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Let's play! Sports and games in Switzerland

Did people use the same balls for bowling throughout Switzerland? Did people throw the same jacks? What are the rules of Gilihüsine, an old form of the Swiss sport Hornussen, in Betten (Valais)? And which Jass playing cards are nicer: French or German ones?

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Das Familienfestival für Gross und Klein im Freilichtmuseum Ballenberg.

The 2023 season at Ballenberg will focus on sports and games. We will be inviting our visitors to take part in competitions and to learn more about old Swiss sports and games. Throughout Switzerland, we play various types of bowling: boccia, jeu de quilles and skittles. Jass afternoons and a Jass tournament will take place in the "Alter Bären" restaurant. Supervised games for all ages will be played at weekends and during the holidays.

Sports and games were and still are basic human needs. People have always found time in their busy everyday routines for sporting activities and games, whether it is competitive sport or just for fun. This includes in the countryside. Such games often took place during village festivals, or on Sundays after church. Bowling, Hornussen, Jass, street games and children’s games: many of Switzerland’s popular games and sports, some of which are centuries old, are still enjoyed today.

The special exhibition "Who wears the trousers? Schwingen – a Swiss wrestling tradition" is another key element of next year’s theme, along with performances of Wyberhaagge at Landschaftstheater Ballenberg (Open-Air theatre) starring Beat Schlatter (in German).

Come and join us! Share your love of games at Ballenberg!


Swiss Open-Air Museum

Museumsstrasse 100

CH-3858 Hofstetten bei Brienz

Opening hours

6 April to 29 October 2023
10 am to 5 pm daily

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