To travel or not to travel
The summer holidays are upon us and as borders have opened up, many families have planned to travel in Switzerland, Europe or internationally – just check the news for full airports. Flights, caravans, campers, hotels, AirBnBs have been booked, and everyone will be checking out from the nine to five any day soon. But realistically we can’t travel every school holiday throughout the year. Although you may have been looking forward to seeing family and friends, a staycation can also be fun, worthwhile and safe with Covid variants still rampant.
Advantages of staying home
There are definite advantages to not going on holidays: travelling with young ones can be hard work, traffic jams, overcrowded tourist destinations, crowded beaches, sunburn, family and in-law tensions, other travellers, expensive and safety precautions when new pandemic variants are still spreading. Travel increases the exposure to the Covid variants, particularly at airports, railway and bus stations and rest stops and you can be a carrier without even realising you are positive. See this overview of current regulations for travelling to and from Switzerland.
Keeping kids busy
Six weeks is an eternity for the young who get bored easily, particularly, when many of their friends are away. Many parents have to work and don’t have enough accrued time off, and keeping the kids entertained can be stressful and a logistical nightmare. For those in this situation, the Luzerner FerienPass is a blessing as it will keep the kids busy for most of the holidays with a multitude of benefits with free public transport, entrance to swimming pools, museums, leisure activities and sports. Summer camps are also useful for the days you need to work and can be seen here in a previous post including information about the Luzerner FerienPass – Kids Summer Camps 2022.
If it is a staycation summer, and you will limit your visits to surrounding cantons or even Lucerne’s backyard, there are many benefits to staying at home with family. It is a lot more affordable, you won’t need to travel far or for long, you will be supporting the local economy, you can keep your pets with you, no packing required and you can find undiscovered places in your home town. There are some festivals in the neighbourhood like the Schwing und Älplerfest at the Rigi Staffel on 10 July (possibly 17 July) and the Coop Open Air Kino Luzern begins on the 13 July through to 21 August with many films in English, Dialect, German and French. From 30 July to 1 August there is the Grund Openair at Doppelschwand, LU for an eventful weekend with live music, camping, bar and food stands. More information can be found here about festivals throughout Switzerland in July: Summer Festivals – July 2022. Festivals for August will be posted here shortly.
For hours of fun and/or a family friendly meal
For multiple hours of fun there are many places that both children and adults can enjoy around Lucerne, including: Swiss Museum of Transport, Gameorama, Hallenbad Allmend, Hanger 13 | Sport and Leisure Centre and the Natur-Museum Luzern. These places are great for a rainy day and more information can be found here: Top 5 Places To Go With Kids on a Rainy Day in Luzern and Rainy Day Ideas . Also worthwhile and a summer must is a nice meal at a family friendly restaurant in Lucerne. Top suggestions can be found here: Top 5 Family Restaurants in Luzern.
Of course, there are also the more traditional and touristy spots to visit like the Lion Monument, Chapel Bridge, Museggmauer and its Nine Towers, Gletschergarten, Lido Luzern, and scenic cruises on the Vierwaldstättersee (Lake Lucerne). An impressive five historic paddle steamers and 14 motor vessels offer a large choice of cruises, roundtrips and excursions for all preferences.
Venture a little further
Surrounding the lake and city of Lucerne are many alpine peaks that are waiting to be rambled, explored, roamed and hiked.
Mount Rigi: the Queen of the Mountains – with its magical mountain and lake vistas, Rigi is summer-ready. As suggested on the website: Ride up, get off and enjoy – it’s as simple as that. Sunday brunch, full moon hike, floating restaurant, hiking and concerts are just some of the things you can enjoy in summer.
Mount Pilatus: the towering peaks of Lucerne’s Hausberg dominate the panorama view from the city and the lake. Half way up is Fräkmüntegg, a children’s playground. Adventure, fun and lake views with the largest rope park in central Switzerland, tree tents, toboggan run, hiking trails and grilling areas await. There is so much more below and above, including a dragon trail.
Biosphere Entlebuch: Lucerne’s ‘Wild West’ is a mystical pre-Alpine moorland and karst landscape with the towering Schrattenfluh mountain. The UNESCO-designated biosphere reserve consists of the Brienzer Rothorn, the highest peak in Lucerne, the Marbachegg, a sun terrace with views of the Bernese Alps. In summer there is hiking, biking, waterfalls, gold panning and plants to discover on themed trails.
Engelberg – Titlis: Nature, sunsets, yoga, concerts, markets, hiking, rope park, paragliding, Alpine Cheese Trails, waterfalls, climbing, biking, bouldering, sleeping in Alpine huts can all be found in the mountainous region of Engelberg. Don’t miss the Titlis Cliff Walk suspension bridge, the highest in Europe, for a truly breathtaking view and pounding heart.
Enjoying downtime at home
Alternatively, sometimes we all need downtime to recharge, recoup and just relax. Kids may think this is boring but there are so many things that can be enjoyed together at home – without a screen in sight.
Here are 10 inspiring suggestions:
- lego building challenges – re-create your room or build a car for your favourite lego mini-fig
- blow the biggest bubbles possible – dishwasher detergent works well
- board games afternoon or evening – kids choice of game/s
- cook a meal together – kids choice
- create an indoor terranium – pirate wreck or a fairy glen
- make some super slime – try not to get slimed
- set up a creative domino run – use all sorts of objects
- build a fort – use pillows, boxes, blankets, chairs, whatever works
- camp in the lounge room – sleeping bags, doonas, pillows, torches
- make a family time capsule – to be opened on an agreed date in the future.
365 Science Activities: This book is the best. There are so many interesting activities and experiments to try with little set up required using every day household and craft items. The instructions are easy to follow and there are explanations of the science behind each one.
Stop Motion Studio: Although this one does involve a screen there is a lot of fun and creativity in designing a stop motion movie. Think Shaun the Sheep or Wallace and Gromit. Stop Motion Studio can be found on Apple and Play Store and will keep the kids entertained for hours. It is easy to use and the joy at the end result is worth allowing some screen time.