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.

December in Geneva with kids

December in Geneva with kids

Once again Parentville is here to prove that there is no such thing as a dull period in Geneva. Never. December is almost all about Christmas, but I am sure you will find other themes if Christmas is not your holiday.

Grab a cuppa or a glass of wine before reading below, as this might be the longest article ever published on this website. Though I can assure you, it is worth your time!

FYI: all the theatres’ shows are listed at the bottom of the page (in an attempt to create some kind of order in this crazy month).

November 16 – December 2
Filmar

A 20th cinematic odyssey in Latin America will be happening again in Geneva! A special program, FILMARcito, will be offered to young viewers and families. Be sure to check their website soon – the detailed program is available here.

November 29 – January 13
Geneva Lux

Adorable thing about December in Geneva is that apart of some Christmas decorations, the city is decorated with Christmas-unrelated colourful illuminated works of art. This outdoor exposition is called Geneva Lux. Each piece of art is created especially for this occasion. They are placed in different parts of the city of Geneva. How about a treasure hunt to find them all? More info here.

December 1-3
Nordic Christmas Brunch & DIY
For mums & children aged 0-3
HYGGE – DESIGN ENFANTS/ATELIER DIY
3 Rue des Rois
Geneva

You are invited to experience the real Nordic Christmas magic together with Nordic Taste and HYGGE! You are welcome to bring your baby or small child along and join us for a wonderful Nordic brunch. While you are eating and enjoying our brunch, you can have fun with our DIY workshop decorating Christmas cookies made by Nordic Taste, and at the same time learn how to make beautiful Nordic Christmas decorations. Kids can participate in the workshop or if you prefer they can play in a cosy playing area with the beautiful Nordic children’s products by HYGGE. You can choose between 2 days and 5 time slots: Saturday, Dec 1, 10h-12h; Sunday Dec 2, 10h-12h & 13h-15h; Monday Dec 3, 10h-12h & 13h-15h. To book your spot email at info@nordictaste.ch. The cost of the brunch and a workshop together is 65 CHF. More information on Nordic Taste’s website.

Weekend, December 1-2
Batiment du Force Motrice
The birthday of the Orchestre Suisse Romande (OSR)

A weekend full of musical pleasures for young and not so young will be organised in BFM. Concerts for little munchkins, bigger kids, musical instruments to try out, DIY workshops, and much more. Not to miss, #parentvillerecommended! For the whole program, please download this pdf.

December 1, 10-13h
Clothes library

Place du Rondeau 4 (1er étage)
1227 Carouge.

Vet’Lok is a library that rents children’s clothes. Check out their event on December 1st or December 15th in Carouge and decide whether you would like to become a member of this planet-friendly and family-friendly association. The membership is 30CHF for six months (or 60 for a year) and lets you 15 pieces of clothing as often as you like. It’s like being able to dress your kid in new outfits every week, or every day if you wish. Just brilliant! Check out their event either on Facebook or on their website.

December 1
La Librerit
1 bis Place du marché
1227 Carouge

A great occasion to visit this lovely bookshop in Carouge, that very often hosts activities for children. On December 1 all kids aged 7+ are invited to come and create their advent calendar. It will start at 15h30 and last till 17h. Number of places is limited, please reserve your spot with the host. More info here.

December 1, 10h & 11h
Bibi Café
Creative workshop with Recrécréa

Bibi Café is not only the most kid-friendly cafe (and lunch place) in the region, it is also a place offering workshops and activities for kids, and sometimes moms.

On December 1 Bibi Café will host Recrécréa with a creative upcycling workshop. At 10 am kids aged 2-5 are invited to take part with an accompanying adult for 25 CHF. Later at 11 am it’s time for 4-8-year-olds (20 CHF workshop only, 27 CHF (a drink, a meal, and a cookie included). More info here.

December 1-24
Carouge
Noel a Carouge

Hard to describe in few sentences as the city of Carouge planned so many small and big things for the Christmas period! The advent calendar, carriage rides, big carousel, ice skating rink, pony rides, the Christmas market (December 7-9), workshops for kids, theatre shows, concerts, and much much more. You will find some of these events mentioned separately, but if you would like to consult the whole program download the pdf here.

Sunday, December 2, anytime between 14h and 17h
MEG
Grand-Bazar: Amulettes et talismans, 2+

Successful exams, finding love, winning football, protecting yourself from the flu or attracting luck? This Grand Bazaar is dedicated to protective and lucky charms! In Africa, regardless of religious affiliation, amulets are worn to protect against diseases and evil spirits, or to attract success and luck. Come and make your object of protection and choose what power it will be endowed! More info here.

Sunday, December 2, 15h, 15h30, 16h, 16h30, 17h
MEG
Grand-Bazar: Le Baby Bazar, 0-2-year-olds

Babies are active in the Grand Bazaar! The Espace Musical, a specialised music school, takes up residence in the Atelier du MEG. The 0-2 year-olds and the adults who accompany them will explore different sound worlds, thanks to instruments from all over the world adapted to tiny hands! Each session lasts 20 minutes. More info here.

December 2-19
Various locations
Black Movie Festival, age: 4+

Grand Cinema for the little ones is the autumn edition of the annual Black Movie, which usually takes place in January. It is addressed to children aged 4+. To end the year smoothly, it is the snow that will be celebrated in this pre-winter selection of enchanting and hilarious short movies. What are the films about? A tale of a baby hedgehog who faces all the dangers to find his family, an icy marathon at the North Pole; and Father Frimas, an old man with magical powers who watches over the spirit of Christmas. More info here.

Sunday, December 2; 16h
Fondation Baur
“Fabriquer ton dragon chinois” kids workshop, 6+

A guided visit for kids aged 6+ in the Chinese section of Fondation Baur. First children will be taken to see the dragons in the museum’s rooms discover their meaning and secrets. After that, they will be invited to create a dragon of their dreams! The whole workshop will last 1h30; participation cost is 20 CHF per child (free for accompanying adult). Please register in advance at mediation@fondationbaur.ch. More details here.

Monday, December 3, 14h
Bibi Café
Duplo workshop

Parent-child workshop for 3-5 years old with Bricks 4 Kidz® from 14h to 15h at the Bibi Café. Come and build a Bricks 4 Kidz® model with DUPLO® bricks as a family! More about Bricks 4 Kidz Geneva Rive Droite here.

Wednesday, December 5, 14h
Musee de Carouge
A kids workshop

As a part of the “Christa de Carouge” exposition, the Museum of Carouge proposes a children’s workshop. Led by Atelier Nolita, children will play with the graphic lines of the Christa de Carouge’s clothes. It will start with discovering the exhibition, after which aspiring artists aged 4-12 will create textile objects themselves. More info here.

Wednesday, December 5, 15h.
MEG
Meet the Birdwife: An object, a sound, a story
For kids 6+ with an accompanying adult.

Every first Wednesday of the month, the MEG invites you to discover the treasures of the Museum, from its exhibitions to its library. This month, explore the magico-religious universe of Africa by listening to the story of Hatiam and Kalita. Divination, sorcery, amulets, will invite you the enchanting and musical world presented in the exhibition “Afrique. Les religions de l’extase”. More details here.

Wednesday, December 5, 16h15
MAMCO
Fun for kids

For little ones aged 2-4 (with an accompanying adult) an artistic awakening course entitled “Mirror, tell me”. It will be held in French and last 20 minutes. For older children aged 5-10 Mamco prepared an interactive guided tour entitled ”Dans ma maison je mets…”. Accompanying adult is required, the tour will last 45 minutes. To know more what’s happening in MAMCO at the moment click here.

Wednesday, December 5, 15h
MAH
Pétards et chocolats: guided visit

Musée d’Arts et d’Histoire de Genève has a famous and rich program of activities for kids of different ages. This time, this interactive guided tour will take kids ages 6-10, to discover… what do you think looking at the title? Free, without registration. Here’s your link.

Wednesday, December 5, 15h30
Centre d’Art Contemporain
Akademinis

Families are invited on a journey through each of the Centre’s exhibition, with visits punctuated by creative and original activities. Activity is free but requires a reservation by phone (022 329 18 42) or email publics@centre.ch. And here’s their website.

December 6-19
Lancy en lumières

Each year three places in the city of Lancy are selected to participate in this end-of-the-year light show. This year it will be the Skateplaza (interactive installation), Salle communale du Petit Lancy, and Eglise du Christ-roi (a mapping show). Also to see: Place des Ormeau Ar-Lancy. Urban space taken over by digital art designers turns everyday places into means of expression. Nothing left to do but take a walk around Lancy to discover the beauty of light, your kids will love it (even more if you stop for a hot chocolate). More details here.

Thursday, December 6, 10 am
Bibi Cafe
Creative workshop (for adults)

Jessica from “Mères-Veilleuses” will host a workshop during each you can create your Christmas wreath made of felt and eucalyptus. A perfect event for moms of small babies, that look for a fun, socializing event that can be attended with a child. To register please use this link.

December 6-9
Concours Hippique International de Genève
Palexpo

Calling all the parents of horse passionate children! Created in 1926, the Concours Hippique International de Genève (CHI) is one of the world’s most prestigious equestrian competitions and it is happening again in Palexpo! Kids enjoy watching the show, taking a stroll down to the stables, or simply looking at the all equestrian accessories sold at the venue. On Saturday the 8th, at 11:45 pony initiations will take place in the attractions area. More information on CHI official website.

Thursday, December 6
Saint Nicolas Day

Gymboree Geneva
Rue Sonnex 23
Grand Saconnex

On this Thursday Gymboree is opened to all kids aged 6 months to 5 years, and their parents, for free. Come and discover the playful world of Gymbo the clown, the great soft play area with obstacle courses, and more. Here’s the plan: 14h-15h & 15h50-17h00 – open PlayGym, 15h-15h45 – Family Play&Learn class, 16h15-17h00 – Family music class. Oh! And if you sign up for Gymboree fun on that day, the registration fee is 0 CHF. Gymboree is mine and Z favourite place for babies and tots in Geneva, #parentvillerecommended, #approvedbyZ. More about Gymboree Geneva here.

December 6 – 31
Park Bastion
Noël aux Bastions, age: 0-100

A real Christmas market in Geneva this year is looking great: street food, fondue chalet, carrousels,  face painting, ice skating, carriage rides, and… a kids chalet with bricolages, workshops, and special fun on will be open every day at market hours. The little visitors can dive into DIY projects, play or just read Christmas stories in a comfortable and well-heated yurt. All the special activities are listed below in this agenda. You can also consult all the program here.

December 6 & 7
Christmas Market
TotUp Creche
Avenue des Morgines 12
1213 Geneva

TotUP and Geneve Business Center are happy to invite you to a Christmas market on December 6th and 7th, 2018!
A wonderful opportunity to find gifts for the whole family! More than 20 stands and 40 brands will be waiting for you. A bonus: foie gras and vin chaud. Find out more on Facebook.

Friday, December 7
Jonction
Organized by MEG

The grand parade of Father Fouettard and Chauchevieille celebrates its 40th anniversary this year! Go to Parc Gourgas to form the procession that will cross the district of La Jonction and make a festive stopover at the MEG, before returning to the park for a pleasant dinner. More information on the Museum’s website.

December 8
La Fanfare Magique
Concert for families
Salle Frank Martin, Geneva

The 6th season of Geneva Camerata is filled with magic, and so is this concert. Once upon a time, there was a fabulous fanfare that could, by playing a few musical notes, transform disasters into funny, joyful and crazy events … But where do these mysterious musicians come from and how did they receive their magical powers? Come and find out, and already pencil in the next dates: February 2, and March 23rd. Book your tickets here.

December 8-9, 14h, 16h
Parc des Bastions
Swiss Food Academy

At 14h kids will decorate their Christmas trees with… flavours! At 16h it will be a story time accompanied by a healthy Christmas snack (so that you don’t feel guilty to snack on chocolate, chocolate, and chocolate for the rest of your visit to Bastions). To book your place, please contact the Academy at contact@swissfoodacademy.ch.

Saturday, December 8, 9:30 am – 11:30 am.
Bibi Cafe
Bricks 4 Kidz Workshop

Bibi Cafe and Bricks 4 Kidz got together to offer you a chance of kids-free Christmas shopping. While you help Santa prepare, your kids will construct motorised models and will not even notice the time pass. Cost: 45 CHF. The registration link is here.

Wednesday, December 12, 14h
MEG
The blind workshop, for 6+ and an adult

Discover the exhibition “Afrique. Les religions de l’extase” by soliciting your different senses, before participating in a blind workshop. In a tactile approach, realise your box of memories, inspired by the reliquaries of Gabon to approach death otherwise. Price: 8-12 CHF. Book your place online here or directly at the museum.

Wednesday, December 12, 14h & 18h
Noël aux Bastions
Gingerbread workshop

The famous Cuppin’s offers a workshop to decorate little gingerbread men with your children.

Wednesday, December 12, 15h
MAH
Pétards et chocolats: guided visit

Musée d’Arts et d’Histoire de Genève has a famous and rich program of activities for kids of different ages. This time, this interactive guided tour will take kids ages 6-10, to discover… what do you think looking at the title? Free, without registration.

Thursday, December 13, 14h-16h
Afternoon drop-in
Cabinet d’Accueil Perinatal

Ana (child psychiatrist) and Laetitia (mid-wife and osteopath) will be there to answer all your questions about child development, breastfeeding, sleep, and your health. Come and chat with them (in French, Portuguese or English) and with other new parents. Scales for baby available. Play area for babies and small children. More information www.caperinatal.net

Friday, December 14
MAH
Visite à petits pas: Is the museum a zoo?

A guided visit at the Musée d’Arts et d’Histoire de Genève for children aged 3-5, accompanied by an adult. It will last 30 mins, is free of charge, and no reservation is required.

Friday, December 14, 14h.
Balade avec bébé
For new parents with their babies and parents-to-be

Once a month, Catherine will lead you on a gentle walk through the streets and parks of Geneva (with a visit to a playground if there are small children with us), finishing at a café. The walk is a chance to meet other parents, to chat about life in Geneva and life as a parent. The participation fee is 5 CHF PER YEAR (nope, no mistakes there). More details here.

Wednesday, December 15, 14h-17h
Noel aux Bastions
Stamps with Godzilab, 4+

Creative mini-workshop for the family: children from 4 years old accompanied by an adult. A fun workshop to realise from A to Z your personalised stamps. On your marks? Make, ink and dab!

Saturday, December 15
Bibi Cafe
Christmas market

Again, Bibi Café! I told you it’s a fantastic place with a rich program! On Saturday 15th come to enjoy the Christmas market and discover local books (“ABC Geneva” included!), clothes, bijou, food, and more! Between 2 pm and 3 pm Santa will visit Bibi to chat with your kids and take pics. The market will start at 15h and last till 19h. Come and say hi!

Saturday, December 15, 16h & 18h
Noël aux Bastions
Gingerbread workshop

The famous Cuppin’s offers a workshop to decorate little gingerbread men with your children. Fee: 4 CHF.

Saturday & Sunday, December 15-16, 14h
Noel aux Bastions
Swiss Food Academy workshop

Mini chefs workshop with a special recipe for energy balls. Places are limited: first come, first served.

Saturday, December 15, 16h30
Place Molard
Candles by Caritas Suisse

Tens of thousands of candles will be lit in solidarity with people living in poverty. The event will happen across all Switzerland. In Geneva, it will take place at Place du Molard.

Saturday, December 15, 12h45-14h45
Noël aux Bastions
Meeting with Santa

What a chance to meet Santa in person! Do not miss the opportunity to meet him with your children during his walk in the Market and his visit to the children’s Yurt.

Saturday, December 15, 16h
Maison de Quartier Le Spot
île MaZik

ZikiZik on his island MaZik, it’s magic! Fun songs and catchy music for the whole family. For dad and mom, granny and grandpa, uncle and aunty. But also for the nanny, cousins and neighbours. A dynamic, poetic and playful, and a little crazy universe, where even vegetables have their time on the scene! Staring the actress-singer Ziki and her musicians. Registration is obligatory, phone only: 022 348 96 78.

December 16
Creative upcycling workshop by Espace Colibri and Recrecrea, 6+
Un R de Famille
Rue Goetz-Monin 10, 1205 Genève

In collaboration with Récrécréa, Espace Colibri invites you to a creative workshop that combines DIY, eco-friendly practice and re-use. This workshop is an opportunity to highlight the interest of recycling and an open mind on the second life of an object. Through the journey between manipulation and creativity, the child will stimulate his sensory faculties and his imagination. Each child will be able to realize his work from materials resulting from the recovery. The activity is destined for kids aged 6+. More information on Facebook.

Sunday, December 16, 13h & 16h-18h
Noel aux Bastions
Les comptes du «SACRÉ PÈRE NOËL!», 4+

Storyteller Caroline Langendorf presents her show “Sacred Santa! “. Little stories of 20 minutes at once funny, surprising and original.

Sunday, December 16, 15h30
Centre d’Art Contemporain
Akademinis

Families are invited on a journey through each of the Centre’s exhibition, with visits punctuated by creative and original activities. Activity is free but requires reservation, on Friday the latest,  by phone (022 329 18 42) or email publics@centre.ch.

Sunday, December 16, 14h
MEG
Tunique Magique, 6+

What is the meaning of clothes, and t-shirts in particular? They cover our bodies, but they also protect us and identify us. Brands, logos or colourful patterns? Tie or crest of superheroes? Turtleneck or V-neck? Discover the objects of protection presented in the exhibition “Afrique. Les religions de l’extase” with your kids. After the visit, you will participate in a workshop to create your own protective dress/shirt/top. Price 8-12 CHF. Please make the reservation in advance either on the Museum’s website or directly at the MEG’s ticket office.

Monday, Decembre 17, 13h30-15.30
Babytalk
Breastfeeding support group (in English)

The topic for this week will be Christmas and other end-of-year festivities. Will you be going “home” for the holidays, or will the family be coming to visit? What are you most looking forward to? What are you dreading? Can you have a glass of champagne to bring in the new year? How will you deal with “helpful” suggestions about why the baby is crying? How will your baby cope with being passed from one loving relative to another? Find out more here.

Wednesday, December 19, 15h
MAH
Les Batailles de Hodler

Musée d’Arts et d’Histoire de Genève has a famous and rich program of activities for kids of different ages. This time, this interactive guided tour will take kids ages 6-10, to discover Ferdinand Hodler’s art. Free, without registration.

Wednesday, December 19, 15h30
Centre d’Art Contemporain
Akademinis

Families are invited on a journey through each of the Centre’s exhibition, with visits punctuated by creative and original activities. Activity is free but requires reservation, by phone (022 329 18 42) or email publics@centre.ch.

Saturday, December 22, 13h & 16h-18h
Noël aux Bastions
Les comptes du «SACRÉ PÈRE NOËL!», 4+

Storyteller Caroline Langendorf presents her show “Sacred Santa! “. Short stories of 20 minutes at once funny, surprising and original.

Sunday, December 23, 14h30-16h30
Noel aux Bastions
Meeting with Santa

What a chance to meet Santa in person! Do not miss the opportunity to meet him with your children during his walk in the Market and his visit to the children’s Yurt.

Sunday, December 23, 13h & 14h30
Noel aux Bastions
Mrs Potter And The Snow, 3+

Have you ever wondered where the snow comes from? Come to listen to the enchanted story of “Mrs Potter and the Snow” read in English by Fariza Ahmadova. For adults and children from 3 years old.

Thursday, December 27, 14h-17h
Noël aux Bastions
Stamps with Godzilab, 4+

Creative mini-workshop for the family: children from 4 years old accompanied by an adult. A fun workshop to realize from A to Z your personalized stamps. On your marks? Make, ink and dab!

THEATRE SHOWS

Till December 2, and from December 27 till January 5, 2019
ZOT COMPAGNIE
Casse-Noisette

Older Clara tells the story of an adventure she experienced on Christmas Eve as a child. Her grandfather gave offered her a beautiful toy: a nutcracker. Fritz, hes turbulent little brother, immediately took the nutcracker and broke it. Clara very sad had fallen asleep and had embarked on an incredible journey seating on the living room carpet, that turned out to be a flying carpet. Here’s the Zot’s website where you can find out about timings, prices, and book your tickets.

December 1, 20h
Salle du Lignon
Spring – Gandini Juggling, 8+

For this new creation, Sean Gandini collaborates with the contemporary choreographer Alexander Whitley. SPRING is an adventurous and kaleidoscopic production, which addresses the reflection of the choreographic act. The approaches to juggling and modern dance will come close to each other, to complement each other and to dialogue: one aerial and elusive, the other earthly and anchored in the ground. Here’s the link to the show’s website.

December 1-2
Theatre AmStramGram
We are Monchini, 7+

Shihya Peng was born in Taiwan but lives in Paris. Marco di Nardo was born in Naples but lives in Berlin. How to meet when we have good reasons to avoid each other? How to get along when the ramparts are high? Which language to choose? What to do in the face of clutter caused by cultural stereotypes?

Here, bodies have their irony, their desire for joy, sometimes their melancholy. Shihya Peng and Marco Di Nardo tend their bodies, like two distorting mirrors, where one discovers oneself more than one recognises oneself. They wear, fly, fall, do not support each other, then get up and walk together.

For show’s hours, prices, and more details, please visit AmStramGram’s website.

December 5-23
Theatre des Marionettes Geneve
La Poupée Cassée
des 4 ans

This show tells a story about a little Mexican girl, who grew up to be internationally famous – Frida Kahlo. Lively, curious and a little daring, Frida loves to climb trees and play acrobats with her capuchin monkey. Lulled by the laughter, the cries of birds and the murmur of water, the little Mexican lives a carefree and happy childhood in the lush garden of Casa Azul. A perfect idyll, if she did not feel the pain always more insistent in the right leg caused by Polio and a bus accident. For more details visit the Theater’s website.

December 8, 20h
Salle du Lignon,
Petites Histoires.com, 8+

Directed by Kader Attou, one of the essential figures of French hip-hop, Petites histoires.com mixes performance, emotion and music in a new and unexpected way. For Petites histoires.com, Kader Attou imagines a show composed of many small pieces. Some tell stories, others are more abstract. The things of life, as well as the news, have always nourished the work of the choreographer. Moving from one story to another, jumping from cock to donkey, mixing performance, emotion, musicality in a rather burlesque show! More details here.

December 9
Theatre le Caveau
Les Contes Spontanes, 5+

This show is different each time, because the story depends on the public. As the actors come on stage they have nothing to tell, they need the audience to make the story, and so it is the children who decide on the characters, an era, a place, the emotions, and more. The actors create a unique show filled with laughter, sharing, and complicity. The stories that emerge are accompanied by original music. More details here.

till December 11
Simply Theater
The Snow Queen

When it’s getting too cold, wet, and dark to spend time with kids outdoors, the theatre is always a good choice. Each year the Simply Theater prepares a seasonal show, and we are safe to say that this year’s winter season this year will begin in this English-speaking theatre in Versoix with their winter musical show – “The Snow Queen”. This adaptation of timeless classic Hans Christian Andersen’s story will transfer children into the enchanted world. More info here.

Till December 16
Théâtre Töpffer
Hansel and Gretel

Adaptation of a popular fairytale for the whole family. It is played in the Théâtre Töpffer on Wednesdays at 15h, and on weekends at 15h30. The production will be shown two time on Sunday December 16 (at 14h and 17h). Book your tickets by calling 0227035125 or 0792192071.

Till December 19
Théâtre de Gaspard, av. des Tilleuls 21.
Christmas show

Theatre de Gaspard invites all kids aged 4+ for a series of 2 puppet shows. They are played every Wednesday at 4pm and every Sunday at 11am and 4pm. Till December 9 enjoy the show entitled “Nigg Nogg. Celui qui vient de loin”. From December 12 till 19, a different show will be served on the scene, about Christmas this time: “Noel. L’histoire de Noel”. Entry: 5 CHf for kids, 10 for adults. A bit more about the show here.