We discovered this place of awakening to the scientific, technical and artistic culture for children and families proposing temporary exhibitions.
After a day spent largely outside yesterday we opted for an indoor activity today and went to visit the Espace des inventions in Lausanne. it’s easy to find and parking is plentiful (and free) at the weekend and from there its a short walk to the entrance of the building along a walkway through a kind of park.
The building itself is a flamboyant structure and we found we were unsure what to expect inside but we followed the disabled access ramp around the building and were pleasantly surprised when we got inside. It’s a bright, colorful place buzzing with people and children everywhere. We bought our tickets and went to divest ourselves of bulky winter coats in the cloakroom area (there are lockers downstairs if you need them) before following the path into the main building.
The theme of the displays changes every 7 months and from now until 21 June the theme is L’arbre (the tree). The space is VERY interactive with the focus firmly on children and learning and we started by examining different kinds of wood and comparing their properties before we reached a series of little darkened booths where the children could discover more about the trees. We especially liked the interactive map dotted with buttons which gave facts about parks and trees in the areas around us.
Jude and Alba spent a long time in the little « supermarket » where they loved scanning the items and trying to spot the things which included wood. from there we followed the circuit and, unlike many museums where we skip the odd display, we tried everything we came across. Each activity is so different from the one before that it really piques the curiosity of the children.
We then moved on to the area downstairs - for disabled visitors or those with a push chair there is no lift but the downstairs area can be accessed by going outside again. This space is a large open room with a big tree in the middle surrounded by various activities including a microscope where we could examine leaves, wood and insects more closely, things to climb on, experiments and wooden building blocks surrounded by places to sit and there was a small cafe area too.
My favourite bit was the little craft area where the children could sit and use stencils to draw leaves, decorate and cut them out before pegging them on a wall of leaves and admiring their handiwork.
I saw that you can also organise school visits, host birthday parties and they also organise workshops (booking mandatory) on Saturdays and Wednesdays for children aged between 7 and 12 years.
It was a great trip out on a cold, windy day and we will definitely go back to see more of their exhibitions in the future.
Parking : Yes
Toilets : Yes
Baby Change Facilities : Yes
Accessibility : Yes suitable for pushchairs
Extra : Cloak room area and lockers
Reduction for under 16’s, students etc CHF 5
Free entry the first Saturday of each month