Rainy Days: What to do with Kids in Zurich? 25 Tips

When the weather app shows a little cloud with water droplets, I sigh preemptively. After two hours in the apartment at the most, the children get cabin fever and come up with superfun ideas that then lead to a new paint job or a liability claim.

We need entertainment!

And no, I’m not the outdoor mom. I have about as much in common with “there’s-no-bad-weather-only-bad-clothing” parents wrapped up in softshell jackets as I do with militant “only-wooden-toys-for-my-children” mothers. So the chances that we’ll be fighting over the seesaw during a hail shower are basically zero.

Indoors does not necessarily mean better. I have just as little interest in these dark, plastic rooms full of bouncy castles and trampolines, screaming with primary colors and the latent smell of hot dogs in the nose.

So, it’s difficult. With me, I mean. A total kids’ entertainment snob.

Zurich in the rain with kids – my cheat sheet

By the way, I have not yet found the ultimate, central, affordable solution appropriate for all ages in Zurich and surroundings (the new indoor play center in Bern comes pretty close), but I do have a relatively long list of alternatives. Here we go, loosely in order:

#1 The Play Area in the Bookshop Orell Füssli Kramhof

Directly across from Coop City St. Annahof (tram stop Rennweg), on the third floor, there’s a tree for climbing, used children’s books to read and, best of all, the highlight: A family restroom with a changing table, big enough to bring the stroller in. There’s also a Starbucks on the same floor.

For ages 0-6, fun for roughly 15-60 minutes.

Zurich in the rain with kids - tips from www.anyworkingmom.com
Formel Fun: Only dumb when someone drives in the other direction.

#2 Indoor Play Center Formel Fun in Bülach

Formula Fun has rescued many a rainy day for us. Light, airy and inviting, with trampolines, a race track, a maze, a giant climbing structure and a ball pit for the little ones. You only have to comfort your kids now and then when all the trampolines are full. Only disadvantage: A little bit out of the way.

For ages 0-12, fun for 1-5 hours.

# 3 Transa Europaallee

My insider tip. In Transa, there’s a climbing wall, a slide, a reading corner and an ant farm to watch. It’s not worth an outing in itself, but it’s a good stopover to quickly let off some steam.

For ages 2-7, fun for about 10-60 minutes.

Zurich with Kids on a Rainy Day - Tips from www.anyworkingmom.com
Climbing wall in a sports store.

# 4 Swimming, When it’s Cold Outside

Of course there are pools everywhere, but here are my child-friendly favorites with water that’s not too cold.

For all ages. Fun until your feet shrivel up.

For even more fun, print out the Pool Time Bullshit-Bingo (in German) and take it along.

# 5 Community Centers

There are Zurich Community Centers everywhere from Affoltern to Zollikon and they all have different things to offer. Most have playgrounds and some have cafés or play rooms. My favorite: Quartiertreff Enge.

For all ages. Fun for 1-3 hours.

# 6 Luusmuus.ch, Family Center and Café

The Luusmuus – or Loose Moose – is still relatively new.  Besides the café in Egg (near Zurich), kids can spend time in a supervised play room (for a fee). In addition to courses, a bilingual play group will be taking place.

Play room – child care for ages 3 and up; younger kids must be accompanied by parents. Fun for 1 – 3 hours.

# 7 Zoological Museum of the University of Zurich

The classic. Free entrance and a whole lot of stuffed animals. Even the very little ones like it.

For ages 1-7, fun for 30 minutes-2 hours.

Dead animals. Photo (c) Zoological Museum.

Zürich mit Kindern bei Regen - Tipps von www.anyworkingmom.com Copyright (c) Zoologisches Museum der UZH
variety of African animals; and there are so many more to discover from all over the world!

# 8 National Museum Zurich

The exhibit “tierisch schweizerisch” (“Swiss Bestiary”) (until 11.3.2018) in the lower level is aimed at kids, with a lot of peepholes to look through, caves to explore and even a ball pit. Unfortunately not stroller friendly.

For ages two and up, fun for 1-2 hours.

# 9 FIFA World Football Museum, Zurich

A must for football fans. A can-do for everyone else.

From around 3-5 years old. Fun for 1-2 hours.

Photo (c) FIFA Fussballmuseum

# 10 Migros Park im Grünen, Rüschlikon

When the weather is nice, the so-called Dutti Park is above all a great park with a playground, donkeys to pet and puppet theater in summer. When it’s raining, there’s an indoor playground with a Migros restaurant.

For ages 1-5, fun for 30 minutes-2 hours.


# 11 Migros City, Zurich

Migros Restaurant with an indoor play area and a playground outside.

For ages 2-5, fun for 30-60 minutes.

# 12 Kindercity Volketswil

A large complex with cinema, various “knowledge lanes” and a factory-laboratory where kids can do things like make chocolate or dig a dinosaur skeleton. The “knowledge lanes” are cool and have a lot to discover – but they are expensive, since adults pay full price.

For ages 2-12, fun for 1-4 hours.

# 13 Indoor Playgrounds

As I said, you’re not very likely to meet me here, but for the sake of thoroughness:

# 14 Minicity in Sihlcity Shopping Center

This is my idea of a ‘kids’ paradise.’ You sign the kids in and they stay alone in the kiddie city.

For ages 3 and up; kids 2 and up can also play Mo-Fr from 9-12.

For ages 2-8, fun for 1-3 hours.

No adults required. Photo (c) Kindercity.

# 15 Zurich Tram Museum

Old trams, ticket machines and model versions of trams.

For ages 2-6, fun for 1-2 hours.

# 16 Active Sundays from the ETH Zürich

Exciting movement landscapes in the Sport Center ETH Hönggerberg for children up to 8 years. Active Sundays take place on the following Sundays: 28 January / 25 February 2018 / 25 March 2018. Admission free.

For ages 2-8, fun for 1-3 hours.

Photo from the Sport Center ETH Hönggerberg.

# 17 North American Native Museum

Why did Native Americans hunt buffalo? And why did the white men almost cause the animals to become extinct? Children ask difficult questions in NONAM – but it’s worth it. On the top floor there is a craft corner, and the NONAM also regularly hosts NonaMINI afternoons.

Ages 2 and up, fun for 1-2.5 hours.

Zurich in the rain with kids - tips from www.anyworkingmom.com
Look interested: check. NONAM North American Native Museum, top floor.

# 18 “Tiny Big World” Exhibit – Verkäuferlilädeli and Miniatures im Haus Appenzell

Old vendor shops from all over the world. Exhibit through 28 April 2018. Admission: Free.

Ages 2 and up, fun for 1-2 hours.

# 19 Dinosaur Museum Aathal

What actually happened to Dino-baby Toni, and why is he called Toni, anyway? Come in and find out: The Dinosaur Museum has EVERYTHING about dinosaurs – from movie posters to real, fossilized dinosaur skin. Somewhat confusing, and almost impossible to cover everything on the first visit (the 24th visit goes smoothly, however. For private tours, please contact my son.).

From about 2 years, fun for 2-4 hours.

Zurich in the rain with kids - tips from www.anyworkingmom.com

Zurich in the rain with kids - tips from www.anyworkingmom.com

# 20 Pestalozzi Bibliothek Zürich (Public Library)

Insider tip from a friend. Worth a visit even when there’s not a special event.

From around 9 months, fun for 1-2 hours.

# 21 Kulturama

This museum near the Kunsthaus deals with evolution. Spread over three floors, you’ll find everything about the history of development and humankind. What impressed me: Real shrunken heads.

From around 2 years, fun for 1-3 hours.

Zurich in the rain with kids - tips from www.anyworkingmom.com
Cheetah? Leopard? Tiger….. He’ll know better than me. In Kulturama.

Zurich in the rain with kids - tips from www.anyworkingmom.com
Sherlock Bones. Hehehe.

Zurich in the rain with kids - tips from www.anyworkingmom.com

# 22 Cafés with a Play Area

Yes, the selection isn’t huge. There are quite a few family-friendly coffee shops –  Florina from Einfachdreifach made a handy list. These are my favorite cafés with a play area:

  • Elle’n’Belle – near Limmatplatz – big play area, lots of kids. Achtung: Location will be changing soon.
  • Kafi für Dich – relatively small play area, but cozy.
  • Tibits / Hiltl – small play area
  • Fork & Bottle – separate, open play room for kids on the first floor; better suited for smaller kids

# 23 Mühlerama

Right next to S-Bahn station Tiefenbrunnen, you’ll find this former mill, which is now a museum and baking school. Equipped with their own flour brushes (which serve as a kind of audio guide), kids can explore the mill and try out four model versions of mills themselves.

From around 3 years and up, fun for 1-2 hours.

# 24 Skills Park Winterthur

Yes, okay, not quite in Zurich. But for us, it is THE discovery of the year. A thoughtfully created space with pump tracks, trampolines and a huge indoor skate park. Every Sunday from 10 – 12, the hall is reserved for kids five and under, who can practice their tricks with a balance bike or slide down the skate ramp on their bums. 100 AWM points!

From a road-ready age (Mini Skills); for other times from about 5 years and up. Fun for 2 – 4 hours.

Zurich in the rain with kids - tips from www.anyworkingmom.com

Zurich in the rain with kids - tips from www.anyworkingmom.com

# 25 Event Tips & Newsletters

Various individual events take place in Zurich and the surrounding areas every week. These are my three idea providers:

  • Lola Brause, Event calendar for kids and families covering all of Switzerland
  • Kreiskids.ch, Events for and with kids in Zurich
  • Playshuttle.ch, Newsletter with current events and ideas
Zurich with kids on a rainy day - by www.anyworkingmom.com
Sharing is caring. This one for Pinterest.

So. That’s all! In case you have the ultimate insider tip, too, we would love to hear it in the comments (to comment from your phone, please scroll all the way down).

There are more recommendations here, for example, in the 10 Best Things or the Mama-Must-Haves. If you’d prefer an idea for an outing – how about the Eichhörnliweg (Squirrel Path)? And for those who’d rather stay home when it’s raining – understandably – here are the best apps.


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