Bowling Centre Marzili
Can you bowl a strike (hit all ten pins with one ball)? Maybe someone on the team will even manage a turkey (three strikes in a row)? Find out at the Bowling Centre Marzili. It might be raining cats and dogs outside, but inside, pins are falling. Bowling is a great way to playfully pass the time, and you even get to crown the group’s bowling champion. Once you get tired of the heavy bowling balls you can switch to the lighter pool balls and try your luck with the cue. By the way, a visit to the Bowling Centre Marzili is also worthwhile for the eye, because the lanes and entrance area are sporadically decorated by different artists.
Strike in the Marzili
We can almost promise that your kids will be sleeping soundly after visiting the Kiddy Dome in Rohrbach. It is the largest indoor adventure world in Switzerland, and your children can really let off steam on its 6,000 square metres. Movement and fun are a priority here, be that on the interactive trampoline park, the high rope climbing course or Europe’s largest donut glider. Kids will love a trip to this jungle of movement in the Oberaargau, but parents won’t be disappointed either: they can relax in the comfortably furnished parents’ lounge from which they can observe the whole Kiddy Dome. And when your tummies start rumbling after all that playing, you can head over to Jimmy’s Jungle.
Tarzan and Jane in the Oberaargau
If you think of dusty paintings on white walls when you hear the word “museum”, you’ve clearly never been to a Bernese museum. Yes, Bern is home to Switzerland’s oldest art museum – but there’s nothing outdated about it. Bern’s museums are interactive, diverse and exciting: from the Alpine Museum, where mountain life becomes visible and tangible, to the interactive Museum of Communication, to the Museum of Natural History, where children are allowed to climb and touch. Several of Bern’s museums are located just a few steps apart in the Kirchenfeld neighbourhood, and they’re all perfect rainy-day destinations for families. Our tip: ask the museum staff what they can recommend for children and go see that first. Almost every museum has something that kids love – at Museum of Communication it’s for example the playful children’s tour “Find Ratatösk”.
To our museum recommendations
A ball pit. Two slides. Half a circus tent for climbing up and sliding down. A climbing wall. Countless odd vehicles. Two rope tunnels at dizzying heights. A creative design, with a lot of wood and paintings, mostly made from recycled materials. The indoor playground Bimano is a true children’s paradise and makes space for their creativity and need for movement. Oh, and Bimano is also home to Zent, a restaurant that lets parents escape their everyday lives. In the evenings, the playground transforms into a skatepark (children’s classes are offered) and the bouldering hall next door is filled with climbers.
Dive right into the fun!
The Sensorium at Rüttihubelbad
An amusement park for the senses: the Sensorium at Rüttihubelbad is a sensory experience for all ages (and all seasons) and just half an hour away from Bern. The expansive exhibition shows us just how much we rely on our eyes in everyday life and what intricate, ingenious miracles our senses actually are. From the gigantic gong to the perfect, meditative sand circles – explore the exhibition and discover with all your senses. The Sensorium is wheelchair accessible and can be reached by public transport, taking the train via Burgdorf – Thun and bus to “Walkringen, Rüttihubelbad”. If you prefer bringing your own lunch: there are plenty of picnic spots. And if the sun does decide to come out, there’s a large outdoor playground for the kids.
A “sense”-ational experience
If you think the Zentrum Paul Klee is just another museum, you’ve clearly never heard of Creaviva. Drawing, folding, gluing, learning, letting your imagination run wild – the studio in the museum’s basement offers a whole bunch of fun activities for children. From the interactive exhibition (entry is free!) to the different workshops – art lovers and amateur artists of all ages have the opportunity to look at Klee’s art from a different angle and are encouraged to express themselves creatively. Looking for even more creativity? If you want to make your own little personal work of art together with your daughter, godchild, nephew or grandchild, you can do so from Tuesday to Sunday (also open during school holidays) at the “Fünfliber-Werkstatt” (five-franc workshop). When it comes to creativity, one thing is for sure: at Creaviva, the sky’s the limit.
A sextuple somersault is not a requirement, but it is the record here in the Skills Park. Even beginners will manage some quite impressive jumps in the trampoline park near the Guisanplatz. You’ll find all kinds of trampolines here: some with mobile landing mats that let you safely practice your tricks, and then there’s the 5-by-5-metre freestyle trampoline where you can show off your off axis, spins and somersaults. Even toddlers can jump and bounce around. On Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 to 11:00 am, the UNIK Playground belongs to our youngest gymnasts. During that time, only children aged up to five years (plus their accompanying person) are allowed to show off their skills.
Jump into the fun!
The Botanical Garden (BoGa) is located right by the Lorrainebrücke (Lorraine Bridge) and just a short walk from the main station. But as soon as you leave the main road, you’ll feel like you’ve entered a completely different world. The chirping of the birds and the rustling of the leaves will accompany you on your expedition to different continents and their flora. There are two small and three large greenhouses where you can find shelter from the rain in a tropical or desert climate. Children love the Garden’s nooks and crannies and the sometimes bizarre plants: Buddha’s hand, the squirting cucumber or the poisonous plants in the medicinal garden are always popular with the young visitors. And the friendly staff is happy to help with any botanical questions you might have.
Explore the Botanical Garden
Emmental Cheese Show Dairy
“Mom, how do the wholes get in the cheese?” Even the most stubborn and picky eaters will want to try something new once they’ve seen the production of cheese up close. Visitors can not only watch cheesemakers work in the Emmental Cheese Show Dairy in Affoltern – an hour-long demonstration will also teach them how to make fresh cheese at home, and the King’s Trail playfully tells the history of Emmental cheese. In need of some fresh air after all that cheese? Go play with the goats and chickens in the petting zoo next door. Oh, and: the path to the show dairy leads through the Emmental’s picturesque hills.
All about cheese
Westside and Water Park Bernaqua
The first thing we think of when we hear «Westside»? Shopping and cinema. However, the adventure centre in the West of Bern has much more to offer: a huge kid’s area, various restaurants and, of course, the Bernaqua. The aquatic wonderland sends its visitors on exciting adventures in the river bath, on Switzerland’s longest covered slides and even in the paddling pool, where you’ll find a pirate ship full of water jets that make for epic water fights – fun ahoy! And is there anything better than relaxing in the heated outdoor pool while it’s raining? The only problem is that you’ll have a hard time convincing your kids to go home.
Bern Animal Park, Dählhölzli
There’s lots to do and discover at the Bern Animal Park, Dählhölzli. Rainy days are perfect for a visit to the Vivarium. There are so many snakes, crocodiles, insects, fish and little monkeys to observe that you can easily spend half a day there. What are the highlights for the kids, you ask? The feeding of the seals, the covered puffin compound and the maze-like building that lets you get up close with the bears. Good to know: you can visit a large part of the compound for free, for example the petting zoo with its jungle gym. If all that exploring has made you hungry, head to the Eulen Bistro or the Dählhölzli restaurant. You’ll find a kid’s play corner there as well.
Explore the jungle
The Kambly Experience
Eating as many “Güezi” (cookies) as you possibly can – this (children’s) dream can come true in the Emmental. The store at the Kambly Experience in Trubschachen, about 35 minutes by train from Bern, has over 100 different cookies and biscuits on display for you to try. And baking with the Kambly Maîtres Confiseurs is the perfect experience for anyone with a sweet tooth, no matter the age. Children from the age of six can bake cookies and decorate their own biscuit tins or create a yummy seasonal treat using chocolate, biscuits and marzipan (reservations required). If you want to earn your visit to the land of milk and honey (and butter and chocolate), put on your raincoat and follow the 3.5-kilometre adventure trail through Trubschachen, solving little riddles and puzzles along the way. If you get them right, you will be rewarded at the end of the trail. A practical side effect of a visit to Kambly: you definitely won’t have to worry about dinner.
Off to the land of milk and honey
Bern’s Indoor Swimming Pools
The city of Bern has three public indoor swimming pools, and the locals are so water-crazy that in September 2023, the 50-metre-long indoor pool Neufeld was inaugurated. Children in Bern learn how to swim at an early age. After all, they all need to prepare for their first swim in the river Aare, so they better start training. And what better place for that than an indoor pool. The practice pools in the Wylerbad and the Weyermanshaus are kept at a constant 30-32 degrees. The pool Neufeld is not only a bubbling oasis for parents and a place to swim for children, but also a national training centre for professionals, and it is completely barrier-free (including a pool lift for wheelchairs). On Sunday afternoons in winter, the Wylerbad and the Weyermannshaus are opening their doors exclusively to families – and they even provide inflatable toys.
Hop into the water!
Haute cuisine and children are not necessarily mutually exclusive, as shown by the GaultMillau Restaurant Tropengarten at theTropenhaus Frutigen: the children’s menu is varied and well assorted, and the staff is extremely friendly and patient. The restaurant is set in the beautiful tropical ambiance of the Tropenhaus, where children and their parents can explore and find out how our beloved exotic foods, like bananas and coffee, grow. Lili the Marmot takes the visitors on an adventurous, fun and informative expedition along the children’s trail. Who will be the first to spot the yellow-footed tortoises and silkies that live in the tropical paradise?
The tropical garden with a mountain view
Apart from a few parts of the Bern Historical Museum (including the Einstein Museum and House), the Kunsthalle Bern and the Laupen Castle, all of Bern’s Museums are barrier-free. More information is available on the website.
The exhibition is wheelchair accessible, and they have special offers for people with disabilities. Depending on the impairment, the sensory perceptions can overstimulate the senses.
The Creaviva is wheelchair accessible and offers barrier-free activities.
Botanical Garden Bern
The Botanical Garden Bern is not barrier-free.
Emmental Cheese Show Dairy
The show dairy’s indoor and outdoor areas are wheelchair accessible, and the toilets are easily accessible by elevator.
Westside and Water Park Bernaqua
The building is wheelchair accessible. Many pools are equipped with a pool lift, guaranteeing easy access.
Bern Animal Park, Dählhölzli
The Bern Animal Park, Dählhölzli ist mostly wheelchair accessible and also offers barrier-free activities. Assistance and companion dogs are also welcome.
Bern’s Indoor Swimming Pools
The Wylerbad is not barrier-free.
Both the Weyermannshaus and Neufeld pools are equipped with a pool lift and are therefore wheelchair accessible.
The whole Tropenhaus is wheelchair accessible.
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