Wednesday, 26 November 2014

How to enjoy wine tasting in a Castle - ATELIERS DU VIN - Chateau de Divonne 35 Euro/lesson in English

This is an unique opportunity to learn wine tasting and to visit one of the most beautiful Castles in the Geneva area , in the Chateau de Divonne  about 30 minutes driving from Geneva .
Wine tasting courses take place once per month, each month , as per dates below and are given by the Castle sommellier who has been the Chief sommellier at the Ritz Hotel in Paris for many years.

The courses are in French and in English , they start at 10 a.m and last about 2 hours, prices are very reasonable, also considering the outstanding location. To book ,call the Hotel in the Castle at 0033450200032 , there is also the possibility to book a lunch afterwards for 29 Euro/person.
The next dates for 2014 and 2015 and the wines topics are here below  8 novembre : Les vins toscans 40€
13 décembre : Vins doux du Sud Ouest 35€
14 février 2015 : Les vins d'altitude (Savoie) 35€
14 mars : Les Bourgognes rouges 40€
11 avril : Au fil de la Loire 35e
9 mai : les vins du Monde 40€

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

How to make bargains. NYON ANTIQUES Monthly Flea Market on the lake, on November 30th

A must see for bargain hunters and antiques lovers!
If you haven't yet seen this monthly flea market that takes place on the last Sunday of each month on the magnificent lakeside of Nyon, then this the time to go and have a look.
I personally love this market and go there whenever I can, I love the atmosphere, the charm of almost 200 stands whose total length is close to 1 km. You can find literally everything on sale , goods are sold by professional sellers and private people, do not expect to find  antique objects of very high value, however  most of them very nice and perfect for an original gift, although not very precious.
It's a great way to spend a Sunday morning or afternoon, taking into account that in Geneva everything is closed  on that day.
Last but not least, the market takes place on the lakeside , so if you get tired to see antiques, you can enjoy the lake and the nearby nice districts and have a lunch or a breakfast in the coffees and restaurants.
Next dates are November 30th and December 14th

Thursday, 20 November 2014

How to experience the DISCO on ICE - Patinoire de Vernets - as of 3 CHF/person on November 29th , on December 13th and on February 7th

The ice skating season has started and the Patinoire de Vernet  transforms its ice ring into a real DISCO for few Saturday nights per year.
The Disco on Ice appointments take place on November 29th, on December 13th and on February 7th from 7.30 p.m. till midnight.
The entry ticket costs 6 CHF/person for adults , 3 CHF/person up to 25 years old, if you want to rent the ice skates then you have to add 2CHF/person
Great opportunity for all those ones who love dancing and skating!

© City of Geneva

Monday, 17 November 2014

How to celebrate your kid's birthday at the CIRQUE DE NOEL - special parties for kids -Nov 22nd -January 4th 2015

I have talked the possible ways to celebrate your kid's birthday in 3 previous posts. In my previosu post  I listed the 20 most popular ways to organize your kid's birthday party in Geneva  , while in two other posts I have talked about the kids' birthday parties in MEG Museum and in Coop and Migros.

In this post I'm describing another unconventional way to celebrate your kid's birthday: at the Circus.
The Cirque de Noel that will arrive in Geneva this Saturday, offers birthdays parties on Wednesdays and on Saturdays at 3 p.m. for 29 CHF and 34 CHF per child depending if the cake is or not included.
The costs includes the full 2.5 hours show and a special table arranged for the kids in an area very close to the stage, an unforgettable experience for the children!
copyright cirquede noel

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

How to learn making Puppets - THEATRE DES MARIONETTES - Geneva -workshops for children (7-10 years) during school holidays

 I  have already talked about the importance to plan book  in advance the activities for your kids during the school holidays, see my previous post  about the various activities available for February school holidays and listed in the Commune de Geneva  website.

This post is about a very special way for any kid to spend holidays: learning how to make puppets and the art of animate them.
This fantastic workshop is organized by the  Theatre de Marionettes  team and lasts one week from Monday till Friday from 10 a.m. till 4 p.m. , it is suitable for kids from 7 to 10 years old and it costs only 300 CHF .
Next workshops take place during February holidays from February 9th till Februray 13th and during Easter Holidays from April 7th till April 10th (in this case it costs 250 CHF because it lasts less than one week)
If you would like to offer your kid this unique experience it's better to enroll your little one ASAP, in fact each workshop is open to a maximum of 7children. Enrollment has to be done via the website in the link mentioned above.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

How to learn to do Christmas wreaths - workshops for adults and children - SCHILLIGER Gland on Nov 22nd and Nov 29th

If you ever wanted to learn the art of making Christmas wreaths , the Schilliger  Gland workshops are for you.

Adults workshop takes place in Gland on November 22nd and has to be booked in advance, professional experts  will teach you how to make beautiful wreaths , the course lasts 2 hrs and costs 85 CHF per person. More information here.

Children workshops take place during the full day on November 29th in Schilliger Gland and cost 13 CHF. More information here 

Saturday, 8 November 2014

How to learn to cook Italian traditional dishes FOR FREE - November sessions

See my previous post about the SAIG  Italian association and its FREE Italian cooking lessons to learn the dishes of the Italian tradition.

In November lessons take place on November 13th and on November 27th , with Gnocchi di ricotta e zucca and with Faraona al vino rosso
All information are displayed below and in my previous post

Important : all lessons are in ITALIAN.

How to enjoy classical music concerts : Brahms, Beethoven Mozart in Carouge - for FREE

Also this year, Carouge offers fantastic Classical Music Concerts  for FREE , three Concerts will take place each Sunday at 5 p.m., as of tomorrow November 9th until  November 23rd .
 All information here below
copyright villedecarouge-

Friday, 7 November 2014

How to discover the IMPERIAL CHINA Collection - Fondation Baur -Tour for children as of 7 years old on December 13th

The Baur Fondation is a hidden gem in Geneva , it's a beautiful Museum that hosts several hundreds of antique objects of extremely high value of the Chinese and Japanese art . The collection  belonged to Mr Baur ,a business man who started his own business with those countries  at the end of the 19th century.
Few years before dying Mr  Baur bought an elegant building in one of the most beautiful area  of town, in Champel , in Rue Munier Romilly 8, to host his collections , the Museum was opened in 1964.
This magic place is a must see,  it is open every day except on Monday from 2 p.m. till 6 p.m.
On December 13th there is one more reason to visit it, in fact a special tour for families and kids will be organized at 3 p.m. to discover through the beautiful objects exposed, the life of the Chinese people and of the Emperors of Qing Dinasty .
The tour last about 45 minutes and costs 10.CHF for adults, it is free for children under 16 years old ; reservation is needed , places are limited


Thursday, 6 November 2014

How to organize the coolest birthday party for your kid (6 to12 years old) in the newly renewed MEG Museum

This is a cool way to celebrate your kid's birthday party . The newly beautifully restructured  MEG (Museum d'Ethnographie de Geneve) that has just opened its doors with a great ceremony that took place one week ago,  organizes birthday parties for kids from 6 to 12 years old.
The parties take place on Wednesdays and on Saturdays afternoons and cost 270 CHF for a maximum of 12 children , they last  2.5 hours and include a special visit of the exhibition followed by a "ah hoc"  organized workshop on how to build art crafts in the theme of the exhibition. Drinks are included , the birthday cake can be made by yourselves or bought at the Museum pastry shop.

Enrollment can only be done online in the MEG birthday website. This is such a  successful idea that the MEG birthday party agenda is already fully booked till April 2015 , so don't wait to book for the available dates  as of April and May  if you like the idea!!

Note also that this Saturday November 8th  the MEG opens its door to children with a full day afternoon (from 2 p.m. till 6 p.m.) dedicated to them  and a very rich agenda of great activities (all in French)

© 2014 Musée d'ethnographie, Genève

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

How to organize a great birthday party for your kids (4 to 10 years old) at MIGROS and COOP in Geneva

One of the things I have struggled most during all these years that I have been living in Geneva has been to organize my kid's birthday parties in an original way that could be memorable for him and for his friends.

I have talked already about this subject in a couple of my previous posts, one related to the possibility to rent a playground area in the Maison de Quartier of the district where you live  and the other  to rent the Chalet Du Petit Prince  in Champel (this one is feasible only if you enroll your kid in one or more ateliers organized by the association).

Today I would like to start a series of posts about kids' birthday party , because I think I will make your life easier by giving you some useful information on the available options.
Let me start with two GREAT options that are "all included" , professionally organized and relatively cheap .

Option number 1 )  Birthday at Jamadu COOP Kids' Club , available at the Coop City in Rue de La Fusterie , in the heart of Geneva .
The party lasts 2 hrs and costs 20 CHF per child for a maximum of 12 children  , children age is from 4 till 9 years old.
Animators take care about the children who are given Jungle theme costumes and are entertained with different games, during the party they also make cakes that will bring at home with them.
Birthday cake and drink are included in the price , invitation cards are also included.
The party can take place any afternoon from Monday to Saturday, pending availability, advance booking is requested.
  •                                                              © Coop
Option number 2 ) Birthday at MIGROS - Pizza cooking lesson and other games available at the Migros of Balexter  shopping center , close to airport.
The party lasts 1.5 hrs and costs 14.5 CHF per child for a maximum of 12 children  , children age is from 4 till 10 years old.
Animators take care about the children who are given personalized suit , a professional cook teach them how to make pizza  and children have at their disposal with different games.
Birthday cake and drink are included in the price , invitation cards are also included.
The party can take place any afternoon from Monday to Friday  pending availability, advance booking is requested.
                                                                 © 2014 Fédération des coopératives Migros

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

How to spend relaxing hours while your baby develops social skills - LE CERF VOLANT , playground for kids 0-4 years old -FREE

If you are seeking for a place where you can bring your baby and spend few hours relaxing while your little one plays and develops his/her ability to interacts with other babies , then the  Cerf Volant in Boulevard Carl Vogt 82,  in Plainpalais is the place for you.
This place is supported by the City of Geneva and it is inspired to la Cite' Verte in Paris, its intent is to develop the babies social interaction in a play area designed for this purpose.

The Cerf Volant is open from Monday till Friday  from 2.30 p.m. till 6.30 p.m.  and on Saturdays from 2p.m. till 6 p.m., children have to be accompanied by parents or by a responsible adult who stays with them, the hosting team is made by 3 professional educators among whom there is a children psychologist
The playground area is equipped with a small kitchen are to organize babies meals and of many types of educational toys to stimulate kids development.
Entry is FREE , however a small contribution is welcome, at your discretion. 

Monday, 3 November 2014

WWF Panda Club visit for kids (9-12 years old) in the Park de Challandes to see panthers and other rare animals on November 15th for 10 CHF

Give your kids the unique opportunity to see panthers , white leopards , hippopotamus and many other rare animals in the Park de Challandes , close by Geneva !
WWF Panda Club organizes a visit for kids whose age is between 9 and 12 ,  to the Park on Sunday November 15th from 1 p.m. till 5.15 p.m. at a price of only 10 CHF

To know what Park de Challandes is about please see my other post , the Park is located between Chambesy and Versoix and it's definitively worth a visit

To know about WWF Panda Club excursions program in 2014 and 2015 and to enroll your kid to this visit please also see my other post. 

©2014 Parc Challandes

Sunday, 2 November 2014

How to celebrate the New Year 2015 in Geneva - Two unusual ways: Lake Cruise and Grand Theatre

This post if for the ones who will celebrate the New Year's Eve in Geneva and who are looking for unusual ways to spend that night.

I have here two suggestions , both must be booked in advance because the available places are limited, these are not cheap option, however they are very unique experiences, different from the standard celebrations ways :

  • First suggestion is to spend the evening on a Lake Cruise on the Leman lake , the cruise leaves Geneva at 8 p.m. and returns at 1.30 p.m. , the trip includes the Gala Dinner , Champagne to celebrate the new Year and Fireworks on the lake, prices are in the range of 200 CHF per person for adults.
    Copyright © Genève Tourisme
  • Second suggestion is to celebrate the New Year at the Geneva Grand Theatre  enjoying the Comic Opera Grand Duchess of Gerolstein by Jacques Offenbach. The evening includes the Gala dinner that takes place in the  restaurant of the Theatre , after the Opera. Prices are in  range of 200 CHF/person for the dinner + the cost of the ticket for the Opera , that varies based on the seats. 
    © 2013 | Grand Théâtre de Genève

How to create candles . WWF workshops for kids 8-12 years old on Saturday Dec 6th - 15 CHF- places still available

In previous posts I already talked about the great activity program that  the WWF Geneva Panda Club has put in place for kids this season.
My son attended many of these activities this years and in the past 2 years and he loved all of them, activities are focused on exploring the nature nearby Geneva and on learning about animals, environmental topics such as recycling and other educational subjects.
This workshop is about the art of creating candles with natural bees wax . It takes place on Saturday December 6th in the Bois de La Batie Parc in Petit Lancy from 1.30 p.m. till 5 p.m. and it costs only 15 CHF/child including materials and a  snac

Few places are still available, so if  you would like to enroll your kid, please call directly the organizer
.Aurélie Galéa
Coordinatrice du WWF Panda Club Genève
Route de Sous-Moulin 37
1225 Chêne-Bourg
Tél: +41 (0)22 757 27 09
Natel: +41 (0)78 767 61 65

Important: activities are in French

How to enroll you child (6 to 18 years old ) in a great activity (also Ski weeks) during school holidays in February 2015- time to enroll is NOW

Hi although October school holidays have just finished, it's already time to think about what activities you would like your child to do during the  next school holidays,  in Geneva area this will from February 9th till February 13th for a full week.

If your child is younger than 10-12  years old, a valid  option could be to enroll your him/her  in one of the activities in Le Chalet du Petit Prince , this is a great place in Champel, see my other post; they offer workshops for that week on  half a day and on full day bases for very reasonable prices.

Another option is to enroll your child in a full week skiing,  in one of the SKIclubs that I mentioned in my other post

Another option, and actually the subject of this post is to search among the many activities that the various associations offer in Geneva .
These activities are all listed in the Canton de Geneve website , clicking the link  you can find the complete  list of  activities that still have places available, you can select  based on the age of your child, the period , and the subject of the activity ,you can also select holiday camps , sejours  (your child sleeps out the full week) or activities that last the entire  week but  that don't require your child to sleep out at night , so he/she will come back  at home in the evenings , these are called journees.

The range of activities offered is  very broad and superinteresting, there are all types of Ski camps , including the  ones with observations of the wild animals , cooking classes, theater, music classes, clown stages and so on.

Prices are very reasonable , a week ski camp costs about 500 CHF all included, while a week of daily classes costs 250 CHF including lunches .

Important: all activities are in French , however this can also be a good way for your child to learn this language faster .
Please note that these activities get full very soon so you should book NOW , links and instructions to enroll are explained in the website, clicking on the selected activity

I will write about all the sports activities for the school holiday week in another post.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

How to celebrate the New Year 2015 Italy FERRARA , The Castle on Fire Show

This is another unforgettable way to celebrate the New Year 2015, although it is not exactly round the corner from Geneva.
Ferrara, one of the most beautiful Historical towns of the North of Italy is at about 600 Km from Geneva. Ferrara it is famous for its center full of Medioeval and Reinassance buildings and its by itself worth a trip because of its magnificent monuments and museums.
On December 31st one of the town's symbols, the Castle of the Dukes of Este  the Italian dynasty who lived in 15th Century , becomes the theater of the spectacular Fireworks that have the special effect to simulate a huge fire in the castle. 
The best way to enjoy the night is to book the famous Dinner of the Este Dukes, that takes place inside the beautiful rooms of the castle as of 8 p.m; the dinner costs about 100 Euro//person and it offers the magical atmosphere of the Renaissance thanks to music and to the company of several people dressed as 15th Century pages, nobles, princesses who entertain the guests with their shows and beautiful costumes.
The price includes the view of the spectacular fireworks from a privileged location inside the castle .
To plan and book your trip in Ferrara, have a look at the official website

How to discover nearby France - WINES & GASTRONOMY FAIR -Salon Des Vins & De La Gastronomie - GEX November 21st -24th

I personally like very much the SALON DES VINS & GASTRONOMIE  and I go there every year.
I particularly like the fact that  it takes place in Gex , so it's  very easy to reach, it's  only 30 minutes drive  from Geneva , it's small but offers a wide variety (50 + producers) of excellent wines that you can test as you like , and  great types of food that you can buy and offer as Christmas gift or eat yourself, like fois gras and other French and Swiss specialties such as chocolate.
Last but not least, the ticket is very cheap, it only costs 4 Euro per person and it's free for children less than 16 years old , it is open till 10 p.m. in the evenings (except on Monday when it closes at 4 p.m.)

I do recommend it , worth a visit if you are looking for a nice way to spend some hours and if you want to buy some gastronomic souvenir.

How to celebrate the New Year 2015 - Italy PISA the Fireworks Night

If you are looking for a great way to celebrate the New Year 2015 and at the same time visit one of the most famous places in the world,think about going to Pisa (about 6 hours driving from Geneva ) and enjoy the atmosphere of the historical center and the spectacular Fireworks night on the Arno , the river that crosses the old town.

If you leave Geneva in the morning you will arrive in the middle of the afternoon in Pisa, in time to one of the world 's most famous monuments  the Pisa Leaning Tower with the Cathedral and the Baptizer , in the Piazza Dei Miracoli square.  Then walk through the charming streets of the ancient center and start enjoying the street art shows with musicians, dancers and artists. The shows start as of 6 p.m. and ends at 2.30 a.m. , the core part is the spectacular fireworks shows at midnight.
Plan in advance and book  one of the nice boutique hotels in the heart of town  and also a genuine trattoria where you can taste the typical Tuscany food while waiting for the show to begin.
Check the official Pisa Tourism website to plan your trip.

How to learn the art of cartoon -Workshop for children 11-13 years old in MUSEUM DE LA REFORME on Saturday Nov 16th

This is a great not to miss workshop for children from 11 to 13 years old , in French  at the Museum de la Reforme ,  this museum is hosted in one of the most beautiful buildings in the heart of Geneva and celebrates with preseobjects, books , manuscripts, paintings, furniture the reformation that Martin Luther , Calvin and others initiated in the 16th century .

Enrollment to workshops has to be done online , children will discover the art of caricature  and  will have a guided tour to learn more about the famous cartoons of Geneva artist Adam Topffer.

Next workshop, this time for kids from 7 to 10 years old will take place on December 7th

How to spend an afternoon in Lausanne - SALON DES ANTIQUAIRES et des Arts du XX - from Nov 15th till November 23rd

If you like art and have a passion for beautiful and precious ancient furniture, paintings and other objects , then you shouldn't miss the 45th Salon Des Antiquaires et des Arts du XX siecle  that takes place in Lausanne  in the espace Beaulieu , until November 23rd .

The entry ticket costs 16 CHF and it's free for children younger than 16 years old.
This Fair hosts more than 50 high level exhibitors , coming from different areas of Switzerland and from other Countries;hundreds of beautiful objects are exposed there from different historical periods, for the pleasure of all art lovers

How to expose your kids to Modern Art -The Firmenich Family and Kids Factory- workshops for 3 to 6 years old for 10 CHF

These workshops take place at the Centre D'art Contemporain  de Geneve, in Rue Des Vieux Grenadiers 10 in Plainpalais District ; they are a  great way to initiate your kids to Modern Art , there  are two types of workshop , the Family Factory  and the Kids Factory.The concept is the same , kids discover the exhibition hosted in the Museum of Modern Art and then they have a workshop that uses the technique and themes of the exhibition .
The Family Factory is for kids from 3 to 6 years old accompanied by an adult and take place on Wednesday and on Saturdays till November 22nd , each workshop costs 10 CHF for one adult and two kids, the workshops last 1.5 hours and have to be booked at  022 329 18 42 ;
The kids factory workshop is for kids from 7 to 12 years old and take place on Wednesday 19th ,it last 1.5 hours and costs 10 CHF and it has to be booked  at the same number mentioned above.
© Centre d'Art Contemporain Genève

The not to miss Christmas Market 30 minutes from Geneva - Chateau de Coppet from Dec 3rd to December 7th

This is for me the most beautiful Christmas Market in Geneva area for its unique location and the fantastic atmosphere.
The Coppet Castle Christmas Market   opens at 2p.m. on December 3rd and closes every day at 8p.m. (9p.m. on Saturday and  at 5 p.m. on Sunday ) ; the program for the  4 and half days is full of interesting activities , including several children workshops on how to make Christmas cookies and gingerbread.

The market hosts about 70 exhibitors that sell a variety of things from art-craft to wines and gastronomy from the area , there is also a skating ring outside the castle and Santa Claus is expected to arrive and meet kids on Sunday afternoon .

Check the full program on the website, this market attracts thousands of visitors so the best way to go there, especially if you go during the weekend,  is by train from Geneva , the train takes about 20 minutes and then it takes just 5 minutes walking from Coppet train station to the Castle.