TOP 10 FAMILY THINGS TO DO – DECEMBER 2019
by Alana Dunsmore
December is in full swing! How did that happen? While a lot of families leave town at Christmas to visit friends and family elsewhere; if you (like us) are staying around Geneva and are looking for fun, educational and new and interesting ways to spend quality time with your family, we have some ideas for you.
1. INTERACTIVE WORKSHOPS – EXPLORACENTRE
The children’s science museum Exploracentre offers a variety of additional ateliers around the Christmas holidays in addition to its regular operational hours.
This science-orientated museum is a great space for kids to explore science through many hands-on and fun displays. At this museum their motto is: it’s forbidden not to touch!
Check their website for more information and registration requirements where applicable.
In addition to regular hours, December 21- January 5, 2019
Rue des Bains 33
2. LAUSANNE’S FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS
Lausanne Lumières is a great way to explore the city centre and old town by night during December. This event is created by around 15 contemporary artists.
What could be more fun than nursing a cup of hot chocolate (and maybe a vin chaud for mom and dad) whilst exploring the city following the stunning light sculptures.
The city offers free guided tours – in French.
November 20, 2019- December 31, 2019
3. CREATE YOUR OWN CHOCOLATE BAR – MAISON CAILLER
Love chocolate? There is yet another reason to visit one of Switzerland’s local chocolate makers this December. Check out their new area “mon chocolat Cailler”. Here you can create your own personal chocolate bar.
This activity, for an additional cost, is available Saturday and Sunday, starting midday. Sounds like a great Christmas gift idea for someone special, or a present to yourself!
Check out their website for additional information.
Saturday and Sundays
Rue Jules Bellet 7 – 1636 Broc
4. LÉMAN EXPRESS FÊTE
If your family, like ours, loves the Swiss train system and are excited about the new Léman Express train lines, join in the celebrations for the inauguration of the new rail network.
On the weekend of December 14 and 15, activities will take place at the new Eaux- Vive and Champel train stations. Concerts, street art, soup, mulled wine and many other surprises are on the agenda! See link before for full program.
Take a ride on the tram for free – there will also be activities along the route and at the new Annemasse station. See the program for more details of the activities at the Annemasse station.
December 14 and 15, 2019
Eaux- Vive, Champel, and Annemasse train stations
For Geneva: Click Here
More information for Annemasse: Click Here
5. ATELIER NUMERIQUE DU 4E
The 4th is a space dedicated to all things digital. Enjoy the video games selected by the library staff or experiment with the digital tools.
Offered on Wednesdays and Saturdays (check website for specific openings), this event provides children with the opportunity to learn to create their own robot or video, solar charger and much more.
This event is free but requires registrations.
December 21, 2019
La Cité, Bibliotheques municipales de Geneva
6. LE CALENDRIER DE LA TERRE
There are seemingly more and more advent calendars for all ages and preferences, it’s no longer just about the chocolate. If your family loves a good advent calendar, this might be the perfect event for you. Every day this month the Bains des Pâquis is creating a life-sized advent calendar using their changing room cubicles.
Check out the website for a peak of what’s behind the doors.
December 1-24, at 19h
Bain des Pâquis
7. SANTA LETTER VIA SWISS POST
Children can send their special letters to Santa thanks to the great staff at Swiss Poste. They can mail letters and get a response no matter whether you call him Santa, Père Noël, or Father Christmas.
The Swiss Post staff or “Santa Claus helpers” will sort all letters by language and respond to them in any one of the national languages or English. In past years they have even gone as far to try to track down any children who submitted incomplete or incorrect addresses!
In addition to responding to the letter they also send a small surprise for the children. All they have to do is address it to Santa, Père Noël, or whatever name they call him, include a return address and place it in the post box. Yes, that’s right you don’t even need a stamp!
8. CAROUGE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS
One thing about Christmas which helps makes it so special are the lights. This year’s light installation in Carouge has taken festive lights to a whole new element with fabulous creative displays everywhere. Make sure you spot the three huge fish (carp) swimming overhead in Rue Vautier or the birds in flight on Place de l’Octroi, along with many more surprises!
This light exhibition is designed specifically to lead you through the Carouge area and make sure you allow for some extra time because there are many more activities taking place in the area for the Christmas season.
November 1, 2019 – December 31, 2019
If you are finishing your Christmas shopping in Manor in Geneva and need some entertainment for the children while you are there be sure to check out the activities happening on the third and fourth floor.
During the month of December on certain days, there will be ateliers for the kids to write their letters to Santa as well as free photos with Santa.
In addition to Santa related events there will be distribution of hugs and balloons from your favourite superhero, and the presence of a balloon artist.
For dates and times, consult the photograph alongside or indicated in store.
10. GENEVA LUX
Ok so this event isn’t technically in December, but it shouldn’t be missed so we are making an exception and looking ahead to early 2020.
The city will light up again thanks to the Geneva Lux Festival, which is a series of light displays bringing a little shine to those dreary winter days.
This will be the city’s 6th edition of this event but this year they have decided to abandon advent to occupy a new period.
This year on specific dates, Geneva Tourism will be offering tours in English and French, (check the website for details). Reservation and payment are required and can be made through the tourism office by telephone. Check link below for all the details under useful information.
January 24, 2020- February 2, 2020
Jardin Anglais, Rue de Rhône, Place Bel-Air, Place Longemalle, Ile Rousseau, Rue de Mont-Blanc, Place Simon Goulard.
For a complete map and details of the light installations see below.
More information: Click Here