Saturday, 31 January 2015

How to enjoy Carnival in Geneva -Carnaval aux Bains- Carnival at Bains de Paquis on February 21st as of 3 p.m.

This is the most important  public Carnival  event that takes place in Geneva, the masks parade starts in Paquis at 3 p.m. on February 21st and ends in the Bains de Paquis where celebrations go on till late night ; the program includes activities for children and , for the most courageous one, also a huge jacuzzi bath!

Maxi Jacuzzi at the Carnival of Bains de Paquis 
© 2012 - Association d'usagers des Bains des Pâquis.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

How to enjoy Modern Art with kids , the MAMCO Museum GUIDED TOURS for kids 2-4 years old and 5 -10 years old- FREE

The MAMCO , Museum of Modern and Contemporary art of Geneva offers free visits- workshops to kids from 5 till 10 years old accompanied by an adult.
These appointments last 45 minutes and take place every first Sunday of the month in the mornings at 11.15 and every Wednesday in the afternoons at 3.15  p.m.

This is definitively a great way to let your kids discover art ,worth noticing that MAMCO organizes also mini tours of 20 minutes for kids from 2 till 4 years old, accompanied by an adult , the mini tours take place every Wednesday in the afternoon at 3.15 p.m.
The MAMCO is located in Plain Palais, in Rue De Vieux Granatiers 10, the guided tours are free, however a limited number of places is available , so go there at least 15 minutes before the visit starts if you want to be sure to find a slot.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Available places for FEBRUARY School Holidays - KID's HOLIDAY CAMPS and COURSES (for children from 4 till 18 years old ) in Geneva area

Some months ago I talked in a previous post about the several activities offered by the different associations in Geneva or nearby area to keep children busy during February school holidays (from February 9 till February 13th) 

School holidays starts in  less than 2 weeks so most activities are already fully booked, however there are still some  courses and camps that have places available , so if you would like to enroll your kids, have a look at the list and proceed with the enrollment ASAP.

The link here indicates the available activities , these are split by 1) daily activities activities when children go back at home in the evening and 2) holiday camps when kids stay the full week and come back home on Friday The above link refer to daily activity (no sleep out) because I selected the words "journees" in the menu, if you would like to know the available camps, then use the following link where I selected the word "sejours "
The camps include ski and other winter sports activities . 
The links above indicate the age of the kids , the available places and the relevant costs. 
A full week camp costs between 400 and 600 CHF per child, a daily activity costs about 250-300 for the full week.
Enrollment has to be done by contacting directly the association organizing the activity, all details are reported in the links above (in French)

Monday, 26 January 2015

How to learn to cook the perfect St. VALENTINE DINNER - Cooking Lesson at Ecole Migros Geneve on February 13th at 6.30 p.m.

Have you ever dreamed about organizing a Saint Valentine surprise dinner for your loved one ?
This course is for you. 
Ecole Migros organizes two sessions to teach how to organize and cook the perfect  St. Valentine Dinner on February 13th . The sessions take place on February 13th in the two offices of the  Ecole Migros in Balexter and in Rue Du Prince in downtown Geneva from 6.30 p.m. till 9.50 p.m.
Session costs 180 CHF per person and are open to a maximum of 12 people each.

To enroll contact the ecole Migros directly or enroll on line via the following link 

picture taken from

Sunday, 25 January 2015

How to enjoy an unique experience : the Hot Air Balloon Flight -INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL of HOT AIR BALLOONS- Chateaux D'Oex till February 1st

This international Festival is one of the most popular in Switzerland, it takes place in Chateaux D'Oex , a very nice ski resort at less than two hours driving  from Geneva , not far from Montreux.
The Festival lasts one week , it has started  yesterday and it will end next Sunday, February 1st.
The whole week program is full of activities , all centered about hot air balloons.
Hot air balloons at Chateau D'Oex

Worth mentioning the children day on January 28th , with a full day of activities for children, including a massive balloons release . Other  special moments are the sound and light balloon night on January 31st and the final show on February 1st with air balloon of different strange shapes!

During each day of the Festival, visitors can experience a flight on the hot air balloons, such an unique experience costs 390CHF per person for adults and 195CHF per person for children (only children above 14 years old are allowed), the flight costs 1 hour and it's a once in a lifetime experience !!!

festival International de Ballons

Sunday, 18 January 2015

How to learn to cook Italian Dishes for FREE - Next Lesson on January 29th

As already talked in previous posts , the Italian  cooking lessons classes  organized by SAIG, the "Societa' delle Associazioni Italiane a Ginevra"  start again in 2015 , the next lesson will take place on January 29th in the SAIG offices in Charmilles.

If you would like to enroll , please call  Mr Vaccaro, please see below for details.
To note that lessons are in Italian and that places are limited, the January lesson is about a surprise dish.

How to learn gospel -STAGE DE GOSPEL on February 21 and 22nd 2015 -Adults 80 CHF

If you have always wanted to learn the art of Gospel, this post is for you, a course of Gospel is going to be organized in Petit Lancy on February 21st & 22nd .
This course is lead by a professional gospel singer , it costs 80 CHF per person for the two days .
To register call the below  number , there is a limited number of places available so enroll fast
Tél. : +41(0)76 616 26 15 

Saturday, 17 January 2015

How to enjoy Carnival : the One & Only - CARNIVAL of VENICE from January 31st till February 17th

It's almost Carnival time and if you have never been there , then going to the Carnival of Venice is simple a MUST !
If you live in Geneva, this is an experience that you cannot miss because Venice is quite easily reachable from Geneva. It takes about 6-7 hours by car, a bit longer by train but then you don't have the hassle to find a parking slot, and less than two hours by Easyjet, definitively my recommended way, also taking into account that train is not cheaper.

There are different ways to enjoy the Carnival in Venice, ranging from attending  one of the many and very expensive Private Ball Parties to just walking around without a precise destination and just follow the flow , the latter is my favorite one, because it allows to discover Venice's beautiful small streets , called "calle". Important, every year hundreds thousands of people reach Venice every day of the Carnivalso don't go there if you don't like the crowd, because it will be everywhere

The Angel 's flight
The program of the 2 and half week of the Carnival is full of public  events that are free of charge such as the water parade, the carnival arsenal nights, the election of the best costume of the day,  the spectacular "Angel's  flight" on February 15th , the official opening of  the Carnival, when a famous Italian woman,  each year  a different one, "flies" from the top of the St. Mark 's bell tower to the square , where thousands of people are waiting for her .

If you go there, and you don't have a costume or a mask, do not worry,  you can rent a costume or buy a mask there.
the water parade

Finally, if you want to enjoy the Carnival of Venice at best , here are the 5 key advice:

  1. Don't expect Rio
  2. Be brave and wander 
  3. Sit in a bar
  4. Dress up
  5. Have regard for the Carnival etiquette

You find the full article and the details of the advice in this link 

copyright marcodian photographer

Monday, 12 January 2015

New Learn & Science Magazine for kids (8-12 years old) from University of Geneva -enrollment is FREE

I just discovered that the University of  Geneva has launched a new Magazine for kids aged 8-12 years old ; it is a great way to learn scientific topics while having fun !
The magazine is in French and it's called CAMPUS JUNIOR and it is issued every 3 months ,the  enrollment is FREE

Below the front page of the first number, it shows all the interesting subjects treated , I have just enrolled my 9 years old son, to enroll your child, just click this link

Image of the Campus Junior magazine , © Université de Genève

Sunday, 11 January 2015

How to buy cinema tickets for children for the latest movies for only 4 Euro

In Gaumont Pathe' Archamps  Cinema , in Archamps , few kilometers far from Geneva , close to Saint Julien en Genevois , the ticket for children less than 14 years old costs only 4 Euro! , you have to add a small supplement for movies in 3D .
The Cinema is great and it has a very friendly mobile app that allows you to book and buy your tickets via your mobile -FANTASTIC  and worth trying !
Adult Tickets are very inexpensive too , compared to Geneva price .

Friday, 9 January 2015

DANDY's BARBER LOUNGE : the COOLEST barber shop in Geneva ! Just Open - Dad & Son Package and Happy Hours on Thursday evenings!

We live in the area and my husband has just discovered this new great place that it's located in Bld Des Tranchees  54, close to the Museum of Natural History ,the Pizzeria Luigia and the Zoe Live bar.

The Dandy's Barber Lounge  is a hyper cool place: my husband told me that he loved the traditional English style atmosphere with black leather chairs, a unique collection of books for men, vinyl disks, and very nice chesterfield armchairs to relax while waiting to be served.
The staff is professional and multilingual and they make you feel at ease serving you complementary beer or coffee.
Above all what my husband liked most was the variety of services offered that include for example a special package for Dad & Son  that gives children and fathers the opportunity to spend nice time together , the fact that they stay open till 9 p.m.on Thursdays and that they have also online booking . 

Last but not least they do  Happy Hours on Thursday evenings , worth trying !!!

Fabulous Sale & Shopping THIS SUNDAY January 11 at the Galeries Lafayette in Annecy from 10 a.m. till 7 p.m. !!!

For those ones who , like me , are coming from countries where shopping on Sundays is the norm , this is a fantastic opportunity  not to be missed, also taking into account that there is not too much snow on the mountains...
Galeries Lafayette in Annecy (30-40 minutes drive from Geneva) are exceptionally open this Sunday  January 11th  for the entire day from 10 a.m. till 7 p.m. !!!
The cherry on the cake is that in France the SALES  season has just started  so there is the opportunity to buy the great Brands selection that the Galeries Lafayette offer at up to 50% discount.

Worth going  also because Annecy is a beautiful little town, so the shopping trip can be combined with a nice tour of the medioeval citycentre.
Dani's advice: if you are Swiss resident and you buy goods for an amount higher than  175 Euro ( precise threshold to be checked)  do not forget to ask for the Tax Free option and you will save even more.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

How to get your kids into ZUMBA - Zumba Kids Classes -Ecole Migros for kids of all ages ( 4 till 17 years old ) as of January

I think that the Ecole Migros Zumba Classes are brilliant ; there are courses for all ages starting from 4 to 17 years old, classes are by age : 4-6 years old , 7-12 years old, 13 to 17 years old.
Courses take place on Wednesday afternoons and/or on Saturdays mornings in the two Ecole Migros locations in Geneva: the, one in the heart of town (Rue du Prince 5) and the other in Balexter .

The courses are very cheap, a set of  10 lessons (50 minutes each) costs only 125 CHF , there are 8 courses organized by the Ecole Migros at the moment , they all start in January and they last till March and April,
I would advice that you  enroll your kids as soon as possible if you are interested , in fact some courses sessions are getting full already.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

How to discovery the world's most beautiful watches : GUIDED TOURS at the Patek Philippe Museum - in English 15 CHF/person

The Patek Philippe Museum  is a must see place  in Geneva for everybody , not only for watch lovers  because it displays the most beautiful models of the world wide famous firm  and an extraordinary collection of watches ,  musical automata and enamel miniatures from  the 16th to the 19th century. Each piece is a masterpiece. Worth seeing it.

This post is to let you know that the Museum offers every Saturday a 1hr  guided tour to enjoy at best all these unique masterpieces . The French Tour starts at 2p.m , the English Tour starts at 2.30 p.m., each tour can host a maximum of 30 people ; the ticket for the guided tour costs 15 CHF/person, including the entry to the Museum, and it's free for children under 18 years old .

Note also that if you are a group of friends or colleagues, you can book a private tour that lasts about 2 hours, prices are reasonable (220 CHF for the guide + 10 CHF/person) and the experience is unique!

How to offer an unique experience to your teenagers kids (and to your husband too) Professional FLIGHT and FORMULA 1 Simulators -New in Geneva

Today I'm sharing with you a brand new information that I hope can give you some ideas for unforgettable birthday gifts for your children (above 12 Years old) and to the other males of your family.
I have just found out that  two new attractions have just been installed in Geneva , professional flight simulator and Fomula 1 /Rally simulator.

The Flight Simulator has just been installed in the Airstore Library  in the Cornavin Station area , this equipment is the same used to train professional pilots and it offers unique and unforgettable experiences to all adults and children older than 12 years old.
The price of this emotion is not cheap, one hour flight , that includes all explanations and a lesson from an expert costs 215 CHF , however I have been told that the experience such breathtaking that it's worth the money!

The Formula 1/Rally experience   is can be made in Simulpro the brand new center just opened in Plan Les Ouates, in Rte De St Julien 91 , this center hosts 8 professional simulators and it's open 7/7 Sunday included till 11 p.m.
The simulators can be accessed to children taller than 140 cm, i.e. older than 9-10 years old ; also in this case the experience is not cheap, in fact it costs 79 CHF for 20 minutes drive.

How to get your child YEAR PASS on all Swiss Public Transports for 30 CHF/year JUNIOR CARD

In Switzerland any child between 6 and 16 years can travel for one year on all public transports (trains/buses) for as less as 30 CHF/year provided he/she travels with  at least one of the parents who has is travelling with  valid transport ticket.
The JUNIOR CARD can be bought in any train station by one of the child's parents, each parent is given his/own personal card that they have to always keep with them in order to be shown on request , the card is valid for their child for one year , the number of travels is unlimited and the card can be bought in any time of the year.

I found this a fantastic deal taking into account the cost of buses and trains in Switzerland !
Worth mentioning if you have 3 kids, the third card is for free so you only pay 60 CHF/year for both.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

How to travel around the whole Switzerland by Train with only 42 CHF/day and where to buy the DAY PASS

Travelling the entire Country by Train - with any train even the fastest ones and any public transport , in 2nd class ,  for only 42 CHF /day is possible , you just have to buy the CFF Day pass from the  Espace de la Ville de Geneve , that is located at the Pont De  La Machine right in the heart of the city
Each family can buy up to 4 passes a year and you have to be resident in Geneva to be able to apply.
Important : each pass is valid only for a given specific day that you have to select in advance , so if you aren't sure that you will go , better not to buy.
Note also that there is only a limited number of passes available per day so if you want to buy a pass for a Saturday or a Sunday it better to book it as much in advance as possible , the website above also gives you the availability per day so to avoid you to go and buy if passes are sold out for that day.
When going there , ensure you have your identity card and a proof that you live in Geneva, typically the last electricity bill is enough.

If you are not resident in Geneva or if Geneva passes are sold out for the day of your interset , another way to  procure a CFF Day Pass  is to  to check in the official websites of the other Geneva districts, such as Lancy, Carouge,Troinex and so on, normally they can sell passes if they have not exhausted the ones available for that day . In most cases the passes availability is displayed online.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

How to see sharks at driving distance from Geneva - The 2 Aquariums : Genoa and Lyon

My son has a true passion  for the sea , he loves snorkeling and watch all types of fishes , so the Aquarium is one of his favorite destinations.Unfortunately there is no Aquarium in Geneva yet, however there are two great ones not far away: the one in Genoa at 4 to 5 hours driving from Geneva and the one in Lyon at less than two hours driving from Geneva .
The Aquarium of Genoa is the Italy's most famous and one of the largest in Europe , it is visited by thousands of people every day , it hosts 70 tanks, 15000 animals belonging to 400 species such as sea mammals, penguins, crocodiles,  seals, Antarctic fishes , sharks and many dolphins including the new baby dolphin who was recently born there.
The standard tour lasts 2-3 hours ,however the visit of the whole Aquarium Village lasts one full day and includes also the Naval museum , the Birds and Reptiles Pavillon and other nearby attractions , if you want to visit only the Aquarium, the ticket costs 24 Euro for adults and 15 for children, I do recommend to buy it online to avoid the very long queue at the ticket offices.
The Aquarium is open all year long, 365 days/year  and it's located in a very nice area of town called Porto Antico so it's worth exploring the nearby area and stop in one of the nice bakery shops to taste the famous  focaccia Ligure.
The aquarium of Lyon is much smaller than the one of Genoa, however it's much easier to be reached from Geneva , at only 1.5-2 hrs driving, so it is  the ideal destination for an half day trip. It hosts about 5000 fishes in 47 tanks including the famous shark area.It is open from Wednesday till Sunday (7 days a week  in July and in August and during French school holidays) , ticket costs 15 Euro for adults and 11 Euro for kids, if you buy on line you have 2 Euro discount per ticket. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015 !!! Thanks for being so many to read this blog and PLEASE LEAVE your COMMENTS

Happy New Year 2015  to all of you !!! Thank you so much for being so many to follow my blog.
And please leave me your comments or feedback on the topics that you would like me to  write/help you with in 2015 !

Dani © Frank Mentha