Family Hikes – tips for hiking with small children

With the recent beautiful weather we’ve been having, after lots of RAIN, I thought it time to write a post about hiking with small children. Family hiking with small children is not a simple task! Well, perhaps it is for some families . . . perhaps your children were born hikers!  But for many of us, getting our children to LOVE hiking in the mountains is … Continue reading Family Hikes – tips for hiking with small children

Le Paradis des Praz (Les Praz, Chamonix)

My MBFF boys headed off for some fun at Paradis des Praz at the weekend and it reminded me what a wonderful little hidden jewel it is.  This natural playground is well-known to families living in the region, but perhaps not to those visiting. Nestled in the woods in Les Praz, a short walk from the golf-course car park (or from Les Tines, in the opposite … Continue reading Le Paradis des Praz (Les Praz, Chamonix)

Combloux’s Plan d’Eau Biotope

A visit to the Plan d’Eau Biotope in Combloux makes for a wonderful day of swimming and lazing, with a majestic view of the Mont Blanc Massif as a backdrop! Combloux boasts the first ecological mountain lake in France, in the most superb setting.  The lake has been created for swimming and has more than 10 000 aquatic plants filtering the water to make it pure, and it has … Continue reading Combloux’s Plan d’Eau Biotope

Les P’tits Experts de la Nature (Sallanches)

Every Wednesday afternoon during the French school holidays, the Centre de la Nature Montagnarde in Sallanches organises worshops for children aged 6 to 12 years  called Les P’tits Experts de la Nature. Children are given a certificate booklet when they do their first workshop and they collect a stamp for each completed workshop.  During their 2-hour workshop, they become little “experts” in different fields of nature! My son … Continue reading Les P’tits Experts de la Nature (Sallanches)

«Le petit atelier’jardin du mercredi» at the Jardin des Cimes (Plateau d’Assy)

Over the summer months, the wonderful Jardin des Cimes will be offering weekly workshops for children every Wednesday afternoon, from 14h30 to 16h30 (from Wednesday 7th June to Wednesday 30th August 2017). These will be themed workshops pertaining to nature and gardens, with a different theme for each week.  You will need to reserve a place for the workshop, at 8,50€ per child, with a … Continue reading «Le petit atelier’jardin du mercredi» at the Jardin des Cimes (Plateau d’Assy)

2KM3 – when a car park becomes ARTWORK! (Saint-Gervais)

A contingent of the MBFF team (the youngest member and myself) headed off last week on a voyage of art exploration and discovery . . . to the newly painted multi-storey car park in Saint-Gervais-les-Bains: 2KM3. We went with a draisienne (push bike).  There was art, and there were some steep descents (and ascents on the return journey) for the little one! What a marvellous … Continue reading 2KM3 – when a car park becomes ARTWORK! (Saint-Gervais)

June Agenda au Pays du Mont Blanc

Just when the month of MAY – with its plentiful bank holidays – is coming to an end . . . along comes JUNE with another long weekend in France: Pentecôte!  Perhaps the following list of events and activities will give you some fresh ideas for family fun aux Pays du Mont Blanc  . . . or even some accessible weekend getaways . . . Or, if you are visititing the Pays du Mont Blanc en famille, and … Continue reading June Agenda au Pays du Mont Blanc

The beautiful quais of Sallanches

I was walking along the quais in Sallanches last week and the chataignes (chestnut trees) were all in bloom and had formed a tapestry above my head . . . and I thought how I must write a post about how NOW is the time to experience Sallanches’s riverside at its most lush! A trip to Sallanches’s Saturday morning market (which is lovely; a post to come) … Continue reading The beautiful quais of Sallanches

Les Gorges de la Diosaz (Servoz)

A visit to Les Gorges de la Diosaz natural site makes for a wonderful visit en famille, come rain or shine (we have visited during both weather forecasts here at MBFF!).  You are in the shade for most of the walk, so this is a great option during a summer heatwave, as well as on a slightly drizzly day!  It is quite the experience to walk along the footpath, … Continue reading Les Gorges de la Diosaz (Servoz)

Baby & Toddler Playgroups au Pays du Mont Blanc

Here is a list of some of the playgroup options au Pays du Mont Blanc: Chamonix Chamonix «Mums n Tots» takes place in the Salle Paroissiale (Church Hall) of  the Presbytery of the Protestant Church near the train station in the centre of Chamonix.  The playgroup is run by the lovely Barbara and is open to all babies and toddlers (and parents, grand-parents, minders . . … Continue reading Baby & Toddler Playgroups au Pays du Mont Blanc

Le Jardin des Cimes (Plateau d’Assy)

MBFF was thrilled to discover Le Jardin des Cimes in Plateau d’Assy a few years ago.  It is a truly magical garden, with breathtaking views of the Mont Blanc Massif. Le Jardin des Cimes (“Garden of the Summits”) has revitalised the area of Plateau d’Assy; not only are the garden and café a delight for locals and tourists alike, but jobs have been created and there are plenty of activities and … Continue reading Le Jardin des Cimes (Plateau d’Assy)

The MEG’s new exhibition: «L’effet boomerang. Les arts aborigènes d’Australie» (Geneva)

The next temporary exhibition at the MEG will be «L’effet boomerang. Les arts aborigènes d’Australie», and it will run from 19th May 2017 to 7th January 2018, with its opening night on the 18th May 2017, from 18h until midnight (see here for more details about the vernissage). See here for more information about the exhibition. For more information about the MEG, see a previous post from MBFF. For children … Continue reading The MEG’s new exhibition: «L’effet boomerang. Les arts aborigènes d’Australie» (Geneva)

Cinemas au Pays du Mont Blanc

Chamonix Chamonix’s Cinéma VOX is a bit of an institution, and I was once a regular visitor with a pass (in my footloose and fancy free days when I lived just down the road!). There are VO films to choose from and the venue is also used to host certain events: shows for children, mountain films, the adventure film festival, guest speakers . . . *Good … Continue reading Cinemas au Pays du Mont Blanc

Bowling au Pays du Mont Blanc

There are two bowling alleys au Pays du Mont Blanc: one in Chamonix, and one in Sallanches. Chamonix Chamonix’s Bowling has 8 bowling alleys, as well as an indoor mini-golf, a pool room (“billards”) and a games room. The entrance includes obligatory bowling shoes and you must wear socks! Opening hours: High season: open every day from 17h to 2h in the morning, or from 14h in … Continue reading Bowling au Pays du Mont Blanc

Le Parc de Merlet Animal Park (Les Houches)

Le Parc de Merlet animal park is opening today, Saturday 29th April! Perched at 1563m, about 600m above the village of Les Houches, Le Parc de Merlet is home to around 80 animals that roam freely within the boundaries of the park: chamois, ibex, deer, mouflons, marmottes . . . and even the odd llama (see here for more information about the animals that live here)! A little history . . … Continue reading Le Parc de Merlet Animal Park (Les Houches)

Geneva’s Botanical Gardens

We made our first visit en famille to Geneva’s Botanical Gardens (CJBG – Les Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques de la Ville de Genève) on a crisp and sunny autumn’s day last year . . . and we loved it so much that we couldn’t wait to head back there in early spring this year!  Just how had this magical garden eluded us for so long? If you … Continue reading Geneva’s Botanical Gardens

Sallanches – Springtime Family Stroll

Springtime has arrived . . . and while I dream of one day being in Japan for its famous springtime cherry blossoms, for now I am excited to share this little Sallanches town walk with you.  While there is still snow on the higher altitude walks, why not take a leisurely amble through the streets of Sallanches, enjoy the spring blossoms and discover a little history as you … Continue reading Sallanches – Springtime Family Stroll

Forte di Bard (Italy)

The MBFF team are big fans of Italy for holidays!  As a destination from the Arve Valley, it is easy to get there through the Mont Blanc Tunnel and we can also book hotels and apartments last minute!  Italians LOVE children (and not just well-behaving children; ALL children!), the food is very family-friendly (and delicious!), and there is endless nature and culture to explore. We … Continue reading Forte di Bard (Italy)

La Fondation Pierre Gianadda (Martigny)

La Fondation Pierre Gianadda in Martigny is one of my all time favourite museums!  There are some fantastic temporary exhibitions organised here (every 6 months the main exhibition is changed, and past exhibtions have included: Klee, Goya, Rodin, Giacometti, Moore, Modigliani, Claudel, Chagall, Braque, Dégas, Manet, Dufy, Miró, Gauguin, Bonnard, Van Gogh, Picasso, Morisot . . . ), the building itself is an architectural gem (to … Continue reading La Fondation Pierre Gianadda (Martigny)

Swimming in Chamonix

If you’d like to go swimming in Chamonix, there are various options.  You might be lucky enough to be staying at a hotel or chalet with a pool, otherwise you can head to the public swimming pools on offer at the Centre Sportif Richard Bozon.  Alternatively, some hotels in the valley let you use their pool if you eat lunch at their restaurant or use their spa … Continue reading Swimming in Chamonix

Chamonix Valley Spas & Massages

Several hotels in the Chamonix Valley offer access to their spa centre and pool to non-hotel guests.  What follows is not a full list of tried and tested spas and massages; I have clearly not done enough of my own “parent pampering” in the last six years, as the only spa I have managed to visit has been Deep Nature’s Les Granges d’en Haut in Les Houches.  I have had … Continue reading Chamonix Valley Spas & Massages

Sallanches Skatepark

On some beautiful sunny afternoons this spring, we have found ourselves down at the Sallanches skatepark! I must admit to having been somewhat ignorant towards to our local skatepark, and so I was pleasantly surprised with the discovery!  It has been recently renovated, and there is lots of space for skateboards, scooters and BMX bikes.  I was also pleasantly surprised by the range of ages present – little ones on … Continue reading Sallanches Skatepark

Base de Loisirs des Belles (Praz-sur-Arly)

We only recently discovered this outdoor leisure space in Praz-sur-Arly, on a sunny autumn day . . . our boys were delighted to be able to play in the vast open space surrounding the playgrounds, and we were able to lift our faces to the sun and relax (for a short period!). The leisure space is much more than just playgrounds, however, and it offers: Playgrounds  There … Continue reading Base de Loisirs des Belles (Praz-sur-Arly)

Le Musée Montagnard (Les Houches)

The Musée Montagnard is housed in one of the oldest 18th century houses in the centre of Les Houches and has been arranged to show three typical rooms of such a house: the pèle  (bedroom/living room), the outa (kitchen) and the sarte (pantry).  The museum houses a rich collection of traditional furniture and objects, largely provided by M. Albert Laprade, the eminent architect-urbanist, who was keen to protect the heritage … Continue reading Le Musée Montagnard (Les Houches)

Barryland – Musée et Chiens du Saint-Bernard (Martigny)

We first visited Barryland – Musée et Chiens du Saint-Bernard with a dog-loving and inquisitive 3 year old and a sleeping (mostly!) newborn baby in a pram . . . this visit coincided with the arrival of St-Bernard puppies! Last year we visited again and this visit coincided with another litter of cute puppies, but also with the most wonderful Easter Egg Hunt in the grounds next … Continue reading Barryland – Musée et Chiens du Saint-Bernard (Martigny)