Geneva’s Natural History Museum (Muséum Genève) has been our go-to museum on rainy days for the last 7 years! We have, over the years, pushed a sleeping baby around the exhibits here, watched our toddlers crawl / run / topple over, and we have spent plenty of time running after them too!
What a wonderful museum this is! Set across 4 floors, the permanent exhibitions include: local fauna, animals of the world and an extensive mineral collection.
«Célébrons! 50 ans du Muséum à Malagnou»
Until January 2018, the Muséum Genève was celebrating its 50 year anniversary – Célébrons! 50 ans du Muséum à Malagnou – and it did so with two fabulous temporary exhibitions:
- the breathtaking 🦕«Dinosaurs»🦕– with several dinosaur skeletons to gawp at and a myriad of interactive activities, the MBFF team were absolutely enthralled! We even came away with the perfect “selfie with a scary dinosaur” souvenir, courtesy of the museum (and a “dinosaur tooth” or two!);
- «Fourmis» – after «Dinosaurs», the museum turned its attention to much smaller creature – 🐜ANTS🐜 ! If you’d like to learn all about these fascinating little animals and experience a giant anthill, then free up a day before January 2019! (this exhibitions was extended due to its success);
For more information about other temporary exhibitions running alongside the main one, see MUSEUM AGENDA.
The museum has a spacious café (recently renovated) with good lunch options (no picnics allowed, but on a warm day, there is plenty of space for a picnic outside).
Another option is the fabulous family-friendly Luiga restaurant, located just down the road from the museum. This Italian restaurant is spacious, serves delicious food and is very family friendly (baby-changing facilities, high chairs, children’s play area). It doesn’t take reservations, but we have never waited long for a table. You’ll get a truly Italian welcome . . . we were introduced to this restaurant through Geneva friends, so thank you to them! / open 7 days a week, from 12h / address: rue Adrien-Lachenal 24a, 1207, Geneva / tel: (+)41 22 840 15 15 / website;
Workshops for children
The Muséum Genève offers workshops for children on Wednesday afternoons from 14h to 16h30 and on some Saturdays too. Check the museum’s website for more details;
🦇La Nuit du Chauve-Souris🦇 is an annual evening event organised at the museum . . . lots of fun activities for the whole family!
There is a great gift shop at the entrance; a great place to pick up some birthday presents, stickers, postcards or posters!
Family facilities at the museum
As well as the restaurant/café on-site, there is a cloakroom, a place to leave pushchairs (not supervised) and there are baby changing facilities.
Other activities in the area
You are unlikely to spend ALL day at the museum (more likely a couple of hours, depending on age and attention span of youngsters!), so here are some ideas (tried and tested by the MBFF family!) of what to do in the vicinity:
PLAYGROUNDS – did you know that school playgrounds remain open at the weekend in Switzerland? No? Neither us; we learned this fact from various Swiss resident friends! One fine weather day, after a Muséum visit, we playground-hopped (we just stumbled upon each playground!) all the way to the Parc de la Grange . . . here is a photo-montage of what we found that day:
Le Parc des Eaux-Vives (Parc de la Grange) – a 30 minute stroll from the Muséum brings you to this beautiful park. You’ll find a small café, plenty of grass for running around . . . for young children, think to have scooters and drésiennes at hand to get here without whining!
Lac Léman – also accessible à pied, is Lac Léman and its iconic Jet d’Eau. Baby Plage is located near the lakeside entrance to the Parc de la Grange – a perfect spot for playing in the sand and watching the boats . . .
The Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle is open every day except Monday, 10h to 17h;
CLOSED: Mondays, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day;
It is FREE to visit the permanent exhibition space!
Temporary exhibitions have an entrance fee, but they are FREE on the first Sunday of each month (be sure to ask for a children’s booklet to accompany the visit).
address: 1 route de Malagnou, 1208, Geneva, Switzerland
tel: +41 (0) 22 418 63 00;
FB page: here;
parking: Villereuse car park (paying) is just next door, otherwise you may find some free parking at the weekend on the adjacent streets;