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Old 20.05.2017, 19:49
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Family visiting with Kids

In about 2 months my in-laws will be visiting

Adults: 2
Kids: 4 (14, 12, 9, 6) - all girls
When: August
Duration of stay: 1 week
Location: Zurich (I live in Zurich)

I don't have kids
I'm trying to help figure out what will be of interest to them
and how to travel around the country.

I could use some help.
I've heard if I get a Junior card they can travel for almost free
The parents can get a 4day card for 260chf

Any suggestions?
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Old 20.05.2017, 20:58
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Re: Family visiting with Kids

Hello,
some infos to the public transportation options. It will depend on what they want to do during this time.

Check here:
https://www.sbb.ch/en/travelcards-an.../children.html

Children under 6 years travel free of charge when accompanied by a person holding a valid ticket.

With the Junior travelcard for CHF 30, children aged 6 to 16 years may travel on public transport all year when accompanied by a parent with a valid ticket.

Once you know how much they want to travel, consider a 1/2 prize pass. (per year.. sometimes, you can buy one to try out for a month - check newspapers for adds).
There are passes for several days. (You will pick how many days - like a GA), or you buy them Gemeindetageskarten.
http://www.tageskarte-gemeinde.ch/en-us/
Some can be ordered via Mail. (They are the best deal for a day with lots of travel plans.)

For the kids, there are Ferienpass offers through Pro Juventute. They offer free entrances to the Badis, some museums, etc. (Not sure if it's worth for just one week).
https://www.projuventute.ch/Ferienpa...en.2827.0.html
(Only in German, French and Italien). It also includes some trains, etc. check it out. It really depends on what they want to do.

Hope that helps.
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Old 20.05.2017, 21:22
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Re: Family visiting with Kids

Well before they come, ask them to be sure that each one (even the youngest) will be responsible for her own daypack, for the whole day.
If they are used to travelling around by car where they live now, they will probably need to practice this, in advance.

Each evening, each child should prepare her things for the next day.
For this, hang up a checklist in large writing.

Each day when she/you/they go out, each child should carry her own comfortable, practical backpack containing:
  • a photocopy of her own passport
  • the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the contact adults
  • the name of the closest public transport stop to your home and a sketched map of how to walk home from there
  • a small purse (in the sense of money-wallet, not handbag) with about Fr. 5 to Fr. 10 safety money
  • any essential medication
  • a sun hat
  • a jacket or jumper
  • a water-bottle
  • a snack-pack
  • a handkerchief or a pack of tissues
  • a small toy
and, if it is a swimming day, then at least the older children should each carry her own
  • swimming costume
  • towel
  • plastic bag for when these are wet.

I am not by any means suggesting that the children go out alone, but they should be equipped in case one of them gets separated from the group. This will make everyone safer.

Also, they should carry their own gear (many Swiss children do) because the sum of that is too much for their parents to carry, physically, and to administer, all day long. Each child looking after her own gear (and the parents taking care of collective things like picnic blankets and sunblock lotion) will make everyone less grumpy. Of course, the adults need to look back, each time the group disembarks.

I've seen this done effectively and lead to good public transport holidays.
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Old 20.05.2017, 21:51
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Re: Family visiting with Kids

Another tip is to send them links about Zurich in advance, or ask them to have a look for themselves, and then invite each child and each adult to name three things they really would like to do while here. Together with the adults, reject items which are too expensive or logistically difficult.

Then try to figure out a schedule which gets each person one thing from her list.
Take photos of this. That way, each person will enjoy the time and go home knowing she had her hopes fulfilled.

Invite suggestions such as:
  • go on a boat trip
  • eat an ice-cream
  • picnic by the side of a river
  • swim in the lake
  • go for a bicycle ride
  • go on a cable car (the one from Adliswil to Felsenegg is nearby and does not cost the earth since you can include it in the ZVV ticket)
  • visit an academic libary
  • visit a fun library
  • go the the Zurich Art Museum (Kunsthaus) (= free entrance to the collection on Wednesdays)
  • eat a cheese fondue (as long as they can cope with this, health-wise)
  • toast sausages (Cervelat and Bratwurst) on a stick on an outdoor fire at night

All these suggestions do not cost a fortune, and are especially about getting out and about.

I suggest the Limmatschiff, the 3 feniculars (Polybahn, Seilbahn Rigiblick and Dolderbahn), the cable car Adliswil-Felsenegg, the Kunsthaus, hiring free bicycles at Züri-Rollt (check, in advance, what they have in the way of children's bikes and lifts, perhaps get hold of a "follow me" before they get here), the Katzensee, the lakeside. Also the fleamarket at Helvetiaplatz on Saturdays, and perhaps one of fresh-produce markets. If it rains, go out in T-shirts and dance in the rain, then come home to get dry and have a mug of hot chocolate.

For being indoors if the weather is lousy, include home crafts such as drawing, painting or baking cakes. Also making home-made musical instruments (water in jars), or making hats, or re-purposing old T-shirts into fun tops (lots of YouTube videos about this, and a stock of T-shirts can be bought cheaply at the Brockenhaus and washed before the kids arrive), spending an afternoon doing make-up and hair together.

It is surprising that many kids (who would groan and roll their eyes scornfully if their own parents were ever so low as to suggest anything quite so dull and old-fashioned) can be caught up by the enthusiasm and encouragement to do such things with an aunt (who, if a little crazy, can be perceived as happily giving the child licence to try out something new/old).

Try to find out what each child's current interests are. If you don't have the gear for whatever it is, you might be able to buy it at a Brockenhaus.
If you can "hit the spot" for each person, at least once per person in the course of the week, they'll all be happier.

Finally, find out what there is within 10 minutes' walk from your home. Where can you bundle up one or two of the kids, and go out right away, if you yourself find that you can't take the noise of your home being full. especially if there is squabbling. Is there a park nearby? A playground? A large tree? (As in: "I am going out now, to run around the big tree three times. It helps to calm me down. Who's coming with me?") A look-out point? A nice café? A library? Just somewhere to which you can escape, with or without part of the group, for a break from all being together all the time.

Together with the parents, make a rule about how much electronics are allowed, (especially if it is the TV in the living-room) and about quiet times, at least for the evenings.

If you live in an apartment with neighbours, you might go by to each set of neigbhours, the week before your family arrives, and explain to them that you'll have a full house, so they might hear more sounds from your flat than usual. Give them your phone number. Invite them to call straight away, any time that you and the big family might disturb them. Reassure them that they will be with you for only one week, anyway.

Have fun!
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Old 20.05.2017, 22:45
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Re: Family visiting with Kids

https://www.zuerich.com/en/visit/family

And if they're here on the 1st August there's bound to be some fireworks somewhere.
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Old 20.05.2017, 23:31
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Re: Family visiting with Kids

Technorama might be good for a rainy day.

Depending on the fitness of the kids, the walk from Felsenegg to Uto Kulm could be doable.

On a nice day, it's a nice walk and if you order something at the Uto Kulm restaurant, you can go up the tower there for "free" (and use the toilets).

Maybe rent a 7-seater for a day or two and make a trip to Germany for

http://www.wildundfreizeitpark.de/park/

Also, there's the Alpamare, if they're into this sort of thing.

Are they into chocolate?

http://www.myswitzerland.com/de-ch/s...nfabriken.html

Similar stuff for cheese:

http://www.myswitzerland.com/de-ch/schaukaesereien.html

And there is the cliff walk:

http://www.myswitzerland.com/de-ch/e...gebruecke.html

Myswitzerland.com actually has some decent ideas.
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Old 23.05.2017, 20:21
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Re: Family visiting with Kids

Dealing with visiting teenagers at the moment, I thought about this thread.

Jamboree, are your visitors also from the US?

If so, do factor in the way jet lag significantly exacerbates normal teenage sleepyheaded-ness. This likely won't be a problem with the younger children, but thinking of the 14 year old:

This happens often enough to be a pattern: Teenagers arrive jet-lagged but 'wired' - meaning that they lose the arrival day and much of the next as they can't seem to switch their internal clocks.

I've tried countless times to explain to visitors that Switzerland is an 'early to bed, early to rise' sort of place, that cable cars generally stop running at 17:00. So getting up at noon, skype-ing for hours with the boyfriend left at home, and then finally starting the hike at 15:00 makes for a wasted day in the mountains. Alas, the message often seems lost on the teenage brain.

With only one week here, your visitors won't want to 'waste' any days. So do speak to the parents about typical Swiss schedules and opening times and how to help the children adjust.

I try to get my visitors to arrive on Sundays, as this is a quiet day in Switzerland. If the weather is fine, a trip to Rapperswil or similar, something low key, is all I plan for arrival day. Then I do my best to convince the kiddies to go to bed at an appropriate Swiss time, and get up early the next day.

But I keep a Plan B for day 2, just in case the young'uns don't make it up before noon.

Hope your visitors enjoy Switzerland, and that you enjoy playing host.
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Old 23.05.2017, 20:38
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Re: Family visiting with Kids

Quote:
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in about 2 months my in-laws will be visiting

adults: 2
kids: 4 (14, 12, 9, 6) - all girls
when: August
duration of stay: 1 week
location: Zurich (i live in zurich)

i don't have kids

any suggestions?
run!!!!
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