Top 10 family summer activities in the Alpes vaudoises

On holiday, the reunited family has a good time. Whether it's around a board game or during outdoor recreation, laughter bursts out, competitive spirits battle: the family gets together!

Family activities, outings and walks: make the most of summer

Just like summer, the long holidays are here! Parents, children, teenagers, cousins... all meet again to have fun.

The Alpes vaudoises offer activities for families throughout the summer. Amusing animations, instructive games, sites devoted to entertainment or activities in the great outdoors delight families and children of all ages. The fresh air restores the moral and energy of everyone!

And you? What activities do you choose to do with your children during the holidays? We present to you our top 10 suggestions!

1. A whole afternoon in the Gryon Parc

The sun is already high in the sky on this summer’s day. The shade of the tall trees in Gryon Parc is pleasant during the day! In addition, the many games and attractions of the park captivate children; they spend long moments going from one attraction to another.

Barely out of a miniature car, they embark on the little train for a ride in the park. Then, they grab a minigolf club to make a tournament of this game with mum or dad.

Children over 1.30m cross the park on the skydive, a large zip line that overlooks the Gryon Parc... for sure, your children will want to repeat the experience!

The Gryon Parc is not to be missed thanks to its wide range of activities for children at extremely attractive prices.

Good to know
  • Minigolf club ticket office and rental on site

  • Picnic tables and benches

  • Free parking spaces on Place de Barboleuse and Bex-Villars train stop 1 minute from the park

  • Toilet facilities on site

  • La cerise sur le gâteau

The icing on the cake

It's already time for a snack; go to the Charlet bakery located near the park to replenish your energy!

2. Climb trees and walk above the void

Climbing trees is an innate activity, children do it naturally. Take them to play in the trees! Unless it's them who take you on the big zip line? Children like to outdo their parents and it happens only too quickly!

At the adventure park, the adults encourage the little ones and accompany them in the adventure. Decide with your children on the course and do it together. Children from 4 years old have courses adapted to their size.

Challenge the children and yourself to feel the satisfaction of having gone beyond your limits. Above all, enjoy these precious moments with your family.

The forest is alive, from each tree emanates a presence. Children are sensitive to it while evolving on the course. Spending time in the woods is good for everyone.

Good to know

Some courses are reserved for children from 4 years old.

Admission to the tree climbing in Les Diablerets is valid with the Carte Bienvenue and Carte Fidélité on Wednesdays and Sundays.

"Le poulet, les biscottes, les œufs durs et puis les cornichons" (Nino Ferrer, Les Cornichons)

Picnic on the tables set up nearby.

3. Aim for the baskets and take a walk in the great outdoors

August is here, the meadows have been mowed, it's time for a game of disc golf. This game is ideal for sharing a moment in the great outdoors while strolling with children of all ages.

Go to Mirella Fleurs in Château-d'Œx to pick up the discs, they look like Frisbees. Take a walk in the meadows, do you feel the freshness of the mountain? In the distance, a basket takes shape in the green landscape, aim for it and throw the Frisbee. For each Frisbee in the basket, the player scores a point. Count on beginner's luck to position yourself as a leader. Stay on your toes, the youngest in the family might just become that leader!

If walking is not for you, the diversion effect of disc golf provides an opportunity to spend time in the fresh air walking from target to target. You will not have sensed the distance connecting the 10 baskets.

Good to know
  • available from the beginning of August until autumn

  • possibility of organising initiation days on request

Under the snow, a chalet to take refuge

At the Table d'hôtes Les Laitalets, you will find a warm welcome in a mountain chalet. Book your gourmet break.

4. Having fun with water near a herd of cows

Walk along the fence and the herd of cows to go swimming in the cool water of a mountain lake.

The sound of doorbells can be heard even underwater. The climb from Solalex generates the feeling of satisfaction of having walked a little. The prospect of bathing and playing in the water motivates children to walk. The promise of getting an ice cream at Frience's refreshment stall also motivates the children on a brisk walk.

Take the time to observe nature! The lake water is regenerated thanks to a vegetated part. Very colourful dragonflies fly in the plants and on the surface of the water.

Good to know
  • a shallow pool is reserved for small children and another for older children

  • accessible by car, 2 on-site car parks then 5 minutes’ walk to reach the lake.

  • snack bar and restaurant on site

  • 1 hour walk from Solalex

Local products at the source

Between two dives, make a spontaneous visit to the Frience farm to buy one of their famous products made on site; butter, cheese, jams or a gatelet, a speciality sweet cake.

5. Cycling along the Sarine

Get on your bikes for a nice ride that appeals to children and week-end cyclists. The day's outing is mainly on flat ground and downhill, which pleases everyone. But you will have to use your legs a little bit.

Start from German-speaking Switzerland! From Gstaad, this tour travels through the valley along the Sarine. Did you know that this river symbolises the limit between the French-speaking part and the German-speaking part of Switzerland? Passing through the villages, get off you bike to admire the beauty of the old chalets. Take a pastry from the bakery and eat it in the village square. Appreciate the peace and quiet of these beautiful places. And if the children are tired, a break by the river works a treat.

Good to know
  • The route is laid out and secure

  • Grocery stores and shops are on the route

  • Several stops of the Montreux Oberland Bernois train are on the way. You can board with the bikes.

Have a break

Plan a stop at a playground for a picnic.

6. Discover the animals of our forests

The surprise of seeing a fox, a deer or a chamois is common in the Alpes vaudoises and leaves a lasting impression on you. If the animals seem shy, why not go and meet them!

Leysin Park offers a great opportunity to observe stags and does. The mere presence of animals amazes the children who will wish to stay for a long time watching the herd graze and move about. The children talk to them and call them; they seem to communicate with the animals.

Good to know
  • A picnic area is available nearby.

  • Nearby parking spaces

  • Several easy hikes start from this park

Let’s explore the forest

To get to know the rest of the animals in the forest, follow the 'animal walk', it runs along the deer park before descending into the forest and then back up to the park. Deer may be more active during this walk.

7. Dives, slides, picnic and ice cream for afternoon tea

The children enjoyed their walk, they were interested in all the visits, they went to get the croissants... It's time to take them to the pool for an uninterrupted day of water games!

In addition to pools of different sizes and depths, the swimming pools offer fun facilities: slide, minigolf, springboard and of course the lawns for running, playing ball games and having your lunch while picnicking.

If the children are a little independent, the parents can take advantage of swimming several lengths in the swimming lanes provided in certain swimming pools or indulge themselves in the relaxation provided by weightlessness. Playing together during the holidays strengthens ties, a minigolf tournament gives everyone a chance.

It's snack time, who wants an ice cream?

Good to know

Some pools have a swimming lane

8. By train and on foot in the mountains

In summer, if the air becomes too heavy, the freshness of the peaks remains noticeable, go for a walk! To make hiking more appealing to children who are put off by the idea of walking, why not suggest taking a mountain train. You get on the train and walk back down.

Or, alternatively, take a ski lift. From there you walk a while, jump on the train and then continue on foot. It's up to you to choose which way appeals to your children the most.

Your picnic is safely in your backpack, let’s hope it’s not too heavy as it’s a good walk to reach the freshness.

Good to know
  • the Magic Pass is valid on most ski lifts

  • children under 6 travel free

Come on, let's take a dip!

Take a bathing suit and take a refreshing dip in a mountain lake!

9. At the end of the road, a treasure?

If your children are reluctant to walk on the superb hiking trails of the Alpes vaudoises, we may have the solution to change their minds.

The curious will be delighted to learn more about our animal friends thanks to the treasure hunts of La Salamandre, a magazine dedicated to nature which arouses the interest of young and old alike.

Kids love it: The bee treasure hunt between Bretaye and Villars.

To start this treasure hunt, the whole family got on the cogwheel train that connects Villars to Bretaye! Let the adventure begin! After 20 minutes on the train with spectacular panoramic views, it's time to stretch your legs.

On the platform, facing the Dents du Midi, you can also see Mont Blanc and its eternal snow, but the children are already in the process of spotting the first objective of the hunt. Find the hidden clues along the way to answer the questions.

At the end of the walk, the children know more about the essential role of bees and the parents too. The 4 kilometres of this course, mainly downhill, went almost unnoticed as the children were concentrated in the search for clues.

Return the form with the correct answers to the Tourist Office so that the children receive a nice gift.

Many educational trails and treasure hunts punctuate the hiking trails and make children want to advance to the next stage without complaining! Remember to visit our Tourist Offices to get a brochure.

Good to know
  • Don't forget to bring the brochure before you leave. There are several treasure hunts of different lengths and on various themes. Inquire at the Tourist Offices.

  • Children receive a reward by returning their booklet to the Tourist Office counter after the hunt.

After the effort, the reward

Taste delicious homemade ice cream at Auberge du Col-de-Soud! This restaurant is on your way and the whole family will enjoy it.

10. Let’s visit a salt mine!

Whether it's raining, windy or too hot, the salt mines stay true to their 18°C inside the mountain, making it a place to visit whatever the weather. But the appeal of the site goes beyond a simple convenience.

Introducing children to heritage or ancient know-how has never been easier. Going on the mining train is a captivating adventure, rushing into the gallery with the noise, the draft and this irregular lighting can make you shiver. But are we not there yet, when are we going to get out and where?

After the oral presentation of the guide, go through to the museum part with the children and try together to understand what the tools on display were used for in the extraction of salt. Stop for a moment in front of the window to observe how the salt crystals are sorted. Explain to the children that the cellar you are in was dug by hand. They will never look at salt in the same way again!

Good to know

- reserve your seat on the train

- a covered picnic table is on site

Try the Salt Trail

To complete your visit, do a stretch of the Salt Trail to access the mines. This didactic downhill walk passes not far from the salt mines coming from Plambuit.

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