Geneva, Nyon, 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 and guided tours for children and families (also FREE) on this day.

The next FREE Sunday will be Sunday 7th April!

Cluses FREE first Sunday of the month

🕰 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 information / 🗺 jeu de piste for families: « Drame au Musée » / 🗓 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;

 🇫🇷 Annecy’s FREE first Sunday of the month 🇫🇷 

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

🏰 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€), guided visits on Sundays at 15h (when scheduled) / 🗓 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

Château d’Annecy ©
Upcoming exhibition: “De mémoire d’habitants – Au cœur de la vieille ville d’Annecy” © Château d’Annecy

🎥 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 / 🗓 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;

🏰 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 / 🗓 opening 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;

Palais de l’Ile © Ville d’Annecy

🌎 La Turbine in Cran-Gévrier (Annecy) – Le Centre de Culture Scientifique Technique et Industrielle de Haute-Savoie is an innovative pedagogic centre and 🎥 cinema, equipped for families to learn about science in an interactive way / there are regular exhibitions, events and workshops for children of different ages, so do check the website for current ones! / 🗓 opening hours on Sunday: 14h to 18h / address: place Chorus, Cran-Gevrier, 74960, Annecy / tel: 04 50 08 17 00;

current exhibitions:

  • ⏰ « Tic Tac Temps » – until 1st September 2019 / learning about the importance of time, and the passing of time, in our environment / for children 3 to 6 years / conceived by Forum départemental des sciences de Villeneuve d’Ascq;
  • ⏰ « CLOCK : les horloges du vivant » – until 1st September 2019 / Does a 🌻 sunflower really follow the sun? 💤 Why do we sleep? 💤 A koala sleeps 20h per day; is it lazy or is this a necessity? 🐦 How fast do the wings of a hummingbird flap? – an exhibition looking at time in relation to animals, humans, plants, clocks and sleep / for children 8+ years / conceived by ART’M Créateurs associés, with its partner le Musée de l’horlogerie et du décolletage de Cluses;

🇨🇭 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! / 🗓 opening hours on Sunday: 10h to 17h / address: 1 route de Malagnou, 1208, Geneva, Switzerland / tel: +41 (0) 22 418 63 00 / website / see MBFF post for more details about the Natural History Museum en famille;

Natural History Museum, Geneva ©

🖼 current temporary exhibition: « La Nuit est Belle » – until 14th April 2019 – the damage of light pollution on our nocturnal creatures / dossier pédagogique La Nuit est Belle (PDF);

La Nuit est Belle © Ville de Genève / Muséum Genève

🎨 current workshops: les ateliers du dimanche by association AniMuse – « Allez la Nuit » – from 14h until 16h, continuous / a new parcours to do with the night and nocturnal animals, in conjunction with exhibition « La Nuit est Belle » / FREE, sign up on-site: dates: 10th, 24th March and 7th April;

Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle à Genève workshop Allez la Nuit! © Ville de Genève / Muséum Genève

🐯 upcoming exhibition: Prédations (from 14th April 2019 until 19th January 2020) / more information here;

© Ville de Genève / Muséum Genève

💡 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 / information about carnets de jeux and workshops here good to know: ask for the 🗺  orienteering parcours leaflet for the park at the reception, and go explore! / 🗓 opening hours: 10h to 17h (shut Tuesday) / address: Parc de La Perle du Lac, 128 rue de Lausanne 1202, Geneva, Switzerland / tel: 41 22 418 50 60 / website / good to know: every two years, La Nuit de la Science takes place here;

🖼 current temporary exhibition: « Roulez les mécaniques. La loi du moindre effort », until 15th September 2019; how to get a machine moving, without exhausting oneself?

« Roulez les mécanique. La loi du moindre effort » © Musée d’Histoire des Sciences

🌍 MEG (Musée d’Ethographie de Genève) – 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;

🎨 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!) / 🗓 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) / 🗓 opening hours on Sunday: 11h to 18h / 🎨 Akademinis – ” balade en famille dans les expositions “, a family visit of the current 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;

Akademinis © Contemporary Art Museum

🖼 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;

🏺 current exhibition: « César et le Rhône. Chefs-d’oeuvre antiques d’Arles » (with works from Arles and the Louvre);

MAH Genève

🖼 Musée Rath – the Musée Rath hosts the MAH’s larger temporary exhibitions (currently no exhibition) / 🗓 opening hours: 11h to 18h / address: place Neuve, 1204, Geneve / tel: +41 (0)22 418 33 40 / website;

🏺 Musée Ariana (Musée Suisse de la Céramique et du Verre) –  good to know: there are workshops for children (2 to 4 years old and 5 to 7 years), 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;

🐟 Nyon’s Musée du Léman & Aquarium 🐟 

The 🐟 Musée du Léman & Aquarium is a museum dedicated to the history of Lac Léman and an aquarium too! / new permanent exhibition: 🐠 « Petite Nature? » (36 questions to decode the secrets of the lake!) / temporary exhibition: 💦 « Plouf: une histoire de la baignade dans le Léman » until 31st March 2019 – the vocabulary associated with taking a “dip” or a swim, the 121 swimming spots on Lac Léman, the architecture on the lakefront, the quality of the lake water, sportsmen and women and tourists, fashion, beliefs and habits over the passing of time . . . and the artists, the famous faces who frequented the lake! (until January 2020) / 🗓 opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, April until October, 10h to 17h and November to March 14h to 17h / price: CHF8 and free for children under 16 years / good to know – FREE every first Sunday of the month; 1 x entrance = free access to the 🏺 Musée Romain and the 🏰 Château de Nyon (valid 12 months) / 🎨 l’atelier Créa’lac – every 3rd Sunday of month, a workshop for children at 15h30; CHF7 per child (museum entrance free); 18th Nov and 16th Dec 2018 / good to know – super playground right next door and picnic spot! / address: quai Louis-Bonnard 8, 1260, Nyon, Switzerland / tel: +41 (0) 22 316 42 50 / website;

© Musée de Nyon & Aquarium
© Musée de Nyon & Aquarium

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