October camps – potato holidays 2021

October camps – potato holidays 2021

Say what? What holidays? The school has just started!

Potato holidays are a surprise to many. It depends on where you’re from. The argument behind having the October holidays is in the past, and it is a simple one. In October, kids had to help harvest potatoes (and another veg that needed harvesting). Nowadays, the October holidays are a pleasure for many families (travelling to warmer parts of the planet) and a nuisance to many other parents.

Anyway, you’re here because you’re looking for childcare during the last week of October. You’ll find propositions of various kinds, including an option for kids as young as 2.

Ready? Let’s do it.

The content of this article IS NOT sponsored. The list is not exhaustive. It’s what I found and put together to help you.

GYMBOREE GENEVA
3+, Grand-Saconnex

Halloween-themed camps for 3-6 year olds. You can enroll for the full week, half days, or day by day. Up to you. More info here.

Herstreet
2-3 yo, Eaux-Vives

A camp of half days for little munchking aged 2 & 3. Located comfortably in the center of Eaux Vives at Herstreet. More info here.

TOTUP
2-3 & 3-6 yo; Lancy

TotUp is a nursery, a school, and a family sports-center. It’s one of the best places for camps for little kids. The staff knows how to take care of them, and the facility is filled with entertainment. Read more here.

CAMPZONE
3+, various locations

Various camps in various locations. From horseriding to computers. You can find out more here.

Academie de l’Opera
3-5 & 6-12 yo, Eaux-Vives

Here’s a week of theater, singing, joking, and trying something new! Great camps at Academie de l’Opere (details here).

ECOLINT
3+, Nations & Chene Bougeries

Various camps on rive gauche & rive droite: many differents sposrts, and opportunities to discover new passions. Check tjem out here.

Kock On Wood
8+, Nations

A woodworking camps in ap rofessional woodoworking atelier. Great atmosphere in a fun setting. Details are available here.

RECRECREA & PETITS BRICOLOS
4-12 yo, Plan-les-Ouates

A full on creative camp in Plan-les-Ouates. Upcycling, recycling, lots of silly fun, woodworking, and good food. Check it out here.

Spell Languages
4-10 yo, Plainpalais

Whether your kids want/need to start a new language, get better at a language they learn at school, or if they simply wantto have fun, Spell Languages in Plainpalais area is the best choice. All info here.

Espace Colibri
4-10 yo, Carouge

A journey around the world with relaxing activities: theatre and body expressions. Read more here.

HB Dance Academy
3-9 yo, Eaux-Vives

How about a week of Halloween themed camp? The Dance Academy of Haydee Barron prepared a special Halloween camp with activities from13h30 till 17h00. It will be all about having fun and moving a lot (eg outdoor games, olympics, arts, master chef, treasure hunt and more!). You can find out more about it here.

IT STEP
4-13 yo, Nations

Computers, lego, robotics – all in one at IT Step Academy. For all the details click here.

Spy Kids Academy (Les Enfants Terribles)
4-8 yo, Petit-Saconnex

A great camp for all those kids passionate about solving puzzles, mysteries, spying. During the camp kids’ patience, sense of observation, organiztional and planning skills will be put up to the test. It sounds fun! More info here.

KIDS UP
4+, Meyrin

Circus gymnastics for kids in Meyrin (half days for 1P-2P. Full days as of 3P). You can check the details here.

Planet Climbing
5-8 yo, Lancy

A climbing camp with yoga, games and a guarantee of fun. Planet Climbing is the most warm and friendly place to start the climbing adventure. Check it out here.

Future Kids
5-14 yo; Institut Florimont

Robotics, naimaions, video games creation and more awaits children at Future Kids. Here’s their website.

Au Fil du Sens
5-10 yo; Charmille

Five days to discover and identify emotions and learn how to handle them through yoga, relaxation. Cooperation and creative activities are also in the menu. Kids will also experience the soothing effect of the sound bath and vibratory instruments. Here’s the link.

XLABS
Servette

Scientific paradise created by XLabs. Super cool experiments! In other words, it’s like spending a week in Hogwarts. Check it out by clicking here.

Bubbles Club
4+, Eaux-Vives

Hallowen-y sporty camps in eaux Vives. You can find out more here.

TOTEM
4+, Meyrin

Climbing and multi sports camps in the new spacious climbing placa aka Totem Meyrin. You can read more about Totem’s camps here.

CPV
Various locations

Lots and lots of differenct camps for all ages at camps.ch

Bull d’Aire
4-8 yo, Petit-Saconnex

It’s all about the music in Bull d’Aire, also during the October holidays. Dancing, playing instruments, singing. Check out the details here.

Family events in Geneva – October 2021

Family events in Geneva – October 2021

Summer is officially over but family-friendly events in Geneva are not. Grab your coat and let’s go (umbrella can become handy, too). You’ll see that the menu is wide enough to please everyone every weekend and beyond. Halloween-themed events included. And one brand new this season: covid pass for 16+.

Ready? Let’s do it!

ANIMATOU
28 Septemebr – 9 October

It’s back! Animatou is the International Festival of Animated films in Geneva. Check the program and book tickets fast. It is a great opportunity to see the best films. They will make you laugh, make you feel, make you think. Screenings in several locations in Geneva, and on October 4th in Satigny. ANd before you ask. Most movies screened at the festival are for older public, but you will definitelty find films for children as well.

Practical info: animatou.com

Fete de la Science
9 October, Chateau Voltaire (France)

This fun and exciting event takes place every year in the beautiful Chateau Voltaire in Ferney-Voltaire just across the boarder. Don’t miss it – it’s a great opportunity to visit the castle and its wonderful gardens. Oh, and of course great opportunity to learn more about the scince, or even perform some experiments. I couldn’t find the detailed program of this year’s edition but at it is cool every year, I assume it will be fab this year as well.

Practical tip: it’s in France, so Covid pass for 12+ and masks for 6+. More info about the event here.

Explore Geneve
13-23 October

This one is new. A festival that will make you explore Geneva and its possible future. It looks fun, with over 30 events planned in the most emblematic places. Some of these events are fun for families, but three were designed specifically for kids: micro-zoo & treasure hunt in Parc Beaulieu (and 5 other places),  sustainable cooking in Petit Saconnex, a walk by the Rhone filled with discoveries. I invite you to check this festival, plan the events as it really loks exciting (maybe because geocaching is involves!).

More info: here.

Printemps Carougois
till 10 October

If there is any municipality that could move spring to autumn, it is Carouge. Most events of this festival happened in the very beginning of the month but there is one that can interest you on a rainy day till the rest of the month (and beyond).

It is the new exhibition in the freshly renewed Musee de Carouge – “Apparition” (it presents works of Albertine, Geneva’s cartoonist). It’s colorful, meaningful, and a good excuse to visit Carouge in October.

Find out more here.

Autumn Petit Black Movie
October 3-24; Various places

Before the Black Movie Festival (and Petit Black Movie) kick in January, the organizers prepared monthly screenings in different parts of the city. Each month has a different theme of short films screened during each session. In October the subject is: “The unloved”. Four stories about little beasts that inhabit the attics or underground, of which we don’t know much other than that we should be wary of them. These four stories show with humour and tenderness the universe of these unloved creatures that were given a bad reputation by legends or simple prejudices.

Places limited. Book online. All info here: blackmovie.ch

La Fête de la courge
23 October; Gland & Plan les Ouates

Pumpkin Festival is back again at Schilliger with some fun activities for all ages. Children can learn how to hollow and cut the pumpkin and take their creation back home. There will be a pumpkin contest – the heaviest and the most original will win – a good opportunity to see variety of pumpkins and squash. Last but not least there will be an Autumn Fair in Gland and Matran – with local artisans and squash-based snacks! More info here.

Halloween at Parc Aventure
30-31 October

Once again, the Halloween nightime climbing in Parc Aventure has been cancelled BUT! The Parc will be decorated throughout the whole month of October. For the two last days of the month, come in your Halloween costume and accrobranche like never before. Some surprises await! Reservations needed. More about it here.

Halloween Party at Kids Club
30 October, Coppet

The Kids Club is organizing a Halloween Party with spooky decor, scary games, and horrifying snacks! The party is designed for children aged 2-9, bookings are required. You can find out all the details here.

HALLOWEEN IN THE CASTLE
October 31, Prangins

How about some spooky stories and candy in the castle? Chateau de Prangins is organizing a kids friendly event with tales, storytelling, decorations, and candy! Costumes are of course welcome! Check it out here.

EXHIBITIONS

Colder weather and rainy days are perfect for museums and exhibitions! So let’s look what is happening in the exhibition spaces.

 

MEG
Environmental Injustice Indigenous Peoples’ Alternatives
till August 22

A fascinating exhibitions that looks into the indigenous peoples’ lives during climate crisis. It was prepared in a close collaboration with the representatives of various indigenous peoples, which gives it more depth and shows insights like never before. It talks about how the changing climate affects them, how bad decisions affect them, and what solutions they find. Many activities (including ones for children) accompany this important and insightful exhibition. Oh! It’s fully bilingual Eng-Fr. More info here.

NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM
Tout contre la Terre
From October 14

A new etemporary exhibition will be launchedat the Natural History Museum. This on will tackle climate change and the erosion of biodiversity from an emotional angle. What is the impact of our emotions regarding the environmental crisis. Elaborated with Dominique Bourg (psychologue), Tobias Brosch (psychologist), and Cristina Soriano (linguist). The scenography with a low environmental impact, brings together naturalistic collections, various visuals, testimonies, and… emotions.

Fully bilingual, paid entry. More info here.

GLOBAL HAPPINESS
till October 17 (last chance)

Quartier Libre du SIG is known for hosting immersive, interactive (in a good way) exhibitions. Global Happiness is one of the best ever presented in that space. It tackles important issues, makes visitors actively reflect on their own lives and the lives of others. It is a perfect exhibition to visit with kids.

Free entry, bilingual, open on Mondays (!!!). More details here.

LES BERGES DE VESSY
Immersions
till October 31

Visualy mesmerizing, super interesting, and spread around several buildings. This is a great exhibition for both good weather, and a rainy day. When it’s not raining walking between the buildings of Berges de Vessy will help kids decompress before each part, and afterwards you can (must) go for a walk around the berges. On a rainy day, the exhibition will be a great outing as well – lots to see and discover. More information here.

Musee du Leman
Le lac du Cygne

This year, the Musee du Leman will tell us all about the swans (cyygnes). Have there always been swans in the lake? Are they as pristine as they look? Why are they so beloved by humans? And why Lac Leman is a perfect place for them to live? This museum never cease to surprise, so surely this exhibition will unravel many fascinating san facts! Don’t forget to visit the permanent exhibition while you’re there – it is one of themost kids-friendly museums in the region.

All the details are here on their website.

Le Muzoo
Acacias

The museum of the Theatre du Loup is open on Sundays during Autumn and Spring. Inside, you’ll find a fascinating collection of all-things-theatre-du-loup. The items gathered in this unique Ali Baba’s cave, date back to 1978, when the theatre wss created. There are masks in all sizes, a giant spider, posters, costumes, three-dimensional characters and more. Check it out!

Vermeer: Le reflet d’un songe

If you haven’t heard about Jardin des Nations, it’s about time! This fun space won’t stay with us forever, just for a few years. It’s a farm, a food truck place, a place to chill, relax, meet, buy veggies, but also… a place to enjoy a fascinating, wonderfully prepared 360 degrees show – “Le reflet d’un songe” (eng. |A reflection of a dream”), based on the paintings of Johannes Vermeer. You can book tickets online or at the venue. All the details are here.

THEATERS

AM STRAM GRAM
Eaux Vives

This month the AmStramGram theatre has three shows and one evenings of support to the CSP. Nothing for the smallest spectators this month, but be sure to check the program for following months and book your tickets. In October there are three shows for 8+ and one for 12+. You can consult the program here.

THEATRE TOPPFER
Heidi, October 17

You may have read the book, seen the film but have you ever seen the Heidi show at the Topffer theater? Now is your chance. It is the best known Swiss children’s book about a little Swiss girl and her love for the mountains. The healing properties of the Swiss Alps go a bit beyond their legends but the story is otherwise sweet. Reservations required. You can find out all the details here.

Theatre des Marionnettes de Geneve

TMG offers shows for all ages this month: “Dans les jupes de ma mere” for 2+, “Le roi des nuages” for 7+, and “Hen” for 16+. There are also other events apart from the shows. The program this year is rich and filled with amazigness. You can consult it here.

The three best Swiss magazines for kids

The three best Swiss magazines for kids

In the times of online news and online everything, do you still like to snuggle under a warm blanket holding an excellent magazine? How about passing this pleasure down to your kids? There are indeed, Swiss magazines for kids.

If they are French-speakers or even better French-readers, I have made a list with three recommendations—something for every taste. And if you know more local kids magazines, let me know! Let’s make a list bigger.

Ready? Here we go! The three best Swiss magazines for kids!

KALEIO
For 8+

Kaleio is close to my heart as it was brought to Switzerland from Poland, where my cousin’s friend and her team launched a magazine for girls. Yes, Kaleio is designed with girls in mind, but boys are welcome to read it too, as it is about everything. You’ll find science, social subjcets, comics, stories, nature, emotions. Everything! It’s empowering, horizon broadening, and fun! The magazine comes out once every two months. One copy costs 19 CHF and a one year subscription is 99 CHF.

Find out more about Kaleio here.

CAMPUS JUNIOR
FOR 8+

Campus Junior is the scientific magazine of the University of Geneva for 8-12 year olds. Inside you’ll finds games, reports, information, mysteries. Each issue is about something different. It can be about human body, animals, plants. One of the past issues explained the current pandemic in a very kid-friendly manner.
You’ll also be pleased to hear that Campus Junior is free. If you choose to read ito nline, it’s 100& free, and if you’d prefer a printed copy, only the postage costs need to be covered.
Ready to explore? Find out more about Campus Junior here.

SALAMANDRE
For 4+

Salamandre is a local nature magazine for adults. There is also Petite Salamandre for 4-7 year olds, and Salamandre junior for 8+. Salamandre magazines for kids come out once every two months regurarly and have also 2 special issues per year, which gives a total of eight per year. It’s all about nature in a very children-friendly way. They will learn a lot, but the authors also offer ideas for activities, meals recipes, stories, challenges, and more. Their website is also incredibly rich in information and activities. Be sure to check it out.

Magazines are great for occupying kids during trips, in restauarants or wherever it is that they have to wait and get bored. If they have a hobby there surely exist a magaizne that will make them happy and help them explore the ir hobby further. If you are unsure, head over to your local librarie, rent several different magazines and check at home which one your kid prefers. And the… how about a agazine subscription as a next birthday or christmas gift?

Knock On Wood – wood crafting for kids and families

Knock On Wood – wood crafting for kids and families

What kinds of activities do you choose for your kids? Have you ever thought of creative courses? What I am going to talk about now is not bricolage, painting, or drama. We will talk about a badass version of creative activity. The one that involves cool machines and thinking out of the box. It is called Knock On Wood, and, you guessed it, it is all about wood crafting.

If you need some convincing as to why we need to take careful care of our kids’ inborn creative thinking, I am sending you to the best ever TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson “Do SChools kill creativity”. It is the most viewed TED talk of all time! While watching, you will laugh and learn simultaneously and find out that “creativity now is as important in education as literacy”.

Ok, to the point.

THE CRAFT FACTORY

The Craft Factory, Knock On Wood’s home is a fascinating place. Located in an industrial building, big and light, with a lovely patio, it looks like a place full of opportunities. And it is! The most exciting room is just behind the red door. You’ll find some real, big, noisy machinery that helps achieve the projects born in kids’ (and adults’) imagination.

The place is a creative paradise and can open a whole new world to young participants. Woodcrafting is great for them. Practising eye-hand coordination to the point they understand that the tool they’re holding is the extension of their hand. There is lots of fine and gross motor skills involved and the discovery that they can create. Some kids tend to go towards more engineering projects; others will discover the artistic side of wood-crafting. Manual abilities, making with our hands, is even more critical now, in the digital era. Using our hands, seeing them create objects is beneficial for the mind and self-confidence, too.

WOOD-CRAFTING COURSE

During the first lessons, they will get to know the tools, the wood, the rules by completing simple projects. They can swipe through the menu to get inspired or come with their own ideas. Their lovely teacher, Lalo, will be there to assist, teach, and help.

The best part of the game? Each project will need some problem solving, and not every project will finish as they imagined – and this is beautiful! Not receiving the expected result is not a failure. It’s not an embarrassment. It’s discovering what or how not to do next time. What we commonly call a mistake can be a learning curve. And, as Sir Ken Robinson says, “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original”.

WHO IS IT FOR

How old do kids need to be to use saws and other cutting devices?

The general rule is that they can start at the age of 8, but parents’ presence is advised and alone when they are 10 yo. I love this idea and think this is a great activity that families can do together. Just imagine working on a project together: doing decorations, toys, or a cat house. Every family member will have a role to play. It is such an excellent opportunity to see our children in action and to bond.

It is an excellent activity for the whole family and older children. It is a fantastic opportunity for teens to put away screens and make-create.

CAMPS

Knock On Wood also offers camps during school holidays. I especially loved how teen camps were created. Zsuzsanna, the founder of Knock on Wood, went through the teen phase with her kids already, so she knows how hard it is to get them up when school is off. She knew that for them, the camp could not start early in the morning. She knows how to talk to them and get them motivated. The same goes for the teachers of younger kids – they are gentle, fun and incredibly patient.

Just careful: these camps get booked out really fast.

The advantage of enrolling with Knock On Wood is their space, machines and materials. Once your child or family is ready for a bigger or more complex project, Knock On Wood has everything you need – tools, materials, and know-how.

I encourage you to try it out, bond, create and see the creative spark in your child’s eye.

PRACTICAL INFO:

Courses for children: 8+ with an accompanying adult, 10+ autonomously.

Knock On Wood
La Voie Creuse 16,
1202 Geneva.

Find out more about Knock On Wood on their website, Instagram, Facebook.

Disclaimer: this is a sponsored article.

Here at Parentville, we always tell you if content is a result of a paid collaboration. But rest assured, all the information Parentville publishes, paid or not, goes through a careful selection.

September 2021 – family friendly events in Geneva

September 2021 – family friendly events in Geneva

Summer holidays are over but fun for families is in Geneva the whole year. September is the start of new programs in theatres,  outdoors festivals that want to benefit from nice weather till it lasts, and weekend events to give us a breath from all the same weekdays. Not to mention that many hurry before the You-Know-What will dominate again, and deprive us of social lives.

There is a lot going on! Without any further philosophical entries, let me get you straight to the fun ahead.

EVENTS/FESTIVALS

JARDINS DES NATIONS
till 2024, le Grand-Saconnex

Before the construction works will kick in to fill this terrain with more office buildings, good people decided to use this space as a new place for us – people living in Geneva and around. The gardens are located behind the massive ILO building – previously inaccessible to the wide public but from now till 2024 it is ours. What can we do there? We can by fruit and veg growing on the site, we can also work in the gardens. They will organize workshops, cultural events, and other activities. The highlight: enter the Syllepse to enjoy a immersive 360° show presenting works of prestigious artists.

The site is accessible to wheelchair users (aces and restrooms).

There is a buvette on the site, places for picnics, restrooms and all you may need. Check their program regurarly. More info at jardin-des-nations.ch.

Festival La Batie
3-19 September, Various locations

It’s back! La Batie always marks the rentree with fabulous cultural events. This year, I found 6 shows designed to entertain kids, and some others that can work for families – for example music and dance at Col de la Faucille (hiking with cultural dressing). The tickets for each event disappear fast, so don’t wait too long: check the program, book your tickets and enjoy.

The events take place in various locations. Some of them are perfectlya dapted to people with all types of reduced mobility, others make work only for some, some won’t work at all. You can consult the details of some places here, for others please contact La Batie directly.

Festival Chouette Nature
4-5 September, Presinge

This event is designed especially for children. It is an open air festival and it is free. Around 30 associations and organizations are brought together to offer fun activities for kids of all ages. It is also a possibility to eat on the site and to try local bio products from the Domaine de l’Abbaye.

You can consult detailed program of activities here.

ALTERNATIBA
30 August – 4 September, Bastions

Alternatiba is a yearly festival all about sustainability and actions that can save the planet. The main part is in Bastions with stands run by various associations and organizations divided by themes (kids/education is one of them). There are also movie screenings, conferences, and workshops.

Accessible for wheelchair users but no properly adapted restroom on site, also coblestone pavements.

You can see the full program here.

COOL KIDS CORNER
8-22 September, Herstreet (Eaux-Vives)

A pop-up store like no other! Accompanied by events, activities, and workshops. These 15 days of family fun is organized by My Little Room in collaboration with Geneva Discovery. They invited many others to provide yoga classes, cooking workshops, floral decorations activities. MotherStories will be there with a talk on post partum. There is something for all ages and tastes.

Herstreet is accessible to wheelchair users but without an adapted toilet.

You can find out more at mylittleroom.ch.

STREET FOOD FESTIVAL
16-19 September, Jardin Anglais

Street Food Festival is back, and again in the best possible location: Jardin Anglais. Lots of fabulous food, bars, grass for picnicing. Lots of place for kids to run around, pram friendly. What to ask more? It’s a great occasion to make children try new foods, reward with a great dessert, and meet up with friends.

This year of course, some measures are introduced: Covid Certificate necessary to enter (for adults), only cashless payments accepted, but masks not necessary once inside.

This event is fully wheelchair friendly (access and toilets).

More info: gvastreetfoodfest.ch

Firefly Festival
17-18 September, Pregny-Chambesy

This is brand new! The first edition of this music festival looks great! Apart from the concerts, activities for kids are in program such as circus arts by Cirquenbelle. It will also be an opportunity to check out Bubble Ethic and their durable creations, eat, drink and have a wonderful time.

The festival is accessible for wheelchair users.

You can check out more about it and book your tickets by clicking this link.

LES JOURNEES DU SOLEIL
18-19 September, Vernier

The sun will be in the spotlight at École des Ranches on the weekend of September, 18. The event was initiated by the City of Vernier with the collaboration of Industrial Services (SIG) and the association Terragir. “The aim is to change attitudes about renewable energies and promote solar energy,” explains Mathias Buschbeck, mayor of Vernier.

The program of the event is rich and there is something for all ages (5+). So what’s in the program? Demonstration of solar ovens, manufacture of solar cars. observation of the sun with astronomical glasses, conferences on solar and photovoltaic panels, storytelling moments. You can check what is happening when at what time here.

PRM accesisbility: the school yard and the building are accessible, adapted toilets included.

Fête de l’Abeille et du Terroir
25 September, Lancy

The aim of this event is to promote sustainable development. It is free and fun for all ages (I mean kids and adults). Fête de l’Abeille makes it possible to discover and promote products from our region. Through various playful stands run by different producers or associations, the visitors have the opportunity to taste and buy quality products. There will be many workshops and activities, an animal farm, and last but not least lots to learn about bees.

Check it out here: lancy.ch.

La Marche d’Amal
28 September, Geneva

Do you remember the giant marionnetes that walked through the streets of Geneva 3 years ago? Now it’s time for Amal to take a stroll in our city. This 3.5-meter-tall girl, built by the prestigious Handspring Puppet Company and presented by the Good Chance Company (who worked a lot in the migrant camps in Calais), started an 8000 km walk in July. She embarked from the Turkish-Syrian border and is headed to the UK. She aims to draw the world’s attention to the plight of unaccompanied refugee children or  those separated from their families. With the pandemic on everyone’s mind, Amal reminds us that the migration crisis continues, emphasizing the immense potential of the refugees rather than their desperate conditions.
Let’s all come and give her a warm welcome!

THEATRES

AM STRAM GRAM

The special attention this month goes to Geneva’s theather for children – AMSTRAMGRAM. Why? Beacuse they are trying their best to make an offer that will also please those who don’t speak French. There are four shows this season that do not require mastering French language. It’s Runa in December, Wouah in December, Woodbeat in January, and Voler Dans Les Plumes in February. There will be many other shows on scenes before those dates of course but those do require understanding French words.

The season at Am Stram Gram starts in October but now is a good time to check out the detailed program and once the season start book tickets or get the annual pass. Their website is great: you can sort shows by age and dates.

You can also see the show “Babarman – Mon cirque pour un royaume” prepared for the festival La Batie in collaboration with AmStramGram.

The theater is fully accessible for people with reduced mobility.

Go to Am Stram Gram’s website: amstramgram.ch.

SIMPLY THEATRE

We will have to wait till November for the new productions at englishspeaker’s favorite theater in Versoix. This year: Twelth Night, A Christmas Carol, and Peter Pan. Till then, check out their program of kids theater courses.You can find all information here.

The theatre is accessible for wheelchair users (not sure about the toilets).

Theatre des Marionnettes

As all other theaters, this one will also start its shows in October. But before that they have other things for you: Amal’s walk (read above), and october camp – I encourage you to start booking october camps now.

MAZE Cafés, Geneva – parent review

MAZE Cafés, Geneva – parent review

This article was written by Genna Meredith, Parentville’s reader and friend. She was asked to check out a new restaurant for families in Geneva and did a great job! Let’s welcome Genna to Parentville’s writing parents group!

Imagine a café where kids can run and be loud, and you (the parent or caregiver) can enjoy a cupcake and glass of champagne. Sounds blissful, right? In fact, 8 years ago, after the birth of my first child, Olga and I decided we wanted to open a café for parents ourselves. As two new mums, we were dying for a place designed for us—a sort of guilt-free Starbucks.

We researched, looked for venues, thought about menus…we even wrote a business plan. Yet, the more we investigated it, the more we realised we were way out of our depth. It ended up being a long-lost dream.

Then, this year, I heard about MAZE cafés in Geneva. A café designed by parentsfor parents.

Could this be the one we’d been waiting for?

THE REVELATION

MAZE opened right after the first lockdown but, like so many places, had to close as Geneva hit the second wave. It sounded magical. It also sounded too good to be true. Kids can play as long as they like? It works for babies as well as bigger kids? They sell wine? They have food that even the kids can nibble? And it’s in central Geneva?

THE FIRST IMPRESSION

On reopening, I finally got the chance to visit. My 3-month-old and I went along with a group of other mums. I parked my pram outside and waltzed into this luxurious café. Oh dear, I thought… it’s beautiful in here, quite posh; what if my kid makes a mess? I shouldn’t have worried, though, because Paola and Markus, the owners, are parents and are totally aware that kids can make a mess (and lots of noise) and welcome it all.

Paola and Markus accommodated our relentless questions: Can I breastfeed here? Do you have a nappy changing area? Do you have oat milk? Can we have another six coffees? They are obviously parents as well as business owners. 

I’ve been a regular since then, so let me take you through the essentials:

maze cafe parentville

PLAY

MAZE has various play areas, all of which can be accessed for an entry fee of 12 CHF for kids age 18 months and above (with no time limit). For younger crawling babies, it costs 6 CHF to access the downstairs part only. You can also buy entries in bulk.

Upstairs there’s a soft play area in relaxing pastel colours (such a nice change from bright primary colours!) with a slide and ball pit. I managed to squeeze in to rescue one of my little ones (don’t tell anyone, but I secretly loved it too!).

Downstairs there’s a house/castle with three ‘rooms’ full of toys for all ages and tastes. Puzzles, books, trains, dolls, a play kitchen, pretend tools. Even my 8-year-old (who begged to go after seeing the photos) had a blast with all the toys.

If you venture around the corner, there’s a large basketball/soccer court. Your kids can run around and burn off all that energy they got after eating one of MAZE’s yummy cupcakes*.

(*see more about those cupcakes below)

maze cafe parentville geneva

FOOD & DRINK

The menu is tasty and straightforward. By that, I mean simple enough that even the pickiest kids will find something they want to eat (think croissants, avocado toast, hot dogs, a dippy egg and soldiers). On the off chance that you go without kids, you will feel just as comfortable as if you were in a fancy café in Paris thanks to the luxurious aesthetic. The menu also changes depending on the season (think pumpkin soup in Autumn).

They also serve desserts such as delicious cupcakes (which are kid and parent tested!) biscuits, donuts and more.

I decided to treat myself to a glass of wine (ok, three) when I went for the second time, but they also have coffee, juice, tea, gin. Whatever floats your boat at 10am (or whatever time you go!)

THE PARENTING BASICS

There’s only one bathroom, not abnormal for a café. It has a separate toilet and sink (meaning you can wash your kids’ grubby hands whilst someone else uses the facilities). There’s also a changing mat for babies.

You can leave your stroller/pram outside in a small, covered area. There’s room for about three or four, depending on the size of your baby transport. I took mine inside with me when my baby was still tiny, and Paola made sure we had enough room.

There’s one Stokke (posh!) highchair. As far as I can tell, there is only one, so you might have to fight for it, but there may be more hidden away; I’ve just never seen kids sit still long enough to sit in one!

MAZE is closed on Mondays, because it is open on SUNDAYS!

LITTLE EXTRAS

MAZE is open late (7pm), so you can hire a babysitter and enjoy a glass of something. You can even rent out MAYE for your kid’s birthday party. There are three packages, up to 3 hours and up to 20 kids, with no limit on adults (and they do all the food and provide a party host).

More info on the party packages: https://www.mazecafes.com/birthdays#packages

…and they also sell helium balloons – lots of them! https://www.mazecafes.com/balloons

PRACTICAL INFO

Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 9h00 – 19h00

Visit MAZE CAFES Website

Find MAZE CAFES on Instagram

Phone: +41 78 819 86 68

Address: Rue du 31 Décembre 8, 1207 Genève

Wheelchair access: the entry and the terrace are accessible. There is no adapted restroom and the place is small, so can be hard for a wheelchair user to move around. The downstairs playground is not accessible, the upstairs playground is not accessible but visible from the tables.

Parking: 

Parking is notoriously hard on and around Rue du 31 Décembre (or anywhere in central Geneva), so I suggest making your way via tram, bus, bike, walking – whatever is easiest for you and avoids the never-ending search for parking. Plus, then you can stay as long as you like!

RELATED ARTICLES:

ICE CREAMS HUNT IN CAROUGE

ICE CREAMS HUNT IN CAROUGE

Urban Events Geneva prepared a treasure hunt that makes for a perfect summer activity with kids! If you have kids 4 years old or more that like ice creams, this is an adventure for you (well, for them)! It’s all about solving puzzles, looking for a lost treasure while eating more ice creams than parents would normally allow. Doesn’t it seem perfect?

“Chasse aux Glasse” urban game combines solving puzzles and completing tasks while tasting tasting frozen delicacies from local “gelateries”.

HOW?

Once you book your ticket (10 chf per person) you’ll know the exact location in Carouge. You’ll then meet the Urban Events Geneva animator who will explain the story and the task ahead. They will also equip you little and big adventurers with the “tools” necessary for the mission.

Long story short, Carmen Rouge (C. Rouge, you see?) was a renown pirate whose ship wrecked somewhere near Carouge while crossing the Arve. The treasure the ship was carrying got lost, but the map remains. As well as the ice cream recipes!

Equipped with the map, puzzles booklet, and some other “tools”, you will wander the streets of Carouge getting closer and closer to the lost treasure.

During the journey you will learn some fun facts about Carouge and recive refreshing treats from the ice cream shops in town. The adventure kit contains  special ice creams tickets – 2 per person. You can use these tickets in brilliant places with amazing ice creams!

THE PUZZLES

The game was designed for kids 6 and older but younger adventurers can come as well. They will just need a bit more help from adults to finish the quest. I found it really fun to do puzzles together with my 8 year old – it was a great parent-kid activity.

The difficulty level of the game is perfect: there are very easy puzzles, two rather hard ones, and the rest is somewhere in the middle. It makes the game fun, challenging, but not overwhelming.

Let me add the obvious: the ice creams make for a perfect motivator for kids to solve everything!

We loved this game and can’t wait to try other missions that Urban Events Geneva proposes!

PRACTICAL INFO

Urban Events Geneva: urban-events.ch

Price:
10 CHF per person
8 CHF annulation insurance

Location: Carouge.

Wheelchair accessibility:

The game itself is doable in a wheelchair, although some curbs may be challenging. The ice-creams shops involved in the mission are not accessible. The wheelchair accessible toilets are not available in the area.

Summer recipes by Oksana

Summer recipes by Oksana

Oksana is back on Parentville with her lovely recipes. Her idea is to provide you with easy, healthy and yummy recipes to prepare with kids. Enjoy!

Summertime is berries time! Whether you purchase them in a supermarket, at a farmer’s market or go pick them yourself – they are the summer fruit to be eaten without limits! If you want to pick berries at the farm yourself, check out this article on Parentville. (check them out here).

The variety of desserts using fresh strawberries & raspberries is endless, from baked muffins to raw cheesecakes. On a hot summer day, however, a light & cold dessert is a real treat. Why not try these super simple, no-baking-involved delicacies: Strawberry Frozen Yogurt Bark & Raspberry Cranachan.

These desserts will delight the whole family using fresh local ingredients, especially as the Raspberry Cranachan can easily be turned into grown-ups only treat.

STRAWBERRY FROZEN YOGURT BARK

This is a very easy recipe that contains only two ingredients: yoghurt & berries. The result is a healthy frozen snack that is so refreshing on hot days & is excellent for sharing.

Firstly, choose your favourite yoghurt, be it Greek, lactose-free, non-dairy or flavoured like vanilla, or even chocolate.

The best berries to use are strawberries or raspberries. If using raspberries, just add the whole berries. The strawberries, however, need to be chopped & added to the yoghurt. For the fussy eaters who don’t like the bits of berries, blend the yoghurt with berries for a creamy smooth texture that actually looks like strawberry white chocolate!

INSTRUCTIONS:

Step 1 (parent).

Line a flat dish with sides with parchment paper and spread evenly with a layer of yoghurt. Make sure the layer isn’t too thin as it breaks easily. Chop the strawberries.

Step 2 (child).

Add the chopped strawberries. Nuts can add an extra crunch. 

Step 3 (parent).

Put the dish into the freezer until the mixture is frozen. Freeze for a few hours until completely frozen. Ours took about 4 hours for an 8″ square pan, but of course, it will depend on the size of your pan. Remove the frozen yoghurt from the pan and peel off the parchment paper. Break into pieces.

Step 4 (child).

Peel the bark off the parchment paper & break it into pieces. Enjoy!

RASPBERRY CRANACHAN

This is actually a traditional Scottish dessert of fresh raspberries folded into cream mixed with honey & oats. It is sure to be a hit with the little ones and adults, especially in the traditional recipe. A splash of whisky is added to the cream, perfect for a nightcap.
It keeps well in the fridge for one day & is really a satisfying snack or a dessert.

Ingredients for 4 servings
2 tbsp medium oats (or gluten-free oats)
300g fresh raspberries
350 g double cream like Gruyere
2tbsp runny honey
4 small glasses to serve

INSTRUCTIONS:

Step 1 (adult)
Add oats into a small pan & cook on medium heat for about 4 minutes, stirring to make sure the oats don’t turn too brown & burn. Set aside to cool.

Step 2 (adult)
Prepare the electric mixer for whipping the cream

Step 3 (child & parent)
Whip the cream until it just set. Add honey& oats & stir well.

Step 4 (child)
Take half off the raspberries & mash them using the folk.

Step 5 (child & parent)
Fill each serving glass with mashed raspberries, followed by cream & topped with fresh raspberries.

Find more inspirational easy healthy recipes selected by Oksana Petersen head over to Nutrition Right.

Gifts for teachers, Geneva.

Gifts for teachers, Geneva.

Giving gifts at the end of the year is not, to my knowledge, a tradition in Switzerland. Most of the Swiss parents I know, don’t practice it. If they decide to offer a thank you/goodbye something for the teacher, it is usually a kid’s drawing or cookies. But. I don’t know every Swiss parent in Geneva and have seen people coming with flowers or small gift to jardin d’enfants, creche, and the school.

It simply means that if you or your child would like to reward or thank their teacher, the possibility is coming soon!  With the heat that is in the forecast for the next week, nobody will be offended if your child’s gift for the teacher is bought rather than home-made.

This brings us to the selection of locally made/locally designed products, perfect for the end of the school year.

 

Click on the picture to find out more about each idea.

 

groseille teacher gift

Flower notebooks with matching mirrors by Groseille.

Delicious and beautiful cupcakes and cookies from Royaume Melazic! are a perfect thank you gift for teachers, nannies and other people who take care and entertain kids throughout the year!

At Zhandumaya.com, we offer 100% natural Geneva cosmetics and zero waste accessories.

color ta vie teachers gift

How about giving the teachers something fun! Color Ta Vie is a great place to release all the tension from the whole year by splashing paint and jumping around. Check it out here.

sensas geneve

Is your child’s teacher an adventurer? Then they may like to start the vacation by experiencing this crazy place! It’s a kind of a escape game with lots of weird and cool challenges on the way. Check it out here.

teachers gift

Teachers get plenty of flowers, cookies, cosmetics, and kids’ artwork. They surely appreciate these gifts. But maybe, what they need is a day at a SPA or a relaxing massage? Plenty of places in Geneva offer SPA gift cards.

living geneva

A beautiful notebook by Livingeneva is a great gift! It is beautiful, practical, and  can become a lovely summer diary. You can see it closely here.

The too beautiful candles at L’Atelier de Yaël.

The perfect nod to offer teachers before leaving to bask in the sun!

Summer in Geneva with kids

Summer in Geneva with kids

How long are you planning to stay in Geneva with the kids this summer? No matter if it’s one week, eight, or just a few weekends the Staycation Guide by Parentville is here 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.

Staycation Guide – what’s that?

Staycation Guide is a downloadable PDF with over 100 outings and activities propositions for families. There are simple outings, awesome adventures, places in the canton and beyond. There is something for every age and every budget.

Each outing proposition consists of a description, links, practical info, and an interactive map. Everything to make planning easy. The Staycation Guide saves your time. All you need to do is choose an outing and go. Parentville does all the research for you, chooses the best places, and voila!

Get your Guide

Click on the button below and become the expert on family-friendly destinations in and around Geneva! The price is not fixed – you decide how much you can pay. By purchasing the Guide you will help Parentville exist and continue the work. Payments can be done with Paypal or Twint. 

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

29/06/2020

This year, for the reasons that I don’t need to spell out, we are staycationing. Initially, I planned to make some serious day trips out of the canton, but having flicked through this guide I think we have more than enough to do right on our doorstep! This will be a useful guide for the summer and beyond and I look forward to exploring these hidden gems as well as testing out some of the more well known attractions in the area. Thank you Parentville for making this mum’s planning a LOT easier!

Zoe

S.

29/06/2020

Not just for the summer: keep the guide for fun with kids all year long – well almost. Due to Covid19, there is a heavy focus on the outdoors, so some options might not work in winter. A great mix of options for the many staycations necessary this summer.

Barabara

S.