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Favorite kids things

USA
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Favorite kids things

We're almost on our way to Geneva! Can anyone recommend their favorite toddler friendly things around town - restaurants, toy shops. parks, playgrounds? I think it's supposed to be a little cloudy but pleasant temperature - please tell me anything you've done with a small child that you enjoy.

With many thanks,

catherine

Bahrain
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1. Re: Favorite kids things

Hi cattrav,

Geneva is a fantastic place for little ones.

I go frequently to Parc des Eaux Vives (an old castle turned into a park and restaurant over by Quai Gustav Ador.) There are some really nice playgrounds, duck ponds and open spaces. It's also very beautiful to just walk around. After tiring out the little ones, one of my favourite things to do is to sit on the terrace of the restaurant late afternoon and have a nice coffee with a beautiful view.

parcdeseauxvives.ch/pages/e_presentation.php.

My kids always love just walking along the lake as well. From Parc des Eaux Vives you can walk up toward the famous Jet d'Eau. If it's warm enough and you're daring enough you can walk right out on to the water spout, yes even with little ones. You will get at least sprayed with water and, depending on which way the wind is blowing you may get very wet.

Over by the United Nations, you will find the Jardin Botanique (Last stop of the line number 1 from the Cornavin train station.) It is a massive and beautiful park with lots to do, see and touch for children and adults. Start off inside the greenhouse at the top of the Jardin, then spend a couple of hours walking around the park. Just beautiful. Then head down toward the lake; in front of the Gazebo in the park there is a small passageway that connects to the lake where there is even more to do and see. From here, walk back toward the center of town along the lake. You could easily spend an entire day with this one.

Another fun thing with little ones (and very Geneva thing to do) is to feed the swans right at the end of the lake, Quai du General Guisan near place Molard. Buy a baguette or save some bread from your breakfast. If it's warm enough then you can have a nice ice cream right there by the lake afterwards.

Another one is just to cross the lake with one of the tiny Mouette boats. Little ones love this.

You should have no problems with restaurants and little ones. I have yet to find one that isn't child friendly.

Gruetzi

Bahrain
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2. Re: Favorite kids things

if it rains, you should try one of the museums. Here's a PDF for you: ville-ge.ch/culture/offre_culturelle/pdfs/br…

A good one for children is the Natural History Museum.

ville-ge.ch/musinfo/mhng/page-e/info-pra.htm

As for toy shops. Leave that for the USA. Bigger and much cheaper for you there. If you must, then try Jouets Weber right near the Rive Roundabout on the pedestrian road/tram line in the shopping district.

If it's not raining then from Jouets Weber walk along the pedestrian road / tram line toward Place Bel-Air; you should find a number of street performers. The kids love to watch.

USA
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3. Re: Favorite kids things

We're back, with many thanks to swissfan, san uk and gruetzi for their wonderful advice. We fell in love with this city, which was amazingly child friendly. I could have spent days just wandering around the lakefront with a loaf of bread and the 16-month old, and I don't think she would ever have gotten bored. She also loved riding the mouettes, and either entertained or shocked the other passengers by pointing out the window and shrieking at all the birds and boats.

I was also surprised that you were right about how easy going the restaurants were. Every family seemed to be dining out with the stroller pulled right up to the table, well past what seems like normal bedtimes in the U.S. My favorite place was a simple outdoor crepe snack stand, where I could feed her bites of a tomato and mozarella crepe and she could run back and forth near my stool.

One thing we discovered by accident was the playground in the middle of the big Saturday flea market at Plaine de Plainpalais. A friend of mine wanted to go, and at first I felt like I was spending most of my time trying to keep the baby from mauling all the interesting stuff on sale (although I did find some nice children's books in French, printed in Switzerland).

Then we wandered right into this great playground with a little old fashioned merry-go-round, wooden rocking horses, a giant sandbox and all kinds of interesting play equipment you don't often see in the U.S.

Nearby, she got her first ride on a little kids version of a carousel - no horses bobbing up and down, but just colorful vehicles on a flat platform revolving at a fairly slow speed. She was hesitant for about five seconds, and then fell in love and waved at everybody and everything. We saw another similar one in the old city, at the foot of the road that leads to the cathedral.

One thing that didn't work well was the one-hour lake cruise we took on our last day. She just wanted to walk around, but my husband and friend were terrified that she would fall overboard (it didn't seem possible to me, given how the rails were spaced on the boat). She screamed because they wouldn't let her walk around freely, then screamed when they tried to confine her in my backpack and the stroller. Unpleasant for her, and I'm sure for all the other sightseeers. I would have left if there had been a way off. I hope we didn't destroy other people's only chance at a peaceful cruise.

We also bought a wooden carved cow for her at the toy store you mentioned. She loves it.

If I were to pass on any advice to other travelers, it would be to check out the flea market early in your trip. It wasn't my idea to go, and I never would have thought it would be so much fun or so interesting. My friend bought a beautiful book of photographs about the alps for a very good price, and a sweater that the booth owner said he had designed and then had made in India.

I found that shopping among the relatively low prices of the flea market helped temper my enthusiasm for the high prices in the shops downtown.

But my other advice is to buy chocolate, from one of the downtown chocolatiers or anywhere else. So, so, so good.

Again, thank you all so much. You helped make our trip terrific.

4. Re: Favorite kids things

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