A Creative And Innovative Way Of Learning

Published with the kind approval from The Expat Magazine
 

The Angie Gisler English Language Centre hit Switzerland by storm in 2014 when the young South African entrepreneur saw a huge missing segment of English language education in Switzerland. Her extensive career working as a teacher around the world and pure love for what she does has allowed her to tailor-make undoubtedly one of the best English language centers in Switzerland.

The Expat Magazine spent a day with Ms. G to find out exactly who she is and what she does that is making her centre so reputable and what her plans are for the future. Many ex-pats end up in Switzerland for either work or love, but Angie had both. Prior to making Switzerland home, she lived and worked abroad running English schools, cutting her teeth in some of the leading schools in South Korea, the USA and Russia. During her journey she found the love of her life and married her Swiss husband, landing her in Switzerland with a fierce determination to make something of her own.

“As the years went on and my passport filled with stamps, my passion for teaching English developed, too. I had been working in international schools for over six years and always had it in the back of my mind to open my own language centre. Through¬out my experience I saw gaps in curricula, integral missing components that I believed needed to be used as language acquisition tools. Through this I pulled together my experience, techniques and knowledge into one concept and kick-started the Angie Gisler English Language Centre,” explains Angie.

The Language Centre’s foundations are cemented in three main pillars: enthusiasm, pa¬tience and humour, creativity and flexibility.

“For enthusiasm, I believe in the power of each and every learner from child to adult. In my mind each learner has an English door, my job is to unlock that door and lay down the founda¬tions of strong language skills.

“Patience and humour go hand in hand for me. It is essential in my classes that I slow down and take time with ev¬ery learner. As with every language, you can get a little lost in translation and before you know it we find ourselves in a game of charades with a lot of laughter.

“It’s integral for me to be available and flexible for my students. Whether that is a 5 am refresher les¬son before an exam or a custom designed intensive course prepping students for their first integration into an English school. No stone is left unturned when it comes to creativity, we do everything from cooking classes to science experiments,” she says as she walks through the farmer’s market selecting ingredients for her next lesson based on food vocabulary.

Switzerland attracts citizens from all over the world, hence the demand for English. The Angie Gisler English Language Centre offers English to a range of markets, from native English speakers to second or third + language learners, covering all ages and levels, from beginner to expert. Angie explains, “I have a lot of bi/tri-lingual families that have their children in local/international schools and it’s my job to ensure they keep up with the international standards. Howev¬er I’m now seeing a lot of Swiss families wanting to get a head start with English, which has also given me a greater connec¬tion to the Swiss culture.”

There is no doubt you will be seeing and hearing about Ms. G in the future. This driven and tenacious entrepreneur who has just completed her Post Graduate in Education, has a solid plan to be accommodating to not only Switzerland but also non-English speaking nations across the globe. Next year she is extending her services to different cantons, moving online with video tutoring and Skype lessons, as well as providing high end fly-in-fly-out English programs.

 

Interview by Abbie Pumarejo

 

“I want to share briefly my story…”, begins Sebastian Chnelik about his present journey around the world.
 

He took a vacation trip alone a while back and says, “everything changed.” Five years ago he was working in a multinational company and finishing his Mechanical Engineering degree. At the time, he would watch the news and felt the worldview was a negative one, and one he also possessed. That people are not good to one another, there is a lot of suffering and misery and anger in the world.
 

We sat down when he was passing through Zug so I could find out more.
 

“My objective is to dedicate myself to share stories, learning and visions in networks, media communities and schools. En el mundo hay mucha mas gente buena que mala (in the world there are many more good people than bad).”
 

That’s it. That is his message. And his objective is not to see as many places and take as many selfies as possible. Rather it is to learn, share, create connections and be an active, empathetic participant in his experiences.
 

He has traveled more than 100,000 kilometers, hitchhiking and at sea. On the way to Europe, he realized a dream by crossing the North Atlantic Ocean on a sailboat (in poor condition) working as crew. He’s written a book about some of his experiences.
 

The 28 year old has traveled from his native Argentina with very little money and a general plan by hitchhiking, couch surfing, meeting up with fellow travelers, trading odd jobs and bartering to get from place to place and having an amazing adventure along the way. I would be remiss not to mention that he works to find moments where he can be of service and make a difference, working with communities and organizations to volunteer and help when possible.
 

Speaking with Sebastian, I was struck by his ease with the un-known, open to places he has not yet experienced and people he has not yet met, with only a loose idea of where he will go next. He doesn’t really know. As he told me, change has been his most constant companion over the course of this journey and he emphatically denies being a conformist.  
 

Here is an example: In an earlier part of his journey, while still in South America (Peru and Bolivia), he took photos of different sites, nature and landmarks, printed them off and then sold them to make some extra money. Once he realized that this was a success, he decided he would then look to make money another way, to challenge himself.  

Some highlights of this journey have been meeting interesting and friendly people, learning new languages, over coming fears and being exposed to unexpected, natural beauty in the different countries he’s visiting.  He cannot really comment on any bad experiences, which is remarkable.

Spring is in the air and that means several things: longer days, more time outside and the availability of fresh produce! We have some places we'd like to recommend. You’ll not only appreciate getting to know more of the area, you're helping the environment (no carbon footprint for transport) while getting the best that local farmers have to offer.
 

BioHof Zug is an area favorite. Not only is the seasonal produce gorgeous to look at, they also have a great cafe, serving an Ayurvedic lunch menu two days a week with  BioHof’s veggies taking center stage. The cozy and relaxed atmosphere, as well as delicious homemade desserts and coffee after keep us going back. Get there early so you can shop for farm fresh produce, eggs, bread, homemade jams, and more on site. The BioHof also offers event services and an online list of their organic produce.
 

The longstanding, family-run farm at HofMärcht has a sweet reputation.Their fruits, grapes, berries and veggies are all ecologically produced. But better than that, they also offer jams, syrups, dried fruit, fruit juices, distilled water, liquers and wines all made from their scrumptious produce. They have an on-line shop and offer seasonal gift ideas.
 

The Iten Letzi Hofladen near the Herti Arena is like an urban farm. Their committment to organic farming and animal welfare is why their produce and farm fresh milk and meat are so popular.  The newly built farmshop opened in 2015 and also offers products from other local farms while the 24 hour automat offers products even when the shop is closed.

In addition to the farms mentioned above we also recommend you pay a visit to the Zuger Altstadtmarkt. Open every Saturday in the center of Zug's Landgemeindplatz, this is the perfect place to find fresh produce, baked goods, cheeses, gourmet food items and flowers. Spend the morning getting to know the vendors and enjoying the lake views.


This is just a small sampling to get you started. Here you'll find a listing of all the farm shops in the canton of Zug.


It’s midafternoon and your stomach is growling. For many of us, lunch is the most important meal of the day. And not just a quick sandwich from the Coop or salad from Migros. You want something a bit more substantial and where you can sit and enjoy. There are quite a few spots to discover, whether you’re shopping and need a break, are in between classes or just need to step away from the office. Here are some of our favorites.
 

Berta, located on Poststrasse, has the cutest sign out front and invites you in to try their simple, good food. The décor is clean and uncomplicated with some homey touches: flowers and candles on the tables and the coat rack is made from old spoons and forks, bent upward so you can hang your outerwear.  You can get bread and coffee from 7 – 11am for 5CHF. The daily lunch menu varies as well as the daily soup. The portions are generous and the food comforting and delicious.
 

We like Hello World City for its bright and open space, located on Bahnhofstrasse, behind and connected to the Grand Café. Serving an upscale and thoughtfully prepared menu from Monday to Friday, it’s a great spot to enjoy lunch with friends or colleagues. A hearty salad, or for bigger appetites, the burger will hit the spot and give you renewed energy to continue about your day. It gets busy, though, so it’s best to reserve ahead of time.
 

We really enjoy the friendly service at the appropriately named Café Glucklich near the Bahnhof on Alpinstrasse. While closed on Sundays and Mondays the cafe is open from breakfast until late on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and then for lunch Thursday to Saturday. Occupying the former Confiserie Meier space, they owners wanted to keep the old clientele happy. They’ve made the interior cozy and inviting, with a variety of coffees, fresh juices and cakes served throughout the day. The lunch menu changes regularly, so go check them out.
 

We love the tale behind Restaurant Story. Set in Baar in the gold, square buildings, Story is a cooperation between Alfred Muller AG and zuwebe. For over 50 years, zuwebe has been a leading institution in Zu  which assists people with a mental disability or impairment in finding employment. You may also know about Intermezzo Café, a creperie in the Altstadt. Recently, in late 2018, Story was opened to offer fresh food in a light-filled modern space. Service is friendly and the atmosphere abuzz. Food is served cafeteria style, but menus change daily and the made to order piadina station is always full.
 

A little further afield, past Cham, don’t miss out on the all-inclusive atmosphere at Tisch+Bar, in Holzhausern. This unique restaurant and bar also has a shop with plenty of home décor and supplies available. Sitting in the restaurant, you will notice that everything is for sale, from the salt and peppershakers to the lamp at your table. The dining room boasts a beautiful Swedish stove and has something for everyone. The menu is French inspired and they are especially known for their Déjeuner Français.

 


Breakfast Down Under
Not quite a pop-up, but only open on the first Friday and Saturday of the month is Jen’s Kitchen in Zug. Located down a charming alley at Zeughausgasse 13, Jen’s specializes in Australian style breakfast and coffees. The interior is simple, slightly rustic and beautiful. The place has a bit of a cult following and they do not take reservations. It’s best to follow on FB or Instagram for exact opening dates and times. Makes you want to go, doesn’t it?
 

Coffee and Chocolate Together... Yes please
Bob’s Food Store offers freshly roasted coffee, select teas, chocolates, spices and even gourmet pastas, rice, oils and vinegars for purchase. Take a break with a hot cup of coffee while contemplating all the delicious goodies you can take home. They also offer workshops and seminars and can advise you to buy the right coffee machine and accessories. The space, right in the Altstadt is rustic and warm.
 

Sah wah dee khaa...
Missing a taste of Asian cuisine, specifically authentic Thai? Visit this little takeaway place in Neustadt Passage on Barrerstrasse 2 and be prepared to receive a warm greeting upon entering. Generally offering around 4-5 dishes (until they run out), this unpretentious eatery offers genuine flavors and generous portions. When we visited, we found some spots at one of the few tables and waited for our Pad Thai to be freshly cooked, as the first batch had run out There’s also a shop where zou can buz imported goods to make a Thai feast at home. Good to know: Rung Tawan Thai Shop (Take Away) is cash only.

Where’s the beef?
Sometimes nothing will do but a big, juicy steak. Consistently garnering positive reviews, The Meating located not far from the Bahnhof at Grafenauweg 6, is the place for carnivores to satisfy their appetites. Open Monday through Wednesday from 11 – 23 and Thursday and Friday for lunch from 11 – 1, it’s a good idea to make reservations. You can count on getting your steak as you like it, an extensive wine list, plenty of other meat dishes and well thought out sides. The atmosphere is friendly and they also offer event services.
 

Time for a Cuppa
Finding a well-made cup of coffee is a delight, but what about a proper cup of tea? Look no further than Umami Tee Haus in Cham for a bit of nostalgia and a spot of afternoon tea. Open from Tuesday through Sunday, this classic (and classy) café is located in a grand building off Schulhausstrasse. It’s the perfect place to unwind and re-discover why drinking tea is an art form. In addition to serving breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, they are also available for events and special occasions.

 


Designer children's clothing, toys and equipment at 2nd hand prices

The International Nearly New Children’s Clothing and Toy Sale is back organised by The International School of Zug and Luzern (ISZL).     

The sale will take place on Saturday 16th November from 10am - 2pm at the Christlicher Treffpunkt in Baar, just behind McDonalds.

It’s your opportunity to kit your kids out in designer gear and top international brands at 2nd hand prices - Everything you need for a baby right through to 14 years.

Get your hands on items from Baby Dior, Bonpoint, Burberry, Ralph Lauren, GAP, John Lewis, The White Company, Jacadi, Next, Cath Kidson, Kenzo, Debenhams and Mothercare at only a fraction of the price.   

The autumn sale is a fantastic opportunity to stock up on 2nd hand sports gear as well as children's toys, books games and bikes.  There will also be baby equipment including stair gates, high chairs, baby bouncers and Baby Bjorn carriers.

All clothing, toys and equipment have a strict inclusion policy of ‘gently worn’ so most items are as good as new.

The NNS sale will give a percentage donation from every item sold to the Ugandan Kids of Africa charity, supported by ISZL. Since we started the bi-annual sale in 2010, we have donated around Chf 60’000 to Kids of Africa – Many thanks to all our supporters.

To find out more about the charity please visit www.kids-of-africa.com

Unsold items donated by vendors are given to ‘Licht im Osten’ and taken to refugee camps in Eastern Europe.

 

GETTING INVOLVED:

For further information or to register for selling clothes and equipment at the ISZL NNS please contact the ISZL NNS team: nearlynewsalezug@gmail.com

or call Pauline Beresford, mobile: 079 951 00 53
 

INFORMATION ON THE KIDS OF AFRICA CHARITY:
 
Sustainably, directly and with a personal commitment, to make sure that the aid keeps on helping. Like a stone thrown into water – it’s all about the ripple effect.

In 2001, Kids of Africa was founded by Swiss National Burkhard Varnholt after he responded to a letter sent from a Ugandan student. Burkhard responded to the request for education support and a beautiful story follows… After some years of friendship, Burkhard and the Ugandan student planned a future: Kids of Africa.
 
Kids of Africa provides a stable home to Uganda children in need. Since 2012 ISZL has been working to support the building of the Kids of Africa Kids Pioneer School. The school, opened only 3 years ago, provides education for some 300 students from the home and the local community and is already highly successful, ranking at 800 out of 12’000 schools. ISZL has also supported the opening of the much needed KOA school on Nkosi Island, Lake Victoria, and now extends support to the development of a new vocational centre at the Kids Pioneer School.

In an interview by ISZL students: "When coincidence happens and an opportunity presents itself, there’s value in listening – Something great can come out of it and it did for us – Kids of Africa has become one of the most important things in my life and in the lives of my family," said Burkhard.
 
"It was a stone in water opportunity – 15 years ago I dropped a stone into water - Just by throwing a stone you can have a much more far reaching effect than you could ever anticipate. It happened to me and is so powerful. It can happen to everyone and anyone."

With summer upon us, and the temperatures rising, it is time to plan how to keep your kids active and still engaged over the break. Longer, warmer days mean we can all get the most from the great Swiss outdoors. Here's a listing of some of the best activities out there. Rest assured that with so many options, everyone will be smiling all summer long.
 

Angie Gisler Language and Personal Growth Centre
Availability 1 July – 12 July 2019
We offer young learners themed English Summer Clubs that immerse students in the English language whilst having loads of fun in the SUN!!! The club is specifically designed for younger learners, covering a range of activities differentiated according to the age and ability of the students. The Summer Club consists of a balanced programme of English Language Learning, Mindfulness Activities, Fun and Games, Sport and Movement, Development Boosting activities, plus so much more.
 

Chess4Kids
Availability 8 July – 16 August 2019
This summer camp offers half and whole day care. The chess school for children aged 4 to 15 years is devoted to teaching the game of chess as its positive effects on the overall development of adolescents have been proven repeatedly. Children are encouraged to progress at their own pace and though the main focus remains chess, an additional fun and interactive activity is scheduled every afternoon. Activities include art, martial art, ballgames, and hip-hop.Different courses are tailored to suit beginners and advanced players. Extended day care from 8am to 6pm is available.
 

Institut Montana Summer Sessions
Availability 14 July – 10 August 2019
These summer sessions offer a unique academic, social and cultural programme. A high-quality curriculum allows students to improve their German, English or French as well as discover a new academic field of their choice such as Business and Leadership or Creativity and Arts. Inspired by 90 years of experience; scenic environments, sport sessions, daytrips and a familial community come as standard! On offer are 2 sessions with duration of 2 weeks and 1 session with duration of 4 weeks.

 

InterSoccer
Availability 24 June – 16 August 2019
This camp incorporates soccer courses for all ages. While the Mini Camp occupies 3 to 5-year-olds, the Junior and Academy Camps are appropriate for 5 to 13-year-olds. The up to five-day programmes are led by qualified international coaches and are suitable to newcomers as well as those packed full of tricks. English is the main language. Full day participants need to bring a packed lunch as the Zug location does not provide hot lunch. One-day Camps are available in certain weeks as are Goalkeeper Camps. Go here to find out more!
 

KiTi-Farm
Availability 8 July– 10 August 2019
Located on a green farm, the summer holiday programme 2019 sees children spending time with Ponies as they receive the opportunity to groom and ride them. As the needs of different animals are mediated playfully, children can find their personal approach in communicating with the animals and build their self-confidence in the process. Nothing is forced and handicrafts are made available too. Best-suited but not limited to children with some previous riding experience, courses are tailored to suit the needs of children aged 3 to 15 years. Click here for more info.
 

Moresports
Availability 8 - 12 July in Zug & 12 - 16 August, 2019 in Cham
Summer session offerings by former professional striker, Moreno Merenda. Born and raised in Baar, Merenda is passionate about sports and coaching. These camps will focus on enjoyment, improvement of skills and teambuilding. For children born between 2006 - 2009 and 2010 - 2013, group sizes are limited, so each child gets the most out of the experience. He is fluent in English, German and French.
 

MS Sports
Availability 17 June - 16 August.
MS Sports is a country wide organization that offers a variety of options in multiple locations. Parents can peruse the website and sign up online. Whether it's football, riding, dance, tennis, chess, biking or polysport,  MS Sport Camps offer kids and teens the chance to get moving and have fun, learning new skills and meeting new friends.
 

Nuejo's
Availability 24 June - 16 August
Nuejo's Family Center located in Baar is now registering familes for their summer camp. There is the option for half and full day camp, with many exciting activities planned. Idoor activities include ice-cream making, sceince experiments and more while outdoor activities will include zoo, museum and chocolate factory excursions. Visit their website for the entire summer program and prices.
 

Schwimmschule Baar
Availability 8 July – 16 August 2019
Group swimming lessons can be booked from 11 June onwards at the Lättich swimming pool. Courses will run for four or five consecutive days, with one lesson being held each day. For the more advanced swimmers, synchronised swimming or monofin lessons are available with duration of 45 minutes. Standard lessons typically last 30 minutes. Courses are available for children aged 4 and above, information can be found here. Swim goggles, wetsuits and swimming aids are not permitted.

   
Softlanding
Availability 24 June - 28 and 1 - 5 July
Summer fun and learning - available June, July and August. Children and adult classes, German, English, Spanish and Computing, Art, Music and Seminars. Let yourself be inspired. Click here for more information.
 

TechLabs Baar
Availability 1 July - 19 July
Science and Coding enthusiasts will be happy to know there's something for them this July. TechLabs Baar offers camps in STEM & Soccer Lab, Flight Lab, Rocket Lab and more during July. Sign-up can be done online, with prices starting at 450 CFH for a week long session. There are optoins for half and full day camps for children aged 10 and up, with sibling discounts. The STEM & Soccer Lab is open to all ages.

 

While the Mamas might have a stronger hold on an official holiday, we can't forget Dad as we move into June.  Father's Day is a relatively new phenomenon in Switzerland, falling on June 2nd this year. It wasn't until 2007 that the day was introduced here and since 2009, Swiss Father's Day has been celebrated on the first Sunday in June.

It's interesting to note that neighboring countries and even the southern area of Switzerland have chosen to celebrate Vater on different days. In the canton of Ticino as well as Liechtenstein, the day is commemorated on March 19th, in conjunction with the feast day of St. Joseph. Our neighbors in Deutschalnd celebrate on Ascencion Thursday or Himmelfahrt. In Austria, Vatertag is celebrated one month after Muttertag and in the US, the UK, and many South American countries, it is oficially the third Sunday in June.

No matter which date you choose, we think June is a great month to celebrate, and it's only fitting that we outline some experiences with your dad in mind. There any number of events coming up just around the corner, which gives kids and dads a chance to get outside and play. Whether you choose to visit old classic cars together, participate in a race or go out and watch others giving it their all, the Old Timers, Zugerberg Classic, National Horse Show and the Zytturm Triathlon are all on tap just in time for warmer weather.

Speaking of on tap, maybe Dad would appreciate something with libations in mind. Both Etter and Baar Brauerei are hosting guided tours of their facilities. For those old enough to enjoy, this is a great bonding opportunity. Or invite him to an evening of cold beers, billiards and sports on the big screen at B&B Sportsbar. Just make sure to use public transport there and back!

And if you love being a part of Zug's rich historic traditions, we've also got you covered. Nothing spells fun like a BIRTHDAY. Celebrate Zugiblubbi's birthday on Zugerberg. To be fair this is more of an event with little ones in mind, but Dad will look like a superhero for taking them to such a unique outing.

Come out with the entire family to the city's best party: the Zugerseefest. Celebrate this 50 year old event, topped off with amazing fireworks on June 22nd. And if cherries are your thing, take your dad to the Altstadt on June 24th and watch groups of people run around while holding ladders at the beloved Chriesisturm.

Forget trying to find another tie, pen or watch. Give Dad the priceless gift of time spent together and let him know how much you care. Visit here for exact dates and details for all June happenings in Zug and nearby.

Don’t try to speak Zug dialect to feel more at home in the region. Here’s a much better method: show that you are familiar with the regional characteristics and start your evening with a "blopp".

If you're enjoying an after-work aperitif with friends in Zug, you've probably heard it before: this tempting “blopp”. A refreshing, sparkling bang; sometimes it sounds like a shot. Don’t be alarmed when you hear it. It’s the sound of connoisseurs opening a flip top bottle of Bügel-Spez from the Brewery Baar. It’s the launch for a well-deserved end of the day or a refreshing party amongst friends.

But just the “blopp” and the distinctive relief flip top bottle are not the only reason why the Bügel-Spez is one of the most popular beers throughout the region. It’s all about taste.

Here a beer sommelier’s impression:
“The eye perceives the Bügel-Spez as very pleasant with a long-lasting frothy foam and it’s brilliant golden color. The nose immediately recognizes a clean smell, reminiscent of a historic vault beer fermentation cellar. The Bügel-Spez has a smooth, subtly bitter taste, a soft malt and hops scent and sparkles perfectly. This beer is suitable for light to medium-heavy dishes as well as for appetizers, e.g. soft cheese. Ideal also with spicy Asian cuisine or a beetroot salad.”

The flip top Bügel-Spez from Baar has been the region’s beer of choice for over 25 years now – that’s an entire generation. The empty bottles are cleaned again and again, filled with new premium beer and each flip top is closed manually. That's good news for the LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) and - who knows - maybe today you drink from a bottle that already went over the counter 25 years ago. Quite sustainable; don’t you think so?

On its 25th birthday, the Bügel-Spez was awarded the Swiss Beer Award 2017 in gold. One more reason to order it the next time when you feel like having a good beer. And now you know: for Zug beer connoisseurs the real treat starts with a “blopp”. Cheers!

The Bügel-Spez is available in most regional restaurants, bars and pubs and of course directly at the Brewery’s own beverage store.

BRAUI MARKT
Langgasse 41
6340 Baar
T: +41 41 766 48 77
brauimarkt@brauereibaar.ch

Opening hours:
Mon – Fri: 08:30 – 12:00/13:15 – 18:30
Sat: 08:00 – 16:30

Good to know: The Brewery Baar also offers guided tours in English, ideal for a great time with family, friends or colleagues.

 

 

Still fresh in your mind? Or has it taken on a more sentimental glow now that you are able to look back on your journey, trials and tribulations overcome? Hopefully, FMZ were able to assist you, whether it be the welcome information packet, contact with the Welcome Desk or perhaps by visiting one of our events.

In our “Grüezi Switzerland” event, I briefly discuss the concept of culture clash and that regardless of origin, everyone experiences its ups and downs to some extent I illustrate these using anecdotes from my own arrival here in 2003. Idyllic picnics by the lake, “sound of music” moments (I know …different hills but you get the idea), the scary woman at the supermarket cash desk who eyed me suspiciously every time.

During meetings with visitors to us at FMZ, I will often joke to “do as I say not as I did”.
In all honesty, though, I do wish I had known about FMZ when I arrived. It would have helped me enormously. To be able to get confidential unbiased answers to my serious and sometimes silly questions in my own language without any authority angst would have saved me time…and tears..and a fair bit of cash too.

Now I have the privilege to guide people in finding the answers to their questions. In a fraction of the time it took me years ago and whilst avoiding the urban myths and misinformation which I still hear (and smile at).

When was having someone “show you the ropes” (explain how to do something) anything other than marvellous? And who better to show you the (many) ropes but a local expert with years of experience AND the language?

The new FMZ Host Programme offers exactly this solution.

 

The pre-sale for this year's holiday pass has begun: from July 8th to 26th there will be a grand 352 events for primary school children to choose from. The holiday pass and the Zuger pass which grants access to the entire public transport network are now available for purchase.

____

Thanks to an extended offering from existing but also new organisers, more than 50 new events are scheduled this year, as stated in a press release by the Gemeinnützige Gesellschaft Zug (GGZ). While a magical treasure hunt in the Höllwald forest will keep children on their toes, they can also discover oriental cooking or go fishing on Lake Zug with local fishermen. Of course, the most popular events from recent years also remain integral to the programme.

 

Holiday pass pre-sale

The purchase of a holiday pass is necessary to register for events. In addition, this entitles the holder to free admission to all public indoor and outdoor pools in the canton of Zug for three weeks, to a one-time admission to a miniature golf course of choice and up to three game rentals from select toy libraries. The pass can be obtained from UBS branches for CHF 30 from June 21st to 28th or online at www.ggzferienpass.ch for CHF 33.

Holders of the holiday pass are further entitled to purchase the Zuger pass at a discounted price of CHF 19. This enables free travel across all public transport modes on the ZVB network (including boat) throughout the three weeks regardless of what holiday pass activities are undertaken. Most events require a valid public transport ticket.

 

Register early

For each of the three weeks, registration for events starts respectively on the Monday of the previous week at 1 pm: online at www.ggzferienpass.ch, by phone on 041 710 70 03 or 041 710 70 04 and in person at the holiday pass centre at the Reformed Church Centre Zug on Bundesstrasse 15. Available places are determined by the organisers and are limited – registrations will be considered in the order of their arrival.

For a daily flat rate of CHF 50, the FEPA-Club offers full-day care inclusive of excursions and recreational activities for children of working parents from 8.30 am to 5 pm (drop-off time 7.30 am). As every year, the FEPA-Club days are in high demand, but available places remain on some days. A swift reservation is highly recommended.

 

Accompanying persons wanted

Around 450 volunteers are required annually to accompany the children on their way to and during activities. Interested parties should register on the website or directly at the GGZ holiday pass centre.

The party was a great success. Watch this space for the update on the amount that was raised last Saturday. We will be getting the numbers soon.

 

Andaleeb Lilley and Stutee Parmar are no strangers to combining their talents to create events that entertain and bring change. The Burlesque Evening is the third charity event that the two have organized together, with very positive results.

"It all started at the end of 2016 when so many pop stars from my era passed away (George Michael, David Bowie, Prince, to name but a few). I came up with the idea to organise an 80s night in Zug and wanted it to be a charity benefit. I asked Stutee for support and with our different skillsets we complimented each other, "said Andaleeb.

In their first event in 2017 the dynamic duo supported Save the Children. They were delighted to have several members from the charity's Zurich office, including CEO Oemer Gueven, speak on how the funds would support 570 children in a refugee camp for a month. Along with ticket sales and a raffle of prizes donated by companies in Zug and London, they raised a total CHF 14,465 from the 80s night in Zug.

"In 2018 we supported CARE and once again, someone from the charity came along to talk about the work we were supporting. Director Julia Kent from CARE came along to give an emotional talk on the impact the funds would have. This time, 40 low-income Jordanian and Syrian women were supported by the purchase of sewing machines and materials so that they in turn could financially support their families by starting up their own businesses," Andaleeb said. This time, CHF 15,000 was raised.

"Each time we have picked a charity for different reasons - either we have a specific link to a charity or we feel strongly about the cause we are supporting.  It was very clear for us that with the current refugee crisis, we wanted to support children and families which we did for the first two years."

Sponsored Content

 

Dear readers,

This year the elections for the Federal Parliament – the House of Representatives and the Senate – will take place on October 20. The 200 seats in the House of Representatives are allocated in proportion to the population of the cantons. The canton of Zug has three seats. Currently, Gerhard Pfister (CVP), Thomas Aeschi (SVP) and Bruno Pezzatti (FDP) represent Zug in the House of Representatives. Gerhard Pfister and Thomas Aeschi will run for re-election; Bruno Pezzati will end his political career in Berne.

Each canton has two seats in the Senate with a total of 46 seats. Peter Hegglin (CVP) and Joachim Eder (FDP) represent the canton of Zug in the Senate; Peter Hegglin will run again and Joachim Eder will resign at the end of the year.

In Canton Zug, the federal elections promise to be quite exciting. In addition to the question of whether the current parties can retain their seats again, or if the left parties in the House of Representatives, or the SVP in the Senate will win a seat, these elections are also about the continued promotion of Canton Zug’s model of success.

By Charlie Inglefield

The new Hospiz Zentralschweiz is due to open on 6 January 2020 in Luzern’s Littau suburbs. The story behind the creation of this hospice is a remarkable one, given that it is an entirely privately funded project and based on a dream of two people who had never previously met before January 2014. Introduced by the director of Palliativ Zug, Birgit Hermes at a networking event, Hans Peter Stutz and Sibylle Jean-Petit-Matile just clicked.

“It was a perfect match and after a couple of minutes we knew we could trust each other”, said Sibylle.

In that first meeting a vision was born to build a hospice, which could serve central Switzerland’s cantons. As Hans Peter mentioned, palliative care in Switzerland is limited, particularly so for families who struggle to afford this type of care.

“There is little palliative help in Switzerland despite the many hospitals we have in the country.“


Finding the perfect location
Sibylle, a physician and Hans Peter, a successful businessman immediately set about creating their perfect hospice site. As Hans Peter put it, “Our vision was to have a house, not a typical hospital that can be depressing for a visitor”.

Starting with no money and just a dream, Sibylle and Hans Peter looked at many properties across Zug and Lucerne before finally falling for a former doctor’s house in Littau, Luzern.

‘The house found us” says Sibylle.

Disused for the last 20 years and in desperate need of a complete overhaul, the property was perfect for Sibylle and Hans Peter’ idea of having a ‘home away from home’.

“We wanted to create a home and to give visitors a positive experience. None of those big white doors that can be intimidating, or doctors with white gowns.”

Schwingen, one of Switzerland’s oldest and most popular sports is coming to Zug on the weekend of the 23-25 August.

This will be no ordinary summer weekend in Zug as 300,000 people descend onto quiet little Zug to get a view of this remarkable and unusual sport. Schwingen is the traditional heartbeat of Swiss sport and culture.  So, what is Schwingen? The easiest comparison to make is its similarity to various forms of wrestling. The Eidgenössisches Schwing- und Älplerfest ESAF is Switzerland’s largest sports event by far and could fill out London’s Wembley Stadium three times over and still there would be people trying to get in.


The Origins of Schwingen
Schwingen dates back to medieval times and it’s popularity is as strong as ever thanks largely to the 2010 winner, Kilian Wenger, so explains Brigitte Hefti, whose partner Rolf takes an active part in Schwingen competitions.

“Since 2000, the popularity of the sport has soared. When Wenger won in 2010, Schwingen became more saleable to the public and sponsors came onboard.”

Today, the sport of Schwingen can now boast the building of the largest temporary stadium in the world, which is currently taking place on the outskirts of Zug. Over a three-month period, a 56,000-seat arena will be put together including 300,000 individual parts. And once the weekend’s festivities are done, the arena will take three more weeks to dismantle. The ‘Only’ King of Switzerland
The Federal Wrestling and Alpine Games Festival are hosted every three years by one of the five regions. Alpine culture and traditional Swiss music is also celebrated with sports like Hornussen on display. The numbers are extraordinary for an amateur-sporting event as Hefti points out.

“The stadium will take around 56,500 visitors and there will be 300,000 visitors outside the stadium watching the competition.”

For the Johnny Foreigner, trying to get one’s head around Schwingen let alone the Schwingfest, which takes place once every three-years, is a challenge. Remember this is a sport, which is amateur and yet can fill out Barcelona’s Nou Camp three times over with people still trying to get in. As befitting the Swiss, Schwingen remains proudly local, is the very essence of Swiss alpine culture and has been humming along under the sporting radar since medieval times. It is not just about Schwingen, alpine culture and traditional Swiss music is also celebrated over this weekend with traditional sports like Hornussen on display.

So, in preparation for the Eidgenössisches Schwing- und Älplerfest ESAF that is coming to Zug in a few weeks, let’s try to understand what this unique sport actually is.


Grappling with Schwingen

The easiest comparison to make on Schwingen is its similarity to a number of forms of wrestling. There are some similarities for example with certain ‘Judo’ throws and I am reliably informed that there are Schwingen techniques that are akin to ‘Sumo’ wrestling.

The rules are therefore suitably complex but essentially the contest involves one round lasting between 10-12 minutes – with 8 rounds over the weekend (played over Friday to Sunday). This gladiatorial battle takes place in a circular sawdust ring and the winner lift’s his opponent off his feet, throws him onto his back with both shoulder blades touching the ground without losing his grip on his opponent’s shorts. Tradition says that the winner brushes the sawdust off the loser’s back after the match is over. Each competitor wears special ‘burlap’ shorts over their trousers with a slit at the back allowing the competitors to grip on to each other’s belts.

The match is judged by three referees with one of them standing in the ring. The referees give points, with a maximum of ten points for a winning throw. If the match ends without a clear win, the more active Schwinger is awarded the higher number of points.


Flexibility, Power & Technique

Do not think that Schwingen does not require significant reserves of strategy, skill and technique. There are over a 100 moves that can be put into practice although there are five common moves, which normally bring the desired result. These popular throws include ‘kurz’, ‘übersprung’ and wyberhaagge.

Even though Schwingen is an amateur event, the training, which goes into it, is that of a professional sportsman. Schwingen isn’t just about raw power - a Schwinger needs power, agility and flexibility. Their knees, back, neck and shoulders all come into play.

There are two types of Schwinger – an Alpschwinger and a Sportschwinger. An Alpschwinger comes from farming stock and wears an Edelweiss blue shirt. A Sportschwinger (not from farming stock) wears a white shirt. Professions include farmers, cheese makers and butchers – you have to be pretty big and strong in other words.


An expat’s turn

Paul Timmins, who lives in Zug and has a rugby background, got a rude awakening to Schwingen when he recently took on a friend’s partner, whose family have been involved in Schwingen for generations and centuries.

“I consider myself in relatively good knick for my age but I was taken to the cleaners and picked up like a rag doll.“

Timmins is one of very few non-Swiss to have given Schwingen a go. This raises a question of whether Schwingen should be more open to external audiences? In the meantime, if you can grab a ticket during the weekend of the 23-25 August and get a glimpse of this unique sport, you won’t be disappointed.

 

"We used to stay in a hotel, but we saw that this apartment hotel in Zug had opened. Here you have much more space and this in the best location in the city center. Great furnishings, everything very high quality. We'll be happy to come back! “

And this is just one of many positive reviews for the Gubelhof Suites which opened its doors last autumn. Shortly after that, the Kaffe Frech also opened, offering a double shot of style right in the heart of Zug.

The cafe serves as the location for residents of the Suites to have freshly prepared coffee and food in the mornings and is open the the general public as well. On any given day, the cafe is lively, with friendly servers and a bright open floor plan. People from all walks drop in for anything from waffles and quiches to afternoon coffee and cocktails.

The suites and cafe are a dream come true for German-born Maria Coli and her Swiss husband, Bardhyl. Both have hospitality in their blood. Maria studied International Tourism and Event Management in Berlin and Oxford and also holds an MBA from Switzerland. Bardhyl graduated from the Hotel Management School Belvoirpark in Zurich and completed chef, service and wine academy training. They are certainly well suited to host their guests at Gubelstrasse 7.

Before making their dream a reality, the couple worked as Hotel Managers since 2012 in the four-star Waldhotel Davos and Hotel Vitznaurhof. They also took over management of the five-star superior Arosa Kulm Hotel & Alpin Spa. Everything in the Gublehof Suites and Kaffe Frech have been carefully hand selected by the couple. The stylish interiors of the 11 apartments create a boutique hotel feel, with all the luxuries of serviced apartments.

"Each of our apartments has its own character and offers you a home away from home. The suites are furnished with fantastic photographs by famous local artists,“ says Coli. And with easy access to sightseeing, shopping and transportation, they are just right for tourists and business travelers alike.

 

Over 130 people came along to the burlesque charity fundraiser at Pier41 in aid of the Hospiz Zentralschweiz last weekend, raising 12'000 CHF.  Organisers Andaleeb Lilley and Stutee Parmar were thrilled with the results of their third fundraiser.

The founders of the hospice, Sibylle Jean-Petit Matile and Hans Peter Stutz attended the event and spoke about the work at the Hospiz and how 250 CHF a day would pay for one patient to receive the care they needed for their end-of-life and last wishes fund.

Following their moving speech, the raffle was held with over 20 prizes being given out to lucky winners. Raffle prizes came from businesses all over Zug and London and the organisers would like to thank all donors as well as sponsors for their support.

The night continued with a show by Zurich burlesque dancer, Kokeshi Momo, who tantalised onlookers with her beautiful outfits and fans, and the party then went on until the early hours of the morning.  The annual charity event is becoming a popular date on the Zug calendar. More info here - www.charityeventszug.ch

All photos by Ron Sumners

 

There’s a chill in the air and the days are beginning to shorten. That can only mean one thing: Autumn is here! As we approach Herbstferien (Fall break from October 5-20th for schools) in Zug, we wanted to offer some ideas for things to do, so you can make the most of this lovely time of year.
 

Be a Detective
Over the course of the 4.5 km Zug detective trail solve puzzles, learn surprising and interesting information about Zug and have fun. This family activity will have old and young alike eager to discover the next clue. Starting at the Zug Bahnhof, a total of 17 puzzles must be solved to find the treasure (a small gift) that will be waiting at the end.

Get Creative
Beginning on October 5th, and running for three weekends, there will be different creative workshops for you to sign up for at Something Different in Menzingen. Try your hand at furniture painting, learn the basics of painting or design a ceramic fairy house. Perfect for kids to engage their crafty side over the break and beyond. Advanced booking required for all workshops while pricing and timing vary. https://www.somethingdifferent.ch/
 

Play!
Enjoy National Swiss Castle Day on October 6th. Castles all over Switzerland will open their doors and let the public in to participate in workshops and events. Museum Burg Zug is no exception. This year’s theme focuses on Play! You and your family can learn some games from the past and make one of your own in a “Rediscovering old games” workshop. You can also have a go at some outdoor pastimes in the courtyard. There will also be an historian on hand to discuss the castle’s construction and reveal where gambling used to take place.

Oktoberfest awaits
From now until October 12th, why not take the family on a culinary journey to Bavaria, Germany? Restaurant Bàren in Zug is hosting its 9th year of White-Blue weeks. There will be various Bavarian specialties (think hearty servings of sausage, roasted meats, potato salad and pretzels), live music on Friday and Saturday and this year the Munich Augustiner Oktoberfest beer will be available. `One, two, down the hatch! Great that you’re here!’

Go Underground
Visit the Höllgrotten in Baar while they are still open through October 31. Enjoy the gorgeous fall foliage in the Lorze ravine. Learn and discover more about these unique limestone caves between Lakes Zurich and Zug which date back thousands of years. A perfect family outing during the break or on one of the weekends. https://www.hoellgrotten.ch/en

Go Artsy
Feeling the chill in the air? Let the warm colors from where springtime is taking hold give you inspiration. Starting on September 29, there is plenty of time to check out the latest solo exhibition My Mother Country - paintings of the Aborigines at Kunsthaus Zug. The collection of Pierre and Joelle Clément of Zug, comprises 20 paintings and will be the first exhibition of Aboriginal art in German Switzerland. 

A little further afield

Pumpkins Galore
What would autumn be without pumpkins? The family-run Juckerhof in Seegräaben knows this is a wonderful time of year to celebrate pumpkins. This year’s theme is Music and guests will be amazed at the creative and sizable works of art on display, created with pumpkins of all shapes, colors and sizes. There is also an onsite restaurant, hofladen and even a labyrinth for kids to explore.

 

Pumpkins photo courtesy of Jucker Farm website.

While Halloween is not a traditional Swiss holiday, in recent years, more businesses are jumping into the cauldron and creating events for people to get their ghoul on. Although it is one of this writer’s favorite holidays (who doesn’t like to dress up and become someone else for a night?), we realize it isn’t everyone’s preferred brew. Have no fear, here are several events in Zug on and around Halloween to test the waters.
 

Spend Sam Fuin at the Buonas Castle
The municipalities of Risch and Roche once again invite all to autumn festivities on the Buonas peninsula. Sam Fuin is an old Celtic festival that takes place outdoors. It marks the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, or the darker half of the year. Look forward to  food, drink, Irish music, children’s stories, fire spells and mystic sounds in a medieval castle setting. From 17:00 - 22:00 pm. We recommend travelling by public transport - there is no parking available. Free shuttle bus between Rotkreuz Bahnhof Nord and Risch Dorf from 16.30 to 22.30, every 30 minutes or as required, as well as bus no. 53 - also free of charge.
 

Scary fun until the wee hours
According to the folks at Chollerhalle Zug, the Halloween Circus Festival 2019 on October 31st is the biggest in Central Switzerland! The hall will be decorated in appropriately creepy Halloween style and the music selection is varied: House, Open format, Tropical Reggaeton, RnB and Hip Hop. Guests will be able to meet their favorite stars. Amazing 3D Visual effects, a photo wall and more await. This event is for ages 16 and up, with doors opening at 21:00. The party is promised to last until 4:00 am. Plan to buy tickets early as it sells out fast!
 

The place where people (er..ghouls) meet
Dress up and join other like-minded revelers at Mr Pickwick Pub. Cushy Number will be live on stage, playing a mix of their best, and possibly dressed to kill. On October 31st, they hit the stage at 20:00 pm. Spend a memorable Halloween in costume the Celtic way.


The creeps come out at night
On Halloween night, expect it to be legendary at Lounge & Gallery. With a Sweet & Sour theme, the decorations will be especially dramatic to convert Dammstrasse into „the Damned“ street. Costumes are encouraged and guests must be 18 and over. The festivities begin at 22:00, but HOOO knows if you will want to leave- the music will be a mix of R&B, Club hits, Mash-up and Open format! Entry fee is CHF 15.00 and reservations can be made here.
 

Day of the dead
Be different and celebrate Dia de los Muertos instead at Spago Restaurant and Bar. From 22:00 on October 31st, the latin themed space promises dancing through the darkest night of the year. DJ Rodrrox will be spinning the beats and a costume award ceremony takes place at 24:00. Each person who is dressed up will receive a free Halloween Gruel-Shot and a chance to win a voucher worth CHF 50.
 

It’s Criminal: two locations in Zug will take to a night of crime!
On October 25th Tisch+Bar Shopping Restaurant will host a murder mystery dinner. Art dealer Renato Ritter invites you on a culinary journey through the Table + Bar Shopping Restaurant. The highlight of the evening is the visit of the famous author L. A. Bowling. She is to exclusively present her new book, which will only be on the market in two weeks' time, to a selected company. But it won't be long before an uninvited guest appears. Things go wild and there is a fatal incident. CHF110 for a ghastly meal including wine, water and coffee and the chance to convict the murderer. (This is a German language event)


When night falls on Zug, the library becomes a crime scene! On October 31st from 19:00 the Zug Bibliothek will host three well-known crime authors: Monika Mansour, Judith Stadlin, Stephan Pörtner and Michael van Orsouw. The authors will take guests into the world of crime and evil with their short thrillers. Patricia Draeger’s accordion sounds will add to the eerie atmosphere. Refreshments for the soul are provided. Register here. (This is a German language event)

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrated on December 6th in Switzerland, St. Nicholas is a beautiful custom that families can look forward to. Less known amongst expats, St. Nicholas, who is known as Samichlaus in Swiss German, distributes treats such as chocolate, nuts and fruit to children. This differs somewhat from the Anglo-Saxon tradition of Father Christmas, the jolly man who delivers gifts and fills stockings just in time for Christmas Day.

 
The tradition dates back to the fourth century Nicholas of Myrna, a bishop who is the patron saint of children - hence why Samichlaus is often dressed as a bishop and does not necessarily always wear red, though he does sport a white beard. Accompanying him are his forbidding cane-wielding helpers, known as Schmutzli, whom have undergone an image softening as of late. St. Nicholas praises the children and points out the good things, but at the same time gains enough trust to point out where the children could improve.
 
St. Nicholas also does home visits for which registration is required and open as of now. Set the tone for upcoming Christmas at your household:
 
Zug
The procession will start at 5.30pm from the Gut Hirt Church on Saturday, November 30. Samichlaus tells a story in church and then distributes treats to the service. Visits to families take place December 1-9. Samichlaus speaks dialect, German and upon request English. Registration for home visits closes November 8. Signup and information (in German) here.
 
Baar
Samichlaus will be making his appearance on Saturday, November 30 at the Christchindlimärt (market). There will be a procession as well as a food and drinks stand led by Samichlaus. Visits to families take place between December 4-7. Samichlaus speaks only German. Registration for home visits closes November 20. Signup and information (in German) here.

Cham
A lantern service will be held on Saturday, November 30 starting at the Pfarreiheim in Cham at 6 pm. A procession follows. Visits to families take place between December 4-7. Registration for home visits closes November 11. Signup and information (in German) here.

Hünenberg
Celebrations will be held in the Church of the Holy Spirit on Wednesday, 5 December at 6.45pm. This will be followed by the distribution of presents to children and a procession with followers carrying cow bells, decorative lanterns and whips. Visits to families take place between December 4-7. Registration for home visits closes November 11. Signup and information (in German) here.

Oberwil
Since 1963, Samichlaus has been arriving by boat to Oberwil. Visitors can gather along the Artherstrasse at 5.25pm on Tuesday, 4 December and join the procession to Tellenörtli, where Samichlaus will be greeted with a song and then accompanied to the schoolhouse. Following performances by the pupils, Samichlaus will distribute sweet bread. Visits to families take place between 5 and 7 December. Registration for home visits closes 24 November. Signup sheets will be posted to all households directly. More information (in German) here.

Steinhausen
This year there will be a Chlauskafi at the Steinhausen chilbi, from October 25-27, on the parking lot near the Post. Registration for home visits closes November 17. Signup and information (in German) here.
 
Risch-Rotkreuz
A service will be held on Sunday, December 1 at 10.15 am where Samichlaus and his entourage will be present. Visits to families take place between December 1-6. Registration for home visits closes November 12. Signup and information (in German) here.
 
Unterägeri
On December 1, the annual Chlausaufyug takes place from 5pm whereby Samichlaus are available to meet familes at the Catholic Church Unterägeri. Visits to families take place between December 4-8. Registration for home visits closes 10 November. Signup and information (in German) here.
 
Oberägeri
On 5 December, the annual Chlauseseln takes place from 5pm whereby Samichlaus and his entourage make their way from door to door. Typically, Samichlaus who is accompanied by Schmutzli enters the house and presents the children with gingerbread, tangerines and nuts once they have recited a poem or a song. Visits to families take place upon request. Signup and information (in German) here.

A comprehensive list of all St. Nicholas events in Zug is available here.

Photos from St. Niklausgesellschaft der Stadt Zug.

From end November, the „Red Noses“ are on the road in the Zug, Lucerne and Schwyz area in order to drive people home with their own car. You can reach them on the dates below as of 22.00h at 0800 802 208
 
Volunteers drive you home safely
Especially around Christmas time many parties will be celebrated and glasses will be clinked on New Year’s Eve. After a party everybody likes to calm down and get home safely. Unfortunately, many car drivers overrate their state to drive home after a convivial evening. This is the point where Nez Rouge Zug-Innerschwyz comes into play: Better call us before you start the engine! Just one phone call and a team picks you up at the initial point and drives you home with your car. Is there a better way to enjoy your party?
 
Our main target is to prevent accidents, our service is free of charge and our staff works voluntarily. Yet we raise money for charity and all you give us will be donated.

Dates:

Friday,  29.11.2019   (22.00 – 03.00)
Saturday, 30.11.2019   (22.00 – 03.00)
Friday, 06.12.2019   (22.00 – 03.00)
Saturday, 07.12.2019   (22.00 – 03.00)
Freitag, 13.12.2019   (22.00 – 03.00)
Saturday, 14.12.2019   (22.00 – 03.00)
Friday, 20.12.2019   (22.00 – 03.00)
Saturday, 21.12.2019   (22.00 – 03.00)

Weihnachten / Silvester
Tuesday, 24.12.2019   (21.00 – 03.00)
Wednesday, 25.12.2019   (22.00 – 03.00)
Thursday, 26.12.2019   (22.00 – 03.00)
Friday, 27.12.2019   (22.00 – 03.00)
Saturday, 28.12.2019   (22.00 – 03.00)
Sunday, 29.12.2019   (22.00 – 02.00)
Monday, 30.12.2019   (22.00 – 02.00)
Tuesday, 31.12.2019   (22.00 – 05.00)

 

The Freiruum opened its doors in August 2019 and is proving to be a popular and diverse space for the community to come together. The 7600 sq2 meter warehouse has something for everyone: food and market halls, a sports hall (bouldering and trampolining in a large area for young and old), meeting and event halls as well as a cigar bar.

If you’re looking to have wifi and a space to work, you’ll also find it at Freiruum. The hip, industrial design as well as a minimalist decor create a welcoming and light-filled destination, with a mix of cozy areas and room for larger groups. We were able to chat with Kim Grenacher, Freiruum’s Marketing Manager and Co-Founder to find out more about this welcome addition to Zug.

Before it was Freiruum, it was a manufacturing facility. `Until the end of 2018 Siemens used the hall to produce small technical pieces for their products. As the news circulated that they were going to move out, we had the chance to visit the hall and fell in love immediately. The concept of Freiruum was already in our heads before and that day we found the perfect location for it.’

The design and décor is by Pointbreak (the agency behind Freiruum). `We do a lot of temporary gastronomy and we are loving creating the design and décor by ourselves. For Freiruum, for example, we have a lot of personal pieces as well. The piano which is installed in the center hall, is free to be used by the public and is my personal one. It is an heirloom from my grandparents and it makes me very happy to see it in such a beautiful place and how much fun people have using it.’

The agency works closely with friend and partner Gogo (Company Novalina), which brought in special and unique design elements as well as the plants. The food stands were well-thought out to provide plenty of different options for customers. `For sure quality was a main factor to get a food stall at Freiruum yet the concept has to be creative but still so familiar that people are not overwhelmed by the offers.’

We’ve been several times now to Freiruum and the offerings are delicious and a breath of fresh air. There’s no chance to get bored, and each individual in your group can choose whatever they fancy that day- a win/win for all. And it keeps getting better. Coming in mid-November, expect a pizza food stall and there will be some winter food trucks appearing at events. Like raclette at the Christmas Market on December 8th.

`People really like that you just can come here for lunch or an afterwork beer and always meet somebody from town. That’s super nice and we love that vibe,’ said Grenacher.  

So the next time you’re craving somewhere different to go & want to try some good food, or just want to have a casual night out with your significant other, consider the Freiruum. We're dying to get our friends out on the trampolines for some fun and then have a beer and bite afterwards. Don’t be surprised if you jump into us the next time you’re there!
 

 

Imagine walking among hundreds of lanterns, each with it's own inspirational quote to guide your steps. It sounds like Christmas magic might be at work, but instead its the goodwill of locals who get out and make sure  the 300+ candles are lit by hand every night along the 3 km Lantern Trail. You can discover this festive phenomenon for yourself in Aegeri.

The lighted pathway was originally launched to mark the 300th anniversary of the Catholic parish within the municipality. They add a lantern every year and now there are 305. The trail begins at the Almigchappeli (Rainstrasse/Weststrasse) and passes through Büel and Wissenschwändi onto Buechholz. Trail access is signposted in the village. Along the way you can take a break at the Laternenstübli and have a bite to eat or enjoy a drink, and chat with others, etc. For more information about this path which will be lit from November 30 to December 6, click here.

For a closer to home experience, head over to Baar to get your Christmas spirit in gear. This year during Advent, more than 2,000 lights will shine onto a section of approx. 1.5 km at the foot of the Baarburg, and create a festive atmosphere. This path will be lit from November 29 to January 5, find out more here.
 
Hünenberg was one of the first to introduce a Christmas lighted pathway, and 800 lights have burned since 1999. On Friday, December 1, the Hünenberg Christmas market will take place in the «Heinrich von Hünenberg» hall. As of this date, the lights from the Trail of Lights will shine every night until 6th January 2020. The 1,5 km long trail is set up by the city maintenance services. This path lights up December 6 to January 6 with more information here.

And while not exactly in our canton, it's worth paying a visit to Sattel Hockstuckli. Enjoy a lovely winter evening stroll along the lantern route. The 2 km loop trail across the suspension bridge is transformed each Saturday evening from December until March into a shimmering path. The walk on the well-groomed winter hiking trail takes about 40 minutes. Discover more to do in the area here.

This is the perfect way for families, couples and friends to start off the Christmas season on the right foot. Each pathway has its own special charm. The candles and lights will remain on every night until the start of the new year, giving enough time to try them all. Imagine these illuminated pathways in the snow: a true winter wonderland to behold!

 

Source and Photo: Zug Tourismus

Now that Christmas decorations and lights are up and twinkling, we would like to share some of the most popular Christmas Markets in the region.
 

Canton Zug

ZUWEBE Weihnachtsmarkt - Saturday, 23 November & Sunday, 24 November, 12.00 h - 17.00 h

Neuheimer Weihnachtsmärt - Sunday, 24 November, 12.00 h - 18.00 h

Walchwil Weihnachtsmarkt -  Sunday, 24 November, 10.00 h - 17.00 h

Hünenberg Weihnachtsmarkt - Friday, 29 November, 15.30 h - 20.30 h

Steinhausen Weihnachtsmarkt - Friday, 29 November, 14.30 h - 20.00 h

Baarer Christchindli-Märt - Saturday, 30 November, 11.00 h - 20.00 h

Zuger Klausmarkt at the Landsgemeindeplatz - Sunday, 1 December, 09.00 h - 18.00 h

Chomer Weihnachtsmärt - Sunday, 8 December, 13.00 h - 19.00 h
 

Zürich

Golden Christmas at Bellevue - 21 November - 23 December

Christkindlimarkt at the Main Train Station - 21 November - 23 December

The Singing Christmas Tree & Market - 21 November - 23 December

Weihnachtsmarkt im Dörfli - 21 November - 23 December
 

Luzern

Handicraft Market by the Hirschenplatz - 7 December

Lözerner Wiehnachtsmärt by the Franziskanerplatz - 5 - 22 December

Venite International Christmas Market - 12 - 15 December

Live on Ice - 23 November - 5 January, 2020
 

In addition to the above, a special shout out to the magical Christmas Market in Einsiedeln, SZ, which runs from December 1 - 9. Make sure to enjoy the many concerts and activities as the little town converts into a winter wonderland.

If you feel like an escape to the French side of Switzerland, to roam and discover enchanted worlds with wide-eyed gazing children, sparkling decorations, and the scent of gingerbread in the air, then pay a visit to the Montreux Noel Christmas Market.

Wishing you and yours many, merry moments this holiday season!

Photos courtesy of Zug Tourismus.

The decorations are up and like it or not, now is the time to start shopping and decide who’s been naughty and who's been nice. We came up with plenty of nice ideas for all the recipients on your list. Think local this season and support Zug business owners. For extra shopping fun, in December there will be special openings on two weekends before Christmas. From Zug to Walchwil and all the towns in between, stores will be open on Saturday, December 15th and Sunday, December 22nd. We hope you find just what you're looking for and have a wonderful time giving this year.
 
For the charity minded friend or family member

Zuwebe has been getting people in the spirit of the season for 10 years with an annual handicraft Christmas market onsite at Untere Rainstrasse 31 in Baar. This year it falls on November 23rd and 24th with over 20 stalls manned by Zuwebe employees. Here, you are sure to find something for that discerning friend or family member with a heart of gold. In addition to Christmas tree decorations, crockery, wood decorations, textile products, spices and pasta, Advent wreaths and flower arrangements from the nursery are also on offer. Visitors can also look forward to exciting new products, the perfect weekend for getting a head start on your shopping list.
 

For the discerning spirits aficionado

Straight from the Etter distillery, these famous fruit brandies have been around for generations, and for good reason. The family is dedicated to quality and tradition and are celebrating 150 years in the business. They will of course offer their Christmas plum brandy (Weihnachtspflümli 18% Vol.),a perfect accompaniment to your holiday gatherings and meals. However, if you want to give something distinctly Zug, you should know their cherries come exclusively from the Zugersee region and distilled into five different cherry brandies. Their on-line shop makes it easy to peruse all their products, or visit the showroom for help with creating a bespoke gift.

     
For your favorite chocoholic

Läderach is now in Zug! Head straight to their heavenly-smelling shop in Metalli for their distinctive assortment of flavors, textures and gift options. We recently stepped in and were mesmerized by all the wrapped boxes of pralines, bonbons, truffles and of course, the famous Läderach Schoggi neatly placed in small, medium and large cellophane säckli (bags). So many chocolate treats, so many days until Christmas! Their Advent calendars will delight your youngest chocolate lovers and the adorable Samichlaus makes a delicious stocking stuffer for all.
 
 
For the Swissophiles on your list

For so many cute ideas and items go straight to Wunderbox in the Altstadt and buy up any number of Swiss-related gifts! With everything from tea towels, cutting boards, and knives (Swiss Army) to ornaments & children's toys, they even have a Zug Monopoly board game. What better way to spend Christmas afternoon with the family, than buying up properties and going around the board in our favorite Swiss stadt? And if need to get some cardio during the holiday, ask for the Zytturm key to get you started. Take in one of the best views in Zug by heading up the stairs into the clock tower.    
 

For the woman who has everything

Forget the bottle of perfume or an impersonal gift card. Treat your special lady to a one of a kind piece of jewelry, made in Zug. The experts at Atelier Wassmann can create bespoke pieces, especially suited to your favorite female. Their variety of precious and semi-precious stones, combined with bold and modern settings of gold and platinum will set her apart from the rest. No one ever said no to jewelry on Christmas day!

 
For the man who has everything

Sometimes your guy needs a special gift. If you’ve got a gentleman in your life that enjoys cigars, then you need to check out the Cigar Lounge. Located within the multi-purpose space of the Freiruum, this combination bar, lounge and poker room is a step above. Open from Thursday to Saturday from 5pm to midnight, the bar has a range of whiskies and barista coffees. The selection of cigars will surprise you. They even offer special events for groups of 10-50, so it could also be a great chance for coworkers to come together in a cozy atmosphere during the holidays.

 
For the grandparents

Give them a gift they will cherish, and maybe start an annual tradition. Schedule a seasonal Christmas photo of your family or just the kids. Andaleeb Lilley Photography is offering mini photo shoot sessions in their studio in Steinhausen on November 13, 20, 23 and 24.  Additionally there will be sessions tomorrow, November 16 and Sunday, November 17 in Menzingen at Something Different. Contact the studio here ASAP, as slots will book quickly. With two seasonal backgrounds and props to choose from, create something that will delight Oma and Opa!

 
For those who prefer an experience


Gather your family and friends and walk to Freiruum right in the heart of Zug. This new and hip multipurpose market hall is the best way to spend a cold, gray day. The bouldering walls, trampoline and parkour areas offer active fun for all ages. When everyone has gotten tired, the many food stalls have something for all tastes (Japanese, Lebanese, Italian, British, Burgers plus much more) to re-energize and the central bar allows the adults to have some refreshing beverages. There will be Christmas market on December 8th with seasonal drinks and foods, allowing you to get your shopping done early.

 

For the best colleague

Why not give them Something Different? This arts and craft shop in Menzingen is a unique alternative to a traditional shop. They showcase and sell works from local artists and craftspeople. You will find one-of-a kind items in a space that is dedicated to bringing the community together. If you aren't sure about what to actually buy, consider signing up for a workshop or class together. Let creativity spark your imagination this season.
 

For a healthier you

Good health is more valuable than money, some might say. If you want to keep that New Year resolution, or if you want to strike out with your partner to get fit, consider gifting time with a Personal Trainer or Nutrition Counselor. We have two that fit the bill. For a boost to take fitness to the next level, look no further than Henlu PT. Henlu has years of professional experience and offers boot camps, personal training with a variety of strategies as well as helps with injury rehab. For establishing healthy eating habits and body confidence, consider Janine Alves. With her background in holistic nutrition counseling, she can help you achieve your goals with balance and results.

 

 

 

Two women. Two different backgrounds. A shared vision.

This is what you'll discover when you meet Khalida Ait Si Brahim, from Morocco and Prachi Deshpande from India. The ladies met a year ago at a Christmas market and they just clicked from the start. Together they've created a unique business for showcasing their individual talents and shared love of creating something bigger than the two of them combined. Oh, and they like to have fun.

ChiKa Design Studio sets out to turn traditional furniture shopping and design upside down. The philosophy involves reworking, redesigning, recreating and restoring their clients' beloved pieces of furniture. They offer workshops teaching how to restore, redesign and how to sew like a pro. The studio is also a cooperative where people can become members and use the space for their own projects. The duo works together on interior design, by helping clients select furniture, accessories and accents to pull a room together. They can even procure decorative items and create bespoke pieces per a client's needs.

Khalida's background as financial executive in Paris seems a far stretch from her new role as co-owner of the studio. Her other business venture involves importing beautiful handmade rugs made in a centuries old tradition by women in cooperatives in Morocco. Within her role at ChiKa, she loves to take an old piece of furniture and restore it, adding a distinctive touch and giving it a new life.

Prachi's communications and costume design background offer a flair for the creative, but this new role as co-owner of the studio really allows her to shine. Her primary business is as an Ayurveda practitioner and therapist. She claims it is the source of her creativity and with ChiKa, she loves the concept of an entire room being transformed into something completely different than how it began.

The ladies have great respect for one another and feel that their ability to be flexible when working together as well as their shared values is what sets them apart. Both take environmental responsibility seriously, and choose to focus on up-cycling existing materials. Highlighting their individual strengths and working together to support a common goal is their recipe for a successful enterprise.