As the largest city in Switzerland, there’s no shortage of great things to do with kids in Zurich. Just take a look at these top 10 family activities on offer.
Many expats heading to Switzerland decide to live in and around the beautiful lakeside city of Zurich. However, wherever you call home in this spectacular alpine country, it won’t be long before you find yourself exploring its largest city and the many attractions that lie within.
If you’ve got little ones, you’ll be pleased to know that there are plenty of things to do with kids in Zurich. Whether their young minds love animals, football, or simply splashing around in the lake, there’s never a dull moment in this fun-loving city. Furthermore, with the Zurich Card in hand, you can enjoy many offers and discounts when planning a visit. But first, check out these top 10 things to do with kids in Zurich.
1. Lose yourself at WOW Museum
If you’re after an unforgettable family day out in Zurich, then make sure WOW Museum is on your list. Perfect for kids (and big kids), this fully interactive museum is crammed with optical illusions and surprises just waiting to be explored. From getting lost in infinity to dancing on the ceiling, there are plenty of whacky adventures to be had.
Having only opened in 2020, the attention-grabbing museum is the latest addition to Zurich’s ever-growing list of attractions. Spread over three floors, it is located in the city center, just around the corner from Banhofstrasse, making it easy to get to, too.
WOW Museum, Werdmühlestrasse 10, 8001 Zurich
2. Head up Uetliberg mountain
Zurich might not spring to mind when you think about those towering Swiss mountains, but the city actually has one on its doorstep. Looming over Zurich, Uetliberg reaches up to a height of more than 850m above sea level, offering stunning panoramic views over the city and much more.
As well as being a great place for lapping up some fresh mountain air, kids will love the enchanting railway that winds its way up towards the observation tower (Uetliberg Aussichtsturm). The view from here is particularly majestic during autumn when the fog rolls in from the lake. The winter months, meanwhile, see many trails turned into unforgettable sledding runs.
Uetliberg Aussichtsturm, Gratstrasse, Zurich 8143
3. Go wild at Zurich Zoo
Do your little ones like exploring their wild side? Then why not take them on a day trip to Zurich Zoo? This popular attraction is home to a number of much-loved residents, from a herd of playful Asian elephants to the majestic rhinos and giraffes that live in the Savannah enclosure. There is even a petting zoo for farm animals who love a little extra attention.
As well as checking out the zoo’s famous residents, there are many other activities for the whole family to enjoy. From guided tours to shadowing a zookeeper, there is an ever-changing roster of unmissable attractions to fill your visit. Despite its green and leafy location, the zoo is easily accessible on the city’s public transit system, too.
Zurich Zoo, Zürichbergstrasse 221, 8044 Zürich
4. Ride the rails through Zurich
Zurich is surprisingly compact when compared to other international cities, making it the perfect place to jump on the tram and view the sights from a unique perspective. If your little ones love all things public transport, then you won’t want to miss this cheap and easy afternoon activity.
As well as exploring the city on rails, you can also take your little engineers to Zurich Tram Museum. Here, they’ll be able to learn about the history of trams, explore old carriages, and much more. While you’re there, be sure to travel on Line 21, the special tram route recommended by the museum, which showcases the city’s best sights.
Zurich Tram Museum, Forchstrasse 260, 8008 Zürich
5. Head out onto Lake Zurich
Whether you’re living in Zurich or simply visiting Switzerland’s largest city, you’ll soon find yourself wanting to explore the pristine Lake Zurich (Zürichsee). On hot summer days, it feels like the whole city heads down to the lakeside to lap up the sun, go swimming, and more.
If you’re in Zurich with the kids, the lake can be a great place to while away an afternoon. Whether you enjoy swimming, lounging around, or hopping in a boat and heading out on the water, there is certainly a lot to do. You can either hire a boat or pedalo from one of the lakeside vendors or book a ticket on one of the many boat trips that explore the lake.
6. Score at the FIFA Museum
Switzerland might not seem like a global footballing powerhouse, but it’s actually the home of the official FIFA World Football Museum. Celebrating all things to do with the beautiful game, this interactive museum has enough excitement for all the family, whether they’re football-mad or football-phobic.
The museum is split into several sections that explore different parts of the game around the world. This includes the history of the game, the magic and drama of the famous World Cup tournaments, and the human stories of footballing cultures around the globe. Needless to say, this popular Zurich attraction will definitely hit the back of the net for the whole family.
FIFA World Football Museum, Seestrasse 27, 8002 Zürich
7. Expand their minds at EXPLORiT
Although not technically in the city, no list of great things to do with kids in Zurich can ignore this innovative gem. At EXPOLRiT, your little ones will have their imaginations pulled in every direction. They’ll discover fun science experiments, outdoor excitement, and even a planetarium in Switzerland’s biggest “edutainment” center.
The impressive venue covers more than 6,000 sqm of fun and exploration. From immersive science experiments to roof-top karting and the latest big-screen kids movies, there really is something for everyone. The center is also located in Volketswil, just a 15-minute drive from Zurich, making it easy to get to.
EXPLORiT, Chlirietstrasse 12, 8604 Volketswil
8. Relax at the Botanical Gardens
Sometimes, kids just need a little open space to breathe. Thankfully, in Zurich, there are plenty of places they can do just that. One of the best green spaces in the city is the University of Zurich’s Botanical Gardens, located in the east of the city. Here, you’ll find subtropical greenhouses and wide lawns – the perfect mix of exploration and relaxation.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the many plants and trees on display, then you can join one of the regular guided tours of the gardens. Alternatively, you can head to the Old Botanical Gardens in the city center. These gardens are smaller, but provide the perfect spot to enjoy a lunchtime break away from the bustle of central Zurich.
Botanic Garden of the University of Zurich, Zollikerstr. 107, 8008 Zürich
9. Get cultured at Kulturama
If you want to make your day out in Zurich with the kids a little more educational, then check out Kulturama. This hidden gem was one of the world’s first evolution museums when it opened in 1978. More than 40 years later, it still continues to amaze and educate visitors of all ages with its impressive array of exhibitions.
The museum charts humankind’s journey through evolution, asking important questions about who we are and why we exist. This is the perfect day out for any budding young anthropologists. However, the information on display is predominantly in German, so you might need to brush up on your language skills.
Kulturama, Englischviertelstrasse 9, 8032 Zürich
10. Indulge their inner monarch at Regensberg Castle
Located in the sumptuous hilltop village of the same name, Regensberg Castle is one of the best-preserved fortresses within easy reach of Zurich. Dating back to the 13th century, the castle offers a fascinating glimpse into what life was like in this corner of Switzerland centuries ago.
Your little ones will be able to channel their inner prince or princess as they explore this regal landmark. The well-preserved tower offers exquisite views across the region, while other nearby attractions, such as the Sculpture Park at Steinmaur, offer plenty of entertainment for kids.
Regensberg Castle, Oberburg 1, 8158 Regensberg