A family weekend in Geneva
A family weekend in Geneva
As a travel enthusiast, you might be keen to pass on your passion to your children!
And what better way to awaken their curiosity and thirst for adventure than to share unforgettable moments together during your stay abroad? Well, you’re in for a treat, Geneva is full of activities to enjoy as a family!
Museums, unique tours, festivals, parks, excursions in the countryside or mountain hikes, the city will meet your expectations whatever the weather. Here’s a small selection of the best activities for a short family holiday in Geneva…
Delightful museums for everyone
First of all, Geneva is full of museums that will delight young and old alike, starting with the Museum of Natural History and its magical scenography where tigers roar, jellyfish dance and dinosaurs bellow! For another glittering atmosphere, the Geneva Ethnography Museum offers immersion into the history of humanity with its incredibly rich array of artefacts and costumes, while the famous CERN, the birthplace of the World Wide Web and the Large Hadron Collider, probes the mysteries of the world.
Geneva’s great humanitarian DNA
In another vein, let’s not overlook Geneva’s great humanitarian DNA: the extraordinary International Red Cross Museum could give rise to some vocations with its immersive exhibitions. On your way there, a quick stop at Place des Nations will allow you to admire the towering Broken Chair sculpture, a symbol of the fight against anti-personnel mines, and the famous Palais des Nations, where the future of the planet is often played out.
Aside from its museums, the city offers a wealth of unique activities. The Choco Pass, for example, takes you on a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-like journey to the greatest chocolate manufacturers for a mouth-watering tasting tour. In another setting, the Escape Game at Parc des Bastions will awaken your inner Sherlock Holmes as you work your way through the city’s fascinating history. More traditional, but just as fun, the Mini Train meanders through the narrow streets of the Old Town and along the lake for a historical tour full of wonders.
And then there are the cultural events that keep the city buzzing throughout the year! Film, music, dance or theatre festivals, there’s something for all tastes and all ages: animated films at Animatou in autumn; open-air concerts in Parc La Grange with Musique en Été and open-air films at the Ciné-transat Festival in the summer and dance, theatre or cultural brunches to enjoy with the family at Antigel in winter. Geneva articulates culture in all its forms and in all seasons!
The city also has a number of libraries and theatres, such as the Théâtre des Marionnettes and Am Stram Gram, which welcome curious families in search of wonder. There are also many cinemas in Geneva that feature films that are almost always in their original language. Don’t forget to check the events calendar before your stay!
For those who love green spaces, Geneva has some of the most beautiful parks in the world.
On the left bank, Parc La Grange is home to century-old redwoods and its emerald lawns afford a stroll down to the waves of Eaux-Vives beach. Its counterpart on the right bank, Parc Mon Repos, offers superb views of the harbour and the Jet d’Eau, with the Alps in the background.
The Jardin Anglais and its flower clock remain an absolute must, but it is above all the Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques de Genève and their exotic greenhouses that will charm you with their multitude of resplendent colours. More out of the way, Parc des Evaux, the largest urban park in Switzerland, offers a host of activities for all ages, including playgrounds, pedal go-karts, a small train, an adventure park and paths for walking. Each Geneva park has its own touch, whether it’s sporty or relaxing!
Lovers of the great outdoors will also find happiness in Geneva. Any visitor will enjoy the mouette boat shuttles and their breathtaking harbour views or a cruise on the lake to discover the beautiful mansions and historical buildings along the shores. Likewise, hikers won’t want to miss Mont Salève for one of the most beautiful panoramic views of the city, the lake, the Alps and the Jura.
Geneva also offers free bicycles to ride around the countryside just a few minutes away from the city centre. First of all, La Gavotte leisure farm offers pony rides and animal encounters of all kinds. A bit further on, the vineyards, with welcoming bistros, criss-cross the countryside with picturesque paths.
You can also rest your legs in a peaceful and green setting along the Aire, whose rewilding project has received the Landscape Award of the Council of Europe. On the way back, don’t miss the Jonction promenade to marvel at the astonishing confluence of the opaque waters of the Arve and the crystal-clear waters of the Rhône.
For food lovers
In the midst of all these adventures, a selection of 100% family-friendly restaurants are there for you! Inglewood and The Hamburger Foundation grill their juicy burgers, Molino and La Storia toss their pizzas and twirl their pasta, Chez ma Cousine serves its inimitable chicken with potatoes, Un R de Famille offers a colourful brunch, and the Bains des Pâquis, on the water’s edge, delights your stomach as much as your eyes… Geneva caters to all tastebuds!
Finally, why not end this holiday on a gentle and relaxing note at the Bains Bleus, whose hammams, spas, jacuzzis and other hot baths, ideally placed on the lake’s edge, welcome families with children (from 3 years old) on Sunday mornings in particular (don’t forget to book in advance!). The view of the harbour and the blue skies from the huge, heated swimming pool on the roof will undoubtedly remain engraved in your memory and that of your whole family!