Free Summer Activities

In addition to our previous post about enjoying Geneva for free, we have more tips for you on the best summer activities you can enjoy in the area…FREE OF CHARGE — with or without kids!

Because summer fun doesn’t have to cost the earth.

FREE SUMMER ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS

Geneva:

  • Sortir pour lire, 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 2015. 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.
Copyright © Ville de Genève 2015

Copyright © Ville de Genève 2015

 

  • Free ateliers d’été de bricolage at La Praille shopping centre in Carouge for children aged 3+. No advance booking is necessary, just go to the ‘zone d’animation’ on the 1st floor. Children who take part in 5 or more workshops will receive a small gift! 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:

Wednesday 1st July from 11am to 6pm. The theme will be “Moulin à vent”.

Wednesday 8th July from 11am to 6pm. Theme: “Montgolfière”

Wednesday 15th July from 11am to 6pm: “Cerf-Volant”

Wednesday 22nd July from 11am to 6pm: “Quilles”

Wednesday 29th July from 11am to 6pm: “Lampion”

Wednesday 5th August from 11am to 6pm: “Catamaran”

Wednesday 12th August from 11am to 6pm: “Maison à crayons”

Photo © La Praille, Centre Commercial et de loisirs à Genève

Photo © La Praille, Centre Commercial et de loisirs à Genève

 

© F. Müller / Ville de Genève

© F. Müller / Ville de Genève

 

  • Free lake beaches: try baby plage in Eaux-Vives or the plage du Reposoir in Pregny-Chambésy (Route de Lausanne 222).

 

Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques, Geneva. Photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques, Geneva. Photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

 

  • 29th June-12th July 2015: Bulles d’été, FREE summer activities for children and adults at the Parc André-Chavanne in Geneva, including free French courses for foreign adults, Boxe Thaï and Qi Gong classes, storytimes and outdoor cinema screenings for kids. FREE ENTRY.

 

  • 29th June-19th August 2015: Histoires en herbe, summer storytime in Plan-les-Ouates for children aged 4 to 10 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 contact Catherine Hostettler on 079 654 51 06.
Photo © Caroline Buisson

Photo © Caroline Buisson

 

  • 9th July-16 August 2015: CinéTransat, free open-air cinema screenings in Geneva. Every evening at dusk they show a selection of great movies 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. 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. “Porco Rosso” on the 26th of July 2015  (in French) and “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” on the 1st of August 2015 are great movies for kids of all ages.
 © 2013 CinéTransat

© 2013 CinéTransat

 

  • 14th-24th July 2015: Accueil libre pour enfants « Les Coloriés » at the Parc Geisendorf in Geneva (rue Poterie 5). From Tuesday to Friday your little ones will be able to take part in these fun creative workshops running from 3.30pm to 6pm with a free snack included. FREE ENTRY.
© 2015 Ville de Genève

© 2015 Ville de Genève

 

  • 16th July-9th August 2015: Fêtes de Genève, the city’s summer festival is on its way with 150 free concerts on three different stages (Club Stage in the heart of the Jardin Anglais; the very popular Funkytown Stage at Baby-Plage and the new Wilson Stage on the Right Bank). There will be plenty of entertainment for little ones too with funfairs, merry-go-rounds and much more all along the Geneva lakeside.
© 2015 Fêtes de Genève (OFFICIEL)

© 2015 Fêtes de Genève (OFFICIEL)

 

  • 16th July-9th August 2015: The Luminarium will be back at the Fêtes de Genève this year but this time in the shape of a tree and will be called Arboria! This inflatable structure is a fun, interactive and truly spectacular light installation — kids will love walking through its labyrinth of primary colours and fun shapes. FREE ENTRY for kids under the age of 3, but children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Adult tickets are 5CHF. The Luminarium will be open from the 16th of July to the 9th of August, 12pm to 8pm during the week and 10am to 8pm at weekends. You will find it on Quai Wilson, opposite Baby Plage.
Arboria – Architects of Air.  Photo © Fêtes de Genève.

Arboria – Architects of Air. Photo © Fêtes de Genève.

 

  • until 24th July 2015: Un été à Sécheron, it’s summer time at the Espace de Quartier Sécheron in Geneva with umbrellas, sun loungers, buvette, concerts and many activities for kids. Open Monday to Friday from 3pm to 8pm, you will also find table tennis and small inflatable paddle pools for the little ones.
© 2015 Espace de quartier Sécheron

© 2015 Espace de quartier Sécheron

 

  • July-August 2015: Vacances d’Été, summer activities for kids and teenagers at the Maison Vaudagne in Meyrin. The Animation Grenadine for children aged 7 to 15 will take place every afternoon from 3pm to 7pm and will offer circus and creative workshops, fun games etc. The Entre2 activities for teenagers will run from the 29th of June to the 20th of August 2015 and will include basketball tournaments, baby foot, maquillage and circus shows.
 © 2015 Maison Vaudagne, Meyrin

© 2015 Maison Vaudagne, Meyrin

 

 © 2015 Maison Vaudagne, Meyrin

© 2015 Maison Vaudagne, Meyrin

 

  • FREE LUDOBUS: until the end of summer the red and blue ludobus will be travelling to different parks in Geneva 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.
Plenty of outdoor fun to be had with the Ludobus © Ville de Genève

Plenty of outdoor fun to be had with the Ludobus © Ville de Genève

 

  • until 8th August 2015: Yatouland outdoor at the Centre commercial de Thônex (106 rue de Genève, Thônex). Open from 1pm to 6pm Monday to Saturday, closed on Sundays and on rainy days. Entry is free so make the most of these outdoor inflatable castles!
© 2015 Yatouland

© 2015 Yatouland

 

  • until 21st August 2015: été à la Jonction, summer activities and workshops for failies, adults and children at different locations in the Jonction neighbourhood in Geneva, including the parc Gourgas; parc de la Baleine (rue du Village-Suisse) and the parc Baud-Bovy (parc de l’Ancien palais). Click here to download the full list of activities and workshops.
été à la Jonction - Maison du quartier de la Jonction © 2015 Alvaro Caballero et Alba Knobel

été à la Jonction – Maison du quartier de la Jonction © 2015 Alvaro Caballero et Alba Knobel

 

  • until 23rd August 2015: 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.
Golf Urbain - Geneva. Photo © P. Lopreno/Ville de Genève

Golf Urbain – Geneva. Photo © P. Lopreno/Ville de Genève

 

  • until 23rd August 2015: the Tour de plage at the Fontaine des Tours in Carouge (20-22 boulevard des Promenades. 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 Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 2pm to 7pm, Tour de plage has too many activities planned to list them all here, so click on the official website for full details.
Photo © Carouge Officiel

Photo © Carouge Officiel

 

  • Mini & Petits rendez-vous at Geneva’s MAMCO for kids ones aged 2 to 4 (mini rendez-vous) and 5 to 10 (petits rendez-vous) accompanied by an adult. Both sessions will begin at 3.15am and they are free of charge! Introduce your kids to the joys of modern art with these fun, interactive tours. There will be other kids guided tours on Sunday 5th of July 2015 at 11.15am; Wednesday 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th of July 2015 at 3.15pm. No advance booking required.

 

  • Animation du mercredi from age 7 at the Muséum d’histoire naturelle, Genève (1, route de Malagnou) in connection with the current exhibition “Exoplanètes”. These free Wednesday workshops will take place from 2pm to 4.30pm (second floor).
© 2015 Muséum d'histoire naturelle, Genève

© 2015 Muséum d’histoire naturelle, Genève

 

  • until 18th October 2015: “Plantes & Spiritualités”, a great exhibition and themed walk at the Botanical Gardens in Geneva. A perfect day-out for the whole family, with plenty of outdoor attractions for the little ones: a great playground, free zoo, merry-go-round and beautiful gardens of course! FREE ENTRY, open everyday from 8am to 7.30pm.
© Célestin Casetta

© Célestin Casetta

 

  • until 4th April 2016: Exoplanète, a great exhibition at the Muséum d’histoire naturelle, Genève (1, route de Malagnou) to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the discovery of the first exoplanète, a planet situated outside our solar system by the Swiss astrophysicists from the Observatoire de Genève, Michel Mayor & Didier Queloz. This exhibition is accompanied by a number of kids workshops, guided tours, astronomical observation and many more events in the months to come.

 

Vaud:

 

  • 27th June-22nd August 2015: “La Roulotte Enchantée et ses spectacles”, a great summer initiative in Lausanne offering free shows, workshops and activities for children in various locations throughout the city. Take a look at the official website for details of their daily locations and activities, make the most of their free workshops and theatre shows.
© La Roulotte enchantée, Lausanne

© La Roulotte enchantée, Lausanne

 

  • 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 14th, 15th, 20th and 21st July 2015: Cours auto-défense, self-defense classes in French for kids aged 7 to 15 at the Parc Pré Vert Signal de Bougy. Classes, run by qualified instructor Cédric Chapus, will take place in the morning from 9.30am to 11.30am and will teach children how to deal effectively with verbal or physical aggression and abuse. Classes will be held outdoors but in case of rain they will be at the salle du Conseil à la Ferme (in the Parc Pré Vert Signal de Bougy).

 

  • 6th July-15th August 2015: Body Kids, fun gym classes for kids (in French) at the Parc Pré Vert Signal de Bougy. Classes take place every Wednesday at 3pm and last 45 minutes, children will learn about good posture, exercise and keep fit this summer! FREE, no advance booking required.
 © 2015 Parc Pré Vert Signal de Bougy

© 2015 Parc Pré Vert Signal de Bougy

 

  • 20th-24th July 2015: Free Ateliers Cirque, circus workshops in French with Snick le Clown at the Parc Pré Vert Signal de Bougy. Juggling, monocycle and more circus skills to learn free of charge! Activities take place from 10am to midday everyday from Monday 20th to Friday 24th of July, look for Snick the Clown at the restaurant or inside the park.
 © 2015 Parc Pré Vert Signal de Bougy

© 2015 Parc Pré Vert Signal de Bougy

 

  • If you live in Lausanne, download this fabulous brochure in French detailing all the summer activities, shows, holiday camps, workshops organized by the city of Lausanne for the little ones. Many are free of charge or require only a nominal fee.

 

  • until 26th July 2015: 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 with an * require parental consent and a nominal fee.
© 2015 Lausanne-sur-mer

© 2015 Lausanne-sur-mer

 

  • until 21st September 2015: Lausanne Estivale, a great summer festival offering plenty of activities, concerts and more for all ages. The programme will be online at the beginning of June so check their official website for full details.
 © Lausanne Estivale 2013

© Lausanne Estivale 2013

 

  • until Sunday 27th September 2015: Free Spectacles enfants — clowns, music and other fun kids shows in French at the Parc Pré Vert Signal de Bougy. Shows will take place at 3pm in the park’s amphitheatre but will be cancelled in case of bad weather and rain. Click here to download the complete list of upcoming shows. FREE ENTRY, no advance booking required.
Free shows at the amphitheatre. Photo © Parc Pré Vert Signal de Bougy

Free shows at the amphitheatre. Photo © Parc Pré Vert Signal de Bougy

 

France

  • until 30th August 2015: Divonne Quartier d’été, free summer activities in Divonne-les-Bains. Activities include free cinema screenings, concerts, shows and much more!
© 2015 Office de Tourisme Divonne-les-Bains

© 2015 Office de Tourisme Divonne-les-Bains

 

FREE SUMMER ACTIVITIES FOR ADULTS

Geneva:

  • Free one-day bike rentals from Genève Roule in Carouge, Meyrin, Montbrilliant, Nations, Plainpalais, Terrassiere, Pâquis and Place du Rhône.
 Photo © Genève-Roule

Photo © Genève-Roule

 

Copyright Murat Erdemsel http://muraterdemsel.com/MuratsArt/MuratsArt.html

Copyright Murat Erdemsel http://muraterdemsel.com/MuratsArt/MuratsArt.html

 

 

  • 28th June-20th August 2015: the Musiques colorées live concerts at the Scène Ella Fitzgerald (parc de La Grange) are free of charge! These concerts are part of the Musiques en été festival in Geneva.
© 2015 Musiques en été

© 2015 Musiques en été

 

  • 29th June-23rd August 2015: 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: Parc des BastionsParc TrembleyParc BeaulieuParc du Promeneur solitaireLes Halles de l’IleParc Bertrand (01.07-25.08); Parc Baud-Bovy (16th July-17th August from 11am to 7pm); Bois de la BâtieParc La Grange (28th July-24th August from 1pm to 7pm).

 

  • 9th July-16 August 2015: CinéTransat, free open-air cinema screenings in Geneva. Every evening at dusk they show a selection of great movies 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. 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.
CinéTransat © Crédit photo: Sébastien Puiatti

CinéTransat © Crédit photo: Sébastien Puiatti

 

  • 13th July-23rd August 2015: “Aubes musicales” free live concerts from 6am to 7am every morning at the Bains des Pâquis. Enjoy one of Geneva’s finest cultural traditions (summer isn’t summer without these concerts at the Bains) and start your day inspired by beautiful music…and a free coffee too!
© 2015 Aubes Musicales Bains des Pâquis

© 2015 Aubes Musicales Bains des Pâquis

 

  • 16th July-9th August 2015: Fêtes de Genève, the city’s summer festival is on its way with 150 free concerts on three different stages (Club Stage in the heart of the Jardin Anglais; the very popular Funkytown Stage at Baby-Plage and the new Wilson Stage on the Right Bank). There will be plenty of entertainment for little ones too with funfairs, merry-go-rounds and much more all along the Geneva lakeside.
© 2015 Fêtes de Genève (OFFICIEL)

© 2015 Fêtes de Genève (OFFICIEL)

 

  • until 24th July 2015: Un été à Sécheron, it’s summer time at the Espace de Quartier Sécheron in Geneva with umbrellas, sun loungers, buvette, concerts and many activities for kids. Open Monday to Friday from 3pm to 8pm, you will also find table tennis and small inflatable paddle pools for the little ones.

 

  • until 21st August 2015: été à la Jonction, summer activities and workshops for failies, adults and children at different locations in the Jonction neighbourhood in Geneva, including the parc Gourgas; parc de la Baleine (rue du Village-Suisse) and the parc Baud-Bovy (parc de l’Ancien palais). Click here to download the full list of activities and workshops.
été à la Jonction - Maison du quartier de la Jonction © 2015 Alvaro Caballero et Alba Knobel

été à la Jonction – Maison du quartier de la Jonction © 2015 Alvaro Caballero et Alba Knobel

 

  • until 23rd August 2015: 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.
Golf Urbain - Geneva. Photo © P. Lopreno/Ville de Genève

Golf Urbain – Geneva. Photo © P. Lopreno/Ville de Genève

 

Vaud:

  • 3rd July-15th August 2015: RiveJazzy Nyon, a great music festival dedicated to traditional jazz music, swing, as well as latino & gipsy music. It takes place in the Quartier de Rive in Nyon during the months of July and August (except during the Paléo Festival), concerts might be cancelled in case of rain or bad weather. Entry is free of charge for all and there are plenty of delish options to combine dinner with some great live music. Visit the official website for full programme details and performance times.
© 2015 Rive Jazzy Festival, Nyon

© 2015 Rive Jazzy Festival, Nyon

 

  • 3rd-18th July 2015: free concerts at the Montreux Jazz Festival, one of the most eagerly-awaited music festival in Switzerland. Make the most of their free concerts this summer!
© 2015 Montreux Jazz Festival

© 2015 Montreux Jazz Festival

 

  • until 26th July 2015: 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 with an * require parental consent and a nominal fee.
© 2015 Lausanne-sur-mer

© 2015 Lausanne-sur-mer

 

  • until 21st September 2015: Lausanne Estivale, a great summer festival offering plenty of activities, concerts and more for all ages. The programme will be online at the beginning of June so check their official website for full details.
 © Lausanne Estivale 2013

© Lausanne Estivale 2013

 

France

  • until 30th August 2015: Divonne Quartier d’été, free summer activities in Divonne-les-Bains. Activities include free cinema screenings, concerts, shows and much more!
© 2015 Office de Tourisme Divonne-les-Bains

© 2015 Office de Tourisme Divonne-les-Bains

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