HELP UKRAINE FROM GENEVA – THE BEST WAYS

HELP UKRAINE FROM GENEVA – THE BEST WAYS

The ongoing help for Ukraine and people escaping the war in this country is extraordinary! Most of the people from Ukraine flee to Poland and citizens of this country have been doing an amazing job – it’s a nationwide humanitarian action on all fronts.

Forgive me for the typos and chaotic writing. I haven’t slept well these past few days.

We all want to help, and we feel like we are helping the most when we donate things – second hand or new. Currently, the villages and towns at the PL-UA border have too much of things of all sorts. There is not enough place to store it if it rains it will be ruined. They have tons of shoes but not enough phone chargers, as an example. People at the site know best what is needed every day. The needs of Non-profits and NGOs working at the site keep changing.

Download this pdf and find out how you can help the best, reasonably, and why this is the way to go.

Please share.

 

help ukraine geneva
February 2022 for families in Geneva

February 2022 for families in Geneva

Hey, hey! How are you? We have just finished with December festivities and boom, February school break is coming up! I prepared a whole other article with propositions for the school holidays (link at the bottom of this page). Here, let’s see what’s up in Geneva in February in general.

Ready? Let’s do it!

Bibliotheque Municipal
all Geneva, all ages

 Did you know that Geneva’s libraries host various events for all ages? Yes, all ages. There’s “Lire avec bebe” (for babies, obviously), there are workshops, shows, movies, exhibitions. Morover, there is a big chance you live close to one of the Geneva City libraries. You can check their program here.

BOLO CLUB
Exhibition, all ages, Lancy

This winter, thirteen illustrators are taking over the Villa Bernasconi in Lancy with their children’s books already published or in the making. From the first sketches to the printed album, the exhibition unfolds colorful stories and tells the diversity of styles through original drawings, a host of large wooden characters, a cardboard bestiary, wallpapers, hangings or frescoes. on the windows, sounds and smells. And to better immerse themselves in the creative process, the artists offer a series of workshops on Sunday afternoons. More info here.

The big screen for kids
Cinema Grütli, till february 27.

By offering films from all over the world, from all eras and all styles, the Cinémas du Grütli offer children the opportunity to discover the pleasure of cinema on the big screen, in all its forms and in all its magic! This winter, children will be able to discover classics, great stories, and non mainstream productions. Wonderful, meaningful and fun movies await! More info here.

BOIS MAGIQUE
till February, 20; Plan-les-Ouates

We’re starting with Plan-les-Ouates’ annual treat for the youngest children (ages 0-4). The exhibition space in the La Julienne has ben transformed into an enchanted forest. It looks wonderful, topped with beautiful sounds creating a magic atmosphere. A place designed to offer relaxation, contemplation, wonder, creativity and sharing. For opening times and more practical details click here.

ANTIGEL 2022

Antigel is a traditional winter festival in Geneva. It’s a compilation of everything artistic. Concerts, shows, exhibitions, perfprmances, unique events. Some of the programmed events can be attractive to your family. Check it here.

LES TEMPS DES DINOSAURS
Palexpo, till April 22

A dino exhibition in Palexpo. It;s not huge, not very interactive and quite expensive but will surely be appreciated by kids who love these extinct creatures. There are many, from Tyrannosaurus to Triceratops,  altogether 50 animated specimens! They come to life, move, make sounds, growl.  This adventure is spread out on over  4,500 m2. Fun experience for all ages. More information on Palexpo’s website.

Solar power pioneers – exhibition
Quartier Libre SIG, till April 10

This exhibition is recommended for kids ages 8 and up. It is all about the story of solar power and its future. From the first mid-20th century prototypes by passionate engineers, to the latest achievements of solar-powered aviation and navigation, an exceptional number of projects have seen the light of day. Their common vision? Environmentally respectful mobility based on solar energy. Discover fabulous stories based on reports from pioneers in the field of the development of solar vehicles.

MUSEUMS

Main museums in Geneva have a rich program for kids and families. It’s not only about the exhibitions. They have kids-special guided tours, workshops, and other events. MEG even has an offer for babies! You can check their events here: MAH, MEG, Natural History Museum, ARIANA.

THEATRES

Winter is one of the best season to experience the warmth of the theatre halls, right? If you agree there is nothing left to do but to check the program and book your tickets. Geneva’s theatres have shows for small munchkins, big kids, and teenagers. Be sure to check their programs. Here’s where to look: TMG, AM STRAM GRAM, Theatre du Loup.

RELATED ARTICLES

 

Family winter day trips from Geneva

Family winter day trips from Geneva

How about getting away for a day? No need to search for a hotel, no need to go very far. One day trip can transform a weekend into a vacation-like time. It has the power to make you feel like the weekend was long and fruitful. Will you try? Below, you’ll find some simple propositions for winter day trips that everyone in the family can enjoy. And no, they are not mainly about snow.

Ready? Let’s do it!

PAPILIORAMA
in Kerzers

A wonderful place made of 3 domes and an outdoors mini zoo. The domes are devoted each to a different animal kingdom: tropics, butterflies (flying freely, hundreds of them!), and bats (flying freely in darkness). It’s a long trip but worth the struggle. Consider taking the CFF train and benefit from an offer that combines the train ticket and entry to Papiliorama. Find out more about Papiliorama here.

LEYSIN TOBOGGANING PARK
Leysin

Any sledging fans here? This is the place for you! This place is all about sledging, or tobogganing. No need to climb the hils, there’s a better way to get back up and start again. No need to search for a perfect spot – the tracks are there. No need to even take your sledge – everything is there. It’s a truly cool place! Find out mroe about it here.

SALT MINE IN BEX
Bex, Valais

How about a train ride into the mountain? Yep, not up the mountain, nor around it but into the mountain, where the salt mine hides! It’s a fascinating train ride and an exciting hike inside the mountain. Kids can try to dig some salt, or try salty water. Don’t forget to bring some alpine salt back home (from the gift shop). Check it here.

DOG SLEDGING

Is this how it is called in English? No idea, but you probably understand what I mean – dogs pulling the sledge! It’s a great experience in the winter wonderland and a day trip is a perfect timeframe to do it. In some cases, half a day will be enough. You can find dog sledging in Saint Cergue, around La Faucille and in many alpine resorts. Just google “chiens de traineau”.

EXPLORIT YVERDON

Have you ever been to Yverdon? In Winter? Here’s a perfect excuse: Explorit. A brand new place for kids. No, not a noisy indoors playground but a place to discover science, have fun and play! There’s also a cinema at the site. It’s on Parentville’s priority list of places to visit. Will you try to head over there too? Check this place out here.

ESPACE DES MONDES POLAIRES

Some love to visit this place in summer, but winter gives a great context to this visit. All about the polar worlds. A very interactive museum and…. ice skating rink! It’s all very pretty, and very fun. Totally #parentvillerecommended! See it for yourself here.

RELATED ARTICLES

 

February Holidays in Geneva, 2022

February Holidays in Geneva, 2022

You can have a great holiday week without leaving the city! What’s more, the week of fun in Geneva is possible for all budgets – just choose activities wisely. Apart from the parks, museums, and playgrounds, there are lots to do and see! Don’t ever believe people who claim Geneva is boring – Parentville is here to debunk this myth.

Ready? Let’s do it!

FREE AND ALMOST FREE

BOIS MAGIQUE
LANCY

A yerly winter exhibition in Lancy designed for children of ages 0-4. In a vast room, filled with calming sounds of nature, and a wonderful decorations, children can come to relax, create, read and discover. Entry: free of charge. More info here.

MAISON DE LA CREATIVITE
CONCHES

Better than any amusemnt park, Maison de la Creativite is a paradise for children and adults. Each room of this Villa is devoted to something else, but in each room children are invited to do what they want. They can use the space and objects however they wish. It unblocks cretaivity and lets the imagination live its best moments. What you can do? Paint, build, dress up, read, play – or best, ask kids. They will have unlimited answers.

Place for children ages 0-8. Free entry for kids 0-1 yo, the rest pays 3 CHF per person. Book your spot here.

CHOCOLATE TOUR BY PACKDSUITCASE
GENEVA CENTRE

Chris from PackdSuitcase invented an awesome way to make a walk through Geneva more adventurous. You simply stop at the best chocolate places and in each buy 1 chocolate piece (it should be around 1 CHF everywhere). Take different types, maybe even ask for recommandations, and at the end sit in a nice place for a degustation. And why not combinig it with a ride on mouette, or playground fun at Plainpalais?

You can see how Chris did it by checking her video here.

ICE SKATING

An ultimate winter sport perfomed in cities, mountains, and at the Olympics! There are many places to skate in the city. One of the most popular ones are the rink in Bastions (free entry, ice skates rental 2 CHF) and Carouge (free entry; skates free for under 6yo and 2 CHF for 6+). Fun guaranteed!

For better ice quality check professional rinks in Vergers (Meyrin) and Vernets (Geneva). The entry is not free but not expensive. To enter the rink in Vergers the prices are as follows: kids 0-6 free, 6-18 2,5 CHF, adults, 6CHF. Skates rental costs 3 CHF.

ANIMAL PARKS

You don’t have to travel farm to see the animals. In Geneva itself, zoo at Bois de la Batie is big enough and free of charge. Moreover, there is a new awesomeplayground next to it, a nice forest, and a possibility to go to the Viaduc de la Jonction to see the rivers meet. You can find more about animals in Geneva in this article.
Free entry, great for all ages.

GENEVA OLD TOWN

With small kids start at the Carousel de la Madelaine, then climb up the cobble stone roads to the old town. Visit Maison Tavel, or climb up the Cathedral and visit the archelogical site of the Cathedral. You can also simply get lost in the old town – make kids choose the way at every intersection. Take a picnic or stop for crepes. You can then stop at the playground here or go down to Bastions to play there or try ice skating!

LITTLE PRICE FOR GREAT FUN

BAINS DE CRESSY
Onex

One of Geneva’s warmest swimming pool, decorated with lots of plants is a great escape from the cold outside. It’s bright, warm, and big enough to make it fun. There are some jets, showers. There is also a hammam, sauna, and aromatherapy rooms.

Cost: Adults 24 CHF, kids 7-15 16 CHF, kids 3-6 yo 6,50 CHF. More information here.

 

AIRLOOP
Lancy

A new awesome place to help kids burn all the energy they accumulate! A trampoline parc with lots of cool jumping activities: spider accrobranche, joust, interactive wall, diving in foam blocks and more! There is even a special space for kids 1-5 years old!

Cost: kids 1-5yo 10CHF, everyone from 6+ 17 CHF. More information here.

 

CLIMBING

All kids go through a climbing phase and it’s definitely btter to let them do it in a specially designed climbing space than on shelves at home. There are several places for kids to climb in Geneva, either on blocks or big walls while using a rope. You can check Parentville’s list of climbing places here.

Cost: from 10 CHF per personbut prices differ between places.

CINEMA

Why not trust the old and good outings consiting a bag of popcorn and a movie? Minstream theatres have some kids and family movies on screens right now (“The Wolf and The Lion” or the “Around The World in 80 Days”, and more). But don’t forget to check Cinema Bio, or Cinema Grutli with its special program for kids this winter!

 

BOWLING

A fun family outing indeed. Laugh, compete, eat fast food and enjoy your stressless day. You can bowl in Balexert and LaPraille.

 

ULTIMATE MINI GOLF EXPERIENCE
EAUX-VIVES

Did you know there is a mini golf bar in Geneva? It’s not really designed for families, as it is really is a bar, but if you go in early afternoon, you shouldn’t see to many young adults having their kind of fun ;). There are three different courses to try, one of them is fluo wonderland “fade to Black”.

Cost: 20 CHF per person (plus drinks). More info here.

 

WORTH EVERY PENNY

GAME OVER

Game Over is an Escape Room in Paquis with one game suitable for kids ages 8+ and oh boy – it’s in Harry Potter style with wands that work (sic!), walls that move and even more exciting details. It’s not even about finishhing the game and unravelling the mystery 100%, just playing with make your faces smile! I talked about our experience here. You can check more details and book your session here.

Cost: 150 CHF (for 2-6 players).

SENSA GENEVA

Sensas is not an escape room, it’s a place to experience all senses – some of them in complete darkness. The challenges are completely harmless and utterly exciting. It is so so fun! One of the best experiences we had so far. I wrote about it here.

Cost: from 46 CHF per person (min 4 needed to play). More information here.

FLUO SPORTS

How about trying a well-known sport in a new way or a new sport in a unique way? Well, the best place to do it is Fluo sports in Geneva. Play badminton, or futball, or other games in a fluo environment! It looks awesome and it cool. Some adults may not understand the thrill, but kids will definitely appreciate this experience! You can go as family, or invite your kids’ friends. For some games only 2 players are needed, some games need bigger teams. You can find out more about it here.

CRAZY SCHOOL

Ok, not in Geneva but almost – in Annemasse. A fairly new place like. This place is a combination of escape rooms and sensory challenges. One of the parcours is even adapted to prams and wheelchairs – everyone can join!

Cost: from 20 EUR per person.

RELATED ARTICLES:

February camps 2022

February camps 2022

Welcome to the list of February camps. Parents have fewer vacation days than kids. For many of you, camps are necessary. For others, it’s an occasion to introduce kids to something new or organize a week full of joy and new friendships. No matter the reason, this list is for you! In this article, I tried to compile as much as I could find.

Disclaimer: camps propositions with visuals and descriptions are paid listings from trusted, hand-picked organizations. At the bottom of the page, you’ll non-sponsored camps listings.

Ready? Let’s do it!

planet climbing february camp geneva lancy

PLANET CLIMBING
5+, Lancy

Planet Climbing offers HOLIDAY CAMPS for your child where they will enjoy a great mix of sports-related to climbing and other fun and creative activities. These week-long camps are not only for “climber-kids”! Every child will enjoy the time learning new skills and making friends. All our camps are fully guided and ensure all have a safe and fun time.
In the program: climbing games in our climbing gym, outdoor climbing day (optional), kids yoga, arts and crafts, treetop courses, parkour introduction, fluo sports room and more outdoor games in collaboration with third-party providers (some specific activities may vary due to weather, season and availability).
Join the fun and push your vertical limits for fun!

Groups of 8 kids max. Weekly and daily booking possible. From 08:30 to 17:00. Extra child-care hours on-demand.
Full week (Mon-Fri) – 490 CHF
Day – 115 CHF
*Discount of -10% on the full week price if at least four bookings at the same time (family/friends).

Details, booking instructions and more here.

les petits bricolos february camp geneva

WOODWORKING WITH LES PETITS BRICOLOS
Bastions/Plainpalais area

During this camp children will not only make things but will create things they can use! They can build their own sledge for example and use it this winter! They can also make crossbows, mazes, a table, or a box. Building with own hand is utterly satisfying, builds self-confidence and pure joy!

Every day from 9am to 5pm.
100CHF/day or 400CHF/week. Children need to bring their own food.
More info: Les Petits Bricolos.

SPELL LANGUAGES
4+, Plainpalais

Language and play feast at Spell this winter is looking great. There are four camps in four languages: English, French, Italian and Spanish. The program includes ice-skating, a visit to Santa’s house, pottery, pizza making, playing with Emys Robot, and more. And while enjoying all these activities, your child will learn or improve the language of your choice.

A week of half days (9h00-12h30) 460 CHF
A week of full days (9h00-16h30): 660 CHF
Lunch: 3-dish meal available for additional 10 CHF/day.

To explore all the options, please go to Spell Languages website.

gymboree february camp geneva

GYMBOREE
3-8 YO, GRAND-SACONNEX

Gymboree’s BILINGUAL FEBRUARY CAMPS on 14-18 February is a non-parent participation activity for 3 to 6-year-olds either mornings 8h30-12h or afternoons 13h-16h30 or all day 8h30-16h30.
It is time for children to have fun and make new friends. It is also an opportunity to learn French and/or English. Activities include art projects, play and movement time on our specially designed equipment, music and songs, imaginary play, tactile time, story time, and more.

Price:
CHF 330 for a week of half-days.
CHF 550 for a week of full days (lunch not provided).
You’ll find all the details on Gymboree’s website.

totem february camps meyrin

MULTI FUN CAMPS AT TOTEM
4+ and 6+, Meyrin & Versoix

Climbing is perfect for kids, even for the very young ones! Like a giant puzzle that needs to be solved, climbing requires flexibility, coordination, and strength. Patience, constant focus, and an ability to analyze problems are important in order to reach the top of the wall. Climbing lessons, birthday parties, or camps – Totem has got you covered!
MULTI FUN CAMPS, 6+ (Meyrin, Versoix)
This camp offers indoor climbing in the morning and in/outdoor activities in the afternoon. Mornings are all about discovering indoor climbing through, classes, games and animations. Afternoons are filled with outdoor group games, tree-top climbing, aerial circus, pastry making, ziplines, slacklines, cultural visits and more (all depends on the weather). A super fun week on climbing walls, dedicated to the joys of gravity, while having fun.
• From 8:30am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday.
• Lunch, snacks & transport to activities are included.
• For a small fee, we offer extended care hours from 7:30am to 6:30pm
MINI FUN CAMPS, 4-6 YO (Meyrin)
 
In a safe environment, adapted to younger kids, Totem offers the maximum fun for the minimum transportation, as all the activities will be on site, in TOTEM or just around the corner! Kids will have fun climbing, experiencing zipline, abseiling, rope swing slackline, aerial circus and much more! Practical details are the same as for the Multi Fun camps.
Find out more and register on Totem’s website.
february camp tot up

TOTUP
3-8 YO, LANCY 

Tot Up is one of these brilliant places that take of kids under the school-age during the holidays. This time the theme is “Travel to the Middle Age”. The camp will be filled with arts, sports, games, songs, and outings! These camps are bilingual (English, French), includes a full meal plan, and care provided by devoted professionals.
Half-days:  350 CHF/ week (7:00-14:30)
Full Days: 500 CHF (from 7:00-19:00)
Reservations: info@totup.ch

OTHER CAMPS:

January for families in Geneva 2022

January for families in Geneva 2022

Happy New Year! I hope 2022 will be treating you well! There are some fun family events in January in Geneva this year! Not a huge amount but enough to stay occupied. We’re starting the year similarly to the last one, with coronavirus having a party at our cost. But, let’s hold on tight, keep good spirits. Spring will come sooner than we all think, and if we keep on being responsible and following the measures, all will be fine.

The list will contain events in indoor spaces and others that may not be super safe in this situation. I hesitated, but I gather we are all adults, and we can all make our own decisions and take our risks. Unless the Federal Council or Geneva state tell us otherwise, these places are open, and it’s up to each individual to decide on the outing. Just remember – masks (best for kids too), and stay home if you don’t feel 100% healthy. Please, don’t take sneezing or coughing kids, especially to indoor events. Let’s all keep taking care of each other and not just ourselves.l

Bak to the main subject. Family fun in January in Geneva!

Are you ready? Let’s do this!

BOIS MAGIQUE
14 January – 20 February, Plan-les-Ouates

We’re starting with Plan-les-Ouates’ annual treat for the youngest children (ages 0-4). The exhibition space in the La Julienne has ben transformed into an enchanted forest. It looks wonderful, topped with beautiful sounds creating a magic atmosphere. A place designed to offer relaxation, contemplation, wonder, creativity and sharing. For opening times and more practical details click here.

Le Temps des Dinosaurs
till April 22nd; Palexpo

A giant exhibition for all kids fascinated by the world of Dinosaurs. There are many, from Tyrannosaurus to Triceratops,  altogether 50 animated specimens! They come to life, move, make sounds, growl.  This adventure is spread out on over  4,500 m2. Fun experience for all ages. More information on Palexpo’s website.

Geneva Lux
21 January – 6 February, Geneva Center

Every winter, once Christmas decorations bore our eyes, Geneva starts to shine! Geneva Lux is an open-air exhibition of light sculptures and installations spread around the lake. Some of the works come back every year, others visit the city one time only. There’s a separate article about it on Parentville, you can read it here.

Donne-moi la main on va traverser la rue
till 20 February, Bibliotheque de la Cite

A new exhibition at the la Cite Bibliotheque (destined for 9+) is a visual and sound experience. It shows the graphic universe of the artists and relates the strong link she has with her hometown, Beirut. The exhibition is bathed in the sounds recorded in Lebanon. Wander through the heart of a gigantic fresco to discover her works or even hear the artist’s voice. Many workshops and meetings accompany this exhibition, you can find out more about it here.

POP UP SHOP- LES ARCADES
till the end of January; Gland

The municipality of Gland helped create the first popo up oin the city, that supports local enterpreneurs. The Pop-Up Shop is a living commercial space of 400m2 made available for two months to artisans, local artists and other micro-enterprises, allowing them to launch their activities and test their attractiveness. Check their Facebook page to see what’s on on which day. It’s a lovely place! Available till the end of January.

MAISON DU SALEVE

A perfect place for a family outing, with kids as young as 3yo: bwith oth indoor and outdoor options! You can visit the permament playful exhibition about everything-Saleve; or a temporary exhibition “La forêt, maison des animaux” – designed especially for children. If you’d like to avoid indoors a the moment, La Maison du Saleve has a lovely small parc behind the building, and is a starting point of a short and easy hike. You can find out all the informatoin here.

ICE SKATING

One of the simplest outing to organize. With skating rings in many places of the canton (Bastions, Grand-Saconnex, Vernets, Vergers, Charmille, Sous-Moulin). Remember to take gloves, they are obligatory, and enjoy this winter sport in the city! You can find out more information here.

AMSTRAMGRAM THEATRE

AmStramGram is putting on stage to shows in January: Woodbeat and Willy Wolf.

Woodbeat is a show for small spectators (2+), and does not require being a French-speaker. Willy Wolf is a super fascinating show for kids 8+ with acrobatics and a motorcycle! You can book your tickets here.

THEATRE DES MARIONNETTES

This month, the theatre invites children 8+ to a show about, in short, animals. Their wilderness and domestication. A story of a dog, whose life changes overnight and who discoveres ancestral force awakaning inside him. You’ll find more information here.

MUSEUMS

Let’s not forget about workshops and activities in the museums! MEG has activities for all ages, even for babies (click here). Ariana offers visiting with kids by using their treasure hunt charts, there is a cute play area and more (here’s your link). Last but not least, there’s MAH with the famous activities for small and older – you can check the program here.

RELATED ARTICLES

Geneva Lux

Geneva Lux

Geneva lights up not only for Christmas. No, no, no. The end of January marks the start of the Geneva Lux Festival. It will last till 06.02.2022. Illuminated pieces of art in the streets of Geneva are a perfect reason to get dress warmly and make good use of the early nightfall. And please do. It is a wonderful visual feast!

Geneva LUX makes the city colorful, artful, and joyful in the coldest weeks of the year!

Emergence and Abyss

My favourite 2022 Geneva Lux edition pieces this year are the Emergence and Abyss.

You’ll find the Emergence right at the lake between Pierres du Niton and Jet d’Eau. Created by a Geneva-based artists – Odonata, is all about a wonderland, dancing on the lake and dreams. Citing the original website, “An ode to the emergence of life, its beauty, its evanescence and the urgent need to preserve it”.

The Abyss is under the Mont-Blanc bridge, on the promende on the Rive side. It’s a fresco created by Thomas Perrodin, a well-known artist in Geneva. It’s about a place between two worlds – the creatures of the depths and those leaving on the surface. The place is brought to life by colorful beams, reminding us how the world looks different depending on the light. Or even more so, how our vision of the world shapes our reality.

 

Old & New

There are other pieces of the art of light as well. Some are new, some have earned a “traditional January Geneva decor” stamp (the floating buoys in front of the Hotel des Bergues for example). I’ve also fallen in love with Pinta Cura at Place de Montbrillant – be sure to see it and let me know what you think about it and how it makes you feel. 

FOR FAMILIES

There are 2 family trails already programmed on the map! So how about an evening out with a hot cup of something chocolate?

Both family trails are doable with a pram and not too long for older kids. They also lead to the artworks that children will enjoy the most.

How to plan the adventure?

The official website has an interactive map, where all the artworks are pinpointed and described. It also lets you choose from several trails, two of them were especially though for Families (fingers crossed that next year we will also see a wheelchair-friendly trail).

PRACTICAL INFO

Location: the streets of the City of Geneva
Dates: 21.01.2022 – 06.02.2022
Website: evenements.geneve.ch/genevalux-oeuvres/

Christmas gifts from Geneva

Christmas gifts from Geneva

It’s time to think about the gifts. With kids room overflowing with toys, what can we get them? In this article you’ll see propositions of locally made gifts that make sense.

The list will focus on gifts that last, that bring value, and those that are not material products but experiences that will stay in memory as something awesome.

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

It is the perfect time to support local enterpreneurs and local businesses. So why not?

CREATIVITY

Think Out Of The Box
a creative subscription

Join the adventure of creating something new every 2 months. You’ll receive all the necessary materials to create a masterpiece. The projects are always adapted to the season. You’ll all have fun discovering new surprises of good quality. The advantage is that these sets won’t have to create a lot of CO2 to get to your place, as everything is made locally. This is the gift that will last, that will occupy hands and spark creativity.

Check it out: thinkoutthebox.ch

RECRECREA
creative kits upcycling style

This is a highly eco gift idea. All Recrecrea does is creating from clean industrial waste that would otherwise end up at the recycling center. And all Bobine & Green does is pure beaty! Togeher they created these creativity sets that will please all tastes and that are as zero-waste as possible.

The range of possibilities is endless: color, glue and cut different materials to combine together to start or continue the DIY adventure at home. Kids receive the materials and create whatever they want or follow some instructions/inspirations. There 6 themes to choose from: Unicorn, Dinosaur,  Mouse, Princess, Jungle, Llama.

Check it out here: recrecrea.ch.

Funky Frames
Frames that live

Funky frames is a great concepts of framed illustrations that are not onnly pretty and fun but also – always go out of the frame. There is always one element that will peek outside in a silly way. You can get one frame and change the illustrations as child grows or changes passions. Why do I love it? Because it shows that coloring within the lines is not a rule, shows to think out of the box, to not be afraid of using ideas that do not fit in the current world.

Check them out here: funkyframes.com.

GOOD READ

KALEIO

How about a gift in a form of great read that comes to the mailbox every two months? Kaleio is a Swiss magazine for girls (and the rest of the world). Fascinating articles about every posisble field. Political science, biology, personal stories, emotions. You can read more about Kaleio here on Parentville. Every child (8+) will find something interesting to read in Kaleio. New issue comes out every two months. We love it here, I hope you will too.

More info: kaleiomag.ch.

Petite Salamandre & Salamandre Junior

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 (plus additional two special issues 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.

Tichéri a les cheveux crépus
by Licia Chery

Tichéri a les cheveux crépus – An important and incredibly good book for all children, but maybe especially for those who are native English speakers and go to French speaking school. This book will not only help them to understand feelings of a little black girl, but also learn what words are racist in French. Despite the subject, the book is very light and not overwhelming. You can look it up here.
Big success at Parentville HQ. Licia Chery is a  singer, RTS presenter with a wonderful personality, you  may know her from RTS. She has recently also published a book, “Noir en Couleur”, a strong biographical story that evokes the history of his African ancestors and their slavery. Check it out here.

BTW I prepared a round up of BLM resources in the past, you can see it here.

Your Adventures at Cern: Play the Hero Among Particles and a Particular Dinosaur!
by Letizia Diamante

A very new book by Geneva-based Letizia Diamante about Geneva-based Cern! Created for kids. It’s a great book that presents the scientific world to children in a very fun and interactive way. The book is filled with facts, mysteries, games, and quizes. Great gift to spark curiosity! It is available on Amazon.

EXPERIENCES

COLOR TA VIE
Lausanne

A marvelous place for people of all ages, for families, kids, adults alone. The place is located in Lausanne and I assure you – it is worth the journey. So, what is it? It’s a big room, that you enter wearing protective clothes. Then it’s you against the canvas on the wall. You have many dofferent tools to your disposal: by jumping, dancing, splashing and giggling you will create a unique masterpiece. You can see how we had fun there here.

More information here.

SENSAS
Geneva, 7+

An unforgettable type of fun! Sensas is all about challenging all our senses – in dark rooms, in a special pool, and… nope. I will not spoil all the surprises. It’s a great place to organize a birthday party or to have lots of laughter as a family. We tried it and we will surely go back!

Check it out here: Geneva.sesnas.top

 

SOMETHIING NEW

Your child dreams of trying new sport? Ice skating? Horse riding? Wall climbing? Why not turning it into a Christmas gift? Or making a family adventure of it? Maybe your child loves swimming and would enjoy a pass to Vitam Parc?

Or maybe they are dreaming of learning to play an instrument? Thinking about constructing a robot? Everything is possible. Most places offer discovery classes, trial courses, and private one-on-one experiences.

You can start searching here.

REALFLY
SION, 5+

How about the first indoor skydiving simulator in Switzerland? It’s in Sion and it is a big thrill! It is a wind tunnel that allows to experience flying. I guarantee it will be an unforgettable experience, and one that you may be tempted to repeat regurarly.

Find out more here: realfly.ch.

ALAIA BAY
SION

How about surfing in Swiss Alps? It is possible in Sion over at Alaia Bay – the biggest artificial waves in Europe. Children must be at least 120 cm tall to try it out. Oh, have I mentioned it is also possible in winter? I repeat: a beach experience in winter in the Alps. Do you think your child would like that?

You can find out more here: alaiabay.ch.

Hameau du Pere Noel – not only in winter

Hameau du Pere Noel – not only in winter

A very honest review with surprising tips, not so great pics, and vocabulary too poor to truly present how unique is the Hameau du Père Noel.

DESIGNER’S BRAIN

Just 10 mins drive from the Swiss-French boarder of Bardonnex, lies the village of Santa, his siblings, and the elves. Each house is decorated with a jaw dropping attention to detail. Imagining what was happening in the brains of people who designed this village is an activity I can never avoid while visiting. It’s just so unbelievably fairy-taily.

SANTA’S HOUSE

Santa’s house let’s us have a glimpse into his private and professional life. What does he eat? How does he store letters and plans his journey? What is he doing in France – shouldn’t he be busy in Lapland now? All these, and more, questions will be answered by Santa himself, or one of his siblings. A tricky thing is, Santa is fast asleep from December 1st till the 24th… (you can hear him snore). The elves on the other hand are very busy, but also very shy. You can hear them, almost see them, but they are quick…

SANTA’S SISTER – STORYTELLER

His sister, Mere Noel, has a very cosy house. Downstairs, she keeps a selection of dresses, but also tells stories in a very snug room – a delight! You can also visit upstairs where she sleeps and probably works.

SIBLINGS RIVARLY

His brother, Père Fouetard, is a mean and angry fellow. Probably jealous of his brother’s fame (siblings rivalry big time). To be honest it must suck to have a brother everybody loves and be given a different role just because he was born in a different year. Of course, we don’t really know the whole story, but let’s show him some compassion. He is the one most eager to chat with everyone… and it is never a jolly conversation. His house is funny though, so pretend you’re brave and go in.

Hameau du Père Noel is also the garden with a giant Christmas tree, elves garden, Santa’s sledge with its runway (!!!), and letterboxes. There is also a buvette with crepes and beverages, as well as a gift shop with everything you may need for Christmas.

ENTER NIGHT

There is also Marchand de Sable – Sandman. He is the one responsible for a goodnight sleep and beautiful dreams. But in the Hameau du Pere Noel he is not sprinkling magical sand into visitors’ eyes. He is the collector of dummies (aka pacifiers). He is the guardian of dummies, and has created a magical place whee children can part with their dummy when they are ready and hang it on one of the many christmas trees. For each dummy, he will buy a dinner for a child in a Third World country. At the end he presents dummies of celebrities: Harry Potter, Batman, the Invisible Man, Mickey Mouse, and more! I wonder how many you can guess.

ANIMALS

At the end take a quick walk down the road to find where Santa hid his animals. His reindeers are kept in a real secret location but here you can see and pet rabbits, deers, ponies, sheep, goats, and calves! Additional entry ticket is needed to visit this venue (it is not an official part of the Hameau). Few more details about it here.

PRACTICAL TIPS

For obvious reasons, Hameau du Père Noel is cray crowded on December’s Wednesdays and Weekends. My advise is to go there in early November or in January (no crowds, Santa not asleep). It is also a fab trip in summer (personally tested by yours truly). Of course, the most fun happens during Noel – check the program on their website. The staff assured me that on the 24th we can even see Santa take off – anybody wants to check it for me please?

You will be asked to leave the pram by the entry. The venue is big but not big enough to welcome everyone with a pram. Hameau is 100% wheelchair adapted. Address: Le Hameau du Père Noël 75 rue des alouettes 74350 Saint-Blaise Offical website: Hameau du Pere Noel.  
Christmas season 2021 in Geneva for families

Christmas season 2021 in Geneva for families

Ho Ho Ho! There are so many Christmas events this year, so much wonderfulness, it seems that we will be rewarded for the dryness of the previous year. Christmas 2021 here we come!

Without any further ado,

Let’s do it!

MAIN EVENTS

NOEL AU JARDIN
November 18 – December 26

Geneva’s own Christmas market moves this year from Bastion to Jardin Anglais. Christmas by the lake sounds indeed marvelous! It’s an absolute not-to-miss: lots of food, including the famous Fondue Chalet, activities for kids in the yourts, shows, concerts, and local artisanals. In short: eat, have fun, and get Christmas gifts locally!

More info: here.

HAMEAU DU PERE NOEL
& GRAND PARC DE NOEL

Hameau du Pere Noel is an incredible place. It’s a village in nearby France (a really short drive) in which Santa lives with all his family. The decorations are mindblowing and the whole setup feels as real as it can be. You can read all about it here. This year’s particularity: Santa will be tehre the whole time (usually he is asleep in December). But that is not all! The neighboring Grand Parc d’Andilly was transformed into the Grand Parc de Noel! You can get one ticket to visit both places on the same day (a shuttle bus will take you from to the other) or decide to visit just one. Both places have shops by the exit, with all you may need for a magical Christmas.

For Hameau du Pere Noel click here.
For the Grand Parc de Noel it’s here.

MONTREUX NOEL
November 19 – December 24

The most famous Christmas market in the region is back (no Covid pass needed for the outdoors activities). It’s big, beautiful, by the lake. Lots of stalls with food and possible Christmas gifts. But the special feautures are what makes it amazing:

  • La Maison du Pere Noel – a short train ride up the mountain to the Rochers-de-Naye (at 2042 m) will take you to Santa’s house. An opportunity to meet Santa, talk to him, and even get a small surprise, and woohoo – a certificate of meeting Santa! More info here.
  • Light On Ice (till January 6) – the most spectacular and magical ice rink in the region! See it for yourself here.
  • Flying Santa – the traditional treat! See Santa’s sledge fly above Lake Geneva in Montreux. I’m not joking – chek it out.
  • Christmas activities at Chateau Chillon – all info here.

ICE SKATING

Ice skating is back after 2 years! For the best ice quality head to Vernets or Vergers. For the charm – Bastions or Carouge. For fun – any ice rink in the canton will do. Each municipality, and many neighborhoods will have their own ice rinks. On each rink gloves are obligatory, on each you can rent skates. Some will offer classes or fun activities for kids. And most will have a buvette with something sweet/hot to reward the skating efforts. Enjoy!

SANTA’S CHIMNEY – bricolage workshop (6-10 yo)
December 11, Chateau de Prangins

An unforgettable Saturday at the Château, spiced with history, original creations and a tasty Christmas snack!
Program includes a visit of the castle, a creative workshop, and a snack. The price is 25 CHF per child, reservations are required. More info here.

CIRQUE DE NOEL
November 27 – January 9, Plainpalais

Acrobatics, clowns, magic tricks all in Christmas atmosphere. Attention: the show includes animals performing tricks. You can check more information on their website.

Coupe de Noel
December 18-19, Jardin Anglais

Swimming in the winter waters of Lake Geneva anyone? Even if not, it’s a great event to watch. Christmas Cup brings together more than 3,000 swimmers – 500 in competition and 2,500 in fancy costumes! Check out the details here.

OTHER CHRISTMAS MARKETS

CHRISTMAS IN CAROUGE

Like many municipalities in the canton, Carouge will celebrating the holiday season. How? In two ways. First of all there’s the Christmas Market from the 10th till the 12th of December. The second traditional celebration is called “Carouge Magique” and it is a wonderland: luminous art installations in the charming streets of this special city may surprise you (birds on the fountains, carps above your head).

Marché de Noël at Rudolf Steiner School
November 24, Confignon

In most Steiner schools around the world, the Christmas market is a traditional time of celebration. It is the fruit of many months of work on the part of families, teachers and friends of the school. On the program this year: a concert, raffle, and around thirty stands with the handmade and artisanal creations.

CHRISTMAS MARKET BY KIDS FOR KIDS
December 8th, Bastions

The traditional Christmas market held by the pupils of the primary schools of the City of Geneva returns to the Bastions. Under the heated Escalade tent, by selling games and toys they learn the value of things, but most importantly to give a new life to old toys. Happiness is not about having the latest gadgets. More info here.

Herstreet little Xmas market
4-5 December, Eaux-Vives

Herstreet is organizing a local makers’ market, which will show their offer for Christmas decorations and gifts. For children, a special Santa’s grotto awaits – with Santa of course (social distancing between Santa and the kids as we don’t want to get him sick for Christmas). An animator will also host groups of kids to create Christmas ornaments (during that time parents can calmly enjoy the market). You can read more details about this event here.

Noel a Lancy
December 1-5, Lancy

Christmas market in Lancy will be filled with interesting stalls, activities concerts, shows and beautiful illuminations. You can consult the full program on this webiste.

NOEL A LA FERME
November 13 – December 18, Ferme de Bude

Every Saturday, from November 13th to December 18th, two partner stalss will settle in the farm’s yard. An opportunity  to enjoy local products and share the passion of taste. You can see the full schedule here.

L’éco-marché de Bubble Ethic
December 4-5; Saint-Gervais

Close to the train station, the new premises of Voisins de Saint-Gervais and their coworking cafe, host an eco-market in honor of local and sustainable creation. The cherry on top? Brunch! Check it out.

SHOWS

CHRISTMAS CAROL
November 27 – December 19; Simply Theater, Versoix

Simply Theatre bring Charles Dickens’ festive tale back to Geneva following their smash-hit 2017 run, in an enchanting stage adaptation full of joy, song, and magic – the perfect festive treat for all the family!

For more information and tickets press here.

CINDERELLA by GAOS
November 26 – December 5, Nyon

Gaos is the Geneva Musical Theater society. They prepare 3 shows each season, along with other ponctual events. Now is the time for their winter production – Cinderella, Alan P. Frayn’s traditional pantomime. It’s a show for all ages, though because of its lenght probably best with kids older than 4 (but decide yourself, of course).

You can find out more and book your ticktes here.

CONTES DE NOEL
December 1 & 8; Plan-les-Ouates

This seasonal storytelling event is a part of the exhibition at La julienne “Ho Ho Ho! From Saint Nicolas to Santa Claus” (from November 26 to December 23). You can register for free up to 2 hours before the performance. Then on site within the limit of the remaining places. Children must respect the minimum age (minimum 5 yo) and be accompanied by an adult. Covid certificate compulsory for 16 years old and over.

OTHERS

ESCALADE

Not at all Christmas related but the most important celebration in Geneva happens in December. You can find out all what it’s about in my article here. As for this year’s Escalade events we’ll have the traditional parade. The rest of the program will be available here soon.

ICE SKATING

The most christmasy urban sport there is! And there are plenty of rinks in the canton. Almost every neighborhood and every municipality provides a rink. For good ice quality check Vernets and Vergers (Meyrin). For charm go to Bastions or Carouge. For fun try eny rink closest to you. All ice skating places provide skates for rent. Gloves are always obligatory. All places have an accompanying buvette with hot drinks and simple snacks. Some of them (like Vernets) have accompanying restaurants with good menu and fondue!