This year started with record-high temperatures. For many families, this end-of-the-year holiday has always meant sledging and snowman-building somewhere in the nearby mountains. This year it’s only possible if you’re up for driving farther and higher. But! There’s a lot to do in Geneva with kids this January week.

This list contains ideas for all ages, abilities, wallets, and all types of weather.

Ready? Let’s do it!

1.

Quartier Libre. A new playful, educational and interactive exhibiot brought to us by SIG, straight from Paris. It tackles the theme of light and the energy of nature. Brace yourself to be captured in the spider’s web, trigger wind, grow flowers on your head, and marvel at fireflies! As soon as it gets dark, two outdoor projections are added to the exhibition!

Entry is free, the venue is open every day. There is a treasure hunt available to help kids discover this exhibition. Pedagogical file and treasure hunt available on request at exposition@sig-ge.ch.

2.

It’s the last week to see the Cirque de Noel! Accrobations and tricks prepared for their show this season are really cool, some wowing, others thrilling! all in all, a good show. Get your tickets and enjoy this faily outing that kids will talk about for weeks to come.

Tickets here. Location: Plainpalais. Combine with a stroll in the Old Town, or a stroll through Carouge Magique exhibition after dark.

3.

The Science History Museum‘s current temporary exhibition is all about the mountains. What attracts a scientist to the universe of the mountains? Why attempt to climb the highest peaks when you are a scientist? What measurements and experiments to do there? The exhibition explores the link, between the mountain and the human.

This taming of a hostile and dangerous world was made from observations, stories of pioneers in the 17th century already, but it was the Age of Enlightenment that opened wide the doors to the exploration of « glacials » and from the high altitude and more particularly from the highest European peak, Mont-Blanc. This adventure dating back more than 2 centuries continues today, with the Alpine ecosystem remaining a valuable laboratory for understanding climate change.

Free entry. Location: Perle du Lac. Non accessible with prams or wheelchairs.

Combine with: playtime in the park, Jardin Botanique, a ride ona mouette.

4.

If you haven’t had a chance to visit the famous Hameau du Pere Noel and the Grand Park d’Andilly before Christmas, now it’s the perfect less crowded time! It’s in France, a quick drive from Geneva, and a must-visit. Both places are wonderfully designed and make visitors feel as if they entered a fairy tale world. I wrote about it here.

Tickets here. Location: France. Combine with: a visit to the great Maison du Saleve.

5.

Have you ever visited Vivarium in Meyrin. It’s a rather small but fascinating place with reptiles, spiders, and amphibians. It’s easily reachable with public transport, and absolutely worth your time.

Tickets: here. Location: Meyrin. Combine with: Jardin Alpin in Meyrin or CERN.

6.

Geneva’s Cathedral is a great place to visit, even better if you plan to visit it from the underground way up to the tower. Climbing the north tower to benefit from the magnificent view of Geneva is great! But di you know you can also visit the archeological site located under the cathedral? It’s fascinating, interesting and such a boost for kids’ imagination.

Tickets and practical info here. Location: Old Town. Combine with: Maison Tavel, Parc des Bastions.

7.

This one is for older kids (minimum 8 years old): all sorts of escape games and challenge rooms. We tested and can recommend: Sensas, Game Over, Cube Challenges, and Ultim Escape (Meyrin).

Game Over and Ultim Escape are escape rooms. Sensas is not about solving puzzles but challenging senses – absolutely thrilling! Cube Challenges on the other hand is a mix of several small escape games, and senses tasks. All are great and all available in English and French!

8.

How about a movie? Check what’s on in Pathe, Cinema Bio in Carouge, Grutli, or les Scala. When choosing Pathe in Balexert or Arena in La Praille you can combine the outing with bowling to make the day fully fun and adding a physical activity.

There’s one more cinema to consider: DreamScape Geneva. Parentville has not yet tested this VR cinema’s adventures but it looks cool and we will surely give it a go soon!

9.

There are two ways to feel the winter in January 2023 in Geneva: go high up to the mountains or… try ice skating! Best places to try ice skating are: Vergers in Meyrin, Vernets in Geneva, and Place de Sardaigne in Carouge. All are equipped with everything you need, there are bars, snack bars or restaurants at the venues. Remember to bring gloves as they are an obligatory safety requirement.

10.

The weather is perfect for hikes/walks in the canton! There are so many beautiful places, adventurous paths, and spots to see! You can start with the hikes I gathered in this article. This is the best adn totally free activity for all. If you’d like to discover pram/wheelchair friendly walks in Geneva check this article on Parentville.

AND SOME MORE

How about visiting wonderful BioParc in Versoix, or Musee du Leman in Nyon? You can also stick to Geneva and go to CERN, Musee des Pompiers, burn some energy at Airloop, get crazy in Luna Park at Plainpalais, visit animals in La Gavotte or Bois de la Batie (combine with viewing rivers melting into one from Viaduc de la Jonction).