Friday March 17th, 2017

Maison Cailler – The Chocolate Museum in Broc

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.

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Friday March 10th, 2017

Where to go with children on a Sunday

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.

OUTDOOR

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.

Ouchy

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.

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Tuesday March 7th, 2017

Espace des inventions – T’es sûr-e ? + Les portes de la fantaisie

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.

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Thursday February 16th, 2017

Easter School Holiday Activities in Lausanne and Around (2017)

easterhols

I usually posted this after the February school holiday, but many popular workshops get easily full so I hope publishing this earlier will help with your planning! :) I will update this post when I have new info to add!

For those not yet familiar with this subject, public schools in Switzerland have holidays often, approximately every 6 weeks (find the list here), to the total of 14 weeks per year. This may create complications 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.


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Tuesday February 14th, 2017

Alimentarium – in Vevey

alimentarium-building

Last month (January 2017) we finally went to Alimentarium. We had passed the area a few times before, but this time we went inside. I came with a high expectation. I had been to many Swiss museums and loved most of them. I also knew that Alimentarium had just undergone a renovation and re-opened in June 2016.

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Friday February 10th, 2017

Moléson Ski Resort (near Gruyère)

As we are nearing the school holiday, I bring this post back. I saw that the beginner ski classes still have places for those starting this weekend!

This is a guest post, kindly written by Sanna. Originally published on 12 Feb 2015.

ski-moleson

Photo courtesy of Office du Tourisme de la Gruyere

Skiing with kids of different ages and abilities can be tricky…but last weekend we revisited Moléson (near Gruyère) and made a great discovery. The resort has always been good for beginners….2 rope tows and 1 button lift at the bottom of the pistes, with ski school if needed. You can also buy a ‘pack’ of 16 trips on the button lift for chf 16* (the rope tow is free).

But now, the addition of the Pierre a Catillon restaurant makes it perfect for a days skiing with the family….They have an indoor play area, good coffee, nice staff and an excellent menu (choice of 4 kids dishes for chf 10* and burgers for Dad).

The more experienced skiers in your group can take the monorail up for some nice red and blue runs and for the hardcore skiers, there is a cable car that takes you right to the top of a gnarly black run.

For stargazers, there is also an observatory at the top, and you can even stay the night.

There’s a 4km sledge run (sledges cost chf 10* to hire) and there’s a mountain hut that serves food on the way down.

I highly recommend this resort if skiing with little ones.

Thanks Sanna for sharing this valuable info! x

*Prices may have changed since 2015

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Friday February 10th, 2017

Child-care Options for School-aged Children

This is an updated post (originally published June 2015). Last update: 13 February 2017.

after-school-drawing

Shortly after I published my blog “Ten Reasons We Love Our First Two Years at Public School“, I received a question from Miya, a local mom.

“How do working moms negotiate the strange hours for 1p and 2p? Here, it’s Mon-Wed mornings, Thursdays till 3 and Fri off. Our local UAPE costs more than if we put our son in private school.”

I have to agree with Miya in regards to expensive child care in Switzerland. A few years ago I was talking to a friend who lived in Germany, I almost fell off my chair when she told me that their day-care cost EUR190 PER MONTH for a 5-day week, while I used to pay CHF125 PER DAY. While the quality of Swiss child care is outstanding, the price IS astronomical.

So how do the employed parents deal with the before-, between- and after-school care when they sent their kids to public school? Here are some possibilities that I gathered from own experience as well as other parents I know.

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Thursday February 9th, 2017

Winter with Kids – 2017

snowinthesun

This winter has been dry, then super cold, and now wet! But at least we had snow and can expect more to come! I know that as with everything, some people like winter and some don’t. I happen to be the one who love it, and I think the key is by having quality winter outfit for everyone in the family, so that everyone stays warm and dry. No one will like winter when they feel cold and wet!

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Thursday February 9th, 2017

Lausanne Mom Blog Survey – 2017

Hello readers, I’m conducting a short survey for the blog. Would you kindly help me fill it? There are only 7 questions, should not take more than 5 minutes. Of course you do this anonymously. Thank you so much in advance!

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Create your own user feedback survey

Monday February 6th, 2017

Spring Cleaning: Donating Textile, Shoes and Baby Items

This is an updated post and was the second part of the Spring Cleaning series: Textile, clothes and shoes! Below you can find some ways to donate. As a general rule, all donated items must be clean, in good condition, without tear nor hole. Shoes must be packed in pairs.

clothesdonation

Local textile donation month

A few associations such as Texaid and Textura distribute plastic bags for textile donation in your area (photo above). You’ll find the bags in your mailbox a few times per year. Put your old clothes and other textile items (curtains, table cloths etc), tied the bag securely and leave it for pick up.

New this year: The Swiss Post will pick up the clothes donation within a month. This is how the collection works:

  • You’ll receive collection bag to households via PromoPost in the month prior to the collection
  • During the entire collection month, you can leave the bag next to the mailbox from Monday to Friday.
  • Leave the collection bags out only in dry weather, or make sure that they are protected against the elements – wet bags cannot be taken.
  • The mail carrier takes the collection bag with him/her. The bag is then taken by the Post Office to one of the Swiss Mail Centers.
  • Texaid collects the used textiles and transports them to Schattdorf for appropriate recycling.

When donating shoes please put them in separate smaller bag before pooling them inside the donation bag. If you need more than 1 bag, you can use other bags, but leave them directly next to the official bag.

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