Here comes the sun!


Despite this year’s rainy and cloudy spring in many parts of Europe, with sun or not here come the school holidays and summer vacation many of us, kids and parents, have been longing for.

For many families this means a trip somewhere, maybe to another country or exploring one’s own country’s delights. Which means in average two weeks of booked holidays somewhere.

Unfortunately, most parents do have to go back to work after two weeks of holiday which means that there are another 4 weeks of vacation, at least in Switzerland, left for the kids. But there is no need to panic just yet! In Switzerland there are quite a few options for summer activities to keep the kids entertained whether the parents are detailed planners or spontaneous about their outings.

To start off, the activities involving water in Switzerland either on lake fronts or river banks are endless. There is also an established tradition of public swimming pools in most cities and communities in this country. Detailed information can be found via your local canton website, including information on the 2-week summer swimming courses offered to children. Information in English on this subject can also easily be found on most ex-pat webpages. There are four waterparks spread throughout the country: aquabasilea, Aquaparc, Alpamare, and Jungfraupark Interlaken which all provide great fun for the kids. And if the weather is still great and you have done it all or ran out of ideas as to what other water entertainment you can provide your kids with…, well there are always water balloon fights!

Outings to the Zoo are great when the weather is nice but if you are looking for the same effect without spending so much money Switzerland also has Tier-parks. Access is free and kids get to see the animals in the park. In Basel, Tierpark Lange Erlen is one of my favourite places to go with my daughter.

As far as hiking is concerned, well the options are endless; after all this is Switzerland. A good site which provides tips on family friendly hiking is MySwitzerland.  There is also a very nice blog by an Ex-pat mum with great tips on hiking and other activities for families called, mom : tots : zurich. As the name will suggest the mentioned activities are around Zurich.  Now for those not wanting to venture out hiking but still want to be in nature, then a nice pick nick at the park or spend the day at the water front and grill by night can also be fun and engaging for the whole family. Especially if one of the parents has spent the entire day in the office environment.

You do not have to be long enough in Switzerland to have noticed Robi Spiel Aktionen events at the park especially when the weather is nice. This organization offers specific summer programs (Ferien betreuung) along with other programs designed to entertain children during school breaks.

If you live in the Basel area another good source of information for children’s activities is the Kinderbüreau Basel. You can find the Basler Ferienkalender 2016 at their website.

The idea of quartiertreffpunkt in Switzerland is awesome and it is also worth checking what is happening at your local quartiertreffpunkt this summer. For Basel check their main website and discover other treffpunkt beyond your quartier!

Now when both parents are working full time and sending the little ones to spend a week at the grandparents’ is not an option then care during school holidays (Ferien betreuung) can be found at institutions like Profawo.

So whether you want to be super prepared and tick every box on the summer activity calendar for your kids or you just rather lay back and let the summer flow take you, the options are many for a fun summer for you and the kids.

Have a great cool summer!
We’ll talk again in August

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  • Flavia Augusta de Almeida
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