Archive for the switzerland Tag

What’s On in September 2016

© 2016 Geneva Street Food Festival

The summer holidays have flown by so fast and it’s time to go back to our routines but don’t worry as there is still a great deal to do with children in this wonderful area during the autumn months. Make the most of our events listings for the month of September and remember to keep checking our blog on a general basis as we will be updating this post with more events […]

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Hic et Nunc

Hic et Nunc, Grens (VD). Photo © 2016 genevafamilydiaries.net

When it comes to best-kept foodie secrets in the Vaud region, pop-up fish & chips bar ‘Hic et Nunc’ in Grens (VD) is probably up there with the best of them. Although they are open on Wednesday evenings from 6.30pm until 10pm throughout the year, summer is the best time to go for a relaxing evening out. When the sun shines, patrons spill out on the courtyard of the old Grens station and […]

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What’s On in March 2016

© 2016 Samedi des Bibliothèques vaudoises

Spring is almost here and the list of events in Geneva, Vaud and nearby France is filled with exciting outings to enjoy with the family. For more ideas, you can also take a look at our previous posts about skiing with the tiddlers, winter sledging and indoor playcentres. Here’s our list of suggestions for March 2016, but remember to keep checking our blog, as we will be updating this post with more events each week! CARNIVAL CELEBRATIONS If […]

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What’s On in December 2015

© 2015  PTA La Châtaigneraie Ecolint Campus

The countdown to Christmas has begun and we have a fab list of events coming up in the area during the festive season: from ice-skating to fabulous Xmas markets, this is wonderful time of year in French-speaking Switzerland. Remember to keep checking these listings regularly as we will be updating this post with more events each week! KEEP ACTIVE THIS DECEMBER: 4th-5th December 2015: 38th edition of the Course de l’Escalade in Geneva. […]

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Halloween Events

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Here’s a run-through of the most spooktacular Halloween events coming up this October. Keep checking the list below as we will be adding more family-friendly events as we dig them up! You’ll also find that many parents at local Swiss schools now get together to take the children trick or treating on Halloween night, so make sure you check with your local Association de parents d’élèves and your neighbours to see if they are organizing […]

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Fresh From the Farm

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If you enjoyed our previous post about unmanned farm shops and started sourcing more of your groceries from a local farm rather than large supermarkets, you’ll be happy to know that the Domaine de Bois-Bougy in Nyon (VD) is not only a good supplier of fresh, seasonal vegetables but also a little corner of paradise for dairy lovers. This lovely farm on the edges of Nyon does in fact boast an automatic dispenser of raw milk (lait cru* […]

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Swiss National Day

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Swiss National Day is celebrated on August 1st to commemorate the foundation of the Swiss Confederacy – make sure you don’t miss these fab events! This year, why not celebrate Swiss National Day with a brunch at the farm, a Swiss tradition by which farmers welcome the public on their farms for a delicious meal made with local produce?   Fête Nationale du 1er Août à Genève The celebrations in Geneva will start […]

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Honesty in a Box

Home-made jams from the farm. Photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

Explore the lush Swiss farmland that’s right on our doorstep and, in all likelihood, you will soon stumble upon an autocueillette sign inviting visitors to pick-their-own fruit and vegetables, or stock up on farm eggs, cheese and home-made jams. Alongside weekly farmer’s markets, Swiss farmers are now happy to offer their bounties of nature in “libre service” from unmanned stalls or sheds that remain open to the public all day and at weekends. This exchange is […]

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Les Puces de Nyon

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If you love scouring flea markets for unique finds, don’t miss the next Puces de Nyon market, which takes place on the last Sunday of every month in the lovely lakeside town of Nyon (VD). Stretching along the lakeside and with the spectacular backdrop of the Château de Nyon perched high on the hill, this flea market is probably one of the most scenic in the area.       The market stalls […]

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Tartares & Co.

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Originally a French dish, steak tartare is now such a firm staple of traditional Swiss cuisine that you can’t leave the country without having tried it at least once (unless you’re vegetarian, of course). Yes, it is true you will find tartare de boeuf featured on most restaurants’ menus, but if you’re looking for a modern, buzzy restaurant for a fun night out with friends then Tartares & Co. in Geneva is the place for […]

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A Day-out at the Arboretum

A mountain stream along the path. Photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

When it comes to Swiss National Parks, the Arboretum in Aubonne is one of the best. A unique botanic park featuring 3,000 different species of trees and shrubs from all over the world’s temperate zones, the Arboretum is open all year-round and is free of charge. Spring and summer are a great time of the year to discover the Arboretum’s orchards, which feature many heritage fruit varieties; “La forêt des abeilles” trail and the pathways meandering across the Aubonne river valley. […]

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Passport to the Big Bang

© 2013 CERN - Photograph: Pralavorio, Corinne

If you love cycling as a family, why not saddle up the little’ns and take a tour of the Passeport Big Bang? Launched by CERN in 2013, the “Passport to the Big Bang” is an interactive cycling circuit through Pays de Gex and Canton of Geneva, connecting a series of ten information platforms installed in front of ten key CERN sites. The ten Passeport Big Bang platforms explain the fundamental research streams being […]

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Best Family Ski Resorts

Glorious winter day in La Clusaz. Photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

You’ll have to admit, one of the greatest perks of living in Geneva is being able to enjoy some of Europe’s best ski slopes right on our doorstep (well, almost…) so a post about skiing in the Geneva region is in order, wouldn’t you agree? If you’re ready to explore this winter wonderland, the Geneva Airport website has a fantastic summary of all the best family ski resorts within easy reach of Geneva […]

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Carnival 2015

© Association d'usagers des Bains des Pâquis.

Carnival celebrations are so popular across Switzerland and France that it would be a shame to miss out on all the fun, so here’s a quick run through of the main ones coming up during the month of February and March 2015. During these street parties you can expect masked parades, Guggenmusiks (carnival marching bands), folk dances, confetti fights as well as street performances and many activities for children. It is also […]

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Spooky Halloween

© La Nuit de l'épouvante 2014, Château de Chillon

When we first moved to Geneva 6 years ago no one in Switzerland, with the exception of expat families of course, really celebrated Halloween. Things have come a long way since then, and you can now dress the part and join in some scary-but-nice village celebrations, pumpkin festivals and torch-lit spooky nights. Here’s a run-through of what’s coming up, keep checking this list as we will be adding spooky Halloween […]

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10 Ways to Get Children into Hiking

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Switzerland has amazing mountains and I love hiking them with my children, aged 5 & 7. The question I often ask myself is how to pass on my love of hiking to the children? Here’s 10 ideas and 10 tips to get children hiking, based on my personal experience. Please leave us a comment below to share your ideas and suggestions. Plan the Hike 1) Go up! I don’t know […]

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How to Employ Nannies in Switzerland

Rockmybaby® Switzerland

Families who hire nannies, babysitters or household help in Switzerland have to ensure that their employees are registered for the required social contributions, accident insurances, pensions and taxes as well as applying for a work permit if needed. Below is a summary of social contributions, accident insurances, pensions, taxes and work permits required when hiring a nanny or babysitter. 1) Social insurance contributions Familes and Nannies / Babysitters have to contribute […]

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What’s On in May 2014

© Festival livre et petite enfance Geneva

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. And for […]

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Carnival Celebrations

© Yverdon-les-Bains Region.

Carnival celebrations are so popular across Switzerland and France that it would be a shame to miss out on all the fun, so here’s a quick run through of the main ones coming up during the month of March 2014. During these street parties you can expect masked parades, Guggenmusiks (carnival marching bands), folk dances, confetti fights as well as street performances and many activities for children. It is also traditional […]

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L’Enfance de l’Art

© Festival l'Enfance de l'Art 2014

If you have children aged 0 to 3 don’t miss the upcoming L’Enfance de l’Art Festival, which will be taking place in French towns of St-Julien-en-Genevois, Valleiry, Viry, Vulbens and in the Swiss commune of Plan-les-Ouates from the 19th to the 26th of February 2014. Discover “Caban” the interactive trail across tents & igloos suitable from 3 months or the “BAL DES BÉBÉS” suitable from 1 month to 12 months and share […]

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Winter Sledging

© Tobogganing Park, Leysin (VD)

I have been doing some research about winter sledging in the area on behalf of my reckless boys (big & small) and I thought it might be a good idea to share some of the links I have found so far. I will be adding new ones as I go along, and will certainly report on our personal experiences! I hope you’ll find the information useful, please let us know […]

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Au Boeuf Rouge

You can never have too much salmon methinks - photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

A couple of weeks before Christmas Expat Husband and I managed to sneak out for lunch without the kids (yep, I can’t believe it either). We quickly scanned all the restaurants within a 2km radius and decided to try a lovely brasserie we’d spotted nearby: Au Boeuf Rouge in Crassier (Vaud). Nestled at the centre of this pretty vadois village, Au Boeuf Rouge stands out for its traditional stone walls, bright red wooden shutters […]

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200 Years of Swiss History

© Ville de Genève

This December will see the beginning of the celebrations for the bicentenary of Geneva’s entry into the Swiss confederation. Two hundred years have passed since the 19th of May 1815, when papers were signed to declare that the Canton of Geneva was officially admitted into the Swiss confederation as its 22nd canton, and we can now look forward to 17 months of celebrations planned to commemorate this historic event.   […]

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A Perfect Spring Getaway

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The Swiss town of Thun is a real gem and the gateway to the Bernese Oberland. This small town is located near Bern, halfway between the Swiss capital, Interlaken and the Bernese Alps. I am not sure why a majority of tourists only pass by Thun on their way to Interlaken, their planned final destination. In my opinion, Thun is much more charming than Interlaken and it is worthwhile to plan a stop here. […]

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Camping in Bern

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A camping weekend in Bern is a wonderful option if you have children and would like to discover a bit more about the Swiss capital and its surroundings. We went there last September and absolutely loved it: the children were over the moon to be camping in such a fantastic place and were out on their bikes until evening; while I got my culture fix visiting Bern’s charming medieval town centre and the […]

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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 Beginner’s Guide to Skiing in the Swiss Alps

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Getting to ski the enchanting Verbier slopes in Valais (one of Switzerland’s French speaking Cantons) is not for the faint-hearted, nor for beginners such as me. Or so I thought. As luck would have it, on the day I visited, only the horrifying (red) and the extremely petrifying (black) trails were open. Not the basic (blue) for beginners. I was not feeling confident. As I watched, very young Swiss children through […]

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Jobseeking in Switzerland

©  Tomasz Meissner

The first images of Switzerland that come to mind are often those of majestic mountain views, endless ski-runs, fancy watches, cheese and chocolate, a Heidi-and-Peter-filled Alpine paradise or of some tight-lipped bankers hiding the secrets of the rich and famous. Although Switzerland is very rarely thought of as an economic powerhouse, the cold numbers of GDP and other macroeconomic statistics will tell you that the Swiss enjoy one of the […]

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In Heidi’s Footsteps

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It happens to most expatriates in Switzerland, especially if your expat plans take you to one of the main Swiss cities rather than one of its idyllic alpine villages. You board the plane with visions of Heidi running barefoot on emerald-green mountain pastureland with cow-bells ringing in the background but, once you’ve settled into local city life, you realise your Swiss experience is turning out to be more urban than you initially […]

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On Heidi’s Trail in Ballenberg

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Hands up who thinks of Heidi when thinking of Switzerland. Trouble is, when you move here and become an expat in Geneva, Zurich or any other modern Swiss city, you lose sight of the country’s most evocative and enchanting cliché. Expat Husband and I are definitely guilty as charged: we make the most of the Swiss slopes in winter but then spend all our spring and summer holidays with family […]

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