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

Depending on where we live au Pays du Mont-Blanc, 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, with all of the changes to the rhythme scolaire these last years!

Each year, during the period just after La Rentrée – 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 are forums and portes ouvertes from:

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 . . . for activities/sports on a yearly basis, see: local sports clubs, MJC Chamonix, FJEP Passy, MJC Saint-Gervais, Le Palais Megève plannings.

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 sometimes offeres painting on plexiglass workshops at her gallery Galerie Mille Lieux du Monde in Servoz on 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;

«Le Grand Soir 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;

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

Over the summer and autumn months, when the Jardin des Cimes is open, it offers a 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;

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» at Atelier «Couleurs & Sens» 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 / see here / address: (new, more spacious location near Satoriz): 732 rue Général de Gaulle, 74700, Sallanches (1st floor of Buzzolini Publicité) / website;

© 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 last one scheduled was in September, Atelier et Dédicace avec Anne Crausaz (a wonderful children’s author and illustrator) – it was a great success!

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 Experts de la Nature workshops (Sallanches)

On Wednesday afternoons, 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!

Les P’tits Experts de la Nature – Le P’tits hibernus stamped! © montblancfamilyfun

Timings: 14h to 16h / price: 6€ per child (parents are welcome, free of charge, but their presence is not required!) / reservations: places are limited, so you must book directly with the Centre de la Nature Montagnarde: tel: + 33 (0)4 50 58 32 13;

Château des Rubins
105 montée des Rubins
74700 Sallanches

Website: www.centrenaturemontagnarde.org

Parking: there is free parking in the Parking du Lévant/Chateau des Rubins just opposite;

«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 throughout the week.

Wednesdays at La Maison de la Créativité (Conches, Geneva, Switzerland)

The MBFF family are huge fans of this centre for creativity for families in Conches, Geneva . . . we discovered the house and grounds of La Maison de la Créativité one sunny Saturday of autumn 2016, and we are hoping to visit again soon!  A house and gardens full of treasures for children, wonderful workshops, an outdoor “kitchen”, a playground, incredibly welcoming staff . . . see here for more details / no need to reserve! / aimed at children up to the age of 6 years / address: 7, chemin Calandrini, 1231, Conches, Switzerland / tel: +41(0)22 810 18 90 / website / parking: on route de Florissant, and then a short walk (or bring drésienne!) / price: 3CHF for children and adults 2+ years / open Wednesdays 14h30 to 17h30, and one Saturday per month 9h to 12h and 14h30 to 17h30;

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, when this also is FREE).  In addition, on Wednesdays there are numerous workshops on offer, see here for more details.

«Elever sa propre colonie de Fourmis» – at the Muséum in Geneva © Muséum / Ville de Genève

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

La tete dans le ciel, l’astronomie sans chichis © Musée d’histoire des Sciences

Wednesdays at the MAMCO in Geneva

The MAMCO in Geneva offers fabulous guided tours for children on one Wednesday 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;

«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) / 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:

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

Botanical Gardens Geneva

The Botanical Gardens in Geneva are absolutely wonderful to visit en famille, throughout the year . . . and there are sometimes workshops for children during the warmer months:

Other options throughout the week. . .

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

Family farm visit at La Ferme «Les Montagnards» – on many 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 / this wonderful farm also organises lots of children’s workshops during the school holidays – the last ones were butter-making (particularly useful during the days of butter shortage!) / *both mini MBFF members loved their crèche/gardierie visits here!*; FB page;

© Ferme Les Montagnards

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