Cool Info for Parents in Lausanne, Switzerland

Friday March 27th, 2015

Tulip Festival in Morges – 2015

The Tulip Festival in Morges starts tomorrow, 28 March and will last until 17 May 2015. The festival is located at Parc de l’Indépendance, directly on the lake side. It’s approximately 800m from the train station Morges. Or, when the weather is good, why not take the boat there.

As a note, in the last few years I had heard from friends who went when the festival just started, that they found many tulips had not yet bloomed. If you could only come once, it’s better to come a bit later, perhaps from mid April so that you can enjoy more blooms.

Entrance to the park is free and there will be special programs including brunch, flower art, pottery market, music and theatre, and many more. And when the weather is good, it’s also a classic place to spend Mother’s Day (10 May this year in la Suisse). At the end of the festival, you can also buy the plucked tulip bulbs (on 20th May.)

Here’s a pic of hubby and daughter enjoying the park in 2011:

And the same daughter but 3 years older in 2014:

tulip-morges-2014

Can’t wait to be there again!

Thursday March 26th, 2015

This & That Week #13 – March 2015

  • Open house time for artisans in the area as part of Journées européennes des metiers d’art. Friday-Sunday 27-29 March 2015
  • Second-hand bike market this Saturday – Terrasse Jean-Monet (Bel-Air above Fnac) – info
  • Have you been planning to start running but don’t know how? Je cours pur ma forme has started their training sessions, but still have places in all their groups, and they run in many locations!
  • Will you be visiting Expo Milano 2015? We plan to! If you, too, will take the train, check this helpful infoblog
  • Have you tried uber? The Lausanne Guide has a code for a CHF20 credit
  • A new platform to give away and look for stuff: keepinuse (Thanks Marcella)
  • For single mamas with kids 3-8y, Pro Juventute Fribourg is offering a “Cours de vacances Maman et Enfants“, 19-25 July 2015 in Charmey. Cost CHF550.

On the news:

  • This week, a school in Payerne goes “no water” – except in restrooms.  It is an experience week for the youngest pupils (age 4-7) to learn about the difficulty of living without clean water in some parts of the world. These little ones have to march to a nearest fountain to get water every morning! – via 24heures
  • Facilitated naturalisation, may always as easy as it sounds – via SwissInfo
  • Libraries on Sundays? Love. – via 24heures
  • Woohoo! Significantly lower consumption of alcohol and cigarettes among 11-14yo – via 24heures
  • Another good news: Fewer crime offenses in 2014 vs 2013, especially in Lausanne (-18%) – via 24heures

And finally, and VERY importantly, European Summer Time starts this Sunday 29 March 2015 at 2am. The clock goes forward 1 hour, so don’t forget to hit the bed at least an hour earlier on Saturday night! ;)

Monday March 23rd, 2015

What to do with Kids: Easter 2015

easter2014

  • Pâkomuzé offers many programs during the Easter weekend. Registration for most activities starts tomorrow – 24 March 2015 from 12:30pm!
  • Pâkochâto at Château de Chillon (part of Pâkomuzé) Easter Sunday, 5 April 2015 from 10am-4pm. Children can decorate eggs to be hung on the tree. Workshop cost: CHF10/child (entry included). Reservation required.
  • Easter Chocolate Workshops at Alimentarium (part of Pâkomuzé) on Easter weekend. See programs #84-85. Reservation required.
  • La mosaïque de Pâques 2015: place de la Navigation at Ouchy from 3-5 April 2015 10am-7pm. Entry is free. This year, 34’320 eggs (sold for CHF1 each) will be  used to create a fresco to mark their 130th anniversary. All benefits go to ARFEC (Association Romande des Familles d’Enfants atteints d’un Cancer)
  • Easter Cruise: Enjoy a delicious meal and breathtaking panorama on a ship cruise across Lake Leman with CGN. Easter Sunday, 5 April 2015. Reservation required.
  • l’Enigme du lapin de Pâques: Search for the missing Easter rabbit while discovering the old town of Estavayer-le-Lac. 3-6 April 2015, 10am-5pm. Walk last around 1h, starts at the Tourism Office where you also get the map and instructions. Free and for all ages.
  • Easter egg hunting at Signal de Bougy: Easter Sunday, 5 April 2015 from 9:30am. Free.

Do you know other events I should add? Leave a comment below!

Happy Easter!

Thursday March 19th, 2015

This & That Week #12 – March 2015

Morning parents!

I’m sorry that I couldn’t blog more often these last few weeks. I’ve been having too much on my plate and feel almost constantly tired. I think it’s a result of stopping my son’s one full day per week attendance at the creche at the end of January. I used to have 2 mornings and one full day child-free, but now I only have two mornings to do things that I can only do without my kids around, like doing taxes, exercise or blogging.

On the good side, I have started a blog draft on (our) first 2 years of public school. It’s going to be a “big” blog – I hope it won’t take too long to write and finish, but original post on such topics always takes a lot of time and energy… and caffeine ;)

In the meanwhile, a lot of interesting things happened lately or will happen shortly:

  • Aperti comes this weekend 21-22 March 2015. Over the course of this weekend, many many artists open their studio doors to bring together the public and the artists.
  • Fête de la forêt on Saturday 21 March at Sauvabelin. Free. Read my blog about Sauvabelin here. (Thanks Kat)
  • Jazz in Motion, an association to promote jazz in Lausanne, is having their first concert on Wednesday 25th March.
  • Open house of the Conservatoire Lausanne Saturday 28 March 2015 (pdf info). (Thanks Kat)
  • Junior Days on 28-29 March 2015 at Beaulieu Lausanne (tip for cheaper tickets: get 20% off with Coop Hello Family card)
  • Amazing, amazing Whitepods – via Hayley Hay

And there are local parent businesses in the area worth mentioning:

  • Little Bird Pilates is Lausanne Mom’s newest sponsor. Based in Gland, LBP offers many classes that are small in size, tailored to participant’s needs, and bilingual. You can read more about the classes, Johdi the instructor, the reviews, etc directly on the facebook page
  • Eleni just rebranded her eyebrows service. Meet Eleni Eyebrows!
  • Melissa just started another new venture: Once Upon a Time Parties. They specialise in real life Princess parties but also cater other interests to such as magic parties, football and zumba! (Psst, Melissa is also the same superlady behind Cake&Bake and Mia Tui Suisse)

Finally, a couple of blogs I need to share about:

  • Munchkin et moi is a new blog by the talented Lausanne mom Nicola Pravato. Sadly they will be leaving Lausanne for California in summer, but do check the blog as it’s full of the loveliest things for little kids.
  • The Kids Project - I’ve been following this blog for a couple of years and I found it full of ideas for kids activities. The blog is not so often updated (perhaps once a month, sometimes less often) but definitely worth an email subscription. It’s only in French, unfortunately.

Now enjoy the sunny days before the predicted rain comes on the weekend!

 

*Little Bird Pilates and Mia Tui Suisse are current sponsors of Lausanne Mom

Friday March 13th, 2015

Easter School Holiday Activities in Lausanne and Around (2015)

easterhols

The Easter school holiday for this year starts in 3 weeks! Are you ready? :)

For those not yet familiar with the school here, school kids in Switzerland have holidays often, approximately every 6 weeks (find the list here). This may create headaches to many parents, especially ones who are employed. Chatting around, I found that most employed couple rely on help from grandparents or families (who sometimes fly from another side of the planet). Or hire a temporary nanny when they can afford one. Or they take turns taking off days from their office. But considering the active life of kids, even the stay-at-home parents need programs to keep those little ones and teens happily occupied.

Below I complied different kinds of activities and camps that are offered during the school holidays in Lausanne and surrounding areas. Please click the links for more info.

As a general rule, the winter holiday after Christmas and the Relâches (February) are considered ski holiday thus most of the sport camps offered concentrated into this. For other holidays, activities are more varied.


Pâkomuzé

Offered every year during Easter holiday by museums in Lausanne and around, Pâkomuzé is a very popular event for school age children. Read more about it here.

Offers from the city of Lausanne (Le SJL, le CVAJ and la FASL)

Note that these are usually reserved for children domiciled inside Lausanne

  • Check current offers for Easter in April here on the banner on the left hand side (click on Pâques).

Educational themes

  • Pop In’s – Full or half day, 3-12y (info)
  • L’écoline in St.Sulpice – Full or half day, 3-9y (info)

Language (English)

  • Key English School – Full or half day English camps, 3-15y. Vaud locations are: Lausanne, Lutry and Bussigny (info)

Creative and Artistic Expression

  • Bricks 4 Kidz – Half or Full day, 4-13y (info)
  • Art Classes by Naomi Middelmann in Lausanne – 5-12y, mornings only (info)
  • Têtard in Lausanne (or Leysin) – 6-17y (info)
  • Atelier poterie by Migros Ecole – 6y+ (info)
  • Painting and Drawing by Atelier Ardersia in Pully – 6-15y, mornings only (info)

Dance and Theatre

  • Danse Evasion – 9am-4pm, 4-14y, in Cugy (info)
  • Corps et Masque in Lausanne – 8:30am-1pm, 6-12y (info)

Make-up

  • Maquillage pour adolescents by Migros Ecole, 13-16y (info)

Sports

  • Intersoccer – Soccer for 3-15years, mornings only (info)

Circus

  • KidsUp in Lausanne – Half or Full day, from 5y (info)

Even more activities

  • See this post for family-friendly places in Switzerland, including links to blog post about our visits
  • See this extensive list from Loisir.ch
  • Check the current offers from RailAway

Do you know other activities and camps I should list here? Leave a comment!

*This is not a sponsored post

Thursday March 12th, 2015

PâKOMUZé 2015

pakomuze2015

PâKOMUZé is definitely one the best things that can happen when you stay in Lausanne with your school-aged kid(s) during Easter break.

The 10th editiion will be coming soon. Thirty-three museums in Lausanne and around will join forces to offer almost a hundred different activities. You kids should be ready to enrich their taste buds for a rich cultural experience!

Many activities require registration, which most will start on 24 March 2015 at 12:30. Now download the program and choose with your kids!

Wednesday March 11th, 2015

Swiss Vapeur Parc in Le Bouveret

The Swiss Vapeur Parc will re-open for this year on 19th March 2015, so that I brought this post (originally published Aug 2012) back for those who haven’t been there. Both my kids looooove this park and I’m sure we’ll spend at least a day there this summer. Choo-choo!


I had been meaning to do this post for the last 2 months. Life’s surely busy with 2 kiddos around.

We (hubby, 3.5-y.o. daughter, 1-y.o son, and I) went to Swiss Vapeur Parc on a Saturday, in end of May 2012 (also the Saturday of the Pentecôte weekend). We “had” to go there as I bought a voucher from BuyClub.ch and it was to expire by end of the month.

We took the train (station: Bouveret, approx. 200m or 5 min walk to the park). From Lausanne it took 1 hour 12 minutes, including a change of train in St-Maurice. Very easy and relaxing, and the view from the train (the mountains and valleys of Valais) was breathtaking. FYI, during spring and summer, you can also take the CGN boat from Villeneuve.

We arrived at noon and expected a crowd. There were many people, but it was far from packed. There was an area to leave strollers, and we did so. Our 1-y.o. moved into the Ergo carrier. Stroller doesn’t really work there, as there were bridges, although you can keep it with you.

The queue to board those mini trains was not bad. The “stations” located more in front of the park were the most crowded, but even there we only had to wait for the next train. Some “stations” only had a few “passengers” waiting. There were many trains with different styles, really cute. The train rides were longer than I expected. The mini trains really went everywhere around the park, yet we saw something different each time. And to enjoy the view of mountains surrounding us, with the blue sky we had that day, was awesome.

As for food, no need to worry. There were many eating areas with little huts that sold food. We went to the one selling crêpe. There were also little shops selling toys and souvenir.

We had lots of fun, this park is really for all ages. We will definitely come back! The only problem that we had was that there was no train back to Lausanne (via St-Maurice) at 4pm on Saturdays! Can you believe it? We thought we checked the schedule and remembered that there was a train every hour. But apparently there was a tiny print on that yellow board saying that the train for that particular hour didn’t run on Saturday. So we hang out there at the train station for an hour, which was not bad with such beautiful scenery :)

Have you been there? What was your experience? Do tell in the comment!

Swiss Vapeur Parc
CH-1897 Le Bouveret
Suisse
Tél: +41 24 481 44 10
Fax: +41 24 481 54 70
info (at) swissvapeur.ch

Monday March 9th, 2015

This & That Week #11 – March 2015

Hi there!

I’m so glad to be back here blogging after an exhausting week last week. Obviously I needed to recover after a 5-day trip in Belgium (with kids, sans their dad). But then I had so much on my plate that I felt so drained by Friday evening. Thankfully on Saturday I was back as a mom beaming with pride when my daughter did a demo at a rhythmic gymnastics competition. You can see her and her friends warming up on the photo below. At 6, she’s still the youngest and I really hope she will stick with it and becomes good enough to compete next year!

championnatvd15

How was your week and weekend? I hope you enjoyed the sun! Even better, the nice weather should last all week!

Now, here are some of the things you may not want to miss:

I will start updating Easter-related posts soon. Do you realize that it’s coming early this year? In less than a month! So do let me know if there are Easter activity, camps, brunches, etc that you think I should include.

xx

P.S.: Those who would like to know more about my daughter’s rhythmic gymnastics team can go here. Or contact me for more info. AFAIK there are only 2 teams in Vaud that work on competitive level (Lucens and Bex).

Monday March 2nd, 2015

The Children’s Area in Geneva Airport

Last week kids and I spent our “Relâches” school holiday to visit a dear friend in Belgium. We flew from Geneva airport and of course I used the opportunity to check out the renovated Children’s Area.

GVAplayroom1

The Children’s Area is located at the Mezzanine level in transit/departure area. Roughly after the bag check and in between shopping area and the A gates. Really easy to find when you follow the “rocking horse” signs.

Below is a photo of the location (pink arrow). By the time this photo was taken it was directly above La Prairie shop.

GVA-arrow

There is stroller parking just outside the room. Kids are expected to take off their shoes but keep their socks. Adults must wear the provided blue plastic covers regardless whether they keep their shoes on or not. There are shoe racks outside the room as well as racks for cabin bags inside.

There was a lady who managed the facility but you (or another adult) must be there with your kids at all time.

After the renovation they did a couple of years ago, the play area feels brighter. It has a better flow for traffic now that they put the playpen for babies on the side. Many different types of toys are now available, from the climbing-jumping-sliding ones, to coloring, cooking set, and books.

GVA-playroom

GVA-playroom2

The facility also offered a closed room for changing diapers, complete with wet wipes and a mini toilet.

GVA-changingroom

There is also a kitchenette with microwave, normal chair and a high chair.

GVA-pantry

As this children’s area was located after the final security check, we could stay there until the last minutes before boarding time. However as we flew EasyJet and board from D gates, we started going much earlier.

So, next time you fly with the little ones and still have time to kill at the airports, don’t pass this facility. It’s great!

Opening hours: every day from 08:00 am to 08:00 pm.
Phone: +41 22 717 71 92

P.S.1: Btw, on the way to the D gate, we passed by a much smaller open play area, which we didn’t use. I’m not sure if they have more of these, but obviously it’s great and may be more useful when you only have a short time at the airport.

P.S.2.: In case you’re flying from Zurich, don’t forget that they also have nursery and playroom in Zurich airport!

 

*Photo on the very top of the post was kindly provided by Johanna

Thursday February 19th, 2015

Where to find Gluten-free (and Lactose-free) Products

Gluten-free foods are not that easy to find in Lausanne. But they are becoming more and more available lately. Thank goodness. Although I am not gluten-intolerant, nor any member of my family, we have a number of friends who are. I hope this post is useful for you and please leave a comment if you have more to add. Several of these places mentioned below also provide lactose-free food.

Cafés, Tea-rooms and Gelateria

Cuppin’s
rue du Petit-Chêne 20, 1003 Lausanne, 078 705 13 12
The popular cupcake boutique Cuppin’s has gluten-free cupcakes, though the selection is limited. Usually only one or two flavours per day.

Chez Rado
Rue du Bugnon 6, 1005 Lausanne, 021 323 41 88
The info I received was that they always have a few gluten-free items on display, and they also accept orders (for pick up on Thursday afternoon) for specific gluten-free items (Thanks Katy)

GeA Gelateria
Rue Enning 8, 1003 Lausanne, 021 311 64 00
Gelato for everyone: free of lactose, dried fruits, gluten, egg or soya! Produced locally. I have never been here myself (what a shame, I know) but at least two other moms have confirmed the quality!

Dessert Santé in Cully
Rue de la Gare 5, 1096 Cully, 079 256 14 74, 021 799 50 20
A chic café with many choices of delicacies (photo below). All gluten-free! To top it up, their outdoor space overlooks lake Léman.

gf-free_cully

Boutique Odélices in Lucens
Grand’Rue 12, 1522 Lucens, 021 906 68 88
Mouth-watering delicacies (photo below), as well as different types of bread. Gluten and lactose-free. They have a small tea-room.
FYI, Odélices products can also be bought in many places in Vaud, and a few inside Lausanne! Click here for a full list.

odelices

Supermarkets and Special Stores

La Biotique
Av Montchoisi 3, 1006 Lausanne
Available both as physical store as well as online!

Coop
I found that even my smallish local Coop has gluten-free products, though very limited (see photo below). Their online shop Coop@home also has them.

glutenfree-coop

Globus
The Globus in Lausanne has a full shelf, and if I remember correctly the have many imported ones too.

Migros
Frozen par-baked gluten-free breads from Migros had been praised by a local mom. Migros online shop LeShop also delivers them (Thanks Monica)

Aligro and Lidl were said to carry gluten-free pasta too (Thanks Heather for info)

Pharmacies

The large pharmacies such as Sunstore stocks gluten-free products. I believe Amavita, too.

Restaurants

This website listed several restaurants that have selections of gluten-free dishes.

And finally, do check this blog post by Nicola, a local mom and blogger, about this topic!

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