Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Time to hit the road - Excursions for a long weekend around Lugano

Tomorrow evening the weekend starts, yupee! And it's only Wednesday. Four days to relax and enjoy what Ticino and its surroundings have to offer.

Following is a list compiled by the International and American Women's Mums & Tots group a few years ago. It is an extensive list and comes in very handy when you need some inspiration on a Wednesday afternoon or a weekend.

It does not include the most obvious attractions that are well publicized and you can find under my "Out and About" section on the sidebar of this blog.

So, are you ready? Here goes:

In Ticino:

http://www.carona-tourism.ch/en/carona/ - Parco San Grato, has a playground, restaurant and beautiful surroundings to explore

http://www.lugano-tourism.ch/en/95/the-tassino-park - Parco Tassino, large playground and deer! Great park with lots of space, picnic and play areas

http://www.montetamaro.ch - bobsleigh track, flying fox (zip wire) restaurant and great playground

www.tarzaning.ch an adventure park with zip wires, rope bridges and climbing frames between trees in the forest

http://www.ticino.ch/en/commons/details/Il-Sentierone-della-Val-Verzasca - A walk rated as easy, so possible with kids, in beautiful scenery

http://www.cardada.ch/estate - take a cable car up to Cardada for some lovely family friendly walks.

http://www.ticino.ch/en/commons/details/Parco-giochi-Parsifal-Monte-Verità-Ascona - one playground in Ascona, however I have been told that there is a really great playground on the lakefront of Ascona. If you go down to the mini roundabout where the start of the pedestrianised promenade is on your right (where all the restaurants are), instead turn left, walk past a large public car park, and you will see this playground - it has electric minicars - need 1CHF coins for them.

http://www.ataf.ch/ - steam miniature railway - strange opening hours though.

http://www.ticino.ch/en/commons/details/Isole-di-Brissago-Parco-Botanico - a boat trip to the island of Brissago, perhaps combine with a trip to Ascona and the playground on the lakefront!

www.minigolfcaslano.ch - Has electric mini-cars and great trampolines as well as the mini golf. Is next door to a great little lido too, with a very nice beach. (and they sell Ben and Jerry's ice cream)

Near Zurich:

http://www.zoo.ch - Switzerland's largest zoo and definately worth a trek up north

http://www.alpamare.ch - amazing looking waterpark - it is two hours away from Lugano by car but it looks like an excellent day trip nonetheless

http://www.tierpark.ch/english - Goldau wildlfe park, with restaurant and playground, came highly recommended by one of our members

Just across the border in Italy:

www.safaripark.it - brilliant safari park, not far from Malpensa airport, complete with amusement park with rides suitable for toddlers, reptile house, animal shows... a fantastic full day out

http://www.parcodellapreistoria.it/ - a large park with models of dinosaurs, playground, and restaurant

www.minitalia.com - a fantastic day out, an amusement park with lots of rides suitable for the youngest members of the family, reptile house, aquarium, mini farm, and to-scale models of the famous monuments of Italy

http://www.minigolf-adventure.it - has a playground, inflatable slides and trampolines as well as the minigolf

http://www.idropark.mi.it - man made lake in Milan with playground, lido and restaurant

http://www.jungleraiderpark.com - same as www.tarzaning.ch (adventure park with zip wires, rope bridges and climbing frames) but in Italy

http://www.latorbiera.it - large natural park to explore, with a large lake, restaurant and what seems to be a zoo too

http://www.lecornelle.it - a zoo with a wide variety of animals, white tigers, elephants

http://www.castellodivezio.it Castle of Vezio on the shores of Lake Como, complete with a display of falconry if you are lucky

Ever wondered where that stunning backdrop to Daniel Craig's rest & recuperation in the film 'Casino Royale' was? Well, the name's Como, Lake Como! So, go see for yourself and explore the villas on Lake Como (http://www.lakecomovillas.net/villas.php) - the kids may enjoy running around the gardens while you excape into James Bond's or George Clooney's arms (in your dreams). Perhaps best combined with eating ice cream somewhere, and feeding the ducks on the lakefront, or a boat trip on the lake.

Villa Carlotta - the most well known, parking is easy, you can have access to the villa as well as the grounds. There is a fountain that is full of fish and toads which can kept little explorers amused for at ages while they watch 'toad arguments'. Also a nice cafe there, picnic areas and beautiful scenery.

Villa Del Balbianello (Lenno) - only the gardens are open to the public

Villa Melzi (Bellagio) - only the gardens are open to the public

Villa Monestero (Varenna) - The House Museum, the historical and noble residence, where its fourteen rooms can be visited following a charming itinerary.

Punta Balbianello - Villa Balbianello is the romantic spot featured in the second episode of the Star Wars saga.

Now isn't this is a smashing list? 
Thank you so much for sharing. 
This should keep your little explorers busy for a while. 
The question is can we keep up with them???


Elisa @ Globetrotting in Heels said...

The Zurich portion is old news, but WOW, the Ticino list is AWESOME! Definitely going to check these places out and bookmark for future trips!

Thank you for sharing these!

Expat with Kids said...

Any tips for Zürich are more than welcome! ;)
Have a lovely weekend.

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