Things to do for families in Zurich
Zurich is a great city for families who enjoy the buzz of urban life while still having a wealth of family friendly activities within easy reach. Keep an eye on the Hello Switzerland Events page to learn about upcoming events in your area. English radio, local publications and Zurich Tourism also provide an abundance of useful information.
With the Zurich Card, not only do you enjoy access to all public transport in Zurich, you can also take advantage of free entry to most museums, as well as discounts at select shops and restaurants around the city.
Zurich has a good network of mostly German speaking community centres which offer parenting courses, support and meet up groups. Your local Gemeinschaftszentrum (DE) will provide more information. Lilliput (mostly DE) is a comprehensive website that has suggestions for family activities. Some of the material is in English. Find more ideas in the Enjoying Zurich article.
Outdoor family activities in Zurich
Summer is ideal for hiking, swimming and sailing. You can rent pedalos at Lake Zurich. There are also a number of beautiful parks and playgrounds. Families often gather at Park im Grüene (DE). The China Garten (DE) next to the lake is particularly popular for its green spaces and barbecue facilities. At Dolder sports arena, depending on the season, you can swim, play minigolf, or ice skate.
Animal lovers are spoilt for choice. At the Zurich Zoo there are playgrounds, family events and a rainforest to walk through. There is also the Tierpark Goldau (DE), the Knies Kinder Zoo (DE) in Rapperswil, the Jucker Farmart Adventure Farm (DE) and the Wildnis Park Zurich (DE).
Rainy day activities with children in Zurich
- Kinder City is a children's museum for kids ages three to 12 years old. It is a place to learn about technology and science in a hands on, activities-based area.
- Trampolino (DE) in Dietikon is one of Switzerland's largest indoor play areas. (Note: parents do need to pay to enter.)
- Two similar choices to Trampolino above are Starbie (DE) and Planeta Magic (DE).
- Check out the Kinder Museum (DE) in Baden.
- Technorama is an interactive science centre in Winterthur that offers hands-on and entertaining discoveries.
- Alpamare is an excellent waterpark with slides, a wave pool and a spa.
Other activities for pre-schoolers include music groups and baby gyms. Take a look at Music Together and Gymboree. Every community has music schools that are linked to the local school authority and are subsidised. There are also lots of private teachers.
Essential tips for planning family activities
- Check with SBB/CFF for special discounts and family tickets.
- Become a member of the Touring Club Suisse (DE/FR/IT) for security while travelling by car.
- Check the Swiss weather forecast in order to plan your activities.
Photo: © swiss-image.ch