Things to do for families in Switzerland
Public facilities in Switzerland are clearly signposted and well maintained, but natural areas don't have restrictive safety measures. It's left to the individual to enjoy nature responsibly. This liberal philosophy allows for freedom and mutual respect and for children to become ‘street smart' in cities and ‘nature wise' in the great outdoors.
Tips for planning family activities
- Facilities such as road rest stops, baby changing rooms, breast feeding areas, and pet friendly zones make life easier for families.
- The Touring Club Schweiz (TCS) offers security on the road.
- Swiss railways has great ideas and offers for family outings with play areas on SBB CFF trains.
- Shopping centres have play zones.
- The Swiss weather forecast can assist with planning.
- Summer holiday camps have outstanding infrastructure and a tradition of welcoming young adventurers to discover new horizons. Book early.
- Tandem Ticino offers holiday activities for schoolchildren.
- The Ticino cantonal government has a list of resources for families.
Children's activities in Ticino
Ticino is particularly welcoming to children. Some great family activities include:
- Campofelice in Tenero is consistently voted as one of Europe's best camping sites.
- The Ticino Discovery Card promotes the Family offer Ticino and Kids Hotel Ticino programmes.
- Swissminiatur Melide invites you to explore Switzerland in miniature. Open daily between March and October from 09.00 to 18.00.
- Falconeria Locarno offers close encounters with birds of prey between March and November.
- The Brissago Islands Botanical Park invites exploration in a subtropical setting, with exotic plants from the southern and northern hemispheres, including Japan, Central America, South Africa, New Zealand and California. Open from March to October.
- Adventure Park Monte Tamaro offers three adventurous acrobatic routes of varying difficulty amongst magnificent ancient beech trees. There is also a spa, tirolese roping, church, slittovia, bike park and a hiking route.
- Monte Generoso has special offers for families. It is well worth visiting for its spectacular views and is reachable by a small cog railway.
- Lido Locarno is a recreational, sports and well-being oasis set in Lake Maggiore. The refurbished Lido Locarno is open throughout the year
- Bellinzona Castles: a UN World Wonders Project, the castles of Castelgrande, Montebello and Sasso Corbaro date from the Palaeolithic Age when they served as the northern border of the Po river plain and the southern bastion of the alpine valleys.
- Alprose Chocolate Museum: learn everything you ever wanted to know about the Swiss tradition of chocolate making.
- Airolo cheese: Or perhaps you'd like to learn about cheese making?
- Ticino Tourism has more great suggestions for kids' activities.
- The Lago Maggiore region welcomes familes too.
- The Ticino region offers a huge variety of hiking and snowshoeing activities, as well as skiing in winter.
- Gerra Piano, or Slowup Ticino, is the local version of this human-powered mobility tradition.
- Try your hand at Minigolf Caslano
- Get tips from a Ticino expat with kids in the know.
- Try out different toys at a local ludoteca, a toy library with games and toys to borrow.
- Ludoteca dei ragazzi (Locarno)
- La Trottola (Biasca)
- Al Trenino
- Find more things to do in Ticino with children: consult the directories for swimming pools, parks and gardens, and sport clubs and organisations.
- Sport: there is no shortage of sporting activities for children in Ticino. For more information on winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding and summer walks and hikes, consult the directories.
- Tourist information centres and local newspapers have more information on family-friendly events.
Babies and toddlers
Photo: © swiss-image.ch / Christof Sonderegger