Zuri Girl knows how it can sometimes be…the kids are running around ragged and you’ve exhausted all local options…the daily grind needs a bit of spruce and the kiddies need a bit of excitement.
Head to Ticino where there are a plethora of family friendly activities designed to encourage education, exploration and, of course, fun!
Below is a round up of Family Friendly activities in the Ticino Region, but first things first, getting there! Although cars are often easier with packing all the necessary goods, the Gotthard highway is not the best for potty-training-toddlers as traffic is often synonymous with this route. Zuri Girl’s insider tip is to take the alternate route via San Bernardino or better yet, hop on the good ‘ol reliable choo choo.
On Locarno bound trains, the SBB offers a 1st class Panorama Section with oversized windows allowing plenty of opportunities for kiddos to play fun games like being the “first to spot a cow” or “which mountain is the highest”. Zuri Girl recommends pre-reserving seats to ensure the entire family can sit together (unless, of course, you might be secretly hoping for some alone time).
Ticino Family Friendly Activities
About: This is an amazing experience where grand, gorgeous birds swoop down so close, they sometimes skim audience’s hats & sunglasses! During a 45-minute show led by traditional huntsmen (and huntsladies), eagles, hawks and owls with wing spans measuring over 2 meters long fly through the air, run along the grounds and amaze the kids with their close encounters.
Location: Locarno. Via delle scuole 12, 6600 Locarno (map). A bus stop is approximately a 20 minute walk so the best option is traveling by auto with limited, but free parking out front.
Cost: CHF 15 children 5-16 years old / CHF 20 adults
Dates / Times: From 17 March – 4 November every Tuesdays to Sundays feature two 45-minute shows / day at 11.00 & 15.00
Additional Information: Website
Zuri Girl Inside Tip: The narration is conducted in German and Italian, but for small groups, as little as 10, English special performances are available as well as pre or post show tours. Call in advance to arrange.
Thrill the Teenager
About: A bit of a cross between rafting without a raft, mountain climbing without the height and an invigorating thrill of exploring natural cliffs, water slides and catching a good view along the way.
Location: Valley Verzasca, a short journey from the main town of Locarno.
Cost: CHF 155 per person for 6 hours including equipment (suits, shoes, helmet, etc) lunch and transfers from Locarno.
Dates / Times: Varies, based on your request
Additional Information: Website
Zuri Girl Inside Tip: Go on a warm day as even with a Neopreen Suit on, the water gets a bit chilly!
Activity: Monte Tamaro Adventure Park
About: After ascending by cable car up 1,530 metres to Alpe Foppa, the adventure beings. Families will journey through the adventure course swinging from trees, crossing tight ropes and feeling the thrill of soaring through the forest via the ropes course.
Location: 6802 Rivera Monteceneri (map)
Cost: Varies from CHF 12 – CHF 45 based on route / age
Dates / Times: 9.00 – 17.00 with an extended opening until 18.00 in July & August
Additional Information: Website
Zuri Girl Inside Tip: There are 3 routes for children in age groups 4, 7 and 9 years old so no worries about it being too easy or boring if your kids are varying ages.
Activity: Two Maids a Milking
About: Organize a small group of 8 for an up close look and hands on experience in Mountain Cheese Production. Your cheesemaker guide will explain the cheese making process, demonstrate the manufacturing stages, give an up close tour of the production and even help you make cheese that will be sent home to you.
Location: Caseficio demostrativo del Gottardo SA 6780 Airolo (map)
Cost: Based on group size and experience
Dates / Times: Based on group size and experience
Additional Information: German / French Website or call directly +41 (0) 91 869 11 80
Zuri Girl Inside Tip: Incorporate a luncheon into your visit in the delicious restaurante which features cheese (what else?) dishes like Rösti al Formaggio, Raclette and Torta al Formaggio.
Activity: Lido Locarno
About: We love that Lido Locarno caters to various age groups. With 8 pools, 2 of which are dedicated to children up to 5 years and one featuring a 1meter to 10meter diving boards for the big brothers & sisters. Plus 4 water slides also for various age groups fro the tiny toddlers of 6 to the ore adventures teenagers.
Location: Via Gioacchino Respini 11, 6600 Locarno (map)
Cost: Begins at CHF 12 and based on entry pass
Dates / Times: Mondays to Sundays from 8.30 – 21.00 and Thursdays from 6.30 – 21.00
Additional Information: Website, or call directly +41 (0) 91 759 90 00
Zuri Girl Inside Tip: Pick up the Events magazine fro the Lago Maggiore Tourist Office and find a 20% entry coupon.
Activity: Swissminiatur, Open Air Museum
About: Educate your little ones on the country they call home. Explore Switzerland by traveling through the entire country compacted into a 14,000 m2 open-air museum. Connected by traditional links like boats, funiculars, cable cars and railways stands 120 building models at a scale of 1:25 set amongst green and floral landscapes (sounds accurate, right). After touring enjoy the parks facilities including a picnic area, children’s play area and kid’s train.
Location: 6815 Melide-Switzerland (map)
Cost: CHF 12 children 6-15 years old / CHF 19 adults / Free children under 5. Significant discounts for families and groups of 15+
Dates / Times: Daily from 9.00 – 18.00 during March – October
Additional Information: English Website or call directly +41 (0) 91 640 10 60
Zuri Girl Inside Tip: If Lugano is too far of a day trip to leave poochie at home, bring him along! Dogs are welcomed at Swissminiatur.
PS. If you plan on spending several days in the Region, purchase the Ticino Discovery Card. Valid for 3 days and with special kids prices, the Ticino Discovery Card offers franc savvy savings including free public transport and entry to excellent Family Friendly activities including the Falconeria, Lido Locarno and several mountain funiculars.
This article was created in collaboration with
and supported by Switzerland Tourism.
The site www.MySwitzerland.com provides excellent resources and holiday inspirations. If you’d like a copy of their Switzerland Activation Kit complete with information, maps and brochures, please email your name, post address and country of origin to info@myGirlfriendGuide.com.