Zurich with Kids (Part 1)

Fact: This post is way overdue but what can I say…I’ve been in the middle of that crazy thing called life. Mia is in a big girl school for her Pre-K, Alex has turned into a little Tazmanian Devil and MUST touch everything he sees, and hubby and I have just been desperatly looking for a moment where we can have a glass of wine….alone ;)
Nonetheless, here is a post that I poured my energy and love into. As many of you know, we live in Zurich during the summer months and it’s such a blessing I can’t even explain. The contrast between colorful, tropical Miami and organized, cool Zurich is great. We adore both cities and we truly try to live them to the fullest. My husband works A LOT during the summer. That’s really his time to get all his meetings in, meet with his clients, and generate new business so often the days are just me and the kids. You think it would be daunting and a little stressful…well, it is to an extent but I’ve truly learned to let go and just enjoy the days. I have nothing more pressing than spending my days with the two babes and I plan the days to the max. Due to the photo heaviness of this post, I’ve broken it up into two. Click the name of each spot for more info. Here we go; a couple of my favorite spots for kids in Zurich:

Bellevue Fountain/Opera Square Whether you plan it or do it spontaneously (as evidence by the lack of bathing suits in the first two pics), this is a fun spot to spend a hot summer afternoon. We spend a lot of time here. Often we’d eat lunch first at a nearby spot (Sternen Grill was our fave) and then grab a gelato before heading here to play in the water and soak up some rays. There are plenty of chairs, coffee shops, restrooms, and people watching so come ready to spend at least an hour or two ;)

Chinese Garden

Just down the street from Bellevue on the lakeside, there’s a beautiful little Chinese garden. It’s full of little bridges, a tiny cave, and plenty of things to see. While you’ll be able to walk through it rather quickly, you’ll definitely enjoy all it offers. Bonus, right next door there is a FABULOUS kids’ playground and a huge grass area for picnics and soccer. Great option for a Sunday morning.

Conny Land
Located just 40 minutes from Zurich near Kreuzligen, Conny Land is a fun little amusement park that is perfectly suited for kids 10 and under. There are plenty of easy rides, slides, swings, a train, and one scary roller coaster (which only my hubby went on). It has plenty of parking and the kids truly enjoyed spending their day there. Don’t expect it to compete with the likes of Disney but it’s certainly worth the drive.

This is probably the most photographed and visited place in Zurich. The Grossmünster is a massive Romanesque Protestant Church in the center of old town. Its double towers are iconic and although not typically beautiful interiorly (as is typical in the Protestant style of church) it certainly is quite the beauty on the outside. I walked up the tower this summer and even though I almost passed out from the workout ;), the view was worth it. If you have an adventurous child, it would make for a great experience. My daughter decided the staircase looked creepy…can’t say I disagree but I found some courage and took the first step.

Josefwiesen ParkLocated in Zurich’s very trendy West district, this is my most favorite park in the city. I love the urban feel, the cool shops and restaurants, all the options for play (there is a water feature, plenty of swings, a playground, a sand box, grassy area, and plenty more). I often purchased food at the nearby grocery store and made a picnic for the kids and myself. There are plenty of trees for shade if you need it so grab a blanket, bring some food, and let the hours pass you.

Jucker Farm

There are two outposts of this famous little farm. We often go to the one in Rapperswil as it’s closer to our apartment but the other location in Seegräben has killer views so they’re both great in their own way. This place has a super easy menu for lunch but don’t let that fool you, everything is fresh and locally sourced. Their homemade ice teas and juices are amazing and of course, you can’t leave without a dessert…or two. While you’re there, you can play in the playground, walk around on hay stalks, feed the goats, or just swing in the hammocks. We came here a lot for lunch and play.

Knies KinderzooLocated once again in Rapperswil, the Kinder Zoo is a must visit when traveling with kids. Everything is created to give kids a closer look at some amazing animals. You will find meerkats, penguins, giraffes, a stunning elephant enclosure, ponies, goats, camels, sea lions, a massive playground, a horse drawn train, snakes, rabbits, and more. Trust me, the kids will have a great time here. The price is very fair and it’s easy to get to and park.

Kunsthaus Art MuseumThe Kunsthaus Museum is truly a hidden gem. It’s small in its size (compared to other world class museums) but don’t let that deceive you. It has one of the nicest collections of fine art I’ve ever seen. They were extremely kid friendly…which honestly, I was shocked to see. They lent us single strollers and gave the kids coloring books and pencils to draw as we looked around. The kids had a wonderful experience. Art is very important in my life and I was happy to see that the kids took to it so naturally. I guess somethings do run in the family ;)

LandesmuseumJust behind the Zurich train station is the Swiss History Museum or the Landesmuseum. It has a lot of information about the country, its history, its present day, and how it became as successful as it did. I personally found it very interesting but I think most of the things went over the kids’ heads…they’re just not old enough yet for it although they thoroughly enjoyed the interior slide and the giant clock. I would say that a 5 and older child would probably enjoy it more. If you’re kids are like mine and still need some fun after visiting, don’t worry…just steps from the back of this museum is a small but nice playground. Great to do both and truly make it an outing.

LindenhofThis little “secret” playground is located up the hill from the world famous Rennweg, just minutes from the luxurious Bahnofstrasse. It’s one of my favorite spots to go to. I can take the kids for lunch nearby (the Manora restaurant above Manor is a great spot with kids; good food, great pricing) and walk over to enjoy some park time. It’s got a fantastic view of the city and the river below. It’s hardly ever crowded and the kids always enjoy their time in this “secret” spot. They often say it’s their own playground ;) Shhhh….don’t tell them I told you about it.

See the second post to this series here!