Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Lausanne with Kids: Other Fun Activities/Resources

Baby Sensory

We couldn't speak more highly about this incredible class. For babies aged 1 week to 13 months, this program is an excellent way to stimulate your young one and meet other parents too!


Need to exercise but don't have childcare? Fear not, FitMama let's you bring your child with you and guarantees a full-body workout in just under an hour.

Music Together
This global phenomenon is now in Lausanne (and Vevey)! A ten-week course that meets once a week, children and parents sing songs, play instruments, and dance about. We will warn you that the songs are catchy--don't be surprised if you find yourself singing them when you're not in the class.

Les Ludothèques Lausannoises

There are three toy libraries in Lausanne open to the public for an annual fee between 10 and 25 CHF. You can borrow books for free or borrow toys and games for minimal fees. This is a great spot to go on a rainy day and let your kiddos roam free.

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Swiss Vapeur Parc

Is your child obsessed with 'choo-choos' (trains) too? This park, which sits on over 17,000 square meters of land, allows you to climb aboard a tiny train and explore a 'miniature Switzerland'. It closes for winter, but will open again on March 19th.

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The Salt Mines of Bex
This is one for the older kids (or the very brave ones who don't fear the dark and aren't claustrophobic). A 'vast maze of passages, shafts, stairs, and gigantic caverns' all to be explored. Group tours and 'TrekkMines adventures' are also available according to the child's age as well as physical condition [gulp].

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Signal de Bougy

Conveniently located between Lausanne and Geneva, this park covers 110 hectares with activities for every single taste. From getting up close and personal with farm animals to ropes courses, to mini golf (and big adult golf), and the largest Parc Aventure in Europe, this is the perfect family destination on a sunny day.

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About a 20-minute drive from Lausanne is an indoor mini-paradise for kids, ages 0-13 called Jayland.  Inflatables, trampolines, go-carts, giant legos, ball pits, and mini-tobogans are just a few of the things you'll find inside. Prices are actually quite reasonable, and they are open on Sundays!

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Similar to Jayland and located near Orbe, this indoor play land will be sure to keep the kiddos occupied for as long as you're willing to stay. A great space to rent for birthday parties as well!

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Vallée de la Jeunesse
An activity and cultural center appealing to a wide age-range (with an espace bébé as well), with exhibitions as well as a 'Small Inventors Club', a workshop for 7-12 year olds where instructors guide children through the process of building something that they can take home at the end. In the summer, take advantage of the jardin de circulation--a perfect place to teach your young one how to ride a bike! Conveniently located near Maladière and accessible by public transport as well. General admission is free, workshops have a small fee.
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Friday, January 23, 2015

Bon Weekend!

Happy friday! What are you up to this weekend? We'll probably head over to the balloon festival in Chateau D'Oex (weather permitting) then celebrate a special 4 year-old's birthday. We hope you have a fabulous, relaxing weekend--and to kickstart it, here are some stories that caught our eye this week:

Two promising new artists in Lausanne.

Because of the stronger franc, Morgin ski resort is lowering its prices by 15%!

Still lifes.

19 ways to piss of the Swiss. We're guilty of #16.

Fishermen caught THIS off the coast of Australia, and it's giving us nightmares.

Watch Will Ferrell hit a cheerleader in the face with a basketball.

Our friend is doing this next weekend and we're kind of jealous.

This is kicking off this weekend, and if you've never been, it's a must see!

An app that helps you live in the moment.

We are salivating over here...what an interesting technique!

Mothers, get out your kleenex.

We've heard amazing things about this movie.

Speaking of movies, if you liked Intouchables, you'll love this.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

What to do in Lausanne: TEDx 2015

For the creative and the curious - TEDx Lausanne is coming up on February 9, 2015 at the University of Lausanne campus - and you shouldn't miss it!

The TED concept brings together extraordinary people working on fascinating projects ranging across disciplines from the sciences, to education, to the arts for presentations or "talks." TEDx operates on the local level, highlighting the best of what's going on right here in Lausanne.

All talks will be given in English! This is also a great time to network and get to know other people living in the area.

We're planning to go; will we see you there?

Apply for tickets.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

LG Wishlist: Winter Accessories

Currently Coveting || Winter 2015

Sometimes the only cure for the winter blues is to indulge in a few things black...and faux fur too, of course. Here are some accessories we are majorly crushing on right now--and can easily add that extra oomph to any winter wardrobe.

Four: Zara shoes, 17 CHF / One: The Cambridge Satchel Company satchel handbag, 130 CHF / Three: Chesca scarve, 73 CHF / Five: Forever 21 wide brim hat, 15 CHF / Two: Moon and Lola drinkware, 24 CHF

Monday, January 19, 2015

Kid-Friendly Cafés & Restaurants

Couches, large tables, open space. We know the ones studying don’t necessarily appreciate it, but parents sometimes need to join the real world and Bubble Café is a great place to start. A wonderful selection of drinks and food, it’s an easy place to settle in and stay for awhile.

We’ve found ourselves to be regulars here, and it’s not just because of the exceptional coffee and pastries. Culture Café’s open floor plan is a great place to sit down and let the kids go explore. The staff are kind, it’s never too crowded, and when the kiddos have exhausted the toys and books in the café, head downstairs to the FNAC children’s section where small tables, books, and toys will hold their attention for just awhile longer.

We were big fans of this restaurant before we entered the realm of parenting, but now we see it with an entirely different lens. Situated in the back area are couches, shelves of books, and various toys to keep the kids entertained. Whether you’re up for Sunday brunch, or meeting a friend for a weekday drink, this restaurant’s family feel will make things just a bit easier.

Also equipped with couches, board games, and other activities, this place makes us feel like we are in someone's home rather than a restaurant. It can be quite packed during peak hours, and especially on the weekends during brunch, so plan accordingly.

We brunched here with friends and kids and couldn’t have been more impressed with the staff. Our girls were free to walk around and explore, and found the hotel’s cloakroom to be quite entertaining. The staff did everything in their power to keep us and our girls happy—a wonderful experience for the whole family.

Wide.Open.Spaces. You realize that having mobile children is a lot like having a dog. The more surface area there is to run around, the happier they are. And the happier they are, the more likely you’ll be able to finish that coffee while it’s still warm, or avoid chugging that 25 CHF martini. The Beau Rivage terrace not only boasts exceptional views, but has a large lawn area that children love to take advantage of during the warmer months.

Nespresso Boutique at St. François
Though you may need to feel out the ambiance a bit before you settle in (are there primarily business-types in suits having corporate coffee-time? If yes, perhaps it's a no-go), we've had pretty good luck with the service here with kids in-tow. Also, they are happy to provide FREE babyccinnos  (steamed/frothy milk) with a little biscuit too!

Though the place is small, and the exposed stairway a slight hazard for the little ones who like to explore, the staff are exceptionally kind and patient and kids can order half portions at half the cost. There’s only one high chair, so bring your portable one if you’re worried.

Manora Food
Located on the top floor of Manor, it’s a great spot to meet on a playdate during those rainy or cold days. Grab a coffee or soup a la carte, and head to the corner kids’ play area where no one will judge you if your kids run amuck.

Don’t let the hipster crowd fool you, this café is welcoming of the littles and has a wonderful changing table in the bathroom to prove it! During the warmer months you’ll find trendy parents seated outside, letting their kids run around the cobblestoned alleys of the Rôtillon area. Inside, they have shelves of books and other entertainment to keep the littles happy while parents enjoy their meal or drink.

The first thing we noticed was the huge stock of high chairs they had in the corner—a good sign! This newly renovated space is a perfect place to meet a big group of friends with kids in tow. In the summertime, their terrace is a little slice of heaven—incredible lawn space as well as fountains allows the kids to stay occupied while you sip on your latte macchiato [or beer].

Do you have any places you'd like to add to the list? Let us know in the comment section below!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Bon Weekend!

New Year. New Start. We are hoping for a lot of "new" in 2015: new apartment, new jobs (*hopefully*), new friends, travels to new places, learning a new language (GERMAN!)... We are not typically big on New Year's resolutions, but somehow marking the turn of this year with some personal commitments feels like a healthy strategy.

We've also got some fun new plans for the website this year that we can't wait to share with you! All of that in due time...for now, here are a few fun links to check out over the weekend...

Motivate yourself to follow through with your New Year's resolutions. You can set up this site to make a donation from your bank account to a political cause that you hate if you don't stick to your plan. This would definitely get us to the gym!

This recipe is so weird that we absolutely have to give it a try this weekend.

In case you missed it, the Swiss National Bank just gave you a raise!

A sneak peak into Roger Federer's 9 million CHF home.

10 scientifically proven ways to reduce your stress.

Love this for our favorite part of the ski day.

The new hair trend for 2015. Would you partake?

Currently reading and loving.

And in the same vein, this was spot on.

Wait, what? A Lausanne woman gave birth where?!

Apparently the IOC is getting new digs...and we totally dig it.

These would make a super cute housewarming gift.

Made us laugh.

An Instagram account you need to follow NOW.

Have a great weekend everyone! We'll see you next week.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

LG Favorites: The Best of the Best

We realize it's a bit late, but we'll go ahead and say it anyway, Happy New Year Lausanne!
We are so excited about starting this new year with new content, new projects, and new ideas! But while we gather and create, we thought we'd start the year off with a few of our favorites, some old, some new--all curated and brought to you in a complete, neat little post. It's good to be back!

Best Brunch
If it's good enough for Coco Chanel, it's more than perfect for us. We love the ambiance and character of Auberge du Chalet des Enfants just north of the city. The brunch is local, fresh and opulent. We always take our walking shoes/snow boots for a post-brunch stroll in the surrounding forest.

Best Lunch To Go
We are big fans of The Luncheonette for their healthy and tasty options. And of course, the food truck scene in Place de la Riponne always satisfies.

Best Place to Work
We are regulars at Culture Cafe for a reason. The quiet ambiance, as well as the generous space allows for unparalleled productivity. The fact that they make a mean double cappuccino doesn't hurt things either.

Best Cup of Coffee
It's a tie. We'll be diplomatic and say Culture Cafe makes the best double cappuccino, and Blackbird's Flat White makes every morning a good morning. And both cater to those who want one for the road.

Best Girls' Night Spot
Swanky but unpretentious, with a killer rooftop terrace during the warmer months, Le Barock in the Flon is a perfect downtown spot to slip on some heels and meet up with your girlfriends. And if you decide to extend the night, you're already in the most happening part of town.

Best Apero
This one is tough, but when meeting for drinks straight after work it's nice to have a little something to nibble on as well. For this reason, we think Cafe St. Pierre is the best place to meet for apero--sure, the wine/beer/cocktail list is quite simple, but their tapas and relaxed vibe surely make up for it.

Best Place to Watch the Game
Sometimes all you need is the comfort of chicken nuggets, beer, and a football match. When it's that kind of evening (or day), put on your best hipster attire and head on over to The Great Escape.

Best Cocktails
Photo Credit: Gabriel Garcia Marengo. We must take our hats off to Eat Me for making the best Old Fashion in the city (they even chip their own ice from large blocks). But in the overall category, this one is a three-way tie between Eat Me, Le Comptoir, and LP's/The Habana Bar. Basically, it's up to you: choose your favorite ambiance and we can guarantee the cocktails won't disappoint.

Best Place to Meet Friends...with kids in tow
Disclaimer: This is assuming you want to avoid places like Manora and Coop City. We'll go ahead and say it's a tie between Culture Cafe and Bubble Cafe. There's space to run around and people won't give you the judgmental stare down when your child {gasp} acts like a child.

Best Casual Spot
Zooburger. Hands down.

Best Bang for your Buck
The portions are generous and the plates delectable at Chez Xu. Just make sure to reserve because everyone else thinks so too.

Best Take Out on a Sunday (or maybe any day)
Stay with us here...it's called Snack de la Gare and it's the best Moroccan food we've had outside of Morocco. Cheap, fast, and so tasty--we recommend trying whichever tajin is featured!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Holidays and the Best of 2014

We're sending out a giant digital bear hug to you, dear readers! We hope you enjoyed the two weeks of holiday giveaways. Thank you so much to everyone who played; and in case you didn't win, we're going to try to keep the giveaways coming in 2015, so do not be discouraged!

We're signing off for a few weeks to enjoy the slower pace of the holidays and to work on a couple of exciting new projects for next year. Your suggestions in the comment section of our last giveaway were AMAZING. Thank you for the encouragement (there might have been a sappy transatlantic text message exchange between us marveling at how fabulous you people are) and for the ideas! We will definitely take all of your comments into consideration as we plan our editorial calendar for 2015.

If you have further ideas about what you'd like to see more of on The Lausanne Guide in 2015, just let us know the comments section below.

And in case you are looking for some content while we are away, here's a look back at a few of our favorites from the year...

Our new series where we get to meet creative and passionate people (and drink beer!).

When we discovered authentic Californian burritos right here in Lausanne.

The fact that breakfast will never be the same, thanks to these fine fellas.

An English-speaking and stylish haircut in Lausanne.

The day we got to drink unlimited champagne.

Authentic Chinese? Yes, please.

When we realized how important our eyebrows are.

The opening of this boutique and the wonderful woman behind it.

When one of us lived in Paris for part of the year and collected some favorite spots.

The weekly inspiration from our favorite photographer Gabriel Garcia.

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