Christmas gifts from Geneva

Christmas gifts from Geneva

Is there any better period of the year to support local entrepreneurs and small businesses?

For the past few months, I have discovered many great projects started by women from our region. I can’t keep them to myself anymore!

This Christmas list includes presents mostly for children, but you will also find ideas to please other members of your family!

Socks for the whole family! Created by a Belgian mama in Geneva! Parentville family personally tested the socks: approved by Z, Daddy P, and myself. They are warm; they are comfy; they are soft. You can purchase them online here or for example in Bibi Cafe in Meyrin. An important notice: you won’t find any plastic in your parcel!

Created by the peaceful family, Bizzy is a beautifully designed, and a handy gadget with a meaning. It has been created for kids: to limit the screen time, teach about savings, and get families closer together. But at Parentville we are testing Bizzy not only with Z. Mommy O. also needs to work on screen time limits, though I do it another way around. Instead of using the coins to allow myself screen-time, I use them to set up off-screen moments – until it buzzes I do not look at no screens. So far, we’re happy (and spend more meaningful time together).

BOOKS

Something for everyone! This year was massive for local books! Three guides appeared on the market and they are all about Geneva: one for gourmands (“Aimer Genève“), one for kids (“ABC Geneva“), one for parents (Genève en famille).

We are making small steps towards a more eco-friendly home: more recycling, thoughtful shopping, all that stuff. On that planet-saving journey, I stumbled upon the Spirited Child, an eco-friendly online shop run by a mom in Zurich. So yes, not exactly from the region, but still close. I ordered BeesWax wraps and am so thrilled with them! No more foil. They are reusable, cute, and smell great! You can also find many other sustainable home products, including toys on spiritedchild.ch.

Magali aka Groseille is a local artist, who creates the most beautiful drawings inspired by nature and flowers (on tote bags, pocket mirrors, badges, etc.). She is also the author of the “Les Petasses” – a calendar with a provocative name (“petasse” means “bitch”) filled with charming drawings of women.

Many children, though especially those 3k/immigrants/expat children do not see their families a lot, other than on the screen on the phone (and thank godness for this valuable screen time!). This is why Monika has created My Tiny Prints, where you can order board books and a wooden memory game with photographs of your relatives in them. We can’t wait to finally choose pictures for the memory game for Z. I will keep you posted.

We had a pleasure to play one of the Escape Game Kit’s sets recently, and we had a blast. I bet someone more artsy-craftsy and creative could turn the whole house into a play area. I did the minimum, but still, Z was crazy excited to solve the puzzle and all the riddles. You need a printer, scissors, and glue, plus  40-60 minutes to prepare the game. It’s not another box, not another toy, it’s an experience you can enjoy as a family, or a cool activity for a playdate or birthday party. Check them out here. PS: by the end of 2019 all games should be translated to English.

Maria created this Montessori-inspired collection that can please babies, older kids, parents, and midwives. Her creations are cute and filled with love. Objects that will awake baby’s senses, objects to help older kids be autonomous, or hand-made breastfeeding covers for those who need them. #parentvillerecommended. You can find all Maria’s creations on her website and on Instagram.

LE PETIT CARIBOU

Le Petit Caribou (eng. little reindeer) is an exceptional shop with thoughtfully selected toys. No matter on what you decide, it will be a good choice. You can also experience a private shopping service with them – they come to your house to asses which toys and games will match your kids taste the most. In other words, it can be fun family time with a person who knows more about the toys than the kids themselves!

 

CULLY CULLY

A local brand of pins, tote bags, but also colouring posters, stickers passports, and travel maps are known under the brand of “mylittleswitzerland”. Some of the sets are accompanied by one of the best brands of crayons worldwide, that happen to come from Geneva – Caran d’Ache. It can make for a beautiful Christmas present, as well as entertainment for your end-of-the-year trip. Discover here.

Christmas in Geneva and around

Christmas in Geneva and around

You can find plenty of Christmas shows, workshops and other events in Parentville’s December 2018 agenda. In this article, I will share some other Christmas attractions worth your time.

IN GENEVA

Noël aux Bastions
The first edition of an adorable Christmas market in the centre of Geneva – in the Parc des Bastions. Yurts and chalets, shops and services, food and ice skating. There is one yurt with lids activities every day, and one other with punctual activities (you can check them here).
Noël a Carouge

 

When Ville de Carouge is organizing a festival, it is always a must-visit event. So much will be going on, I have to send you to a detailed pdf, but if you need any help decoding it, let me know in the comments!
Geneva Lux
One of the yearly events for which I love this canton so much! Geneva Lux is a festival of light always happening at the end of the year (and slightly in the beginning of the year). It is a part if the Christmas deck but it is not Christmas-themed. Local and international artists make all the installations that please eyes of passersby no matter how strong the bise. Check the program here.
Lancy en Lumiere
Some ”communes” never accept staying behind. One of them is Lancy with its festival of light that transformed urban space into an art space. You can find the whole program here.

AROUND GENEVA

Hameau du Pere Noël
Santa’s village 20 minutes drive from Geneva is every child’s delight. Far from being tacky, it is a fairytale land of Santa, his brother Père Foutard and his sister Mère Noël. The level of detail of the decorations is impressive. Watch closely, and you will find some tongue-in-cheek elements. You can visit Santa’s house and those of his relatives. You can visit the land of dummy’s and donate yours (for each dummy Santa will bring a meal to a child in Cambodia). There is also the Elves’ garden, Santa’s sledge, a story time, a but to write letters (and receive a reply). All can be fueled by crepes sold indoor and outside.
On weekends a nearby farm is opened for business with animals and local produce!
Schilliger garden centre

Every December this high-end green shop transforms into a Christmas land. This year’s Christmas market has the circus as a theme, and it is magnificent. The decorations are wonderful; you can order a personalised Christmas-tree ball, and meet some animals. Important notice: opened on Sundays till December 16! Be sure to check the list of kids activities planned for Sunday 16th in Gland, but also the animal farm visiting the Schilliger in Plan-Les-Ouates
Marche de Noel Montreux
The most renown Christmas market of the region is in Montreux. So renown you should avoid going there over the weekend, and if you can’t help yourself take the train. Beautifully decorated, with tons of attractions (including a flying Santa sledge, and Chateau du Chillon special time), is one of those events one should visit at least one time over a stay in Switzerland. The Family of 5 prepared an excellent article about this event, so I’ll let you discover their photos and experience here.
Rochers-de-Naye Santa village:
Because we’re already in Montreux, how about a mounting train up right the Rochers-des-Naye to the Santa’s house in a cave? Fun waiting for kids there includes a treasure hunt and a diploma hand signed by Santa. More about this Golden Pass trip here.

A BONUS:

Here’s a link to a crazy list of all Christmas markets in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Click here and knock yourself out!

My Little Room for Christmas

My Little Room for Christmas

It starts to feel a lot like Christmas! Recently, Z. has received a cute gift from MyLittleRoom.ch (precisely, this advent calendar). It’s an online shop with kids’ room decorations, thoughtful toys, and useful yet beautifully designed everyday objects for you and your children. After receiving the gift, I browsed their shop and found so many things worth sharing with you!

So, if you’re still on a hunt for a Christmas gift for children in your entourage, spend a few minutes discovering what Z. and I recommend from MyLittleRoom.ch.

This is a sponsored article, written in collaboration with MyLittleRoom.ch, but rest assured it is here only because I find it worth sharing. I recommend these items honestly. You will never see here worthless paid content that I don’t stand by.

You’ll find many fabric-tipis on MyLittleRoom’s website, but the cardboard one caught my eye. I have tried to build one using old boxes several times, but my DIY skills are far away from reaching a satisfactory level. If only I knew about this cute cardboard house back then! You can build it together, paint it together, and have hours of fun!

DOLLHOUSES

Two dollhouses caught my eye instantly. One that I would love to have as a deco on my shelf, and that every modern doll would dream of having. The other presents many possibilities to play with for all kids who need a house for their toys, animals, or other figurines. The last one comes in two sizes. And once they grow out of playing with it, it will make for a lovely shelf.

A perfect gift for all those kids who stop to stare at each construction site. Now they can have a crane to play-pretend all sorts of situations they imagine the crane is for: building a house, filling a ship with containers, moving their toys from one point to another.

With that set you will be freed from being a patient, now all your kid needs is their plush toys becoming slightly ill. It’s a cute wooden set, that even contains x-ray photographs, making the game so much more real!

If you haven’t heard about the Wobbel before, you have just found the perfect gift! It can be used in so many different ways – it’s hard to list them all here. It will surely make your kids’ bodies and imaginations move! A perfect item for the season that makes us stay indoors more than we’d like to.

FOR BABIES

We couldn’t decide between many brilliant toys MyLittleRoom offers for babies. In the end, we chose one modern design, and one classic no child should be deprived of.

Memory used to be Z.’s favourite game so that I can swear by the game with all my heart. WIth time kids get so good at it, it is hard to win the game with them. This wooden set is so pleasing to the eye; it is hard to resist! There are 16 pairs included, but you can start with as little as 3 or 4 at the beginning, and then slowly add more. It trains patience and visual memory while offering real fun at the same time.

Another game on the list, this time for a bit older kids (10+). Like every game done by Helvetiq, it is beautifully designed and fun. With this game, the whole family can learn about Switzerland by answering questions. We will get one ourselves once Z. is a bit older.

THE GLOBES

For small children, a traditional globe can quickly become boring, but these paper globes are interactive toys. Kids can play with them, colour them, and discover the world like kids should – while playing! There are two of them that I find interesting: this one and that one.

Tricoting

I am not sure how about you, but here Z has been crazy about making clothes and accessories for herself and her toy-friends. It is one of the activities she can dive into. I have been looking for a while for tricot sets adapted to her age, and voila! Here it is! There is also another set that you can discover here.

Letters to Santa the Swiss way

Letters to Santa the Swiss way

Who wouldn’t want to receive an answer to their letters to Santa? Every year thousands of children on both hemispheres write letters of wishes to Santa in hope, not only to get the gifts but also to hear back from the old man. Then, the parents already busy by all-month Christmas preparations try to answer these letters in at least slightly creative way.

But not in Switzerland.

Abroad versus Switzerland

Parents in Switzerland do not have to burn the margins of the page or try to learn how to write with a feather. They don’t need to attach the ready answer to their kids’ letters like in the US (seriously, what is the point?), or pay someone to reply. Parents in Switzerland enjoy their fondue while the letter is being answered by Swiss Post.

The most amazeballs Post Service on the planet issued 19,448 replies in 2017. It’s pretty impressive, especially for a small country of milk and chocolate.

Swiss Post Santa Op

It’s not a new invention, or a scam powered by some high-tech Replies-From-Santa Generator. The Swiss Post has been on this secret mission for over 60 years now and has been very serious about keeping it mysterious.

All we know is that all the letters addressed to Santa in any way are directed to the Christmas branch in Chiasso (yes, the Swiss Post has a Christmas branch, but it will be moved next year to a more modern location), where several employees answer all of the most important letters of the year.

How does it work?

Let your kid write the letter, or write it together. Remember to include your postal address, so that Santa knows where to send his reply. Then, put it in the envelope and address it to Santa. You can make up an address, not include one, your choice.

You can write a letter in English, French, German, or Italian.

As the Swiss Info reports, children do not only wish for objects, “they also long for a more peaceful and fair world, and a home environment where siblings or parents don’t argue or fight”.

Answers

Every letter sent to Santa: without any address, or with an imaginary address is answered unless the sender didn’t include his/her address. Though even then those super cool postal angels will try and track down the kid. Unfortunately, it is not always possible, and this is why ‘only’ 96% of 20,188 received a response in 2017.

Now that the whole letters to Santa operation is so easy-peasy and, at least when done for the first time, way more exciting than any Elf on the shelf, help your child write a letter! Deadline: December 30.

More details: www.post.ch

Bonus

In 2017 the Swiss Post started creating and posting Chhristmas stories (also in English!) – you can check them out here on soundcloud.

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.