Updated: Oct 5
This is a beautiful time of year to get outside and do some activities with the little ones. For me as a child, the beginning of autumn was always all about chestnuts and pumpkins. I have fond memories of creating little people from chestnuts and cooking pumpkin soup with my mom. In Basel, I continue these traditions with my son and have discovered some great places for chestnuts, pumpkins and to enjoy the fall colours!
Chesnuts in Basel
There are a ton of places in Basel to find chestnuts. This can be a great activity for kids as they can have fun collecting the chestnuts and then also later making crafts with them.
Fun facts about chestnuts!
Chestnuts have been cultivated for over 4000 years.
Chestnuts are the only nuts that contain vitamin C.
The oldest chestnut tree in the world grows on an active volcano. It is the chestnut tree of One Hundred Horses growing on Mount Etna in Sicily. It is between 2,000 and 4,000 years old and 190 feet in circumference.
Chestnut Locations in Basel
You can find chestnuts in so many places in Basel! This list will certainly help you find some and you can use it as a starting point to explore the city with your child.
At the beginning of Gellertstrasse
Solitude park close to Roche towers
Picasso Platz close to Aeschen Platz
Allmendstrasse in Hirzbrunnen
Birsmatt playground in Biersfelden
St. Alban Rheinweg close to Piccolo Cibo Buvette
Binningerstrasse close to the Zoo
Inspiration Crafts with Chestnuts
Use this as some inspiration for a quick and easy craft you can make with your little ones. All you need is a little glue, some toothpicks and googly eyes and the rest is left to imagination.
Are you ready for pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie and carving? I got you covered! Here are my two favourite places to go.
Dubackerweg 2, 4103 Bottmingen
A quick and easy commute will take you to Bottmingen (just outside Basel Stadt) to a real autumn gem. Matishof is definitely worth the trip as it is full of colourful pumpkins, has a lovely playground and many different farm animals. From mid July to mid October the farm also creates a huge corn maze complete with trampolines, zip lines, picnic tables and more!
About an hour outside of Basel near the town of Seegräben is an incredible pumpkin farm, like something you would see in the movies. This place is fantastic and you can easily spend the whole day there. Every year there is a different theme with amazing pumpkin sculptures. The theme for 2023 is Frauen Power!, celebrating the empowerment of women with larger than life pumpkins statues of figures like Cleopatra, Frida Kahlo, Pippi Longstocking, Chanel No. 5 and more! There is plenty of space to relax and take in the breathtaking view, with attractions like a goat park, a straw castle, a playground and a huge apple maze with a barefoot experience. Be sure to visit their farm shop, bakery and restaurant, and you can also have fun picking blueberries and cherries. It is open till the end of October, but the best time to visit is before Halloween.
Autumn Walk - Ermitage Arlesheim
This is a wonderful walk surrounded by nature with relaxed sounds of water and birds chirping in the stunning garden of Ermitage Arlesheim. It is the perfect place for sunny autumn afternoon and takes about two hours to get around comfortably without needing to take the same route twice! Most of the paths are easily accesible by stroller, but I’m sure you will feel tempted to climb up the hill and see all the caves! Bring a picnic, because there is no restaurant in the area.
How to Get There
Ermitagestrasse 55, 4144 Arlesheim
This walk is easily reached by transit or car. By transit you can take the Number 10 tram to “Arlesheim Dorf” or by car you can simply park in Arlesheim village.
There are few ponds in the garden and the main one has a little bridge with large fish. In the past, visitors could even cross it by boat! Have a stroll along the little stream, Dorfbach and enjoy the autumn colours.
Another lovely spot, is the Birseck Castle, built in 1243. The Castle itself is open on Sunday and Wednesday afternoons from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m until mid-October, but the beautiful landscape garden, built in 1785, is always accessible and has some stunning views.
While walking down from the castle through the path caved in rock, there are a few impressive caves (Apollo, Diogenes, Prosperpina) to explore. This is a great spot for kids and they have lots of fun climbing up and down!
There is also a puzzle activity for children. This brochure lets children and the whole family discover the secrets of the landscaped garden by solving puzzles along the walk.
To learn a bit more of the history of the castle you can also take a virtual tour.
I hope this list of activities inspires you to get out with your kids and enjoy autumn. For more tips and ideas please visit my Instagram page mama.on.board.
Kasia is from Poland and she’s the founder of mama.on.board. On her Instagram profile you’ll find inspirations for next trips and activities with your family. She’s on a mission to make expats’ life easier so she’s sharing ideas and tips for daily life in Switzerland.
She has past experience working at Mars, General Mills and Nestle and she’s a passionate winter sports athlete.
For more tips and ideas please visit mama.on.board.