Falconeria – Locarno, Ticino (CH)

End of March we took our 3yo old to the Falconeria in Locarno. I was never really interested to go and check it out; I just couldn’t imagine it was interesting to watch birds fly. I had heard good things about the place though and as our son came to an age where he could perhaps appreciate the show, we decided it would make for a good daytrip to Locarno on a beautiful sunny March day.

The Falconeria has enough opportunities for parking: next to the entrance, paid or around the corner, free of charge. Signs direct you to the entrance. Once inside you will find a large tribune (which can be covered in case of rain!!), a “stage” (a sand field and grassy bit), a galleria of birdcages and a place for buying some drinks or souvenirs.

The show features several birds: falcons, giant owls, eagles, a huge vulture and some other predator birds. The presenter and his colleague let the birds fly really low over your head! One almost hit me actually and several touched my head with their wings. Especially for kids this is of course pretty exciting, thought it could be a bit scary for really little ones.

Having said the above I do advice you, if you and your kids are not afraid seeing the birds up close, to sit on the back/upper row somewhere near the stairs; The falconer stood behind and next to us for each bird act and we were able to take some great shots with our SLR and as said, the birds even touched us and our boy loved it too.

When the show is over, kids can take a short pony ride if they like. Guess they offer this as an extra as the time spend at the Falconeria is very short otherwise… Visiting the Falconeria doesn’t make for a full day out, but you can have about 1/1,5 hrs of fun.

After the show and the pony ride (total about 45 min, forgot to time it) we went to see the birds in the cages behind the stage. Then we left and decided to go to the nearby playground at the corner of Via Francesca Chiesa and Via Angelo Nessi (just outside of the Falconeria). The little park like playground is beautiful for kids: Wooden climbing structures, several swings (including baby swings) and a sand pit all scattered between the trees. For kids who love horses: there is a horse next to the playground that seems friendly and was petted by several kids.

Overall, my son loved it and even though we didn’t think much of it before we went, we too were pleasantly surprised. It’s worth the drive if you combine it with some of the other highlights Locarno/Ascona have to offer.

Adults: 20 CHF
Kids 5 – 16: 15 CHF
Kids 0 – 4: free;
Special discounts: seniors, groups and families

See: http://www.falconeria.ch/OpeningHours

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