The long weekend of the year is almost here and it is time to explore Switzerland! Have you already decided what you would like to do this Easter together with your family?
Yet another year Switzerland has not put all eggs in one basket and offers Easter activities from A to Z, whether that would be watching a natural wonder, experiencing old local traditions, or doing something a bit bizarre... And of course, do not forget the good, old-fashioned egg hunts – the various things to do will carry away both young and old.
Go ahead and discover what Switzerland has to offer during the 2019 Easter holidays!
Buchs: Easter Chocolate Moulding in Chocolat Freys Visitor Centre (April 2 - 16)
Chocoholics, beware: At the Frey chocolate factory, you will get to create two Easter chocolate bars of your liking. Whether you pick white, milk or dark chocolate topped with special Easter sprinkles, this will be a unique souvenir for children and adults alike. Admission including the molding is 19 francs for children or 24 francs for adults.
Greifensee: International Easter Egg Exhibition at the castle (April 6 from 10 AM – 6 PM, April 7 from 10:30 AM – 5:30 PM)
Get into the Easter mood and enjoy some unconventional art at the Greifensee castle. There, more than 40 artists from all over Europe will present their colorful manifestations of egg paintings on a level you have not seen before.
But that's not all! The traditional Greifensee Easter market is taking place right outside the castle. We sure had fun there on our last visit! During both days, the cozy Schlosskafi cafe will open its doors for thirsty visitors.
Nyon: Easter Market (April 13 - 14, 8:30 AM - 6:30 PM) and decorated fountains (April 13 - 28)
On the pre Easter Sunday, Nyon will host its Easter market along the Rue de Rive. You can expect local specialties and crafts, activities for children, as well as seeing a very special town’s Easter landmark.
A part of an old custom, the pretty lakeside town of Nyon is turning its public water fountains into Easter monuments. For a couple of weeks every year, local clubs volunteer to decorate Nyon and get it ready for spring. You could combine the Easter market with a stroll through the old town to see these beautified fountains with colorful ribbons, twigs, flowers and eggs.
Luzern: Natur-Museum (April 16 - 28, 10 AM - 5 PM)
This must be one of the fluffiest and chirpiest Easter traditions in Switzerland. Natur-Museum Luzern invites you to a natural spectacle – seeing baby chicks hatch from their egg shells.
Due to a change in the Swiss law you will not be able to pet them anymore but still can watch them closely as they spend their first days in this world. You can surely see them pecking around during and after the Easter break. The exhibition will also provide curious facts about poultry farming and in the workshops, young and old can take part in creating Easter-themed handicrafts. The museum is open daily during the Easter holidays.
Mendrisio: Historical Easter Processions (April 18 - 19)
If eggs and bunnies is not really your thing, head to Mendrisio in Ticino to see the Easter processions in Mendrisio have hundreds of years of history, and they are still making their way through the old town during the week before Easter.
This is a unique event and atmosphere – one-of-a-kind, with the streets being illuminated only by the soft glow of transparenti lanterns. As a way of representing the crucifixion of Christ, the roughly 700 people in the parade are dressed in historic costumes such as Roman soldiers or various biblical figures.
(Photograph copyright ticino.ch)
Aarau: Naturama Museum (April 19 – 21, 10 AM - 5 PM)
Again this year, the Naturama Museum in Aarau presents an Easter program full of surprises. You and your kids will get to witness chicks hatching, learn about bunnies, decorate Easter cookies, participate in workshops and do other Easter-related activities.
Free admission for kids below six years of age. For adults, add two francs to the regular admission.
Aathal: Sauriermuseum (April 19 – 22, 10 AM - 6 PM)
Easter is a perfect time to remember that the chickens that provided all those eggs are actually descendants of dinosaurs! Although there will not be any free roaming chickens at the Sauriermuseum in Aathal this Easter, plenty of other activities are sure to captivate your family.
On Friday and Monday from 12 - 3 PM, your children can set their imagination free and enjoy a workshop to color a wooden dinosaur. And on Sunday at 2 PM, there will be a guided museum tour. For the detectives among you, there is a scavenger hunt through the museum to collect clues and solve a puzzle.
All activities are included in the museum admission fee.
(Photograph copyright Sauriermuseum Aathal)
Lugano: Pasqua in Città Easter Festival (April 19 - 22, 11 AM - 6 PM)
Easter is taking over Lugano, and the locals have thought up a fun program. The main squares hold about 100 stalls where it is be possible to try and purchase many local specialties such as foods, wine and crafts.
The pedestrian area is dedicated to various street and musical performances, and the little ones will not be forgotten, either: From Saturday to Monday, there will be an Easter egg hunt for families at the lakeside Parco Ciani and various other activities such as face painting or horse riding in other locations across the city.
(Photograph copyright Lugano Region)
Montreux: Polymanga Anime Convention (April 19 - 22 from 10 AM – 8:30 PM, April 2 from 10 AM – 6:30 PM)
If your family is into manga cartoons and you are up for an unconventional Easter weekend, the Polymanga Anime Convention is the event for you. The biggest video game, pop culture and manga event in Switzerland gathers more than 40'000 visitors every year! On April 22, look out for the fourth annual Global Easter Cosplay where the top ten will be awarded a prize.
Tickets for Polymanga are 28 francs per day, or 50 francs for a festival pass. Free admission for children below six years of age.
(Photograph copyright Polymanga)
Bern: Easter Egg Bashing at Kornhausplatz (April 21, 10 AM – 2 PM)
If you go to the Kornhausplatz on Easter Sunday morning, you will experience an old Bernese tradition: Eiertütschete. It is a special sight with all generations in all seriousness getting together in a massive egg fight. All you have to do is bring some boiled eggs of your own and join this Egg Demolition Derby!
The rules are simple: The winner keeps the loser's egg. If you end up with only one side of the egg beaten, listen for people shouting "Spitze" – the pointy part of egg, or "Füdeli" – the lower part or "butt", so you can fight with the same part. If you would rather watch and enjoy the atmosphere, simply bring some food and drinks with you and join people having a picnic under the arches of the historic Kornhaus.
(Photograph copyright Mano Reichling)
Frutigen: An exotic egg hunt inside the tropical greenhouse of Tropenhaus Frutigen (April 21 - 22, from 10 AM - 4 PM)
For two days this spring, Switzerland's greenhouse is going to open their jungle trail to the Easter bunny. He is going to hide colorful eggs underneath equally colorful plants such as banana or papaya trees. While the parents can indulge in a delicious meal at the onsite restaurant, children up to the age of 12 can roam the weatherproof trails of the Tropenhaus Frutigen.
(Photograph copyright Tropenhaus Frutigen/Facebook)
Bremgarten: Easter Market in the Historic Old Town (April 22, 8 AM - 6 PM)
Said to be one of Switzerland's biggest Easter markets, the charming old town of Bremgarten has seen this tradition go on for more than 800 years! From 8 AM to 6 PM on Easter Monday, you can expect some 90 merchants selling their Easter themed crafts. On top, there will be special attractions for the kids.
Uster: The Blue Easter Egg Swim (April 22, 2 PM – 8 PM)
The Swiss have showed countless times that ice cold water does not scare them. The Blaueierschwimmen is just another proof of that. This relatively new Easter tradition has gained more and more popularity since 2004 and now gathers around brave 300 swimmers whose task is to jump into the lake to fetch a blue egg (finders-keepers!).
As a reward, a hot egg soup, egg liquor, and eggs ready for bashing await the participants. You can join in to try your luck in getting one of the blue eggs or simply watch people chasing them and enjoy the fun atmosphere at the lakeside.
Zürich: Playing Zwänzgerle, a traditional Easter custom in Zürich (April 22, 10 AM)
Being the business center of Switzerland, even Zurich's egg bashing tradition literally involves throwing money around. Zwänzgerle works as follows: At the Rüdenplatz on Easter Monday, children would hold a colored egg in their hands while adults would toss a 20 Rappen coin at it, trying to make the egg crack.
If the coin sticks, the thrower gets both the egg and the money. If they miss, the kid gets to keep both!
- Read our child-proof explanation of the Easter Bunny tradition!