Lausanne under cover Winter activities around Lausanne

Issue: 4 / 2014
Catherine Nelson Pollard presents some options to keep you and your family amused in the Lausanne area on cold winter days.


The Swiss Museum of Games, in an old château in La Tour de Peilz (near Vevey), is a gem of a museum. Packed with displays of old games, board games, chess sets, playing cards, exhibitions and more, this museum is fascinating for both adults and children. You can play some on site or even rent some of the larger wooden ones to take home. On request, the museum hosts birthday parties for children to "travel around the world" in 90 minutes via games from different countries. Or, for those who are older, workshops can be organised to learn games like Go or Mah Jong. Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 11:00 to 17:30, there are also special themed days throughout the year, including family brunches.


With a delightfully warm temperature of 25 degrees Celsius all year round, the Tropiquarium is the place to be, particularly on rainy and cold winter days. Just 15 minutes from Lausanne by car (public transport also stops outside the Tropiquarium), here you can find all sorts of reptiles and amphibians. Check out the Dome of the Komodo Dragon, newly installed this year!


A short distance from the Olympic museum in Lausanne, the Musée de l'Elysée is billed as a Museum "for" Photography. The museum houses a unique collection of photographs. Made up of over 100,000 prints, this collection is enriched, year after year, by acquisitions, long-term loans and gifts. Whether you know your "f stop" from your focal length, or you are simply interested in photography as an art in itself, it's well worth a visit.


Lots and lots of skating rinks are erected throughout the winter in towns and villages across Vaud. Thankfully, there's a website which lists them all to find the nearest one to you.


We all know that we need to change the tyres on our cars for the winter season, but do you know why? Many expatriates arrive in Switzerland with little to no driving experience on mountain roads or in icy winter conditions. Touring Club Suisse (TCS) offer day-long courses from December 2014 to February 2015 on driving in the snow and ice, handling the wheel, emergency stops, the difference between summer and winter tyres and more. You take your own car. Courses are in French but many instructors speak or at least understand English. In the French speaking region of Switzerland, courses are held in Bourg-St-Pierre in the Valais.

Author: Catherine Nelson-Pollard

Catherine is a British writer, editor and broadcaster and she lives in Nyon in the Canton of Vaud. She writes about expatriate issues for various UK and Swiss publications. She writes a weekly column in La Côte newspaper and has published a book called "Living along Lac Léman". The book is a collection of these columns and is a light hearted living along the shores of Lake Geneva. She also runs her own website featuring, articles, interviews and updates on living in the Nyon, Morges, Coppet and surrounding areas.

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