Things to do in Valais :: Swiss Alps with Kids
If you are planning the perfect family holiday in Switzerland then you are in exactly the right place with us. Am I right in guessing that you are - like we - an outdoor loving family and want to spend your time in the Swiss Alps with kids as much in the nature as possible.
I have listed our top favourite things to do in Valais Switzerland, to ensure your Swiss Alps with kids experience will be top notch!
I am so excited about this article, the reason why is simple, we live here. And when we’re not out travelling, eating a gelato at the beach, feeding an elephant or looking for shells in a rock pool by the sea, we’re doing exactly all these amazing things to do in Valais Switzerland listed below.
Basically, you can call us - the outdoor loving family on permanent holidays – even when we’re at home we’re in a holiday environment, and certainly make the most out of all the things to do in Valais.
To be able to experience the Swiss Alps with kids, day in, day out and having all these things do to in Valais on our door step is simply amazing.
The featured things to do in Valais activities for families can be changed and adapted in many ways so it is suitable for your outdoor loving family. Whether you have toddlers running around, younger kids that need to be motivated or even teenagers that need a bit more of an adventure day, all is possible and this is why we love to live in the Swiss Alps with kids so much.
Things do to in Valais
- Swiss Vapeur Park
- Have lunch with the Lamas
- Visiting Gorges du Trient
- Alpine Zoo Les Marécottes
- Find your way at the Labyrinth (amusement park)
- Climbing at Vertical Hall
- Park , Domain des Iles
- Adventure Park, test your courage
- Castle visit, Tourbillon Castle
- Animal Farm, L'Arche des Crétillons
- Cycling along the River Rhone
- Swiss Altitude experience 3330m-Le Mont Fort
- Seeking the Alpine Salamander (Alpine Lake)
- Via Ferrata (Older kids)
- Happy Land (amusement park)
- Thermal Bath in Leukerbad
- Downhill Trottinettes - Scooters
- Nature Museum in Sion
- Fun4kids (indoor play area)
- Swimming at the different public pools
First some facts about the Valais, Switzerland.
The canton of Valais is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland, situated in the southwestern part of the country, and stretches along the valley of the Rhône river. Valais is widely known for the Matterhorn and resort towns such as Crans-Montana, Saas Fee, Verbier and Zermatt.
But I want to come away from these beautiful famous places and have you discover a wider and lesser known area. The Valais has so much on offer that I will never be able to feature all the things to do in Valais.
But if you’re planning the perfect family holiday in Switzerland and the Valais will be your choice of destination, then be prepared for a full active outdoor family holiday and get to know the Swiss Alps with kids off the beaten path.
During your travels up and down the Valais you will have to change language half way up the valley. The French will change in to the very typique “Ober Walliser Ditsch” Swiss German but with a very strong unique accent.
The Canton is composed of 13 districts (hence the 13 stars on the flag) and its capital is Sion, one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland as it has a real medieval touch to it.
Things to do in Valais – Swiss Alps with Kids
The list of things to do in Valais will start at the lower end of the Rhone Valley and slowly make its way up. I have deliberately left out all the amazing hikes there are, as these are featured HERE.
As our twins will get older and we're discovering other great things to do in Valais, I will update this list as and when.
No1. Swiss Vapeur Park
Location :: Le Bouveret
The Swiss Vapeur Park is a beautifully landscaped steam park and the only one of its kind in Switzerland. Much appreciated by families and steam enthusiasts.
The stunning setting at Le Bouveret - Swiss Vapeur Parc has steam trains passing through a landscape of the miniature Swiss landmarks, and overlooks Lake Geneva.
An absolute kid heaven and honestly every adult train fan will have a permanent smile on their face.
Take your seat on one of the carriages which will be pulled by one of the 16 locomotives, of which 8 have a steam engine. Have fun and enjoy multiple rides, passing in front of the miniature Swiss landmarks, over several bridges, tunnels, level crossings and junctions. But the Swiss Vapeur park is more than just a steam train park. Take a walk through the 19’000m2 and discover more then 130 different spieces of trees, flowers and landscape after every corner. A joy for all botanical lovers also.
A fun day for the whole family.
Good to know :: The park is normally open from March to November. A restaurant is on site and caters for all needs.
N02. Have Lunch with the Lama & Alpaca’s
Location :: Les Crosets
A true paradise for children and adults. If you want to spend your day away from it all in an alpine setting with breathtaking views of the Dents du Midi and the Dents du Blanches at 1880m altitude then make your way to Le Relais Panoramique at Les Crosets.
The restaurant offers real local delicacies and the star of this place is the amazing play area with all different kind of animals to be see. Lama, alpaca, pig, goat and pony are some of the species that await you in an idyllic setting.
Good to know ::If you like the whole feel of the place you can spend the night there and sleep with the Lamas.
No.3 Visiting Gorges du Trient
Location :: Vernayaz
If you love narrow pathways, waterfalls and rocks rising high to the sky above you, then this is a great place to visit and should be on your things to do in Valais list.
The water flowing through these majestic Gorges begins its journey at the bottom of the glacier of the same name, in the Mont-Blanc massif. It then flows in the Val de Trient and 17 km lower, into the River Rhone.
Throughout this walk, you will overlook the river on wooden walkways which is super exciting for the kids but make sure you hold the younger ones by the hand. It is an easy and partially shaded path so bring a jacket even if you are visiting during a gorgeous summer day. The path is accessible to all and takes about 20 minutes for the round trip. But with all the photos you would want to take count at least an hour.
A small refreshment place and a sheltered terrace, where picnics are allowed awaits. Free parking and toilets are available.
Good to know :: The Gorges are open from May to October and then closes when the 1st frost arrives. If you are visiting late in October just give them a call to ensure they are open.
No.4 Alpine Zoo - Les Marécottes
Location :: Les Marécottes
We know that there is no such thing as an "ideal" zoo, but zoos help to better observe animal life. They have contributed and contribute to the rescue of many species. Les Marécottes is not your usual zoo. It is an Alpine Zoo featuring over 75’000m2 of pure nature and animals that can be found in our forests. And this is why we love this place. The goats are free walking, keeping you company during your stroll around the area and of course asking or should I say, pushing you for some of the goodies you can purchase at the cash desk to feed the animals.
They are super cute but maybe just be a bit aware if you have smaller kids in your group, the goats tend to climb on you.
This place features an AMAZING outdoor swimming pool. Probably the most beautiful pool you have come across in Valais Switzerland. It is a bit chilly but the stunning surroundings make up for it.
A smallish play area is available for the kids and the on-site restaurant serves great local dishes.
If you rather prefer a picnic, there is a dedicated shady area within the zoo area with tables. You can easily spend the day here.
Good to know :: Parking is free and the whole alpine-zoo is push-chair friendly. As you are at quite an altitude bring your jacket with you. For the month of January, you can get an entry ticket to the Zoo by an automatic machine. None of the facilities will be open. Other than that, it is open all year round.
No5. Find your way at The Labyrinth
Location :: Evionnaz
Take the whole day for the Labyrinth. A dream place for a great day in the Swiss Alps with kids. The entertainment is endless.
Hundreds of games to discover from bouncy castles, to balance games, mini-golf, giant slides, technical games, water game section, different bikes and cars and much much more. One of the highlights is the giant maze where a story helps you find the way if you get it right.
A simple onsite restaurant offers the typical fairground food and refreshments.
Good to know :: Most is in open air and there is plenty of parking free of charge. It Opens from May to the beginning of November.
No6. Climbing at Vertic Hall
Location :: Saxon
This is our local climbing hall. No matter if it is sunny or rainy, Vertic Hall is perfect and should not to be missed on your things to do in Valais list especially if you love climbing like we do. Actually, you do not even need to be a climber, why not go and try it out? The hall is massive, the tallest in west Switzerland and offers beginner routes all the way to the pros. A great kids bouldering section with a tunnel and climbing nets guarantee that they have a great time whilst you can climb with the self belay device.
An outdoor boulder block and picnic area with play ground and bouncy castle makes this place a great outdoor loving family destination in Valais.
Good to know :: They do offer courses for beginners and climbing gear can be rented on site. The hall is open all year round and parking is free of charge.
No7. Spending a day at the Domain des Iles
Location :: Just outside of Sion is
Les Iles, a landscaped park transformed from a gravel pit. You simply cannot go wrong in this nature park only minutes from the city centre.
During the summer months it provides the perfect opportunity to cool off in the lake. You can go paddle boarding, bring your own board or during peak times rent one from the local agency. The park also provides a large playground, free outdoor climbing wall, volleyball field, mini golf, miniature railway and best of it all it has an adventure park. I will cover the adventure park later on. There are also tennis courts but for more information on these visit the local club’s website.
Bring your bikes and cycle around the lake, the ideal place also for younger kids to learn their first pedals without any help. All around the lake are large trees providing shade when needed and the comfort of grass allows you to get installed with your picnic blanket and stay the day.
The les Iles restaurant provides amazing local dishes and other refreshments. At peak times you do need to make a reservation as it will get quite busy. Check on the opening times as well.
Good to know :: The park is absolutely free of charge and so are the parking facilities.
No8. Test your courage in the Adventure Park
Location :: Les Iles in Sion
Who does not love an adventure park and to balance on obstacles high up in the trees? The safety and construction of this Adventure Park are second to none and there is nothing to worry about. Believe me, you are reading a blog of a worrying mum. Trained instructors will give your family a thorough introduction on how to use the equipment.
The park is nestled in a beautiful location among the pines, and near the lake: There is a real holiday atmosphere as soon as you enter the park “les Domaines des iles”.
But let’s get back to the adrenaline adventure you are here for. And there’s a real adventure in store for you: Test your strength in 11 courses (with 3 for children aged 4-7), 176 challenges, 40 zip wires, and a quick jump. Do you need more? Normally with an entry ticket they allow you to spend two hours amongst the different courses, but when it is quiet the staff normally let you stay longer. Family members who are not tempted to try one of the courses can walk around the lake, soak up some sun or simply get inspired by the other members climbing the wobbly ladder and gliding down the many zip-lines.
Good to know :: The entry to the park les Iles is free of charge and so are the parking facilities. You do have to pay for the adventure park use.
No9. Playing Knight and Princess at the Tourbillon Castle
Location :: Sion Centre
Which child does not love to be a knight or a princess once in their lives? Take the short uphill walk to the Tourbillon Castle which sits on a rocky hill in the middle of the capital city Sion. You can park in any of the surrounding car parks and make your way up to the castle by passing through the beautiful narrow streets of the old part of Sion- the Capital of Valais.
On the way up stop and admire the 360-degree views along the Rhone Valley and the neighboring Basilique de Valère, located on the opposite hill. Vineyards are rising up from the valley floor on both sides which gives you an idea of what the local farmers are living from, and drinking. A beautiful archway leads you into the medieval castle ground and the adventure can begin.
On the far side which must have been the castle gardens I presume, you will find some good picnic spots and if you walk to the very end you have the possibility to see well into the Haute -Valais.
Why not go and visit the church after you had some fun up at the castle. It is home of the oldest playable organ in the world.
Good to know :: Be careful with young kids in some places as it drops straight down to the bottom of the hill.
The visit to both the castle and the church are free of charge. And to our greatest amazement, there is also a restroom at the corner before heading in to the “gardens” of the castle.
N10. Visit the Farm L'Arche des Crétillons
Location :: Chalais
L'Arche des Crétillons is a place we visit as soon as the snow starts to melt and the temperatures down the valley feel spring like. It normally also coincides with an announcement from the farm that they have many different new arrivals at the farm some only days old.
The farm visit is a great thing to do in Valais with kids of all ages. It is situated slightly above the village of Chalais with splendid views over the Rhone Valley. There is a dedicated parking lot about 20min walk from the farm which is perfect to combine an afternoon walk and the farm visit. With over 200 animals from the tiny bird to the large cows you can find nearly everything you would expect to see at a farm. A small coffee shop serves refreshments and small snacks.
Good to know :: There is no entry fee but they expect you to buy something at their shop. If you have family members with you that cannot walk the path from the car park to the farm, you are allowed to drop them off at the farm, but the car needs to be parked at the designated car park.
No11. Cycling along the River Rhone
Location :: All the way along the Valais Valley
There are so many things to do in Valais with kids, and one of the absolute musts is to cycle along the cycle path which follows the River Rhone. The Rhone Route cycle path runs through the magnificent mountain scenery of the entire Valais and if you really like you can cycle all the way to Geneva. But let’s do this another time and stay in Valais for this time. If you get organised you can cycle one way and take the public transportation back to your starting point. Bike rentals are scattered throughout the valley and even some cool electric bikes can be rented. We always choose a new starting point which allows us to see most of the entire path.
Good to know :: This is a flat path but it can get windy at some times and also busy. Maybe best to avoid on weekends.
No12. Having a Swiss Altitude experience
Location :: Siviez/ Nendaz
The obvious things to do in Valais is probably a hike or going up a mountain. But when traveling the Swiss Alps with kids this might not always be possible as most of the paths are steep and long.
If you love a view but not the hike then this is the perfect family activity in Valais. Head to Siviez, buy a day pass and enjoy multiple rides on chairlifts and gondolas. An adventure day in its own right with breathtaking views in all directions. Read full itinerary.
Good to know :: Children under the age of 6 ride free in the cable cars. There is a large free of charge parking area at Siviez cable car station. You will be heading up to 3330m so bring a warm jacket!
No13. Seeking the orange belly Alpine Salamanders
Location :: Tracouet Lac Noir / Nendaz
There is nothing better than a lake, a picnic area and a view, and this is exactly what you will find up at the summit of Tracouet at Lac Noir. Probably one of our favorite places. The bubble gondola which brings you up to the lake is open from June to October. A playground area situated just outside the restaurant adds to the activities you will find around the lake, which include searching for the Alpine Salamander and inspecting his orange belly. Tracouet is actually the centre point of many other things to do in Valais. Read more..
Good to know :: Children under the age of 6 ride free in the gondola car.
No14. Climb a mountain and find some Edelweiss :: Via Ferrata
Location :: Col de Gentianes accessible either from Siviez or from Verbier
This is a thing to do in valais activity where your kids need to be at least 10 years old and maybe even have done a Via Ferrata before. If you tick all these boxes then you’re up for an amazing adventure. High up in Les Gentianes you will find two of the finest Via Ferratas. Only a short stroll from the Gondola station are 2 routes, one medium difficulty with ladder climbing and one difficult with overhangs and shear drops. No matter which one you would like to do, both will finish on a rocky summit with a breathtaking 360 degree view.
Good to know :: There are mountain guides available if you would rather have a guided tour. The mandatory gear can be rented from any sport shop in either the villages of Nendaz or in Verbier, or at the Gentianes restaurant.
No15. Be Happy at Happy Land
Lacation:: Granges, Sierre
As the name already says, at Happy-Land in Granges everybody can be happy. A great family park with different rides and slides and things to do in Valais. The reason why we love this park is the size of it. It is a nice manageable park and mostly not crowded at all.
We normally park in Sion by the golf course and cycle along the River Rhone all the way to Happy Land.
A restaurant is available at the park.
Good to know :: Not all rides can be visited by the younger kids, please check their website for more information.
No16. Splash at the Thermal Bath
Location :: Leukerbad
If you are like we, a warm water loving family then the Leukerbad Therme needs to be on your list of things to do in Valais with kids. The source of the thermal water comes from the surrounding mountains. It is a bit a drive if you are based along the valley floor, but well worth the beautiful scenic drive all the way from Leuk to Leukerbad.
The bath itself is great with a stunning backdrop of the overpowering mountains. You will find an enclosed kids section with shallow pool, a large indoor pool with outside section, an outdoor pool and two cool tube slides. The outside section allows you to relax and take in this beautiful scenery. The onsite restaurant caters for all needs and allows you to spend the day there. Keep in mind that Leukerbad village has many other great things to do in Valais, such as the Gemmi Cable car viewpoint or maybe you fancy more a walk along the «Thermal spring trek» theme trail (Thermalquellen-Weg) and see the source of the thermal waters.
Good to know :: You can pay for 3h or for the full day. Parking is just in the underground carpark of the Therme, payable.
No17. Downhill Trottinette - Scooter
Location :: The stations of Chandolin, Vercorin and Zinal, Anzere and Les Ruinettes in Verbier.
Mountain biking is an activity everyone puts on their things to do in Valais list, but once on site and on the bike, they quickly realise what hard work it actually is.
But the great thing in the mountains is, what goes up needs to come down, and here is where these amazing special cross-country scooters come into their own.
Experience an exhilarating downhill ride on these special trottinettes which guarantee to be a fun family activity. The trottinettes are large enough so that the younger children can stand on it together with an adult.
It's easy, it's fun and it's accessible to everyone!
When we did it we had an 8-year-old in our group who was happy to be alone on the scooter at her own speed.
There are several mountain stations in the Valais offering the downhill Trottinette experience. Normally they run from June to October but better check directly with the station.
Good to know :: Helmets are available for rent at the station direct.
Things to do in Valais on rainy days
There are not many rainy days, fortunately or unfortunately however you see it, but here are a few things to do in Valais that are family friendly when visiting the Swiss Alps with kids.Of course all these listed things to do in Valais are also great when the sun shines.
No18. Visit the Musée de la Nature
Location :: Sion Capital of Valais
I have to be honest, we’re not such a museum loving family apart from dad, but the Nature Museum in Sion is different. With a lot of interactive stations and exhibitions of pretty much all the alpine animals there are in the Swiss forest to be seen, it makes this museum a hit even for our family.
Good to know :: Normally every 1st Sunday of the month the entry is free of charge. But check on their website to ensure this is the case.
No19. Jump around at Fun4Kids
Location :: Vétroz
If you are near Central Valais on a rainy day with young kids and need an inside activity to let some energy out then Fun4Kids would be a great place to start. It is not the biggest indoor jumping park but there is enough to do for our little ones. It is probably more a park for up to 8-year olds. A cantina serves some refreshments and best of it all it is super cheap with only Chf 10.- entry as of 2 years old.
Good to know :: Parking is free on site.
No20. Swimming in any of the Thermal Baths or Public Swimming Pools
Location :: Saillon, Leukerbad, Brig or Sion
Swimming is one activity you obviously can do no matter the weather. In Sion you have a public indoor swimming pool (no thermal temperatures). The three great Thermal Bath are in Saillon in Brig and as already mentioned the one in Leukerbad.
You may also like these easy beautiful hikes in Valais and beyond in Switzerland
- Easy hike around Lake Sanetsch
- Lake Oeschinen :: Switzerland’s Best & Easy Hike with Kids
- Tseuzier Lake :: Best family friendly hike
- Swiss Altitude adventure to 3330m :: with Your KidsValais
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