The ski village of Zermatt is known for pristine and scenic views of the Matterhorn and is an extremely popular winter ski destination. The village also has plenty to offer for families in the summer. We went there over a weekend last summer, and were smitten by how gorgeous Zermatt is. The majestic Matterhorn can be seen from nearly every part of the village, peeking out from over a hillock or rising from beyond the flowing ‘Matter Vispa’ river. The car-free village is small enough to be accessed on foot and all the sights are no more than 40-minutes apart from each other.
There is no dearth of playgrounds in Zermatt. There are around a dozen playgrounds here (more on the playgrounds here). One of which is Wolli’s adventure park, nestled in the idyllic Sunnegga ski area at an altitude of 2,288 m. This is perhaps the one with the most scenic views and is suitable for children of nearly every age group. Wolli the sheep is Zermatt’s little mascot, inspired from a local sheep bred from the region of Wallis.
Accessing the Playground
Sunnegga is a three-minute funicular ride away from the valley station in Zermatt. The cost of a trip in the funicular is 8 chf for a single trip or 12 chf to return. This applies to children over six, adults with a GA, half-fare card or Swiss Travel Pass. Children under six do not require a ticket.
The railway was fully renovated in 2013, it runs through a tunnel in the mountain and after a quick ride, you emerge outside into the sunshine. There is a buffet restaurant a little way from the exit of the funicular, with a large outdoor seating area, perfect for gazing at the majestic Matterhorn over a leisurely meal. Towards the left is a pathway that leads to Wolli’s adventure park. A quick trip down an inclined lift takes you to the playground.
A Paradise for Children and Adults alike
The playground itself in on the shore of Lake Leisee, also known as Zermatt’s very own summer beach. The shallow lake has a little play raft which children (and adults) can use to cross over. There are several barbeque areas surrounding the playground and deck chairs laid out on the side of the lake.
As with nearly all playgrounds in Switzerland, this one is stroller-accessible and is perfect for children between the ages of 1 to 15. The playground includes slides, climbing frames, swings and more than 8 different play features. The area also has tables and chairs, and picnic spots for families.
While we were happy to laze around on the deck chairs, watching our three year old son wading into the lake, many families had set up their barbecues and were happily grilling away. We spent a leisurely couple of hours here, soaking up the warm sun and dipping our feet in the lake, as our son walked around hand-in-hand with his grandparents who were visiting. He made many new friends at the playground. Mind and soul satiated, we headed to the restaurant Buffet Bar Sunnegga for lunch.
- Carrying a sunhat, sunscreen and swimwear is a good idea. Especially for children who are tempted to splash around in Lake Leisee.
- In the summer you could try some of the several hiking trails from Sunnegga to Zermatt or even rent a kick-bike (a cross between a bike and a scooter) to ride down the giant zig-zag trail to the village of Zermatt. This is a fun ride and is suitable for children from ages 9 upwards.
Photos by Shinta Simon