Birthday Parties for Children in Basel

2015-07-11-Grmsl_442
Happy Birthday

Birthday Party Ideas

In your home country, you are more than likely already aware of all the places in which you can book a birthday party for your children, but once you move abroad, the searching begins. Don’t allow this to stress you out. The more birthday parties we attend, the less hoopla that surrounds the event, the better the party seems to go. To help you plan your next party, I have compiled a list of ideas to get you started.

 

Local Parks

We have attended several birthday parties at local parks, and I must admit they are a real treat. Children run freely, come around for snacks and cake and are once again, off to play and explore. Parents love this idea because there is little mess to clean up and the worry over too many children in one house or location simply doesn’t exist. Plan a few activities such as face painting, water balloons tosses, or other creative games to pull the children together during key times.

2016-08-27-pilat_260

Okidoki

– Küpferstrasse 3,

79540 Lörrach, Germany

+49 7621 424940

A huge indoor play place, this haven for children hosts birthday parties for children of all ages. Book in advance especially during the winter months.

 Community Centers – Familienzentrum

For a nominal rental fee, the community center in your neighborhood will rent out their common space, typically consisting of a kitchen space, equipped with a coffee machine and access to a stove, a toy room for the children in the group and a space for parents and children to sit and relax. We have enjoyed renting these spaces for our son’s winter birthday when weather prohibits long celebrations outdoors. Contact your local community center well in advance, as they tend to book – up far in advance.

2016-04-30-hike_58

The Forest

The forest is another prime location for birthday parties. Invite friends, plan to grill with plenty of sausages, bread, also known in German as Schlangenbrot (pre-made pizza dough works perfectly if you don’t have the time to make your own), plus children love cooking the bread and the sausages on sticks over the campfire. Bring a few games to play, invite the parents to stay and allow the children to simply explore and play in their new surroundings.

Some forest playgroups even offer organized birthday parties for children of all ages. One example of this is the Waldentdeckungsraum located in the Allschwiler Wald.

Waldentdeckungsraum:

Contact person: Andrea Pfandlbauer

077 464 0959

2009-12-26_Zoo_26
Zoo Basel

Basel Zoo

The Basel Zoo is a particularly special place to celebrate a birthday. The zoo will help you choose a theme for your party and will provide a unique experience, including personalized tours for all of your guests. To learn more about their offerings or to book your birthday party, please call +41 061 295 35 35.

McDonald’s

For a nominal expense, children can celebrate their birthday at McDonald’s with a few of their closest friends. Meals, a cake and party favors are all provided along with craft making possibilities.. Contact your local McDonald’s to learn more about the price and available dates.

Robispiel – Several of the Robispiel sites allow families to rent the space to host birthday parties.  Consider SpielEstrich, which costs 200 for an afternoon rental.

2017-08-27-Botnl_018e

 

Aquabasilea – Hardstrasse 57, 4133 Pratteln

Birthday parties can be booked in two – four hour time frames for children six years of age to 15. Entrance is CHF 18 for two hours per child and CHF 27 for four hours per child.

To learn more about the birthday parties offered by Aquabasilea, or to book your party visit their website at http://www.aquabasilea.ch/de/wasserwelten/kindergeburtstage.php.

Sutter Begg

The Sutter Begg located on Frankfurt-Strasse 80 in Münchenstein offers birthday parties for children from 5 years of age to 12 years old. To learn more about what they have to offer, please call +41 061 685 9696 or email them at info@sutterbegg.ch

Basler Kinder Theater Schützengraben 9, 4051

If your child enjoys theater, consider scheduling a birthday party with the Basler Kinder Theater.   The theater is for children and by children, is located at Schützengraben 9. The productions change on a routine basis and are certain to engage children from four to 16 years of age.

All Familienpass cardholders receive a discount on tickets, so be certain to have your card with your upon entry. Children who are celebrating a birthday receive free entry and all friends of the birthday child receive entry at just 5 francs. What better way to bring in a new year in your child’s life?

To learn more about the Basler Kinder Theater, please visit the website at: baslerkindertheater.ch

Happy Birthday!

*If any information is not correct, please let us know!

 

Advertisements

Women Who Hike

2018-04-2-Zug_157

Here are the details for our next hike!

Date:  Saturday, June 9

Time:  10:00

Meeting Point:  Tram 10 – stop Aesch Dorf (we will meet directly at the tram stop).

Route:  We will walk through Aesch, up to the Pfeffingen Castle and possibly on to Ettingen (tram 10).  There are a couple of steady climbs, so bring hiking polls if you wish.

Estimated Time:  3 – 4 hours and roughly 10+ km

Bring:  Plenty of water, snacks, smiles, dogs, but please no children!

Notes on Weather:  If it is raining, stay home, drink a coffee and we will plan another hike in better weather!

Notes on Friends:  Bring a friend because we love to hike with awesome women and the more the merrier!

 

Expat Life – Reaching Out

2018-04-07-Vitzn_005

Moving to a new country can be ripe with emotions, especially that of being lonely, but it doesn’t have to be.  Basel does a nice job of reaching out to the expat community with two incredible organizations.

The first organization I can highly recommend, especially for newcomers with children, is the Basel Children’s Trust.  A non-profit organization that caters to families, there are special events, routine playgroups, Moms’ Night Out, Dads’ Night Out and much more.  They also produce an incredibly information newsletter each month entitled, Parenting Pages, which is a benefit of becoming a member.  Visit their website for more information – Basel Children’s Trust.

Centrepoint is another fabulous organization for those residing in Basel.  With a space of their own, they are able to host coffee mornings, conversational language course, special events and much more.  The organization is always looking for volunteers, so if you are looking to get involved and help out, this might just be the place for you.  Centrepoint

Despite not being a member, InterNations is the ideal organization for meeting other expats with organized events and the ability to pair off with another expat, there might not be a better way to answer your most pressing questions and settle in.

One more idea to gain connection is to join a gym.  Gyms can be incredibly social places, plus you get the added benefit of burning calories.

All the best with your new transition!

img_4407

Expat Life – Simple Tip – Part II

2014-08-12 - Iceland 030

Learning a new language is hard, so very, very hard, but there are strides we can make each day to acquire more knowledge.  Once such tip is this little gem of a website I discovered a few months back.

German word of the day offers viewers one word for each day, the part of speech and the word used in a sentence.  In addition, you can hear the exact pronunciation of the word, aiding in your own language acquisition.

This is a great way to expand your vocabulary and learn words and sentences that much faster.  Be sure to write the words down in a notebook or day planner to refer back to.  Good luck!

Expat Life – Not the Easy Road – Part I

Expat life is often esteemed as an exotic existence, an intoxicating blend of newness, travel, perpetual holiday, café sipping experiences with the occasional work thrown in to keep it all afloat. Yes, it may appear that way, but for those of us that fantasize about a life abroad, there are several elements of daily life that need to be well thought-out.

2018-01-05-Engel_165

This is a multi – part series that provides those considering a life abroad an insider’s perspective into the intricacies of daily life in a new country. Some concepts/ideas may be obvious, others not so much. Our goal in creating this piece is to share some insights into what it means to live, navigate and thrive in a new country.

Navigating a new language – I can honestly say this is a source of incredible humility, challenges and frustration. We often take for granted the simple interactions we participate in each day in our home country. Whether it is striking up a conversation in the grocery store, making a Dr. appointment, paying a bill, questioning a transaction, when we are forced to do that in another language, we can often feel overwhelmed. Taking the time to learn the language, practice speaking on a daily basis and reading the local news are all ways to assist with language acquisition, but trust us when we say, it takes years to speak fluently and intelligently.

2016-09-03-gemmi_109e

Raising a family alone – Many of those embarking on a life abroad and still wanting to raise a family will do so alone. Be prepared for this journey, which can often be wrapped in isolation, and longing. That often translates into: enduring pregnancy solo, navigating the birthing process in a foreign country, and bringing home your new bundle to an empty home.  You will learn to rely on friends and neighbors to assist when you need an extra set of hands, and you will long for the convenience of calling a grandparent, aunt or uncle when you need a night out, or more importantly, assistance when two or four hands is simply not enough.  This will not happen and you will learn to rely on yourself, trust you instincts and your partner in ways you never knew were possible.  You grow up, you grow strong and you learn to rely on one another.

This is not a complaint, but it does alter the way in which those living abroad will raise their families.   In addition, it will require extra effort to forge lasting and meaningful relationships with family that reside thousands of miles away. That is not to say it cannot be done, for families make this work all of the time, but it does require additional effort on both parts and creative attempts at communication.  Without both parties working together to maintain the relationship, it will eventually fizzle out.

Finally, plan for additional costs and time away from work to allow for travel to your home country to visit family and friends. While these trips are often costly, and at times stressful, they are essential for forging bonds, bridging gaps that time and place impose and help to keep your family connected to your home country, the rituals, the celebrations and the holidays.  Maintaining roots in your country is essential.

20160424_Botanical_Garden_April_2016

Schooling – Local or private that is the question and a question that is often not easy to determine. Going local provides your child with the opportunity to forge friendships with those children in the neighborhood, learn the local language/ dialect and participate in all the cultural events, all of which are remarkable and essential if you plan to make a life in your new country.

What we forget, however, when placing our children in the local schools is how we as parents must learn to work within an educational system that may be and often times is, very different from our own. We must adapt to new curricula, languages, philosophies, all the while communicating our needs, our wants and our concerns in the local languages. Conferences are held in the new language, making this at times a struggle to clearly communicate your concerns.  Translators may be called if, if requested in advance, however.  This at times can feel overwhelming and may leave you longing for home.

Should you opt for the international school, your child will more than likely attend a bilingual school, with one language being English. This ensures that your child will learn to read, write and speak in his or her native language (assuming that the native language is English). This gap can also be bridged if you do not choose the international option with after school, supplemental programs.

Conferences are often held in English, or the preferred language and communication may be slightly easier. International schools typically meet longer than the local schools, which is ideal for working parents. But the down side is the steep tuition costs, which if not supported by an employer may not be an option for some families. In addition, some children that attend international schools never feel fully integrated into the local community, especially if the families elect to stay for the long haul.

The decision is difficult and no answer is the correct answer for everyone. As parents you must weigh the options and in the end know that whatever decision you decide, should it not work out, one can always try something else.

20150703_Cordes-Sur_Ciel_01

None of the above mentioned should be deterrents for those interested in relocating abroad not to give the experience a try.  It is simply to provide a deeper look into those aspects of daily life that may not be considered.  Please know that despite having to navigate all of the intricacies of our new lives together, we would never alter the decision we made to leap into the unknown.  We are grateful for each and every experience that we have endured as individuals, as a couple and ultimately as a family.