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School's Out: Summer in Basel

If you’ve just moved to Basel, you’re in for a treat as we move towards summer. Summer is my absolute favourite time in the city: swimming in the Rhine, sipping an Aperol Spritz in the sunshine or enjoying a picnic in one of the city’s many parks. When you have young children, however, the long summer holidays can be a little daunting. When we first moved to Basel, I was astonished to learn that my children would have a full six to eight week break for the summer. As much as I adore my kids, I was a little concerned about how I would keep them entertained for such a long time! Fortunately, Basel has so much to see and do, that even three years later, our summers are still jam–packed with fun activities!

Make a splash

Whether you live in Basel-Stadt or Basel-Land, you’re almost guaranteed to have a wonderful outdoor pool within easy reach. These lovely pools are often set in beautiful park grounds so they are the perfect place to pass a long summer’s day. I particularly love Gartenbad St. Jakob which is easily accessible by public transport. With a splash pool for little ones, a fun kids’ pool with slides plus training pools and diving boards, a day at the pool is guaranteed to keep the whole family entertained.

Another good choice it the Riehen Naturbad, a lovely oasis that has a fantastic pool that is chemical-free! The water is cleaned by an amazing natural ecosystem. There are several different swimming areas, including a pool for laps, one for diving, a large slide and a toddler splash pad.

Ignite a new interest

Whether your child is a budding sports star, scientist or artist, Basel has summer day camps to suit all interests. They can try coding at TechLabs, tennis camp at the Basel Lawn Tennis Club or get creative at the Braswell Arts Center to name just a few! Camps usually run for one week so they’re the perfect way for kids to explore a new interest or get even better at a favourite hobby.

For more ideas on camps please see our article: Kid's Camps in Basel

Live the park life

There are many beautiful parks to explore in Basel, from the large botanical gardens at Merian Gärten to the tiny little playgrounds (Spielplatz) tucked away in residential neighbourhoods. One of my favourite ways to pass the day, however, is with a trip to Lange Erlen park. Easily accessible by car or public transport, this is a beautiful wooded area along the banks of the river Wiese. There’s a wonderful playground (my kids rate it as the best in the city) and a large animal park with farmyard animals, monkeys and much more. The animal park is free (perfect if you have visitors) although additional activities such as pony rides may cost extra.

Make learning fun

Basel is famous for its many museums (nearly 40!) so you don’t need to worry about keeping the kids entertained on the odd rainy day. Little ones will be sure to enjoy the Natural History Museum Basel, which has a small but child-friendly dinosaur collection. If you have older kids too, the temporary exhibitions here are always worth visiting, often encouraging us to consider our impact on the environment and providing plenty of food for thought!

I hope you find some inspiration for your little ones in this post. If you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments.

Asha Mentzer

Asha has lived in Basel-Stadt since 2018, but has previously lived in England, France and the US She loves exploring Switzerland with her husband, two children and dog. Her hobbies include hiking, travelling, spinning and reading.

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