Though Chamonix isn’t the most obvious ski destination for families, due to extensive ski options for advanced skiers and the lack of ski-in/ski-out accommodation, there are still two main areas dedicated to beginners and small children near the centre of town, and the variety of ski stations and graded pistes available is huge:
Beginner and Nursery Skiing
Le Savoy – this slope is very centrally located and it links up with Brévent ski station. There are two drag lifts and a magic carpet.
Les Planards – is the other Beginner ski area, near the centre of town. It has a chair lift and two drag lifts and has a larger variety of pistes, with green, blue and red runs. This makes it an ideal option for families/friends of mixed abilities. Snow cannons assure snow here. The Chamonix-Luge Alpine Coaster is also to be found here in the Parc des Attractions de Chamonix.
Further up the valley, you will find three more Beginner/Nursery ski areas:
Les Chosalets at Les Grands Montets ski station and La Vormaine at Le Tour (see Argentière Skiing); La Poya in Le Buet (Vallorcine Skiing);
Intermediate and Advanced Skiing
Brévent-Flégère – these are two separate ski stations linked by a télécabine, hence double the fun! They are both south-facing and boast magnificent views of the Mont-Blanc Massif. There are ski pistes for all levels, ranging from green to black. Brévent is accessed from near the centre of Chamonix and has a large multi-storied carpark. Flegère is accessed from Les Praz (3km away from Chamonix and a short bus/train ride away); it has parking on site but this fills quickly!
At Flégère, Ho5 Park has created Mont-Blanc Legend, a fun ski area for families. Based on the theme of Chamonix mountain legends, young skiers are immersed in a winterland of local folklore, history, magic and discovery. Treasure hunts, animations . . .
29 rue Henriette d’Angeville
35 rte des Tines
Website: http://www.montblancnaturalresort.com (see the website for opening times, lift openings and current ski pass prices).
Further up the valley are the ski area of Les Grands Montets (see Argentière Skiing) and Le Tour/Balme-Vallorcine (see Argentière Skiing and Vallorcine Skiing) and heading in the other direction is Les Houches (see Les Houches Skiing).
Ecole de Ski Français (ESF) Chamonix
The Ecole de Ski Français de Chamonix (ski school) can organise ski lessons for the whole family.
There is a club for 3-5 year olds called Piou Piou and then different classes for different ages/abilities. See here for the ESF Chamonix website. Children can acquire different badges as they head up through the different levels.