What’s on: Flea market, Cern & wine tour, Lacoste sale, children activities and more

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The nice weather is finally here and with it several fun events, probably more than one can attend. Here’s my list for a fun weekend under the sun.

Saturday 24 May only

  • The Plan-les-ouates annual township flea market takes place 24 May at the city hall from 10:00 to 16:00.
  • A small neighborhood flea market and fair takes place in Plainpalais. The Fete à l’arbre includes several sports activities to inaugurate the new sports grounds. From 11:00 to 20:00.
  • Lacoste holds a closeout sale at the Salle communale du Môle in the Paquis advertising clothing and shoes for kids and adults starting at CHF40. From 10:00 to 16:00.
  • Free concerts, theatre, kids activities, a skateboard park and food stalls – but no flea market – are in the menu for the annual Acacias neighborhood fair. From 10:00 to midnight.
  • 24 May is Open House Day at Geneva’s wineries. Take the bus to one of the small Geneva communes: Aire-la-ville, Bourdigny, Choulex, Choully, Collex, Collonge-Bellerive, Russin or Satigny – my favorite – and walk through the beautiful vineyards. You can also bike or hike between wineries following the marked trails or simply take the TPG. Lots of fun. Wine is only served in an official 2014 caves ouvertes glass, CHF10 for one, but tasting in all wineries is free. 
  • Last but not least, the annual free music festival known as Fete de l’espoir takes place from 17:00 to 01:00 at the Bout-du-Monde park. For those new to Geneva, this is a huge festival with tens of thousands in attendance. Entry is free. Kids concerts begin at 17:00. This year the fest includes mostly French (MC Solar) and French-speaking musicians including the great Senegalese band, Magic System.

Saturday and Sunday 24-25 May

  • Cern hosts a weekend of fun from 10:00 to 18:00 in Cessy, Échenevex and Ferney-Voltaire in neighboring France. Visit the LHC, the biggest accelerator in the world; other super fun science-filled activities await kids and grownups. 
  • In Lancy from 23-25 May takes place the annual Mai au parc festival with concerts, art exhibits, theater and children activities at the fabulous Villa Bernasconi.
  • The most boheme neighborhood in Geneva brings back its festival this weekend 24-25 May. The 2014 Grottes en fete edition comes without a flea market but with a costumed parade, concerts, impromptu activities, workshops and more.
  • A brass-band festival takes place this weekend in Plainpalais and at Victoria Hall. Concerts are free.
  • Sunday 25 May, Nyon hosts its monthly professional flea market on the shores of Lake Geneva. Shops and restaurants are also open on Sunday. Even if you don’t buy anything, this is a lovely walk to do.

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