This summer: DinoWorld Expo in Versoix

This summer: DinoWorld Expo in Versoix

 Calling all the dinosaurs fans! The DinoWorld expo has opened up for summer!

Almost every child goes through a phase of a passion for these mysterious creatures who walked this planet in the past. The DinoWorld Expo in Versoix is now a great place to explore their world.

The DinoWorld park is divided into 3 main parts. The first one is the entry under a big tent. Inside you’ll find mini golf, a snack bar, and a souvenirs shop.

Then you’ll go outside. Careful, cause that part is in the sun with no shade. By taking a marked path, you’ll meet many species of dinosaurs, some of them moving a little, some of them set up in scenes (attack, babies hatching, etc.). Here’s also where you can see real chickens and ostriches. To find out why these animals are there, be sure to read the info board. I had no idea about the link between chickens and dinosaurs! Closer to the forest part and bouncy castles, there are also tortoises happily chewing the grass (real ones, not sculptured).

The path will then take you inside the forest to see the dinosaurs in a more jungle-like setting. Be sure also to look above, and spot some flying beasts!

The last part is back in the sun. This one includes a small cinema, a shaded snack bar (also a place for bday parties), and a sand pit with dinosaurs bones – all little palaeontologists will have a blast. There are also bouncy castles and a small obstacle trail.

Z really loved to visit the place, though she admitted more fun elements could have been added, more shade, and she wished it was bigger. From my side, I think it’s a really fun place. My only disappointment was the souvenirs shop that had no books, or educational games on the topic.

We do recommend the place! Just remember about sunscreen and hats. It can be a challenge to visit the DinoWorld Expo with a stroller, not to mention a wheelchair. Toilets are on the site of course, but none of them is adapted, and I am sorry for not checking if they have changing tables.

Overall, it is a #parentvillerecommended place in Geneva for this summer!

DINO WORLD INFO

 

WHERE?

 

Other places in Versoix: Parc Challandes, Simply Theatre, and the lakeside.

Family fun in June 2019 in Geneva

Family fun in June 2019 in Geneva

Summer is here! We still need to wait a bit for the holidays, June in Geneva is looking very family-friendly. All paddling pools are open; parks are filling up with people, free bbq places are more and more crowded, and well… we are getting closer and closer to having a brand new big sandy beach in Geneva! Like in the title – Family-friendly June in Geneva, 2019!

 

FYI: many events don’t get announced enough in advance to inform you before the month comes, some might simply be discovered by me a bit too late, but nothing will be missed – every day Parentville’s events calendar for families in Geneva is updated with new fun things to do, events to participate, and activities to do!

Another announcement before we had over to the summer holidays! Every year, I publish a super duper summer guide in the form of a downloadable pdf. What’s in it? A proposition of an outing, or a small trip for every single day of summer holidays. How to get it? Subscribe to the newsletter – the guide will be sent at the end of June.

AGAPE FESTIVAL

May 29th – June 1st

A Carouge, à Carouge, sure mon petit cheval rouge…! Isn’t Carouge just the best when it comes to events? They organise so many of them, and they are all fabulous. This is also the case for the International Festival of Baroque Music and Sacred Art – AGAPE. This year a completely separate program has been prepared for children, under the name of “Le Festival des Enfants”. In the program: shows, concerts, workshops, and what not.

GRAND BAZAR, MEG

JUNE 2

Every first Sunday of the month, the Ethnography Museum of Geneva transforms into a kids activity centre! There will be activities for babies, art workshops, guided tours, and so much more! Check the program on the Museum’s website – some activities need to be booked in advance, some are free, others require a modest payment.

LA RUE AUX ENFANTS

JUNE 2

This festival fully devoted to children and families is organised every two years in Bernex. Completely free, it offers a vast range of activities, games, workshops, shows for children and adults! This year “La Rue aux Enfants” will take place in the Sport Zone Signal de Bernex. It will be an entire day for children and families with games, entertainment and shows around the theme of movement! The full program is here.

TRAM TOURUSTIQUE

JUNE 2 & 12

One Sunday per month, June 2, from April to October, historic trams are put on the rails between Place des Nations, Cornavin station and Carouge, via the city centre. It’s a different, an exciting way for kids to discover the city and the past.

On June 12 a special event will be organised: a tram ride to discover the worst criminals in the city! Adapted from Corinne Jaquet’s bestseller “Meurtres à Genève” by Jacques Sallin, the Tram’Drames show will be presented in the historic tram.

LA VILLE EST A VOUS

June 1,2,8,9, 10, 15,16
La Ville Est A Vous is a series of weekend festivals, each in a different neighbourhood of the City of Geneva. In June, three districts will have their “The City is Yours” festivities: Saint-Gervais, Jonction, and Saint-Jean. Check out at least one of them. The streets of the neighbourhood are closed to traffic, people get out on the streets to buy/sell, there is a tone of food, and even more on the stands and in the trucks! Oh, and of course lots of activities for children!

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL

Till June 16

The extraordinary Cirque du Soleil is here! It is not only a circus without any animals involved in the show, but it is also the best circus you can imagine. It’s magic without magic tricks! They will make you laugh hard and also make your jaw drop low. Some of Parentville’s readers took kids as young as 3 to the show, and they all loved it. The cheapest tickets for adults are for 70 CHF, and I promise it will be the best invested 70 CHF this year!

GREVE DES FEMMES

JUNE 14

As Beyonce said during her Coachella performance, we’ve had enough of the bullsh*t! Depending on where you’re from, you might have notice bigger or smaller changes needed to be adapted in Switzerland to improve the situation of women: working women, stay at home moms, girls at the school level. All women. This is why this massive strike will happen in all Switzerland. If you can’t participate in the manifestation, you can still go on strike – go to work but make longer breaks, work slower, do nothing at home (yey to wine and Netflix), force dads to take over the kids on that day. Let them all see how we are needed, what would happen if we all stopped performing our daily tasks! You can consult the detailed program for Geneva here.

BOL D’OR MIRABAUD

June 14-16

The world’s most important inland lake regatta is happening right here! Around 500 boat sale from Geneva to Boveret and back, which makes for 123 km! It’s a wonderful occasion for a picnic by the lake or a lunch in a lakeside restaurant. Just check on the regatta’s website at what time the boats are expected to be where.

DIABOLO FESTIVAL

JUNE 15-16, Morges

Diabolo is probably the most kid-friendly event in the region each year. It will take place at the Théâtre de Beausobre, and will offer a possibility for kids to experience an artistic adventure. Puppet shows, music, magic and circus – the whole family will find happiness in the program of the Festival. You will come across artists like Henri De, the sponsor of our festival, or Les Petits Chanteurs à la Gueule de Bois, winners of the “Swiss Scene Award 2018”, who will unveil their new show for the young audience. Diabolo would not be the festival he has become without his creative, playful and sporty workshops. Browse the site  to discover the many nuggets and surprises that await for your family in Morges.

RESCUE DAY

JUNE 15

Rescue Day 2019 is an event that will highlight the rescue, personal assistance and security trades. The admission is free of charge. During the event, you will be able to discover uniformed personnel, their vehicles, their equipment, and participate in the many activities.
Among the present services, you will find Airport Fire Rescue Service (SSLIA) and the Fire and Rescue Service (SIS), Police, Samaritans. Also, various service dogs and their masters will be at the site, as well as many associations, and other organizations that work daily for our safety. Animations for all ages will be offered too!

This day is organised by the Association Eyes Color Planet (ASYCP) to help children and families affected by a rare disease. All benefits and donations will go to this recognised Public Utility Association.

 

FETE DE LA MUSIQUE

June 21-23

One of the most awaited weekend every year is the one with Fête de la Musique! 2 days of concerts, dancing, shows, and activities, including ones for families and kids. You can check the whole program here soon  (it has not been announced when this article was being prepared).

GENEVA STREET FOD FESTIVAL

June 27-30

This year, at least in June, it will take place in Jardin Anglais! And will start already on Thursday with an after-work party accompanied by some best DJs from the region. A great occasion to try street food not only from Geneva but from other Swiss cities too. As always kids corner will be organised with fun activities, this year with the support of the Swiss Food Academy. The kids corner will be open: Thu 5pm-9pm, Fri 12pm-9pm, Sat 12pm-9pm, Sun 12pm-7pm.

EXPOSITIONS

DINO WORLD EXPO

MAY 24 – AUGUST 25, VERSOIX

A magnificent exhibition of dinosaurs, to visit for young and old is opening this summer in Versoix – a Dino World Expo! From the excavation area to the adventure park, everything is designed for a pedagogical purpose pedagogical, but also and especially so that everyone has fun. Children are invited to explore, play and roar like any self-respecting young T-Rex. Many attractions on the site including a labyrinth, mini-golf, inflatable castles, museum, activities!

ROULEZ LES MECANIQUES

till September 15, 2019; Musee d’Histoire des Sciences

The History of Science Museum offers a very fun, incredibly interactive (but no screens) exhibition to explore the world of machines that move things. Kids can try different machines and explore how they work. It’s a great playful expo, absolutely recommended! Since ancient times, even before, humans have developed a series of technical devices and tips to move, carry or block important loads. They were given the name of “machines”. We live daily, sometimes without recognizing them. They simplify our life through many familiar objects, alone or combined.

 

LA FABRIQUE DES CONTES

till January 5, Musée d’Ethnographie de la Ville de Genève

This exposition is not to be missed by no means! The Fairy Tales Factory is a beautiful exposition, with many “wow” elements. It explores eight tales, mostly not very well known, in a fantastic way. Your children, no matter the age, will fall in love with it. Don’t miss the dress-up room with a scene! You can also read my thoughts on the exhibition after visiting it with Z. here.

PREDATIONS

Till January 19, 2020; Natural History Museum in Geneva

Kill and eat to live, to survive! This is the essence of the act of predation. Predators have been present since the beginnings of life on Earth and in all ecosystems. Far from the big bad wolf and the teeth of the sea, the exhibition reveals a natural phenomenon essential to the development and maintenance of life, from the world of bacteria to that of large vertebrates. The expo is highly educative for small kids and adults alike. It is beautifully designed, and offers a lot of surprising discoveries!

Faites comme chez nous

Till September 1, 2019

Do you know those tiny little bastards in the lake that cause a yucky rush on the skin? They are called “Puces de canard”, and now you can learn all about them at this entertaining exhibition. It has an old school computer game, a photo printer, a quiz, a lab, and pictures of these yucky creatures. Have fun and learn how to avoid the itchy skin

 

Tous sous le même toit

till October 31, 2019; VESSY

By this eclectic, educational and inevitably incomplete exhibition, immersively associating images, drawings and models, the Association of Berges de Vessy and its partners invite the public to explore through Geneva, Switzerland and the world the formidable adventure of the Roofs. Not to miss, the walk around Berges de Vessy before or after the expo!

MUR | MURS

till November 10, within and around the Ariana Museum

Take a walk around the Ariana Park (near the UN), where an internationally-renowned artist and ceramist Jacques Kaufmann, has installed his projects. His installations will create new paths, an ephemeral wall between the museum and the UN, a house made of clay, and even a bridge that symbolically passes through the museum’s architecture. After the park, the artist-builder will further develop his works within the museum

CINEMA

FAMILY DAY AT PATHE CINEMA

June 2, Balexert

Going to the movies as a family is always fun. On the Pathé Family Day, you can enjoy one or more films from Pathe’s family-friendly program for only CHF 15.00 per ticket (it also include a drink and a small popcorn and a small gift for children). The Pathé Family Day takes places every first Sunday of the month except in September. There are special screenings for kids age 2+, with sound volume reduced and low lights left lit.

On June 2 in the program are: Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, Aladdin, La Bande à Picsou au cinéma, The Queen’s Corgi, Dumbo, Wonder Park, Avengers: Endgame, Venise n’est pas en Italie.

 

Animals outside of Geneva

Animals outside of Geneva

How about a day trip with an animal adventure? The selection of places for this article was tough, so probably there will come a time for another one in the animal-series. We will not go farther than 1,5-2,5h drive, to make it all doable in a day (though the longer the way, the less exhausting it will be with an overnight stay).

Ready? Let’s go.

PAPILIORAMA

Is your child fascinated by butterflies? Or passionate about bats? Or dreaming about travelling to a tropical forest? Then this is where you need to take them. Papiliorama is divided into three domes – Papiliorama, Nocturama, and the jungle trek.

The first one is a walk through butterflies paradise filled with flowers, running water, and fruit. It’s fascinating to observe so many different colourful (and black) butterflies in all their life cycles!

Nocturama, on the other hand, is where artificial moonlight shines during the day, to make bats awake. A bit too scary for me, but not at all for Z.!

Jungle Trek is a replica of forest in the nature reserve in Belize. It is 1200 square meters big, with over 30 species of animals, and over a hundred plants! It is also quite warm and humid — big birds walking on the paths are very friendly.

There is also a petting-zoo outside, as well as the “Observatorium diversities”, a Bug Bigtop, and a playground.

PARC DE MERLET

It is not even a Zoo, it a park. Animals you can (and will) encounter in that park, live in the wilderness. They are not forced to stay. The Parc de Merlet is located in Les Houches, near Chamonix (France), at an altitude of 1500 metres. The hike through the park offers breathtaking views on the Mont Blanc massive! Depending on the chosen trail, it can last between 1 and 3 hours (plus 1h minutes to get to the parking and back). One of the trails is pushchair friendly, for the longer one take a baby-carrier. Also, it is worth remembering that in August (and sometimes in July) Chamonix area gets incredibly crowded. I would advise you to visit the park in May-June or in September.

BARRYLAND

Saint Bernard dogs are one of the very Swiss animals! These gentle giants have such an essential place in Swiss history and culture that they deserved to have a mountain pass named after them. There is a museum about St. Bernards in Martigny, where also these dogs are bred. There two places where you can visit them, pat them and even meet the puppies.

One of them is Barryland in Martigny. It’s the place where these dogs live and are trained to become as hiking dogs, pulling dogs or social dogs (depending on the temperament of each dog). Above the kennels, there is a museum devoted to the history of these dogs, with a playful and beautiful story-telling kids area. Martigny is gorgeous in itself, so Barryland is a great excuse to visit the town!

Another place where you can meet these dogs is the Great Saint Bernard. They are there all summer long, a hike with them is an unforgettable experience!

MARMOTS PARADISE

Jump to Montreux and take the cog railway up to Rochers-de-Naye and discover the world of marmots. The park has species of marmots from Switzerland and around the world  (in total 11 species). They are held in predator-safe enclosures. You can watch them from the observation tower, or go a bit in and watch their underground world. Kids love it. The spectacular views on the lake and the Alps will take your breath away!

TROPICALAND

This parc is a thrill for dinosaur lovers, birds passionates, and those who’d love to see baby kangaroos in their mom’s pocket. Over 30 dinosaur sculptures are presented in the jungle-looking forest. For several years now, it has also been a refuge for abandoned exotic birds that the park has collected at its expense. And on top of that, it is also an animal park that has been home to real kangaroos and small mammals since 2004!

All the birds that you will see in the park are animals abandoned by their former owners. By paying your entrance, you help the Tropicaland as a refuge and participate in feeding expenses. The park does not benefit from any public aid nor subsidy since it is a private initiative.

PARC POLAIRE

How about meeting and feeding raindeers? The scenery of the Park Polaire and its surrounding is just crazy beautiful. Inside you’ll meet not only reminders but also yaks, European bison, “Konik Polski” horses, Elaphe deers, and a whole group of Greenland dogs. You will be taken into their enclosures with a guide, who will make sure you’re safe, have fun, and receive all the info on the animals. After that tour, you can head out to a petting zoo filled with friendly goats and sheep.

PARC DES OISEAUX

It’s also around 2 hours drive from Geneva, and it takes several hours to visit this bird park, but it is worth it! Birds from around the world, including a massive community of storks. You can admire their nests by going up the observational tower. It’s incredible! Parrots, penguins, pelicans, toucans, flamingoes, and so many other species. The park is big, with lots of fun places for kids, but please take your pram or take the one available in the park. You can also plan your stay according to the plan of the shows! Yes, birds show in an arena. To make the trip less exhausting, I advise you to book a nearby hotel or camping and spend a whole day inside.

SAFARI DE PEAUGRES

You don’t need to fly to Africa to experience a safari ride! Within a 2 hours drive from Geneva, there is a safari park divided into a car circuit, pedestrian zone, aquatic zone, a farm, picnic area, playground area, and more! You can also purchase a “VIP experience” for even more features. You can assist or observe animals being fed, and simply spend a fantastic day. Are you in?

 

LA GARENNE

For a visit to a classic zoo, try La Garenne. It is a privately owned zoo, with European(mainly local) animals. Our favourite part of la Garenne is a wooden bridge, or rather a passarelle, inside the forest. It was built not to disturb the animals, give them more space and watch them from above. The whole site is beautiful, and the playground is fantastic. If you get hungry, there is also a restaurant on the premises (with food typical for a zoo: nuggets, fries etc.).

ZOO & TROPIQUARIUM IN SERVION

Servion is a classic zoo, the biggest in the region. It has tigers, lions, wolves, monkeys, birds, sheep, and more. It’s most prominent attraction are surely the bears! You can check their website here to find out about new arrivals, aka babies, that kids will fall in love with (in 2019 new bears and kangaroos were born among others).

The second part of Servion is the Tropiquarium with penguins and reptiles (massive tortoises, turtles, snakes, tropical birds, and other creatures)! Upon arriving you can decide whether to visit just the zoo, just the Tropiquarium or get a ticket to visit both.

The Fairy Tale Factory

The Fairy Tale Factory

Once upon a time… We all know these words. This expression exists, most probably, in every language. These words open the door to imagination, to a magic world, and magic words.

Once upon a time is also an opening phrase of a beautiful bilingual (English, Frech) exhibition, La Fabrique des Contes, currently hosted by the Musée d’Ethnographie de Genève (aka MEG).

Every country, every region has the tales specific for its history and its culture. Or so, one would think.

8 TALES

La Fabrique des Contes presents 8 European tales. Most of them not well known, but in each of them are elements we all know from these tales: 3 wishes, a spindle, bread, wolf, good vs bad, and more. You’ll be surprised to see how tales connect European cultures into one.

Each of these eight tales has its own space in the exhibition. Each is constructed in such a way that words fail to give it justice. It’s full of visual effects, filled with surprises, and very eye-satisfying. You won’t be disappointed! It’s one of the best exhibitions, if not THE best that I have seen in Geneva in the past 11 years.

IMAGINATION

Beautiful and fascinating objects are on display that you will be able to check out in detail while your child listens to the story (headphones in each ”room”).

There are mirrors, moving floors, a massive moon, a wooden hut, a boat, a red room, a terrifying room (the last tale), and more. Such a great feast for the imagination of the small tots, and grown-up folks!

Kids will especially like a dress-up room with a scene, accessories, and costumes. Nothing left but heading to the stage as a family and inventing a show!

Visit it once, and surely you will crave coming back!

Where?

Musée d’ethnographie de Genève (MEG)
Boulevard Carl-Vogt 65, 1205 Genève
Website: http://www.ville-ge.ch/meg/index.php

When?

Till Jan 5, 2019
Open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 11 am to 6 pm.

Entry fee

Adults: 9 CHF
Children: free
Many reductions (chomage, AVS, etc.)

AMAKids Geneva will blow your mind

AMAKids Geneva will blow your mind

There’s a new offer for ids in Geneva that I am so so so excited to tell you about! It is called AMAKids – mental arithmetic academy. Z took a trial class with Sandra and is now begging for more, which is a rare occasion with! I was blown away with what I saw.

 

THE SOROBAN

The concept is based on the Japanese calculation method used at schools. First kids learn how to use the Japanese abacus, aka soroban. It takes a few minutes. Then they use the method they discovered with soroban count in their heads. At first, I didn’t understand what it is all about and had some doubts. Mental arithmetic sounded a bit scary. But guys, my jaw dropped, in a good way.

WTH!

After several minutes of training and explanations, Sandra asked Z. to close her eyes and to use magical finger movements (thumbs go up to add numbers while pointing fingers go down do subtract). +3 -2 +1 +1 -3 +1, she was given a new number every 2.7 seconds (If I remember correctly). In the end, Z smiled and gave us the result. I was like, hell what!?

THE GOAL

The goal of this method is not to count fast, but rather to perceive and process ANY information as quickly as possible. Counting fast is just a bonus. Within a split of a second child can make multiple actions in their head, apply various rules and give the correct answer. This means that children can understand and PROCESS ANY information quicker.

As Sandra explained, after only two months of training, children can count in their heads while reciting a poem out loud. This shows the capabilities of the brain that are unexplored much. Also, in 2 years, a child can perform addition, subtraction, multiplication and division! It is possible because, in this method, both hemispheres of the brain work together. It helps kids not only count faster but think and solve problems more quickly. It increases their mental abilities in a fun way!

As Z. said – it was magical!

FUN

Yes, you heard me, in a fun way. Not the school way. During the class they use the abacus, a computer program, they play together, or even run around the table.

All your child need to know before starting the program is to count from 1 to 10. Nothing else. They don’t need to be emerged in math. Just counting from 1 to 10 and the program will work its magic.

MIND BLOWING

Here you can see an eight-year-old boy doing some crazy math while reciting a Russian poem. It is insane.

The only reason I am hesitating to enrol Z for next year is my fear of feeling completely dumb standing next to her. #parentingfailure.

15 MINUTES

To get to that level, though, more is needed than just one class per week. This is why kids gain access to the unique online program, to work 15 minutes, four days a week. It’s the homework that they must do to progress, it is checked but their teacher asap. They also get to take the soroban home with them to play and work.

I strongly recommend getting a date for a free trial lesson to see it for yourself, and check how your child will react to this magical course!

USEFUL INFO

Courses are given in English, and Russian. Soon, French will be added to the list. Stay tuned.

Next year classes will take place:

– in Ecole Schultz in Eaux Vives: Rue du 31 Décembre 8, 1207 Genève;
– and in Ecolint La Grande Boissiere: .

CONTACT DETAILS

http://www.amakids.ch/
Facebook: @amakidsgeneva
info@swissamakids.ch

May for families in Geneva

May for families in Geneva

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

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

Chateau du Vullierens

UNTIL JUNE 16

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

The castle also organizes brunches on weekends.

MORE INFO

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

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

Castle’s website is here.

RACE FOR GIFT

MAY 26

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

MORE INFO

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

fete de la dance

MAY 2-5

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

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

MORE INFO

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

Salon du Livre

MAY 1-5

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

MORE INFO

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

festival la coursde contes

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

MORE INFO

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

Marathon Geneve

MAY 11 – 12

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

MORE INFO

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

FETE DES MERES

MAY 12

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

HOPITAL DES NOUNOURS

MAY 13-19

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

 

MORE INFO

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

Alice in Wonderland at Simply Theater

MAY 17-26

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

Nuit des musees

MAY 18

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

MORE INFO

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

Semaine du livre petite enfance et famille

MAY 22-26

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

MORE INFO

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

OTHER EVENTS

THE WHOLE MONTH OF MAY

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

Animals in Geneva

Animals in Geneva

Spring is perfect to visit animals and get to know the better! There are some hidden gems in Geneva and around where your children can enjoy some time with fury (and not only) friends.

PARC CHALLANDES

It’s an animal refuge in Versoix. They are doing an amazing job saving many animals from misery and helping them thrive. Currently the park is home to felines, to monkeys, marmosets and tamarins, to birds such as parrots, sparrows, pheasants, ducks, peacocks, and owls as well as wild boars, squirrels, guinea pigs, rabbits and the occasional fox, wolf, or deer. Most of these animals can be released back into the wild once they are strong enough.

The park is fully funded by the generosity of its members and sponsors. You can easily become a member of its association to participate in their humble goals. Currently, they desperately need our help, any penny you can donate can make a difference!

DETAILS

The park is open to visitors every morning, including Sundays, from 9 .30 am to 12.30.
The first visit is free of charge. For any further visits, guests are requested to kindly become a member of association.

MORE INFO:
website (also in English).

ADDRESS:
33 Route de Valavran
1293 BellevueTPG: Bus V, stop “Valavran”.

SPA BERNEX

Another refuge is located in Bernex. It’s where you can come and adopt an animal looking for a home (dogs, vats, rabbits). But it is also where you can come three times a week to walk a dog for an hour or two! It’s a perfect way to teach children respect and show them responsibility before getting a dog, or simply to offer them outside with dogs for some reason, you can’t have one at home.

MORE INFO

Monday, Tuesdays, Fridays, from 2 pm till 5 pm.
Here’s the SPA’s website with more details.

ADDRESS:

Société Genevoise pour
la Protection des Animaux
Refuge de Vailly
5, Avenue de Cavoitanne
1233 Bernex

VIVARIUM

Reptiles anyone? Snakes maybe? Crocodiles, lizards, and other monsters (like spiders) await you in Meyrin in the Vivarium. It’s important to notice two things: you can organise your kid’s birthday party in Vivarium (hugging with lizards, carrying snakes included), or enrol your 8+ kid into a reptile school, where kids learn how to take care of these creatures.

MORE INFO
Opening hours: Mon-Tue: 14h – 17h; Saturday & Sunday 10h – 17h.
Tickets: 10 for adults, six CHF for kids aged 6-16.
More info about the exposition, birthdays, and the reptile school on Vivarium’s website.

ADDRESS
Rue du Cardinal-Journet 32A,
1217 Meyrin

Bois de la Bâtie

Adored by families in Geneva, Bois de la Batie is a small zoo. It allows visitors to observe many species of local or barnyard wildlife throughout the year. Spring is exceptionally spectacular in Batie as many residents of the park give birth to their babies. From the zoo, you can head out to the forests by the river, or a big playground nearby (paddling pool in summer), or to the barbeque areas.

MORE INFO
Opening hours from November till March: 8h – 18h.
Opening hours from April till October: 8h – 20h.
You’ll find details on this website.

ADDRESS
Chemin de la Bâtie 28, 1213 Petit-Lancy
TPG: Bus 2 et 19, stop “Clair-Vue”.

Ferme La Gavotte

 

La Gavotte is a non-profit organisation with the central goal of promoting the discovery, approach and knowledge of animals by children. The access to the site is free, and it is open every day of the year. Don’t mistake it for a zoo. In La Gavotte animals are spending time behind a fence but everyone can open the gate and go in to meet them in person. Animals to discover there are: horses, poneys, lamas, alpacas, Vietnamese Pot-bellied, sheep, goats, rabbits, hens, and more!
Also important to note is that the pony rides are organised every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday!

 

MORE INFO
Open every day.
Here’s the website of Ferme La Gavotte.

 

ADDRESS
Chemin des Verjus 138, 1212 Grand-Lancy
Accès par TPG : Bus 22 ou 42 – Arrêt Les Bruyères
Coordonnées GPS  : N 46°10.465′ –  E 6°06.015′

JARDIN BOTANIQUE

Famous for its playground, carrousel, boutique, and the views, Jardin Botanique is also a home to many animals. The animal park is dedicated to the preservation of ancient livestock. These animals cohabit with other unusual and exotic animals such as peacocks, flamingos and a large number of breeds of poultry.

MORE INFO
Free entry
From October 25th till March 31st: 9h30-17h00
From April 1st till October 24th: 8h00-19h30

ADDRESS
Chemin de L’Imperatrice 1,
1292 Pregny-Chambésy

Jardin Alpin

 

Located in Meyrin, it is a wonderful parc with magical and mesmerizing places. The villa in the parc hosts many different workshops and activities, and the park itself organizes very good exhibitions. The Chèvrerie is a little part of the parc with animals, two species to be exact: the Appenzell hen and the booted goat. In times of calving and broods, guided tours are organized by appointment.

 

MORE DETAILS
Much more info about the parc on its website.
Opening hours:
From May 1st till September 30th: 8h30-21h00
From October 1st till April 30th: 8h30-18h00

 

ADDRESS
Chemin du Jardin Alpin
1217 Meyrin

How many of these places have you already visited with the kids?

Moms-friendly French course with Spell

Moms-friendly French course with Spell

The first thing you need to know before reading this article is that I worked for Spell Languages for a year in the past and witnessed how amazing this school is no matter which teacher takes the class, no matter what age kids are, and no matter which language they are learning.

ABOUT SPONSORED ARTICLES

So yes, this is a sponsored article, one of those that pay my bills, but as always on Parentville, even a paid article appears here only because I believe the service or the product is worth sharing with you. As a result, every month, I turn down several paid collaborations. Either the brand does not meet my values, or I don’t think it will be useful for you.

Back to the topic.

Back in the past, I thought the one thing that was missing at Spell was the parent-child classes. But what I had in mind were lessons for kids. The idea could have not been realized back then. Now that Kasia, the founder of Spell Languages, is a fresh mom, she understood my idea and, as usual with her, took it to another level!

As a result, Spell now offers French classes for adults with kids!

MOMS WITH KIDS

Let me explain. You take your baby or your toddler, and without needing to find a creche, a nanny, or booking the grandma, you can go and learn French!

I participated in one of these classes the other day. It was wonderful! All adults and kids sitting on a colourful flow, pillows available, toys and children’s books in the middle. The teacher started revising passé composé and l’imparfait (blah), the moment she would see kids needing more attention she would switch to a kid-friendly activity – a song. Not any song though, but one that would be fun for kids, and bring new vocab to parents. A perfect mix!

Parents will also learn to read, acquire new vocab through children’s’ books that they will be asked to read to their children.

It is just fantastic! I remember advising some of my friends to start learning French via simple kiddy songs and books. They’re simple yet rich in new words, and you can find a children’s book probably for all grammar problems!

This is how the lessons go. Moms are learning, kids playing, walking/crawling around the room, bubbling with one another. Worksheets are involved, and occasionally some voluntary homework.

The end of the lesson takes the form of a casual conversation.

FLEXIBILITY IS KEY

There is one more important thing for moms/dads/nannies in this course. Lessons happen three times a week, but it is totally up to you how often you will come. You purchase a “pass” that will be valid for a certain amount of time (a month – 110 CHF, a trimester – 320 CHF, a semester – 420 CHF) and within that time you come to as many lessons as you’d like! You can join once a week for a while, then come three times a week, then change again. Alternatively, you can purchase 1 lesson at a time (for 25 CHF).

It takes so much stress away! You are not obliged to come, and will not lose the money if your baby was up all night and you can barely think in your native tongue, not to mention a foreign one. Your toddler gets sick; it’s still ok – stay in, take care of yourself and your kids and come back when you’re all in good shape again!

Current groups work up from the intermediate levels, but a beginner’s French group will start soon as well.

THE STAFF

The staff is gentle, helpful, used to working with small munchkins so they will never be disturbed with a child crying, singing, or making a mess. They will even assure your kid is safe and sound while it’s your turn to solve a grammar exercise.

LOCATION

The Spell Language centre is located in Geneva Old Town, at the Place de Bourg de Four. It is an old building without a lift or a place to leave the prams downstairs, but do not worry! A smiling Spell employee will come down to you and take your pram up and then down again. No hustle.

This is how it is at Spell: smiles, help, flexibility, and a solution to every problem small and big.

I wholeheartedly urge you to try these classes and be better prepared for when your child starts school or any form of a French-speaking social life. That is not even to be able to talk to the teachers and other parents but to avoid not understanding your kids talking about you their friends… (they will turn into teenagers sooner than you expect).  😉

Petit Marché, second-hand shopping made easy

Petit Marché, second-hand shopping made easy

When Anna moved to Switzerland with her two kids, she started searching for what she knew from Denmark – an easy way to buy and sell children’s second-hand clothes, toys, and gear, in other words, an app.

Searching

She found many ways to do it, but none of them seemed really easy. Facebook groups are difficult places to browse what we really need, posts get lost in overly long feeds, scheduling payments, appointments and reserving items can become a hustle. There are some websites out there, but not many people know about them, so the offer they propose is limited. She wanted a nice, easy to use app aimed at local families.

The solution

When she realised nothing like that existed here, she decided to try and do it. As a result, you can now download (iOS only for now) a beautifully designed app – Petit Marché, designed for the Geneva region families.

As it is designed by a Dane, it is as Hygge as an app can be. Nice, clean, friendly, easy to use.

Not only do we need to get rid of our kids’ too small clothes as no basement can hold it all forever, but we can also save money and our planet by buying second hand. Anna knows buying second-hand doesn’t seem the safe/cool way of shopping for everyone. That is why she created an app that answers all these doubts.

Buying & Selling

Within the app, you can browse through categories, buy and sell. The app solves many problems with already existing second-hand-shopping solutions. For example, once you find what you want you can click on “buy now” – the money on your credit card will be blocked but not yet transferred to the seller, it will only happen once you receive the item. You can also contact the seller directly to schedule other forms of payments.

Quality & Pricing

The app assures the high quality and reasonable prices of items being sold there, as Anna goes through every new selling post to approve it. This way you won’t waste time on going through worn off low-quality t-shirts put out there for a price of almost new.

Conciergerie

If you’re faced with Marie-Kondo-style pile of clothes to get rid off and don’t have the time/energy to photograph it all and manage the selling process, Anna can do it for you within the “Conciergerie” service! She will pick up the items, photograph them, put online with descriptions, meet up with buyers and coordinate every details od the selling process (commission: 25%).

Security

To assure people buying and selling within the app are serious and real, we all have to put in our banking details (IBAN) and the credit card number to start. Financial transactions are carried out by a professional payment provider securing the data and against fraud, so using the app is safe for everyone. If you only want to browse, no problem you can do it. Paying directly within the app though will financially support the app to grow further and assure even better service in the future with a tiny percentage of the sale going to the app’s owner.

I would be really grateful if you could spend a few minutes to download the app and check it out! Let me know what you think afterwards!

(And in any case – see you at the Petit Marché! I’ll be soon selling there Z’s clothes (sizes 5-6 years old) and looking for spring/summer clothes in sizes 6-7/122.)

This weekend in Geneva

This weekend in Geneva

When you guys tell me this website could serve you better, I always do everything I can to meet your needs. This is why Parentville is now equipped with an events calendar – perfect for planning weekends, Wednesdays, and all other days of the week.

You can search via dates, locations, and categories (including ages of children). There is one particular category with charity events and occasional categories such as “Easter camps” for example.

The calendar shows one-off, ponctual activities, festivals, and workshops.

If you hear about any event not included in the calendar, or are hosting one – let me know! I will happily include it (and yes, it is absolutely free).