Cool Info for Parents in Lausanne, Switzerland

Tuesday November 24th, 2015

Christmas in Lausanne – 2015 (Updated)

We are officially on the fast track to Christmas now as the first events are starting this week!

Festival Lausanne Lumières

Starting today, this fourth edition of festival of lights illuminates Lausanne until the new year.


There will be 13 installations in the city center, including the train station, Flon and up to the Cathedral. You can find the map here. Free guided tours are provided on certain dates.

While most of the light installations were designed and made by artists, there will again be another by the school pupils (8-15y) from Lausanne schools. Last year they created this, and this year it will be the glowing butterflies – “L’Effet Papillon” can already be seen on the living wall of the TL building in Place d l’Europe. More info here.

Christmas Markets

I am super excited about this year’s Christmas markets in Lausanne as I love going around Christmas markets — while enjoying hot food and drinks, the atmosphere, decoration and beautiful lights. And this year, we have…


Bô Noël

The new Christmas Market of Lausanne, now under a new event organizer and baptised “Bô Noël” will start in 2 days and will last until 24 December 2015. There will be there St. François, Place Pépinet, and under the arches of the Grand-Pont.

I’m honestly very curious. The last few years Christmas market in Lausanne had been uninteresting, so I hope this one will really bring a better atmosphere and products.

Opening hours:
Mon-Thu: 11:30 – 21:30
Fri-Sat: 11:30 – 22:30
Sun: 13:00 – 19:00
Nocturnes on 18, 21 and 23 Dec until 23:30

For Santa fans, here’s a fantastic news: The jolly old man would be there under one of the arches of Grand-Pont (#46 on the map).  But…. he seems to always lose one of his boots and needs the kids to help him look for it. Every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday afternoon (13:00-18:00) between 21 November – 24 December. More info and downloadable boot hunting map here.




Le Marché de Noël by Places We Love

On Thursday 3 December 2015 from 17:00 to midnight. More info.



Marché de Noël Solidaire

This year 38 associations will be present on this special kind of Christmas Market. They will bring products that are different to the traditional Christmas markets as most items come from other countries and continents. As the name implies, this is a solidarity market so that you can be sure that your purchases here will be guilt-free, as they should be fair-trade and help to finance many community projects back in the countries where they come from.

From 10 December to 12 December 2015 in Pôle Sud – Av. Jean-Jaques Mercier 3 (Flon). More info.



Pop-Up Market by Les Ripailleuses

Saturday, 12 December 2015 – 10:00-19:00. More info.



Marché aux Jouets

A toy market for and by the children. On Saturday 19 December 2015 at Casino de Montbenon. The perfect opportunity to get some space for the new ones they may get for Christmas! To have a stand cost chf5 per child. Registration and more info here.

Nocturnes and La Nuit des Etoiles 2015

For those of you who enjoy Christmas shopping at the last minute, the end-of-the-year “late-night” shopping (Nocturnes) in Lausanne City Center is scheduled on 18, 21 and 23 Dec, which means that many shops will be opened until 10pm, instead of the regular 6 or 7pm.

During the Nocturnes, many hotels in Lausanne that participate in “La Nuit des Etoiles” offer special price. More info.

Don’t forget that there will also be a lot of other events as every year. Last year we had St. Nicolas going around the city center and Santa Claus/Father Christmas in the city.

As a note, the traditional bag of treats that St Nicolas gives usually contains clementine, chocolates and peanuts! They sometime give it to the kids in schools or day cares, so if your kids had peanut allergy, make sure to let the teachers or minders remember this.

Finally for those eager to meet Santa elsewhere, here’s the post!


Tuesday November 24th, 2015

St-Nicolas and Santa Claus are Coming to Town – 2015

Here is the schedule that I could find so far. The second one sounds really good – especially for steam train lovers!

Santa Claus at “Bô Noël” Christmas Market in Lausanne

Under the arcs of the Grand Pont in the afternoon (13-18:00) of Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays between 21 November – 24 December 2015. Make sure your kids do the Santa boot hunting (info).

“Le train du Père Noël” – LEB’s Special Steam Train Program

On Sunday 6 December 2015. Take the regular LEB from Flon to Echallens, every hour at minute 03 and 33. Catch the Santa Claus steam train at Echallens. The steam train will go back and forth between Echallens and Bercher. Cost CHF14 per adult, CHF7 per child from 6y/AG/half-card (Junior Card accepted). The price include the LEB from Flon to Echallens. No reservation, get the tickets directly from the machine or the counters. Limited space so buy your ticket early. More info on pdf. Note that you cannot take stroller on board.

Saint-Nicolas in Chailly

Sunday 6 December 2015 from 15:00. More info.

Saint-Nicolas in Pully

Sunday 6 December 2015 – 10-18:00. More info.

Saint-Nicolas in Fribourg

In Fribourg, 5-6 December 2015. I included this event on the list as it seems to be a big one, as St-Nicolas is the patron of the city of Fribourg. There are parade, fondue, etc. More info.

Santa Claus in all IKEA stores in CH (in Aubonne for Vaud)

Santa will be in IKEA Aubonne on 4 & 5 December 2015 (same days IKEA offers their Christmas trees)

Santa Claus at “Pully en Fête 2015”

On 9 December 2015 – 16:00-18:00 at Place d’Obernai, Pully. More info.

“The Magic of Christmas” at Château Aigle

Sunday 13 December 2015 – 10:00-16:00. Many activities and of course, Santa Claus. Entry CHF5. More info.

“Le Noël des Enfants” – Flon Ice Skating Rink

Santa Claus will pass by on Wednesday 16 December 2015, from 2pm. More info.

“Noël des Enfants” – Maison de Quartier Sous-Gare

On Wednesday 16 December 2015, from 3pm. Santa Claus and a marionette show. Free entry and open for everyone. More info.

Santa Claus at “Animation de Noël” in Renens

On 19-20 December 2015 – 15:00 at Place du Marché at Renens. More info.


In addition to those above, many municipalities organize local celebrations with St. Nicolas on 6 Dec and Santa Claus (Père Nöel) usually around mid Dec, so make sure you check your municipal’s programs. And there is also the GoldenPass program to visit Santa’s home at Rochers-de-Naye (read my blog post about it here).

Please leave a comment or send me an email if you know other schedule/places! I am especially looking for info about the Santa events at the Christmas market and the mall Métropole, let me know if you happen to see the schedule posted somewhere in town. Thanks in advance.

*Photograph courtesy of LadyDragonFlyCC – used under Creative Commons



Friday November 20th, 2015

My Favorite Online Toy Shops in Switzerland

These below are toy shops that I like and have personally shopped or would like to shop on. They are all based in Switzerland. Except the second-hand options, many offers gift wrapping service, so that you may want to tell the family abroad that they can shop for presents in these shops and ship them to you. This way you don’t have to worry about high shipping cost and Swiss import duties and VAT.

Disclaimer: Some of the below mentioned shops had been Lausanne Mom sponsors in the past but none is at the time the post went up. All opinions are my own.


I chanced upon MyLittleRoom while googling for stockists of Kidsonroof’s Casa Cabana. As the name implies, MyLittleRoom specialized in furniture for little ones. But they have a good range of toys too, and this was their promise:

“We take playing seriously… Plush toys, creative games, ecological cardboard toys or wooden cars. We have selected only the best for you: design toys that are fun but also good for the planet.”



Petit Toi is a personal favourite as the physical shop is based in Lausanne! I adore their collection. Most brands come from local and European producers, and they emphasise on ethical production. (Read my blog post about the physical shop here.)


I couldn’t be happier when Little Moosho added toys to their business (they started with clothes as you can read on my blog post here). Their toys, most geared towards younger children, are beyond adorable. Many are vintage-inspired and heirloom-worthy.


Dilookids has a bit of everything – clothing, decor and party items, stationery, and toys. They are ALL adorable, and the toys include some of my favorite brands (Kidsonroof, Djeco, and now Nobodinoz).


I learned about Jubilane since I was a new mom (>7 years ago)  and ordered a few things from them. Since then the shop has been increasing in size, including the toy range. They have really great selection, also toys from US brands that I believe are not easily found in CH such as Melissa & Doug and Green Toys. FYI, Jubilane also has a physical shop, located in Châtel-St-Denis. And they currently offer free shipping for order from chf60 with the code: FAMILY


Allforkids was suggested to me by a follower of this blog. I haven’t bought anything there but I like what I found in the shop so that it made to this list. They are especially good for the English-speaking families, as many of their toys and books are in English.


While Manor has physical stores, I have several times ordered their toys online, especially if they were meant to be a surprise for the kids. I usually had the orders delivered to their store in Lausanne and hubby picked them up on his way home from work. It has also been one of my favorite stores to check for sales after Christmas.


Yes, the Swiss Postshop also sells toys. In fact, they have many kinds of toys – from wooden, plush to electronic ones. They also have craft items and science kits. Shipping is fast and free – just as it should be :)

In additon, I had shopped on Toys’R’Us, Walzzkidz and Kidoh. I believe they are among the largest online toy shops in Switzerland.  They only have German as the language on their website though. They have international brands as well as many German ones.


As a default, when I have a specific toy in mind, I go to these sources first to buy as second-hands.

Anibis and Ricardo are always my first go-to sites. Anibis has more sellers from French-speaking areas and Ricardo from German-speaking areas. The offers could either be posted or you may have to pick up, it depends on the seller (or the description of the bid on Ricardo). In some cases, you can even ask the seller to deliver the larger items with extra fee, if you can’t pick up personally. I did that many times – I paid between CHF0-15 extra for the delivery.

The Yahoo! and facebook Groups have lots of parents selling and looking for items. It’s very important to act fast – you need to PM the seller quickly if you are interested with anything. It’s also possible to ask the groups to see if anyone would like to sell or giveaway things you are looking for. For example, last year I asked for Peppa Pig DVDs and I had very good response. So good in fact that one of them was kindly gifted and sent to us 😉


P.S.: Don’t forget to see my selection of toy shops in Lausanne!

*Images were screenshot and thus copyright of the mentioned sites.

Thursday November 19th, 2015

My Favorite Toy Shops in Lausanne

Christmas is coming! What could be a better timing than now to post a list of toy shops! So here they are…


Jouets Davidson, Rue Grand Saint-Jean 20, 1003 Lausanne


Toys and games for all ages, with a heavy old school feeling. The store is not stroller friendly as it has many stairs. They have all sorts of toys and despite the small window in front, it’s quite large inside. This would be my son’s most favorite store as they carry many locomotives and trains from Thomas & Friends.


ViviShop, Rue Curtat 8, 1005 Lausanne

I know many parents who love this charming toy shop. It caught me by surprise the first time I went there, as what I expected to be a tiny store, was actually quite large inside. There are rooms after rooms and you keep discovering. It feels so homey and old school and one can spend hours there checking out those walls of toys. Always worth a visit when looking for a present!


Marelle, Rue Mercerie 5, 1003 Lausanne



A smallish toy shop full of beautiful, mostly wooden, toys. Perfect for the little ones and parents will love these toys too as they are as beautiful  to work as home decor items.


Nature & Découvertes, 3 place Pépinet 1003 Lausanne

As the name implies, this shop has loads of ‘green’ toys and nature/science exploring kits. They carry a lot of French brands I love such as Djeco and Janod.


Petit Toi, Rue Mathurin-Cordier 12, 1005 Lausanne

Petit Toi offers furniture as well as toys and little gifts geared towards babies and younger children. However I think many of their decor objects should work for teens too. Most brands come from local and European producers, and they emphasise on ethical production. Read my blog post about this lovely shop here.


FNAC Kids, Rue de Genève 6 1002 Lausanne
Payot, Place Pépinet, 1003 Lausanne

FNAC and Payot offer books and toys within the same place, which means we go there often as we are more into books than toys. While the toy selection in both shops is limited, they seem to be carefully picked. Payot’s toys are more traditional with baby items and board/card games, while FNAC has more modern toys including electronic ones and those for the teens. See my previous post about FNAC Kids here.


Franz Carl Weber, Place de la Palud 16-18, 1003 Lausanne
Manor, Rue Saint-Laurent 7, 1002 Lausanne
Globus, Rue du Pont 5, 1003 Lausanne
Coop City, Rue Saint-Laurent 24-30, 1003 Lausanne
Migros MMM Métropole, Rue des Terreaux 23, 1003 Lausanne

Manor, Globus, Coop City, Migros MMM have toy departments inside. Franz Carl Weber has the entire store for toys and games (3 levels, stroller entry on the back, close to Restaurant Tribeca). Selections mostly come from big brands and licensed characters (think Lego, Playmobil, Barbie, Disney, Crayola, Angry Birds…). From these five, Coop City is the one I visit more frequently (usually to get little Disney figurines) as it allows me to use my Coop Superpoints for paying.



To be honest, local second-hand shops and my commune’s flea markets are my current favorite places to buy toys. Reusing perfectly play-able toys while cutting down the expenses? Yes please. The downside is not being able to know what to find there (although it also makes it more exciting). Look for announcement or signs in your area (they could be called Troc, Vide Grenier, Brocante, etc).

Salvation Army in Lausanne has toys, too. The selection had never really impressed me, but I did find a couple of nice things there. For this Christmas they will have special day for toys on 11 December 2014.

FYI, I will cover anibis & ricardo in another post with other online toy shops.



There are several specialty toy shops worth mentioning, as they offer collectible and/or antique items. Just to declare, I never bought anything from these stores but I think they are cool :)

Tuesday November 17th, 2015

Birthday Giveaway (2/2): Mini Photo Session from Hannah Shan Photography

Sponsored post

It’s my 40th birthday week and I am so happy to be able to host 2 giveaways to celebrate this new decade of life! The first one started yesterday and here comes the second one…


Hannah Shan comes originally from the Philippines and moved to Switzerland from Singapore. When she moved here, instead of looking for a 9-5 job, she decided to pursue her dream and started Hannah Shan Photography. Her passion is to take natural looking photographs with natural light and to capture real moments.

I found myself nodding my agreement to her statement: “I love to shoot at locations that are important to people, like their home, the kid’s favorite playground, or their favorite park”, because of course those are the best backgrounds for family photos. We want to immortalize moments as well as those places we hold dear! Although in our household it may include quick tidying up or pushing clutters out of the frame before shooting begins – well you understand, don’t you? 😉

Now let’s read again what you can win in this giveaway contest:

A Mini Session worth 150 chf, that includes:

  • Up to 45 minutes photo session
  • At a location of your choice*
  • 10 digital files
    *transport cost is not included if outside Lausanne

To enter the competition you have to let us know what winter activity you love to do with your loved ones – your other half/family/friends. Comments are accepted until Sunday 22 November 2015 at 11:59pm. The lucky winner will be chosen by and announced on this page. The winner will be contacted by email on Monday 23 November 2015 and must book the photo session soon after as the mini photo session must be done no later than 19 December 2015.

The goodness doesn’t end here as for all readers, there is a 10% discount for all photo packages (excl. mini session promotions). Just mention “Lausanne Mom” when booking photo sessions done by the end of February 2016.

Finally, you can also follow Hannah and her photos on facebook!

Good luck!

Winner announcement on 23 November 2015:

The winner of Mini Session from Hannah Shan Photography is….


Comment #9! Congratulations Eri! You will hear from us by email personally.

I thank everyone for your participation and Hannah Shan for the possibility to host this giveaway!

Monday November 16th, 2015

Birthday Giveaway (1/2): Baby Gift Set from Mamastore

Sponsored post

It’s my 40th birthday week and I am so happy to be able to host 2 giveaways to celebrate this new decade of life! Here’s the first one from…


Mamastore was launched by two mamapreneurs. Zuzka and Sisa are best friends, who recently ditched life in corporation in order to provide stylish essentials for modern mamas.

Seeing what they offer on their online store make me want to jump into a time machine and bring all those things back for my babies. Argh, seven years too late for us – but perhaps not for you! Or your sister or best friend!

Their current offers on the store couldn’t come more timely. As it gets colder and colder outside, they make sure that babies will remain warm while retaining all the comfort and style with all those blankets, feet warmer, footmuffs. There are everyday essentials too such as this adorable Chic Chick nursing pillows (where were you when I was still nursing?), nursing covers, and bamboo towels. Oh, I could go on and on.

To make it even more hard to resist, most products come from small labels (made in EU) and all promise premium quality as well as uniqueness in their approach, materials, design, and style. Of course, these mamas made sure all are machine washable.

For this giveaway, Mamastore has kindly offered this Swiss Chalet red Cuddle Up Baby Gift Set (photo below, value of chf99.90) to one lucky reader.


To enter the competition you have to let us know the product(s) that you love the most from the store*. Comments are accepted until Sunday 22 November 2015 at 11:59pm. The lucky winner will be chosen by and announced on this page! Good luck!

Participant must have a valid Swiss address as Mamastore will ship the prize for free.

FYI If you’d like to purchase anything from Mamastore during their current promotion time, get 10% off by using code: LM10INTRO


*Do you want to know what I would choose? This blanket and these shoes! And the above mentioned nursing pillow, of course!

Winner announcement on 23 November 2015:

The winner of Baby Gift Set from Mamastore is…


Comment #8! Congratulations Laura! You will hear from us by email soon.

I thank everyone for participating and Mamastore for the possibility to host this giveaway!

Friday November 13th, 2015

Where to Send Letters to Santa Claus / Father Christmas

A re-post from previous years, as I think I have many new readers who don’t know this yet.


Santa Claus actually got help from Swiss Post! So, just address it to “Santa Claus, North Pole” or “Father Christmas, North Pole” (or “Père Noël, Pôle Nord” if your kids write better in French) and mail it. Don’t forget to put your address there, of course. Last year more than 18,000 letters to Santa from kids in Switzerland got their replies and they came with small presents!

Last year, Megan kindly sent me photos of the replies her kids received below.

The reply from Santa comes with a special stamp from Bern-Bethlehem:


and the little gifts included inside – hand warmers!


Wednesday November 11th, 2015

Round Up Thanksgiving Post – 2015


Here’s some info regarding Thanksgiving food and events in Lausanne and around. Hope they’ll be useful for those of you celebrating.


Turkeys can be pre-ordered, usually with 1-week notice but earlier is better, at:

  • The bigger Coop* (Sibylle ordered hers at the one in Crissier). Please be aware that there were occasions when Coop (although I’m not sure which one) messed up the orders.
  • Migros*
  • Manor Food*
  • Aligro*
  • Globus*
  • Most local butchers (Emilie had ordered hers from Boucherie du Simplon and Boucherie du Maupas)

*I assume that you should order directly at the butcher area

Frozen turkeys have been spotted at Migros Crissier last years. According to the source, 6kg was the biggest

What I learned from the tips is that to make sure you order the size of a turkey that fits your oven. Apparently the turkeys available are sometimes too big to fit. Note that you can also order HALF turkey. FYI, smaller turkeys have been found at Globus.


  • Canned pumpkin in Globus Lausanne (Thanks Holly and Emilie)
  • Fresh cranberries were said to be available at most chain supermarkets (imported from Maine)
  • Canned pumpkin, canned cranberry jelly and bread stuffing on:


  • The Lausanne Guide Thanksgiving Soirée – 19 November 2015 in Grandvaux. Limited space, reservation required (info)

Anything else to add? Please comment or email me at info (AT)


This is one of many updated posts I have on the blog. For many annual events, I re-use the same post by updating it with new information and dates. Therefore you may see comments from the previous years on this blog.


Tuesday November 10th, 2015

Swiss Gift Guide – For Young Children

If you, like me, are always looking for gift ideas to bring from Switzerland for family and friends living elsewhere, here’s a post for you. Especially now that Christmas is coming! I think they should delight many young children (and hopefully liked by their parents too.)

I chose items that can be easily carried on the plane or posted (for the Swiss Army Knife remember to put it in your checked baggage) and have different price ranges to fit all budget.


#1 : My First Victorinox

Because a Swiss Army Kit is guaranteed one of the first things people have in mind when thinking Switzerland. This particular model is designed and made for children, has 9 basic tools, and comes in three colors. They are widely available in souvenir or specialty shops (chf25), and can be engraved.

#2: Caran d’Ache colour pencils

Developed and manufactured in Switzerland, your budding artist will love these high quality pencils. Some have watercolor options too. They come in many different sets, some cost less than chf10!

#3: Lindt Teddy

I don’t think I need to explain why every Christmas stocking needs this classic golden Teddy?!

#4: Sigg Bottle

By now Sigg bottles can be purchased in many many countries in the world, but all are still produced in Frauenfeld, Switzerland. We love these bottles for their quality and own three. And there are so many designs to choose from, from butterflies to fire trucks to Olaf. Price starts from chf23.90 for a 0.3L bottle.

#5: Geomag Magnetic Construction Set

To be honest, this is the only one on the list that I haven’t personally played with. But my daughter’s class has one and she raves about it. And the reviews I found on internet seem to agree with her. Price starts from chf13.50. Available in many toy stores.

#6: Woodentop with a Swiss Cross

It’s cute, small, wooden and cost only a few francs. The perfect stocking stuffer! We bought ours in Marelle.

#7: Swiss Post miniature car

I think this smart Swiss Post car just say it all about Switzerland. It’s cute and compact, and super efficient. This miniature car (1:33, made by Maisto and distributed by Meili Trading) can be found in many Coop and Migros supermarkets and priced around chf7.90. If you prefer a van or bus, here are ones by: Siku

#8: Flik-flak watch

Both my kids have Flik-flak watches, because living in Switzerland I just couldn’t get them non-Swiss watches! And since it’s part of Swatch, it’s cheaper vs non-Swatch when we have to change batteries. But honestly the feature that I love best is that the watch face doesn’t only show the hours but, located on the outer circle, also the minutes and seconds. Prices start from chf45.

#9: Wooden cow

A few things scream more Swiss than a cow. This wooden cow deserves to complete any playhouse or navity scene. Price around chf8.90

#10: Wooden Swiss Trains

My 4-yo son is a wooden train hoarder, and I know there are a lot of kids like him! There are a number of wooden Swiss Trains, the most notable and collectible one may be the one by Brio in 2009, but is now out of production (and Brio is not a Swiss company anyhow – ha!). So I now found a couple of other Swiss Trains, including the ICN and the Panorama Express. However, so far I could only find them on BEA website, meaning that you have to register and have sufficient BEA points to order (Pssst, I have many BEA points, let me know if I can help you!)

P.S.1: For more options, why not visit some of my favorite toy shops in Lausanne?

P.S.2: I would love to learn of other things you think should make the list. I will try to post one for adult too, so do let me know your ideas!

This post is not sponsored nor affiliated. All opinions are my own.

Friday November 6th, 2015

The Christmas 2015 Stamps Coming Soon!

We are getting closer to the holiday season and I’m getting excited!

As the last 6 years, this year we will again be sending our end-of-year holiday cards to close family and friends. Then of course I have to get the holiday-themed stamps, and I’m happy to report here that the Christmas 2015 stamps are already available to pre-order from the Swiss Post.

The “Christmas 2015” stamps, designed by Bea Würgler, are super cute and festive. My favorite is the 100 one, though not so much more than the others as I love them all!


There are also Christmas stamps that allows you to donate to Pro Juventute here. The stamps are designed by Basel comic illustrator Nicolas d’Aujourd’hui showing scenes depicting Swiss customs during Advent. The stamp mailing value is CHF1 with and extra CHF0.50 that goes to Pro Juventute, a wonderful organisation that helps children in life crisis.


And if you need even more different holiday-themed stamps, I’m happy to let you know that the Christmas stamps from 2014 are also still available. I love how these inside the house peeks really look cosy and warm…


So, if you also like to send the old-fashioned, snail-mailed, holiday greetings don’t wait to order these stamps online. There is no shipping fee for online ordering. Note that the stamps are valid only from 12 Nov 2015.

Btw, I am not sure if you could get these stamps at the regular post office counters (as they usually use the bar-coded ones). If you really have to buy them offline then your best bet would be the philately shop at the Post office next to Lausanne train station.

Please also take note of the shipping cut-off time, especially for those of you shipping cards and parcels abroad.

Finally, those of you who are new in Switzerland and expecting/shopping presents from abroad, may want to check this post about sending and receiving parcels.

*Stamp image courtesy of the Swiss Post

This is one of many updated posts I have on the blog. For many annual events, to save time I re-use the same post by updating it with new information and dates. Therefore you may see comments from the previous years on this post

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Copyright © 2015 Lausanne Mom
Credit Crunch Theme by Billion Studio | Valid XHTML | Log in

Twitter links powered by Tweet This v1.8.3, a WordPress plugin for Twitter.