Geneva, Cluses & Annecy – FREE museums on first Sunday of the month!

Throughout the year in Geneva, and from October until May in Cluses & Annecy, many of the museums/temporary exhibitions are FREE on the FIRST Sunday of the month!  In addition, the museums often put on some wonderful workshops/guided tours for children and families (also FREE) on this day.

The next FREE Sunday will be this Sunday 6th May 2018!

Cluses FREE first Sunday of the month at the Musée de l’Horlogerie et du Décolletage

This museum, dedicated to telling the industrial and social history of the area, is located in the Espace Carpano & Pons, the old industrial site next to the river / the story of the watchmakers of the XVIIIth century through to the emergence of décolletage during the industrial revolution / there are regular guided visits, films and workshops, see here for more details / jeu de piste for families: «Du Rififi au Pays des Copeaux» / opening hours on Sunday: 14h to 18h / address: Espace Carpano & Pons, 100 place du 11 Novembre, 74300, Cluses / tel: 04 50 96 43 00 / website;

© Musée de l’Horlogerie et du Décolletage
© Musée de l’Horlogerie et du Décolletage

 Annecy’s FREE first Sunday of the month

From October until May, on the first Sunday of the month, it is FREE to visit:

  • the Château d’Annecy and its temporary exhibition – classified as a historical monument since 1959, the Château d’Annecy was once the residence of the counts of Geneva in the 13th and 14th centuries / today, the castle houses temporary exhibitions, as well as a permanent collection of art of cultural importance, and objects associated with the lake / *good to know: Mercredi en Famille (guided visits for families, children 6+ years, on Wednesdays at 14h30, 6€)* / opening hours on Sunday: from 10h to midday and from 14h to 17h / address: Place du Château, 74000, Annecy / tel: 04 50 33 87 30 / website
  • the Musée du Film d’Animation (always free, but open on Sundays October until May) – located two minutes away from the Musée-Château, this museum provides visitors with an introduction to animated cinema / current temporary exhibition: «Cinéma d’animation: secrets de fabrication» until 31st December 2018 opening hours on Sunday: from 10h to midday and from 14h to 17h (shut in January) / address: ancienne chapelle du Conservatoire d’Art et d’Histoire, 18 avenue du Trésum, 74000, Annecy / tel: 04 50 33 87 30 / for more information about opening hours during the week see website;
  • the newly renovated Palais de l’Île – a building originally from the Middle Ages, classified as a historical monument since 1900, this palais has been a prison, a palais de justice and an administrative centre / current temporary exhibition: «Annecy 68: regards sur une époque» until 23rd September 2018opening hours on Sunday: from 10h to midday and from 14h to 17haddress: 3 passage de l’Ile, 74000, Annecy / tel: 04 56 49 40 37 / website;

Geneva’s FREE first Sunday of the month

*Some museums – including their temporary exhibitions – are FREE on each first Sunday of the month in Geneva!* See here for more details about this fantastic initiative! *NB This initiative does not apply to private collections*

Here, below, is a brief description of some of the museums in Geneva participating in this initiative – and their current or upcoming temporary exhibitions – that the MBFF family has visited (and enjoyed!):

  • Muséum de Genève (Natural History Museum) – this wonderful museum has been a favourite of ours since the boys were small! / current temporary exhibition: «Fourmis», extended until 6th January 2019  after the tremendously HUGE dinosaur exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the museum, it was time to put the spotlight on little ANTS . . . among other things, on show is the giant anthill Atta, which was on show at the museum back in 1977!  The MBFF team really enjoyed a visit to this exhibition in 2017! / *good to know: there are also workshops on offer on Wednesdays and Saturdays, running alongside this exhibition* / opening hours on Sunday: 10h to 17h / address: 1 route de Malagnou, 1208, Geneva, Switzerland / tel: +41 (0) 22 418 63 00 / website / see post for more details about the Natural History Museum;
«Fourmis» – the current temporary exhibition at the Muséum in Geneva © Muséum / Ville de Genève
Natural History Museum, Geneva © montblancfamilyfun
  • Musée d’Histoire des Sciences – this museum is located within the Parc du Perle du Lac, next to Lac Léman, and opposite the Botanical Gardens; it occupies the beautiful Neo-Classical Villa Bartholoni (from the 1830s), and hosts a collection of scientific apparatus belonging to scientists and researchers from the 17th to 19th centuries / current temporary exhibition: «Images de Science», until 26th August 2018 / documents for exhibition to download here / *good to know: ask for the orienteering parcours leaflet for the park at the reception, and go explore! see here*/ opening hours on Sunday: 10h to 17h / address: Parc de La Perle du Lac, 128 rue de Lausanne 1202, Geneva, Switzerland / tel: 41 22 418 50 60 / website / every two years, La Nuit de la Science takes place here;
«Images de Science» © Musée d’Histoire des Sciences
  •  MEG (Musée d’Ethnographie de Genève) – the next temporary exhibition scheduled at the MEG in Geneva will be «Afrique: les religions de l’extase», from 18th May 2018 until 6th January 2019 / the permanent exhibition at the MEG (always free to visit) is Les archives de la diversité humaine – here you will find more than a thousand objects from different world cultures / there are FREE children’s and family workshops and guided tours on the first Sunday of the month: Le Baby Bazar éveil musical for 0 to 2 year olds (14h to 15h15 and 15h30 to 16h30) and Tohu Wa Bohu éveil musical for children 2+ years (from 15h to 15h45 and from 16h to 16h45) are regular features and there are several others planned to run alongside temporary exhibitions / opening hours to general public on Sunday: 11h to 18h / see website for more details / address: boulevard Carl-Vogt 65-67,1205, Geneva, Switzerland / tel: +41 (0)22 418 45 50 / see post to read about planning a family visit;
«Afrique: les religions de l’extase», next MEG temporary exhibition © MEG © MEG
  • MAMCO – the modern and contemporary art museum in Geneva has guided visits for children in French and English on Sundays at 11h15 – the Petits Rendez-Vous (duration: 45 mins / for 5 to 10 year olds, with an accompanying adult and highly recommended by the MBFF team!) / current temporary exhibitions are: «Art & Entertainment», «Nouvelles Images», and «Die Welt als Labyrinth» until 6th May 2018 / opening hours on Sunday: 12h to 18h / address: 10 rue des Vieux-Grenadiers, CH-1205, Genève / tel: +41 22 320 61 22 / website:
  • Centre d’Art Contemporain – this museum is located in the same building as the MAMCO.  It was founded in 1974 as the Kunsthalle de Genève, the first contemporary art centre in la Suisse Romand, a place of production, research and experimentation (a Kunsthalle, unlike a museum, has no permanent collection, it veers to the future, presenting emerging local and international artists) / upcoming exhibition: «Goran Trbuljak: une rétrospective» from 30th May to 19th August 2018 (conceptual artist, «New Art Practice») / opening hours on Sunday: 11h to 18h / Akademinis – “balade en famille dans les expositions”, a family visit of the exhibition, followed by a creative activity; for children 4 to 7 years old, with accompanying adult; reservations (before 17h Friday for Sunday visit): +41 22 888 30 43 or / address: Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, rue des Vieux-Grenadiers 10, 1205 Genève / tel: + 41 22 329 18 42 / website;
  • MAH (Le Musée d’Art et d’Histoire) – this museum’s permanent exhibition is always FREE . . . housed in a magnificent building, it has a great play area for children next to the café/restaurant . . . / see post for more details / opening hours on Sunday: 11h to 18h / address: rue Charles-Galland 2, 1206, Geneva / website;
  • Musée Rath – the Musée Rath hosts the MAH’s larger temporary exhibitions, and this next exhibition is THE spring event of Geneva: to mark the centenary of the death of famous Swiss artist Ferdinand Hodler, Le Musée Rath is hosting a huge exhibition dedicated to him -«Hodler Parallélisme» – from 20th April until 19th August 2018 / co-produced by the Musées d’Art et d’Histoire de Genève (city of artist’s death) and the Kunstmuseum Bern (city of artist’s birth), this exhibition explores the career of the painter through about 100 of Hodler’s works, with the them of parallélisme / more information about family events/workshops here / opening hours: 11h to 18h / address: place Neuve, 1204, Geneve / tel: +41 (0)22 418 33 40 / website;

    «Hodler Parallélisme» © Hodler / MAH Genève / Ville de Genève
  • Musée Ariana (Musée Suisse de la Céramique et du Verre) – the next temporary exhibition at this museum of ceramics and glass will be «Potières d’Afrique – Voyage au coeur d’une tradition contemporaine», from the 16th March to the 9th September 2018 / *good to know: there are workshops for children (2 to 4 years old), Les samedis des tout-petits, on Saturdays (paying); there is also a Coin Enfants – a space for children to draw and discover books associated with the museum’s collection* / opening hours on Sunday: 10h to 18h / address: avenue de la Paix 10, 1202 Genève / tel: +41 22 418 54 54 / website;

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