Christmas is here again
The first signs of Christmas come as early as mid-October in supermarkets and department stores, when stacks of Lebkuchen, chocolate Samichlauses and Christmas tree decorations start to appear. While that’s a little soon for us, even we can’t resist the festive spirit when the first lantern processions pass through the neighborhood.
After all, Advent is always a magical time for kids and grown-ups alike, and there are plenty of pre-Christmas events in store to make the run-up to Christmas Eve a little shorter – and sweeter. No season has quite as many rituals and traditions to enjoy as Advent. We’re looking forward to candle dipping, making our own Advent wreaths, and baking festive cookies and ‘Grittibänz’ bread men with the kids. Oh, and having mulled wine and punch with some friends, of course.
Here are the events in our Advent diary this year:
Liechterwecke ceremony – Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Here’s how it works: Before the Christmas lights are switched on in Baden’s streets, children are invited to wake up the Christmas angel illumination using little bells. These are handed out at 5.15 pm on Cordulaplatz. The children then make their way by lantern light procession through the broad, darkening streets, before reaching Schlossbergplatz.at 5.30 pm. As soon as they have all arrived, storyteller Maria Magdalena Kaufmann starts with the tale of Baden’s Christmas angel. To round things off, the children ring their little bells, illuminating the huge globe of light and the whole city center along with it. The children receive a crispy Spanischbroedli from the bakeries as a thank you. There’s orange punch on offer too, and mulled wine for the grown-ups.
Winter Wonderland at Park Langmatt – Saturday, December 1, 2018 10 am – 6 pm
A fine and festive spirit prevails throughout the whole month of December in the park at Museum Langmatt. On Sunday, December 1, 2018 it even transforms into a winter wonderland. There’s a Christmas market where craft workers and artists present their handmade items for sale, and children can head to the Badehaus to hear marvelous stories. Entry is free.
Candle dipping on Bürkliplatz – from November 9 until Sunday November 23, 2018
Arguably, the ‘grande dame’ among candle-dipping events! There’s always a special atmosphere in the old pavilion on Zurich’s Bürkliplatz. Everyone gathers around the big tubs and breathes in the warm fragrance of beeswax, reminding the kids not to dunk their strings too fast and then admiring the golden-yellow candles afterwards. You can take a break and have a hot chocolate in the café, where you can also see lots of pictures from candle-dipping events in previous years. And when you’re ready for some fresh air, the lake is only a stone’s throw away. Make sure you take a moment to watch the seagulls and boats returning from their journeys on the lake.
Weihnachtsdorf at Bellevue, November 22 – December 23, 2018
Last year we could hardly coax our children down from the old-fashioned two-tier carousel. It’s back again this year, taking up its spot in front of Zurich’s Opera House. Now in its third year, the Weihnachtsdorf on Sechseläutenplatz has earned its place as one of Zurich’s Advent highlights – and not just because of its impressive setting. There are culinary treats at the ever-varying stands, while designers provide inspiration for festive gifts. Kids will love the ice rink and its sound system, and they can hear stories about elves and fairies and have their faces painted at Villa Zaubernuss. There’s mulled wine for the grown-ups in the evening, as well as fondue by the fireplace in Chalet Klosters.
Illuminarium at the National Museum, November 15 – December 30, 2018
This winter, the inner courtyard of the National Museum Zurich will be filled with Christmas cheer and tasty food. An enchanting winter wonderland of light, illumination, illusion, music and culinary delights awaits visitors – it’s a true feast for the senses. Magical storytelling, mysterious creatures and playful surprises are all portrayed in light installations for the whole family. Locals can enjoy long, lingering evenings, while friends, colleagues and visitors can look forward to an exciting Advent treat. It’s an immersive and interactive experience that brings us closer to the stars.
Skating at the Dolder open-air ice rink, November 7 – March 2019
Did you know that the 6,000 m2 Dolder open-air ice rink is the largest of its kind in Europe? It’s also the oldest, as it was opened back in the 1930s. The highlight during Advent is unquestionably the huge Christmas tree that towers majestically at the center of the rink, circled by little ice princesses and burly hockey players alike.