Cool Info for Parents in Lausanne, Switzerland

Friday October 24th, 2014

Halloween Events in and around Lausanne – 2014 (Updated)

halloween

Within the last few years Halloween has steadily became more and more popular in Switzerland. No wonder as it’s so much fun – and so sweet, literally!

Here are some Halloween events that I found around Lausanne:

  • Scary night at the Castle – Château de Chillon. Saturday, 11 Oct 2014 from 5pm. CHF15 (no reservation needed). Beautiful light show and hundreds of beautiful owls. More info.
  • Children’s Costume Parade in Château-d’Oex. Saturday, 25 Oct 2014, starts at 11am. Pumpkin carving (CHF5), storytelling and costume parade. More info.
  • Pumpkin festival at CPO-Ouchy. Saturday, 25 October 2014 from 4pm. Pumpkin carving, face painting, costume photo, dance, pumpkin soup and more. Free entry, open for public. More info here.
  • Pumpkin festival on Saturday 25 Oct in Bretigny-sur-Morrens and Echallens, and on Friday 31 Oct in Penthaz. Note that the shops in Echallens will give candies to trick-or-treaters on Sat 25th between 9am-2pm! More info. (Thanks Nikki)
  • Children’s Halloween Party at Coop City St. François and Au Centre (St. Laurent), at the restaurants. Wednesday afternoon, 29 Oct 2014. Face painting and pumpkin carving. Children younger than 7 years must be accompanied by an adult. More info here. Note: I went to this event last year at Coop Au Centre and it was chaotic as the space was limited and there were just too many people! I hope this year they will be more prepared.
  • Halloween à la Villa romaine de Pully (for 7-12yo). Wednesday, 29 October 2014 from 2-5pm. CHF10, registration required 021 721 38 00 or activitesmusees(AT)pully.ch
  • Halloween Dance Party for everyone who loves to dance. At Dance Evasion in Cugy on Friday, 31 Oct 2014, from 6pm. Free event, open for public. It’s a potluck party so don’t forget to bring food to share! Registration obligatory! More info.
  • Halloween Party on a spooky mini train! Le mini train de Pully, 1-2 Nov 2014. More info. (Thanks Megan)
  • Costume party and shows at Signal de Bougy. On Sunday, 2 Nov 2014 from 10am. Free. More info.

Do you know other events I haven’t listed? Let me know!

If you love close to Geneva and neighbouring France areas, see this post on Geneva Family Dairies.

And finally, about the “Trick or Treat” in the neighbourhood:

In case you wish to give treats to children, you can leave an obvious Halloween decoration in front of your house, or stick a note on your apartment bell/door that you participate. This way they won’t hesitate to trick or treat you. Note that the Swiss sometimes move the Halloween to a day more convenient to them (i.e. Saturday), however as this year it will fall on a Friday, I think you will have the scary visitors only on Halloween night.

And for those of you accompanying your little ones trick and treating, keep in mind that Halloween trick or treating is not much done here in CH, so don’t keep their expectation high. It is becoming increasingly popular though, I know that we ALWAYS had kids ringing our door in when we lived in Epalinges (for 8 years) and then here in a small town (the last 3 years). And when we lived in Epalinges, we usually received a note in our mailbox that we could stick onto our mailbox on Halloween night, to let the kids know that they were welcome to ring our door.

Last year my kids were a little ghost and a witch (photo below). This year they asked for a stegosaurus and a bat. I make the costumes myself so wish me luck ;)

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Btw, does anyone know what the kids here say when trick or treating? Wikipedia says it’s ” Farce ou friandise ? ” (link). Or I think many just say ” Bonbons, s.v.p. “?

 

Happy Halloween!

Thursday October 9th, 2014

Rendez-vous Bundesplatz – in Bern, 17 Oct – 30 Nov 2014

Below is a blog post that I wrote last year about this very special light show. This year’s program is promised to be even more spectacular. It will start next week 17th Oct and will show until 30th Nov, except on their Onion Market Days (23-24 Nov). We wouldn’t miss it! We love Bern and this show is a good excuse for another trip there!


Two weeks ago we went to see Rendez-Vous Bundesplatz, a spectacular light, music and story show, that was projected onto the Parliament Building at the Bundesplatz in Bern. It was a beautiful Saturday evening. We arrived about 40 minutes before the 7pm show and the crowd was just starting. At the last minutes the area got really busy, but not really packed.

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The show started Swiss time – on time at 7pm. It was a WOW! Simply amazing and from our spot we could enjoy it easily. I’m a petite (1.54m), but it wasn’t a problem, although in the the photos you’ll see silhouettes of heads :) I saw that many families brought stepping stools for their children to stand on. My 5-yo daughter stood on her brother’s stroller and I carried my 2-yo with an Ergo.

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I especially loved how they colored the statues’ clothes in red in above photo!

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As quoted from here, the show was a “fictional journey through Swiss myths and legends, all bundled into an entertaining story“. I understand basic German, but as the story was in CH German, I was completely lost. But honestly we still enjoyed it very much. And it wasn’t only for us. Caroline, a friend and follower of Lausanne Mom wrote this after seeing the show last week:

Thanks so much for posting this. We went and even though the kids and I don’t understand (Swiss) German, it was AWESOME!

I highly recommend you to squeeze in a visit to Bern until 1st Dec to catch the show. Bern by itself is a very charming city. We have gotten to know it very well as a very close friend lives there and we spent many of our staycations there. You can combine it for example with a visit to the Sensorium just outside Bern, or if you go this week you can still catch the Qin exhibition. During our last trip to Bern we also went to the Museum of Telecommunication and loved it (here’s the post about it).

And finally, a mommy tip: don’t forget to bring your little ones to the restroom before heading to the show. FYI, the show lasts around 25 minutes.

“Rendez-vous Bundesplatz” at Parliament Square, Bern: from October 18 to December 1, 2013 (except during the Onion Market on November 24 and 25). Two presentations are held each evening; at 7:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. More info.

Thursday October 2nd, 2014

Where to find Gluten-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.

Cafés and Tea-rooms

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)

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

I took photos when I was there last year but they are still locked in my broken laptop’s hard disk. I will upload them here once hubby could take the hard disk out.

 

odelices

Boutique Odélices in Lucens
Grand’Rue 12, 1522 Lucens, 021 906 68 88
Mouth-watering delicacies (see photo above), as well as different types of bread. 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.

Supermarkets

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

glutenfree-coop

Globus
The Globus in Lausanne has a full shelf with gluten-free products, and if I remember correctly the have many imported items too.

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

Pharmacies

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

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

Thursday October 2nd, 2014

Shopping: American and British Foods (Updated)

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My baby loved Farley’s rusks but I couldn’t find it here in Lausanne. My colleague organized a barbecue and swore that there was nothing like Bull’s Eye BBQ sauce to make it a perfect one. And, you? The pregnancy makes you crave for some Cadburys despite all those Swiss chocolate around? No worries, these things are now available in Switzerland.

For American foods:

For British foods:

Do you know other shops (on- or offline)? Please drop a comment!

 

*Photograph courtesy of qmnonic, used under Creative Common license

Thursday September 25th, 2014

This & That Week #39 – September 2014

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After 6 days of sickness and boredom, my daughter returned to school this morning.

YYAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY!

*high-five*

And now that son is also at Jardin d’enfants, let me share you some news and events that have been buzzing around:

  • Netflix has launched in CH!
  • Second-hands autumn and winter clothes for kids: Troc d’automne in Echallens and in Chéserex on Saturday
  • Starting last week, the service area of bus line #25 got longer, now serving from Pully-Gare all the way to Chavannes-Glycines (more info)
  • Speaking about public transport, you can now buy tickets via SMS – using tl-live app or normal SMS (more info)
  • Now babysitters (those younger than 25y) don’t have to declare what they earn to AVS (up top CHF750/year). It means it won’t be illegal for them and for you) when receiving (and paying) babysitting fee until that amount. (On the news)
  • There is a scam mail going on pretending to be from Migros. DO NOT open the attachment
  • Gymboree is opening classes at LCIS in Aubonne and will be having a free trial week of classes Monday 29th of September to Friday 3rd October.
  • Key English School has opened registration for their October holiday camp
  • Disney on Ice is coming back to Geneva Arena in January! We were there for their performance earlier this year and loooooved it! I think kids will get the tickets as their Christmas presents!
  • Désalpe (cattle descent) festivities this weekend: in St-Cergue (near Nyon) and in Charmey (in Fribourg). It’s a morning event, and very popular, so plan your timing well!
  • Don’t forget to enjoy the Comptoir Suisse (poster above). I hope to be able to hop on the Ferris Wheel this weekend!
  • As well as other events going on!

Happy end of the week! xx

Tuesday September 23rd, 2014

Back to a More Personal Blog

Hi there,

Apology for lack of activity on this blog last week. My daughter got sick and more importantly, I had a lot of thinking to do. A lot of thinking about this blog.

For many months now, I have been having problems keeping up with my emails. Especially the emails that kept coming asking me for possibility to write about new (and old) businesses in the area. I usually read all emails, but I don’t always have the time to reply. Let alone blog about it.

I always feel bad about it. Always. When I started this blog I wanted it to be an informative site as well as a platform to promote small businesses in the area. So whenever I receive an email about something new coming up, I tried to come back to the email, or I sent a quick reply telling them to be patient and remind me in 1-2 weeks time. Unfortunately I learned that I never really have the time. And to make it worse, some emails started to be rude and they drove me mad.

My daughter now goes to school and my son goes to a Jardin d’enfants 2 mornings and a crèche for one whole day per week. That gives me 3 mornings and one afternoon free per week. I always plan to write at least 2 blogs on 2 mornings, but turns out it is still difficult as I also use these times to run errands and chores. To do my hobbies and to exercise. Even worse, money is getting really tight now in our household (single academic salary here!) that I decided to stop the creche for my son by November. This will leave me with only two child-free mornings per week and significantly less time to deal with emails and blogs.

This said, I regretfully decided to not do promotional post for a while. A long while perhaps. I just can’t devote my precious free time and energy for this yet. After all, this is a personal blog, not a business one. For now, I will concentrate on more personal blogs about our activities and experiences in the area, as well as round-up post or lists of useful-to-know things.

I will still offer the ad space (the square banners on the side of site) for anyone wishes to promote their business there. These ads will be charged, CHF60/3 months or CHF100/6 months and this fee will go directly to a charity I choose. I’d be happy to announce the new advertisers on Lausanne Mom Facebook page, but not anymore as sponsored post on the blog. The same goes for camps and workshops announcement – they will be posted for free on Facebook page. As an exception, giveaway post can be arranged for items with minimal values of CHF80.

I hope this will work – for you and me. I really really wish to simplify my life, while still keeping blogging fun. Blogging has been a very constructive hobby for me. It doesn’t help my life financially, but it has enriched both my life as a parent and my life here in Switzerland.

 

Thank you and I’ll come back soon with more fun post!

biz, meta.

Sunday September 14th, 2014

The 34th Olympic Week – Ouchy, 12-16 Oct 2014

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If you have kids who love sport and were born between 1 July 1999 and 30 June 2006, this event may be of their interest. The event is organized by the Olympic Museum and their many partners. The activities (many different ones) will be supervised by (French-speaking) sports instructors and equipments will be provided. They will take place all around Ouchy during the October school holiday, from 12 to 16 Oct 2014.

The activities are free, you just have to enroll before 3 Oct! It’s also possible to register later, from 12 Oct, directly at “stand d’informations / inscriptions” near the Olympic fountain (just don’t forget that the legal representative of the child must sign the form). The pass will be valid for all activities on all days. On Oct 12, there will also be activities for adults who accompany the kids.

For list of programs, registration form, and other information, click here:

http://www.olympic.org/semaineolympique

*Image courtesy of the Olympic Museum

Wednesday September 10th, 2014

Help Hotline: 143 – La Main Tendue

Today, 10th September, is World Suicide Prevention Day.

As someone who had had depression before, today is an important awareness day for me. During those dark days when I was depressed, I began to understand what could trigger someone to choose to die. Depression definitely can be one of the reasons.

According to The Local:

“In Switzerland, which has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, an average of 15 people die each month by jumping in front of a locomotive.

Suicide remains one of the principal causes of mortality among young people aged 15 to 44 in Switzerland.

For those aged 10 to 19, it is the second biggest cause of death.

Between 1,300 and 1,400 suicides are recorded annually in the country”

As a regular user of the Swiss Trains, I know this. I’ve been in a few trains that had to stopped due to a “personal accident” on its line. It’s heartbreaking – and even more because now I can somehow relate to the “darkness” that the victim was under. Thus I determined to raise awareness about suicide prevention.

Mental health issue is an illness. With the right treatments, it can be cured. Suicide can be prevented. It is very important to recognise the symptoms and warning signs, on yourself or those around you. Act quickly. My depression was mild, I recognise it quickly and even then it took me more than a year to start feeling OK and 2 years to be happy again. The longer you wait, the worse it may become. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

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Thankfully there is now a hotline for exactly this: 143 – La Main Tendue

You can call them anonymously, or send an email, to talk about what you feel or to ask them what you can do for someone else. You can make the call anytime (24h/7d), while for email they will respond within 48h. I think this hotline can be very helpful for many of us foreigners. Being so far away from our family, in a foreign country you don’t speak the language, feeling isolated because you have to care for the children all day – those things can make life very difficult. And it’s really more common than you think. You just don’t know it as people don’t talk about their mental health openly.

Please reach out and save a life.

Tuesday September 9th, 2014

Journée “Oser tous les métiers!” (JOM) – Bring Your Children to Work Day

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You may have heard it from your children’s schools, but in case you haven’t, the annual Journée “Oser tous les métiers !” (I loosely translated it into “Bring Your Children to Work” Day) for the Canton of Vaud will come on Thursday, 13 November 2014.

This event targets 7th-9th graders (HarmoS), and is done by having the girls going with theirs fathers to work and boys with their mothers. The idea is to introduce jobs that are men-dominated to the girls and that are currently considered feminine to the boys. So hopefully one day we will have gender equity at most (if not all) types of work. If the parents cannot do it, or if the kids have known the work, they can also come with a close relative (uncle, aunt, grandparents).

We had it at the the hospital where I used to work, as well as in UNIL and CHUV. And once when I was at my dentist during a JOM, my dentist brought his daughter with her. So in case your company’s public relation officer hasn’t said anything about it, perhaps you can let them know that you’ re interested to bring your child to work that day?

There will also be additional activities for the girls (such as “can be computer savvy and speak at the Parliament, too”) and boys (“can be a nurse or child-mider, too”). For these programs, download the program and register here. Places are limited and easily booked out!

For even more information, this is the official website. You can download the booklets (for parents, childrens, and companies interested in participating) on the right side bar.

Monday September 8th, 2014

Where to have Children’s Birthday Party

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Birthday party venue is one of the most common questions for parents in Lausanne. Many have limited space at home, don’t like to prepare a party nor have time for it. Below I listed some places (in Lausanne and around) where you can go with only your birthday child (and his/her guests) and (almost) everything else is taken care of.

 

For easy access with food and party packs:
For nature and animal lovers:

For little princesses, princes and knights:

For budding scientists:

For creative ones:
For sporty ones:
At the circus:
For little dancers:
For the love of games:

If you want to organise the party yourself and only need the room, you can also rent a refuge or salle. I believe every commune has one or more to rent. The easiest is to go directly to your commune’s website to see what they offer. Otherwise you can check through other sites such as mosquitos.ch Have more places to add? Leave a comment!

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