What’s On in May 2018

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.

MAY BANK HOLIDAYS 

Spring is in the air, bank holidays abound. What better time to book a short family break or weekend getaway? Here’s some child-friendly destinations we’ve tried out so far on a short weekend break — please do share your own recommendations for a great family holiday!

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.

Thursday 10th of May: Ascension (jeudi de l’Ascension), bank holiday in Geneva, France and Canton Vaud.

Monday 21st of May: Whit Monday, bank holiday in Geneva and Canton Vaud.

Piazza Chanoux, Aosta (Italy) Photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

 

LUDOBUS

The toy library buses called LUDOBUS are back in Geneva! From the 8th of 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.

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

Geneva Botanical Gardens

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.

© 2017 Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques

 

May 2018 Events:

 

  • until 6th May 2018: Festival La Cour des Contes in Plan-les-Ouates has a programme packed with fantastic shows and events for all ages (and many are free!), so take a look at their official programme online to find out more about it and reserve your places. Places can be booked in advance at 022 884 64 60 or by email at culture@plan-les-ouates.ch

© 2018 Commune de Plan-les-Ouates

  • until 6th May 2018: “Découvrir le monde – Genève”, a fun and interactive exhibition for toddlers and young children at the Salles du Rondeau in Carouge (Boulevard des Promenades 26). The exhibit reveals how our little ones go about discovering the world around them. There will be many free events and activities linked to this exhibition, click here for full details. Open Wednesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm, FREE ENTRY.

© 2018 Découvrir le monde – Genève

 

  • until 6th May 2018: Morges Tulip Festival. Spring wouldn’t be spring without the Morges Tulip Festival with its 120,000 tulips of 300 varieties, blossoming along the lakeside promenade of the Parc de l’Indépendance in Morges. The first varieties start blooming around mid-April (weather permitting) and there are plenty of activities planned for the duration of the festival. Find out more here.

Fête de la Tulipe, Morges (VD)

 

  • Wednesday 9th May 2018: Secret des oeufs – Animation enfants FREE workshops for ages 5+ at the Muséum d’histoire naturelle, Genève (1, route de Malagnou). Sessions take place at 1.30pm; 2.30pm and 3.30pm. FREE ENTRY.

© 2018 Muséum d’histoire naturelle

 

  • Wednesday 9th May 2018: Jours d’ouverture aux familles at the Maison de la Créativité in Conches (7, chemin Calandrini). These family activities will take place in the afternoon from 2.30pm to 5.30pm.

© 2015 Maison de la créativité, Conches (GE).

 

  • Wednesday 9th May 2018: “Fort comme un roc”, part of the Mercredis Family  family workshops at the Musée d’art et d’histoire in Geneva (Rue Charles-Galland 2). Children aged 6 to 10 accompanied by an adult are welcome at 3pm to discover all about the museum collections in a fun, interactive way. FREE ENTRY, no advance booking required.

© Musées d’art et d’histoire, Geneva

 

  • Wednesday 9th May 2018: Les mercredis à la Villa Freundler, free Wednesday activities for children at the Villa Freundler in Plainpalais (Place de Saint-François 4). Activities include games, creative workshops, sports and they will run from 1.30pm to 6pm. FREE ENTRY, no advance booking necessary, children must be accompanied by an adult/carer.

Image © Maison de Quartier de Plainpalais

 

  • 9th-12th May 2018: Mapping Festival in Geneva. A multi-genre art festival focused on audiovisual arts and digital culture. Free up some time in your diary for their exciting programme of installations, clubbing parties, live performances, architectural mapping, as well as workshops and conferences.

© 2016 Mapping Festival Geneva

 

  • Thursday 10th May 2018: Fête du Printemps” organized by the Maison du Quartier de la Jonction at the Parc Gourgas in ‪Geneva‬. From 10am to 8pm there will be live music, DJ sets, activities for children — including bouncy castles, workshops, face painting, ludobus from the toy library. There will be a free circus show for kids at 3pm and a colourful “Lâcher de ballons” at 4.30pm. FREE ENTRY.

© 2018 Maison du quartier de la Jonction

 

  • Thursday 10th May 2018: Genève-Plage (Quai de Cologny 5, Port-Noir) reopens for the season at 10am. 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! You can find out more about it & other lidos in our previous post.

© Genève-plage

  • 11th-13th May 2018: “Jardins en fête” at the Château de Coppet (VD). Stock up on your spring seedlings at this wonderful garden festival, in the beautiful setting of Coppet Castle. With over 120 exhibitors you’ll find anything you need for your garden: seeds, plants, garden furniture and decorations. Open from 10am to 6pm, entry is 12CHF for adults and free for children under 16.

© Jardins en Fête, parc du Château de Coppet

 

  • Saturday 12h May 2018: Fête de l’Espoir at Geneva’s Patinoire des Vernet (Rue Hans-Wilsdorf 4). This is one of the city’s best music events, filled with child-friendly activities, great live music, football tournaments and more. The event is free of charge and open to all, so visit their official website for full details of the day’s programme.

© 2018 Fête de l’Espoir, Geneva

 

  • Wednesday 16th May 2018: Secret des oeufs – Animation enfants FREE workshops for ages 5+ at the Muséum d’histoire naturelle, Genève (1, route de Malagnou). Sessions take place at 1.30pm; 2.30pm and 3.30pm. FREE ENTRY.

© 2018 Muséum d’histoire naturelle

 

  • Wednesday 16th May 2018: Jours d’ouverture aux familles at the Maison de la Créativité in Conches (7, chemin Calandrini). These family activities will take place in the afternoon from 2.30pm to 5.30pm.

© 2015 Maison de la créativité, Conches (GE).

 

  • Wednesday 16th May 2018: “Que racontent les arbres de Hodler?”, part of the Mercredis Family  family workshops at the Musée d’art et d’histoire in Geneva (Rue Charles-Galland 2). Children aged 6 to 10 accompanied by an adult are welcome at 3pm to discover all about the museum collections in a fun, interactive way. FREE ENTRY, no advance booking required.

© Musées d’art et d’histoire, Geneva

 

  • Wednesday 16th May 2018: Les mercredis à la Villa Freundler, free Wednesday activities for children at the Villa Freundler in Plainpalais (Place de Saint-François 4). Activities include games, creative workshops, sports and they will run from 1.30pm to 6pm. FREE ENTRY, no advance booking necessary, children must be accompanied by an adult/carer.

Image © Maison de Quartier de Plainpalais

 

  • Friday 18th May 2018: Rencontres jeunes mamans et papas à la Villa Freundler, free Friday sessions for young parents and their babies/toddlers at the Villa Freundler in Plainpalais (Place de Saint-François 4). A chance to meet other young parents, make new friends, chat over a cup of tea and take part in parenting workshops (in French), every Friday from 3pm to 5pm. FREE ENTRY, no advance booking necessary.

Image © Maison de Quartier de Plainpalais

 

  • 18th-21st May 2018: Animai Festival at the Jardin du Rivage in Vevey (VD). A fantastic (and what’s more free-of-charge!) kids festival filled with creative workshops, fun activities, live concerts for your little ones. Visit the official website for full details of what’s on each day.

© Festival Animai, Vevey

 

  • 19th-21st & 26th-27th May 2018: Les Grandes Medievales d’Andilly, an absolutely spectacular medieval fest in Andilly (France) perfect if your little ones are going through their “knight” or “princess” phase. The costumes and historical reconstructions are amazing, and the tournament shows will have you mesmerized. Read about a previous edition we attended in our previous post — just a word of warning: if the weather turns rainy you will need your wellies as the fields get quite muddy.

© 2016 Grandes Medievales, Le Petit Pays

 

© 2016 Grandes Medievales, Le Petit Pays

 

  • Sunday 20th May 2018: “Yoga-Visite”, parent-child yoga workshop for ages 6+ (children must be accompanied by an adult) conducted in French by Espace Colibri at the MEG museum in Geneva (Musée d’ethnographie de la Ville de Genève, Boulevard Carl-Vogt 65-67). The workshop runs from 10am to midday, tickets are 8-12CHF and must be purchased online ahead of the day as places are limited.

Photo: MEG – D.R.

 

  • until 20th May 2018: Festival de la Tour, theatre shows, concerts, kids activities, puppet-shows and much more. This great festival in La-Tour-de-Peilz has a fun-packed programme to suit all tastes. Click here for full details.

© 2018 Festival de la Tour

 

  • Wednesday 23rd May 2018: Les mercredis à la Villa Freundler, free Wednesday activities for children at the Villa Freundler in Plainpalais (Place de Saint-François 4). Activities include games, creative workshops, sports and they will run from 1.30pm to 6pm. FREE ENTRY, no advance booking necessary, children must be accompanied by an adult/carer.

Image © Maison de Quartier de Plainpalais

 

  • Wednesday 23rd May 2018: Jours d’ouverture aux familles at the Maison de la Créativité in Conches (7, chemin Calandrini). These family activities will take place in the afternoon from 2.30pm to 5.30pm.

© 2015 Maison de la créativité, Conches (GE).

 

  • Friday 25th May 2018: La Fête des Voisins in France & Switzerland is a great opportunity to organize a street party and get to know your neighbours better! Check the official website for more details on your local area.

© La fête des voisins en Suisse

 

  • Friday 25th May 2018: Rencontres jeunes mamans et papas à la Villa Freundler, free Friday sessions for young parents and their babies/toddlers at the Villa Freundler in Plainpalais (Place de Saint-François 4). A chance to meet other young parents, make new friends, chat over a cup of tea and take part in parenting workshops (in French), every Friday from 3pm to 5pm. FREE ENTRY, no advance booking necessary.

Image © Maison de Quartier de Plainpalais

 

  • 25th-27th May 2018: “Fête de la Nature”, a yearly tradition in Suisse Romande and a perfect way to spend a lovely weekend with your little ones enjoying the beautiful natural setting Switzerland has to offer. Take a look at the programme to decide which of the 200 free events and activities you’d like to register for in Geneva, Vaud or the rest of Suisse Romande. From guided forest walks to bird-watching the choice is yours.

© 2018 Fête de la Nature, Suisse

 

  • 25th-27th May 2018: Mai au Parc Festival at the Villa Bernasconi in Geneva (Route du Grand-Lancy 8). Don’t miss the kids workshops – check the official website for full programme details and exact times. FREE ENTRY.

Mai au Parc © 2018, Ville de Lancy, tous droits réservés

 

  • 25th May-10th June 2018: Festival Poussière du Monde, puppet shows, world music and dance under two giant Mongolian yourtes at the Parc Bernasconi in Grand-Lancy. Check their official website for full details of their kids shows. Tickets are 25CHF for adults and 10CHF for children aged 12 and older, places are limited so advance booking is highly recommended.

© 2018 Festival Poussière du Monde, Geneva

 

  • Saturday 26th May 2018: Nuit des Musées in Canton Vaud, organized by the Association des Musées de la Riviera vaudoise. This is a unique opportunity to visit the museums of the Vaud riviera by night and take part in some exciting free activities. From 5pm to midnight entry and all museums’ activities will be free of charge, take advantage of the free shuttle service that will be made available to connect all participating museums.

Nuit des Musées © Association des Musées de la Riviera vaudoise 2018

  • Saturday 26th May 2018: Jours d’ouverture aux familles at the Maison de la Créativité in Conches (7, chemin Calandrini). These family activities will take place in the morning from 9.30am until midday and in the afternoon from 2.30pm to 5pm. Entry is 3CHF per adult and per child aged 2+.

© 2015 Maison de la créativité, Conches (GE).

 

  • Saturday 26th May 2018: La Nuit des musées de Genève– a fantastic event for the whole family. Over 30 museums and galleries in Geneva will be opening their doors on Saturday night for a series of very special events. The theme this year will be “Voyage”. Click here to download the full programme.

© 2018 La Nuit des musées, Genève

 

  • until Saturday 26th May 2018: Les samedis à la Villa Freundler, free Saturday activities for families and children at the Villa Freundler in Plainpalais (Place de Saint-François 4). Activities include games, creative workshops, sports and they will run from 3pm to 7pm. FREE ENTRY, no advance booking necessary, children must be accompanied by an adult/carer.

Image © Maison de Quartier de Plainpalais

 

  • 26th-27th May 2018: Fort l’Ecluse Plaisir des Enfants, a superb family event in Fort l’Ecluse (Pays de Gex, nearby France). From 10am until 6pm children will be able to take part in photography workshops, magic shows, games, donkey rides, story times, puppet shows & much more! FREE ENTRY.

© 2017 Fort l’Ecluse

 

  • 26th May-7th October 2018: La ville est à vous returns for its 14th edition, kicking off in Philosophes with street parties, second-hand sales and activities for children. Take a look at the official website for all upcoming weekends and join in, because the city belongs to you! Here’s the list of all the upcoming street parties in Geneva: 26th-27th May, Genêts; 2nd-3rd June, Sécheron; 9th-10th June, Aubépine; 16th-17th June, Saint-Jean; 1st-2nd September, Geisendorf; 8th-9th September, Europe; 15th-16th September, Petit-Saconnex; 29th-30th September, Pâquis; 6th-7th October, Eaux-Vives. 

«La ville est à vous», Geneva – Photo © S. Rubio, Ville de Genève

 

A stunning view of Nyon castle. Photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

 

  • Wednesday 30th May 2018: Jours d’ouverture aux familles at the Maison de la Créativité in Conches (7, chemin Calandrini). These family activities will take place in the afternoon from 2.30pm to 5.30pm.

© 2015 Maison de la créativité, Conches (GE).

 

  • Wednesday 30th May 2018: Les mercredis à la Villa Freundler, free Wednesday activities for children at the Villa Freundler in Plainpalais (Place de Saint-François 4). Activities include games, creative workshops, sports and they will run from 1.30pm to 6pm. FREE ENTRY, no advance booking necessary, children must be accompanied by an adult/carer.

Image © Maison de Quartier de Plainpalais

 

ONGOING:

  • until 3rd June 2018: “Ça coule de source“. A great exhibition of an hydraulic structure’s construction site, inspired by the recent discovery made by archaeologists around the site of the ancient roman Aqueduct of Nyon. This exhibition will also show how the Romans managed and consumed their water sources. Pipes, taps, fountain plates, gargoyles, hydraulic facilities, coins and spillways illustrate the water’s course from the source, through its transmission across town, its distribution, use and disposal.

© 2017 Musée romain de Nyon

 

  • 8th-10th June 2018: Fête de l’oiseau in Gex (France), a fantastic medieval festival the whole family will enjoy. FREE ENTRY. From Friday 8th until Sunday 10th of June in the late afternoon, there will be medieval parades, archery tournaments, live music and fireworks. Click here for more info and to download the full programme.

© Fête de l’Oiseau de Gex, France

 

  • until 18th June 2018: the Café des Jardins at the iris Gardens in Vullierens (VD) re-opens for the season and they will be offering their delicious Sunday brunches on Sundays and Bank Holidays, with the first seating at 10.30am and the second one at 1pm. The menu includes sweet & savoury dishes as well as a selection from their BBQ. The price is 55CHF per person and 25CHF for children aged 4 to 12, drinks and entry to the gardens are not included in the price – bookings must be made well in advance at 079 844 68 60 or cafe@jardindesiris.ch. Find out more about these beautiful iris gardens in our previous post and check their official website for their upcoming spring Sunday brunches.

 

  • until 1st July 2018: “Ma petite histoire de l’art” a great new art exhibition suitable for ages 4 to 10 at the Espace des Inventions in Lausanne (Vallée de la Jeunesse 1). Open Wednesdays to Saturdays from 2pm until 6pm, and on Sundays from 10am until 6pm. Tickets are 7 CHF for adults and 5CHF for children. Entry is free on the first Saturday of every month.

© 2017 Espace des Inventions. Tous droits réservés.

 

  • until 15th July 2018: “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. Open Wednesdays to Saturdays from 2pm until 6pm, and on Sundays from 10am until 6pm. Tickets are 7 CHF for adults and 5CHF for children. Entry is free on the first Saturday of every month.

© 2017 Espace des Inventions. Tous droits réservés.

 

  • until end of September 2018: 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).

© 2015 Musée Départemental des Sapeurs-Pompiers, GEX

  • until 14th October 2018: “Je suis ton père !”, an exhibition at the Maison d’Ailleurs which, thanks to the original approach of the thirteen international contemporary artists invited to Yverdon-les-Bains, deals with modern myths, and in particular the most famous of all: George Lucas’s Star Wars. Linked to the exhibition, there will be various kids workshops, free guided tours and other fun activities – click here for full details and to reserve your place.

Vernissage :
“Je suis ton père ! ” | SA 9.12.2017
© P. Stauffer/ Pauline Stauffer / Photographer
Swiss Garrison 501 st Legion / The 501st Legion

 

  • until 6th January 2019: due to its outstanding success and by popular demand, the exhibition “Fourmis la grande exposition” at the Muséum d’histoire naturelle, Genève (1, route de Malagnou) has been extended until the 6th of January 2019! Discover the fascinating, unknown universe of these tiny insects. FREE ENTRY only on the first Sunday of every month.

Copyright © Ville de Genève 2017

 

  • The permanent exhibition “Noblesse Oblige” at Prangins Castle is a great day-out for the whole family, take a step back in time with your children to see how a noble Swiss family lived in the 18th century! Find out more about this fantastic family exhibition in our previous post.

© Château de Prangins (VD)

 

SUNDAY BRUNCH & INDOOR PLAY CENTRES

You can also check our previous posts to find all the best child-friendly places to enjoy a delicious and stress-free Sunday brunch with your little buttons or the best indoor play centres in Geneva, Vaud and nearby France. And if the Sunday blues hit you don’t fret, we’ve got some great tips for that too.

LIBRARIES & TOY LIBRARIES:

Many public libraries host free events, workshops, story-times (usually in French but many times in other languages too). The bibliothèques in Geneva, Lausanne and neighbouring communes hold too many kids events each month to list them all here so here’s some links you can check regularly:

Geneva public libraries events & activities

Carouge public libraries events & activities

Lausanne public libraries events & activities

Click here to find the best indoor play centres in Geneva, Vaud and nearby France, and remember you can always pop round into your local toy library for a bit of free-play. Here’s a link about great ludothèques in the area.

Ludothèque des Pâquis © Ville de Genève

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One Response to “What’s On in May 2018”

  1. Ioana says:

    This is great work what you do. Your listing is always a great planning aid for me. My go-to page when looking for new activities and ideas for kids.

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