It’s school holidays for the next two weeks and I suppose many Zurich families are off to far-flung warmer destinations. But if you’re staying local, there’s plenty of fun family activities to fill up your schedule. When we do a spring staycation, we like trying new activities to add some excitement to the holiday. Here are some favorites from previous spring breaks in Zurich. Maybe one will become a new tradition for your family.
1. Bike around a lake
Spring is a wonderful time to be on a bike, enjoying all the flowers and trees that are green again. We love the beautiful and very safe bike path around the Greifensee lake near Zurich. It’s paved and smooth dirt path, mostly separated from other traffic. It passes by gorgeous nature preserves and has plenty of great spots for picnicking with a fire.
>>> More details: Family Bike Ride: Greifensee Lake
2. Visit the melting snow, aka waterfalls
Now that the snow is melting, it’s the beginning of waterfall season. We love the waterfalls at the nearby Walensee, reached by a ferry ride across the lake and a lovely walk along rolling greens hills, suitable for families and strollers. The Giessbach Falls shown below are also impressive, easy to access for families, and have a nice restaurant overlooking the falls.
>>> See more waterfall hikes for families.
3. Jump for joy in the Swiss alps
Most mountains are closed during spring break, but a few lower elevation resorts are already open. We love the bouncy castle complex and toboggan run at Sattel Hochstuckli. They also have a gorgeous panorama family hike with several interactive stations for kids.
>>> See more Spring Family Hikes in Switzerland.
4. Feed the birds and maybe some monkeys
We love Zurich Zoo but it’s fun to try try something new. We love the big aquarium at Basel Zoo and the fun play areas scattered through the zoo. Over the border near Basel, Vogelpark Steinen has a huge collection of birds, from owls to hawks to peacocks. My son was thrilled to participate in the birds of prey show.
>>> See more of my reviews of animal parks in Switzerland.
5. Climb trees and test your balance
There are a few fun ropes courses in the Zurich area, but we like the Atzmännig Seilpark, with courses for all ages. Little kids are safe and within easy reach on the mini course, which even has a mini zip line. Big kids can try some of the bigger courses high up in the trees. Teens will find tricky climbing challenges and scary free falls even higher up.
>>> See more ropes courses in Switzerland
6. Slip and slide at a water park
There are lots of great indoor pools near Zurich, like the Altstetten pool with its water slide, diving platform, and bouncy Blasio. But with a whole free day, it’s fun to do a day trip to Badeparadies Schwarzwald, a giant water slide park over the border in Germany. They have slides for each age group, from toddlers to teens, and a wave pool. We always stop at a German “Eiscafe” for giant ice cream sundaes afterwards.
>>> See more indoor swimming in Switzerland
picture from Badeparadies Schwarzwald
7. Play dress up at a castle
It’s so fun to live in Europe and have castles all over the place. The Lenzburg castle near Zurich is particularly family friendly. Kids love the play room on the top floor where they can dress up as knights and princesses, craft crowns and swords, and let their imagination run wild.
8. Make learning fun at an interactive museum
School is out, but learning can still be fun at one of the many interactive museums in Switzerland. Technorama is a perenial favorite, but we like to try a new museum every school holiday. We loved our recent visits to Umwelt Arena, the FIFA Museum, and Kulturama all right in Zurich. Visiting the glass factory and mirror maze at Glasi Hergiswil near Luzern is always a treat. Next on our list is Sensorium near Bern.
>>> Read about more family-friendly museums in Switzerland
9. Visit an Amusement Park
For a treat, we often let the kids pick one amusement park within day trip distance of Zurich, like Connyland, Europa Park, or Legoland. It’s a fun tradition and something to look forward to each spring. The kids particularly like sleeping overnight in one of the teepees at Europa Park. When the kids were small, we liked Ravensburger Spieleland (good for ages 2 to 10), because the rides are small and the emphasis is on play, not just being amused. In addition to the rides, there are big playgrounds, water play, bouncy pillows, etc.
10. Take shelter from the rain
My kids don’t get sad when it rains because it means we might go to an indoor playgrounds like Trampolino, which is insanely popular during the school holidays. If you want to try something different, you might like bowling or laser tag.
>>> See all rainy day family activities near Zurich.
Bonus: Take it easy and simply enjoy the sunshine
Don’t underestimate the simple pleasures of sitting lakeside and soaking in the sun while the kids dig in the sand. Zurich often has a string of hot days in April, as shown in the pic below which was taken on 26 April a couple years ago. Even if the water is too cold for swimming, we love spending these sunny spring days digging in the sand at one of the Zurich lake beaches, like the Strandbad Mythenquai. It’s free and open to the public until late May when it opens for business. Even though it’s not officially open in April, sometimes on hot days, the cafe opens and you can get an ice lolly.
I hope you have a wonderful spring break and make lots of good memories with your family.
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