Les mercredis – workshops & creative activities for children au Pays du Mont-Blanc

For some of us au Pays du Mont-Blanc, la Rentrée was two weeks ago . . . for some of us it was last week . . . some of our children still have school on a Wednesday morning and some communes have opted to go back to the 4-day week . . . it’s hard to keep track!

Last weekend – up and down the valley – there were plentiful events for children and parents to find out more about possible activities/sports to sign-up for, either on Wednesdays or on other days of the week; there were forums and portes ouvertes from:

  • MJC Chamonix;
  • FJEP Passy;
  • MJC Saint-Gervais;
  • various sports clubs au Pays du Mont-Blanc;
  • the music, dance & theatre associations au Pays du Mont-Blanc;
  • art classes au Pays du Mont-Blanc . . .

Les mercredis au Pays du Mont-Blanc

Whether or not our children have school on a Wednesday morning, they are still perhaps free on a Wednesday afternoon to relax, or to discover a new creative activity or sport . . . I have compiled a list of some of the activities kids can sign up to on Wednesdays on an ad-hoc basis, rather than on a termly/yearly basis . . . please do not hesitate to get in touch with any other activities you may be organising/that your children have enjoyed, that are missing from the list!

Cat Kartal Art School in Chamonix and Le Fayet
© Cat Kartal

As well as Cat’s wonderful summer workshops Art & Nature, she offers art classes for children & adults in two locations in the Pays du Mont-Blanc during term-time: at the école Jeanne d’Arc in Chamonix (promenade Marie Paradis) and at her studio in Le Fayet (avenue de Genève, 74190, Le Fayet).  Her classes will be starting on 18th September and are as follows:

Ecole Jeanne d’Arc:

Art & Craft – Mondays & Tuesdays from 16h30 to 18h for 6 to 10 year olds (CE1 to CM2);

Art & Craft -Wednesday mornings from 10h to 11h30 for Maternelle Grande Section and CP;

Drawing / Cartoon / Manga / Colour – Wednesday afternoons for CM2 to 3ème;

The Studio in Le Fayet:

Drawing – Thursdays from 16h45 to 18h for children 6+ years;

Painting for adults – Thursdays from 13h15 to 16h15;

prices: children’s art classes – card for 10 sessions 130€ (to use over one trimester); one-off class: 14€ / adults: card for 6 classes – 120€ and one off: 22€;

Painting on Plexiglass with Anaka

My elder son and I took part in one of Anaka’s workshops at the Musée Montagnard in Les Houches this summer . . . we spent a lovely two hours painting plexiglass sheep and we came away (proud as punch) with our artwork.  Anaka offers weekly painting on plexiglass workshops at her gallery Galerie Mille Lieux du Monde in Servoz most Wednesdays from 16h to 18hduration: 2h / price: 20€ / for children and adults alike! / highly, highly recommended by MBFF! / reservations: anaka2006@orange.fr or on FB messenger;

Cinébus in Les Houches on Wednesdays (for children)

On two Wednesdays every month, at 17h30Cinébus has films for children screened at the Salle d’Animation in the centre of Les Houches / price: adults 5,50€ and children 3,50€ / address: Salle d’Animation, Les Houches;

Next films for children scheduled:

Wednesday 20th September – «La cabane à histoires» (France, 2017) animated film by Célia Rivière – duration: 50mins;

Wednesday 18th October – «Cars 3» (USA, 2017) animated film;

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

Over the month of September (until 27th September), the Jardin des Cimes is still offering its Wednesday afternoon nature workshop «Le petit’atelier jardin du mercredi»14h30 to 16h30 / a different theme each week pertaining to gardens and nature / price: 8,50€ per child and discounted entrance for accompanying adult (though adult presence not required) / reservations: 04 50 21 50 87 / address: Jardin des Cimes, 447 route du docteur Davy, 74190, Passy;


  •  Wednesday 13th September: “l’accueil de la petite faune du jardin en hiver avec Charlotte : abris à insectes, nourrissage des oiseaux . . .”;
  •  Wednesday 20th September: “créations de jouets de plantes avec Robin”;
  • Wednesday 27th September: “dernières cueillettes aux Jardin avec Robin”

USEP (Union Sportive de l’Enseignement du Premier Degrés) in Sallanches

Through my sons’ school, I have discovered this wonderful initiative . . . primary school children can discover a whole host of different sports through the USEP on a Wednesday afternoon (école de sports) for a small fee . . . as my son was not skiing on Wednesday afternoons last year, this was a great way to discover different sports (on a rotating schedule of cycles of sports).  Does a scheme like this exist elsewhere au Pays du Mont-Blanc?

«Atelier Jeunesse Créatif» in Sallanches 

Wednesday morning or afternoon art classes at Atelier «Couleurs & Sens» in Sallanches from 9h30 to 11h or from 13h30 to 15h / price: 10€ per child/teenager for each session / all equipment supplied / painting, collage and lots more techniques/ reservations: 06 13 64 34 47 / address: 179 rue du Mont-Blanc, Sallanches;

© Atelier Couleurs & Sens

Librairie Carnet d’Albert

For little ones, it is worth checking out the events calendar at the bookshop Librairie Carnet d’Albert on the Place Charles Albert in Sallanches (address: 220 place Charles Albert, 74700, Sallanches) . . . there are sometimes readings of books for small children.  The next one scheduled will be on: Wednesday 27th SeptemberAtelier et Dédicace avec Anne Crausaz from 10h to midday;

Eveil & Compagnie
© Eveil & Compagnie

Run by Muriel Jurado, Eveil & Compagnie is a new initiative in Sallanches, offering Montessori workshops and Spanish classes on Wednesdays / for more information, see website;

«Les P’tits Pêcheurs» in Combloux

Fishing outings for children in Combloux with Nicolas in September:

  • «Les P’tits Pêcheurs» (4 to 7 years) from 15h to 17h / accompanied by Nicolas, and equipped with the necessary fishing gear, children will head to the Torrent d’Arbon in search of its funny inhabitants! / price: 20 € / see here for more details;
  • «Les P’tits Pêcheurs» (8 to 12 years) from 8h30 to 12h30  accompanied by Nicolas and equipped with the necessary fishing gear (fishing rod, boots), children will head to Lac de Javen! / price: 40€ (including fishing permit) / see here for more details;

Farm visit «GAEC Val Mont-Blanc», in Combloux

Guided visit of the farm le «GAEC Val Mont-Blanc» in Combloux from 16h to 17h / a family farm, the Paget family will show you their love for agriculture; they will show you how cheese is produced with some tasting too! There are 30 milking cows on this farm used to produce these cheeses: tomme, reblochon, abondance, cheese for raclette / address: 777, route de Saint-Gervais, Gemoëns, 74920, Combloux; tel: +33 (0)6 16 33 71 74 / reservations: Combloux Tourist Office;

© Ferme GAEC Val’Mont-Blanc

«Le Petit Photographe» by Byzance Photo Reportages @ Chalet des Créateurs (Saint-Gervais-les-Bains)
© Byzance Photos Reportages

Contact Catherine at Byzance Photos Reportages directly to confirm availability for the digital photography workshops for children.

Wednesdays at the Muséum Genève (Musée d’Histoire Naturelle) in Geneva

The Natural History Museum in Geneva is always a winner with children who love nature and animals, and its main collection is always FREE (only the temporary exhibition is payant, except for the first Sunday of each month).  In addition, on Wednesdays there are numerous workshops on offer:

Wednesdays 13th, 20th & 27th September  Workshop: «Aide-nous à construire des nichoirs d’oiseaux» at 14h / duration: 2 hours / help the museum to build bird houses! You will also find out about the birds in Geneva and why the nichoirs are important / open to all! / reservations: mickael.blanc@ville-ge.ch / limited to 10 pax / RDV: entrance to museum;

© Muséum Genève

Wednesdays 13th, 20th & 27th September  Workshop: «l’infiniment petit révélé au microscope 2» at 13h30, 14h30 AND 15h30 / visit the images of the scientific lab at the Muséum and use an electronic microscope / presented by André Piuz, geologist / for children 10+ years / duration: 45mins;

© Muséum Genève

Wednesdays 4th & 11th October, 15th November and 20th December «Elever sa propre colonie de fourmis» 13h34 to 15h AND 15h15 to 16h30 – an explanation from Sébastien Quinault, myrmecologist, about how to make our own formicarium / from 10+ years / reservations: quinault.sebastien@orange.fr;

«Fourmis» –  at the Muséum in Geneva © Muséum / Ville de Genève

Wednesdays 18th & 25th October, 1st November & 8th November«Origami fourmis» 14h to 16h30 – workshop led by Can Godoy, chemist – make your own origami box to keep inside the tools that ants use to make their fourmilières / from 6+ years;

Wednesdays 22nd & 29th November, 6th & 13th December«Le monde mystérieuxde l’ambre» 14h to 16h30 (continuous) – workshop led by Cédric Schnyder, geologist – learn all about the properties of amber, and the insects that end up trapped within it! / from 6+ years;

The Musée d’Histoire des Sciences in Geneva also has a Wednesday programme / see here for more details;

Wednesdays at the MAMCO in Geneva

The MAMCO in Geneva offers fabulous guided tours for children on one Wednesdays and one Sunday per month (highly recommended by the MBFF team!) . . . located in the Plainpalais area of Geneva, there is lots to do before or after a visit . . . there is a great playground at the MEG museum around the corner, and also a playground and skatepark in the Plainpalais square! / address: 10 rue des Vieux-Grenadiers, CH-1205, Genève; tel: +41 22 320 61 22; website: www.mamco.ch;

Programme for October:

Sunday 1st October «Le Petit Rendez-vous»: “Last Summer at 15h15 / duration: 45 mins / for 5 to 10 year olds, with an accompanying adult;

Wednesday 4th October «Mini Rendez-vous» at 15h15  fun & interactive guided tours at the MAMCO / duration: 20 mins / for 2 to 4 year olds, with an accompanying adult;

Wednesday 4th October – «Le Petit Rendez-vous»: “Last Summer at 15h15 duration: 45 mins / for 5 to 10 year olds, with an accompanying adult;

«Le Petit Rendez-vous» at the Mamco © montblancfamilyfun.com

«Les Mercredis de l’Animation» at the Centre d’Art Contemporain in Geneva
© Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève / Animou

Short films based on the theme of habitat / first Wednesday of the month (except holidays): Wednesday 13th September, 8th November and 13th December / 15h / duration: 40mins / for children 4+ years / FREE! / address: Cinéma Dynamo, 4th floor of Centre d’Art Contemporain de Genève, rue des Vieux-Grenadiers 10, 1205, Genève / in collaboration with Animatou, Festival International du Film d’Animation de Genève;

One Wednesday/Friday per month at the MAH (Le Musée d’Art et d’Histoire) in Geneva

The MAH in Geneva is housed in a magnificent building, has a great play area for children next to the café/restaurant, and offers guided family visits on Wednesdays:

«Visites à tout petits pas»: each month, a new theme to discover the museum and its works with little ones 3 to 5 years (accompanied by an adult) / supported by the Fondation Genevoise de Bienfaisance Valeria Rossi di Montelera / FREE! / duration: about 30mins / more information: http://www.mah-geneve.ch:

  • Friday 15th September – L’automne” at 10h30;
  • Wednesday 20th September “L’automne” at 10h30 and 15h30;
  • Friday 13th October – “Cailloux” at 10h30;
  • Wednesday 18th October – “Cailloux” at 10h30 and 15h30;
  • Friday 10th November – Chevaliers et châteaux” at 10h30;
  • Wednesday 15th November – “Chevaliers et châteaux” at 10h30 and 15h30;
  • Friday 15th December – “L’étoile de Noël” at 10h30;
  • Wednesday 20th December – “L’étoile de Noël” at 10h30 and 15h30;

«Mercredis Family»  at 15h / for children 6 to 10 years (accompanied by an adult) / FREE! / no reservations required:

  • Wednesday 13th September – «Bouge!»;
  • Wednesday 20th September – «Habille-toi comme Achille et Aphrodite!»;
  • Wednesday 27th September (at the Maison Tavel) – «Les murs ont des oreilles!»;
  • Wednesday 4th October – «Sur les traces d’Indiana Jones»;
  • Wednesday 11th October (at the Maison Tavel) – «Les murs ont des oreilles!»;
  • Wednesday 18th October – «Sur les traces d’Indiana Jones»;
  • Wednesday 1st November – «Pour qui sont ces serpents qui sifflent sur nos têtes?»;
  • Wednesday 8th November – «Belles du musée»;
  • Wednesday 15th November – «Chasse au lion»;
  • Wednesday 22nd November – «Ce que nous disent les fleurs»;
  • Wednesday 29th November – «Dans les yeux!»;
  • Wednesday 6th December – «Par une nuit bien froide et sombre . . .»;
  • Wednesday 13th December – «Les têtes intelligentes se protègent: histoires de casques»;

Other options throughout the week. . .

The Chalet des Créateurs in Saint-Gervais-les-Bains offers workshops on weekdays and on Saturdays: photography, watercolour painting, sculpture . . . see website for current details / MBFF post about le Chalet des Créateurs;

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, you can have a guided visit of La Ferme «Les Montagnards» in Ormaret, Combloux (Tuesdays at 10h and Thursdays at 14h30) / Delphine will show you how a bovine farm works and what daily life is like on a farm: 65 cows for milking, 40 pigs, rabbits . . . / address: 4 chemin des Poses, Ormaret, 74920, Combloux / reservations necessary: Delphine +33 (0)6 21 02 18 99 / price: adults 8€; children (3-12 years) 6€; FREE for under 3s / *both mini MBFF members loved their crèche/gardierie visits here!*;

© Ferme Les Montagnards

For more ideas about how to keep the family entertained throughout the week and at the weekend, see September Agenda au Pays du Mont-Blanc post.

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