The kids’ summer holidays have started — can’t believe how fast this school year has flown by, can you? Whether you’ll be away, working or spending more time with your little ones, there is plenty to do in the area for families who wish to enjoy this lovely and (hopefully) sunny time of the year.
Scroll down to see the list of summer activities in Geneva and Vaud, who said there’s nothing to do in the city during the school break?! Remember to keep checking our blog as we will be updating this post with more events each week.
BEACHES, POOLS & LIDOS
Enjoy summer at some of the best lake beaches, outdoor pools and lidos in the area. You’ll find some useful links in our previous post and articles about Nyon plage; Plage de Rolle; Plage de Préverenges and St-Prex.
The Piscine des Vergers in Meyrin (Avenue Louis-Rendu) has an outdoor olympic size pool, a paddling pool, water slide and a bassin “non-nageur” for beginners. The piscine is open from May until the end of September (everyday from 10am to 8pm).
If it’s a real scorcher, why not take the kids to the Parc de l’Auberge in Meyrin, with its fantastic water jets and tipping buckets? Entry is FREE.
Genève-Plage (Quai de Cologny 5, Port-Noir) is a Geneva institution. There’s no better place to be with your little swimmers on a hot, sunny day so make the most of the swimming-pools, water slides, sandpit and play area – don’t forget your sun cream!
Hot summer’s days are perfect for a pedalo boat ride on Lake Léman too. In Geneva, you can hire a pedal-boat from Les Corsaires (near the Jet d’Eau) at 14CHF per adult. Click on this link to find other boat rental locations in Vaud.
Vitam’ (500 route des Envignes, Neydens, France) is a great waterpark for hot summer’s days: there are indoor and outdoor pools, as well as great water slides for all ages.
The Plage du Lac in Divonne-les-Bains is open until the end of August. A 350m lovely sandy beach on the shore of the Lac de Divonne, it’s a great place for families with young children. They have a buvette, a kids play area, toilets and they offer swimming lessons, canoë, kayak & pedalo rentals. An entry fee is charged, around 3 Euros per person and 2 Euros for children.
The Centre Nautique in Divonne-les-Bains (France) is an outdoor pool open until the 10th of September 2017. A great place to cool off on a hot summer’s day! Contact them on firstname.lastname@example.org for full details and prices. Centre Nautique – 282 avenue des Alpes, Divonne-les-Bains. Tel. +33(0)4 5020 3785 email@example.com
The toy library buses called LUDOBUS are back in Geneva! From May until the end of summer the red and blue ludobus will be travelling to different parks in Geneva to keep the little ones entertained in the afternoon from 4pm to 6.30pm (from 5.30pm to 7pm during the summer holidays). FREE ENTRY, activities are free for children.
You can click here to download the exact dates and locations for both ludobus covering Servette; St-Jean; Petit-Saconnex; Plainpalais; Jonction; Acacias; Pâquis; Grottes; St-Gervais; Eaux-Vives; Champel and Cité.
SUMMER ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS:
- Free ateliers d’été de bricolage at La Praille shopping centre in Carouge for children aged 4+. No advance booking is necessary, just go to the ‘zone d’animation’ on the 1st floor. Kids will remain under the responsibility of the parents and the presence of a parent/carer might be required in some cases. These fun creative workshops will take place on the 1st floor on the following Wednesdays: Wed. 5th July 2017 “Fabrication d’un cactus en pot” from 11am until 6pm; Wed. 12th July 2017 “Fabrication d’une marionnette” from 11am until 6pm; Wed. 19th July 2017 “Fabrication d’un totem indien” from 11am until 6pm; Wed. 26th July 2017 “Fabrication d’un lampion pour le 1er août” from 11am until 6pm.
- Free paddling pools (pataugeoires in French) for children under the age of 7, open from May to September.
- Free lake beaches: try baby plage in Eaux-Vives or the plage du Reposoir in Pregny-Chambésy (Route de Lausanne 222).
- Free zoos at the Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques in Geneva and the Bois-de-la-Bâtie. The bonus is that both have great playgrounds to match!
SUNDAY BRUNCH, DAYS OUT & MORE FAMILY FUN
- Take a look at our previous post to find all the best child-friendly places to enjoy a delicious and stress-free Sunday brunch with your little buttons.
- If it’s a scorcher, what about a scrumptious “brunch in the sun” with the family ?
- Summer is the perfect season for picnics too, here’s some of our favourite spots – what are yours ?
- Now that the sun is out, why not take the kids to pick-their-own veggies at the farm? Find out more about “libre service” farm markets in our previous post.
- Want to know how to survive a rainy Sunday ? Find some ideas and suggestions here.
- Spring is a fantastic time to explore Switzerland and its picturesque villages. Read our previous post for suggestions about great days out with the kids
- If you’re planning a holiday or a short break, here’s some places our little ones have loved: Papiliorama in Kerzers (CH); Ballenberg Open Air Museum (CH); Bern (CH); Thun (CH); Pérouges (France); Lyon (France); Versailles (France); Dijon (France); Aosta (Italy); LEGOLAND in Windsor (UK) and many more charming places to see in Switzerland.
- When the sun is out, why not take the boat across the lake to visit the medieval village of Yvoire in nearby France?
- A bit further away but definitely worth a visit is the French village of Pérouges, it’s a great family day out!
JULY 2017 EVENTS:
- 1st-16th July & 9th-20th August 2017: Lausanne-sur-mer, free sports activities from Wednesday to Sunday on Avenue Emile-Henri-Jaques-Dalcroze 7 in Lausanne. Activities include badminton, kayak*, volley, football, paddle*, parkour, planche à voile*, tennis de table, babyfoot, slackline, pétanque, tennis. Activities marked with an * require parental consent and a nominal fee. Click here to see the full programme.
- 1st July-18th August 2017: Musiques en été in Geneva, an impressive series of 36 live concerts covering all possible music genres and taking place in some of the city’s most picturesque spots. From jazz to classical, rock and hip hop you will definitely be spoilt for choice. The best thing about it all? All the Musiques colorées live concerts at the Scène Ella Fitzgerald (parc de La Grange) are free of charge!
- 1st July-27th August 2017: the Tour de plage at the Fontaine des Tours in Carouge (20-22 boulevard des Promenades), opens up again for the summer season. A fantastic spot right in the heart of Carouge, where you will be able to enjoy live concerts and plenty of activities for the little ones, including face painting, giant outdoor games from Carouge’s toy library, Zumba etc. – and all are free of charge. Open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, Tour de plage has too many activities planned to list them all here, so click on the official website for full details.
- Sunday 2nd July 2017: Free entry to all museums and exhibitions in Geneva, a special initiative organized by the city of Geneva offering free access to permanent and temporary exhibitions on the first Sunday of every month.
- 3rd-14th July 2017: Jours d’ouverture aux familles at the Maison de la Créativité in Conches (7, chemin Calandrini). These summer family activities will take place in the afternoon from 2.30pm to 5.30pm. Entry is 3CHF per adult and per child aged 2+.
- 3rd July-23rd August 2017: Histoires en herbe, summer storytime in Plan-les-Ouates for children aged 3 to 8 every Monday and Wednesday morning from 10am to midday. The Monday session will take place outdoors on the Mail in Plan-les-Ouates (near the Mairie) and in case of rain on the steps of the “salle de gym” of the école du Pré-du-Camp. The Wednesday sessions will take place “sur l’herbe”, near the école du Vélodrome (close to the playarea), and in case of rain under the veranda of the Maison Ravy. Free entry, for more info call 022 794 58 47 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- 3rd July-25th August 2017: Ateliers d’été par « Les Coloriés » at the Parc Geisendorf and at the Atelier la Poterie in Geneva (rue Poterie 5), summer workshops and courses for children aged 4 to 12. Click here for full details and prices.
- 3rd-27th July 2017: Opération chaises longues, a great initiative organized by the city’s public libraries offering mobile book services (livres nomades), free apples, sun loungers and more free activities to allow families, the elders and young people to enjoy Geneva’s beautiful parks to the max. The Opération chaises longues will run everyday from 1pm tp 7pm at the following locations: Square Vélodrome; Parc Trembley; Parc Beaulieu; Parc Bertrand and Parc des Franchises.
- 3rd-27th July 2017: Free urban golf at the Parc des Bastions in Geneva. This 9 hole, 4km long golf course is open to everyone until the 23rd of August, 7 days a week from 1pm to 7pm. The free equipment can be picked up at the Parc des Bastions, right next to the kiosque des Bastions (park entry: Place-Neuve). The 9-holes golf court guides you through some of the city’s most emblematic locations such as the Promenade de la Treille, the Jardin Anglais and the Monument Brunswick.
- 3rd July-27th August 2017: L’Été à la Jonction, free summer activities for children at the Parc de la baleine in Geneva (rue du village suisse 30-34). Activities include arts & crafts workshops; free open-air cinema; storytimes for little ones. You can download the full programme here.
- 3rd-27th July & 31st July-24th August 2017: Starting on Monday 3rd of July, and until the 24th of August, expats and foreigners living in Geneva will be able to attend free French classes at the Parc de la perle du lac. Classes will take place Monday to Thursday from 4pm until 6pm. FREE ENTRY, no advance booking required. If you have children aged 8 months to 12 years-old, you can bring them along too as there will be story times, games and creative workshops for children to allow parents and carers to attend their French classes. If you can’t attend these classes in July, don’t worry as there will another round in August, from the 31st of July to the 24th of August at the Parc la Grange.
- Tuesday 4th July 2017: Atelier Pizza, from 10.45am to 11.30am at Signal de Bougy. For ages 5 to 12, let your little ones learn the ropes of authentic pizza making with a professional pizzaiolo, they will also be able to eat up their yummy creations once they’re cooked. The workshop costs 20CHF per child, places must be reserved at email@example.com or +41 58 568 31 50.
- 4th-9th July 2017: Festival de la Cité in Lausanne. The city’s summer celebrations offer an exciting line-up of over 90 shows, including theatre, dance, live concerts, comedy circus, literature as well as visual and plastic arts. Events will take place across various parts of the town centre, the majority will be in the open-air (so watch out for rain!) and all are free of charge. See the official website for full programme details, this festival is too good to miss!
- Tuesday 4th; 11th; 18th & 25th July 2017: Chinese Painting classes for adults at Life of Art in Geneva. The classes will run every Tuesday afternoon from 1pm until 3pm. Each class costs 65CHF per person – all materials are supplied. To book your Chinese Painting Workshop, please email Life of Art at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 022 525 5232.
- 4th July-25th August 2017: “De parc en parc”, free outdoor activities organized by the Bibliothèques municipales de la Ville de Genève at different locations across town during the months of July and August 2017. During the month of July you will find them on the Rive droite at the Parc Trembley (4th-14th July) and at the Parc des Franchises (18th-28th July). In august they will be on the Rive gauche at the Parc Bertrand (2nd-11th August) and at the Parc de la Grange (15th-25th August).From lectures juke-box to Bibliothèques de rue (street libraries) and Livres en herbe (outdoor storytimes in French for younger children), there’s plenty going on for all ages. Click here to download the full programme.
- Wednesday 5th July-27th August 2017: Free shows for children (in French) at the Parc Pré Vert Signal de Bougy. These free shows will start at 3pm in the park’s amphitheatre and last approx. 45 minutes! In case of rain or bad weather the shows might take place in the restaurant, the Salle Mont-sur-Rolle or be cancelled. Click here to download the full programme. FREE, no advance booking required.
- Thursday 6th July 2017: Le marché du jeudi soir in Carouge. This great weekly event will run until the 22nd of December 2017 on the Place du marché in Carouge. From 5pm until 9pm this bustling neighbourhood market will be accompanied by live music bands and gourmet tastings! FREE ENTRY.
- 7th-9th July 2017: the countryside moves to the city with the Fête de la tomate in Carouge! With plenty of family-friendly activities like cookery workshops for children, magic and clown shows, a fun roundabout, local produce markets and much more this is definitely a great day-out for the whole family. Last but not least, there will be a petting farm with goats, cows, ducks and old tractors. FREE ENTRY.
- Friday 7th and 14th July 2017: Art Jamming, organized by Life of Art at La Fabrique bistrot in Geneva. But what is Art Jamming exactly? It’s a new way to get creative whilst socializing and making new friends! Art jamming is all about creating art in a fun environment, with great music to inspire you and drinks at hand. In a group of about 10 people, our in house artist/teacher will create a painting in front of you, guiding you step by step through the different stages and techniques so that you can follow at the same time on your own canvas. So even if you are a beginner you can still join in the fun. It’s a 2 hour workshop where all materials are supplied and you get to take home your canvas. Meet and greet at the Bistrot La Fabrique, just opposite the Life of Art studio, at 18:00. For more information and to reserve a place contact Lisa Anderson at Life of Art on +41 22 525 5232 or by email at email@example.com
- 8th July-20th August 2017: Yatouland Vernier Summer, special summer opening at the Stade in Vernier.
- Tuesday 11th July 2017: Atelier Pizza, from 10.45am to 11.30am at Signal de Bougy. For ages 5 to 12, let your little ones learn the ropes of authentic pizza making with a professional pizzaiolo, they will also be able to eat up their yummy creations once they’re cooked. The workshop costs 20CHF per child, places must be reserved at firstname.lastname@example.org or +41 58 568 31 50.
- Tuesday 11th; 18th & 25th July 2017: Chinese Painting classes for adults at Life of Art in Geneva. The classes will run every Tuesday afternoon from 1pm until 3pm. Each class costs 65CHF per person – all materials are supplied. To book your Chinese Painting Workshop, please email Life of Art at email@example.com or call 022 525 5232.
- Thursday 13th July 2017: Fête nationale au Parc du Château in Prévessin-Moëns (France). Celebrate Bastille Day from 7pm with bouncy castles, dance shows and a fireworks display starting at 10pm. FREE ENTRY.
- 13th July-20th August 2017: CinéTransat is one of the Geneva’s best-loved summer events and it’s easy to understand why: every evening at dusk they show a selection of great movies (free of charge!) in the wonderful setting of the Parc de la Perle du Lac, you can bring your own picnic and enjoy a lovely evening out with family and friends. But this is not all: they also organize a series of theme and karaoke nights, from disco night to Bollywood, so make sure you dress the part. If you’ve never been, you’ll love this event – if you’ve been, we bet you can’t wait to go back this year. Movies are shown in their original soundtrack with subtitles, so all British & American movies will be in English. Check their facebook page in case of bad weather or rain as the session might be cancelled.
- Friday 14th July 2017: Bastille Day celebrations in Divonne-les-Bains, celebrate Bastille Day from 3pm to 6pm with fun activities for kids, including clown shows, bouncy castles, balloons sculptures and more at the Esplanade du Lac. Don’t miss the torchlight parade at 9pm and the spectacular fireworks at 10.45pm. FREE ENTRY.
- Friday 14th July 2017: Fête nationale at the Parc de la Tire in Ferney Voltaire from 7pm onwards. Celebrate Bastille Day with live music and spectacular fireworks kicking off at 10.30pm! FREE ENTRY.
- Friday 14th July 2017: Art Jamming, organized by Life of Art at La Fabrique bistrot in Geneva. But what is Art Jamming exactly? It’s a new way to get creative whilst socializing and making new friends! Art jamming is all about creating art in a fun environment, with great music to inspire you and drinks at hand. In a group of about 10 people, our in house artist/teacher will create a painting in front of you, guiding you step by step through the different stages and techniques so that you can follow at the same time on your own canvas. So even if you are a beginner you can still join in the fun. It’s a 2 hour workshop where all materials are supplied and you get to take home your canvas. Meet and greet at the Bistrot La Fabrique, just opposite the Life of Art studio, at 18:00. For more information and to reserve a place contact Lisa Anderson at Life of Art on +41 22 525 5232 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Saturday 15th July 2017: Fête de la plage in Divonne-les-Bains, with water games, bouncy castles, fun activities and beach volley tournament. FREE ENTRY.
- until 15th July 2017: “T’es sûr-e ?”, a fantastic new exhibition suitable from age 7 at the Espace des Inventions in Lausanne (Vallée de la Jeunesse 1). The exhibition will teach and amuse your little ones with fun science experiments. Alongside the exhibition there will also be a series of fun workshops for ages 7 to 12 called “Le Club des petits inventeurs”, from 2pm to 5pm on selected days. Click here to download the list of activities.
- Tuesday 18th & 25th July 2017: Chinese Painting classes for adults at Life of Art in Geneva. The classes will run every Tuesday afternoon from 1pm until 3pm. Each class costs 65CHF per person – all materials are supplied. To book your Chinese Painting Workshop, please email Life of Art at email@example.com or call 022 525 5232.
- 18th-23rd July 2017: the Paléo Festival Nyon is quite legendary and amongst the best music festivals in the region. This year’s edition is set to be one of the best with international stars such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Manu Chao, Jamiroquai, Black M, Vianney, Imany, Julien Doré and many more ready to rock the stage ! Paléo Festival Nyon has a great programme for kids too, including live evening concerts, free day nursery, free magic shows and baby disco every day as well as the kids’ play area Mielimélo (ages 6 to 12). Entry to the festival is free for all children under the age of 12, check the official website for the complete list of kids activities.
- 19th-22nd July 2017: “Guitare en Scene” music festival in St Julien-en-Genevois (France). A great music festival for all guitar-lovers, with plenty of international stars including Amy MacDonald set to get the groove going! See the official website for full details and to buy tickets.
- Sunday 23rd July 2017: enjoy a unique tour of the city on the Geneva Historical Trams leaving from the Rive tram stop. A great way to see the city with young children — they will love riding the old city trams! During the summer, on the first Sunday of every month these “Trams touristiques” will be circulating from Carouge to Nations, Gare Cornavin, Eaux-Vives and the city centre. Tickets for a single ride are 8CHF and 12CHF for a day pass, children aged 6 to 16 pay a reduced fee.
- Tuesday 25th July 2017: Chinese Painting classes for adults at Life of Art in Geneva. The classes will run every Tuesday afternoon from 1pm until 3pm. Each class costs 65CHF per person – all materials are supplied. To book your Chinese Painting Workshop, please email Life of Art at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 022 525 5232.
- Sunday 30th July 2017: Les Puces de Nyon, very scenic flea market in the pretty lakeside town of Nyon (VD). Grab a fab bargain or a delicious Italian ice-cream!
- Just a quick reminder about the iconic Carrousel des fables at the Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques in Geneva: it’s a great activity for the little ones on a sunny day, to be coupled with a visit to the free mini zoo and the park’s playground! And when the little munchkins get a bit peckish, you can grab something delicious at Le Pyramus restaurant, located right next to the playground.
- until 20th August 2017: Ma vie de Courgette L’Expo at the Musée de Carouge (Place de Sardaigne 2). If you have seen this exceptional movie you will want to know more about how it was made and this exhibition is all about that: discover how Céline Sciamma and Claude Barras went about making what is probably the best movie of 2016! Kids will love to watch how the stop-motion animation and the puppets were made, so don’t miss it. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 2pm until 6pm.
- until 26th August 2017: Images de Science exhibition at the Musée d’Histoire des Sciences in Geneva (Rue de Lausanne 128).
- until 17th of September 2017: Audrey Hepburn & Hubert de Givenchy: Une élégante amitié. A unique exhibition of Hubert de Givenchy original sketches for some of Aufrey Hepburn’s most beautiful and memorable dresses, including her LBD from Breakfast at Tiffany’s and her mini skirt, 60s pink wedding dress! The exhibition is shown across 3 venues in the pretty lakeside town of Morges: the Fondation Bolle, the Musée Alexis-Forel and the Château de Morges. The entry ticket to all 3 exhibitions is 18CHF per person, opening times are Tuesday to Sunday, from 10am to 5pm.
- until end of September 2017: the Musée Départemental des Sapeurs-Pompiers in Gex (France) re-opens this Saturday from 9am to midday and then from 2pm to 6pm in the afternoon. The museum is open every Saturday from 9am to 12pm and from 2pm to 6pm until the 26th of September, as well as every Wednesday and Sunday in July and August from 2pm to 6pm. Entry tickets are 5 € for adults and 3 € for kids. Musée Départemental des Sapeurs-Pompiers – 380 avenue des Alpes – 01170 Gex – FRANCE (Tel : 04 50 20 86 97).
- until 7th January 2018: “Fourmis la grande exposition”, temporary exhibition at the Muséum d’histoire naturelle, Genève (1, route de Malagnou). Discover the fascinating, unknown universe of these tiny insects.. FREE ENTRY only on the first Sunday of every month.