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Since 1990 the Petit Théâtre has hosted performances for all ages. Even though the shows are primarily aimed at a very young audience (from seven years old), the setting is nonetheless laid out as it is for the grown-ups. There is a bar, serving light fare, and the 88 red velvet chairs are certainly as grand as those found in more famous concert halls. Due to the high quality of their shows, sometimes you can spot a few forlorn adults, embarrassed not to have found a little nephew to accompany them.
Musée cantonal de zoologie takes up the top floor of the Rumine Palace which dominates the Place de la Riponne. It displays a large collection of extinct animals from the region and other areas. A leaflet distributed to visitors allows you to explore the exhibits with ease; in each window, an animal chosen for its zoological, behavioral or historical importance is described at length. The other species presented are highlighted more succinctly. Various small exhibitions, either permanent or temporary, are displayed. Among these, cryptozoology is a favorite, for it is the science that describes animals whose existence has no scientific proof, and therefore cannot be officially "classified".
Named after the lively and trendy neighborhood where it’s located, this seven-screen movie theater is the most ‘modern’ in Lausanne, meaning that it seems the most like a modern multiplex. Although the place is smaller and more thoughtfully designed than the standard variety multiplex, there’s nothing but sleek screening rooms, red velvet seats, modern lighting, and high-fidelity sound. Visitors won’t find an art-house theater if that’s what they’re looking for, but all things considered it’s a first-rate theater with a nice mix of films. The theater often hosts first screenings, festivals, children’s theater, and other community events.
This cultural center is situated in the church of the same name in Lausanne. Espace Culturel des Terreaux offers a wide range of activities including art exhibitions, concerts, theatrical productions for adults as well as children, and debates. Its patron church was established in 1890.
Located inside a hangar near train tracks and the Esplanade de Montbenon, this gritty skate park was created by a team of volunteers for La Fievre Association, the largest organization dedicated to urban sports in Switzerland. The facility, one of the first of its kind in Europe, has an indoor and outdoor skating bowl, quarter pipes, slide bars, ramps, and fun-boxes open to skaters and cyclists ten years of age and older. A hotspot for urban and sport culture, the HS36 also offers a skate shop, a café, and a climbing wall. The entire enterprise is designed for the public, and a modest annual fee gives access to the facilities, lessons, and rentals.
Charming public gardens, planted with exotic trees and shrubs and displaying bronze statues, lead you up to the museum. Once at the top, one can see the modern building is truly inspired by a Greek temple with its white marble facade. Two rows of white columns to the entrance carry the names of the towns that have hosted the Olympic games and the Olympic flame burns in an ornamental granite bowl illustrating the myth of Prometheus. The exhibition leads you through the history of the Olympic games, starting with Ancient Greece. There are beautifully preserved terracotta figures, gold laurel wreathes and marble sculptures to see. On display are all the torches that have been carried in every event since 1936 and a great collection of stamps, coins and medals bearing images of the Olympics. Huge video screens and stereo sound help the viewer to experience a part of the apprehension, excitement and concentration, the athlete encounters before an event.
If you cannot find a way to amuse yourself on this enormous site, then pack your bags and head on home. Sound harsh? Maybe, but Bellerive-Plage is just like an amusement park but more wet! It has an Olympic-size swimming pool, a 10-meter high diving board, access to Lake Geneva, beach-volleyball courts, kids' games, cafes... The pools are supervised so bring the kids along. If you still don't feel like jumping in the water, no problem: sip something cool at the café overlooking the lake and take in the sights. Also note that weather and poor attendance may affect opening hours. Open hours may vary according to weather, so call ahead.
A perfect evening activity for travelers with kids, the Théâtre de Marionettesis sure to entertain. Combining a great, fun-filled theater-going experience with the magic of puppeteering, kids and parents alike will be able to have a laugh and take a break from all the hectic sightseeing that tends to pack days of traveling. Featuring a different show every month, each telling a new and original story, there's no reason not to have a family night out in Lausanne.
Sauvabelin Forest is a suburban park where Lausanne locals have come for Sunday strolls and afternoon walks in a soothing natural setting for more than a century. Walks lead past the River Flon, the picturesque Bois de Sauvabelin, and the ruins of a former Swiss village. The true highlights of the forest are the Lac du Sauvabelin, an artificial lake built in the late 19th century, and the Sauvebelin Tower, an interesting wooden structure nine stories tall with beautiful views of the surrounding region. Visitors often take picnics on landscaped grounds, row boats on the lake in the warmer months, and take children to see Swiss-native farm animals. Legend has it that the late and great David Bowie owned a home on the forest grounds.
In the magnificent park of the Vallée de la Jeunesse lies Lausanne's Espace des Invention science museum. Located in an old 1964 National Exhibition building, this museum will explore specific themes that will change every two years. The exhibitions are aimed at children between seven and 15 years old but, as in all interactive and educational exhibits, adults will likely have more fun than they will admit to!
AquaSplash Renens is a water sports park located west of Lausanne, but easily accessible by taxi and by public transport. Water parks like these are all the rage here in Switzerland. Similar to Six Flags in America, you will find five heated pools, slides for grown-ups and for kids, a 10-meter high diving board and courts for all kinds of activities like volleyball, football and badminton. There is also a place to get a massage and a proper work-out room.