The Lac des Chavants in Les Houches is a relaxating destination for families in both summer and winter (and spring and autumn!).
*NB –please note that Lac des Chavants is NOT a swimming lake!*
During the warmer months, there is a playground here, a climbing rock, an area to play pétanque, fishing in the lake, and a relaxing buggy/dog-walking path around the lake and into the woods. This is the perfect spot for a picnic or to bring small children with bikes.
There is a lovely café called La Guinguette, right by the water’s edge. It is well-equipped for children, with high-chairs and toys available. It is open from the end of May to the end of September, 11h-21h (shut on Mondays), and in summertime, you will often find concerts/shows happening here. In winter it is open from December until April, 11h-19h, every day.
There is a lovely little enclosed playground here with a climbing frame (and new spider web climbing frame).
Climbing at Les Chavants
There are 10 climbing routes on this slab of rock, ranging from 3 to 6A. The access is FREE and the site is open from April until December.
From mid-June to mid-September, you can fish at Lac des Chavants, every day (except Monday) from 9h-12h and from 14h-19h / licence required.
Walking & Biking
Lac des Chavants is the perfect little loop for children on foot, or with push-bikes! And you can head into the forest for a longer walk/some shade . . .
Orienteering course (Parcours d’Orientation)
There are 18 different points to find on the «Parcours d’Orientation» at Lac des Chavants. See here for more details, or to download a pdf copy or pick up a copy of the fiche from your Tourist Office in Les Houches (there are several other orienteering courses in the Chamonix Valley; see here).
Children’s leisure club
During the summer and winter holidays, the leisure club at Lac des Chavants accepts children from 18 months to 11 years and in the summer from 3 to 5 years. Thanks to the large exterior area, games and workshops take place both indoors and outdoors. See the Tourist Office for information/forms to fill out to sign-up.
address: Club Enfants des Chavants, allée des Diligences, 74310 Les Houches;
ESF Piou Piou Ski Club/Sledging
In wintertime, the lakeside area becomes home to the ESF Piou Piou club for tiny skiiers, and there is a sledging area nearby. The sledging is open from December to March (depending on snow conditions), and there are two sledging areas available: the Petite Tortue for 2-6 year olds and the Petit Lièvre for 6+ year olds. Children must be accompanied by an adult, and it is recommended that they wear helmets. Ski boots are not allowed in this zone.
Cross-country skiing & snow-shoeing
Depending on snow conditions, the route is open from December until March. There are two loops of about 3km, which head around the lake and into the forest;
Le Lac des Chavants
148 allée des Dilligences, Les Chavants
74310 Les Houches
website: for more details see here;