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One of the Best Gifts - Books

We typically try to adhere to the following gift guide each holiday season:

something to read

something to wear

something you need

something you want

Four simple gifts, not too much fuss, never overwhelming clutter, and all of the gifts are wanted. We love that.

Here at Fresh Air Kids, we have put together a book guide for you this holiday season. We thought we would profile only local authors that we have either come to know over the years, or just appreciate the work these authors have put out into the world. We also want to support our publisher, as they have been huge advocates of our dreams since 2019. Thank you for that Helvetiq!

We are fans of supporting locals, especially when it comes to promoting creatives within our community. We know the amount of work and vulnerability it takes to write a book (or any creative endeavor for that matter) from concept to cover, so we are happy to share their work with you.

Travel Guides

We would be amiss not to mention our books, as they have guided our family travel and adventures over the years. If you are looking for the perfect book for family hikes that includes over 52 tested routes, including theme trails, stroller-friendly hikes and castle visits, check out our first book here.

For the perfect travel companion for families looking to stay in mountain huts and participate in multi-day adventures, check out our second book here. This book tells you everything you need to know about a successful overnight stay in one of the 36 hand selected huts, all of which we have personally stayed in. This book is gem and includes some of the most stunning hiking routes and charming huts in Switzerland!

This book was a major heart project for us, so there is lots of love sprinkled on all of the pages.

Finally, if you are looking for winter activities to help you make the most of the season, our latest book profiles 36 diverse winter activities. We thought we would spice it up, so the book includes lots of activities, most of which are so much more than just skiing.

With a comprehensive guide on "how to enjoy winter in Switzerland," and over 80 suggested locations, your family will feel inspired to get out there and forget hibernating this winter. Check it out here.

All of our books are available in English, German and French and come with GPX files for effortless planning!

Wine Hiking Switzerland by Ellen Wallace

Switzerland has remarkable landscapes, but once you throw wine in the mix, you've got the perfect combination. Check out the latest book by author Ellen Wallace, which includes 50 hikes throughout lovely areas of Switzerland. The book covers a variety of grapes, wines and price points for everyone.

Beer Hiking by Monika Saxer

Why stop at wine, when you can also enjoy beer hiking? As Robert (our Fresh Air dad) says, "There is nothing like a solid glass of beer after a good hike!" This book includes 59 hiking routes in Switzerland with all of the hikes ending with beer at a bistro or a brewery. Now that is delicious!

Children's Books

Sitting down and reading with a child is a truly magical experience and one of our most treasured activities of parenthood. There is something so sweet about curling up on the couch or under the covers with your child and allowing the stress of the day to melt away as you dive deep into a good book. Listed below are a few books that educate and allow your child's imagination to run wild.

Basel - The Graphic Novel by Jeanne Darling and Lia Habegger

This new book by the prolific children's author, Jeanne Darling, features many of Basel's legends in comic book form. With beautifully illustrated pages, including pages that ignite imagination and learning, this is the perfect book to help your child learn more about Basel in an exciting way!

This book is available in English and German.

The Geneva Chronicles by Anita Lehmann and illustrated by Pierre Wazem

The Geneva Chronicles profiles the history of Geneva through the eyes of Allo the Allobrogian and his horse. Seventeen captivating stories are certain to delight young readers. This 80 page book is the perfect read for familiarizing your family with the rich history of Geneva.

Written by the award-winning author, Anita Lehmann, this book is beautifully illustrated and makes the perfect holiday gift. This book is available in English and French.

Alp Explorer by Dina Christ & Nicola Carpri

Anything with the world "Alp" in the title is something we can get behind and this incredibly tall book profiling animals that live in the Alps is downright fun. As children search through the book looking for plants and animals, they are actually discovering secrets located in the back of the book. Check this book out if you are looking for an interactive reading experience with your child.

Hunde am Werk by Valeria Aloise and Margot Tissot

We have personally witnessed the power of service dogs and how they transform the lives of those they serve, so this book clearly speaks to us. This sweet book profiles 35 dog breeds and 32 professions dogs are currently working in from the traditional to the unusual. Check out this book to gather some inspiration from our four-legged friends. This book is available in German and French only.

Derborence - The Graphic Novel by Fabian Menor based on the novel by C.F. Ramuz

This special mountain that has a deep and dark history is worth telling. Told here in graphic novel form, author Fabian Menor captures the spirit of a very dark time laced with hope for one Alpine area. Beautifully illustrated, this is a lovely gift for reader fascinated by history. Plus, if you are looking to visit the area, we profile a lovely mountain hut in our second book, Fresh Air Kids - Hikes to Huts!

Cooking & Baking Books

Nothing screams the holiday season like a book that encourages baking and cooking. Gathering in the kitchen and sharing meals are some of life's greatest pleasures, so get inspired by some of the cookbooks listed below and enjoy your next communal meal!

Helvetic Kitchen by Andie Pilot

This Swiss Cookbook profiles some of the best Swiss recipes. Recipes influenced by her grandmother's classic recipes, Andie packs this beautiful cookbook with photos and a diverse array of both sweet and savory meals.

Sweet + Swiss by Heddi Nieuwsma and Dorian Rollin

This delicious book profiles some of the sweetest to bake desserts from Europe. From cakes, to tarts, to bread and more, this is the perfect companion for baking your way through the holidays! This book is available in German, English and French.

Swiss Fondue and Haute Raclette by Jennifer and Arnaud Favre, Dorian Follin

If you are a cheese enthusiast, these beautifully photographed books are certain to inspire your next dairy based meal! With dozens of recipes and meals that will spice up your next family meal, these books are perfect for the holidays when the cheese is warm and hearty!

Full Disclosure

When you click on the links for books on this page, you will be re-directed to the Helvetiq website. We in turn, receive a small commission from your purchase. Thank you in advance for your support!

Magazine Subscriptions


For those looking for a magazine subscription for girls ages eight to 13, we have the perfect gift for you. KALEIO is a thought-provoking, empowering magazine for young girls. The magazine is a piece of art, with well crafted articles and activities. Children will anticipate its arrival and eagerly read through the pages.

Free Reading About Basel

While the below mentioned are not books or subscriptions, they are fabulous resources for those who reside in the Basel area or wish to visit Basel.

You Belong in Basel (YBI Basel)

Find your home in Basel. With informative articles, detailed neighborhood profiles and travel suggestions, YBI Basel helps foreign nationals settle, connect and thrive in the Basel region. Their goal is to cultivate a greater sense of belonging by helping newcomers navigate life in their new home. By understanding and appreciating local customs, newcomers are able to participate more fully in their community. This in turn breaks down barriers between the Swiss and foreign national communities to make Basel stronger and more connected. Have a look, it's beautifully put together!

Basel Life

This online magazine is a complete gem when it comes to discovering the latest events in and outside of the Basel region. An easy to navigate website and constantly updated, Basel Life is the place to visit when you are looking for ongoing events, activities, sports and recreation, culture and tradition.

Here's to gifting gifts with meaning and purpose this holiday season! We wish you and your family a beautiful holiday season!

P.S. If you prefer not to gift things this year, we hear you. Consider purchasing a tree in honor of a loved one. The Earth needs more trees and the folks over at Almighty Tree are genuinely good people doing what they can to create a bright future. We love that!


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