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“Vacances de patates” with all the family

Looking for ideas to keep your children busy this autumn? Creative workshops, seasonal DIY, sports or exhibitions: discover our selection of excursions and activities to be enjoyed with all the family during the school October holidays in Geneva. 

The name “Vacances de patates” recalls a time when children would spend their October school holidays helping their parents pick potatoes in the surrounding fields. Today, the week’s activities, running from 17 to 25 October 2020, are a lot more fun!

In light of the health situation, the programme may be subject to change. If in doubt, please do not hesitate to consult the websites of the institutions organising the activities which will be regularly updated if necessary.

Holidays at one with nature

enfants sur une table en train de manipuler des feuilles

La Libellule activity centre | 19 to 23 October | Pavillon Plantamour

From 21 to 25 October, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., the la Libellule activity centre offers children aged 5 and over the chance to have fun observing nature while creating something with your own hands. CHF 150 for the week (CHF 125 for members), registration online

dessin ancien d'une cascade avec beaucoup de plantes verdoyantes, un homme coiffé d'un chapeau qui se penche sur un chien

The tropics only a stone’s throw from home | throughout the holidays | CJBG

Kitted out with their explorer’s notebooks, children can visit all four corners of the Botanical Conservatory and Gardens to discover the fiery-red wonders of nature. Available for download,  the notebook on Carl Von Martius's exhibition will offer them the chance to explore tropical biodiversity while having fun. 

A touch of magic for the holidays

affiche violette avec Geneva MAgic Festival inscrit en grand

Geneva Magic Festival | 18 October | Onex community hall

Don't miss the 2nd edition of this magic festival with 8 professional magicians. It is the perfect opportunity to discover magic with all the family throughout a show that will amaze young and old alike over the course of an afternoon.  

sculpture en pierre représentant un personnage

Discovering les Barbus Müller | 21 October | MEG

Discover les Barbus Müller, spontaneous sculptures according to Jean Dubuffet. Having observed the statues, children aged 5 and over adults can meet Huldre, a giant who has the power to change anything into stone at a glance. The visit ends with the chance to hear an extract from the sound collections of the MEG. Limited places, reservation required

Muséum coloré en dessin, avec un arc en ciel en guise de fond

Circus and magic at the MAH | 20 to 23 October | Museum of Art and History 

Discover the animals of the museum’s menagerie, test your flexibility opposite frozen statues, see an Egyptian magic trick or admire the muscles of our top athletes... Visits, shows, workshops and takes will take children (aged 2 to 5 in the morning, 6 and over in the afternoon)  under the big top of the MAH with 4 days free of charge filled with magic and wonder and a short detour under the arches of the Maison Tavel.  

Sport to keep fit  

deux garçons jouant au foot en extérieur

Autumn football camps | from 21 to 25 October | Bout-du-Monde and Varembé sports centres

Football fans aged 3 to 13 can discover or improve their footballing skills at the Bout-du-Monde and Varembé sports centres. Several options organised by Intersoccer are available, including daily or weekly mini camps (for children aged 3 to 5) and day camps (for children aged 5 to 13). Costs range from CHF 50 to CHF 410, registrations on the Intersoccer website

gros plan sur des patins à glace

Winter sports appetiser | from 20 to 25 October | les Vernets and les Charmilles ice rinks

It’s time to get your skates on and slide into winter at les Vernets ice rink, , which is open throughout the holidays. It is also possible to try your hand at ice hockey on 17 (5.15 p.m. – 6.30 p.m.), 18 (11.15 a.m. – 12.30 p.m.) and 23 October (4 p.m. – 5.45 p.m.). 

For those who prefer open-air skating, head over to the season ice rink in les Charmilles, which will open its doors throughout the holidays from Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Special skates for use on the synthetic surface are available for hire on site for a mere CHF 2. 

jeunes filles en maillot tenant chacune un ballon de basket, posant pour la photo

Great skills and fancy footwork | in several sports facilities around Geneva

For fans of great moves, high-level sport and the chance to make your voice heard, why not take advantage of the holidays to support one of Geneva’s many teams? 

  • On 17 October, Servette FC (football Super League) will host BSC Young Boys at the Stade de Genève.  
  • On 18 October, the women’s basketball team, Genève Elite Basket (LNA) will face BC Winterthur at the Ecole du Sapay in Plan-les-Ouates.
  • On 20 October, the atmosphere in les Vernets is sure to be electric when Genève-Servette HC face off against Fribourg-Gottéron. 
  • On 24 and 25 October, why not take the family to see the cycle races at the Velodrome of la Queue d’Arve sports centre, as part of the Omnium de Genève.  
jeune fille avec lunettes de natation qui sort son buste de l'eau

Sport for all | in several sports facilities around Geneva

From street-workout at the Bout-du-Monde sports centre to a few lengths in les Vernets and Varembé swimming pools, taking in the climbing wall and squash and badminton courts in la Queue d’Arve, not to mention the numerous road races: the City of Geneva's sports facilities offer you the chance to do plenty of sport during the holidays. 

Frighteningly good holidays

dessin d'un dragon crachant du feu rouge

Mythozeries Swicheriz | 17 October | Parc des Minoteries

Through their show Mythozeries Swicheriz, the Compagnie des Pas invites children aged 7 and over to shudder in fear while listening to stories overheard on street corners or drawn from Swiss mythology and legends. After meeting the demonic creatures, fantastic animals and legendary beasts, children can taste a chocolate monster to help them recover.  

dessin d'un garçon souriant tenant un livre

Meeting with Roland Garrigue | 17 October| Saint-Jean library

When Roland was young, he was forever having nightmares. So who would have thought that he would create so many books about monsters and witches! Roland Garrigue says «welcome to the monster factory»! Together, he and children aged 5 and over will create beings with unexpected appearances thanks to a range of different production techniques. 

têtes de monstres colorés

Find your inner monster | 24 October | Espace le 4ème  

With Monstre-moi qui tu es, Moon and Luigi, drag performers from Geneva offer children the chance to explore and express their relationship with all things monstrous. They invite specialists in these very questions to present a range of different points of view. Following these discussions, children will be able to try their hands at creative make-up, drawing or photoshopping their self-portraits.

Street art: exhibitions on the wall 

fond dégradé de noir au blanc avec un grand PAMX inscrit dessus

Primart, aka PAMX | 17 to 25 October | Le Commun

Some 15 artists from the local and international scene create an urban breakout at le Commun, with an exhibition focusing on graffiti as part of the 12th edition of Prim'art. 

fille de dos à côté d'un grand coeur rouge dessiné sur un mur gris

One, Two… Street art | 17 to 25 October | Quartier Libre SIG

Through this immersive and interactive exhibition of more than fifty artists, including such international heavyweights as Keith Haring and Banksy, the public can slip into a street artist’s shoes or discover the different production techniques, with a tag wall, digital sprays and a pixel art game. A paper chase will also enable children aged 6 and over to discover this art form born in the US almost half a century ago.

Amazing shows

sorte de cerveau dessiné sur un fond jaune

Ersatz | 17 and 18 October | Geneva Puppet Theatre (TMG)

Transhumanism, virtual reality and artificial intelligence are addressed in this show through simple objects made from raw materials. By playing with sound effects and surprising interpretations, this worrying, ironic and absolutely irresistible dystopia will delight teenagers aged 12 and over, and not only fans of the Black Mirror series! 

lapin blanc fait de papier fin

Snowfall | 24 and 25 October | Salle du Lignon

Through its visual theatre, the troupe Les Bestioles will offer you the chance to discover a tangled landscape made of crumpled white tissue paper.

Children as young as 1 will discover the feeling of wonder for the very first time while older kids will re-discover the essential flavour of a fairy-tale world of imagination. 

A creative week  

Gros plan sur des lettres d'imprimerie encrées de rose fuschia

Creative autumn workshops | 20 to 23 October | Geneva

Tales, music, plastic arts, printing... Creative workshops organised by different associations will enable your children to give free rein to their artistic talent: 

  • Les Créateliers offer a week of creative activities from 1.30 p.m. to 5.30 p.m.
  • la Bulle d’Air activity centre: Music, plastic arts, storytelling and cookery workshops await 4-8 year-olds at the Villa Dutoit, from CHF 330 to CHF 700 per week, with the possibility of a discount; 
  • Parents-child workshope at la Bulle d’Air: Music, plastic arts, storytelling and cookery workshops await 4-8 year-olds at the Villa Dutoit, from CHF 330 to CHF 700 per week, with the possibility of a discount; 
  • Ateliers du Square: drawing, colouring and imagination are on the agenda of this workshop entitled “Harry Potter and the Fantastic Beasts", intended for children aged 7 and over. CHF 240 per week;
  • Gozillab and the printer/typographer Nicolas Regamey will introduce children aged 8 to 12 to the mysteries of traditional printing during the Printorama workshop organised on the premises of the association for industrial heritage. (CHF 460 per week, discounts possible).
gros plan sur des mains d'enfants en train de faire un bricolage

DIY and games in les Charmilles | 19 to 23 October | Le 99 community centre 

The community centre Le 99 will open its doors to the children and other inhabitants of the Europe - Charmilles district. Thanks to the efforts of L’Abri, visitors will be able to take part in a number of activities, in particular crafts and games, throughout the entire week

trois images de mobiles fabriqués avec du bois et des plumes

Curiosity and imagination for families | 19 to 23 October | Maison de la Créativité

The Maison de la Créativité with its seven creative exploration areas, is open to children up to the age of 8 together with their families during the holidays, on Monday 19 and Friday 23 October, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., and on Tuesday 20, Wednesday 21, Thursday 22 and Saturday 24 throughout the day from 9 a.m. to midday and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.). Reservations via the centre’s website and adults required to wear masks. 

A little cinema for the road

souris en peluche coiffée d'un chapeau pointu gris

The enchanted forest | 25 October | Cinémas du Grütli 

This programme organised by the Cinémas du Grütli as part of the Automnales du Petit Black Movie, offers young children the chance to discover the joys of the big screen. The magic of the forest here is first and foremost the introductory quest and a celebration of friendship and encounters. Through four films, children aged 4 and over will learn to overcome their fears and prejudices to walk out of the forest older and wiser.

And much more besides… 

Discover more ideas for excursions and events in the City of Geneva's online diary!

And for the coming weeks, why not receive a small selection in your e-mail box? Simply suscribe to the weekly "What to do in Geneva? newsletter (in French only) 

Article modifié le 14.10.2020 à 11:34