Leisure and social life

Children and youth

Parent-child activities

Being a Vaudois does not only mean having rights and duties, but also taking part in local life and fulfilling one’s hobbies. To achieve this, you will find below some information as well as a non-exhaustive list of activities. You will find in the following section some addresses of activities for children or to do as a family.

Maisons vertes

The Maisons vertes (Green Houses) are places of reception, sharing and exchange, open to all children up to 5 years old, accompanied by an adult (parent or any other adult responsible for the child).
 
Maisons vertes-type child-parent institutions

Arc-Échange

Space for meeting and discussion for parents and children from 0 to 5 years old in order to promote integration and social ties, support the parent-child relationship and encourage the socialisation of the child. ARC-Échange welcomes families with respect for the values, needs and affiliations of each person, in several places in the canton of Vaud.

Vaudfamille portal
The Vaudfamille online portal offers activities for children and/or to do as a family.

Associations

Many associations set up free activities to promote language awareness and to meet other children, some of which are listed below by way of example.
 
By participating (some activities require the presence of parents), you will also be able to obtain information on everyday life from the animators.

1001 histoires
1001 histoires offers animations in native languages and in French around stories, nursery rhymes and stories. 1001 histoires makes it possible in particular to strengthen the parent-child bond, to support parents in their role and to promote inter-family solidarity.

Extra-curricular activities for children and young people

In all regions of the canton, many extracurricular activities (holiday camps, socio-cultural activity centres, day activities, youth councils, etc.) are offered to children and young people by associations, municipalities, or are also initiated and carried out directly by groups of young people.

For more information on these offers, contact your municipality or consult the website of the Groupe de Liaison des Activités de Jeunesse.
 
Youth leisure activities
This site also provides families with a directory of leisure activities for children and young people during Vaud school holidays.
 
Délégué cantonal à l’enfance et à la jeunesse
Groups of young people who organise a social, sporting or cultural project can apply for financial assistance.
 
ciao.ch
The ciao.ch site provides the skills of professionals to meet the information and guidance needs of young people from French-speaking Switzerland aged 11-20 years old on all sorts of topics.

Adults

Structures to promote integration

Volunteering and community life play an important role in the Vaud society. Among the many existing associations, some were created by migrants. These structures aim to promote the integration of foreigners into the host society, while promoting their culture of origin.
 
To achieve this, they set up many activities, multicultural festivals or spaces for meetings and exchanges.

Volunteering

In addition to expanding your field of skills and your network of contacts, volunteering can be a springboard for obtaining a job.
 
Before starting work

Bénévolat-Vaud, skills centre for community life
If you want to commit a few hours a week to a cause that is dear to you or create an association, Bénévolat-Vaud can provide you with all the useful information.
 
More information
Avenue Ruchonnet 1
1003 Lausanne
021 313 24 00

Local companies

Local companies offer sports, cultural and leisure activities that allow residents to meet to get to know each other and have fun. To find out about them, contact your municipality.

Cultural social centres

There are several cultural social centres in the canton of Vaud which promote social ties and interactions between generations and cultures. Various activities are offered and allow you to meet people.
 
For more information, contact your municipality to find out what exists in your area.

Welcoming international employees

The Welcome days & Reloc’coffees are events specially dedicated to international employees who have recently arrived in the canton of Vaud as well as to their spouses. These events are organised by the “International Link” service of the Vaud Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Sports and artistic activities

If you are looking for sports or artistic activities (volleyball, football, dance, music, theatre, etc.), in addition to your research on the internet, you can also contact your municipality of residence. A list of local companies that offer this type of service is often available at the Contrôle des Habitants.

Tourism

The canton of Vaud has magnificent landscapes, both in the countryside and in the mountains, and is home to many sites and monuments that deserve to be visited. To discover your region, you can consult the Vaud canton tourist office (OTV).

Vaud Promotion (VP)
Avenue d’Ouchy 60
Case postale 1125
1001 Lausanne
021 613 26 26
[email]info@region-de-leman.ch[/email]

Cultural agenda

In the canton of Vaud, the cultural offer is varied: festivals, traditional celebrations, shows, exhibitions, cinemas, concerts, etc. To keep up to date with events in your region, visit the Office du Tourisme Vaudois (OTV) website.

More information
region-du-leman.ch
temps-libre.ch
 
You can also consult the cultural agenda, in particular with local newspapers.

Museums

Discover the museums of the canton of Vaud, their permanent and temporary exhibitions! They are mostly free of charge every first Saturday or Sunday of the month.

More information
musees.vd.ch/musees-cantonaux
museums.ch/fr
 
Carte Culture, Caritas Vaud
The Culture Card, offered by the Caritas network, allows people on low incomes to take part in cultural and social life by benefiting from reductions in the field of culture, sport and training.

More information

Caritas Vaud
Chemin de la Colline 11
1007 Lausanne
021 317 59 80

Libraries

Several libraries also welcome you in the canton. Membership is generally free.

Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire - Lausanne (BCUL)
The BCUL has a large collection of books/CDs/films, bilingual texts and texts in foreign languages, as well as numerous methods for learning French.
 
The BCUL has several sites, notably at the Place de la Riponne, and on the university campus in Dorigny.
 
More information
Place de la Riponne 6
1014 Lausanne
021 316 78 63
info.riponne@bcu.unil.ch
 
Bibliothèque interculturelle Globlivres
This library offers more than 27,000 titles in 272 languages. Open to everyone, it also has many didactic books for learning French.
 
More information
Rue Neuve 2 bis
1020 Renens
021 635 02 36
info@globlivres.ch
 
Municipal libraries
Many municipalities also have libraries. For more information, contact your municipality.

Evening cultural activities and child care

For parents who enjoy concerts or the theatre, the Vaud Red Cross offers a baby-sitting service at home which includes four hours of childcare and the reservation of show tickets in the following cultural spaces:

  • Le Romandie in Lausanne.
  • Le Théâtre de Vidy in Lausanne.
  • The Centre pluriculrurel et social d’Ouchy in Lausanne.
  • The “Café-Théâtre Le Bourg” in Lausanne.
  • “Le Reflet” theatre in Vevey.
More information

Religion

Switzerland guarantees freedom of religion. In the canton of Vaud, everyone is free to practise their faith.

L’Arzillier Maison du dialogue
The Arzillier Maison du dialogue is an interreligious structure whose aim is to allow exchange between people of different religious and spiritual traditions. On their website, the Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Baha’i communities, among others, are represented.

Avenue de Rumine 62
1005 Lausanne

Search for activities

1001 Histoires
Responsable : Institut suisse Jeunesse et Médias (ISJM)
Lieu du cours : Bussigny
021 311 52 20
Animations en portugais et en français autour de récits, comptines et histoires
Accueil, rencontre et orientation sociale
Responsable : Appartenances - Espace Femmes Lausanne
Lieu du cours : Lausanne
021 351 28 80
Accueil, rencontre et orientation sociale en faveur de femmes migrantes avec ou sans enfants
Accueil, rencontre et orientation sociale
Responsable : Appartenances - Espace Femmes Yverdon-les-Bains
Lieu du cours : Yverdon-les-Bains
024 426 03 36
Rencontres et animations en faveur de femmes migrantes avec ou sans enfants
Activités autour du français
Responsable : Commune de Montreux
Lieu du cours : Clarens
079 228 62 16
Activités sociales variées permettant d'apprendre et de pratiquer le français dans toutes sortes de situations (conférences, visites culturelles, ateliers)
Age et migration
Responsable : EPER
Lieu du cours : Lausanne
021 613 40 70
Activités d’information et de socialisation pour les personnes migrantes de 55 ans et plus
Age et migration
Responsable : EPER
Lieu du cours : Yverdon-les-Bains
022 613 40 70
Activités d’information et de socialisation pour les personnes migrantes de 55 ans et plus
Arc-En-Ciel multiculturel
Responsable : Commune de Villeneuve / CIV
Lieu du cours : Villeneuve
077 407 58 75
Evénement multiculturel
Ateliers de français et activités manuelles
Responsable : Commune de Bex / LIBex
Lieu du cours : Bex
079 686 61 10
Ateliers de français et de couture
Ateliers d'échange interculturel
Responsable : Commune de Bex, secrétariat municipal
Lieu du cours : Bex
079 365 07 47
Ateliers d'échange et de partage d'expériences vécues en français
Bienvenue chez moi!
Responsable : Solidarité Afrique Farafina
Lieu du cours : Baulmes
079 394 92 13
Ateliers culinaires entre des familles suisses et étrangères
Café Bienvenue
Responsable : Ville de Morges, Service cohésion sociale et logement
Lieu du cours : Morges
021 804 15 14
Ateliers d'échange et de partage d'expériences vécues en français pour femmes migrantes accompagnées de leurs enfants
Café Bienvenue
Responsable : Commune de Villeneuve / CIV
Lieu du cours : Villeneuve
077 407 58 75
Atelier de conversation pour femmes migrantes et suisses, ainsi que pour leurs enfants en âge préscolaire

Seniors

Various actions for seniors are implemented by associations and by the Vaud municipalities. If you are retired and want to meet people or practise a hobby, you can contact one of the associations below.

EPER – Age and migration
Activités d’information et de socialisation pour les personnes migrantes de 55 ans et plus.
Chemin de Bérée 4A
Case postale 536 | 1001 Lausanne
021 613 40 70
 
Avivo
 
Pro Senectute
 
Mouvement des aînés Vaud
 
Connaissance 3
Connaissance 3 is the university for seniors of the canton of Vaud. Its activities are aimed primarily at seniors, but it is open to everyone, without age limit or qualification.