Easter 2021 for families in Geneva

Easter 2021 for families in Geneva

Here we are again: Easter many of us will, yet one more time, spend far away from families. It’s been a hard, stressful year. But let’s not forgotten about positive things that happened along, eg. the contactless payment limit went up from 30 CHF to 80 CHF laughing).

I could now go for 10 pages about comparing last Easter to Easter 2021 in Geneva, but why waste time. Carpe Diem! It is what it is, let’s roll with it, and enjoy the holidays.

Below you’ll find the propositions for a fun Easter holiday in Geneva. Some options are easter-related, some are simply holiday-related. 

Ready? Let’s do it!

CHOcolate treasure hunt in the Old Town

For an unusual Easter celebration, discover the Old Town craftsmen and their chocolate creations, thanks to this very gourmet treasure hunt!

Each step of the game will take you to one of the incredible artisans of the Old Town. At each artisan, you’ll collect delicious Easter chocolates: pralines, ganaches, chocolate bars…

SURPRISE – you may also win the magnificent chocolate egg specially put into play for the treasure hunt participants? Maitre chocolatier Philippe Pascoët and Genève pas cher have teamed up to offer you a design egg weighing 500 gr. worth 70 CHF!

Practical info:

Paid participation
Obligatory reservation: here.
Not pram/wheelchair friendly.

PâKOMUZé

It’s not in Geneva but close enough! PâKOMUZé is a yearly event in the museums of  Canton Vaud during Easter school-holildays. Members of the PâKOMUZé association works hard whole year to make this happen and the museums and cultural institutions provide wonderful activities for children and their families. Many of these workshop take place in Lausanne and farther, but you’ll also find plenty in parts of Vaud close to Geneva. Everybody will find a workshop their child will like – there are plenty for all tastes and interests!

Wouldn’t it be great to have this in Geneva, too?

Practical info:

Some activities are free, some paid.
Some activities require reservations, some don’t.
More info at: pakomuze.ch.

EGG HUNT IN THE CASTLE

Chateu de Grandson (Vaud), the second biggest castle in Switzerland, invites all children aged 5-10 for an Easter Egg Hunt. This amazing castle, has many playful activities all year round, to make the visit more joyful. For Easter, children can see the castle while collecting eggs! It will take place from April 3rd till April 5th. Reservations are obligatory: here.

Wine and easter eggs by TukTuk

For the Easter weekend, 2-5 of April, TaxiBike is organising a ride in Geneva vineyards accompanied by egghunt for kids, and wine tasting for adults!

It’s a fun and unique activity that offers some extravaganza we all need after a year of You-Know-What. All family members will have fun while tasting delicious local products from different wineries and artisan chocolate partners. This visit is also a great opportunity to learn more about Geneva’s countryside and oenology.

Practical info:

Paid activity.
Reservation: taxibike.ch.

LUDOTHEQUE DE LA SERVETTE

Cinema, bricolage and egg hunt  – this is the plan of this fun ludotheque for Easter 2021. Not many details are available online, so it’s best to check with this ludo directly. You can find more info here.

SPRING WITH SEMPE

Around fifty drawings by Jean-Jacques Sempé are shown in the early evening until 11 p.m. on the facades of five emblematic places in the heart of Geneva. This outdoor exhibition has been organized by the Societe de Lecture de Genève. You have till April 7th to enjoy it.

Practical info:

Free.
Masks, distance and all Covid-19 measures apply.
More info here.

DAY TRIPS

How about a day trip to somewhere nice?

Spring is the great time to enjoy:

HIKES

The weather is going to be nice, so don;t forget to enjoy the beautiful swiss outdoors! There are plenty beautiful places in Geneva and around. You can find some ideas in Parentville’s Instagram guide: check it out here.

EASTER FUN AT HOME

As every now and then some of you may have to quarantine or isolate, and others simply like some at-home fun, Parentville will post some crafts and experiments on Instagram – mostly about eggs (it’s crazy how many things one can do with them!). Don’t miss it and start following Parentville on Instagram now.

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THE BEST SUMMER CAMPS IN GENEVA 2021

THE BEST SUMMER CAMPS IN GENEVA 2021

Time to plan the summer! And by planning the summer, I mean finding the right summer camp in Geneva for your child.

Like every year, also in 2021, Parentville carefully selected the best summer camps in Geneva! You will find camps for little munchkins, school-age kids, and teenagers. Camps in the city centre, and camps in municipalities around. All have different themes. This way, I am sure everyone will find something suitable.

Attention: this list will grow with time, so be sure to check regularly!

SIMPLY THEATRE, VERSOIX
5-6 & 7+

simply theatre best summer camps geneva

Simply Theatre, Switzerland’s premier English speaking performing arts training school and theatre company, host week-long summer camps tailor-made for children aged 5 to 18 years. Specialising in acting, vocal coaching, choreography, film making, magic and stage combat to name a few, their camps offer a unique opportunity to work with experienced theatre practitioners. During each fun-packed week, students discover and learn key components of an actor’s training, meet new friends and develop valuable life skills. For ages 7+ courses run Monday – Friday 9.00 am – 4.00 pm and cost 595CHF per week. (Late pick up to 5.30 pm available). For 5-6 year olds courses run as half-day sessions (9.00am-12.00pm or 1.00pm-4.00pm) and cost 295CHF.

More info at www.simplytheatre.com.

SPELL LANGUAGES, PLAINPALAIS
4-6 & 7-10 & 11-14 yo

spell languages best summer camps in geneva
Spell Languages is a leading language centre for kids in Geneva and their holiday camps are truly unforgettable! This summer, your kids can be immersed in six languages (French, English, Spanish, Italian, Russian or German).
Many wonderful themes are planned, for example: “Winnie the Pooh” (4-6 yo), “Hogwarts School of Magic” (7-10 yo), and “I dare say” (11-14 yo). For all English speaking and music-loving kids aged 4 – 6, a special camp will be animated in collaboration with Music Together! Also, for those who like mental gymnastics and sports, there are camps in collaboration with AMAKids.
During the summer camps with Spell, your child will play, learn, discover Geneva and spend time outdoors in a small group of friends. Bonus! Forget packed lunch: there’s a 3-meal lunch option you can order.
Prices start from CHF 360 .-/ week of half-day camps and  CHF 560 .- week of full-day camps (if enrolled for 3 weeks or more)
Download detailed programmes  in the news section on their website: www.spell-languages.ch

TOTUP, LANCY
3-8 years old

TotUp best summer camps geneva

TotUp is a wonderful creche in Lancy with a big sports centre adapted to both children and adults. Summer camps at TotUp will run continuously from July 5th till August 27th. Every week will offer a different theme and different activities so that children enrolled for more than one week, won’t be bored! In July the themes are: “Together with Music”, “In The Water”, “Team Sports”, “Together with the animals”. And here are the themes for August: “Circus Time”, “Yoga & Meditation”, “From The Garden to the Kitchen”, “5 Continents”.

Price: 350 CHF/ week (7:00-14:30) et 500 CHF/ week (7:00-19:00). Registration is now open through info@totup.ch.

Please also note that camps are available for kids from 2.5 to 6 years old in canton Vaud (Crissier et Epalinges). More info at info@totup.ch

PEP ENGLISH, VEYRIER
5-8 & 9-12 & 12-18 years old

pep english best summer camps

Discover Great Britain, Australia and the United States as if you were there!

For 5-8 and 9-12 yo, PEP English offers a full immersion during their multisensory summer camps with virtual tours of each country. The program is designed so that children learn English in context through fun and interactive activities that stimulate all the senses. They will work on pronunciation, vocabulary and expressions while enjoying different indoor and outdoor activities!
Practical info: full days or half days. Maximum 10 children per group.

For older children (12-14 & 15-18 yo) PEP English prepared “Activate Your English” & “Level-up” camps. These camps will not only help teens work on their English skills but will be a great occasion to practice public speaking strategies and critical thinking. Students will practice the objective analysis of subjects in the news and learn how to structure persuasive arguments, both in formal and informal contexts. It’s a fantastic opportunity to fill in the gaps before a new school year starts.
Practical info: max. 6 students per group. Monday to Friday 13h-16h.

Contact information
022 321 77 31

Planet Climbing, Lancy
Ages 5 to 9

planet climbing best summer camps in geneva

Planet Climbing offers weekly SUMMERS CAMPS for your child where he/she will enjoy a great mix of various sports activities related to verticality (plus creativity activities). These camps are not only for “climber-kids”. Every child will be able to find his/her dimension with a guided and safe approach to gravity.

In the program: climbing games in our spaces, outdoor climbing day (if the option is chosen), yoga kids, arts and crafts, accro-branche, parkour introduction, fluo sports room and more outdoor games in collaboration with external partners.  (Activities with external partners might vary adapting to covid restrictions and availability).
Come join us to discover new sensations!

Groups of 8 kids max. Weekly and daily booking possible. From 08h30 to 17h00. Extra child-care hours on-demand.

WEEK OF JULY 12th and 19th, 2021
WEEK OF AUGUST 2nd, 2021.

Price
Full week (Mon-Fri) – 490 CHF
Day – 115 CHF
*Discount of -10% on the full week price if at least 4 bookings at the same time (family/friends).

Contact
Details, booking instructions and more here.

BRICKS 4 KIDZ®, MEYRIN
Ages 5-12

bricks 4 kidz best summer camps geneva

At Bricks 4 Kidz®, holiday activities (for children aged between 5 and 12) offer just the right combination of games, challenges and creative free play to ensure your child will not even notice the time go by.

Children will get to build exciting and different Bricks 4 Kidz® models using LEGO® Bricks, including the motorised technic ones, in line with themes such as the Olympic Games, Ninjago and Lego Masters. Our trained animators will involve them in creative games and challenges to boost creativity and team spirit. Our activities are offered simultaneously in French and English to help to boost language skills.

The camps take place on the Swedish International campus in Meyrin, from July 5th to August 20th.

Contact information:
Online registration: click here.
Juliette Jamey jjamey@bricks4kidz.com 079 156 37 37

TOTEM ESCALADE, VERSOIX
6-14 yo

totem versoix best summer camps in geneva

During the Summer Holidays, TOTEM Escalade in Versoix offers 3 kinds of Camps for children from 6 to 14 years old. There is a Multi-Fun Camp, for 6-14 yo, with indoor climbing and various outdoor activities (available weekly or daily). Another option is an Evasion Camp for 10-16 yo – with outdoor rock climbing adventures (weekly or daily). The last option is an Adventure Camp (10-16yo) with outdoor climbing and nights at camping (shouldn’t we say at a campground ? I’m not sure) (5 days).
The different camps are offered in all our gyms: Versoix, Gland, Ecublens and Vevey.
Lunch, Snacks, equipment & travel included!
Totem will pamper from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (daycare possible from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.).
Book your future activities at totem.ch/kids or camps@totem.ch.

GYMBOREE, GRAND-SACONNEX,
3+

gymboree best summer camps geneva

Gymboree Geneva offers a bilingual summer camp for 3-6 year olds. During July and August there will be weekly themed activities (water fun, the beach, little explorers, green fingers, tactile fun..) with art projects, music and songs, play and movement downstairs, imaginary play, story time and more.

It is a time for children to have fun and make new friends as well as a great opportunity to consolidate French and English. Summer camp will run from the 28th of June to the 26th of August, either half day 8h30-12h or 13h-16h00 or full days 8h30-16h. The cost for the week of mornings is CHF 330, afternoons CHF 285 and full days CHF 550. Or you can choose individual mornings/afternoons/days for respectively CHF 76/67/120.

OTHER CAMPS:

Science and sustainability with AddictLab: addictlab.academy.

Yoga, outings and crafts with Espace Colibri: espace-colibri.ch.

Various camps by association CPV: camps.ch

Various camps at Ecolint: ecolint-camps.ch.

Sporty and fun weeks at Bubbles Club: bubblesclub.ch.

Play and smile at Gymboree Grand-Saconnex for 3+: gymboreeclasses-dach.com.

Creative fun with Kids English World in Cartigny: kidsenglishworld.com.

English camps in various locations with Key English School: key-english-school.ch.

IT and robotics with Future Kids: futurekids.io.

Soccer for boys and girl by InterSoccer (3+): intersoccer.ch.

Creative fun with outings in Carouge by Atelier d’Alice: lesateliersdalice.ch.

Camps in College du Leman: camps.cdl.ch.

 

Body and mind workout for kids at Planet Climbing

Body and mind workout for kids at Planet Climbing

Climbing is fascinating, and the majority of the kids do it anyway at home. So, why not let them meet the need to go up high at a place built precisely for that purpose! We tried and tested Planet Climbing in Lancy for you, and here’s what we have to say.

This is a sponsored article – Planet Climbing offered us a few private classes to try and
review their offer. This article is here only because we’ve been very happy climbing there!
You can be sure that every word on this website comes straight from the heart.

WHY CLIMBING?

There is something about climbing that makes people fell in love with it. It may be that more or less everybody can do it, no matter the physical strength. Or maybe it’s because no direct competition with others is involved (unless you want to). Hence, people challenge themselves, and there’s hardly anything more motivating than competing with oneself. It can also be that it’s not just physical: this sport demands concentration and planning. It’s a bit like solving a maze. Of course, if one wants to do more challenging routes, the body must improve its flexibility and muscle strength. 

At the same time climbing is social sport – climbers work on the right way out of the maze together, they make each other feel secured. They also share places, strategies, hints, and some internal climbers’ jokes.

In other words, if I may risk it, signing up kids for climbing is like having them at a logic, and sports course mixed with social training at the same time!

PLANET CLIMBING

Planet Climbing is a relatively new place in Geneva – opened since the beginniing of 2020. It’s a very modern and clean space, designed to satisfy all types of climbers. It is also more than a climbing place, but about that in a sec.

The core of Planet Climbing is, of course, the climbing area, with a special, separate space for children. This kiddy zone is equipped with handles adapted to small hands. It’s a colourful space with trails for every kiddy level (meaning beginners and young, ambitious climbers will all find what they need to enjoy the vertical world).

The main climbing space is designed so that both kids and adults can find great paths up the wall. For adults, there are some really challenging walls!

THERE’S MORE

It wouldn’t be called “Planet” if it was a place just with walls to climb on, right? To climb, the body needs some muscles – and bum! Here comes the gym downstairs. To climb, the body needs some stretching – and bum! Here comes the yoga room. To climb, the body needs to be hydrated – and bum! Here comes the lounge area with a bar! Yes, all the body needs to experience the vertical experience is there!

FOR KIDS

Planet Climbing is devoted to instilling the love of climbing in children. They do it well! As I mentioned above, there’s a climbing area just for children, but of course, there is more! There are also courses (group or private) animated by some great people. They are warm, playful, 100% invested and great at encouraging children to overcome their fears and body limits they think they have.

Group classes strat for children as young as 1.5! Although this is more of a mobility class than proper climbing. Real vertical fun starts for kids as of 4 years of age. For private classes – everything is possible, for example child&parent sessions – it’s best to contact Planet Climbing directly for a specific advice. 

Every lesson starts with a body warm-up and is followed by games and exercises on the wall. Many clever techniques make climbing more effortless and less tiring. Children learn how to use their limbs, joints, and muscles to conquer every trail. They play games on the wall, try out some fancy yoga tricks, laugh a lot, and come out more confident. I mean, who wouldn’t gain confidence after realising how high they can get from the floor?

CAMPS

School holidays are a great occasion for children to immerse themselves in vertical fun. Planet Climbing offers fantastic camps. I love them because the days are not all about climbing – or not in a direct way. They don’t keep children indoors but involve outings (for example, the accrobranche parc), introduction to the parkour, yoga, playtime, and animations organized in collaboration with some kids-fun experts! Tip: book fast as these camps become more and more popular every day.

I cannot recommend this place enough. I remember when we first came, in late spring of 2020, it was not just a great climbing place. The stff was super friendly and helpful and after one hour it felt like we had new friends. Nowadays with Covid restrictions all the benefits of the atmosphere Planet Climbing provides goes to the kids. Hopefully, adulta will experience the friendliness of this place soon (you can always feel a bit of their vibe on Instagram).

PRACTICAL INFO

Planet Climbing
Avenue des Morgines 10
1213 Petit Lancy

Call them: +41 78 201 21 48
Email them: info@planetclimbing.ch

Website: planetclimbing.ch
Instagram: @planetclimbing_gva
Facebook: @planetclimbing.gva

ACCESSIBILITY

Planet Climbing is wheelchair accessible via the main entrance and is equipped with a wheelchair-adapted toilet.

A loop by the Rhone with perks

A loop by the Rhone with perks

Another day, another stroll. Or a hike. What’s the difference? In this case, there is none. It’s a perfect (long) loop, so you can start at various points. You can also adapt the length if this hike to your liking, but then it won’t be a loop.
You’ll find a map at the bottom of this article – click on it and you’ll understand better what is what.
This hike is very easy to navigate as there are not many paths in the forests by the Rhône river in Vernier. But, if you’re like me and manage to get lost anyway (and call a relative back in Poland who walked this trail a million times), you can help yourself with Google Maps – it works great in this area.
Let’s start!

Passerelle de Chevre

Let’s start at Pasarelle de Chevre (Givaudan side). It’s my favourite pedestrian bridge in Geneva. I love its design, and the steel reminds me of two of my favourite bridges back home in Gdansk. It’s a bit noisy here from the highway, but the river’s view from the Passerelle makes up for the noise.
Cross the bridge and turn left. Walk the path in the direction of Le Lignon – the humongous (in every dimension) building across the river. You’ll get to another bridge.

Passerelle du Lignon

Another pedestrian bridge but one completely different from the Chevres bridge. A fun place for some cool pics! Fun fact: this footbridge is lined with an oil pipeline on its right side and is used to transport petroleum products coming from France to the Vernier storage area.

Ferme du Lignon & the Jardin Robinson

Ok, let’s move one. From the footbridge, follow the path up. You’ll find animals at the Jardin Robinson du Lignon. If you’d like, you can continue farther towards Lignon buildings and reach a beautiful Ferme du Lignon – a great place to purchase fresh fruit, veggies and more (open from Tuesday to Saturday).
Back on the path! Go back down to the footbridge and turn right. Now you will go up and down through the forest until you reach the fun picnic site!

Au Moulin – zone des loisirs

It’s a place that Verniolans love – a picnic zone, barbecues, a pond, wooden platforms on the river, and an outdoor gym, and a clean toilet. This is also another good place to start this loop because of the parking (fills up quickly on weekends).

The last part

From the Zone Au Moulin, continue walking by the river in the direction of The Chevres footbridge. You’ll find a gate opposite the gym area and by the river. Don’t worry, you can open it and go inside. Another 30-40 minutes and you’ll reach the starting point.
On the way, you’ll pass Givaudan – the factory of scents. Your nose will feel it when you’ll get close. If you’re lucky you’ll be able to see the horses from the local stables joyfully eating the grass. This part if the loop is a fun mix of a beautiful forest and industrial elements.
It is definitely a long walk that you can divide into parts. You can start and finish at any point and reach the spots I mentioned by public transport. It is not a pram accessible or wheelchair friendly walk.
To make it more fun try to find some caches along the way – I wrote all about this game, Geocaching, here. Some of them are quite easy to find, and with others, we gave up after several tries.

Click on the map to open the detailed view of the route within Google Maps:

rhone loop walk family
Musee du Leman – Lake Geneva, tsunami, and a submarine

Musee du Leman – Lake Geneva, tsunami, and a submarine

Here at Parentville, we love museums. We believe in their power to fascinate children, broaden their horizons and stimulate their imagination. But we also think that museums need to make some effort to have an impact on kids. Musee du Leman in Nyon is one of the museums in the region to check all the boxes. It’s one of the most family-friendly museums in the area.
Already the location of the Museum is splendid! It overlooks the lake and the Nyon port. The building itself was built in 1756 and was housing a hospital before becoming the Musee du Leman.

INTERACTIVE

Its name says it all. Musee du Leman is all about the Lac Leman, or Lake Geneva if you please (although translating it to Geneva Museum does not work, right?).

In the beautiful rooms of this Museum, you can learn about the history of the lake, the history of sailing on the Leman waters, the geology of the area, the creatures living in the lake, and much more!

Musee du Leman is interactive in the most pleasant way – not so much using screens and fancy tech but in a hands-on way. There are things you can touch, manipulate, or go into. For example, there is a replica of the submarine that once operated on the lake. Yes! There was a submarine, and people could get on it to see the depth of the lake. How I wish it was still possible!

mesoscaphe AKA SUBMARINE

Let’s talk about it for a bit. Long story short, Auguste Piccard had the idea to put “a mesoscaphe” (a fancy name for the submarine that does not go super deep) on the lake. His son, Jacques Piccard, built it for the 1964 national expo in Lausanne. Due to some complications, the submarine (well, a “mesoscaphe”) started operating 2 months after the expo. It dived over 1000 times and carried over 33000 people to the bottom of the lake. The renovated original is currently in the fabulous Transport Museum in Luzern (it’s the best place ever!), but Musee du Leman has a whole section on it too.

AND MORE!

Fish, of course, and all about fishing on the lake. And about the ships. And the tsunami. Oh, yes, that one. There once was a tsunami on our beloved lake, and there will surely be another – we just don’t know when.

Check out the temporary exhibitions, workshops, birthday parties, and school holiday camps (dates for canton Vaud).

ARRIVE IN STYLE

To make it more fun you can get there by taking one of the ships going from Geneva to Nyon! Or combine it with an exploration of Nyon and a picnic.

PRACTICAL INFO

Adresse:
Quai Louis-Bonnard 8,
1260 Nyon
Opening hours:
Open from Tuesday to Sunday.
April to October: 10am – 5pm
November to March: 2pm – 5pm
Entry fee:
Children up to 16 yo – free
Adults: 8 chf
AVS/AI/Students: 6 chf

Accessibility

2 parking spots for people with disabilities nearby. Entry to the museum by the door on the side (with a lift).
Inside, everything is accessible, thanks to the elevators and lifts. The restroom is fully accessible and adjusted.
Museums in Geneva reopen – what to expect.

Museums in Geneva reopen – what to expect.

The weather is beautiful, and the Federal Council allowed museums to reopen on March 1st. In the whole country. Let’s celebrate by looking into what is actually going on in the museums – in Geneva. I’ll soon prepare the same recap for all museums between Geneva and Lausanne. The French museums are still closed for now – keeping fingers crossed as we massively miss Maison du Saleve, Parc des Epouvantailles and many more!

Before we start, let me lay down some practical info:

  • Most museums are closed on Mondays. Each time a museum is open on Monday, I mentioned it in the text.
  • Not all museums will open on March 1st (Monday) or even on March 2nd. Some of them need more time to prepare or have planned their new exhibitions for a bit later. Always consult their website when planning a visit.
  • I couldn’t find info on Exploracentre and Cern -I’ll add them as soon as I know anything.
  • It was not possible for me to write about all of the museums. Here are the ones I did not include below:  Musee de Carouge, Musee Barbier-Mueller, Museum of the Martin Bodmer Foundation, Red Cross Museum.

 

Ready? Let’s do it!

Vivarium

 

Also check: Musee de Carouge, Musee Barbier-Mueller, Museum of the Martin Bodmer Foundation (all about theatre).

 

MAMCO

The Modern and Contemporary Art Museum in Geneva is always a great place to visit with kids of all ages. Their permanent exhibition is fuel for imagination and conversations. When you’re there, don’t forget to enter the cave – a piece of Sylvie Fleury entitles “Be Good, Be Bad, Just Be!”.

Museum’s reopening is a great opportunity to check out the new temporary exhibition: “Inventaire” (eng. “Inventory”). It’s a result of a full inventory the museum underwent in 2019. This exhibition is a physical representation of the hard work the staff performed.

MUSEE D’HISTOIRE DES SCIENCES

This museum is a treat! It’s located in the gorgeous parc Perle du Lac and it is open on Mondays! The permanent exhibition is fascinating for science and history passionates and the temporary exhibition is a full-on, hands-on experience! I wrote about it back in the days when nobody expected museums to be closed for so long – you can read it here.

MEG

In the Museum of Ethnography, children love to observe the waves and listen to music on headphones. They are mesmerized by masks and other objects from far away places. The permanent collection is fascinating, even more, when viewed during a guided tour. But! The temporary exhibition “Jean Dubuffet, a barbarian in Europe” was planned to only last till the end of February 2021. I keep my fingers crossed they will prolong it for at least one month. The exhibition is accompanied by a program for children (6+) via the “Dubuffet’s little factory”. Check their website for info.

NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM

For Geneva families, one museum ranks no 1 each time I ask around – the Natural History Museum. Their permanent exhibition always brings smiles to children’s faces, always makes them ask questions, widen their interest. The temporary exhibitions, 3 of them to be precise, are fabulous! They are all there to celebrate the museum’s 200th anniversary. I wrote a whole article about it last year, you can read it here.

MAH

Musee d’Art et d’Histoire de Geneve is always #parentvillerecomended. Walking the corridors and rooms with paintings is like being in a picture book and if your kids went to the guided tours for the little ones, you’ll know how to turn a visit into an adventure. The new temporary exhibition “Walk on the Water” is a new level of awesomeness. The title is a mix of Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the water” (written in and about Montreux) and the painting “Miraculous Draught of Fishes” by  Konrad Witz, which depicts Christ walking on Lake Geneva. It’s a whole new scenography and an invitation to the public to imagine themselves walking on the water. More information on MAH’s website.

ARIANA

Musee Ariana is another place families quickly come to love. It’s incredible how this talented stuff turned a ceramics museum into an enjoyable place for children. I mean, stereotypically small children should not be allowed near ceramic and glass, right? Well, not in Ariana. There are many treasure hunts they can enjoy (different games for different age groups) and a small yet great play area on the ground floor. Go to Ariana’s website for more details and info about temporary exhibitions.

CENTRE D’ART CONTEMPORAIN

Contemporary Art Center will open on March 23rd with an exhibition that looks incredible. It’s called “Lemaniana” and will present “the diversity of the contemporary artistic production in the Léman region”. Until then you can visit the museum via online tours. More info here.

Immersions – Une exposition sur l’eau, Berges de Vessy

The description of this exhibition makes me really want to visit it! There is not much info yet, but it will not open till March 19th, so let’s wait a little bit. The website clearly states that a rich program for different kinds of public will accompany the exhibition, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that they will have something fun for the kids! In the past, their exhibitions were always great and always had something for children. The location allows combining the museum visit with an adventurous walk by the river and around the Vessy dam. More info here.

STREET ART AT QUARTIER LIBRE

If you haven’t got a chance before the semi-lockdown happened (again) to visit this exhibition in the centre of Geneva, then I have good news for you! The Street Art is on till March 14th. Grab your kids for a walk by the lake, some good ice creams and walk into the Quartier Libre for some graffiti fun. It’s open all week long (yes! Even on Mondays), and the entry is free. Read more about it here.

SAINT PIERRE CATHEDRAL

Geneva’s old town may not be massive, but you cannot be bored once there. Many museums (Musee de la Reformee, Maison Tavel, Musee Barbier-Mueller, and the Cathedral’s archaeological site), picturesque narrow streets, great cafes (take out only for now), and spectacular views. Let’s go back to the Cathedral now. You can visit it inside (obviously). You can climb up to the top of one of the towers (really worth it!), and visit the Cathedral beneath – the archaeological site is fascinating, intriguing, and cannot be missed!  You can find out all about it here.

VIVARIUM

Not really a museum, it’s more of a zoo, but I have missed it so much I had to include it in this article! It’s a place with reptiles, lizards, turtles, spiders, and fish. It’s very well located in Meyrin, close to bus and tram stops, there is parking and the visit will not disappoint the kids! It’s also a good place for birthday parties (especially if your child would like to cuddle with Iguana). I wrote about Vivarium in this article on Parentville about animals in Geneva.

IIL responds to bullying the Finnish way

IIL responds to bullying the Finnish way

The International Institute of Lancy (IIL) has become the first school in Switzerland to implement the Finish anti-bullying program: KIVAOn top of being an excellent school, with a great educational program, sports and cultural activities, they are also attributing to creating a more peaceful society of the future.

OVER 10% 

Bullying is present in all schools, no matter if they are public or private. It takes on many forms, from the most visible physical bullying through verbal bullying and exclusion. They are all equally hurtful and can leave scars for life. 
It is estimated that in Switzerland, over 10% of children are subject to bullying. As not all kids report it to parents or teachers, this number can be higher.

 

TWO SIDES

In many schools, children who experience bullying very often report the insensitivity of the teachers. They feel misunderstood; their problem is minimised. Also, parents of bullied children are sometimes frustrated with the teacher’s lack of proper (or any) response. Often, this reaction is not meant to harm anyone. Not every teacher has the tools to handle these cases properly.
As the Irish Edmund Burke once said: “it would seem that the only thing that allows bullying to flourish in schools is inaction”.

THE SOLUTION AT IIL

Institut International de Lancy has chosen to address bullying as a holistic issue, from prevention to intervention. Instead of hiding the problem, or place temporary bandaids here and there, they wanted to truly help children learn the skills required to tackle this issue. After 18 months of searching for different solutions, they chose KiVa – an anti-bullying program developed at the University of Turku (Finland).

ABOUT KIVA 

KIVA was developed at Turku University in Finland in 2009. Since then, it has been scientifically proven to reducing bullying in Finish schools by 80%. It has been implemented in schools across the country for the benefit of entire communities. The program starts with the school’s staff (not only the teachers) training. Once everybody knows what to do, children start regular classes about empathy, tolerance, respect for differences, and kindness. 
KIVA also includes the silent witnesses to the bullying equation: the ones who participate indirectly. Through lessons, video games and debates, schoolchildren aged 7 and over are invited to detect the different forms of bullying and not to support, actively or passively, this type of behaviour.
These measures are reinforced by instructions to teachers, supervision during recess and support in group work. Finally, the IIL  KiVa coordinator is responsible for documenting all reported cases and assigning members of the KiVa team to start an intervention process. As a result of these measures, bullying has decreased by 80% in Finnish schools.

THE ONLY ONE

IIL is the only school in Switzerland to join the KIVA program. I truly hope more schools, including public ones, will follow. But until that happens, let’s applaud IIL! Through blogging, I’ve spoken to many parents of bullied children. I talked to many who switched to homeschooling because of abuse. Knowing now that there is one private school implementing an anti-bullying program that works makes me hopeful! 

Curious about the International Institut de Lancy? They’re about to have their virtual tours (instead of a traditional open day – you know why). You can find out all about it here:

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An adventurous walk from Choully to Choully

An adventurous walk from Choully to Choully

How about a stroll through the forest, by the river, with a vineyards finish line? Thanks to a friend, we discovered this 8km loop.
This walk starts in Choully and finishes in Choully – a perfect loop with changing scenery and adventurous passages.
It’s not pram friendly and risky with a baby in a carrier due to 2-3 places where streams need to be crossed by walking on fallen trees and rocks. Also, I am not sure how it is with your child, but Z needs a friend for such a long walk. I can do 5-6k with her alone, no problem, but a longer walk without whining is possible only with one of her besties.

READY, SET, GO!

It all starts in the village of Choully (close to Satigny). After walking a bit towards Allondon river, you enter the forest and follow the path along the river. It can be extremely muddy after rainy days, but shoes can be washed, right? There are 2-3 places that demand a few acrobatic skills and add an adventurous factor to the outing. Each time you get to this kind of crossing (over a stream or a small gorge) and it looks too difficult to do, search for another crossing closeby. There are other options closeby for sure!

CHoully to chorally walk family geneva

A CAMPSITE & A FOREST

After an hour or so you’ll get to a side of a campsite and reach the road. Follow the road uphill and turn right to the bigger road (careful – cars can come fast here). Within minutes you’ll see a path entering the forest again on your left. Don’t hesitate to play in huts built with branches by many families. You’ll spot many along the way.
Option: you can continue down this toad and you’ll reach Centre Pro Natura (cool outdoors play park for kids and the Restaurant La Grange).
You’re again on a forest path. It’s a fun walk because this second part leads through a forest that looks very different to the first one (and there is no river). Continue till you’re out of the forest and in the vineyards. You should have another small campsite on your left. From here take any path direction Choully (you’re around 40 mins from the village).

 

THE VINEYARDS

You should have another small campsite on your left. From here, take any path direction Choully (you’re around 40 mins from the village). Of course, the vineyards are at their prettiest in spring, summer, and autumn, but the area is lovely even in winter. On a nice day, you’ll get to see the Mont Blanc massive on your right and the Jura mountains on your left.
There’s a picnic site called Montagne des Chèvres next to the water tower in Choully. You can also find public toilets nearby. The only thing I couldn’t find was a water fountain to refill our bottles – one would think there should be on near the water tower (if you find it, please let me know).
choully walk family geneva

One last thing! That water tower (glamorously called Chateau d’Eau)About the water tower shall soon be replaced by a wooden observational tower accessible to the public. Oh, the view it will offer!!!

THE MAP

I prepared a map for this walk via Google maps. Sadly the paths by the river are not shown, but as long as you head in the right direction you should be fine. Also, the coverage is quite good even in the forest, so don’t hesitate to open any maps app to help you out if you feel lost. Click on the map to see more details.

Choully to Choully walk geneva

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Staycation Guide special edition – February 2021

Staycation Guide special edition – February 2021

Many of you contacted me frustrated about spending February holiday in the city with everything closed. It’s true: no museums, no ice skating, no cinemas, theatres, or bowling. But I promise there are other options! I have vowed to never leave families in Geneva without ideas of outings and activities, so I did what I love doing – a Staycation Guide!

This special edition of the Staycation Guide is free. It does not mention camps. It is not sponsored. It’s just me for you. The times are tough, and we have to help one another, stick together, and get through this madnesses!

WHAT’S IN IT?

The Staycation Guide for February 2021 presents some hikes in the Canton of Geneva and day trips around to cool places not far away.  It also suggests ways to make the family walks in nature (and in the city) more adventurous. There are also propositions of indoors outings (yes! nothing spectacular but useful for rainy or especially cold days). I also included some online activities.

SUMMER STAYCATION GUIDE

Have you ever seen the Summer Staycation Guide (new edition every year)? If not, this free February edition can give you some taste, although – it’s much simpler and with less functionality. Ask around, and you’ll find out that the summer edition is simply fabulous.

GET THE GUIDE

Receiving the Staycation Guide February 2021 edition is as simple as a download can be. As already mentioned, I am not charging a penny for it. Nevertheless, I am asking for something in return – that is to stay in touch with you via my email list. 

Subscribe to the newsletter and enjoy your holidays in Geneva!

Let’s play Switzerland!

Let’s play Switzerland!

So, you’ve been living in Switzerland for a while. You’ve visited some mountains and a few lakes. You get to know the country more and more every weekend. You may have even learnt some French (yey!). But how much do you really know about it?Speaking the language and the knowledge about local tales, traditions and places are bases for good integration.

I’m here to tell you that you can deepen your integration from the comfort of your sofa while playing with kids! Sounds good, right? Damn, I hope… Anyway, while scrolling down you’ll see children’s books and board games that will teach the whole family about Switzeraland in a pressure-less and enjoyable way. 

Ok, you’re ready? Let’s go get’em!

BOOKS by Auzou Suisse

Auzou has published lots of children’s books about Switzerland for all ages. Many of them are available in French, German, Italian, and English!

aucou suisse maelys
Les enquetes de Maëlys

Perfect for early readers (7+) or as bedtime stories.Maëlys is a curious little girl who solves mysteries all around Switzerland with her friend Lucien’s help. They work on finding out why all of the Escalade chocolate marmots in Geneva disappeared; they’re chasing the flowers thief in Carouge; spend an adventurous evening in Chateau Chillon. They also travel to Vevey, Bern, Lucern, and many many more places. With each mystery, each adventure, readers get to know more about beautiful Swiss places and traditions. Available at many bookshops, libraries, and online. Check their official website. For Males in English click here.

switzerland books kids
MES P’TITS CONTES DE SUISSE

Each culture has its legends, and Switzerland is not an exception! Of course, because of its cultural and linguistic diversity, there are different legends in all cantons. “Mes P’Tites Contes de Suisse”

This series is available in French only. It invites children (and adults) to discover the swiss legends canton by canton. These books are also great to read together, or independently by 9+.

switzerland children's books lives infants suisse
Mes petits atlas des cantons suisses

So far, this series presents three of the Swiss cantons: Vaud, Valais, and our beloved Geneva. With these playful atlases, children (and adults) can follow playful characters and broaden their knowledge about the cantons. Because these are areas close by, they can be a great base for the day-trips bucket list. It’s always great fun to visit the places kids read about in books (sure, they would more likely enjoy a visit to Hogwarts but let’s give them a chance). As every atlas, these are also made of maps and drawings, and the content is diverse.

OTHER BOOKS

abc geneva children book switzerland
ABC GENEVA by Parentville

The most lovely book about Geneva – the work I am most proud of! A children’s book about Geneva in the form of an ABC-type book. Each letter of the alphabet presents a place, a person, or something else characteristic for the Geneva canton. It’s been sold out everywhere to my knowledge, but you can find it in most libraries in the canton.

 

GAMES

Let’s move from books to an even more playful introduction to Switzerland for the whole family. Play at home, on holidays, on warm days out in a park. You’ll giggle, you’ll have fun, and get to know Switzerland along the way. Let’s play Switzerland!

helvetiq games switzerland family
Super cool board games by Helvetiq

 My favourite is the Grand Tour Switzerland by Helvetiq available at CFF shop (here). It’s a fun board game for 10+ (although we tried with an 8+ and it worked out fine too). Players answer questions to move their cars from one place to another. There’s no need to know all the answers to win as several factors play a role. On the way, you win tokens and points. Even though I know more about Switzerland than Z, she managed to win several times, and we all learnt a lot about the country we call home.

Helvetiq has several games about Switzerland in their catalogue, and many are available in English: Matterhorn (8+), Swiss IQ (12+), Helvetiq (10+), Geographica (8+), Dice Trip (8+), Zurich IQ (15+), and more!

Monopoly

An old-time classic, Monopoly, wears many hats! It’s been years since they launched regional versions, and Switzerland is no exception. You can find Monopoly based on places in many different cantons (Monopoly canton Uri anyone?) or a Monopoly game with the whole country divided into cheapest and most expensive areas (that’s intriguing on its own in a country like Switzerland). I couldn’t find Monopoly Junior in a regional version, but am sure 6+ is a good age to start a regular one.

Jass

A cards game like no other. And nope, you won’t be able to use your regular cards. Jass looks complicated to novices but I’ve seen so many families with kids playing this game, that it is surely possible! First, dive into the rules and applications, prepared perfectly in English on this website. Master the game and surprise your Swiss friends (some people report to have seen Swiss people in Geneva, it’s not an urban myth).

jass switzerland game family

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