We’ve put together a list of the ten best playgrounds in Switzerland where children can let off steam and give free rein to their imaginations – and of course put their Topsy space hoppers through their paces.
Längmuur on Langmauerweg is more of an adventure park than a playground. It not only has everything you expect from a playground, but much, much more: scooters, bikes and soapboxes for racing over the hilly terrain, plus a ship and a plane. And the real highlight: a roller coaster – though this needs some parent power to make it go.
All kids love bouncy castles, but their parents aren't always so keen on all the plastic and bright colors. Here's the answer: a farmyard. Bächlihof has a natural playground with cheeky goats that kids love running after, plus a huge straw castle to jump on. In the right season, you can even pick or harvest your own snack – or simply buy it from the farm shop.
Kapitän Zinsli, Sarnen
Whether your little sailors prefer climbing on the pirate ship, building towers with the sand lift, exploring caves, splashing around in the water, damming streams, or simply "messing about in the dirt", they’ll find plenty to enjoy at the Kapitän-Zinsli playground right by the lake.
Wipkingen Community Center, Zurich
Children of all ages love swinging through the huge rope playground. Little ones can have fun paddling in the play pool while their parents treat themselves to a coffee and admire the view of the river. Later on, everyone will gather at the fence of the children's farm to see the mini pigs amid cries of "Cuuuute"!
The Holzwurm playground is based on the four elements: earth, air, fire and water – and your kids can experiment with all of them. Earth is mainly represented by wood: whether they opt to build a hut or simply to saw, hammer and drill – anything is possible here. Every Wednesday, kids from fourth grade upwards can even learn to weld. There's a water slide in the biggest pool, and a zip line for racing through the air.
The largest green area in the city is also where you’ll find the best playground. The apparatus is grouped by theme, on several different islands: there’s one for sliding, one for swinging, and a huge paddling pool that also serves as a skate park when there's no water in it. Plus there’s more than enough space for frisbees, football, and co.
Although this is actually the playground of a restaurant, what a great one it is! With its giant hamster wheel, slackline, bumper cars and pirate train, this is an outdoor playground to rival the very best. When you add in the huge toboggan run next door, plus the model railway with tracks covering 100 square meters, you know there’s definitely something here for everyone.
Cioss Prato, Bedretto
Bedretto playground is the ideal stopping point on a journey over the Nufenen Pass – or for a small expedition from Airolo. It has a Harry Potter castle to climb on, several long tube slides, a big climbing net, and a water chute for floating little balls down – so don’t forget to bring a spare set of dry clothes.
Lausanne, La Cigale
At first sight, this playground looks like your average children’s dream, with trampolines set into the ground and a climbing trail. But if you take a closer look, you’ll see that everything has been designed for disabled visitors: the roundabout is wheelchair accessible, the water slide is at wheelchair level, and everyone can make music on the big wooden claves – kids, adults and wheelchair users too.
This playground does things in a big way: kids can swing towards the Alps on the giant swing, cross through a tree house to reach the slide, and jump to their heart's content on not just one, but three big trampolines. The only small things here are the affectionate dwarf goats.