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Coronavirus: how to keep busy at home

plateau de scrabble avec mains de personnes qui en jouent

How can you keep busy at a time when everyone has been asked to restrict their movements? Here is a selection of ideas and virtual resources to educate and entertain yourselves and even to get away from your daily routine in your very own home. 

Artefacts from the MEG in your lounge

Do you have a minute? Just the time it takes to discover a selection of artefacts from the MEG presented by a curator or a member of the scientific staff from the Geneva Museum of Ethnography. Talismans offering protection against boredom and moroseness, they whisk you off to the four corners of the globe, giving you a taste of the world’s riches in the comfort of your own home.  

Objects from collections housed in Geneva’s museums in video  

From the work by François Morellet illuminating le Valais underground passage in Les Pâquis through Pistoletto’s marble statue of the squash carrier in the Botanical Conservatory and Gardens to the views of the bay painted by Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, the short reports in the compléments d’objets series invite you to explore the objects in the collections housed in Geneva’s museums. 

The Ariana web series

From 18 March, discover the Ariana's museum's web series on the "Meissen – Folies de porcelaine" exhibition. It is a unique opportunity to learn more about these treasures taken from Swiss collections. Episode 1: White gold.

The #CULTURECHEZVOUS mini-series

For 60 seconds, a representative of one of Geneva’s cultural institutions drops in to see you by means of a “home-made” video presenting a topic related to their profession. A simple and spontaneous action reflecting the excellent synergy between the city’s cultural institutions in creating this digital mini-series. 

vue de taches colorées composant un tableau

Delve into the works of the MAMCO

Explore the details of three paintings from the MAMCO, thanks to videos created with the assistance of Artmyn, a start-up based in western Switzerland specialising in very high-definition digitisation.

Thrill to the striking colours of the dizzying work by Karel Appel entitled Oiseau au-dessus de la mer noire, discover aspects – invisible to the naked eye – of Copyright (Blue) #3 by General Idea or accompany the expressionist painter Helen Frankenthaler as she experiments with a pictorial method in Passport. 

Geneva through the lens of Valentine Mallet

Photographie tirée de l'exposition

The libraries of Geneva offer you the opportunity to discover the entire Geneva through the lens of Valentine Mallet collection, which has been hanging in the Couloir des coups d’œil since February. It is the chance to plunge into the Geneva of the “Belle époque” through numerous photographs focusing in particular on Geneva’s streets of yesteryear, such as Rue du Rhône around 1906 and the Tour du Molard after 1907.

photo d'une salle du MAH

The MAH at home

The MAH in your living room! Redecorate your house with the most beautiful works from its collections, then enjoy an interactive visit including a number of surprises


dessin d'une femme couchée avec les yeux fermés


The essentials of the MAH

Delve into the treasures of the MAH collections and discover a selection of twenty works of art and historical artefacts. You will find masterpieces of Swiss and European art, treasures from Antiquity and exceptional examples of Swiss watchmaking and enamelling know-how. And, of course, there are exhibits bearing witness to the history of Geneva such as the piece of Savoyard armour, a trophy from the famous Escalade of 1602, or the Relief Magnin, a model of the city as it was in 1850.


marionnette sur fond noir

Expo 2.0, Théâtre des marionnettes

Take a look behind the scenes and the special effects, unlock the mysteries of the puppets which are brought to life to embody moving characters or watch as comic strip heroes are transformed into star performers: the TMG opens its virtual doors and offers you the chance to explore its magical world of myriad tricks through open or guided visits.

Geneva cultural magazine

fond violacé avec écrit "" en blanc

The magazine of the Léman Bleu television station presents the region’s artists in video together with their own specific worlds, as well as anecdotes relating to the works of art on show in Geneva. So there’s plenty of scope to enjoy culture in all its forms!

Vue du Mont-Blanc


Les Sentiers Extra-ordinaires

the Department of Culture and Sport launched a nine-part digital series based on an original idea: the collections are brought to life through the fiction and thanks to the voices of members of the civil society. Starting on 5 May, two episodes of Les Sentiers Extra-ordinaires are broadcast every week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. At the end of each episode, entertaining cultural mediation activities involving you and old alike are offered, in order to prolong this unique experience.

Cosmo Digitale, the digital version of the Castello di Rivoli

image d'une bâtiment en briques rouges

Set a course for Italy and contemporary art: while the country’s museums have closed their doors to the public, the Castello di Rivoli near Turin is showcasing its treasures online. Its Cosmo Digitale, project, which is growing day by day with content in Italian and English, presents the museum’s collections with its numerous examples of arte povera. The spectacular light installation by Roberto Cuoghi (Miracola) in Turin, which disrupted the public lighting system to create city-wide phantasmagoria, can already be admired along with short videos by Giuseppe Penone, crying tears of earth or playing like a child with the “wings” of ash trees. 

image rupestre d'un rhinocéros

The Chauvet cave as if you were there

Discovered on 18 December 1994 during a speleological expedition, the Chauvet-Pont d’Arc cave is one of the oldest painted palaeolithic caves in the world. Included on the UNESCO world heritage list, it has never been open to the public on conservation grounds. But now it couldn’t be easier to visit the different halls, either on your own or accompanied by an explanatory guide thanks to a  website which enables you to discover the bison, horses, bears or hand prints left by prehistoric artists on painted panels.  

tableau nuit étoilée de van gogh

Treasures of collections from around the world online

Digitised by Google as part of its “Arts and culture” project, collections from around the world can now be enjoyed online, including those of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, with its works by Rembrandt and Vermeer. You can also admire 129 works of modern and contemporary art housed in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, ranging from Keith Haring to Vincent Van Gogh, and some 5,000 works from the London museum of design and decorative arts: the Victoria and Albert Museum. A genuine treasure trove! 

Getting organised with children at home

petite fille qui joue en empilant des plots

Podcasts, virtual visits, videos, board games and activities for all the family: discover a selection of ideas to keep your children busy while having fun. 

A thousand and one lives through books

femme assise sur un canapé qui lit un livre

This is the ideal time to go through that pile of novels you’ve never had time to read or to revisit your favourite books!

And for anyone who is keen to discover new works but is short on inspiration, our librarians will come to the rescue with a host of new ideas: 


Free access to works

  • While the municipal libraries are closed, they nevertheless enable you to borrow more than 5,000 digital books, ranging from thrillers through documentaries to science fiction. English-language books and audio books are also available.
  • Discover all the texts, freely accessible and free of rights, on Wikisource, ranging from 18th century plays through works on philosophy, sociology and poetry to the most recent novels – there’s something for every taste! 

Feel the rhythm of the music

contrebasse en gros plan et derrière, silhouette d'un homme à la batterie

The world of jazz improvises

From mini-concerts live on Facebook by the pianist Fred Hersch through distance lessons and humorous videos to soothing musical interludes by Avishai Cohen with his double bass: France Info has selected a number of outstanding initiatives taken by jazz musicians to share their passion. 

In Switzerland, Club Moods, the jazz Mecca of Zurich, has posted numerous videos of past concerts by jazz greats as well as by stars from the worlds of soul, electro-pop and world music.


vue de haut d'une scène entourée de nombreuses loges

A night at the opera on your own sofa

The New York Metropolitan Opera is streaming operas which are available for twenty hours on its Homepage.

The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra has exceptionally made its Digital Concert Hall available free of charge. After registering, this digital service offers access to a series of filmed concerts (under the direction of Kirill Petrenko or Daniel Barenboim).

The prestigious Vienna State Opera offers a similar service via its Live at home streaming platform. 

foule devant une scène

Reliving concerts on the radio

From Curtis Harding to Deus, Couleur 3 has collected dozens of concerts from numerous festivals around Switzerland and abroad. They can be enjoyed every evening from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. or on the RTS website


Work indoors

Why not take advantage of the time spend indoors to get some housework done with the assistance of your little helpers, making the chores a little more fun? 

mains d'enfants en train de faire d'emporter des pièces de biscuits

Hone your cooking skills

AIf you can’t go out to a restaurant, why not get your cookery books out and hone your skills as a chef. For parents, preparing meals can also be a chance to spend time with the kids who will develop numerous skills, such as reading and following a recipe, weighing, adding, etc.) without even realising it. And to give your dishes a local flavour, visit the Genève terroir website, with its recipes from around Geneva.

pot avec bicarbonate, demi-citrons, brosse en bois et savon à l'huile d'olive

Make your own household products

And what if the obligation to stay at home gave you the chance to do certain chores that you are always putting off? Once again, children will surely enjoy rolling their sleeves up, vacuuming the house or washing windows! And with a view to becoming more environmentally friendly and creating zero waste, Zero Waste Switzerland has concocted a selection of simple, effective, tried-and-tested recipes for making your own products

Nature ideas

vue des serres du jardin botanique

Listening to nature

Discover plants that can produce heat or plunge into the incredible world of lichens by listening to the  podcasts of the Geneva Botanical Conservatory and Gardens. Listen closely, nature is talking to you!


mains d'enfant tenant une motte de terre avec de petits plantons dedans

Seeds and seedlings

Not only in gardens but also on balconies and patios, urban gardening is currently very popular. It is possible to experiment with new varieties by purchasing local seeds or organic seedlings, with many varieties dating back many years. Where to find seedlings and advice? Find our spring ideas for urban gardening

Doing sport

femme sur un tapis de gym en train de faire la position de yoga "chien tête en bas", avec à ses côtés un bébé à 4 pattes et en arrière plan un parc

Continuing to do a sporting activity is essential for both your physical and mental health. Fortunately, you can stay active at home, and you don’t even need any equipment.

Using everyday objects for different purposes

At home, furniture and everyday objects can be transformed into sports equipment: using two chairs, stools or a bench, it is possible to do series of dips (lifting yourself, bending your elbows and raising yours legs) in order to strengthen your upper body muscles. With a pair of socks and a well-polished parquet floor, you can also do some “gliding”, involving parallel sliding movements. With a carton of milk in each hand, you have a ready-made set of weights to strengthen your arms. Numerous exercises that you can do at home without any equipment are available online at the click of a mouse, such as this Huffingtonpost video:

Video applications and remote coaching

You can also call on free apps if you want to do sport, such as Fitness challenge, Fizzup (no equipment needed), Seven (quick exercises lasting seven minutes), Sworkit (extensive), Daily Yoga (yoga exercises in HD with different levels of difficulty and durations) and Teemo (exercises in the form of adventure games, with registration via Facebook). Numerous videos will also help you to do sport from a distance, such as those provided by coach Lucile Woodward or the Website Mon yoga virtuel.

Finally, certain coaches now provide remote and video courses offering better follow-up at a relatively low cost.

Keep in touch

In these unusual circumstances, we need more than ever to be together, regardless of physical distance. So let us commend the excellent initiatives springing up here and there, such as those of teachers and activity leaders who send messages, resources and even videos. 

Take advantage of this period to stay in contact with your loved ones using both digital tools and paper: why not write to them or send them a drawing done by your children?   

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Article modifié le 04.01.2022 à 16:33