Geneva – FREE museums on first Sunday of the month!

Throughout the year in Geneva (and also from October until May in Cluses & Annecy) many of the museums and their 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.  See here for more details about this fantastic initiative! *NB – this initiative does not apply to private collections*

The next FREE Sunday will be this Sunday 3rd June 2018!

Here, below, is a brief description of some of the museums in Geneva involved 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 our 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 displayed 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 MBFF post for more details about the Natural History Museum;

«Fourmis» – the current temporary exhibition at the Muséum in Geneva © Muséum de Genève / Ville de Genève
Natural History Museum, Geneva ©
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 / *good to know – 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 current temporary exhibition at the MEG in Geneva is: «Afrique: les religions de l’extase», 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 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

Sunday 3rd June workshops & guided visits:

  • guided tour: Grand Bazar  «Dialoguer avec les puissances de l’au-delà Minkisi et autres objets-force» – 14h / 14h30 / 15h / 15h30 / 16h / 16h30, and duration: 20 minutes / all public, families / no reservations / “les minkisi sont peut-être les objets qui ont le plus marqué les Européens lors de leur découverte de l’Afrique. Assimilés à la sorcellerie et à la violence, ils ont alimenté le fantasme d’une Afrique plongée dans l’obscurantisme” – MEG;
  • Le baby Bazar  from 14h to 16h30 (with a pause from 15h15 to 15h30 / for children 0 to 2 years, with accompanying adult / no reservations required;
  • Cap sur l’Afrique avec Tohu Wa Bohu – from 15h to 15h45 AND 16h to 16h45 – for children 2+ years, with accompanying adult / no reservations required /;
  • guided tour: Grand Bazar «Objet-force à chacun son nkisi» – from 14h until 17h  “imaginez votre propre nkisi, objet réceptacle des puissances de l’au-delà, invoqué dans certaines cultures africaines lorsqu’un individu ou une communauté se sent affligé-e ou menacé-e. Fabriquez-le au cours de cet atelier et découvrez ensuite de vrais objets-force dans les expositions” – MEG;
Fabrication nkisi © MEG

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 exhibition: Rasheed Araeen & Vaclav Pozarek – «We Began By Measuring Distance» until 9th September 2018 / opening hours on Sunday: 12h to 18h / address: 10 rue des Vieux-Grenadiers, CH-1205, Genève / tel: +41 22 320 61 22 / website:

© MAMCO / Yûichi Yokoyama
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 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) / current exhibition: «Goran Trbuljak: une rétrospective» until 19th August 2018 (conceptual artist, «New Art Practice») / opening hours on Sunday: 11h to 18h / Akademinis(Sunday 3rd & Sunday 17th) –“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)

The MAH’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 current exhibition is one of THE spring events in 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» – 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 around 100 of Hodler’s works, with the theme of parallélisme / more information about family events/workshops here / opening hours on Sunday: 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 current temporary exhibition at this museum of ceramics and glass is: «Potières d’Afrique – Voyage au coeur d’une tradition contemporaine», until 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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