Easter holiday has passed, kids are back to school, it’s time to think of school summer holiday!
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
problems 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.
We went to Musée du fer et du chemin de fer (Iron and Railway Museum) in Vallorbe in February. It was a beautiful day and we spent the morning bathing at the Centre Thermal Yverdon, then take a bus to Vallorbe.
As most specialized museums in Switzerland, the museum was on the small side, but very well kept. As the name already indicates, it host many iron-related items from the Roman Empire era, to the more current use of iron, railways, and the development of railways in Switzerland.
This is already the last week before Easter holiday for children in Vaud public schools! I have blogged about the available holiday camps here, and below you can find more Easter-related events and activities:
- Easter egg hunt in Flon, Saturday 8 April 2017 – with make up artist, mini train and egg decorating workshop. Free and without registration (info)
- Easter Bunny at Micasa Etoy Saturday 8 April 2017 – with make up artist and craft workshop. Free (info)
- Marché de Pâques in Nyon, 8-9 April 2017 (info)
- Pâkomuzé offers many programs during the Easter weekend. Registration for most activities started 28 March 2017 (info)
- Easter egg hunt at Swiss Vapeur Parc in Le Bouveret (Canton Valais), all day during Easter holiday 14-23 April 2017 (info)
- Coop offers a children workshop to decorate Easter Bunnies on 12 April 2017 (register asap as space is limited)
It’s Troc Season now. If you didn’t know what troc is, read this excellent post explaining what it is and how it works. To make it short, it’s some kind of second-hand market where you can sell, shop, or both.
I received some information about a couple of trocs coming up, as you can see below:
More troc for Suisse-Romande area listed here.
This pots is the third one in the Spring Cleaning series – dedicated to used bikes. There are a number of ways you can donate or sell your used bikes in Lausanne area.
Donate your bike to Velafrica
If you had used bikes, in whatever conditions, you can donate them to Velafrica. I wholeheartedly recommend this organization. The projects reasoned well with reusing, recycling, repurposing, and they also engage unemployed people and people with disabilities in their workshops.
Thursday March 30th, 2017
Our spring activites in Lac Léman area always include the Tulip Festival at Parc de l’Indépendance in Morges. We’ve been coming back there almost every year. But on May last year, for the first time, we also went inside Château de Morges — a beautiful medieval castle sitting just at one end of the park, directly by the lake.
The castle is now also a museum. Since 1925, it is dedicated to the history of military. In the first rooms we saw many mini figures arranged in large glass boxes to show different war scenes, including many important wars in history. These were all beautifully made by hand almost a century ago.
Thursday March 23rd, 2017
Swiss Museum of Transport – Lucerne
Our family loves museums. We love them so much that we regularly spend our holidays in big cities, so that we could visit museums. Last year, as we only had one big holiday in Asia, and would spend the other school holidays inside la Suisse, we decided to try the Swiss Museum Pass.
We bought a family Museum Pass through the Swiss Train, directly at the station. As I was a holder of CFF Half-Card, we had a special price of chf 269 (instead of the normal price chf 288).
Now, a year later, our museum pass has expired. I am writing this post to let you know how we had used it and what we felt about it.
I believe Maison Cailler is one of the most popular museums and tourist attractions in Switzerland. Not surprising as Swiss chocolates are hard to resist for most people. Thankfully its popularity means Maison Cailler opens everyday of the year, with the exception on Christmas and New Year’s Days. So we picked a Monday to go there with our annual museums pass, as many other museums in the area are closed on Mondays.
It’s probably safe to say that many of us who were used to shops open on Sunday were shocked to find “nothing is open on Sunday in Switzerland”. But now that I know so much more, I can prove that it is not true. Almost all shops and supermarkets are closed but there are a lot of things that one can do as a family. So many in fact that I spent 3 days compiling them into this post! We just have to adopt some Swiss-ness, by enjoying outdoor more. After all, we are living in such a beautiful country! But worry not, I included options for those rainy windy Sundays you’d rather be indoor.
Vallee de la Jeunesse
Vallee de la Jeunesse is a huge playground for all ages. There is a massive green area for picnic and running around. There are all kinds of slides, climbing and balancing structures, a skate park, and a huge water fountain among other things. The hilly landscape is popular for skateboarders.
The children’s science museum Espace des inventions is located here and open on Sundays. We are fans of this museum.
We all know Ouchy is strong magnet for locals as well as tourists. Beside the view and the abundance of restaurants, there are many green spots and playgrounds for families to relax and do a picnic. Our favorite spot is the grassy area close to the Thai Pagoda.
The playground and Thai pagoda in Ouchy
The park of the Olympic Museum is great to stroll with children. All area are accessible for strollers and wheelchairs. Mine could never resist to race on the 100m athletic track. They often have free temporary exhibition and their TOM’s café Sunday brunch is very popular.
On the last day of our annual Museum Pass validity, we squeezed in Espace des inventions. It then became the only one we visited twice within one year. And I think it is worth at least one visit per new temporary exhibition. We always had fun there! As usual, when we were there, there were 2 temporary exhibitions running. I begin with the one on the upper level…
T’es sûr-e ?
T’es sûr-e ? is a science exhibition, it will run until 15 July 2018. The target audience are children from 7y, which I felt to be correct, though I think older ones (9-12y) may find it even more interesting due to the science.
As always in this museum, everything was hands-on. The “experiment stations” were superbly done. Each came with a scientific question and a set of answers. We were supposed to select our answer (or best bet) and test whether it was correct by doing an experiment.