MUSEUMS & EXHIBITIONS beyond the Pays du Mont-Blanc

We are lucky to have some 🖼 wonderful museums 🏔 au Pays du Mont-Blanc, many housed in architectural gems (old, new and renovated). . . and as well as their permanent collections, they also offer 🎨 temporary exhibitions and workshops for children and families over the school holidays!

[ see MBFF article about 🖼 MUSEUMS & EXHIBITIONS au Pays du Mont-Blanc here and 🖼 OUTDOOR ART EXHIBITIONS & EPHEMERAL OUTDOOR ART here ]

And if we venture further than the 🏔 Pays du Mont-Blanc: 🇫🇷 to Cluses, to Annemasse, to la Maison du Salève, to Annecy, to Evian, 🇨🇭 to Geneva, Lausanne or Martigny in Switzerland  . . . or through the tunnel to the 🇮🇹 Aosta Valley in Italy, then we are rewarded with even 🖼 more museums and collections to enjoy en famille.

🗓 some dates for your diary, when there are special openings, FREE openings, and special guided visits, animations and workshops for the whole family;

  • 🗓 FIRST SUNDAY of the MONTH – in 🇨🇭 Geneva & Nyon, 🇫🇷 Cluses & Annecy, many museums and temporary exhibitions are FREE on the first Sunday of each month from October until May (and all year-round in 🇨🇭 Geneva & Nyon);
  • 🗓 Journées Européennes du Patrimoine – weekend 18th & 19th September 2021, the theme: ” Patrimoine pour tous “;
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© Journées Européennes du Patrimoine
  • 🗓 La Nuit Européenne des Musées –  usually in May!;
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© La Nuit Européenne des Musées
  • Journée Internationale des Musées – in May;

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note: this article will be updated every few months, as 🖼 temporary exhibitions come and go . . . so please do check opening hours with each individual establishment, as these are subject to change!


Colour Code for listings

Pays du Mont-Blanc

🇫🇷 Further France 🇫🇷 

🇨🇭 Switzerland 🇨🇭 

🇮🇹 Italy 🇮🇹 


🇫🇷 FURTHER FRANCE

good to know : in Cluses and Annecy – 🗓 from October until May – many museums and exhibitions are FREE on the first Sunday of the month! ⌋

CLUSES
Musée de l’Horlogerie et du Décolletage (Cluses)

The 🕰 Musée de l’Horlogerie et du Décolletage, 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 in Cluses / 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: “ Drame au Musée ” / 🗓 opening hours: from June until September, every day from 10h to 12h and from 14h to 18h; school holidays, every day from 14h to 18h, October until May, Wednesday to Saturdy, 14h to 18h / price: adults 5€, children/students (12 to 25 years) 3€, FREE for under 12s / good to know: the museum is FREE on each first Sunday of the month, 14h to 18h! (with a guided visit sometimes scheduled at 15h) / / website;

address: Espace Carpano & Pons, 100 place du 11 Novembre, 74300, Cluses / tel: 04 50 96 43 00;

🖼 current exhibitions:

Médiathèque Cluses

There are regular exhibitions at 📚 the Médiathèque de Cluses . . .

Festival ❄️ « Image & Neige » (Cluses) 

This 📷 photographic exhibition is an annual fixture in Cluses, at the Parvis des Esserts / 2020 was the 10th edition! / more information on FB page / I finally visited in 2020 – and really enjoyed chatting with the photographers present! Highly recommended!

© Festival Images & Neiges
ANNEMASSE & GRAND GENEVE
Villa du Parc: centre d’art contemporain (Annemasse) 

There are regular temporary exhibitions in the 🖼 Villa du Parc in Annemasse / for more information, see website or FB page / 🗓 opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 14h to 18h30 (shut on bank holidays) / price: FREE to visit, 6€ for guided visits (free for members) good to know: great playgrounds on-site!

address: Parc Montessuit, 12 rue de Genève, 74100, Annemasse / tel: 04 50 38 84 61;
© Villa du Parc Annemasse

🖼 current exhibitions: exhibitions by Renée Levi  and Ingrid Luche (until July 2021);

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© Villa du Parc Annemasse
Archipel Butor (Lucinges)  

🖼 L’Archipel Butor (bibliothèque patrimoniale) is set across 3 units in Lucinges, and dedicated to artists’ books.

🖼 current exhitibion: Michel Butor et ses collaborateurs: « La photographie est une fenêtre » – until autumn 2021 / see here;

le-manoir-des-livres-en-2019-ckaptura-768x512
© l’Archipel Butor

butor-salonique-1955-1506x1536

LAC d’ANNECY & SOURCES du LAC d’ANNECY
Château d’Annecy (Annecy)

Once the residence of the counts of Geneva in the 13th and 14th centuries, the castle has been classified as a historical monument since 1959 / today, the castle houses 🖼 temporary exhibitions, as well as a permanent collection of art of cultural importance, and objects associated with le Lac d’Annecy / there are special family visits organised for temporary exhibitions at the Château d’Annecy / good to know: Mercredi en Famille (guided visits for families, children 6+ years, on Wednesdays at 14h30, 6€) and it is FREE to visit the Château d’Annecy and its temporary exhibition on the FIRST Sunday of each month between October and May / 🎨 also good to know: carnets découverte for children available / 🗓 opening hours: from 10h to midday and from 14h to 17h, every day except Tuesday (open Tuesdays during the summer holidays, and every day from 10h30 to 18h) / price: 5,50 / website;

address: place du Château, 74000, Annecy / tel: 04 50 33 87 30;
Château d’Annecy © montblancfamilyfun.com

🖼 current exhibition: Michel Ocelot, artificier de l’imaginaire / more information here;

IMG_4853
© Château d’Annecy
Palais de l’Île in Annecy 

The newly renovated Palais de l’Île is a building dating from the Middle Ages and it has been classified as a historical monument since 1900.  This palais has been a prison, a palais de justice and an administrative centre over the centuries / special pack/itinerary available for children / 🗓 opening hours: from 10h to midday and from 14h to 17h, every day except Tuesday (open Tuesdays during the summer holidays, and every day from 10h30 to 18h) / good to know: it is FREE to visit the Palais de l’Île and its temporary exhibition on the FIRST Sunday of each month between October and May / price: 3,80€ and children 2€ / website;

🖼 current exhibition: Sous la canopée de Benoît Billotte / more information here;

address: 3 passage de l'Ile, 74000, Annecy / tel: 04 56 49 40 37; 
Palais de l’Ile © Ville d’Annecy
Musée du Film d’Animation in Annecy 

The 🎬 Musée du Film d’Animation is located two minutes away from the Musée-Château / this museum provides visitors with an introduction to animated cinema / FREE to visit! / 🗓 opening hours: (SHUT in January) check website

🖼 current exhibition: Animaux Animés / more information here;

address: ancienne chapelle du Conservatoire d'Art et d'Histoire, 18 avenue du Trésum, 74000, Annecy / tel: 04 50 33 87 30;
© Ville d’Annecy
Le Haras d’Annecy

The 🐴 old 19th century horse stables of Annecy (once on the outskirts of town), which at their apogee housed 120 horses, were purchased by Annecy in 2012 / today, the 🐴 Haras d’Annecy host 🖼 temporary art installations & events and the 🐝Rucher du Haras (beehives) / 🗓 opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday (except winter months) from 14h to 19h;

Une saison au Haras: From May until October, the Haras becomes a hub of cultural and artistic activity !

[ NEWS – it has been decided that the Haras will become a 🎥 Cité de Film l’Animation! / see here for more information ]

address: 19 rue Guillaume Fichet 74000 Annecy / tel: 04 50 33 88 88;
Le Haras d’Annecy © Ville d’Annecy
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Le Haras d’Annecy © Ville d’Annecy
« Annecy Paysages » ephemeral art exhibition (summertime)

« Annecy Paysages » is a visual and sensory stroll through lovely Annecy, with fabulous ephemeral art! / when? every summer, 🗓 from early July until early September! / see this video for a taster visit! / website / FB page;

MBFF visited in 2019, and LOVED it!!! 🗓 2021 dates: 3rd July until 26th September 2021!

[ MBFF article here ]

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© Annecy Paysages 2021
Annecy Paysages © montblancfamilyfun.com
La Turbine in Cran-Gévrier (Annecy)

La Turbine – Le Centre de Culture Scientifique Technique et Industrielle de Haute-Savoie – is an innovative pedagogic centre equipped for families to learn about science in an interactive way / there are regular exhibitions / events / workshops for children of different ages, so do check the website for current ones! / 🗓 opening hours: from Tuesday to Sunday, 14h to 18h / price: adults 5,50€, children 3€ (and +65 ans), FREE for children under 6 years and family price 14€ ;

address: place Chorus, Cran-Gevrier, 74960, Annecy / tel: 04 50 08 17 00;

🖼 current exhibitions: « Mission Corps Humains » (18+ years) / ” L’exposition propose de mettre à nu les différents organes du corps humain pour en découvrir les fonctions premières mais aussi pour se rendre compte de toutes les autres missions qu’ils remplissent. Une plongée immersive au cœur de l’incroyable humain et de ses mécanismes. ” / more information here;

batiment
© La Turbine
CAUE (Conseil d’Architecture, d’ Urbanisme et de l’ Environnement) Haute-Savoie

Le CAUE est créé pour promouvoir la qualité de l’ architecture, de l’ urbanisme et de l’ environnement. Le CAUE assume des missions de service public dans un cadre et un esprit associatifs. ” / more information here;

address: 7 esplanade Paul Grimault, Annecy / tel: 04 50 88 21 10
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© CAUE Haute Savoie
« Le Festival des Cabanes » (Les Sources du Lac d’Annecy & Lac Aiguebelette)

The « Festival des Cabanes » is an annual event at the Sources du Lac d’Annecy (Doussard nature reserve and other locations) 🗓 from July until mid-November . . . / architecture students and architects from all over the world built some unusual cabanes, rendering our nature even more magical! / website / over 160 mm², across 7 communes: Chevaline, Val de chaise, Doussard, Giez, Lathuile, Saint-Ferréol et Faverges-Seythenex / 12 orignial cabanes in 12 magical locations / original idea from David Hamerman;

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La Forge & La Micro-Folie (Faverges-Seythenex)

Faverges-Seythenex engaged in an ambitious project: converting the old usine Bourgeois into an artistic and experimental hub / FREE / open Wednesdays 14h until 17h and Saturdays 9h until 12h ;

La Micro-Folie comprises:

  • un musée numérique – based on the principle: ” L’art et la culture pour tous ” / inspired by 🧪 the Folies du Parc de La Villette, and supported by the Château de Versaillesle Centre Pompidoule Louvrele Musée national Picassole musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chiracla Philharmonie de Paris, la RMN-Grand PalaisUniversciencele Festival d’Avignonl’Institut du Monde Arabel’Opéra National de Paris et le Musée d’Orsay, châteaux d’Europe), the public can henceforth enjoy the treasures of the nation, through the digital projection of the works of these great establishments! / you can visit this on your own, en famille, in a group, with virtual reality options;
  • FabuLabo – a creative lab / workshops from time to time;
  • Le Caf’Pop – a café of the people / talks and exchanges;
address: Tiers-lieu culturel La Forge, 130 rue Maurice Bourgeois, 74210, Faverges / tel: 04 50 63 11 73 / 06 19 45 85 93;
© La Forge

CHAMBERY
Galerie Eurêka

Plenty of scope for a family visit at this interactive science museum! / there is a permanent exhibition – Espace Montagne – and temporary exhibitions too / website / FB page;

🖼 current exhibitions:

  • « Petits Monts » – for 3 to 6 year olds;
  • « Eurêka: le laboratoire d’Archimède »;
  • « Montagne de Fleurs »;
address: 50 rue de la République, 73000, Chambéry / tel: 04 79 60 04 25;
VALLÉE du GIFFRE
Maison du Patrimoine à Taninges

There are regular exhibitions at this maison de la patrimoine.

🖼 current exhibition: « Taninges à travers la presse de 1850 à 1950 » – photos, texts and witness accounts across the 20th  century / more information here;

Expo-Presse-2020-21-MAJ-v2-150px
© Maison de la Patrimoine Taninges
La Chartreuse de Mélan (Taninges)

At the Chartreuse de Mélan, a 700 year old building used over the centuries as an abbey and an orphanage, you’ll find a Parc de Sculptures / as well as visits, there are regular exhibitions and events held here! / more information here;

Chartreuse de Mélan © Savoie Mont-Blanc Tourisme
Parcours d’Art Contemporain du Giffre – sentier « ART et NATURE » (Taninges ⇒ Morillon, Vallée de la Giffre)

The 🖼 Parcours d’Art Contemporain du Giffre – sentier « ART et NATURE » is set up between Morillon and Taninges, and passes through La Rivière-Enverse. It is a continuation of the notion of art in nature that starts at the Parc de Sculptures de la Chartreuse de Mélan (a progressive approach to contemporary art, in which each piece of art inorporates the artist’s view of the surrounding environment: the patrimoine and history of the site, the surrounding scenery of the Vallée du Giffre, the religious architecture of La Chartreuse de Mélan) and opens a dialogue between ancient history and modern sensibilities.

The sculptures are set along the Giffre river – an open air museum in anatural space, with information along the way / see here for more information;

address: 74440, La Rivière-Enverse;
L’Abbaye de Sixt (Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval)

🖼 current exhibition: « Scènes d’Antan », until September 2021 / the quotidien of yesteryear: a traditional house, une épicerie-buvette and a school / more information here;

Abbaye de Sixt © Wikipedia
© Abbaye de Sixt
EVIAN & THONON-LES-BAINS
Palais Lumière (Evian)

Once functioning thermal baths, the Palais Lumière opened its doors as an exhibition and conference centre to the public in 2006.  It now hosts some excellent temporary exhibitions (usually two per year) / children’s workshops and guided tours / 🗓 opening hours: every day from 10h to 19h (Monday from 14h to 19h) / price: 8€ to 10€, under 16 years FREE / website;

address: Palais Lumière, 74500, Evian; 
Le Palais Lumière © montblancfamilyfun.com

current exhibition:  « Alain le Foll, maître de l’imaginaire » – until 2nd January 2022 / ” Malgré la brièveté de sa carrière, Alain Le Foll (1934-1981) est considéré comme l’un des plus grands dessinateurs français des années 1960-1970. Ses dessins publicitaires et ses illustrations ont contribué à façonner l’univers visuel de cette période. Parallèlement à ces travaux de commande, il a développé une œuvre personnelle, privilégiant le dessin et la lithographie. ” / good to know: Mondays & Tuesdays – 1 ticket bought = 1 ticket offered!

Maison Gribaldi (Evian)

[ RE-OPENING 2021 ]

Located just behind the Palais Lumière, the Maison Gribaldi is housed in a renovated buiding dating from the Renaissance, and is used for temporary exhibitions and to story the city’s archives (see here for history of the building) / 🗓 open from April until October each year / website;

address: ruelle du Nant d'Enfer, 74500, Évian-les-Bains / tel: 04 50 83 10 00;
Maison Garibaldi © Ville d’Evian
Château de Ripaille (Thonon-les-Bains)

At the 🏰 Château de Ripaille, there are regular temporary exhibitions, and there are plans in place to develop a rich cultural programme / website / there are lovely walks around the 🏰 Château de Ripaille, and the castle is very close to the old port, which has a lovely playground;

Chateau de Ripaille © montblancfamilyfun.com 
Musée de Préhistoire et Géologie (Sciez)

You’ll find plentiful workshops during the holidays at this museum! / parking: same parking as that for Les Aigles du Léman / FB page and website;

address: Musée de Préhistoire et Géologie, 207 route du Moulin de la Glacière, 74140, Sciez;
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© Musée de Préhistoire et Géologie
PRESILLY
La Maison du Salève (Présilly)

A visit to La Maison du Salève makes for a wonderful family day out, preferably on a fair weather day as the gardens are lovely and there are walks to enjoy en famille . . . originally an 18th century farm from the Chartreuse de Pomier, La Ferme de Mikerne has been renovated to host a cultural centre recounting the history of the Salève mountain and its environs: the permanent interactive exhibitions: « Le Salève, une montagne et des hommes » (aimed at children over the age of four) and «Le Salève côté nature» (children from 3 to 12 years) / 🗓 opening hours: all year, except January, 1st May, first Sunday in September and 25th December; Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, 14h to 18h; school holidays, Tuesday to Sunday, 14h to 18h; July and August, Tuesday to Sunday, 10h to 18h / price: adults 6€, children 6 to 18 years 3€ and free for children under 6 years / website;

[ good to know: pay once and come back a second time for FREE! Keep your ticket to the Maison du Salève; you can come back within the year for FREE, as long as you are accompanied by someone else who is paying for their own entrance! ]

address: 775 route de Mikerne,74160, Présilly / tel: + 33 (0)4 50 95 92 16;
La Maison du Salève © montblancfamilyfun.com

🖼 temporary exhibition: « La forêt: maison des animaux », until 2022;

© Maison du Salève

AIX-les-BAINS

Aqualis – l’éxperience lac (Aix-les-Bains)
Opened in 2019, Aqualis allows you to discover the Lac du Bourget in a modern museum, with workshops on offer, an escape game, guided visits, talks and more / FB page and website;
address: 52 esplanade Jean Murguet, Aix-les-Bains;
© Aqualis
Le Musée Faure (Aix-les-Bains)

🖼 Le Musée Faure, housed in a majestic 1900 villa donated to Aix-les-Bains by Docteur Jean Faure (1862-1942), hosts a rich collection of paintings and sculptures dating from 1850 to 1920. It also houses the second biggest French collection or Rodin sculptures! / website;

address: 10 boulevard des Côtes, 73100, Aix-les-Bains;

© Musée Faure
© Musée Faure

🖼 temporary exhibitions: CHEFS D’OEUVRES DU MUSÉE FAURE – Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita (1886-1968) – LES NUS DES ANNÉES 20 / ” du 19 Juin au 31 Octobre 2021 Le Musée Faure met à l’honneur deux chefs-d’oeuvre de sa collection : deux nus de l’artiste Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita (1886-1968), peintre d’origine japonaise emblématique des années folles à Montparnasse, qui sont entourés pour l’occasion de tableaux, de photographies et de gravures prêtés par des collectionneurs et de grands musées français “;

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© Musée Faure

LYON

There are 🖼 so many fabulous museums and temporary exhibitions on in Lyon – see here for a full list.

Musée des Confluences (Lyon)
Located at the 🌊 confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers (and hence the name of the museum!), 🖼 Le Musée des Confluences is immediately striking for its audacious modern architecture and its location on a presqu’île! (river peninsula). The permanent exhibition in the museum tells the story of mankind and looks at the origin of man, different cultures and the future of mankind too (exhibits from the first telephones to Egyptian mummies), and looks at the sciences of: anthropology, paleontology, minerology, ethnography and more! And then, there are also 🖼 temporary exhibitions too.

🖼 a couple of the current temporary exhibitions:

  • « L’oiseau rare, de l’hirondelle au kakapo » / see here;
  • « Une Afrique en Couleurs » / ” Loin des clichés noir et blanc et des sculptures de musées recouvertes d’une patine sombre et mystérieuse, cette exposition vous propose une immersion dans une Afrique où la couleur est reine. Statuettes, masques, parures de perles et pagnes multicolores racontent un univers foisonnant dans lequel s’entremêlent le profane et le sacré.” / see here;

[ full list of exhibitions here ]

La Sucrière – exposition & cultural centre 

In the heart of the docks area of Les Confluences in Lyon, you will find the emblematic industrial 1930s building 🖼 La Sucrière (once a sugar dépôt – hence the name – it was renovated in 2011), with its innovative and daring exhibitions / website & FB page;

address: 49-50 quai Rambaud, Lyon / tel: 04 27 82 69 40;

🖼 current exhibition: « Expo Saint-Exupéry » – celebrating 75 years since the first publication of this seminal work! / more information here / billeterie;

© La Sucrière

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Lugdunum – musée et théâtres romains

On our last visit to Lyon, I took the boys on the funiculaire up to the fabulous Lugdunum – musée et théâtres romains! Located on the Lyon hillside of Fourvière, Lugdunum is an incredible Roman archaeological site, now Unesco-labelled. I wanted to visit the museum (I love the architecture of this site!), but the boys began to have a mini-meltdown due to “too much walking” and hunger, so I decided to save a visit for our next trip! / website and FB page;

address: Lugdunum, 17 rue Cléberg, 69005, Lyon;

🖼 current exhibition: « Une Salade, César? La cuisine romaine de la taverne au banquet » – until 4th July 2021;

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© Lugdunum – Musée et Théatres Romains
Planétarium de Vaulx-en-Velin (Vaulx-en-Velin, near LYON)

Built in 1995, the Planétarium de Vaulx-en-Velin is dedicated to the study of astronomy and sciences of the universe / it is now the 9th most visited cultural establishment in the Lyon area / FB page and website / price: 10€ and 8€ for children under 12 years/ good to know: FREE on the first Saturday of the month! / also good to know: near Mini-World Lyon and WeRide indoor bike circuit;

address: Place de la Nation, Vaulx-en-Velin (near Lyon);
© Planétarium de Vaulx-en-Velin
Musée des Beaux Arts de Lyon

🖼 Le Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon is located on la place des Terreaux, in the heart of the Presqu’île, in an old XVIIth century Benedictine abbey. The old cloisters are now a jardin de sculptures, a peaceful spot in a busy city! ” Les collections encyclopédiques du musée présentent en cinq départements et 70 salles un panorama de grandes civilisations et d’écoles artistiques de l’Antiquité à nos jours ; elles offrent un parcours exceptionnel à travers 5 000 ans d’art et d’histoire. ” / website

🌊 current exhibition: « Hippolyte, Paul, Auguste: les Flandrin, artistes et frères » / reserve online here;

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© Musée des Beaux Art Lyon
© Musée des Beaux Art de Lyon
Mini World Lyon
The plus grand parc de miniatures animées en France ! / 3 different worlds to enjoy, spread across 3 000 m2 indoors  /open all year long! / restaurant La Place on-site / website & FB page;
🖼 current worlds:
  • Chérie, j’ai rétréci Lyon;
  • Les Aventuriers en briques LEGO® – the worlds of Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, Jacques Cousteau, the Titanic . . . (from 3rd October 2020) ;
address: 3 avenue de Bohlen, 69120, Vaulx-en-Velin, nr Lyon / tel: 04 28 29 09 19;

🇨🇭 SWITZERLAND

MARTIGNY
Fondation Pierre Gianadda (Martigny)

This fabulous museum in Martigny hosts a couple of temporary exhibitions every year, and in addition to these, the building itself is an architectural gem, and the sculpture garden is lovely, the leaves on the trees changing with each season (it is hence worth visiting this museum on a fine weather day, and not reserving it for a rainy day option!). The 🖼 Fondation Pierre Gianadda is three museums in one: there is the space dedicated to 🖼 the temporary exhibitions, there is a collection of Gallo-Roman artefacts (Musée Gallo-Romain), and there is a room in the basement with a collection of vintage cars (about fifty vehicles dating from 1897 to 1939)!  The museum is also used to host classical concerts /  / 🗓 opening hours: daily, from 10h to 18h November to June and from 9h to 19h June until November / price: adults CHF18, children CHF10 and families CHF38 / website;

address: rue du Forum 59, 1920, Martigny, Switzerland / tel: +41 (0)27 722 39 78;
  • 🖼 current exhibition: « Caillebotte: impressionniste et moderne »;
Affiche-Caillebotte-v3
© Fondation Pierre Gianadda
Barryland – Musée et Chiens du Saint Bernard

This museum is set across three floors, with the ground floor devoted to its Saint-Bernard dogs.  Visitors can view the dogs in their kennels and there is a large outdoor space where they play. At various stages during the day, there are some meet and greet moments with the dogs. On the first floor, visitors can learn about the history of the Great Saint-Bernard Pass and on the second floor there is an interactive exhibition about Saint-Bernard dogs, perfect for children.  The museum organises family activities and workshops on this floor / for more information, see MBFF post or website / good to know – you can often see a fresh batch of adorable puppies at the museum AND there is an incredible Easter egg hunt here on Easter Monday (tried and tested and so, so, so enjoyed by the MBFF team!), and a visit from le Père Noël at Christmastime / 🗓 opening hours: every day (except 24th & 25th December) 10h to 18h  / price: CHF12 and children 8+ years CHF 7 /

address: Fondation Barry-Barryland – Musée et chiens du Saint-Bernard, rue du Levant 34, 1920, Martigny, Switzerland / tel: +41 (0)27 720 49 20;
Musée des Sciences de la Terre: La Fondation Tissières Martigny

Located just off the main square in Martigny, this museum has some 💎 permanent exhibitions (alpine minerals, crystals & geology; a reconstructed mine; marble from Valais – see here), as well as temporary ones / website / 🗓 opening hours: Tuesday, Thursday and weekends 13h30 until 17h / price: adults CHF6, 11 to 18 year olds CHF3 and under 10s FREE!

address: avenue de la Gare 6, 1920, Martigny (same building as Office de Tourisme;
GENEVA & ENVIRONS

⌈ 🗓 good to know : in Geneva and Nyon, many museums and exhibitions are FREE on the first Sunday of the month! Here is the super website coovering Geneva’s many museums, with links direct to museum websites too ⌋

Botanical Gardens (Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques Genève)

There are sometimes 🖼 exhibitions at these 🌸 fabulous botanical gardens located near Lac Léman – either indoors in the greenhouses or library, or outdoors in the nature . . .

🖼 current exhibition: « Le Grand Bazar de l’Evolution » – until October 2021 / ( ” L’exposition raconte la longue histoire de la vie sur Terre, ses événements marquants, ses merveilles, ses surprises et ses trouvailles, depuis l’apparition dans l’eau des premiers êtres vivants il y a 3,5 milliards d’années aux enjeux actuels de la perte de biodiversité. Elle montre également comment des mécanismes simples comme la sélection, le hasard, la symbiose ou l’entrelacement entre espèces ont pu produire l’étonnante diversité du vivant. Avec un parti pris : celui de suggérer que nous devrions révolutionner notre regard sur la biodiversité qui nous entoure et dont nous faisons partie. Au travers de quatres pôles et de la mise en valeur des collections du Jardin, cette exposition vous fera également parcourir et découvrir une grande partie de votre Jardin botanique, du bord du lac jusqu’au bassin situé derrière le Jardin d’hiver. “);

Muséum de Genève (Natural History Museum)

The fabulous 🦁 Muséum de Genève (Natural History Museum) is still one of our go-to rainy day options! / see MBFF article for more details / 🗓 opening hours: 10h to 17h every day (except Monday) website / 🗓 good to know: on the first Sunday of the month, this museum’s temporary exhibitions are FREE!

address: 1 route de Malagnou, 1208, Geneva, Switzerland / tel: +41 (0) 22 418 63 00;
© Ville de Genève / Muséum Genève

🖼 NEW exhibitions from 25th September 2020 ⇒ 27th June 2021 (to celebrate 200 years!):

  • 🖼 « Wildlife Photographer of the Year »;
Wildlife Photographer of the Year © Muséum Genève
  • 🖼 « Bouteille à la mer 2120 – Te Ao Mãori »;
« Bouteille à la mer 2120 – Te Ao Mãori » © Ville de Genève / Muséum Genève
  • 🖼 « Trésors, 200 ans d’histoire naturelle à Genève »;
Trésors © 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 / 🔬 good to know: les mercredis des sciences – workshops for children / 🗺 also good to know: ask for the brochure to accompany the exhibition, and also the orienteering parcours leaflet for the park at the reception, and go explore! / 🗓 opening hours: 10h to 17h (shut Tuesday) / website / every two years, La Nuit de la Science takes place here;

🖼 NEW EXHIBITION: « Ecoute Voir » – until 27th February 2022 / more information here;

address: Parc de La Perle du Lac, 128 rue de Lausanne 1202, Geneva, Switzerland / tel: 41 22 418 50 60 
RTEmagicC_ecoutevoir980.jpg
© Muséum Histoire des Sciences Genève
MEG (Musée d’Ethnographie de Genève) 

The MEG is one of our favourite museums in Geneva . . . it is innovative and puts on fabulous temporary exhibitions, with accompanying workshops for families that are often inter-generational / 🖼 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 / 🗓 opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 11h to 18h / 🗓 good to know: on the first Sunday of the month, the MEG and its temporary exhibition are FREE, and there are lots of wonderful workshops on offer too / the MEG has a fabulous 🎨 children’s pack available for its temporary exhibitions, so be sure to ask about this at the entrance website / see MBFF article to read about planning a family visit;

There are 🎨 FREE children’s and family workshops and guided tours, especially 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);
  • 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Tohu Wa Bohu éveil musical for children 2+ years (from 15h to 15h45 and from 16h to 16h45);

🖼 upcoming exhibition: I was disappointed that we never got along to see « Jean Dubuffet, un barbare en Europe », our plans curtailed by Covid! / but onwards to the next big exhibition: « Injustice environnementale – Alternatives autochtones » – from 24th September 2021 until 21st August 2022 / MEG website information;

expo31_1
© MEG Genève
address: boulevard Carl-Vogt 65-67,1205, Geneva, Switzerland / tel: +41 (0)22 418 45 50 ;
« Amazonia » exhibition children’s pack at the MEG à Genève © montblancfamilyfun.com
MAH (Musée d’Art et d’Histoire)

The MAH in Geneva is housed in a magnificent building, and is one of the largest museums in Switzerland, displaying over 650 000 sculptures, objects and paintings over 5 floors / the MAH is free to visit, except for temporary exhibitions / more information: website or MBFF article;

⇒ current exhibitions at the MAH and the Maison Tavel here;

🌈 for children and families:

  • 🌈 the MAH has a great play area – Espace #mahfamily – next to the café/restaurant;
  • 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 guided visits for families: « Visites à tout petits pas » – one Wednesday per month at 10h30, 14h30 and 15h30 / each month, a new theme to discover the museum and its works with little ones 3 to 5 years (accompanied by an adult) / FREE and no reservations required;
  • 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 « Mercredis Family » at 15h on Wednesdays / an interactive visit for children 6 to 10 years (accompanied by an adult) / FREE and no reservations required;
address: rue Charles-Galland 2, 1206, Geneva; 
Musée Rath  (Geneva)

The 🖼 Musée Rath hosts the MAH’s larger temporary exhibitions / Located next to the Grand Théâtre and the Conservatoire de musique on la Place de Neuve, the 🏛 Musée Rath is a protected building since 1921. Open to the public in 1826, thanks to the generosity of the Rath sisters, it was the first museum of fine art in Switzerland, a « un temple des muses » / 🗓 opening hours: 11h to 18h / website

address: place Neuve, 1204, Geneve / tel: +41 (0)22 418 33 40; 
MAMCO (Musée d’art moderne et contemporain)

The MBFF family members are regular visitors to the 🖼 MAMCO in Geneva. This modern and contemporary art museum in the Plainpalais area of Geneva is innovative and often very interactive (some exhibitions allow a tactile approach; some NOT, so do check!) / 🗓 opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 12h to 18h website: www.mamco.ch / 🗓 first Sunday of the month, this museum is FREE!

🌈 for children and families, the MAMCO offers fabulous guided tours for children: 

  • 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Mini et Petit Rendez-Vous  on the first Wednesday of the month, there are shorter guided visits for smaller children (for 2 to 4 olds, with an accompanying adult AND  5 to 10 year olds with an adult) / duration: 20 – 45mins;
address: 10 rue des Vieux-Grenadiers, CH-1205, Genève / tel: +41 22 320 61 22;
Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève

The Contemporary Art 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 Romande, 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) / good to know: on the first Sunday of the month, this museum and its temporary exhibition are FREE / 🗓 opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 11h to 18h (shut Mondays) / website / price: 5CHF/€ and FREE for under 18s;

address: Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, rue des Vieux-Grenadiers 10, 1205 Genève / tel: + 41 22 329 18 42;

🎨  workshops & guided visits for children and families: 

  • 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 L’artiste & moi (enfants & familles) with artist Sofia Kouloukouri, discover the exhibitions / more information here;
  • 🎥 Les Mercredis de l’Animation – in collaboration with Animatou, Festival International du Film d’Animation de Genève / when? every second Wednesday of the month at 15h (except during the school holidays) / where? Cinéma Dynamo, 4th floor of Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève / for children 4+ years / 9 short films (duration around 45 mins) / FREE! / see here;
  • 🎨 Dessiner avec Mirek! – for young adults, 16+ years / see website for more details;
Red Cross & Crescent Museum

A museum decicated to the history and work of the Red and Crescent Cross / website / price (museum & temporary exhibition): adults 15CHF, 7CHF concessions, FREE for under 12s; price (temporary exhibition only): 5CHF / 🗓 opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday10h to 17h/18h / 🥗 good to know: there is a luminous, spacious self-service restaurant in the museum building (used frequently on weekdays by people working in the area), open Monday to Friday 7h30 to 16h30 and weekends 11h to 15h;

address: avenue de la Paix 17, 1202, Genève / tel: +41 (0)22 748 95 11;
© Red Cross Museum Geneva
Musée Ariana (Musée Suisse de la Céramique et du Verre)

The 🏺 Musée Ariana is located near the UN and the Red Cross Museum in Geneva / 🏛 history of the museum: the palatial neo-Classic, neo-Baroque building which houses the Musée Ariana was built at the end of the 19th century by generous collector Gustave Revilliod, always with the intention of it becoming a museum; he chose the name Ariana in honor of his mother, from whom he had inherited his fortune / there is a beautiful park to explore outside / 🗓 opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday (shut on Monday), 10h to 18h / price: FREE for permanent exhibition; temporary exhibitions CHF5/CHF8 and FREE for under 18s website / 🗓 good to know: temporary exhibition FREE each first Sunday of the month;

address: avenue de la Paix 10, 1202 Genève / tel: +41 22 418 54 54;

🎨  for children/families:

  • 🌈 Coin Enfants – a space for children to draw and discover books associated with the museum’s collection;
  • 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Les samedis des tout-petits – workshops for 2 to 4 year olds on Saturdays (paying);
  • 📱 Geologex – a treasure hunt on your Smartphone;
  • 📱 Pyrim de Cobalt: un mystère à l’Ariana – another treasure hunt on your Smartphone!
  • 🎨 for more information about workshops / services for families and children, see here;
  • 🏺 current exhibitions – see here;
Fondation Baur (Musée des Arts d’Extreme Orient)

🏛 This museum’s collection is dedicated to about 9000 objects from 🌸 China and Japan and the building is an end of XIXth century hôtel particulier. The man behind this collection of art was Alfred Baur (1865-1951), and since 1995, the museum has acquired more donations / 🎨 for family activities, see here (like Chinese 🐉 dragons, origami . . . ) / 🗓 opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday (shut Mondays) from 14h to 18h / price: permanent exhibition CHF10 and free for under 16s; temporary exhibition & permanent exhibition CHF15 and free for under 16s / website; 

address: 8 rue Munier-Romilly, 1206, Geneva / tel: +41 22 704 32 82;
© Fondation Baur
Le Musée Barbier-Mueller 

The 🏛 Musée Barbier-Mueller, located in the heart of the Vieille Ville in Geneva, displays Arts de l’Antiquité, de l’Afrique, de l’Asie et de l’Océanie / it was founded in 1977, and its function is to conserve, study and show a collection that was started by Josef Mueller in 1907 (a collection of tribal and classical art from many different civilisations) / the museum organises 🖼temporary exhibitions, and these are the works of art that the public gets to see / 🎨 children’s activities & guided tours: see website / FB page / 🗓 opening hours: every day from 11h to 17h;

address: rue Jean-Calvin, 10, 1204, Geneva / tel: +41 22 312 02 70;
© Le Musée Barbier-Mueller / photo Luis Lourenço
Quartier Libre SIG  

There are regular 🖼 temporary exhibitions at this super little exhibition space in central Geneva, on a tiny islet on the Rhône and next to Lac Léman:

📚 current exhibition: « Global Happiness »an interactive exhibition, organised in collaboration with Little Beaux-Arts and le Musée en Herbe, exploring street art from its origins until current day; exploring 50 street artists!  / FREE! / website;

address: Quartier Libre SIG, Pont de la Machine, 1204, Genève;

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Bibliothèque de Genève

You’ll find some interesting exhibitions at the Bibliothèque de Genève! / website;

address: Bibliothèque de Genève, Promenade des Bastions 1, 1211, Geneva;
Festival Geneva Lux (centre of Geneva)

Geneva Lux, the Ville de Genève‘s very own light festival runs for a week or so at the end of January, with 26 light installations (and 11 new ones, including the cute Anooki with their environmental message!) / see website for more information / TWO family parcours! / wrap up warmly for your evening stroll!

© Festival Geneva Lux
Sculpture Garden Bienniale (Le Parc des Eaux-Vives)

The first edition of 🎨 « Sculpture Garden » ran in the summer 2018 in the lovely 🌳 Le Parc des Eaux-Vives / sculptures and performances, a parcours to wander through;

© Espaces Contemporains
Exploracentre (Plainpalais, Geneva)

A new 🎨 exhibition / interactive centre in Geneva, where the only rule is that it is “ FORBIDDEN to NOT TOUCH ”! / informative, “ludique”, for the whole family / to learn about the world, science, how things work / 🗓 opening hours: Wednesday to Saturday 10h to 18h, Sunday’s 13h to 18h / price: adults (+16 years): 15CHF; children (3 to 15 years): 10CHF and combination prices / website;

UPDATE 2021 – sadly, for a centre where it is “ FORBIDDEN to NOT TOUCH ”, the Covid-19 pandemic hugely affected Exploracentre, and it had to move to a new, smaller location, due to lack of funds;

NEW address: 6 chemin de la Gravière, Geneva;
Exploracentre © montblancfamilyfun.com
Maison de la Créativité (Conches, Geneva) 

Not a museum, rather an interactive creative centre, the MBFF family are huge fans of 🎨 La Maison de la Créativité . . . a house and gardens full of treasures for children, wonderful workshops, an outdoor “kitchen”, a playground, incredibly welcoming staff . . . see MBFF article or website for more details / no need to reserve! / aimed at children up to the age of 6 years / price: 3CHF for children and adults 2+ years / 🗓 open to public: Wednesdays (9h30 until midday AND 14h30 to 17h30) AND one Saturday per month (9h30 to 12h and 14h30 to 17h30) AND during Swiss school holidays / ☀️ SHUT over summer holidays! / parking: on route de Florissant, and then a short walk (or bring draisienne!);

address: 7, chemin Calandrini, 1231, Conches, Switzerland / tel: +41(0)22 810 18 90;
Palexpo temporary exhibitions (Geneva)

The Geneva Palexpo is used for temporary exhibitions / here below, MBFF winners of free entrance to exhibition « The Art of the Brick » (tickets kindly offered by «The Art of the Brick »):

The Art of the Brick © montblancfamilyfun.com
Musée de Carouge (Carouge, nr Geneva)

The 🏛 Musée de Carouge is now OPEN again! opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 14h to 18h / FREE to visit! / website;

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© Musée de Carouge
address: Place de Sardaigne 2, 1227, Carouge / tel: +41 (0)22 307 93 80;
LAC LEMAN
NYON

In Nyon, a combined ticket covers entrance to all 3 museums in the town (and all three are FREE on a Sunday), valid 12 months

Musée du Léman & Aquarium

A museum dedicated to the history of Lac Léman and an aquarium too! / 🖼 new permanent exhibition: « Petite Nature? » (36 questions to decode the the secrets of the lake!) / 🗓 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 / CHF 7 per child (museum entrance free) / 🌈 super playground right next door and picnic spot! / website;

[ 🗓 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 ]

address: quai Louis-Bonnard 8, 1260, Nyon, Switzerland / tel: +41 (0) 22 316 42 50;

🖼 temporary exhibitions: 

  • 🌊 Un Tsunami sur le Léman – until 2022;
  • 🌊 Léman, bien plus qu’un lac;
Musée Romain de Nyon

The foundations of the basilica of the forum were discovered in 1974 and since 1979 the 🏛 Musée Romain has been here, within the walls, allowing visitors a glimpse into the world of ancient Noviodunum / 🗓 opening hours: November to March, Tuesday to Sunday, 14h to 17h; April to October, 10h to 17h / website;

address: rue Maupertuis 9, CH-1260, Nyon / tel: +41 22 316 42 80;
© Musée Romain de Nyon
© Musée Romain de Nyon
Le Château de Nyon 

Originally a maison forte (fortified house) dating from the middle of the 12th century, 🏰 the Château de Nyon was altered in the 16th century by the Bernese. After the Vaud Revolution of 1798, the castle was bought by the City of Nyon, and it therefore contains: courts, assemblies of the municipal council, prisons and, since 1888, the museum. The castle was completely restored between 1999 and 2006, and it holds a large collection of porcelain produced in the 18th century in the famous Nyon factory as well as objects that tell us about Nyon’s 3000 year history. It also offers temporary exhibitions devoted to historical themes or contemporary art / website;

🖼 current temporary exhibitions: there are regular temporary exhibitions / more information here;

address: Château de Nyon, Place du Château, CH - 1260 Nyon;
tel: +41 (0)22 316 42 73;
© Château de Nyon
© Château de Nyon
Château et Jardins de Prangins (near Nyon)
© Château de Prangins
LAUSANNE & environs

Lausanne has some wonderful museums; here is a small selection, with families in mind:

Musée Olympique (Lausanne)

We visited this museum with our boys a couple of winters ago, en-route back from the Montreux Christmas market . . . we had so much fun! It is really interactive and very pedagogic! Located right next to Lac Léman, it has a stunning setting with huge grounds for sporting fun! / 🥌 history of museum: the museum opened to the public in 1993 and was renovated in 2012 / 🥗the TOM café upstairs (stunning views) has a children’s menu *NB only brunch menu at the weekend!* / 🗓 opening hours: October to April, Tuesday to Sunday (shut Mondays), 10h to 18h; from May to October, daily from 9h to 18h / price: CHF19, children (6 to 16 years) CHF10 and under 6 years FREE / see website for more details;

🖼 current exhibition: « Sport Manga » – until November 2011;

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© Le Musée Olympique Lausanne

[ 🌳 Olympic Park – there is a lot of fun to be had with kids outside the museum, in the grounds overlooking Lac Léman . . . you’ll find sculptures, including the Footballers of Niki de St Phalle ]

address: The Olympic Museum, 1 quai d'Ouchy, 1006, Lausanne, Switzerland / tel: +41 21 621 65 11;
Espace des Inventions (Lausanne)

The 🖼 Espace des Inventions in Lausanne is a place for families and children to experience and experiment with science, technology and art, through its exhibitions / 🗓 opening hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 14h to 18h and Sunday and bank holidays, 10h to 18h / price: children CHF5, adults CHF7 / website;

address: Vallée de la Jeunesse 1, 1007, Lausanne, Switzerland / tel: +41 (0)21 315 68 80;

🌳 current exhibition: « Tic tac tectonique » – until December 2021;

© Espace des Inventions
Plateforme 10 (Lausanne)
The new quartier des arts (art district) in Lausanne! The industrial and rail storage area, near the current train station, has been transformed by architects into a contemporary art and culture space25’000m2 now houses several museums:
  • Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts (mcb-a);
  • Musée de l’Elysée (Musée cantonal de la photographie);
  • mudac (Musée de design et d’arts appliqués contemporains);

website and FB page;

address: Place de la Gare 16, 1003, Lausanne, Switzerland;
Fondation de l’Hermitage

Located in a 19th century building, and surrounded by a park, la Fondation de l’Hermitage has temporary exhibitions devoted to les beaux-arts, from the Renaissance to today! / website;

🌳 current exhibition: HANS EMMENEGGER (1866-1940) / ” Pour la première fois en Suisse romande, une rétrospective montre une centaine de tableaux du peintre lucernois Hans Emmenegger. Sa modernité dialogue avec celle de ses pairs (Böcklin, Hodler, Vallotton, etc.) et celle d’artistes contemporains inspirés par son travail (Bachmann, Party, Schnider, etc.). Une carte blanche à de jeunes photographes de l’ECAL met également en résonance son oeuvre avec les travaux de la nouvelle génération.

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© Fondation de l’Hermitage
Aquatis Aquarium & Vivarium in Lausanne

We’ve not visited yet, but the new 🐟 Aquatis Aquarium & Vivarium in Lausanne has been open to the public since October 2017 / 🥗 restaurant on-site: Piranha, with a view on the piranha pool! / 🗓 opening hours: November until March 10h to 18h, every day; April until October 9h to 19h, every day / price: CHF29, children (5 to 15) CHF19, under 5s FREE / see website for more details;

address: AQUATIS Aquarium-Vivarium,route de Berne 144, 1010, Lausanne, Switzerland / tel: +41 (0)21 654 23 23; 
© Aquarium Vivarium Aquatis Lausanne

[ for more information about the ensemble of Lausanne museums, see here ]

VEVEY
Villa “Le Lac” Le Corbusier (Corseaux, near Vevey)

La Villa “Le Lac” is a small house built by famous Swiss architect Le Corbusier for parents in 1923, in Corseaux. Since 2010, it is a museum structure offering: temporary exhibitions, an eduction centre working with higher education and the building is (since 2016) listed in Patrimoine Mondial de l’UNESCO / 🗓 opening hours: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 11h until 17h / website;

address: route de Lavaux 21, Corseaux;

🖼 current exhibition: Dans le sillage du villa – until September 2021;

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Chaplin’s World (Vevey)

Located above Vevey, and with 3000m2 of grounds, this unique centre was 🌳 Charlie Chaplin’s home and gardens! Today, it is an interactive museum that tells the life of the cinematic icon Charles Spencer Chaplin . . . a temple to one of the great 20th century artist! / see website for more details and prices;

address: route de Fenil 2, 1804, Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland;
nest (Vevey)

🍫 nest is a museum dedicated to Henri Nestlé and 🍫 the Nestlé brand . . . it is also ☕️ a café and restaurant (Sunday brunches) . . . its current incarnation will be in place until September 2019, after which the museum’s interactive parcours will take a digital turn . . . / 🍫 current parcours: discover the orginal factory, through immersive experience Fondations, Vevey of the XIXth century . . . continue through Zeitgeist (here you get to touch, open and question the Nestlé archives . . . next comes Forum , a tactile experience, allowing you to understand the food challenges . . . and finish with enigmatic Visions, which explores innovation . . . / 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 for the minis, a Mini Fabrique, where little ones are encouraged to play and get to scan their food items / price: adults: 18CHF and children 7,50CHF / 🗓 opening hours: from 10h until 18h April until October / website;

address: chaussée de la Guinguette 10, CH-1800, Vevey / tel: +41 21 924 40 40;
Musée Suisse du Jeu (La Tour-de-Peilz)

A scenic location in a castle overlooking Lac Léman, this museum tells the 🎲 history of games (5000 years of history!) . . . and lets you play some of them too! / restaurant on-site: Joker / 🗓 opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 11h until 17h30 / website and reviews;

address: rue du Château 11; CH-1814, La Tour-de-Peilz / tel: +41 (0)21 977 23 00;
Château de Vullierens sculptures (Vullierens)

A visit to the 🏰 Château & Domaine de Vullierens is an absolutely FABULOUS FAMILY VISIT: a manor house, 🎋 beautiful iris gardens, 🌳 a magical forest for children, views of the mountains . . . and over 80 sculptures are dotted across the 30 hectares of land, from 21 Swiss and international artists! (read more about the sculptures and sculptors here);

The 🏰 Domaine de Vullierens has belonged to the same family for over 700 years, with the Mestral family residing here ever since the completion of the current castle by Gabriel-Henri de Mestral in 1745. A 🎋 collection of irises at Vullierens was created by Doreen Bovet, the Californian wife (and mother of the current owner of Vullierens!) of Bernard Bovet de Mestral, and the 🎋iris gardens attract many visitors (and are a work of art in themselves). The sculptures in the gardens fit so aesthetically, and are a beautiful addition to the gardens – Étienne Krähenbühl‘s Le Bing Bang is donged every day at at 15h! Children will delight in 🦎 Le Royaume du Roi Lézard, a magical forest with so much to discover (be sure to ask for the map at the entrance). A visit to these beautiful gardens comes highly recommended by MBFF (article to come!) / see website for more details;

address: Les Jardins du Château de Vullierens, CH-1115, Vullierens, Switzerland;

🇮🇹 ITALY

AOSTA VALLEY
Forte di Bard (Bard) 

This 🏰 impressive fortess, which you may have driven past if heading up or down the Aosta Valley, was entirely renovated a few years back to accommodate🖼 a cultural complex: temporary exhibition spaces, museums, accommodation and hospitality all together! The 🏰 Forte di Bard opened to visitors in 2006, and you can now make your way to the exhibitions and museums at the top of the fortress by way of a series of funiculaires; not only do you get art and culture, but adventure en-route!  The views from the top are amazing and there is a lovely café/restaurant. The museums on offer here are:

[ for more details about the wonderful 🏰 Forte di Bard, or to plan a family visit, please see MBFF article or website ]

As well as regular, changing art exhibitions, every year the 🏰 Forte di Bard hosts the fabulous 🦁📷 Wildlife Photographer of the Year from February until June (this year, until August 2021) / see MBFF article for more information;

RTEmagicC_wildlife980.jpg
Wildlife Photographer of the Year © Muséum Genève

to see a list of the 🖼 current temporary exhibitions, see here ]

address: Forte di Bard, 1020, Bard (AO) Valle d’Aosta, Italy / tel: +39 0125 833811;
Castello Gamba (Châtillon) 

Another juxtaposition of 🏰 castle and 🖼 modern & contemporary art in the Aosta Valley! This time in the town of Châtillon, a renovated 20th century castle now houses the region’s art collection . . . and also, not to be missed are the most 🌳 magnificent gardens & park surrounding the castle, with a majestic California redwood and more! / highly recommended by MBFF! / website / read more about our family’s visit in separate article here;

Roman ruins (Aosta)

With the same ticket, you can visit lots of these 🏛 Roman ruins in Aosta (your ticket gives you entry for a year): the Roman theatre, the Forensic cryptoporticus (Augustan era), the early Christian Basilica of San Lorenzo and the regional Archaeological Museum / more information / 🗓 opening hours: October to March daily 10h to 13h and 14h to 17h; April to September daily 9h to 19h / price: 7€, under 18s 2€ and FREE for children under 6 years;

address: Aosta, Italy / tel: (+39) 335 7981505;

8 thoughts on “MUSEUMS & EXHIBITIONS beyond the Pays du Mont-Blanc

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