. It’s accessible with prams and for wheelchairs. I haven’t found an official recommended age range, but I would suggest it for kids 3+.

You can find out more about the event here and here.

 

ADRESS:
Galeries du Forum Meyrin
Place des Cinq-Continents 5, 1217 Meyrin, Suisse

OPENING HOURS
Till April 4th.
From Wednesday till Saturday
14h00 – 18h00

 

FREE ENTRY

FIND MORE EXHIBITIONS AND OTHER EVENTS CURRENTLY GOING ON IN GENEVA IN PARENTVILLE’S CALENDAR.

Theatre des Experiences in the History of Science Museum (Geneva)

Theatre des Experiences in the History of Science Museum (Geneva)

The photo courtesy of Philippe Wagneur/Muséum Genève

Oh, how I could have used the Theatre des Experiences during my school years! It’s not a theatre show, nor an app, or an after-school class. It’s even better as it’s an exhibition currently taking place in the Musee d’Histoire des Sciences in Geneva.

Particles and unicorns

I know not everyone will relate, but all my struggles with physics at school started when we got to things quite abstract or “invisible” – like electricity. Still, the concept of some tiny particles flying in a wire to transform into an image in my TV is quite confusing. In my head it’s in the same box as unicorns and the platform 9 3/4. But maybe… if the school offered more hands-on science, my brain would be willing to cooperate.

Hence my joy when I discovered the “Theatre des experiences” in the History of Science Museum in Geneva. There is hope for the growing-up generation.

Marc-Auguste Pictet and women

This new exhibition (till 2021) displays part of the collection left by a very distinctive scholar (for his era) – Marc-Auguste Pictet. He was teaching physics for over 40 years at the Academy in late 18th and early 19th century. He was also given courses to adults, where… women were allowed!

Anyway, he believed that physics should be taught through demonstrations and experimentation. Such a brilliant guy, don’t you think?

The right way to teach

To facilitate his believes he started collecting various tools and instruments that would serve his teaching method. 40 years of patient collecting/shopping from the best European makers. (A real Swiss!). He gathered around 500 “teaching tools”! 500!

 

The exhibition

The exhibition shows 130 of them. Some replicas have been prepared for the public (yes, us!) to play with and learn on the way. Each experiment has a manual and an explanation. Traditionally now, the texts are in both French AND English. Yey!

Z’s favorite was the one with a cloth and a transparent box with small pieces of paper that would move inside in reaction to energetic polishing. Ladies and Gentlemen – static electricity.

 

WHO IS IT FOR

The exhibition is recommended for everybody of ages 7 and up. It is not as playful/interactive as the last one “Roulez les mécaniques”. It demands a bit of patience (reading the the instructions) and for many kids of early-primary years, the science behind the tricks may be too complex. Physics geniuses of my kind (oh gosh, I hope there are some!) can find some instructions complex, but maybe just don’t visit it on a busy day like we did (Wednesdays, rainy weekends).

My advice is to go on not so busy days, as the rooms are not big and when crowded, kids can get impatient or lose focus.  It is a great place for kids who are interested in physics, and those who already started to learn it at school. Still, I think it’s worth visiting. And remember, it’s open on Mondays!
PRACTICAL INFO

Musee d’Histoire des Sciences
Parc de La Perle du Lac
128 rue de Lausanne
CH-1202 Genève

Opening hours:
Every day except for Tuesdays: 10h-17h

English version of the information about the expo can be found here.  

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December 2019 in Geneva with kids

December 2019 in Geneva with kids

Well hello! It’s the end of the year already, but not at all the end of the fun! Because in Geneva we have fun all year round. Do you need proofs? Let’s do it!

Sorry for the delay…

NOEL AUX BASTIONS
Parc des Bastions
Till december 30

After a huge success of the first edition if Geneva’s Christmas Market, we have it back this year! Food, shopping stalls, fondue chalet, pub chalet, ice skating, christmas ambiance, and many activities for kids! You can find them all in Parentville’s calendar and on the official website of the Noel aux Bastions.

Escalade
Old Town Geneva
December 6-8

The most important holiday in Geneva is here! If you’re interested in what it’s all about I wrote about it here. The celebrations start with the yearly run in the first weekend of December, and are followed by big celebrations with parades, costumes, concerts, and marmite! More info here.

The Night Before Christmas
Simply Theater
Till December 15th

We personally love Simply Theater’s Christmas productions every year. They’re beautiful, funny, perfectly adapted for children, and very festive! Here’s how the theater presents this year’s show: “This year Simply Theatre presents a magical tale for this most magical time of year. A heartwarming adventure story with a beautiful score, ‘The Night Before Christmas’ is sure to leave you full of Festive cheer”. Book your tickets here.

Concours Hippique
Palexpo
December 12-15

Calling all the enthusiasts of horse-riding and horses in general. This highly renown international competition is such a thrill! Z loves observing the riders, and looking through equestrian gadgets in the shopping area. There is also a pong initiation time slot on Saturday morning, as well as fun shows. Check it out here.

Green Noel Pop up Market
Baham Yellow (Plainapalas area)
December 14

This Green (read eco) pop up market has been organised by fellow expats. It will be the whole day of fun, with kids workshops throughout the day, lunch, drinks, and a Christmas party in the evening. This pop-up concept in an attempt to open a dialogue on sustainable living and offer an opportunity for communities within Geneva to embrace living and loving sustainability. Please, save the date and check them out!

The Wind in the Willows
Geneva Amateur Operatic Society
Nyon, till December 15th

GAOS presents as the adaptation of children’s classic book from 1908. It’s an opportunity to meet with Mole, Rat, Toad and Badger in a modern-day production.
It’s a show for the whole family (but it is 2,5 hours long)! Tickets are disappearing fast, so don’t hesitate and book yours!

Carouge Magique
Carouge
Till February

The city of Carouge amazes each time they organize festivities of any kind. The yearly celebrations of the end of the year season are no exception. The city stunningly Decorated with works of artists, will make a stroll through the streets of Carouge an unforgettable experience. there is also an ice rink, ice bar, animations, and 3 days of a Christmas market. You can check all the details here and in Parentville’s calendar.

Christmas Crafts
Herstreet
Mon-fri till December 20

When the weather doesn’t allow us to spend a lot of time outside, crafts are one of the best way for kids to have fun. This year Herstreet is holding a bricolaging activities every weekday (Mon-Fri) from 15h45 till 16h45 till December 20. They will offer ornament making, cookie decorating and other fun workshops. The best part? It’s for kids as little as 6 months of age (max 6 yo). You can book your spot here.

Know it All Market Place
Planete Charmille
Till December 24th

Another seasonal event that is becoming a yearly tradition! 52 local creators showcase their passion and products. This is a grate place to get seasonal gifts and support artists and entrepreneurs at the same time! Here’s how the organizers present the event: “You will find everything ranging from hard-to-find “man gifts” to lovely accessories for the ladies, from the funny to the luxury, items for babies and children, gifts you might want to keep for yourself (why not buy two?), and a few yummy ones too. “. You can find all the details here.

Workshops at Exploracentre
December 25 – January 5th

From December 25th till the 30th, Exploracentre will be open and will offer workshops for kids! With each atelier you will receive 50% reduction on your entry ticket. The workhops will continue during the school break in January. You can check them out here.

HAMEAU DU PERE NOEL
THE WHOLE MONTH

Santa is getting busier every day. Although Santa will not be present till December 24th, it is still a great place to visit in december! Santa’s sister awaits you with a lovely storytime in her chalet, Marchand du able waits for dummies in his pacifiers museum, and the angry Pere Fouettard is strolling around with his unpleasant jokes. The whole place is just magically christmasy, so be sure to plan a trip! Also, if you’re staying around for Christmas, check their special activities during the holidays. You can check the details here.

Family fun in Geneva, November 2019

Family fun in Geneva, November 2019

Winter jacket? Already? With snow sitting on the top of the Jura mountains, November announces that winter is just one cable car trip away. But before all the slopes open, let’s see what we can do with kids in this rainy month. There’s a lot to choose from, buckle up! Here we go.

 

You can find WAY MORE in Parentville’s events calendar:

HAMEAU DU PERE NOEL
THE WHOLE MONTH

Santa is getting busier every day. Visit him before his pre-Christmas nap, that starts in December and lasts till “Noel” (at least this is how it works in the Hameay du Pere Noel). So, if you;d like to meet Santa, his mean brother, his sister, or the Marchand du Sable – November is the perfect month. Apart from some Mondays and Tuesdays, this one-of-a-kind place will be open. You can check the details here.

BOOK SALE
November 8-10

At the Sale there are thousands of second-hand English-language books for adults and kids, fiction and non-fiction. There are also books in French and other languages ready to be taken home, as well as CDs, DVDs and games. The tea-room is a sweet accompagnement to the sale! Check the opening hours here.

Automnales
November 8-17, Palexpo

Impossible to describe Automnales in one paragraph. It’s an annual event in Palexpo that groups together several expos and events at once. Expo Junior, Bebe et Moi, a 10k run, Cook n’Show, Dogs’ and Cats’s competitions, and much much more. This year, with Cook N’Show the focus is on sustainable and durable gastronomy – with cooking show, local épiceries and more. And of course, the program for kids of all ages is immense! Check it out here.

 

Exploracentre’s birthday celebrations
November 10th

A special anniversary day, Sunday, November 10, from 1pm to 6pm, filled with surprises and festivities for families. On this day there will be free workshops! From 13:30, every half hour, families will be able to discover several amazing and fun phenomena, like the lava lamp, rainbow straw, Brazil nut effect, fakir balloon, and more. Registration directly at the museum reception on November 10th. More info here.

Maison le Reve Bleu – inauguration
November 15th, Eaux Vives

Maison le Rêve Bleu is a non-profit organization created by a group of Lancy parents who are eager to find extra-familial childcare solutions for their preschool children. This event for small and big children accompanied by their parents, grandparents, or babysitters. From then on activities will be offered every Friday from 9am till 1pm. This inauguration is a great occasion to find out more! Their website is here.

Payot: Monthly Children’s Storytime
November 16th

One Saturday a month, Payot organizes the Storytime session in the English Department. From 10:30 to 11:30 AM, kids can enjoy readings on a different theme every month. November session‘s theme is “We love talking about books“ with following titles: “Library Lion”, Bear’s House of Books”, and „There’s a Dragon in Your Book”.

 

Le Petit Festival
November 16-17, Plan-les-Ouates

A weekend of shows, spectacles, animations, workshops, and other types of fun children of ALL AGES (well, 1+) enjoy! You can see the program and book your tickets on this website.

 

Schilliger Garden Center – Fete du Marche de Noel
November 16th (Gland et PLO) & 17th (Gland)

The Christmas Market in the Schilliger center in Plan-les Outes has already started and will last till Christmas. But on November 16 there will be a big fete! It will be filled with workshops for big and small, degustations, special offers, poney rides, and more. Both Shilliger centers (in Gland and PLO) have a nice program for that day, but compare them here and choose whichever you like better (for example in Gland: story time and games/toys demos). Check the whole program here.

 

A FUN EXPO IN ANNEMASSE
From November 19th (till 25.04.2020)

Entitled “Il était temps !“, this playful exhbition for kids will focus on the relationships between art, science and time. Visitors will travel in time via games, animations, videos, and other artistic representations. More info here.

30 years of the Rights of the Child
November 20, Place des Nations

A full day of shows and fun for kids of ages 3+ on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child! It is organized by the Child Rights Hub and 3 other NGOs. You can se ethe full program here.

Festival Couleur Cafe
November 20-30

The last week of November this festival will enrich Geneva with African sounds, and this year there is a paralel program for kids! It looks great, be sure to book your spots! You can see it all here.

 

Nocturne saint pierre
November 21, 22, 23 (18h)

Don’t miss it! For these three evenings the cathedral will be illuminated with 2000 (!!!) candles and no other light source. For its “nocturnes” it transforms into a truly magical place, accompanied by the live music by young local musicians. Entry: 5chf. More info: here.

FUREUR DE LIRE
November 21-24

Meetings, readings, performances, book signing sessions from 21 to 24 November in bookstores, municipal libraries and unexpected places around the central point of this edition, the Pitoëff Theater. There is of course a special program for children, you can check it out here.

Festival des Petits Bouts
November 23-24, Plainpalais

A festival for families with kids of ages 1+ – something for everyone! Shows, artists, and workshops fill its rich program. It will take place in the Maison de quartier de Plainpalais. There’s an entry fee of 5 chf (adults and kids), workshops also cost 5 chf  (for adults, kids for free).  You can find the details of the reservation process here.

 

PAYOT: le samedi des p’tits Lecteurs
November 23rd, 10h30

One Saturday ler month Laetitia in the (French) children’s section of Payot Rive Gauche invites kids to discover books of the season. It’s a completely free activity, no reservation needed. (This one is in French, but once a month there’s also a storytime in English – November 16th). Check it out here.

Nuit des bibliotheques
30 November

This is the afternoon of workshops, storytimes, shows, and conferences in several libraries in the canton: Avully, Bellevue, Cartigny, Chancy, Châtelaine, Cologny, Lancy, Pregny-Chambésy, and Vernier-Village. The program is very rich, do not hesitate to have a look at it and find what your family may enjoy (click here).

Is that all that is happening in Geneva for kids in November 2019?
Of course not!

 

 

Click (or tap) the buttons below to Access even more
VIA Parentville’s calendar:
Bricklive Geneva for the October holidays

Bricklive Geneva for the October holidays

All kids like bricks, especially those classic plastic bricks that can create whatever sits in one’s imagination. Some kids need a bit of encouragement, others jump into the world of LEGO® without hesitations. Certainly, all will adore the Bricklive event happening this week in Palexpo.

We were very pleased to see that the space devoted to Bricklive is big, and did not feel overcrowded even on a Saturday afternoon!

This article is not sponsored by Bricklive. I did receive tickets for a contest on Instagram, and some for my family. That’s all. The article contains 100% honesty.

INSIDE

Where to start? Where to begin? The venue is spacious and filled with many different activities. The first by the entry is the creation of a massive Lego® mosaic. This is also where you can enter a tombola for 5 CHF (all profits go to a charity that takes bricks to children’s hospitals). The prize can be anything from a figurine (Lego® Gingerbread man anyone?), through small sets, to big big big Lego® sets.

There are brick pools: one purple and one red. Recently at home, we challenged ourselves to build one-colour constructions, so we loved to have a pool of purple bricks! There is also a different zone with only white bricks and lots of lovely creations.

There is a scene, on which many kids of competitions take place every day, a Lego® wall, Lego® flippers, an exhibition of marine-themed brick sculptures, and race tracks of different kinds. There is a huge map waiting to be filled with monuments and buildings. There is a section with several consoles to play Minecraft. Of course a shop as well!

The rest of the activities space is divided by the theme of Lego®: Ninjago, Star Wars, Minecraft, Friends.

Bricks 4 Kidz is there as well with very cool motorized builds to be made by visitors!

FOR THE LITTLE ONES

Many parents on Instagram have asked me about the minimum age to visit the BrickLive. I would say kids need to be at least four years old to take advantage of most, but probably those 6+ will have the best fun.

That being said, there are activities for smaller children too! There is quite a spacious Duplo zone, for example, or the marble run area. They will surely enjoy the exhibition of Lego® sea creatures and sitting in the little submarine made with bricks.

WORTH IT

For those kids who love building with Lego, creating, playing, this is the perfect event. To take advantage of every activity, I think at least half a day is needed, which (IMO) makes it worth the price of the ticket. We enjoyed changing the themes or colours of the bricks and after 2h on-site still had lots to do and see!

PRACTICAL INFO

Where?
BrickLive is in Palexpo, Geneva.

When?
Till Sunday, October 27th. Every day from 10 am till 6 pm.

Prices?
Free for kids under the age of 4. Under 14yo pay 18 CHF. Adults (15+) pay 25 CHF. You can purchase tickets at Palexpo, in Fnac, or online.

Accessible?
Yes, for wheelchairs and strollers. Parking on-site. Accessible toilets.

Food?
A snack bar, a buvette with warm meals, and a sweet snack bar at the venue.

 

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Family-friendly events in October 2019, Geneva

Family-friendly events in October 2019, Geneva

October is an extremely busy month! It will be filled with events, festivals, holidays, and Halloween! Are you ready? Parentville is here to help you plan a super-duper family-friendly October!

This list is not all-inclusive; it mentions the most significant, most important, or close to my heart events (and nope, I was not paid to place any of them in here).

Many other events (theatre plays, workshops, storytimes, etc.) are to be found in Parentville’s events calendar – new events are added every day! Click below to open the calendar.

AGENDA FOR OCTOBER

Chateau de Vullierens, Vaud
Every weekend till the end of October

Chateau de Vullierens will stay open in fall! At least on every October weekend. Don’t miss it! Each weekend will have different activities for kids, and mo matter the activities, the Kingdom of the Lezard King is a fascinating part of the garden! Speaking of which, do you know there is a bilingual (fr-eng) book based on that garden – “King Lizard’s Kingdom”?

You can check the full autumn program of the Chateau here.

 

Patisserie workshop in Manor
October 2 & 30

Workshop for kids ages 4-12, completely free of charge, no reservations needed. Two workshops for each date: 15h & 18h. This workshop can spark some joy into shopping on Wednesday – kids love decorating cupcakes! The activity will take place on the 4th floor, in the Manora restaurant. More info here.

PETIT BLACK MOVIE
October 2-16, many locations

This edition focuses on animals and relationships: solidarity, friendship, empathy. The festival will present a new movie each month until December. In October kids will have an opportunity to watch “Le Cochon, le Renard, et le Moulin”. You can find out more about it here.

ANIMATOU
October 4-12

The International Festival of Animated Films is here again, and again it has a beautiful program for children of (almost) all ages! It is especially close to my heart this year, as there is a big part of the festival devoted to the Polish animations, including the most awesome ever Bolek and Lolek – for kids! You can consult all Animatou events for children and families here.

Fete de l’Abeille et du Terroir
October 5

The “Bee Festival” is an excellent opportunity to discover local products. Through various playful stands held by different producers and associations, you will be able to try, taste, purchase high-quality products from local producers made with ingredients from this region. There will be kids activities as well! You can check the program here.

Rallye auChocolat
October 5

Rallye du Chocolat is a fun and gourmet course in the city with a goal of encountering artisan chocolate makers. All you need is a choco passport and choco cravings! There are also mystery words to be found and prizes to be given. You can find out more about it here.

Respire! Festival Assemblage, Troinex
October 5

This show has been shown in Europe hundreds of time, but it is the first time it will be presented in Geneva. It will make you lose your breath! You can find out more here.

“Ned and the Whale”, Simply Theater
October 5-12

A new production is awaiting you in Versoix at Simply Theater. When I was reading the description for the first time, I couldn’t stop thinking about Game of Thrones (Ned, strange lands, Kingdom of Spies…). Fortunately, this show is for kids (3+), filled with music, and positivity! You can book your tickets here.

Fete de la Courge in Corsier
October 6

Over the years, the “Fête de la Courge” has become a major event in Corsier. It now has a large number of visitors attracted by the stands around the theme of cucurbitaceae and its derivatives.

Artisans and stands of local products await you! On the occasion of our 26th edition, music and entertainment for young and old await you throughout the day. More details here.

SWISS CASTLES’ DAY
October 6-7

A playful day with many workshops and kids activities across many Swiss castles! More info here.

Historic Trams
October 6

Discovery rides onboard historic tramways. Various souvenir items for sale during the rides (photos, postcards, various publications, etc.). More info, including prices, here.

Petite Favorite – Les Rendez-vous Complices #1
October 9

Petite Favorite is a young fashion brand startup from Geneva. For this day it invited its partners, collaborators, and friends to organise a family day! There will be activities for small and big, discussions about family life, yoga, and fashion of course! More about it here.

Family Wednesday at MAH
October 9

“The beautiful Apollo”. For children from 6 years old, accompanied by an adult. Free, without reservation. Check iy out here.

Parentville at Payot
October 12

 The most important date in October (unless your loved one celebrates a birthday this month) is October 12! I was invited by Payot Rive Gauche for a dedications afternoon. It’s all about my “ABC Geneva” book (bilingual, for children), which I will be more than happy to sign for you, or to chat! Come and say hi! More info here.

Villages des Sciences
October 12

The gardens of the Chateau Voltaire will be transformed into a science village! A rick program of animations, attractions, conferences, workshops, accompanied by scientific stands awaits you! Check it out here.

OPEN DAYS AT A RECYCLING CENTER
October 12

For one afternoon, the SOGETRI teams immerse young and old in the heart of the SORTERA sphere, the jewel of Swiss recycling! There will be four workshops, for children of ages 8+. They are free of charge, but you need to book your spot. And the workshops? Check the details here.

 

MPFLM shopping & brunch
October 12-13

After the edition in Carouge, last March and a real taste of paradise a little over a month ago Mes Pulls Font La Manche is back! This time at the Le Bout d’la Rue (Plainpalais area). The formula remains the same: a friendly, ethical and delicious shopping Throughout the weekend. On Sunday, come spend a sweet Sunday with a “kids corner” where an adorable nanny will take care of your children while you enjoy a brunch served by Granola Geneva. More info here.

Marche de Espoir
October 13

One of the most awaited event – at least for the kids who have already taken part in previous editions. The idea is simple: you register for free, you find sponsors who commit to donate a certain amount for each kilometre. The trail is 5 km long, but you can do less or more. Each kilometre means a stamp in a special “passport”. You can commit as little or as much time and energy as you wish. Just remember to register! The event will be accompanied by various activities, shows, and other kiddy-fun! You can learn more about it here.

Faire sa part workshop
October 13 

Espace Colibri invites all children between the ages of 4 and 10 to a workshop that will make them aware of climate change, plastic pollution, but will also give them the skill to fight it all with beeswax wraps – every little step counts, right? More about it here.

Festival Salamandre, Morges
October 18-20

Tons of workshops, movies, storytimes, and exhibitions. This festival focuses on nature: its richness and fragility, so crucial in the times we live. You can see the whole program and book your tickets here.

Bricklive, Palexpo
18-27 October

2019 edition of BRICKLIVE, one of Switzerland’s largest exhibitions for fans of the LEGO® brick. This unique brick event will give visitors access to more than ten million bricks; professional brick-built statues and interactive digital content. You can find it here.

Journée des Familles
October 19

The Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and the University of Music of Geneva invite you to discover the future Cité de la Musique.. Inscriptions: osr.ch/familyday.

 

More events in the the Parentville’s calendar!

Other articles you may be interested in:

Summer in Geneva with kids & the Staycation Guide

Summer in Geneva with kids & the Staycation Guide

How long are you planning to stay in Geneva with kids this summer? No matter if it’s a week or 8, the Staycation Guide by Parentville is coming to save the day again!

Since its first edition in 2017, it has been one of the best-received summer helpers for both local families, and those who come here for holidays. Questions about the new editions start arriving in early May!

What is the Staycation Guide

Staycation Guide is simply a downloadable PDF in which each page is devoted to one day of 57 summer days (Geneva summer school holidays to be precise). On each page, you will find: an outing idea (mostly in the city, but it can also be a day trip in the region). This idea is accompanied by all useful info, including an interactive map. At the bottom of the page, you’ll find alternative propositions and a link to this exact day’s events on Parentville’s events calendar.

It all started in 2017, and despite the common myth of Geneva being boring, each year enough of new places are found and introduced to the guide, so that they can genuinely be called new editions. This is how version 2018 came to be. The 2019 edition has even more new stuff than the previous one!

How to use the Staycation Guide

There are two ways to use the Guide. Some families follow the propositions day by day (as an author of the guide I have to salute them as I would never have the energy to do everything from the guide in one summer). Others use it mostly as an inspiration and will visit the place proposed on July 5th, on August 17th. In case a place recommended in the guide is open only on specific dates, it is marked in the guide – no worries of going somewhere to face the closed doors.

The only part of the guide valid only for the date it is placed in is the link to Parentville’s calendar – the page on August 4th will send you to August 4th events in the calendar.

The guide starts with a brief “how to use” it part, that explains three icons used in the guide. Easy-peasy.

Also, everything you think should be a link – is linked, so you can always easily access more information about the outing.

Where to get the Staycation Guide

The Guide is available here, to everyone for a modest price of 5 CHF.

Only those who subscribed to Parentville’s newsletter till July 1st, received the guide for free. Even if you missed that chance, subscribe now anyway, to never miss it again!

I will be very grateful to everyone who receives or purchases the Guide for not forwarding it to friends, but rather directing them to this website. I hope you’ll understand (loyalty, copyrights, and all that in play).

 

TESTIMONIALS

Here’s what has been told about the previous editions of the Staycation Guide (2017, 2018):

 

Thank you very much for all these research you are doing and gently sharing for the kiddos!

I love to test new places and try to talk about it a little bit in a far less efficient way you are! Just wanted to say that it is really appreciated! Congrats!

Julie

THIS IS AMAZING!!!!!! I would like to nominate you for the Nobel Peace Prize because of the anxiety you have resolved in my household for this summer. This is clearly a contribution towards world peace. Congratulations!!!

PP

Your Staycation guide is so lovely! Have been reading and writing down some of the tips this morning. Such a great work!

S.

May for families in Geneva

May for families in Geneva

May is looking great! The weather is excellent and as always in Geneva with the start of spring, events are started to happen with a frequency that is hard to catch up. Especially on weekends many of us will have trouble choosing where to go. This is why I created this article so that you can plan!

This article includes just some highlights, particularly cool, important, or traditional events. There is much much more in Parentville’s events calendar, which you can browse via categories, dates, and locations. Click on the button below to find it.

Chateau du Vullierens

UNTIL JUNE 16

Chateau de Vullierens reopened for season late in April and will  stay opened till June 16th. Castle’s outdoors is renowned for incredible flower gardens, and interesting sculptures exhibitions. There is also fun for kids  – King Lezard’s Kingdom. It is a land of trees with sculpted faces, animals, and adventures! It is Parentville tested and recommended!

The castle also organizes brunches on weekends.

MORE INFO

In spring, the Gardens are open every day from April 21st to June 16th, 10 am to 6 pm. Last entry at 5 pm. Half a day is required to visit the Domaine. However, it is possible to visit in less time.

Les Jardins du Château de Vullierens
CH-1115 Vullierens / Switzerland

Castle’s website is here.

RACE FOR GIFT

MAY 26

Race for Gift is a unique sports event that takes place in Geneva.  It is a unique event adapted to all sports level (even my lousy one) with one condition: to enter the fun you need to fundraise for one of the organisations from the list! Parentville, aka the Sokolik family, will do the 5km family walk this year to support “Save the Children” – an NGO that creates “Save the Children Child-Friendly Spacea” in the conflict zones, where children can play and learn, continue being children. You can help us reach the entering amount of 300 by donating ANY amount here, every penny counts! It was incredibly hard for us to chose the NGO, so we asked our friends on Instagram to help us chose, and then asked Z for approval. Thank you in advance for helping us help the children in the least kid-friendly parts of the world!

MORE INFO

May 26
5km walk; 5km run, 10km run. Each team must raise the minimum of 300 CHF to enter the event. You can support my family’s goal to support an organization helping kids in the conflict zones, “save the Children”, by donating here.
It will all start at the Rotonde du Mont-Blanc in the centre of Geneva. You can find out more on RaceForGift.ch.

fete de la dance

MAY 2-5

The Fete de la Danse is a few days in May to dance together in 36 cities and towns of Switzerland. From hip-hop to tango, from contemporary dance to waltz and folk dances.
Take a class in a new dance, discover the work of choreographers and artists in the theatres, be surprised by performances in the public space or sketch out your first dance step: anything is possible!

And of course, many activities in the program are destined towards children!

MORE INFO

You can find out more about this Festival and consult the whole program on www.fetedeladanse.ch.

Salon du Livre

MAY 1-5

For families and children, the most fun part is the stand organised by Payot “L’îlot Jeunesse”! It is a playful stand with over 20’000 books waiting for the kids. Of course, many comfy reading spots will be offered to young readers and their adult company. On top of that, a vibrant entertainment program awaits! For example the yearly Prix Enfantaisie (Wednesday, May 1st) which will kick off the festivities: meetings and dedications with the favourite authors of children, including Silvan Borer (who illustrated the program leaflet). Many workshops are also on the schedule: philo chit-chats with Theopopettes, fun debates about food, ecology or robots, a concert by Gaëtan, gaming tournaments with Helvetiq, science, DIY, storytimes, and more!

MORE INFO

May 1-5
In Palexpo: Route François-Peyrot 30, 1218 Le Grand-Saconnex.
The whole program for kids to be found here in a pdf.
https://salondulivre.ch/

festival la coursde contes

A festival of storytelling and theatre shows. Grab your tickets fast, and it can sell out quickly. There are shows in the program for kids of all ages. Most of them take place in La Julienne (Plan-les-Ouates), where before or after you can enjoy a meal/snack in the restaurant. 

MORE INFO

You can find out about the shows within the festival in the Parentville’s calendar. Also, of course, the official website of the festival is a great place to check the shows, too.

Marathon Geneve

MAY 11 – 12

The Harmony Geneva Marathon for Unicef is one of the most beautiful and fastest marathons in Europe. The beauty of the Geneva route, with the first part in the countryside and arrival in the heart of the city in front of the famous Jet d’Eau, attracts runners from around the world (113 nationalities represented in 2017). FOR KIDS: Six races of 1 km to 5 km will be proposed again for juniors aged 3 to 15 years. For security reasons, they will be organised on marked and grid courses by members of the organisation. GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!

MORE INFO

All you need to know is on the Harmony Geneva Marathon’s website.

FETE DES MERES

MAY 12

Swiss Mother’s Day this year is on May 19th. Around that date expect many workshops, brunches, and what not! Parentville’s Calendar will group them all in the “Fete des Meres” category. Hope you will find something nice for your family on that day.

HOPITAL DES NOUNOURS

MAY 13-19

Hopital des Nounours (HDN) is an event organised by medical students to introduce the children of 4 to 8 years to the hospital world in an original and fun way. How it works? Take our child and one of their stuffed animals that fell sick or got injured (stomach ache, cold, broken leg etc, you can come up with anything!). Upon arrival, they will be greeted by one of the Nounoursologists (eng. Teddybearologists) working in this hospital. After having established the diagnosis together, they will go to the different departments of the hospital to treat it (including surgery, a playful MRI, pharmacy, and more!).

 

MORE INFO

This year a prior registration is needed to take part in HDN. You can register here. If you remember the waiting time in HDN previous years, the registration system is a saviour!

Alice in Wonderland at Simply Theater

MAY 17-26

Another great production is coming up in the Simply Theatre! This time it is the magical world of Alice aka the Wonderland. Literature’s classic on stage will emerge kids in the rabbit hole and everything that lies beneath it. Tweedle twins, White Rabbit, and the Queen of Hearts await you with, as the official description says, the most hilarious-filled madcap fun!
As always with big shows at Simply Theatre, it is best to book asap!
MORE INFO
Simply Theatre: 23a Centre Choiseul, Avenue de Choiseul, 1290 Versoix.

Nuit des musees

MAY 18

This year’s theme of the Night of the Museums is “the secret”.  There will puzzle to solve, unseen things to see, secret places to visit,  escape games, and more! The program should be announced soon on Facebook. You will also find all the family0friendly events related to the Night of the Museums in Parentville’s calendar (by browsing the museum category or searching “Nuit des musees”).

MORE INFO

More details will be announced any minute now on this website and here on Facebook.

Semaine du livre petite enfance et famille

MAY 22-26

Every year, in May, children are invited to discover the world of books. A series of activities related to books are proposed to familiarise toddlers as early as possible with the written (and illustrated) words.

MORE INFO

The program is intended for the general public on Wednesdays and Saturdays, at the Maison de la Creativite, and all week at the library of La Cité. The whole program will soon be announced on this website, and will immediately be ulpoaded to Parentville’s events calendar.

OTHER EVENTS

THE WHOLE MONTH OF MAY

So many things will happen in May, that it would almost be impossible to list them in an article and keep it easy to read. You can always check Parentville’s events calendar, but also here’s a small list of other events that will take place in May (for some of them no program was available when I was preparing the article):

February holidays

February holidays

Schools off, jardins d’enfants off, tpg on the holiday schedule. For those of you not going away, I prepared some ideas for the week of 18th February. It includes camps, activities, and day trips.

LAST-MINUTE CAMPS IDEAS

Spell Languages – adventurous language camps! English camp under the themes of Ice Age, Winter Olympics, or Minecraft.

Museomix – kids will imagine and create prototypes of what they would love to see and do in a museum. You can read more about this camp here on Parentville, or here on Museomix’s website.

Bricks 4 Kidz – a week (or a few days) with Lego. For Rive Droite check here, for Rive Gauche check here.

Future Kids – STEM holiday week for kids aged 5 – 12 (different age groups). The best news! To get more girls into STEM, Future Kids offers 50% discount for them!

Gymboree – if you’re looking for a camp for a 3 years, you have just found it! Gymboree Geneva is well known for it’s high quality child care and fun activities over all school holidays! You can enroll for 1 to 5 days. This is a half day camp: from 8h30/9h00 till 12h00.

ACTIVITIES (NOT CAMPS)

Maison de la Creativité – the best place in Geneva for kids aged 0-6 will be opened every afternoon from 14h30 till 17h30 during the February holidays. On top of dad grandparents who will take care of their grandchildren during the holidays can also come in the mornings of 19th and 21st February (from 9h30 till 12h00).

Bibi Café – the right place for every day (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays). On February 20th an activity for kids and accompanying adults to create necklaces together.

Exploracentre – a vast choice of workshops is waiting for kids as young as 4! Check their website and reserve your place asap!

You will soon be able to find more events, workshops, and fun activities in our brand new events calendar. It is not yet perfect, we’re working on the design and functionality as we speak, but it’s there! Click the button below to open events in the new window.

PS: If you are an organizer of workshops, courses, or events for families and children, and you would like your events to be included in the calendar, please let us know! It’s free!

DAY TRIPS

By clicking on each place/list you will open a more detailed article about it:

Winter warm-up places with Papiliorama, and warm pools!

Sledging nearby, including La Givrine that you can get to without a car.

Espace des Mondes Polaires

 

Escalade family activities 2018

Escalade family activities 2018

Escalade is full of fun! It’s a very festive period that puts Christmas on the side for a bit. Thank you, Geneva, for this diversified last month of the year. Even though December is cold and can be windy, people will go out to run, to watch parades, and drink the “vin chaud”.

There is fun for kids and whole families too!

December 1&2
Course de l’Escalade

The registration to this running event is closed, but do not hesitate to come and cheer for all those running up and down Geneva hills in the cold winter weather. More info on escalade.ch.

December 5, 15h
Musée d’Art et d’Histoire (MAH)
For 6-10 year olds

“It was dark and frosty night in 1602 when the Savoyards attacked Geneva and tried to scale the city walls with ladders…” – to hear the rest of the story (in French) visit MAH on December 5. Children will be welcomed by the Mère Royaume, who will show them the Escalade ladders and other war “souvenirs”. Also, grab the MAH visitors’ discovery guide available free at the welcome desk – it will take you from MAH to the Maison Tavel.

December 5
Eaux Vives Municipal Library
For kids age 5+

Have you already noticed that libraries offer lots of fun for kids throughout the year? On December 5th, the Eaux Vives library will host the Mere Royaume herself . An occasion for children age 5+, to discover the origins of Escalade and its traditions.Travel in time back to 1602 with Mère Royaume to discover the origin of the Escalade and its traditions. After the “official” part, kids will smash the marmite and fill tummies with chocolate and marzipan! Free entrance.

December 7,8,9
Old Town

“La Compagnie 1602” is a group of volunteer actors, who reconstruct the daily life of Geneva from the past Escalade days. It is a historical procession with soldiers, horse riders, historical characters parade through the centre of the city.

December 8
Torch Parade

It is a beautiful and mesmerising parade in the Old Town Geneva. It will start at 19h45 at Rue de l’Evêché 1. Candles will be on sale at that address from 18h30, for all those willing to participate. More information on the Compagnie 1602 website.

December 8, 14h30
Bibliotheque Municipal la Cité
For kids aged 8-12

“Les Enfants de l’Escalade” is a book by Olivier May that will soon be published by Editions Auzou. The author will be waiting for the kids in the Bibliotheque de la Cité to talk about Escalade and his book – the first children’s fiction book about the Escalade.

December 8, 15h30
International Museum of the Reformation (MIR)

A museum experience in the dark! If you and your kids are not afraid of the dark, be sure to visit the Museum of the Reformation for a visit with a flashlight! First, listen to a story about the days of Escalade at the beginning of the 17th century. Then, grab your torch and discover the artefacts from 1602. Entrance: 6 CHF. Prior reservation advised. More information about the MIR here.

December 8&9
Passage de Monetier
Once a year event!

Passage de Monetier opens for public only once a year – on Escalade. This super-narrow path from the 5th century was part of the whole network of “secret” passages created to evacuate the city if needed but also used by soldiers of Escalade to get to their battle stations quickly. I can’t stress it enough… the passage is very narrow, so narrow that at times you will have to go sideways. It is only opened during Escalade, and it is a one-way path. Entrance is situated on Rue du Perron 19.

December 9, 17h
THE parade

Around 800 volunteers on horse and foot will take part in this yearly parade. It will start at 5 pm in the Parc des Bastions. The parade is accompanied by other events; you can check them all on the website of the Compagnie 1602.

December 12, 14h00
Martel

Patisserie Martel invites you to take part in breaking the marmite together with their Chocolatier (the person specialised in making chocolate treats). The marmite will be not so easy to crack as it will weight 6,5 kg! Of course, the youngest and the oldest in the room will have the honour to start, and everyone will be able to taste the marmite. More information here.

December 15, 20h
Escalade soup
Maison de Quartier de Saint-Jean

The Escalade vegetable soup is served outdoors across the city this time of the year. Many “Maisons de quartier” will organise their events, for example, Maison de Quartier de Saint-Jean will be celebrating on the 15th with a costume pageant and a free soup for everyone! Be sure to check your local school and your local Maison du Quartier for the events in your neighbourhood.