The weather is beautiful, and the Federal Council allowed museums to reopen on March 1st. In the whole country. Let’s celebrate by looking into what is actually going on in the museums – in Geneva. I’ll soon prepare the same recap for all museums between Geneva and Lausanne. The French museums are still closed for now – keeping fingers crossed as we massively miss Maison du Saleve, Parc des Epouvantailles and many more!
Before we start, let me lay down some practical info:
- Most museums are closed on Mondays. Each time a museum is open on Monday, I mentioned it in the text.
- Not all museums will open on March 1st (Monday) or even on March 2nd. Some of them need more time to prepare or have planned their new exhibitions for a bit later. Always consult their website when planning a visit.
- I couldn’t find info on Exploracentre and Cern -I’ll add them as soon as I know anything.
- It was not possible for me to write about all of the museums. Here are the ones I did not include below: Musee de Carouge, Musee Barbier-Mueller, Museum of the Martin Bodmer Foundation, Red Cross Museum.
Ready? Let’s do it!
Also check: Musee de Carouge, Musee Barbier-Mueller, Museum of the Martin Bodmer Foundation (all about theatre).
The Modern and Contemporary Art Museum in Geneva is always a great place to visit with kids of all ages. Their permanent exhibition is fuel for imagination and conversations. When you’re there, don’t forget to enter the cave – a piece of Sylvie Fleury entitles “Be Good, Be Bad, Just Be!”.
Museum’s reopening is a great opportunity to check out the new temporary exhibition: “Inventaire” (eng. “Inventory”). It’s a result of a full inventory the museum underwent in 2019. This exhibition is a physical representation of the hard work the staff performed.
MUSEE D’HISTOIRE DES SCIENCES
This museum is a treat! It’s located in the gorgeous parc Perle du Lac and it is open on Mondays! The permanent exhibition is fascinating for science and history passionates and the temporary exhibition is a full-on, hands-on experience! I wrote about it back in the days when nobody expected museums to be closed for so long – you can read it here.
In the Museum of Ethnography, children love to observe the waves and listen to music on headphones. They are mesmerized by masks and other objects from far away places. The permanent collection is fascinating, even more, when viewed during a guided tour. But! The temporary exhibition “Jean Dubuffet, a barbarian in Europe” was planned to only last till the end of February 2021. I keep my fingers crossed they will prolong it for at least one month. The exhibition is accompanied by a program for children (6+) via the “Dubuffet’s little factory”. Check their website for info.
NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM
For Geneva families, one museum ranks no 1 each time I ask around – the Natural History Museum. Their permanent exhibition always brings smiles to children’s faces, always makes them ask questions, widen their interest. The temporary exhibitions, 3 of them to be precise, are fabulous! They are all there to celebrate the museum’s 200th anniversary. I wrote a whole article about it last year, you can read it here.
Musee d’Art et d’Histoire de Geneve is always #parentvillerecomended. Walking the corridors and rooms with paintings is like being in a picture book and if your kids went to the guided tours for the little ones, you’ll know how to turn a visit into an adventure. The new temporary exhibition “Walk on the Water” is a new level of awesomeness. The title is a mix of Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the water” (written in and about Montreux) and the painting “Miraculous Draught of Fishes” by Konrad Witz, which depicts Christ walking on Lake Geneva. It’s a whole new scenography and an invitation to the public to imagine themselves walking on the water. More information on MAH’s website.
Musee Ariana is another place families quickly come to love. It’s incredible how this talented stuff turned a ceramics museum into an enjoyable place for children. I mean, stereotypically small children should not be allowed near ceramic and glass, right? Well, not in Ariana. There are many treasure hunts they can enjoy (different games for different age groups) and a small yet great play area on the ground floor. Go to Ariana’s website for more details and info about temporary exhibitions.
CENTRE D’ART CONTEMPORAIN
Contemporary Art Center will open on March 23rd with an exhibition that looks incredible. It’s called “Lemaniana” and will present “the diversity of the contemporary artistic production in the Léman region”. Until then you can visit the museum via online tours. More info here.
Immersions – Une exposition sur l’eau, Berges de Vessy
The description of this exhibition makes me really want to visit it! There is not much info yet, but it will not open till March 19th, so let’s wait a little bit. The website clearly states that a rich program for different kinds of public will accompany the exhibition, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that they will have something fun for the kids! In the past, their exhibitions were always great and always had something for children. The location allows combining the museum visit with an adventurous walk by the river and around the Vessy dam. More info here.
STREET ART AT QUARTIER LIBRE
If you haven’t got a chance before the semi-lockdown happened (again) to visit this exhibition in the centre of Geneva, then I have good news for you! The Street Art is on till March 14th. Grab your kids for a walk by the lake, some good ice creams and walk into the Quartier Libre for some graffiti fun. It’s open all week long (yes! Even on Mondays), and the entry is free. Read more about it here.
SAINT PIERRE CATHEDRAL
Geneva’s old town may not be massive, but you cannot be bored once there. Many museums (Musee de la Reformee, Maison Tavel, Musee Barbier-Mueller, and the Cathedral’s archaeological site), picturesque narrow streets, great cafes (take out only for now), and spectacular views. Let’s go back to the Cathedral now. You can visit it inside (obviously). You can climb up to the top of one of the towers (really worth it!), and visit the Cathedral beneath – the archaeological site is fascinating, intriguing, and cannot be missed! You can find out all about it here.
Not really a museum, it’s more of a zoo, but I have missed it so much I had to include it in this article! It’s a place with reptiles, lizards, turtles, spiders, and fish. It’s very well located in Meyrin, close to bus and tram stops, there is parking and the visit will not disappoint the kids! It’s also a good place for birthday parties (especially if your child would like to cuddle with Iguana). I wrote about Vivarium in this article on Parentville about animals in Geneva.