Blue skies, full sun, and no school. May Day shaped up to be a bucket-list-carpe-diem kind of day. We grabbed our cameras and loaded up our strollers with a day’s ration of fruit pouches and corn puffs, and boarded the train with our crew of kids. Destination: The Swiss Vapeur Parc. Our little train enthusiasts could hardly contain their excitement.
Of course, taking the train anywhere in Switzerland means that the journey is half the fun. Especially when your travel companions are some of your best buddies and the landscape is covered in cows and snowcapped peaks.
For the mamas on board that meant kicking back and catching up. The comical reality of our lives is that we may be visiting Lausanne’s coolest restaurants and events at night, but by day, we’re engaged in the exhausting balancing act of work and motherhood. An adventure and a break from the daily routine was good for all of us.
We’d always heard of Swiss Vapeur Parc, but nothing could really prepare us for the adorableness of Switzerland in miniature.
From the perfect replica trains to the elf-sized village, chalets, castle, and ski lift, it’s clear that this isn’t just a commercial activity for some big business. The care and attention to detail is clearly a work of passion. And as our children shrieked with delight when each train passed us by, we found that passion a bit contagious. We see many sunny days at Swiss Vapeur Parc in our immediate future… ;).
We booked our day using RailAway, a division of SBB that packages up and discounts train fares and tickets to activities all over Switzerland. We paid for everything online, downloaded our tickets, and saved them to our smartphones, which was great since our hands were already full trying not to forget a kid on the train platform. You can also go straight to the train station and buy tickets directly at the window or download and print them at home.
Our kids all travel for free since they’re under six years old, but if you want to visit the Swiss Vapeur Parc with older kids, you’ll just want to pick up a Junior Travel Card. From six to sixteen years old, children travel for an entire year on Swiss public transportation for just 30chf so long as they’re with a parent who purchased a ticket. And cards are free from your third child – it’s almost enough to make you think about having a third baby ;). Seriously, that might be the only really good deal we’ve ever heard of in Switzerland.
If you’re looking for great getaways with your kids this summer and want to leave the car behind, check out all of the family activity ideas on the SBB website.
We highly recommend making the trip out to Swiss Vapeur Parc. At just over an hour by train from Lausanne, this is an activity that we’ll put on repeat for years to come!
This post was created in collaboration with RailAway, a subsidiary of SBB CFF FFS. A huge thanks to all the sponsors that make The Lausanne Guide possible!