There’s no fun like Advent fun!

Christmas is here again

The run-up to Christmas is a magical and exciting time, especially for children. We have the best tips for Advent with the family.

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 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.

Christmas is here again
Candle dipping on Bürkliplatz


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.




Winterthur Santa parade and Christmas market – Sunday, December 2, 2018

Winterthur transforms into a Christmas fairytale during Advent, too. It all starts on November 30, 2018 with the Christmas market on Neumarkt, which features about 100 stalls. This is followed by the Santa parade in the old town on Sunday, December 2, which begins at Oberer Graben and passes through Marktgasse and Obergasse on its way to Steinberggasse. Anyone who likes festive ice skating should make a stop at the Archhöfe City Mall, where there’s also a fondue chalet.



Zug Christmas Market, December 12 – 16, 2018

There’s plenty of pre-Christmas spirit to be found around Zug’s old town too, at Postplatz, Hirschenplatz, Zeughausgasse and Landsgemeindeplatz. A host of culinary and craft stalls are on offer at the Christmas market, with highlights for the kids, including a singing Christmas tree, the chance to decorate your own Lebkuchen, and concerts, theater and dancing. There will also be a lovely children’s carousel on Postplatz for the little ones.

Ägeri on Ice, November 23, 2018 – January 5, 2019

Ägeri on Ice is back again with cool activities such as the Ägeri Cup hockey tournament, Bavarian curling, lots of shows on the ice rink, concerts, Sunday brunches, a fondue stübli and an ice disco. There will be a storytelling afternoon with Jolanda Steiner on December 23 for the kids.

Christchindlimärt Baar – Saturday, December 1, 2018

Christchindlimärt has become an unmissable institution in Baar. The market goes back to 1981 and offers everything you could dream of at more than 130 stalls, from gift ideas to piping-hot plates of raclette. The little ones can look forward to a visit from Samichlaus, and there’s also an old-fashioned carousel to ride, animals to pet, stories to listen to, and the chance to bake ‘Grittibänz’ bread men or make your own gingerbread house. This year’s market takes place on the first Sunday of Advent, 11 am – 8 pm.


November, 2017
modified in October, 2018

An article by:
Nicole Gutschalk und Andrea Bornhauser
Our favorite thing is to take our children exploring in the most beautiful spots around our home city of Zurich. Together, we run the online platform, where we share fashion, lifestyle, food and travel tips with modern families.
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