What’s on: English-speaking events in Switzerland in December

From Christmas theatre shows to networking lunches and sake tasting, here are some of the English-speaking events on in Switzerland this month.

What's on: English-speaking events in Switzerland in December
File photo: Depositphotos

The events below are organised by date. If you have another event you'd like included here, email us all the details and we will add it to the list.

Coffee and chat and German conversation – Winterthur

Where: CoalMine Cafe, Turnerstrasse 1, Wintherthur
When: Tuesday, December 4th, 2018-, 10am to 12pm

Want to practice your German? Then you are invited to come along with friends to the International Club Winterthur's coffee and chat at the Coalmine restaurant/bar. There will be a mixture of experienced German speakers and those wanting to improve their German. The event is free.

Seminar on Hereditary Cancer

Where: YWCA 16 l'Ancienne Route, Grand Saconnex
 Wednesday 5th December 19:30

Dr Valeria Viassolo from the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG) will be talking about Hereditary Syndrome and factors that increase the risk of inheriting certain forms of cancer, from parents to children. This talk is sponsored by ESCA CancerSupport, a Geneva-based association that provides free emotional and practical support in English for cancer patients, their caregivers and family members.  

Language Exchange Bern

Where: Grosse Schanze Bern
When: December 6th/13th/20th, 7pm

Learn a language by speaking with native speakers at this weekly event. The price is 5 Swiss francs. Click on the link above for more details.

Complex Negotiation Techniques for Women Leaders – 2

Where: AK+Partners, Place de Savoie 2, Nyon
December 7th, 8am to 11am
Price: 40 Swiss francs/55 Swiss francs

After a sold-out first workshop, Stéphanie Kveton, Career Women’s Forum Member and Director of AK+Partners, presents a second session: “Discover how to overcome challenges when facing complex negotiations” For more details on how to register see the link above.

Tap Takeover with Uiltje Brewing Co – Zurich

Where: International Beer Bar, Luisenstrasse 7, Zürich
When: December 7th, 4pm to 11.45pm

Back by popular demand, we get to welcome the folks from Uiltje again. Come one, come all for these crazy flavours and powerful beers with the owl. We'll surely be serving up some of their Christmas beers, too.

Nativity play- Zurich

Where:St Andrew’s Anglican Church, Promenadengasse 9, Zurich
When: December 9th, 10.30am – 12pm

English-speaking theatre: Murder, Plot and other Trifles – Bern

Where: Marta Café Bar, Kramgasse 8, Bern
When: Sunday December 9th and Monday December 10th (both 7.30pm)

Armed with a jolly barrel full of explosive tales and for two nights only, Bern's English-speaking Caretakers theatre group has put together a show full of merry murders and blazing plots. the shows are free but seats limited. To reserve, email [email protected]

Networking Lunch – CFA Society Switzerland

Where: Restaurant L'Esprit Bistrot – Hôtel Alpha-Palmiers, Petit-chêne 34, Lausanne
December 10th

This is a self-financing lunch with a regular or vegetarian “menu-of-the-day”, a non-alcoholic beverage and coffee/tea for 40 Swiss francs. Non-CFA friends, partners and colleagues are also very welcome. Please RSVP using this link.

Introduction to Sake: Workshop & Tasting – Zurich

Where: MAME 2, Seefeldstrasse 19, 8008 Zürich (entrance on Holbeinstrasse)
When: December 13th, 7pm to 10pm

Want to find out about sake but frustrated because you don’t know where to start? At this event (price 50 Swiss francs) by Discover Sake/Zurich Sake Meetup/Arline Lyonsm you can learn about the different classes and styles so you can select sake with confidence – combined with tastings so you'll leave knowing what you like too! Click on the link above for more information or too book a place.

Sushi making – Vaud

Where: Echandens : Region Morges, Canton Vaud
When: December 15th, 10am to 12pm

How about your handmade sushi for your party? This is a morning class which will finish before midday, and you can take away the sushi with you. If you are already a group of more than four people, you may suggest your preferred time (possible to start earlier and finish earlier).The price is 98 Swiss francs. Click on the link above to reserve and for more details.

Once upon a time (Christmas show) – Zurich

Where: LangstrassenKultur – Langstrasse, 113a, Zurich
When: December 16th, 5pm
Event by: Improv in Zurich in English

Eight wombats will enchant the audience by telling them improvised stories about Christmas. While you sip on your hot wine or your hot punch you hear stories that will range between the mundane and the hilarious and will touch the most common genres like fairy tales, comedy, and drama. All money collected will be donated and used to buy Festive food parcels for two households that live with a budget that is below the subsistence level.

Carol Service – Anglican Church Basel

Where: Pauluskirche, Steinenring 20, Basel
When: Sunday 16th December, 18:00

Join us for our traditional Christmas Carol Service of nine lessons with congregational carols and choir items. Glühwein and Stollen will be served after the service.

Artpero -Vaud

Where: Villars-sur-Ollon, Avenue Centrale 97, 1884 Vaud
When: Saturday 22nd December 6pm–8pm

We are an art association representing 20 artists. Come and join us for a pre-Christmas drink and to celebrate our second anniversary. To find out more information about our gallery please take a look at our website.

Tap Takeover with Deya brewing Co – Zurich

Where: International Beer Bar, Luisenstrasse 7, Zürich
When: December 22nd, 4pm to 11.45pm

Another Zurich first, this time we welcome Deya Brewing to show the Beer Freaks and Geeks and party-goers their stuff. It will surely be a great night…and right before Christmas.

Christmas Concert – Zurich

Where: Bühlkirche, Goldbrunnenstrasse 54, 8055 Zürich
When: December 26th, 4.20pm

Benjamin Guelat accompanies Charlie Chaplin's classic silent movie “Gold Rush”(1925) on the big symphonic organ. This event is organised by the English-speaking club of Zurich. Tickets are free but a collection will be taken. You need to RSVP. Click the link above for details.

Do you know of another English-speaking event in Switzerland this December? If so, email us all the details using the checklist here.


Allowing large gatherings in Switzerland ‘poses a significant risk’

Faced with the possibility that Swiss authorities will authorise gatherings of over 1,000 people from October 1st, health officials say the measure may spark the second wave of Covid-19 infections.

Allowing large gatherings in Switzerland ‘poses a significant risk’
Crowds of 1,000 people might be allowed from October 1st. Photo by AFP

The government announced last week that over 1,000 people will be allowed to get together from October 1st. The decision was made based on the “needs of society and the economic interests of sports clubs and cultural venues”. 

The current limit is 300.

Authorities did say that “strict protective measures will apply and the events will have to be authorised by the cantons, taking into account the local epidemiological situation and their contact tracing capacity”.

However, some health officials are sounding the alarm about the risks involved in allowing such a large number of people to congregate in one place while the Covid-19 pandemic is not yet under control.

“We are seeing a slow but inexorable increase in infections and outbreaks in Switzerland,” Philippe Eggimann, president of the Medical Society of French-Speaking Switzerland said in an interview with La Liberté newspaper. 

“It is not reasonable to open the way for more transmission opportunities,” he added.

READ MORE: 'We're on a dangerous slope': Swiss officials fear more Covid-19 cases as seasons change 

According to Eggimann, lifting the restriction on large assemblies would make it harder to trace contacts in the event of coronavirus infections, therefore “encouraging a second wave”.

He also noted that the re-opening of schools and the return from vacation will increase social interactions, and with it, the risk of exposure to the virus.

“In this context, allowing crowds of 1,000 people is a significant risk. It would have been safer to watch how things develop and only then make decisions,” he noted.

The warning comes as the number of Covid-19 infections in Switzerland became the highest since the worst of the pandemic in April.

The number of daily cases so far in August has exceeded 200 a day, rising nearly twofold from previous weeks.

That is a substantial surge from the month of June, when the count for daily cases was in the low two-digits.