Spring in Geneva

Easter Events & Activities 2016


Easter is just around the corner, so if you’re in town during the Easter break take a look at the listings below for some great family and child-friendly events, including some fab egg hunts for the little ones! Remember to keep checking this post for all the latest events we’ll be posting soon. Saturday 12th March 2016: if there are any budding pirates in your household, you won’t want to miss […]

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Every Mum Is an Island

Geneva's Île Rousseau. Photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

In full view of the Mont Blanc bridge and yet concealed away from all the hustle and bustle of central Geneva, the île Rousseau is one of the city’s hidden treasures. The île Rousseau is a small island on the river Rhône and a public park dedicated to the city’s most famous philosopher. Its history dates back to the 16th century, when it was first one of Geneva’s walled bastions and – in 1628 – a […]

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What’s On in May 2015

Mai au Parc © 2015, Ville de Lancy, tous droits réservés

The month of May is here with so many exciting family events you’ll be spoilt for choice. Here’s our initial list of events taking place in Geneva, Vaud and nearby France but remember to keep checking our blog as we will be updating this post with more events each week: You can read our previous post to find all the best child-friendly places to enjoy a delicious and stress-free Sunday brunch with your little buttons. Stuck for […]

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What’s On in April 2015

© 2015 Théâtre Töpffer, Geneva

Spring is finally here to stay and the list of events in Geneva, Vaud and nearby France is filled with exciting outings for the whole family. Here’s our list of suggestions, but remember to keep checking our blog as we will be updating it with more events each week! You can read our previous post to find all the best child-friendly places to enjoy a delicious and stress-free Sunday brunch with your little buttons. Stuck […]

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Easter Activities 2015


Easter is just around the corner, so if you’re in town during the Easter break take a look at the listings below for some great family and child-friendly events, including some fab egg hunts for the little ones! Remember to keep checking this post for all the latest events we’ll be posting soon.   28th-29th March 2015: Pâques en fête, Easter family event at the Musée romand de la machine agricole in […]

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Les Paquis New Clothes


If you think nothing exciting goes on in Geneva, think again. From the beginning of October last year, a group of local Pâquis residents joined forces to set up an inspiring urban knitting project called Les Pâquis se rhabillent. As many other international yarn bombing installations, Les Pâquis se rhabillent has brought together the local community, eager to reclaim and bring to life with yarns & plenty of colour some of Pâquis’ most popular or […]

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What’s On in June 2014

© 2014 Festival Gratte-Bitume, Meyrin Village

Summer is finally here & the countdown to your family holidays has begun. Here’s our monthly list of events in Geneva, Vaud and nearby France, filled as usual with exciting outings for the whole family. Remember to keep checking our blog as we will be updating this post with more events each week: 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. […]

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Carouge Spring Festival

© 2014 Printemps Carougeois

Le Printemps Carougeois, Carouge’s annual spring festival, is back from the 15th to the 25th of May 2014 with a solid-as-a-rock bill of dance & theatre shows, public installations, readings and live concerts. We have free tickets to give away for this great festival: keep reading to find out how you can be a winner! The theme of the festival’s 50th edition is food & nourishment so brace yourselves for some senses-awakening experiences including […]

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Tell Me a Story


The Festival La Cour des Contes in Plan-les-Ouates is one of my favourite spring festivals in Geneva. For ten days, a number of exciting theatre shows, performed stories and workshops bring a new buzz to the city of Calvin – just when we’ve all had enough of winter and spring seems finally to be on its way. This year’s edition, which runs from the 2nd to the 11th of May 2014, will stretch from […]

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Just Dance


Spring is in the air & (very likely) in your step so dust off your dancing shoes because Geneva is going to get ready to strut its stuff for the Fête de la Danse, a national Swiss festival that will get everyone busting some mean moves in the city’s theatres, public parks & art centres. From Wednesday 30th of April until Sunday the 4th of May 2014, the Fête de la […]

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La Belle Saison

La Belle Saison © Villa Bernasconi, Lancy

Nestled at the heart of a luxuriant park near the river Arve, Villa Bernasconi is one of Geneva’s best-kept secrets. It’s taken us a few years to discover this elegant neoclassical family mansion dating back to 1828 and now a thriving art centre hosting up to 5 contemporary art exhibitions per year. Why not make Villa Bernasconi the destination of a family outing this month and make the most of La Belle […]

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Au Coeur Des Grottes


Tucked away in a quiet street in the heart of Geneva’s Les Grottes neighbourhood, Au Coeur des Grottes is a beacon of hope for many women who have suffered abuse or find themselves in difficult situations. Some of them are alone, some have young babies or children but they all share a need for security and protection that this warm & welcoming women’s shelter can provide them with. The valuable work they […]

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Japanese Delights in Geneva

My starter was Seabass Sashimi with dry miso and yuzu juice - photo © Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Geneva

A bright new star is shining in Geneva’s gourmand firmament and I’m overjoyed that Expat Husband decided we should pay a visit this weekend. The new Japanese Izumi restaurant, nestled on the rooftop of the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues in Geneva (33, Quai des Bergues), offers a culinary experience like no other in this city of international peace. With its Japanese-fusion signature style based on the innovative concept of Nikkei cuisine, […]

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Puro Gelato


I’ve already posted about my ice-cream addiction (I was raised in Italy after all!) so please bear with me if I bend your ears about it again. I am afraid I can’t help it as I’ve recently tried and tested one of the most heavenly foodie destinations right in the heart of Thônex. The family and I made our way to Puro Gelato last Sunday afternoon and I was immediately won over by its eco […]

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For The Love of Books

La Librerit, Carouge © genevafamilydiaries.net

Without a doubt, one of the nicest  and better-stocked kids bookshops in the Geneva area is La Librerit in Carouge. I stop by whenever I can and always manage to find a new book, board game or activity I know my little ones will love. Conveniently located on Place du Marché – and very easily identifiable by its colourful yellow sign! – La Librerit stocks an amazing selection of children’s books for all ages […]

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Geneva’s Firefighters Museum

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Just when you think you have the whole city sussed and could navigate all its best child-friendly hideouts with your eyes closed, along comes an impressive new discovery in the shape of the Musée du Service d’incendie et de secours – Ville de Genève. To say that this is every little boy’s dream museum would be an understatement: my two little men could hardly contain their excitement as they climbed the […]

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What’s On in June

© Festival Tôt ou t'Arts, Pays de Gex (France)

Although it doesn’t feel like it yet, summer is finally here and we’re all still hoping for a bit of sunshine ! Here’s our monthly list of events in Geneva, Vaud and nearby France, filled as usual with exciting outings for the whole family. Remember to keep checking our blog as we will be updating this post with more events each week:   Take a look at our previous post to find all the […]

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Books in the Park

© DR, Festival livre et petite enfance Geneva

The 9th edition of the Festival livre et petite enfance will take place on the Promenade des Bastions in Geneva from the 21st to the 25th of May 2013. When temperatures soar and the skies get so blue they seem to melt into the lake, there’s no better place to be than one of the city’s luxuriant parks – the family and I just love to soak in the balmy air and hear […]

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Night at the Museum

© trivialmass.com

La Nuit des musées de Genève & “after en famille” will be taking place on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th of May 2013. This is the first time that the city’s museums will be opening their doors to the public at night and it sounds like it will be a fantastic weekend: the programme is filled with 163 events including workshops, guided tours, art performances and story-telling. Here’s what’s in store…   […]

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A Cat at the Opera

© Grand Théâtre de Genève

Geneva Grand Théâtre is synonym with great cultural shows for the whole family. The latest treat they have in store for families with young kids is Le Chat botté, an opera for children from age 5 by Russian composer César Cui, based on the famous tale by Charles Perrault.   A couple of years ago Expat Husband and I took the boys to a magnificent children’s production of “The Magic Flute” at the […]

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Café Brocante with Style

Le coup de girafe, Geneva © genevafamilydiaries.net

I have to thank lovely Paola from Uzume for introducing me to Le Coup de Girafe in Geneva’s Eaux-Vives. Tucked away at number 18 rue Maunoir, this is a cool, quirky café brocante with plenty of style and delicious sweet & salty treats that beg to be savoured with a delicate leaf-tea or café renversé.     The stylish mix-and-match décor and relaxed ambience are what makes Le Coup de Girafe a lovely spot […]

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Organic Fruit with a Local Accent

© Ou bien?! Geneva

One of the things I missed the most when we first moved to Geneva was all the healthy snacks available for children in the UK. My little ones loved them and I knew the brands weren’t loaded with sugar or other nasties. It took me a while (and a lot of label-reading in French!) to find some alternatives here, but I have to admit my boys weren’t always keen and […]

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Springtime in Carouge

© Printemps Carougeois 2013

Part exciting showcase of contemporary street art, part unadulterated fun for all ages, the Festival de Printemps Carougeois is an eclectic spring event covering a multiplicity of creative settings: art installations, theatre, dance, live music and children’s activities. This year, Geneva’s most mediterranean suburb will rouse from the last grip of winter to celebrate its joyful springtime from the 18th to the 28th of April 2013. And the central theme? Well, this […]

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Celebrate Easter the Swiss Way

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Have you seen all the gorgeous Swiss Easter decorations that are filling the shelves of nearly every shop? If you’re anything like me, you might feel a twinge of sadness when Christmas is over and all your favourite tree ornaments go back in their box. But don’t despair – you won’t have to wait another year to unleash your inner decorating warrior, because the Swiss have a thing of two to teach […]

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A Swiss Mum Who Blogs

© Lavipo blog, Geneva

Pauline is a Swiss mum-of-three and the freelance illustrator behind the enourmously funny Lavipo, a Swiss blog about motherhood and other adventures that always leaves me in stitches! You might recognize yourself (I do!) in one of those IKEA-rages, monumentally bad-hair mornings or kids’ meltdowns she portrays so vividly – so if you’d like to find out more about Pauline scroll down a little to read the interview she’s kindly agreed to […]

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Au Chien Bleu

Au Chien Bleu children's bookshop, Geneva - photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

Cozy, colourful and full-to-the-brim with books and educational toys, Au Chien Bleu in Geneva is everything you dream an independent children’s bookstore to be. The choice of books, toys & CDs for 0 to 16 year-olds is infinite, but they also have a very tempting selection of gifts and stationery ranging from washi tape to satchels, gift boxes, pencil cases etc. Artfully arranged on the shelves and tables you’ll find anything from the classics to the most […]

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Baby & Making Playgroup

Easter Crafts © Baby + Making playgroup, Geneva

The “Baby + Making” playgroup Geneva is for parents who want to get creative with their little ones, meet other mums and come away with something crafty & cool that they have made with love. The playgroup – launched in January 2013 – is organised by Marian, an expat mum who moved to Geneva just before having her daughter Elodie in August last year, and welcomes everyone (dads included!).   The “Baby + Making” playgroup caters to […]

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Bags of Style

La Muse boutique, Geneva - photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

Our biggest thank you to La Muse boutique in Geneva (7, rue du Vieux-Collège) for inviting us to the presentation of the new Halaby bags collection for Spring/Summer 2013. Sketched by Lebanese designer Gilbert Halaby in his Rome’s atelier and entirely made in Italy by local artisans, these exquisite bags exude Italian 1950s glamour and exotic charm.   As a self-confessed handbag fetishist, I could go on about the superb craftmanship of […]

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Best Burgers at Inglewood Geneva

How can you choose ? © Scott Stock Photography

Want to know where to get the best burger in town ? If so, head to Inglewood Geneva just another one of our Plainpalais favourites located at number 44 on blvd du Pont-d’Arve. If Plainpalais is a bit out of your way don’t worry: they’ve now opened a new branch in Eaux-vives (17, rue Montchoisy) to satisfy their ever-growing number of fans.   Their 160g juicy boeuf burgers are amazing and the choice is […]

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Discover Plainpalais

Neon Parallax, Geneva Ann Veronica Janssens installation in Plainpalais (photo © Geneva Family Diaries)

You might have guessed by now that we have a very soft spot for Plainpalais, one of Geneva’s most vibrant neighbourhoods. Around ‘la plaine’ of Plainpalais you will find some great museums, Europe’s largest skatepark, a host of hip restaurants, bars and boutiques, as well as all the art galleries of Le Quartier des Bains. However, our absolute favourite at the moment is the Neon Parallax series of light installations that you can see on the rooftops of […]

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Join the Geneva Reading Society

© Société de Lecture de Genève

What I love the most about Geneva’s discreet charm and reserved ethos, is that there’s always some amazing new discovery to be made even when – like us – you’ve lived here for many years. Just when you think you’ve mastered everything there is to know about Geneva’s old town, you can walk through the doors of the magnificent 18th century Hôtel du Résident on the Grand’Rue and find yourself in a […]

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Baby & Toddler Playgroup in Geneva

© Les enfants en bas âge, Geneva

If you’ve just moved to Geneva with very young children, you’ll be happy to know about a fantastic infant & toddler playgroup called “Les enfants en bas âge“. Expat mum Michelle is one of the group’s organizers and she kindly contributed the article below to tell us more about their Meetup playgroup in Geneva, so here’s some key info for all expat parents out there !     Infant & Toddler […]

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L’Artichaut Bistrot Gourmand

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Young chef Florian Le Bouech is at the helm of one of our favourite bistrots in Carouge: L’Artichaut, a cozy (it only seats 26) and modern foodie retreat overlooking the river Arve on the quai du Cheval Blanc.     With fresh local ingredients, a menu that changes daily according to what’s in season and a 3-course lunch for just 34CHF, what’s not to like ? We were there recently with friends visiting from the UK […]

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Le Verre a Monique


If you’d like to kick-off the festive season in style, book your little muffin’s favourite babysitter for the evening and head to one of Geneva’s best cocktail bars: Le Verre à Monique in the Quartier des Bains. On Wednesday 19th of December 2012, Le Verre à Monique will be celebrating with a very glam Tea Punch Xmas party, starting from 6.30pm. I can assure you from personal experience that the bar’s special alcoholic concoction […]

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It’s “Un R de Famille” !


What do you do when you come across a place that brings back some of your happiest childhood memories and at the same time reminds you of a place your heart calls ‘home’ ? Simple: you fall in love, which is what happened to us last week when we had brunch at Un R de famille in Geneva.       Un R de famille is an information centre for families founded by the […]

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Geneva’s Historical Trams

© Association Genevoise du Musée des Tramways

As we were driving past Cornavin Station a few weeks ago, my boys screamed with excitement at the sight of a beautiful 1930s historical tram taking a tour of the city. To be honest, I was just as disappointed as they were that we couldn’t just drop our car and jump on board ! The good news is that the Association Genevoise du Musée des Tramways (AGMT) has organized a fantastic historical […]

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Sympa…les Poneys !


Little Miss Cutie is 2 and entering her “I love ponies” stage. She’ll squeal in delight every time we drive past a riding school and seize any pony-related books she lays eyes on when we’re out shopping.   Luckily for us, there are many pony clubs and riding schools within a short distance of Geneva so last weekend, as a special treat for Her Toddlerness, we took the children for a pony ride to the Pony Club in […]

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The Geneva Music Scene


Expats often complain that Geneva is “too quiet” and doesn’t offer much in terms of night-life or music gigs. If you’ve heard this a million times before and would like to hear a different drummer, take a look at our interview with Paolo H. – one third of DJ & music events team Indie Nation. Their vision is simple and quite clear: bring glamorous Indie Rock’n’Roll back in town – can’t say fairer than that, […]

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Brunch at the Farm

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This is one of the local tips I wish someone had given me 4 years ago, so I am very excited to be able to share it now with other expat families in the area. UPDATED MAY 2014 – UNFORTUNATELY, THE FERME DE MERLINGE HAS CLOSED DOWN One day, as I was browsing through some French guidebooks I came across a book called “Le Guide des Restos pour Petits Gourmands” (published […]

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