December Agenda au Pays du Mont-Blanc

December is: the ❄️opening of ski stations and 🎿 the first ski days of the season; building snowmen; snow-suits to school (and a scrabble in the morning to find hats, gloves and scarves!); Advent Calendars and 🎄putting up the Christmas tree and decorations at home; 🎅 letters to Santa; ⛸️ice-skating on the seasonal ice skating rinks and heading up the hill for some sledging; villages and towns sparkling with Christmas lights; mulled wine for the adults, pain d’épice and pretzels at the villages de Noël . . . 🎄sparkly Christmas cheer . . .🎄

Do keep checking the listings, as I shall update them with any new information that comes my way over the month!

And please feel free to send me any information for family/children’s events and activities that you are organising, or that you know of, that are missing from the list!

If you scroll down beyond the AGENDA, then you will find more lists detailing Christmastime activities, current exhibitions at nearby museums, rainy day suggestions, markets and parks open this month.

For an overview of Christmas markets au Pays du Mont-Blanc and beyond, then see post Christmastime au Pays du Mont-Blanc.

*DISCLAIMER: if you are interested in heading along to any of the events listed, please confirm dates/timings/prices with the event organisers! These listings are put together in advance, and sometimes events may be cancelled due to bad weather or unforeseen circumstances!*

❄️🎄🎅 Happy December! 🎅🎄❄️


Colour code for listings:

Chamonix Valley (Chamonix, Argentière, Les Houches, Servoz & Vallorcine)

Passy & environs

Sallanches, Combloux, Cordon & Domancy

St Gervais, Le Fayet & environs

Megève, Praz-sur-Arly & environs

Les Contamines & environs

Further France

Switzerland (a new colour!)

Italy


Agenda

Just started . . . 

from Friday 1st December to 5th March 2018New exhibition: «Paul Cabaud, Amoureux d’ici» Château d’Annecy – Annecy – a painter and photographer from 19th century Annecy;

© Chateau d’Annecy

from Friday 1st December 2017 to 30th June 2018 New exhibition: «Toulouse-Lautrec et son époque»  Fondation Pierre Gianadda Martigny Switzerland – 90 prints and posters by Toulouse-Lautrec, from 1891 to 1899, his more famous works, but also the lesser-viewed / also works by Pierre Bonnard, Jules Chéret, Paul Cesar Helleu, Pablo Picasso;

© Fondation Pierre Gianadda

Wednesday 13th December

Wednesday 13th December – Talk: (In)Egalité filles-garçons à l’école MJC de Chamonix (La Couple) – Chamonix18h30 – animated by Karine Bertrand;

© MJC Chamonix

Wednesday 13th December – Pre-Season Kit Sale Le Vert Hotel & RestaurantChamonixfrom 16h to 19h – a selection of ex-rental skis, boards, boots, bindings, avalanche kits / pre-season ski/board tuning – wax & edge – €15, ptex/basegrind, wax, edge €25;

© Le Vert Hotel and Restaurant

Wednesday 13th December Marché PaysanLes Houches15h to 19h – le Pain de Chibon, and also cow and goat’s cheese, local vegetables and fruit from the environs, available according to the seasons / address: Le Pain de Chibon (Gérard BERRUX), route du Pont, 74310, Les Houches;

575395-le_pain_chibon
© Le Pain de Chibon

Wednesday 13th December – Workshop from L’Association Quilt Aguillette (patchwork)  Bibliothèque Les Houches – Les Houches14h30 – for children 8+ years / reservations: +33(0)4 50 54 39 83  / address: 201 rue Mont Blanc, 74310, Les Houches;

Wednesday 13th December – Le Grand Soir Cinébus Children  «Opération Casse-Noisette 2» animation film from Cal Brunker  (USA, 2017) Espace Animation – Les Houches17h30 – price: from 4,50€ to 5,50€, children 3,50 € / duration: 1h31;

Wednesday 13th December – Le Grand Soir Cinébus «L’Atelier» by Laurent Cantet (France, 2017) Espace Animation – Les Houches20h30 – price: from 4,50€ to 5,50€, children 3,50 € / duration: 1h53;

until 7th January 2018🎄Les Festivités de Noël à Sallanches🎄 – Sallanches the Village de Noël (pretzels, pain d’épices & mulled wine) / ice-skating at La Grenette / spectacles on Wednesdays, rides around town in the calèche, letterbox to post your letter to Santa on the Place Charles Albert & creative workshops on Saturdays / illumination of the Christmas tree on Place de l’Ancienne Poste / opening of the advent calendar at the l’Hôtel de Ville every Saturday evening . . . 

Wednesday 13th December🎄Storytime: Contes de Noël et de l’Hiver🎄Salon de l’Hotel de VilleSallanches15h and 16h30 / reservations OT Sallanches;

© Office de Tourisme, Sallanches

Wednesday 13th December🎄Santa visits🎄 Place de la GrenetteSallanches16h to 17h;

© Office de Tourisme, Sallanches
© Office de Tourisme, Sallanches

Wednesday 13th DecemberActivités Parents EnfantsMéditation en FamilleEspace Animation VouillouxSallanches14h30;

© sallanches.com

Wednesday 13th DecemberStorytelling (Raconte-Tapis): «Le Machin»Salle des MariagesBibliothèque de DomancyDomancy18h – reservations: 06 49 48 15 78 or domancybiblio@gmail.com / and also Saturday 16th December;

© domancy.fr

Wednesday 13th December – Marché de Combloux – Combloux – 8h to 12h;

Wednesday 13th December – Farm visit: GAEC Val Mont-Blanc – Gemoëns – Combloux16h to 17h  guided visit of the farm / 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 racletteaddress: 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

Wednesday 13th December – Le Fayet Market 8h to 13h, in front of the Gare SNCF;

Wednesdays 13th & 20th December – Ateliers des LutinsLe PalaisMegève14h30 to 15h30 AND 16h to 17h – help decorate the Palais Christmas tree / price: 3,50€ at the Caisse / for 6/8 year olds at 14h30 and for 3/5 year olds at 16h;

© Palais de Megève
© Palais de Megève

Wednesdays 13th & 27th December – Heure du Conte – Médiatèque – Megève – 17h – for children 0 to 3 years / FREE! / no reservations needed / next dates: Weds 3rd Januaryaddress: Espace Jeunesse, Médiathèque, 247 route du Palais des Sports, 74120, Megève; tel: +33 (0)4 50 91 57 70;

© megeve.com

*For more ideas about what to do on a Wednesday au Pays du Mont-Blanc, see MBFF post «Les mercredis – workshops & creative activities au Pays du Mont-Blanc»!

Wednesday 13th DecemberStar Wars themed night at Patinoire de ClusesCluses – free skate rental for under 12s in Star Wars costumes;

© Patinoire de Cluses

until 25th February 2018Exhibition: «Planétarium Allumez les Etoiles» La Turbine Sciences  Cran Gevrier (near Annecy) from 7+ years (recommended age for this exhibition) / opening hours:  Wednesday and Sunday afternoon 14h30 to 16h30 and during the school holidays Tuesday to Friday and Sunday 14h30 to 16h30 / price: 5,50€, children 3€ and under 6 years FREE;

© La Turbine

until 24th December🎄Bonjour l’Hiver🎄 (22ème Festival des Arts de la Rue) Annemasse – theatre groups, games, processions, Village de Noël/Marché de Noël (35 stands) on place de l’Hôtel de Ville, with ice-skating rink / La Journée des enfants on Wednesday 13th December at Complexe Martin Luther King from 14h to 16h30 and La Journée du Père Noël on Saturday 23rd December from 15h / Action Solidaire: deposit new and used books at Crédit Mutuel d’Annemasse situées 8 rue Charles Dupraz (next to la Place des Marchés) – the books will then be given to children at the hospital / ice-skating rink: 13th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 20th, 22nd, 23rd and 24th December, and then 26th December until 6th January from 10h to 19h/20h (Friday & Saturday);

© annemasse.fr

Wednesday 13th December – La Journée des enfants – Complexe Martin Luther KingAnnemasse14h to 16h30 – lots of surprises: a dance, a gouter gourmand and a concert to sing-a-long!

all year – 🎄Le Hameau du Père Noel🎄 – it might be open ALL YEAR round, but the festive spirit at Le Hameau du Père Noel can be truly felt in this run-up to Christmas! Visit the home of Santa, the elves’ workshop, see Santa’s sleigh, maybe his reindeer . . . La Maison du Père Fouettard (Santa’s grumpy brother) and La Chaumière de la Mère Noël . . . and a post-box for letters to Santa and a little Christmas shop! / more information: www.lepetitpays.com / good to know: buggies are not permitted inside the houses for safety reasons (you will have to leave them in the buggy park); Le Grenier des Totottes – if you have a baby/toddler dummy that you would desperately like to convince your youngster to stop using, then perhaps a visit here is the opportunity? He/She can hang it in the renovated Le Grenier des Totottes! and NEW for 2017 – in return for each tototte, a meal is offered to a Cambodian child in need, part of «Pour un sourire d’Enfant» / address: 75 rue des Alouettes, 74350, Saint-Blaise, tel: 04 50 32 73 64;

© Le Hameau du Père Noel

Wednesday 13th DecemberFamily workshops/les Ateliers de NoëlMaison de la MémoireViuz-en -Sallaz14h to 16h;

© Maison de la Mémoire

until 7th January – 🎄Noël des Alpes🎄 – Annecy – illuminations, Marchés de Noël, ice-skating rink . . . / more information & programme: here;

© Annecy Noel

until 30th December – 🎄Marché de Noël🎄 – Place CarnotLyon – more information: www.marche-noel-lyon.fr / with ice-skating rink / Friday & Saturday evening – until 21h / ❤️Coup de Coeur❤️ Lyon is particularly atmospheric at Christmastime, and the market is lovely . . . . we headed there for a weekend in late November one year and managed to fit in a visit to the beautiful village of Pérouges / good to know: wrap up warmly, as the winter wind bites in Lyon!

© Marché de Noel de Lyon

until 7th January 2018 – 🎄Cirque de Noël🎄PlainpalaisGeneva price: CHF 25 to 55 (all tickets for show at 18h CHF 25)  / more information: +41 (0)22 321 22 41 079 318 40 50 or www.cirque-de-noel.ch or info@cirque-de-noel.ch;

© Cirque de Noel Genève

until 14th January 2018 🎄«Geneva Lux» Festival de Lumières🎄 Ile de Rousseau – Geneva – this light festival debuted in 2014 / Swiss and international light artists, with installations made for Geneva during this festive period / FREE / website;

© Geneva LUX

until 24th December – 🎄Montreux Noël🎄Montreux – from the lakeside of Lac Léman, to the Château de Chillon and above to the mountainside village of Rochers-de-Naye, Montreux Noël is a festive destination for the whole family (MBFF went last year and loved it!) / the Christmas market, the Village des Lutins and the Big Wheel on the water’s edge, the house of Père Noël up above in Rochers-de-Naye / Santa, with his sledge and reindeer, makes an appearance each evening above your heads at 17h, 18h and 19h / Portugal as guest of honour this year / good to know: the market does get very busy in the evenings, so do take due care with children and pushchairs! / when we went to Montreux Noël last year, we ended up parking at Gambetta and decided to walk down the lakeside towards the market . . . it took about an hour, but there were playgrounds and sculptures along the way, and it really was lovely (shiny and twinkly all the way!) . . . on the way back to the car, we took the bus / wrap up warmly for the Big Wheel / website: www.montreuxnoel.com / for parking/transport information, see here;

until 31st December -🎄«Festival Lausanne Lumières»🎄(6ème édition)Lausanne – discover Lausanne in “another light” – light installations in the centre of Lausanne / website: http://www.festivallausannelumieres.ch;

© Festival Lausanne Lumières

until 31st December – 🎄 Bô Noêl (Marchés de Noêl de Lausanne)🎄 – Lausanne – covered market of St-François and more . . .  / website;

until 7th January 2018 – Mercatino di Natale (Marché Vert Noël)Aosta – a Christmas village within the Roman archaeological site of Aosta – address: area del Teatro Romano, city centre of Aosta / good to know: if you head to Aosta for its Christmas market, there is a wonderful playground in the streets behind the Roman theatre (see post Christmastime for photos);

© Aosta Noel
© Aosta Noel

Wednesdays  in Geneva
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 last autumn, 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 13th December (14h30 to 17h30), and Saturday 16th December 9h to 12h and 14h30 to 17h30 . . . AND also this month, Portes Ouvertes from 13th to 16th December (afternoons);

© Portes Ouvertes at la Maison de la Créativité
© Portes Ouvertes at la Maison de la Créativité
Wednesdays at the Natural History Museum (Muséum Genève) & Musée d’Histoire des Sciences

Wednesdays 13th December  Ateliers du mercredi: «Le monde mystérieux de l’ambre» – Muséum d’histoire naturelle 14h to 16h30  FREE and no booking required / families and children;

© Natural History Museum Geneva
«Mercredis Family» at the MAH

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:

Wednesday 13th December  «Mercredis Family»: «Les têtes intelligentes se protègent: histoire de casques» 15h – interactive visit for children 6 to 10 years (accompanied by an adult) / FREE! / no reservations required;

Mercredis Famille © MAH
«Les Mercredis de l’Animation» at the Centre d’Art Contemporain in Geneva

Short films lasting about 40mins / one 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 / more information: www.centre.ch/les-mercredis-de-l-animation;

Wednesday 13th DecemberLes Mercredis de l’AnimationCentre d’Art Contemporain à GenèveGeneva15h  in conjunction with the current exhibition «Journeys without arrivals» by Chinese artist Qui Zhijie, this Wednesday’s films will be devoted to short Chinese films;

© Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève / Animatou (Festival International du Film d’Animation de Genève)

Wednesday 13th DecemberFamily visit (balade en famille dans les expositions): Akademinis – Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève – Geneva15h30 to 17h – for children 4 to 7 years old, with an accompanying adult / families are invited to travel around each new exhibition / in conjunction with exhibition Jouneys without arrivals by Chinese artist Qiu Zhijie, Alexia Turlin will show families around the exhibition / Alexia Turlin – artist, teacher, founder of workshop «Milkshake Agency» in Geneva / see here for more details / once a week (except during school holidays), next visits: Weds 13th 20th December and 10th & 14th January; reservations (up until the preceding Friday): +41 22 329 18 42 or publics@centre.ch

Akademinis © Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève

Thursday 14th December

Thursday 14th December – «ChamCats Carers, Mums n Tots» – Salle Paroissiale (Church Hall) of  the Presbytery of the Protestant Church Chamonix10h to 12h – this playgroup is open to all babies and toddlers (and carers!) up to school-going age / biscuits & cake are always appreciated! / every Thursday, except during the school holidays / address: Salle Paroissiale of the Presbytery of the Protestant Church, passage du Temple, 74400, Chamonix;

© montblancfamilyfun.com
© montblancfamilyfun.com

© chamonix.com

Thursday 14th December – Après-Midi Seniors (NEW at l’Étape!)l’EtapeArgentière – 13h30 to 16h45 – a great initiative from local association l’Etape in Argentière . . . board games and cards and a welcoming environment for the older generation / kettle available to make hot drinks / price: 15€ to join the association and thereafter free / for 60+ years! / more information: Céline on 06 71 97 01 76;

© l’Etape

 

until 7th January 2018🎄Les Festivités de Noël à Sallanches🎄 – Sallanches the Village de Noël (pretzels, pain d’épices & mulled wine) / ice-skating at La Grenette / spectacles on Wednesdays, rides around town in the calèche, letterbox to post your letter to Santa on the Place Charles Albert & creative workshops on Saturdays / illumination of the Christmas tree on Place de l’Ancienne Poste / opening of the advent calendar at the l’Hôtel de Ville every Saturday evening . . . 

Thursday 14th DecemberAnimations musicales Village de NoëlSallanches18h to 21h;

© Office de Tourisme, Sallanches

Thursday 14th DecemberCiné-concert: «Les Triplettes de Belleville» by Le Terrible Orchestre – Salle Léon CurralSallanches20h;

Thursday 14th December  Saint-Gervais-les-Bains Market 8h to 13h;

Thursday 14th DecemberThursday Night Cinema MJC Saint-Gervais: «The Square» VOST by Ruben Ostiund  (Sweden, Germany, Denmark, France 2017) – Théatre MontjoieSaint-Gervais-les-Bains20h30duration: 2h22 / price: 5€ / Palme d’Or, Cannes 2017 / see full December schedule on the MJC website;

until 24th December🎄Bonjour l’Hiver (22ème Festival des Arts de la Rue)🎄 Annemasse – theatre groups, games, processions, Village de Noël/Marché de Noël (35 stands) on place de l’Hôtel de Ville, with ice-skating rink / La Journée du Père Noël on Saturday 23rd December from 15h / Action Solidaire: deposit new and used books at Crédit Mutuel d’Annemasse situées 8 rue Charles Dupraz (next to la Place des Marchés) – the books will then be given to children at the hospital / ice-skating rink: 15th, 16th, 17th, 20th, 22nd, 23rd and 24th December, and then 26th December until 6th January from 10h to 19h/20h (Friday & Saturday);

© annemasse.fr

all year – 🎄Le Hameau du Père Noël🎄 – it might be open ALL YEAR round, but the festive spirit at Le Hameau du Père Noël can be truly felt in this run-up to Christmas! Visit the home of Santa, the elves’ workshop, see Santa’s sleigh, maybe his reindeer . . . La Maison du Père Fouettard (Santa’s grumpy brother) and La Chaumière de la Mère Noël . . . and a post-box for letters to Santa and a little Christmas shop! / more information: www.lepetitpays.com / good to know: buggies are not permitted inside the houses for safety reasons (you will have to leave them in the buggy park); Le Grenier des Totottes – if you have a baby/toddler dummy that you would desperately like to convince your youngster to stop using, then perhaps a visit here is the opportunity? He/She can hang it in the renovated Le Grenier des Totottes! and NEW for 2017 – in return for each tototte, a meal is offered to a Cambodian child in need, part of «Pour un sourire d’Enfant» / address: 75 rue des Alouettes, 74350, Saint-Blaise, tel: 04 50 32 73 64;

© Le Hameau du Père Noel

until 7th January – 🎄Noël des Alpes🎄 – Annecy – illuminations, Marchés de Noël, ice-skating rink . . . / more information & programme: here;

© Annecy Noel

until 30th December – 🎄Marché de Noël🎄 – Place CarnotLyon – more information: www.marche-noel-lyon.fr / with ice-skating rink / Friday & Saturday evening – until 21h / ❤️Coup de Coeur❤️ Lyon is particularly atmospheric at Christmastime, and the market is lovely . . . . we headed there for a weekend in late November one year and managed to fit in a visit to the beautiful village of Pérouges / good to know: wrap up warmly, as the winter wind bites in Lyon!

© Marché de Noel de Lyon

until 7th January 2018 – 🎄Cirque de Noël🎄PlainpalaisGeneva price: CHF 25 to 55 (all tickets for show at 18h CHF 25)  / more information: +41 (0)22 321 22 41 079 318 40 50 or www.cirque-de-noel.ch or info@cirque-de-noel.ch;

© Cirque de Noel Genève

until 14th January 2018 🎄«Geneva Lux» Festival de Lumières🎄 Ile de Rousseau – Geneva – this light festival debuted in 2014 / Swiss and international light artists, with installations made for Geneva during this festive period / FREE / website;

© Geneva LUX

until 24th December – 🎄Montreux Noël🎄Montreux – from the lakeside of Lac Léman, to the Château de Chillon and above to the mountainside village of Rochers-de-Naye, Montreux Noël is a festive destination for the whole family (MBFF went last year and loved it!) / the Christmas market, the Village des Lutins and the Big Wheel on the water’s edge, the house of Père Noël up above in Rochers-de-Naye / Santa, with his sledge and reindeer, makes an appearance each evening above your heads at 17h, 18h and 19h / Portugal as guest of honour this year / good to know: the market does get very busy in the evenings, so do take due care with children and pushchairs! / when we went to Montreux Noël last year, we ended up parking at Gambetta and decided to walk down the lakeside towards the market . . . it took about an hour, but there were playgrounds and sculptures along the way, and it really was lovely (shiny and twinkly all the way!) . . . on the way back to the car, we took the bus / wrap up warmly for the Big Wheel / website: www.montreuxnoel.com / for parking/transport information, see here;

Thursday 14th to Sunday 17th DecemberMarché de Noël au Château de MorgesMorgesSwitzerland;

© Morges Tourisme

until 31st December -🎄«Festival Lausanne Lumières»🎄(6ème édition)Lausanne – discover Lausanne in “another light” – light installations in the centre of Lausanne / website: http://www.festivallausannelumieres.ch;

© Festival Lausanne Lumières

until 31st December – 🎄 Bô Noêl (Marchés de Noêl de Lausanne)🎄 – Lausanne – covered market of St-François and more . . .  / website;

until 7th January 2018 – Mercatino di Natale (Marché Vert Noël)Aosta – a Christmas village within the Roman archaeological site of Aosta – address: area del Teatro Romano, city centre of Aosta / good to know: if you head to Aosta for its Christmas market, there is a wonderful playground in the streets behind the Roman theatre (see post Christmastime for photos);

© Aosta Noel
© Aosta Noel

Friday 15th December

Friday 15th DecemberTheatre: «Le P’tit bal Bonumeur et le bureau des surprises» by Cie SongesLe MajesticChamonix18h30 – price: 12€ adults, children: 6€, family 31€ / address: Centre des Congrès le Majestic, 241 allée du Majestic, 74400 Chamonix-Mont-Blanc;

© Une Montagne de Spectacles

from Friday 15th to Sunday 17th DecemberSalon: Noël à la montagne – Salle Eugénie of Casino de ChamoinxChamonix14ht o 19h – 23 artists and artisans / address: Casino Chamonix Mont Blanc, 12 place H.B de Saussure, 74400, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc;

© Casino de Chamonix
Salon Noel à la Montagne © Casino de Chamonix
Friday 15th December – Assy AwardsCinéma du Plateau d’AssyPlateau d’Assy – 20h – 11e festival of short films, organised by le FJEP de Passy;
© Passy Tourisme

until 7th January 2018🎄Les Festivités de Noël à Sallanches🎄 – Sallanches the Village de Noël (pretzels, pain d’épices & mulled wine) / ice-skating at La Grenette / spectacles on Wednesdays, rides around town in the calèche, letterbox to post your letter to Santa on the Place Charles Albert & creative workshops on Saturdays / illumination of the Christmas tree on Place de l’Ancienne Poste / opening of the advent calendar at the l’Hôtel de Ville every Saturday evening . . . 

© Office de Tourisme, Sallanches

Friday 15th December Guided visit chez Laurenzio, granite-worker  Combloux 17h to 17h45  price: 5€ and free for under 15s / discover the work and art of the granite-worker / RDV address: (at Laurenzio’s company/workshop) 340, route de la Barme, 74920, Combloux;

© combloux.com

Friday 15th DecemberMegève Market 8h to 13h;

from Friday 15th until 25th DecemberLe Big Barouf du Père Noël Bonneville – listen to Christmas tales, warm up next to a fire . . .

© Bonneville Animations © Bonneville Animations
© Bonneville Animations © Bonneville Animations

until 24th December🎄Bonjour l’Hiver (22ème Festival des Arts de la Rue)🎄 Annemasse – theatre groups, games, processions, Village de Noël/Marché de Noël (35 stands) on place de l’Hôtel de Ville, with ice-skating rink / La Journée du Père Noël on Saturday 23rd December from 15h / Action Solidaire: deposit new and used books at Crédit Mutuel d’Annemasse situées 8 rue Charles Dupraz (next to la Place des Marchés) – the books will then be given to children at the hospital / ice-skating rink: 15th, 16th, 17th, 20th, 22nd, 23rd and 24th December, and then 26th December until 6th January from 10h to 19h/20h (Friday & Saturday);

© annemasse.fr

weekends from 15th DecemberWinter activities at Téléphérique du Salève – Téléphérique du Salèveraquettes hire for snow-shoe circuits, luges, ice-skating rink . . . / until March 2018;

© Téléphérique Salève

all year – 🎄Le Hameau du Père Noël🎄 – it might be open ALL YEAR round, but the festive spirit at Le Hameau du Père Noël can be truly felt in this run-up to Christmas! Visit the home of Santa, the elves’ workshop, see Santa’s sleigh, maybe his reindeer . . . La Maison du Père Fouettard (Santa’s grumpy brother) and La Chaumière de la Mère Noël . . . and a post-box for letters to Santa and a little Christmas shop! / more information: www.lepetitpays.com / good to know: buggies are not permitted inside the houses for safety reasons (you will have to leave them in the buggy park); Le Grenier des Totottes – if you have a baby/toddler dummy that you would desperately like to convince your youngster to stop using, then perhaps a visit here is the opportunity? He/She can hang it in the renovated Le Grenier des Totottes! and NEW for 2017 – in return for each tototte, a meal is offered to a Cambodian child in need, part of «Pour un sourire d’Enfant» / address: 75 rue des Alouettes, 74350, Saint-Blaise, tel: 04 50 32 73 64;

© Le Hameau du Père Noel

until 7th January – 🎄Noël des Alpes🎄 – Annecy – illuminations, Marchés de Noël, ice-skating rink . . . / more information & programme: here;

© Annecy Noel

until 30th December – 🎄Marché de Noël🎄 – Place CarnotLyon – more information: www.marche-noel-lyon.fr / with ice-skating rink / Friday & Saturday evening – until 21h / ❤️Coup de Coeur❤️ Lyon is particularly atmospheric at Christmastime, and the market is lovely . . . . we headed there for a weekend in late November one year and managed to fit in a visit to the beautiful village of Pérouges / good to know: wrap up warmly, as the winter wind bites in Lyon!

© Marché de Noel de Lyon

from Friday 15th December to 7th January 2018 – Le Fabuleux Village ou la Légende des Flottins: arrival of the Flottins!  Evian from 15h to 19h – if you fancy a change from Christmas markets, this event is perhaps for you? The legend of fairy folks from the Alps, washed up on driftwood in Evian . . . . and a legend involving Santa paying them a visit . . . / during 3 weeks, Evian will be filled with actors, storytellers, musicians, circus performers and sculptors / events: 23rd, 28th, 29th, 30th December and 4th to 6th January – go for a ride on a solar electric boat on Lac Léman! (reservations: 04 50 75 04 26) / 20th December – Santa’s arrival and until 24th December, Santa storyteller, before he leaves Evian again on the 24th December / 7th January –  the Flottins leave Evian until next year! / see here for more details;

until 7th January 2018 – 🎄Cirque de Noël🎄PlainpalaisGeneva price: CHF 25 to 55 (all tickets for show at 18h CHF 25)  / more information: +41 (0)22 321 22 41 079 318 40 50 or www.cirque-de-noel.ch or info@cirque-de-noel.ch;

© Cirque de Noel Genève

until 14th January 2018 🎄«Geneva Lux» Festival de Lumières🎄 Ile de Rousseau – Geneva – this light festival debuted in 2014 / Swiss and international light artists, with installations made for Geneva during this festive period / FREE / website;

© Geneva LUX

until 24th December – 🎄Montreux Noël🎄Montreux – from the lakeside of Lac Léman, to the Château de Chillon and above to the mountainside village of Rochers-de-Naye, Montreux Noël is a festive destination for the whole family (MBFF went last year and loved it!) / the Christmas market, the Village des Lutins and the Big Wheel on the water’s edge, the house of Père Noël up above in Rochers-de-Naye / Santa, with his sledge and reindeer, makes an appearance each evening above your heads at 17h, 18h and 19h / Portugal as guest of honour this year / good to know: the market does get very busy in the evenings, so do take due care with children and pushchairs! / when we went to Montreux Noël last year, we ended up parking at Gambetta and decided to walk down the lakeside towards the market . . . it took about an hour, but there were playgrounds and sculptures along the way, and it really was lovely (shiny and twinkly all the way!) . . . on the way back to the car, we took the bus / wrap up warmly for the Big Wheel / website: www.montreuxnoel.com / for parking/transport information, see here;

until Sunday 17th DecemberMarché de Noël au Château de MorgesMorgesSwitzerland;

© Morges Tourisme

until 31st December -🎄«Festival Lausanne Lumières»🎄(6ème édition)Lausanne – discover Lausanne in “another light” – light installations in the centre of Lausanne / website: http://www.festivallausannelumieres.ch;

© Festival Lausanne Lumières

until 31st December – 🎄 Bô Noêl (Marchés de Noêl de Lausanne)🎄 – Lausanne – covered market of St-François and more . . .  / website;

Friday 15th DecemberVisit: l’Etoile de NoëlMAH (Musée d’art et d’histoire)Geneva10h30 – for children 3 to 5 years, with accompanying adult / duration: 30mins / FREE and no reservation needed;

until 7th January 2018 – Mercatino di Natale (Marché Vert Noël)Aosta – a Christmas village within the Roman archaeological site of Aosta – address: area del Teatro Romano, city centre of Aosta / good to know: if you head to Aosta for its Christmas market, there is a wonderful playground in the streets behind the Roman theatre (see post Christmastime for photos);

© Aosta Noel
© Aosta Noel

Saturday 16th December

Saturday 16th December – Chamonix MarketChamonix from 7h30 to 12h30  address: Place du Mont-Blanc, 74400, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc;

Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th December – Opening/Partial Opening of Ski Stations au Pays du Mont-Blanc!  Chamonix Valley, Passy Plaine-Joux, Combloux, Saint-Gervais-les-Bains, Megève . . . / check with each station what is available at this stage for young/beginner skiers!

Skiing at Plaine-Joux © montblancfamilyfun.com

Saturday 16th December – Jardin d’Eau swimmingChamonix public poolCentre Sportif Richard BozonChamonix10hprice: 10,60 per session (one child + up to 2 adults) or 105,60 for 12 sessions / for children 6 months to 3 years / please check current schedule: 04 50 53 23 70;

Saturday 16th December – Petits Poissons swimmingChamonix public poolCentre Sportif Richard BozonChamonix11hprice: 10,60 per session (one child + up to 2 adults) or 105,60 for 12 sessions / for children 3 to 5 years / price: 10,60 per session (one child + up to 2 adults) or 105,60 for 12 sessions / please check current schedule: 04 50 53 23 70;

© http://www.cc-valleedechamonixmontblanc.fr

Saturday 16th December – Guided Visit: exhibition «Gay-Couttet un siècle de photographies»Maison de la Mémoire et du Patrimoine14h30 – photos from 1880 to 1980 from the Gay-Couttet family – price: adults 4€, reduced 3€ and children under 18 years FREE! / every Thursday until May;

© chamonix.com

from Saturday 16th  until 30th DecemberVillage de Noël Place Balmat  Chamonix16h to 19h – market made up of numerous little wooden chalets: artisans, producers (decorations, sweet products, spices, presents, teas and tisanes, local food products) / animations, spectacles, parades, letters to Santa, a visit from Santa;

© chamonix.com

La Maison du Père Noel © chamonix.com

until Sunday 17th DecemberSalon: Noël à la montagne – Salle Eugénie of Casino de ChamoinxChamonix – 23 artists and artisans / address: Casino Chamonix Mont Blanc, 12 place H.B de Saussure, 74400, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc;

© Casino de Chamonix
Salon Noel à la Montagne © Casino de Chamonix

Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th December – Outdoor spectacle musical: «Les Postiers de Noël»Place Balmat – Chamonix – 17h AND 18h15 – music and dance, humour, juggling, magic . . . through the streets of Chamonix;

Les postiers de noël © chamonix.com

Saturday 16th December – Outdoor spectacle musical: «Les Dentelles d’Echass»Place Balmat – Chamonix – 17h AND 18h15 – two little lace dolls dance, jump, twirl . . . through the streets of Chamonix and Village de Noël;

© chamonix.com

Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th DecemberAtelier Affutage & FartageMountain StorePassy10h to 12h – learn how to maintain your own ski equipment / reservations: sebastien.labadie@decathlon.com;

© Mountain Store

Saturday 16th DecemberChristmas concertChapelle de JouxPassy;

© Passy Mont-Blanc Tourisme

until 7th January 2018🎄Les Festivités de Noël à Sallanches🎄 – Sallanches the Village de Noël (pretzels, pain d’épices & mulled wine) / ice-skating at La Grenette / spectacles on Wednesdays, rides around town in the calèche, letterbox to post your letter to Santa on the Place Charles Albert & creative workshops on Saturdays / illumination of the Christmas tree on Place de l’Ancienne Poste / opening of the advent calendar at the l’Hôtel de Ville every Saturday evening . . . 

Saturday 16th DecemberAtelier Couture (sewing workshop) with Couture Factory – Couture Factory – Sallanches9h AND 11h / make a snood or a cushion! / address: Couture Factory, 11 rue de Faucigny / from 8+ years / reservations: Office de Tourisme on 04 50 58 04 25;

Saturday 16th DecemberPhoto with Santa & face-painting – Place de la Grenette – Sallanches10h to 13h;

Saturday 16th DecemberSamedi de l’Avent – Hotel de Ville – Sallanches17h30 / opening of the advent calendar, with hot chocolate;

© Office de Tourisme, Sallanches

Saturday 16th December – Sallanches MarketSallanches – from 8h to 13h  a bustling market up and down the quai, and in the Pré de Foire;

Saturday 16th DecemberStorytelling (Raconte-Tapis): «Le Machin»Salle des MariagesBibliothèque de DomancyDomancy18h – reservations: 06 49 48 15 78 or domancybiblio@gmail.com / and also Saturday 2nd, Wednesday 13th & Saturday 16th December;

© domancy.fr

Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th December – Marché Artisanal de Noël – Espace Mont-Blanc – Saint-Gervais-les-Bains10h to 19h – address: avenue du Mont Paccard, 74170 Saint-Gervais-les-Bains;

© saintgervais.com

until 25th DecemberLe Big Barouf du Père Noël Bonneville – listen to Christmas tales, warm up next to a fire . . .

© Bonneville Animations © Bonneville Animations
© Bonneville Animations © Bonneville Animations

until 24th December🎄Bonjour l’Hiver (22ème Festival des Arts de la Rue)🎄 Annemasse – theatre groups, games, processions, Village de Noël/Marché de Noël (35 stands) on place de l’Hôtel de Ville, with ice-skating rink /  La Journée du Père Noël on Saturday 23rd December from 15h / Action Solidaire: deposit new and used books at Crédit Mutuel d’Annemasse situées 8 rue Charles Dupraz (next to la Place des Marchés) – the books will then be given to children at the hospital / ice-skating rink: 16th, 17th, 20th, 22nd, 23rd and 24th December, and then 26th December until 6th January from 10h to 19h/20h (Friday & Saturday);

© annemasse.fr

weekends from 15th DecemberWinter activities at Téléphérique du Salève – Téléphérique du Salèveraquettes hire for snow-shoe circuits, luges, ice-skating rink . . . / until March 2018;

© Téléphérique Salève

all year – 🎄Le Hameau du Père Noël🎄 – it might be open ALL YEAR round, but the festive spirit at Le Hameau du Père Noël can be truly felt in this run-up to Christmas! Visit the home of Santa, the elves’ workshop, see Santa’s sleigh, maybe his reindeer . . . La Maison du Père Fouettard (Santa’s grumpy brother) and La Chaumière de la Mère Noël . . . and a post-box for letters to Santa and a little Christmas shop! / more information: www.lepetitpays.com / good to know: buggies are not permitted inside the houses for safety reasons (you will have to leave them in the buggy park); Le Grenier des Totottes – if you have a baby/toddler dummy that you would desperately like to convince your youngster to stop using, then perhaps a visit here is the opportunity? He/She can hang it in the renovated Le Grenier des Totottes! and NEW for 2017 – in return for each tototte, a meal is offered to a Cambodian child in need, part of «Pour un sourire d’Enfant» / address: 75 rue des Alouettes, 74350, Saint-Blaise, tel: 04 50 32 73 64;

© Le Hameau du Père Noel

until 7th January – 🎄Noël des Alpes🎄 – Annecy – illuminations, Marchés de Noël, ice-skating rink . . . / more information & programme: here;

© Annecy Noel

Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th December – Sculpture sur GlaceLes HallesChambéry – brought to you by the commerçants des Halles de Chambéry – ice sculptures made in front of spectators and initiation for children too! / address: place de Genève, 73000 Chambéry, France

© Chambéry Tourisme

until 30th December – 🎄Marché de Noël🎄 – Place CarnotLyon – more information: www.marche-noel-lyon.fr / with ice-skating rink / Friday & Saturday evening – until 21h / ❤️Coup de Coeur❤️ Lyon is particularly atmospheric at Christmastime, and the market is lovely . . . . we headed there for a weekend in late November one year and managed to fit in a visit to the beautiful village of Pérouges / good to know: wrap up warmly, as the winter wind bites in Lyon!

© Marché de Noel de Lyon

Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th December – Village de Noël La Grenette & centre of town Samoens 16h to 19h30 (and Friday 22nd until Thursday 28th December from 16h to 19h30);

© samoens.com

Saturday 16th DecemberDinner & Music: “Voyage en chansons et en poésies en Pays de Savoie – Maison de la MémoireViuz-en-Sallaz20h – Guy de Fleyrier le Colporteur chanteur, accompanied by Bernard d’Anton on the piano / home made meal: pumpkin soup, tomme and jambon fumé, apple dessert with caramel beurre saléprice: adults 16€ and children 12€ (drinks not included) / reservations: 04 50 36 89 18;

© Maison de la Mémoire, Viuz-en-Sallaz

until 7th January 2018 – Le Fabuleux Village ou la Légende des Flottins – Evian from 15h to 19h – if you fancy a change from Christmas markets, this event is perhaps for you? The legend of fairy folks from the Alps, washed up on driftwood in Evian . . . . and a legend involving Santa paying them a visit . . . / during 3 weeks, Evian will be filled with actors, storytellers, musicians, circus performers and sculptors / events: 23rd, 28th, 29th, 30th December and 4th to 6th January – go for a ride on a solar electric boat on Lac Léman! (reservations: 04 50 75 04 26) / 20th December – Santa’s arrival and until 24th December, Santa storyteller, before he leaves Evian again on the 24th December / 7th January –  the Flottins leave Evian until next year! / see here for more details;

Saturday 16th December – Workshop: «Un bibi 1930 pour Noël» part of new exhibition «Le Chic Français»Palais LumièreEvian – 14h to 16h – workshop for 3+ years / in collaboration with Sophie de la Noue / price: 5€ children and 8€ adults / sign up at ticket desk;

Saturday 16th DecemberSaturday opening at Maison e la CréativitéConchesGeneva – 9h to 12h and 14h30 to 17h30;

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 last autumn, 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 6 & 13th December (14h30 to 17h30), and Saturday 16th December 9h to 12h and 14h30 to 17h30;

Saturday 16th December – Siestes Musicales Fo(u)rmidables!Muséum d’histoire naturelleGeneva14h30 to15h30;

until 7th January 2018 – 🎄Cirque de Noël🎄PlainpalaisGeneva price: CHF 25 to 55 (all tickets for show at 18h CHF 25)  / more information: +41 (0)22 321 22 41 079 318 40 50 or www.cirque-de-noel.ch or info@cirque-de-noel.ch;

© Cirque de Noel Genève

until 14th January 2018 🎄«Geneva Lux» Festival de Lumières🎄 Ile de Rousseau – Geneva – this light festival debuted in 2014 / Swiss and international light artists, with installations made for Geneva during this festive period / FREE / website;

© Geneva LUX

until 24th December – 🎄Montreux Noël🎄Montreux – from the lakeside of Lac Léman, to the Château de Chillon and above to the mountainside village of Rochers-de-Naye, Montreux Noël is a festive destination for the whole family (MBFF went last year and loved it!) / the Christmas market, the Village des Lutins and the Big Wheel on the water’s edge, the house of Père Noël up above in Rochers-de-Naye / Santa, with his sledge and reindeer, makes an appearance each evening above your heads at 17h, 18h and 19h / Portugal as guest of honour this year / good to know: the market does get very busy in the evenings, so do take due care with children and pushchairs! / when we went to Montreux Noël last year, we ended up parking at Gambetta and decided to walk down the lakeside towards the market . . . it took about an hour, but there were playgrounds and sculptures along the way, and it really was lovely (shiny and twinkly all the way!) . . . on the way back to the car, we took the bus / wrap up warmly for the Big Wheel / website: www.montreuxnoel.com / for parking/transport information, see here;

Saturday 16th & 17th DecemberNoël comme au Moyen-Âge au château de Chillon  Chateau de Chillon Switzeland  lutins (elves) and jugglers in castle grounds / more information ;

© Chateau de Chillon
© Chateau de Chillon

until Sunday 17th DecemberMarché de Noël au Château de MorgesMorgesSwitzerland;

© Morges Tourisme

until 31st December -🎄«Festival Lausanne Lumières»🎄(6ème édition)Lausanne – discover Lausanne in “another light” – light installations in the centre of Lausanne / website: http://www.festivallausannelumieres.ch;

© Festival Lausanne Lumières

until 31st December – 🎄 Bô Noêl (Marchés de Noêl de Lausanne)🎄 – Lausanne – covered market of St-François and more . . .  / website;

until 7th January 2018 – Mercatino di Natale (Marché Vert Noël)Aosta – a Christmas village within the Roman archaeological site of Aosta – address: area del Teatro Romano, city centre of Aosta / good to know: if you head to Aosta for its Christmas market, there is a wonderful playground in the streets behind the Roman theatre (see post Christmastime for photos);

© Aosta Noel
© Aosta Noel

Sunday 17th December

Sunday 17th December – Opening/Partial Opening of Ski Stations au Pays du Mont-Blanc!  Chamonix Valley, Passy Plaine-Joux, Combloux, Saint-Gervais-les-Bains, Megève . . . / check with each station what is available at this stage for young/beginner skiers!

Skiing at Plaine-Joux © montblancfamilyfun.com

until 30th DecemberVillage de Noël Place Balmat  Chamonix16h to 19h – market made up of numerous little wooden chalets: artisans, producers (decorations, sweet products, spices, presents, teas and tisanes, local food products) / animations, spectacles, parades, letters to Santa, a visit from Santa / visit Santa in his house from 15h to 19h every day until Christmas;

© chamonix.com

Sunday 17th December – Outdoor spectacle musical: «Les Postiers de Noël»Place Balmat – Chamonix – 17h AND 18h15 – music and dance, humour, juggling, magic . . . through the streets of Chamonix;

Les postiers de noël © chamonix.com

Sunday 17th December (last day)Salon: Noël à la montagne – Salle Eugénie of Casino de ChamoinxChamonix – 23 artists and artisans / address: Casino Chamonix Mont Blanc, 12 place H.B de Saussure, 74400, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc;

© Casino de Chamonix
Salon Noel à la Montagne © Casino de Chamonix

© chamonix.com

© chamonix.com

Sunday 17th DecemberSinging workshop from Les Chambelles choirEglise Réformée (Protestant Church) – Chamonix14h to 17h  – open to ALL, to go learn Handel’s Hallelujah chorus with the Chambelles choir;

© Les Chambelles

Sunday 17th DecemberChristmas à la La Pharmacie des Artistes Argentière16h – Christmas music with Gary;

© La Pharmacie des Artistes

from Sunday 17th DecemberOutdoor Ice Skating in Vallorcine Patinoire Residence Vallorcine Mont-Blanc (opposite bubble lifts) – Vallorcinefrom 15h to 19h30 – open now until March 018;

vallorcine3

Sunday 17th DecemberAtelier Affutage & FartageMountain StorePassy10h to 12h – learn how to maintain your own ski equipment / reservations: sebastien.labadie@decathlon.com;

© Mountain Store

until 7th January 2018🎄Les Festivités de Noël à Sallanches🎄 – Sallanches the Village de Noël (pretzels, pain d’épices & mulled wine) / ice-skating at La Grenette / spectacles on Wednesdays, rides around town in the calèche, letterbox to post your letter to Santa on the Place Charles Albert & creative workshops on Saturdays / illumination of the Christmas tree on Place de l’Ancienne Poste / opening of the advent calendar at the l’Hôtel de Ville every Saturday evening . . . 

Sunday 17th DecemberDémo & initiations sports d’hiver – Patinoire & Place de la Grenette – Sallanches10h to 16h;

Sunday 17th DecemberBalade en calèche – Place de la Grenette (departure) – Sallanches14h30 to 17h;

Sunday 17th DecemberAnimation musicale with Alix Darlix – Village de Noel at La Grenette – Sallanches18h;

© Office de Tourisme, Sallanches

Sunday 17th December Noël à la Mexicaine Salle St-Jacques  Sallanches 12h to 17h  workshops: children’s face-painting, creation of a piñata, letter to Santa and sale of traditional products . . . and a Mexican meal / price: 13€ adults and 7€ children;

© sallanches.com

Sunday 17th December – Sunday night games nightBlaireau qui BrasseSallanches 17h/18h to 21h – alone, with friends or with your family, board games galore / with Terre de Jeux, Sallanches games shop;

Sunday 17th December – Marché Artisanal de Noël – Espace Mont-Blanc – Saint-Gervais-les-Bains10h to 19h – address: avenue du Mont Paccard, 74170 Saint-Gervais-les-Bains;

© saintgervais.com

Sunday 17th DecemberSunday opening of Chalet des CréateursSaint-Gervais-les-Bains10h to 18h – craft goods for sale;

© Chalet des Créateurs

Sunday 17th December – Concert de Noël with La Chorale Montjoie – Eglise de Saint-Gervais – Saint-Gervais-les-Bains 17h30;

© saintgervais.com

until 25th DecemberLe Big Barouf du Père Noël Bonneville – listen to Christmas tales, warm up next to a fire . . .

© Bonneville Tourisme

until 24th December🎄Bonjour l’Hiver (22ème Festival des Arts de la Rue)🎄 Annemasse – theatre groups, games, processions, Village de Noël/Marché de Noël (35 stands) on place de l’Hôtel de Ville, with ice-skating rink / La Journée du Père Noël on Saturday 23rd December from 15h / Action Solidaire: deposit new and used books at Crédit Mutuel d’Annemasse situées 8 rue Charles Dupraz (next to la Place des Marchés) – the books will then be given to children at the hospital / ice-skating rink: 17th, 20th, 22nd, 23rd and 24th December, and then 26th December until 6th January from 10h to 19h/20h (Friday & Saturday);

© annemasse.fr

weekends until March 2018Winter activities at Téléphérique du Salève – Téléphérique du Salèveraquettes hire for snow-shoe circuits, luges, ice-skating rink . . . / until March 2018;

© Téléphérique Salève

Sunday 17th December – La Roche Rondes et Lumières (1000 ans d’histoire): La Grande Fête Médiévale – La Roche sur Foronafternoon – at the médiathèque – les contes d’Elaéra at 14h, 15h, 16h et 17h (for children 3+ years and adults) and jeux en bois / “Une nuit de Noël au Moyen-Age” / at Château de l’Echelle -free workshops of face-painting, drawing and colouring, archery demonstrations / music from troubadours in the streets / Place Saint-Jean – until 17h, demonstrations of sword use from l’Épée de Savoie (children 6+ years and adults) / Place de la République – Medieval camp, with pony rides and mini farm / Place de l’Hôtel de Ville – Medieval camp / and ice-skating rink, children’s workshops, oyster bar . . . /

© Roche sur Foron

all year – 🎄Le Hameau du Père Noël🎄 – it might be open ALL YEAR round, but the festive spirit at Le Hameau du Père Noel can be truly felt in this run-up to Christmas! Visit the home of Santa, the elves’ workshop, see Santa’s sleigh, maybe his reindeer . . . La Maison du Père Fouettard (Santa’s grumpy brother) and La Chaumière de la Mère Noël . . . and a post-box for letters to Santa and a little Christmas shop! / more information: www.lepetitpays.com / good to know: buggies are not permitted inside the houses for safety reasons (you will have to leave them in the buggy park); Le Grenier des Totottes – if you have a baby/toddler dummy that you would desperately like to convince your youngster to stop using, then perhaps a visit here is the opportunity? He/She can hang it in the renovated Le Grenier des Totottes! and NEW for 2017 – in return for each tototte, a meal is offered to a Cambodian child in need, part of «Pour un sourire d’Enfant» / address: 75 rue des Alouettes, 74350, Saint-Blaise, tel: 04 50 32 73 64;

© Le Hameau du Père Noel

until 25th February 2018Exhibition: «Planétarium Allumez les Etoiles» La Turbine Sciences  Cran Gevrier (near Annecy) from 7+ years (recommended age for this exhibition) / opening hours:  Wednesday and Sunday afternoon 14h30 to 16h30 and during the school holidays Tuesday to Friday and Sunday 14h30 to 16h30 / price: 5,50€, children 3€ and under 6 years FREE;

© La Turbine

until 7th January – 🎄Noël des Alpes🎄 – Annecy – illuminations, Marchés de Noël, ice-skating rink . . . / more information & programme: here;

© Annecy Noel

Sunday 17th December AND 22nd to 28th December – Village de Noël La Grenette & centre of town Samoëns 16h to 19h30 (and Friday 22nd until Thursday 28th December from 16h to 19h30);

© samoens.com

until 7th January 2018 – Le Fabuleux Village ou la Légende des Flottins: arrival of the Flottins! – Evian from 15h to 19h – if you fancy a change from Christmas markets, this event is perhaps for you? The legend of fairy folks from the Alps, washed up on driftwood in Evian . . . . and a legend involving Santa paying them a visit . . . / during 3 weeks, Evian will be filled with actors, storytellers, musicians, circus performers and sculptors / events: 23rd, 28th, 29th, 30th December and 4th to 6th January – go for a ride on a solar electric boat on Lac Léman! (reservations: 04 50 75 04 26) / 20th December – Santa’s arrival and until 24th December, Santa storyteller, before he leaves Evian again on the 24th December / 7th January –  the Flottins leave Evian until next year! / see here for more details;

Sunday 17th December – Sculpture sur GlaceLes HallesChambéry – brought to you by the commerçants des Halles de Chambéry – ice sculptures made in front of spectators and initiation for children too! / address: place de Genève, 73000 Chambéry, France

© Chambéry Tourisme

until 30th December – 🎄Marché de Noël🎄 – Place CarnotLyon – more information: www.marche-noel-lyon.fr / with ice-skating rink / Friday & Saturday evening – until 21h / ❤️Coup de Coeur❤️ Lyon is particularly atmospheric at Christmastime, and the market is lovely . . . . we headed there for a weekend in late November one year and managed to fit in a visit to the beautiful village of Pérouges / good to know: wrap up warmly, as the winter wind bites in Lyon! /

© Marché de Noel de Lyon

Sunday 17th December79ème Coupe de Noël  – Jardin Anglais Geneva Switzerland9h to 15h – a traditional wintery dip in Lac Léman! / go watch this December swimming competition in Lac Léman – this event has been taking place since 1934!website;

© Coupe de Noel Geneva

until 7th January 2018 – 🎄Cirque de Noël🎄PlainpalaisGeneva price: CHF 25 to 55 (all tickets for show at 18h CHF 25)  / more information: +41 (0)22 321 22 41 079 318 40 50 or www.cirque-de-noel.ch or info@cirque-de-noel.ch;

© Cirque de Noel Genève

until 14th January 2018 🎄«Geneva Lux» Festival de Lumières🎄 Ile de Rousseau – Geneva – this light festival debuted in 2014 / Swiss and international light artists, with installations made for Geneva during this festive period / FREE / website;

© Geneva LUX

Sunday 17th & 24th December Noël à Carouge Sunday shoppingCarougeSwitzerland – the Christmas market has happened already, but it is still festive to head to Carouge for Sunday shopping (the shops will be open in the run-up to Chrismas) / there is also an ice-skating rink! / ❤️Coup de Coeur❤️ If you have never visited Carouge, then Chritmastime is a lovely time to head there . . . it is considered as the “Greenwich Village” of Geneva . . . architecture showing its Sardinian roots: terraces, and passageways, boutique shops, lovely cafés and restaurants;

Noel à Carouge © carouge.ch

until 24th December – 🎄Montreux Noël🎄Montreux – from the lakeside of Lac Léman, to the Château de Chillon and above to the mountainside village of Rochers-de-Naye, Montreux Noël is a festive destination for the whole family (MBFF went last year and loved it!) / the Christmas market, the Village des Lutins and the Big Wheel on the water’s edge, the house of Père Noël up above in Rochers-de-Naye / Santa, with his sledge and reindeer, makes an appearance each evening above your heads at 17h, 18h and 19h / Portugal as guest of honour this year / good to know: the market does get very busy in the evenings, so do take due care with children and pushchairs! / when we went to Montreux Noël last year, we ended up parking at Gambetta and decided to walk down the lakeside towards the market . . . it took about an hour, but there were playgrounds and sculptures along the way, and it really was lovely (shiny and twinkly all the way!) . . . on the way back to the car, we took the bus / wrap up warmly for the Big Wheel / website: www.montreuxnoel.com / for parking/transport information, see here;

until 31st December -🎄«Festival Lausanne Lumières»🎄(6ème édition)Lausanne – discover Lausanne in “another light” – light installations in the centre of Lausanne / website: http://www.festivallausannelumieres.ch;

© Festival Lausanne Lumières

until 31st December – 🎄 Bô Noêl (Marchés de Noêl de Lausanne)🎄 – Lausanne – covered market of St-François and more . . .  / website;

Sunday 17th December (last day)Marché de Noël au Château de MorgesMorgesSwitzerland;

© Morges Tourisme

Sunday 17th December – Le Père Noël at Barryland – Barryland: musée et chiens du Saint BernardMartignySwitzerland10h to 18h – photos with Santa and a Saint Bernard dog;

© Musée et Chiens du St Bernard

Sunday 17th December – Marché de Noēl au Swiss Vapeur Parc – Swiss Vapeur Parc Bouveret Switzerland10h to 17h – Christmas market, pony rides and train rides if weather is favourable! – free entry, pay for activities;

© Swiss Vapeur Park

until 7th January 2018 – Mercatino di Natale (Marché Vert Noël)Aosta – a Christmas village within the Roman archaeological site of Aosta – address: area del Teatro Romano, city centre of Aosta / good to know: if you head to Aosta for its Christmas market, there is a wonderful playground in the streets behind the Roman theatre (see post Christmastime for photos);

© Aosta Noel
© Aosta Noel

Monday 18th December

until 30th DecemberVillage de Noël Place Balmat  Chamonix16h to 19h – market made up of numerous little wooden chalets: artisans, producers (decorations, sweet products, spices, presents, teas and tisanes, local food products) / animations, spectacles, parades, letters to Santa / visit Santa from 15h to 19h;

© chamonix.com

Monday 18th December – Marché Les Houches  Place behind Mairie  Les Houches – 8h to 13h – local products;

Monday 18th DecemberSpectacles de Noël de l’EMDISalle Jean Morel – Servoz –  from the Ecole de Musique et de Danse Intercommunale de la Vallée de Chamonix;

© Servoz Tourisme
«Méli-Mélo» © http://www.sallanches.fr

Monday 18th December – Cinéma du Plateau d’Assy: «Téhéran Tabou» by Ali Soozandeh  (Germany & Austria, 2017) – Plateau d’Assy – 20hprice: 5€ / duration: 1h36 / see website for more details;

Monday 18th December«Méli Mélo» playgroupMaison de la Petite EnfanceSallanches 8h45 to 11h15 – every Monday morning (except school holidays) / for carers/parents/grandparents with little ones up the age of 4 years /  address: 515 avenue de Saint-Martin, 74700, Sallanches / tel:+33 (0)4 50 90 63 10;

until 7th January 2018🎄Les Festivités de Noël à Sallanches🎄 – Sallanches the Village de Noël (pretzels, pain d’épices & mulled wine) / ice-skating at La Grenette / spectacles on Wednesdays, rides around town in the calèche, letterbox to post your letter to Santa on the Place Charles Albert & creative workshops on Saturdays / illumination of the Christmas tree on Place de l’Ancienne Poste / opening of the advent calendar at the l’Hôtel de Ville every Saturday evening . . . 

© Office de Tourisme, Sallanches

until 25th DecemberLe Big Barouf du Père Noël Bonneville – listen to Christmas tales, warm up next to a fire . . .

© Bonneville Animations © Bonneville Animations
© Bonneville Animations © Bonneville Animations

until 24th December🎄Bonjour l’Hiver (22ème Festival des Arts de la Rue)🎄 Annemasse – theatre groups, games, processions, Village de Noël/Marché de Noël (35 stands) on place de l’Hôtel de Ville, with ice-skating rink /  La Journée du Père Noël on Saturday 23rd December from 15h / Action Solidaire: deposit new and used books at Crédit Mutuel d’Annemasse situées 8 rue Charles Dupraz (next to la Place des Marchés) – the books will then be given to children at the hospital / ice-skating rink: 20th, 22nd, 23rd and 24th December, and then 26th December until 6th January from 10h to 19h/20h (Friday & Saturday);

© annemasse.fr

all year – 🎄Le Hameau du Père Noël🎄 – it might be open ALL YEAR round, but the festive spirit at Le Hameau du Père Noël can be truly felt in this run-up to Christmas! Visit the home of Santa, the elves’ workshop, see Santa’s sleigh, maybe his reindeer . . . La Maison du Père Fouettard (Santa’s grumpy brother) and La Chaumière de la Mère Noël . . . and a post-box for letters to Santa and a little Christmas shop! / more information: www.lepetitpays.com / good to know: buggies are not permitted inside the houses for safety reasons (you will have to leave them in the buggy park); Le Grenier des Totottes – if you have a baby/toddler dummy that you would desperately like to convince your youngster to stop using, then perhaps a visit here is the opportunity? He/She can hang it in the renovated Le Grenier des Totottes! and NEW for 2017 – in return for each tototte, a meal is offered to a Cambodian child in need, part of «Pour un sourire d’Enfant» / address: 75 rue des Alouettes, 74350, Saint-Blaise, tel: 04 50 32 73 64;

© Le Hameau du Père Noel

until 7th January – 🎄Noël des Alpes🎄 – Annecy – illuminations, Marchés de Noël, ice-skating rink . . . / more information & programme: here;

© Annecy Noel

until 30th December – 🎄Marché de Noël🎄 – Place CarnotLyon – more information: www.marche-noel-lyon.fr / with ice-skating rink / Friday & Saturday evening – until 21h / ❤️Coup de Coeur❤️ Lyon is particularly atmospheric at Christmastime, and the market is lovely . . . . we headed there for a weekend in late November one year and managed to fit in a visit to the beautiful village of Pérouges / good to know: wrap up warmly, as the winter wind bites in Lyon!

© Marché de Noel de Lyon

until 7th January 2018 – Le Fabuleux Village ou la Légende des Flottins – Evian every day from 15h to 19h if you fancy a change from Christmas markets, this event is perhaps for you? The legend of fairy folks from the Alps, washed up on driftwood in Evian . . . . and a legend involving Santa paying them a visit . . . / during 3 weeks, Evian will be filled with actors, storytellers, musicians, circus performers and sculptors / events: 23rd, 28th, 29th, 30th December and 4th to 6th January – go for a ride on a solar electric boat on Lac Léman! (reservations: 04 50 75 04 26) / 20th December – Santa’s arrival and until 24th December, Santa storyteller, before he leaves Evian again on the 24th December / 7th January –  the Flottins leave Evian until next year! / see here for more details;

 until 7th January 2018🎄Cirque de Noël🎄PlainpalaisGeneva price: CHF 25 to 55 (all tickets for show at 18h CHF 25)  / more information: +41 (0)22 321 22 41 079 318 40 50 or www.cirque-de-noel.ch or info@cirque-de-noel.ch;
© Cirque de Noel Genève

until 14th January 2018 🎄«Geneva Lux» Festival de Lumières🎄 Ile de Rousseau – Geneva – this light festival debuted in 2014 / Swiss and international light artists, with installations made for Geneva during this festive period / FREE / website;

© Geneva LUX

until 24th December – 🎄Montreux Noël🎄Montreux – from the lakeside of Lac Léman, to the Château de Chillon and above to the mountainside village of Rochers-de-Naye, Montreux Noël is a festive destination for the whole family (MBFF went last year and loved it!) / the Christmas market, the Village des Lutins and the Big Wheel on the water’s edge, the house of Père Noël up above in Rochers-de-Naye / Santa, with his sledge and reindeer, makes an appearance each evening above your heads at 17h, 18h and 19h / Portugal as guest of honour this year / good to know: the market does get very busy in the evenings, so do take due care with children and pushchairs! / when we went to Montreux Noël last year, we ended up parking at Gambetta and decided to walk down the lakeside towards the market . . . it took about an hour, but there were playgrounds and sculptures along the way, and it really was lovely (shiny and twinkly all the way!) . . . on the way back to the car, we took the bus / wrap up warmly for the Big Wheel / website: www.montreuxnoel.com / for parking/transport information, see here;

until 31st December -🎄«Festival Lausanne Lumières»🎄(6ème édition)Lausanne – discover Lausanne in “another light” – light installations in the centre of Lausanne / website: http://www.festivallausannelumieres.ch;

© Festival Lausanne Lumières

until 31st December – 🎄 Bô Noêl (Marchés de Noêl de Lausanne)🎄 – Lausanne – covered market of St-François and more . . .  / website;

until 7th January 2018 – Mercatino di Natale (Marché Vert Noël)Aosta – a Christmas village within the Roman archaeological site of Aosta – address: area del Teatro Romano, city centre of Aosta / good to know: if you head to Aosta for its Christmas market, there is a wonderful playground in the streets behind the Roman theatre (see post Christmastime for photos);

© Aosta Noel
© Aosta Noel

Tuesday 19th December 

Tuesday 19th December – Markets in Chedde in Passy (8h to midday) and Les Contamines (8h to midday);

until 30th DecemberVillage de Noël Place Balmat  Chamonix10h to 20h – market made up of numerous little wooden chalets: artisans, producers (decorations, sweet products, spices, presents, teas and tisanes, local food products) / animations, spectacles, parades, letters to Santa /  visit Santa from 15h to 19h;

© chamonix.com

Tuesday 19th December – Spectacle de Noel de l’EMDIAuditorium de l’EMDIChamonix – 18h AND 19h30 – with Ecole de Musique et de Dance;

© Vallée de Chamonix

Tuesday 19th DecemberThe Chambelles Christmas Concert Protestant ChurchChamonix18h (families) and 20h;

© The Chambelles

Tuesday 19th December – Soirée Latino – La Maison des Artistes Chamonix21h30 – every Tuesday, dancing lessons from Paola Ballart at 21h30 / address: La Maison des Artistes, 84 chemin de la Tournette, 74400, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc;

Soirée Latino at the Maison des Artistes © Maison des Artistes / chamonix.com

Tuesday 19th December – Le P’tit Marché Paysan de Produits Locaux – GAEC Les Armaillis – Sallanches – 16h30 to 19h30 – come and meet local producers, support and encourage local agriculture and the short growing seasons, support the local economy and create a social link / each week there will be several local producers: le GAEC d’Arpennaz, La Ferme Victorine, Le Pain de Chibon, Le Safran du Mont-Blanc, La Roulotte à Savon, and the Légumes des Coteaux de Passy; the vin d’Ayze and l’Association Passepoils & Cie will also be present from time to time / address: GAEC Les Armaillis, 74700, Sallanches; tel: 06 63 04 32 35 / see here for more details;

© sallanches.com

until 7th January 2018🎄Les Festivités de Noël à Sallanches🎄 – Sallanches the Village de Noël (pretzels, pain d’épices & mulled wine) / ice-skating at La Grenette / spectacles on Wednesdays, rides around town in the calèche, letterbox to post your letter to Santa on the Place Charles Albert & creative workshops on Saturdays / illumination of the Christmas tree on Place de l’Ancienne Poste / opening of the advent calendar at the l’Hôtel de Ville every Saturday evening . . . 

© Office de Tourisme, Sallanches

Tuesday 19th December – Curling Club free sessions PatinoireSaint-Gervais-les-Bains18h to 19h or 19h to 20h – free trial sessions every Tuesday from September to December – for all 10+ years;

© Saint-Gervais-Mont-Blanc Curling Club

from Monday 19th DecemberExhibition: «Paysages du XXIè siècle – Que fabriquons-nous aujourd’hui?»Maison Forte de HautetourSaint-Gervais-les-Bains – organised by CAUE Haute-Savoie;

until 25th DecemberLe Big Barouf du Père Noël Bonneville – listen to Christmas tales, warm up next to a fire . . .

© Bonneville Animations © Bonneville Animations
© Bonneville Animations © Bonneville Animations

until 24th December🎄Bonjour l’Hiver (22ème Festival des Arts de la Rue)🎄 Annemasse – theatre groups, games, processions, Village de Noël/Marché de Noël (35 stands) on place de l’Hôtel de Ville, with ice-skating rink / La Journée du Père Noël on Saturday 23rd December from 15h / Action Solidaire: deposit new and used books at Crédit Mutuel d’Annemasse situées 8 rue Charles Dupraz (next to la Place des Marchés) – the books will then be given to children at the hospital / ice-skating rink: 20th, 22nd, 23rd and 24th December, and then 26th December until 6th January from 10h to 19h/20h (Friday & Saturday);

© annemasse.fr

all year – 🎄Le Hameau du Père Noël🎄 – it might be open ALL YEAR round, but the festive spirit at Le Hameau du Père Noël can be truly felt in this run-up to Christmas! Visit the home of Santa, the elves’ workshop, see Santa’s sleigh, maybe his reindeer . . . La Maison du Père Fouettard (Santa’s grumpy brother) and La Chaumière de la Mère Noël . . . and a post-box for letters to Santa and a little Christmas shop! / more information: www.lepetitpays.com / good to know: buggies are not permitted inside the houses for safety reasons (you will have to leave them in the buggy park); Le Grenier des Totottes – if you have a baby/toddler dummy that you would desperately like to convince your youngster to stop using, then perhaps a visit here is the opportunity? He/She can hang it in the renovated Le Grenier des Totottes! and NEW for 2017 – in return for each tototte, a meal is offered to a Cambodian child in need, part of «Pour un sourire d’Enfant» / address: 75 rue des Alouettes, 74350, Saint-Blaise, tel: 04 50 32 73 64;

© Le Hameau du Père Noel

until 7th January – 🎄Noël des Alpes🎄 – Annecy – illuminations, Marchés de Noël, ice-skating rink . . . / more information & programme: here;

© Annecy Noel

until 30th December – 🎄Marché de Noël🎄 – Place CarnotLyon – more information: www.marche-noel-lyon.fr / with ice-skating rink / Friday & Saturday evening – until 21h / ❤️Coup de Coeur❤️ Lyon is particularly atmospheric at Christmastime, and the market is lovely . . . . we headed there for a weekend in late November one year and managed to fit in a visit to the beautiful village of Pérouges / good to know: wrap up warmly, as the winter wind bites in Lyon!

© Marché de Noel de Lyon

until 7th January 2018 – Le Fabuleux Village ou la Légende des Flottins – Evian every day from 15h to 19h if you fancy a change from Christmas markets, this event is perhaps for you? The legend of fairy folks from the Alps, washed up on driftwood in Evian . . . . and a legend involving Santa paying them a visit . . . / during 3 weeks, Evian will be filled with actors, storytellers, musicians, circus performers and sculptors / events: 23rd, 28th, 29th, 30th December and 4th to 6th January – go for a ride on a solar electric boat on Lac Léman! (reservations: 04 50 75 04 26) / 20th December – Santa’s arrival and until 24th December, Santa storyteller, before he leaves Evian again on the 24th December / 7th January –  the Flottins leave Evian until next year! / see here for more details;

until 7th January 2018 – 🎄Cirque de Noël🎄PlainpalaisGeneva price: CHF 25 to 55 (all tickets for show at 18h CHF 25)  / more information: +41 (0)22 321 22 41 079 318 40 50 or www.cirque-de-noel.ch or info@cirque-de-noel.ch;

© Cirque de Noel Genève

until 14th January 2018 🎄«Geneva Lux» Festival de Lumières🎄 Ile de Rousseau – Geneva – this light festival debuted in 2014 / Swiss and international light artists, with installations made for Geneva during this festive period / FREE / website;

© Geneva LUX

until 24th December – 🎄Montreux Noël🎄Montreux – from the lakeside of Lac Léman, to the Château de Chillon and above to the mountainside village of Rochers-de-Naye, Montreux Noël is a festive destination for the whole family (MBFF went last year and loved it!) / the Christmas market, the Village des Lutins and the Big Wheel on the water’s edge, the house of Père Noël up above in Rochers-de-Naye / Santa, with his sledge and reindeer, makes an appearance each evening above your heads at 17h, 18h and 19h / Portugal as guest of honour this year / good to know: the market does get very busy in the evenings, so do take due care with children and pushchairs! / when we went to Montreux Noël last year, we ended up parking at Gambetta and decided to walk down the lakeside towards the market . . . it took about an hour, but there were playgrounds and sculptures along the way, and it really was lovely (shiny and twinkly all the way!) . . . on the way back to the car, we took the bus / wrap up warmly for the Big Wheel / website: www.montreuxnoel.com / for parking/transport information, see here;

until 31st December -🎄«Festival Lausanne Lumières»🎄(6ème édition)Lausanne – discover Lausanne in “another light” – light installations in the centre of Lausanne / website: http://www.festivallausannelumieres.ch;

© Festival Lausanne Lumières

until 31st December – 🎄 Bô Noêl (Marchés de Noêl de Lausanne)🎄 – Lausanne – covered market of St-François and more . . . / website;

until 7th January 2018 – Mercatino di Natale (Marché Vert Noël)Aosta – a Christmas village within the Roman archaeological site of Aosta – address: area del Teatro Romano, city centre of Aosta / good to know: if you head to Aosta for its Christmas market, there is a wonderful playground in the streets behind the Roman theatre (see post Christmastime for photos);

© Aosta Noel
© Aosta Noel

Wednesday 20th December

until 30th DecemberVillage de Noël Place Balmat  Chamonix10h to 20h – market made up of numerous little wooden chalets: artisans, producers (decorations, sweet products, spices, presents, teas and tisanes, local food products) / animations, spectacles, parades, letters to Santa / visit Santa from 15h to 19h;

© chamonix.com

Wednesday 20th December – Spectacle de Noël de l’EMDIAuditorium de l’EMDIChamonix18h30 – with Ecole de Musique et de Dance;

© Vallée de Chamonix

Wednesday 20th December – Arc’teryx Wednesdays Happy Climbing Salle Mont-Blanc EscaladeLes Houches9h – organised by Arc’teryx and Chamonix Momentum – a social experience of climbing, for ALL, whatever your level of climbing / no need to come with a climbing buddy / no need to reserve / more information: isachamonix@gmail.com or 06 88 65 27 75 / price: 11€;

© Arc’terix & Chamonix Momentum

Wednesday 20th December Marché PaysanLes Houches 15h to 19h – le Pain de Chibon, and also cow and goat’s cheese, local vegetables and fruit from the environs, available according to the seasons / address: Le Pain de Chibon (Gérard BERRUX), route du Pont, 74310, Les Houches;

575395-le_pain_chibon
© Le Pain de Chibon

Wednesday 20th December – Workshop from L’Association Quilt Aguillette (patchwork)  Bibliothèque Les Houches – Les Houches14h30 – for children 8+ years / reservations: +33(0)4 50 54 39 83  / address: 201 rue Mont Blanc, 74310, Les Houches;

Wednesday 20th December – Le Grand Soir Cinébus Children  «L’Etoile de Noël» animation film from Timothy Reckart (USA, 2017) Espace Animation – Les Houches17h30 – price: from 4,50€ to 5,50€, children 3,50 € / duration: 1h20;

Wednesday 20th December – Le Grand Soir Cinébus «L’Ecole Buissonnière» by Nicolas Vanier (France, 2017) Espace Animation – Les Houches20h30 – price: from 4,50€ to 5,50€, children 3,50 € / duration: 1h56;

Wednesday 20th DecemberAnimation NatureMaison de Village d’ArgentièreArgentière14h to 16h – for children 3 to 12 years with accompanying adult / reservations: 04 50 54 03 06 / FREE!

© Argentière Tourisme

until 7th January 2018Les Festivités de Noël à Sallanches – Sallanches the Village de Noël (pretzels, pain d’épices & mulled wine) / ice-skating at La Grenette / spectacles on Wednesdays, rides around town in the calèche, letterbox to post your letter to Santa on the Place Charles Albert & creative workshops on Saturdays / illumination of the Christmas tree on Place de l’Ancienne Poste / opening of the advent calendar at the l’Hôtel de Ville every Saturday evening . . . 

Wednesday 20th DecemberSpectacle de Marionettes: «Un cadeau pour deux» by La Compagnie Stella Rosa – Salon de l’Hotel de Ville – Sallanches15h AND 16h30 / from 4+ years / reservations: Office de tourisme on 04 50 58 04 25;

Wednesday 20th DecemberFace-painting for children & visits with Santa – Place de la Grenette – Sallanches15h/16h to 17h;

Wednesday 20th DecemberAnimation Musicale – Village de Noel – Sallanches19h15;

© Office de Tourisme, Sallanches

Wednesday 20th December – Eveil & Compagnie: Parentali’thé workshop for parents Centre Hestia Sallanches15h – discuss, exchange / price: 10€ / 5 participants minumum needed for the workshop to go ahead / reservations: up to the Sunday before through FB messenger;

© Eveil & Compagnie

Wednesday 20th DecemberMarché de Combloux – Combloux8h to 12h  in front of Tourist Office/Mairie;

Wednesday 20th DecemberFarm visit: GAEC Val Mont-Blanc – Gemoëns – Combloux16h to 17h  guided visit of the farm / 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 racletteaddress: 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

Wednesday 20th DecemberLe Fayet Market 8h to 13h, in front of the Gare SNCF;

*For more ideas about what to do on a Wednesday au Pays du Mont-Blanc, see MBFF post «Les mercredis – workshops & creative activities au Pays du Mont-Blanc»!

until 25th DecemberLe Big Barouf du Père Noël Bonneville – listen to Christmas tales, warm up next to a fire . . .

© Bonneville Animations © Bonneville Animations
© Bonneville Animations © Bonneville Animations

Wednesday 20th December – Ateliers des LutinsLe PalaisMegève14h30 to 15h30 AND 16h to 17h – help decorate the Palais Christmas tree / price: 3,50€ at the Caisse / for 6/8 year olds at 14h30 and for 3/5 year olds at 16h;

© Palais de Megève
© Palais de Megève

until 24th December🎄Bonjour l’Hiver (22ème Festival des Arts de la Rue)🎄 Annemasse – theatre groups, games, processions, Village de Noël/Marché de Noël (35 stands) on place de l’Hôtel de Ville, with ice-skating rink / La Journée du Père Noël on Saturday 23rd December from 15h / Action Solidaire: deposit new and used books at Crédit Mutuel d’Annemasse situées 8 rue Charles Dupraz (next to la Place des Marchés) – the books will then be given to children at the hospital / ice-skating rink: 20th, 22nd, 23rd and 24th December, and then 26th December until 6th January from 10h to 19h/20h (Friday & Saturday);

© annemasse.fr

Wednesday 20th December – Workshop: 🎄Déco Nature de Noël🎄 (Christmas decorations made from nature) – La Maison du SalèvePrésilly – 14h30 / 8€ / for children 4+ years with accompanying adult (wear warm clothes and waterproof shoes) / address: 775 route de Mikerne, 74160, Présilly/ and 27th December Traces des Animauxreservations: 04 50 95 92 16;

© La Maison du Salève

all year – 🎄Le Hameau du Père Noēl🎄 – it might be open ALL YEAR round, but the festive spirit at Le Hameau du Père Noel can be truly felt in this run-up to Christmas! Visit the home of Santa, the elves’ workshop, see Santa’s sleigh, maybe his reindeer . . . La Maison du Père Fouettard (Santa’s grumpy brother) and La Chaumière de la Mère Noël . . . and a post-box for letters to Santa and a little Christmas shop! / more information: www.lepetitpays.com / good to know: buggies are not permitted inside the houses for safety reasons (you will have to leave them in the buggy park); Le Grenier des Totottes – if you have a baby/toddler dummy that you would desperately like to convince your youngster to stop using, then perhaps a visit here is the opportunity? He/She can hang it in the renovated Le Grenier des Totottes! and NEW for 2017 – in return for each tototte, a meal is offered to a Cambodian child in need, part of «Pour un sourire d’Enfant» / address: 75 rue des Alouettes, 74350, Saint-Blaise, tel: 04 50 32 73 64;

© Le Hameau du Père Noel

until 7th January – 🎄Noël des Alpes🎄 – Annecy – illuminations, Marchés de Noël, ice-skating rink . . . / more information & programme: here;

© Annecy Noel

until 25th February 2018Exhibition: «Planétarium Allumez les Etoiles» La Turbine Sciences  Cran Gevrier (near Annecy) from 7+ years (recommended age for this exhibition) / opening hours:  Wednesday and Sunday afternoon 14h30 to 16h30 and during the school holidays Tuesday to Friday and Sunday 14h30 to 16h30 / price: 5,50€, children 3€ and under 6 years FREE;

© La Turbine

from Wednesday 20th to 24th December – Village de Noël – Thônes;

 

© Thones Tourisme

until 30th December – 🎄Marché de Noël🎄 – Place CarnotLyon – more information: www.marche-noel-lyon.fr / with ice-skating rink / Friday & Saturday evening – until 21h / ❤️Coup de Coeur❤️ Lyon is particularly atmospheric at Christmastime, and the market is lovely . . . . we headed there for a weekend in late November one year and managed to fit in a visit to the beautiful village of Pérouges / good to know: wrap up warmly, as the winter wind bites in Lyon!

© Marché de Noel de Lyon

from Friday 15th December to 7th January 2018 – Le Fabuleux Village ou la Légende des Flottins – Evian every day from 15h to 19h if you fancy a change from Christmas markets, this event is perhaps for you? The legend of fairy folks from the Alps, washed up on driftwood in Evian . . . . and a legend involving Santa paying them a visit . . . / during 3 weeks, Evian will be filled with actors, storytellers, musicians, circus performers and sculptors / events: 23rd, 28th, 29th, 30th December and 4th to 6th January – go for a ride on a solar electric boat on Lac Léman! (reservations: 04 50 75 04 26) / 20th December – Santa’s arrival and until 24th December, Santa storyteller, before he leaves Evian again on the 24th December / 7th January –  the Flottins leave Evian until next year! / see here for more details;

 until 7th January 2018🎄Cirque de Noël🎄PlainpalaisGeneva price: CHF 25 to 55 (all tickets for show at 18h CHF 25)  / more information: +41 (0)22 321 22 41 079 318 40 50 or www.cirque-de-noel.ch or info@cirque-de-noel.ch;
© Cirque de Noel Genève

until 14th January 2018 🎄«Geneva Lux» Festival de Lumières🎄 Ile de Rousseau – Geneva – this light festival debuted in 2014 / Swiss and international light artists, with installations made for Geneva during this festive period / FREE / website;

© Geneva LUX

until 24th December – 🎄Montreux Noël🎄Montreux – from the lakeside of Lac Léman, to the Château de Chillon and above to the mountainside village of Rochers-de-Naye, Montreux Noël is a festive destination for the whole family (MBFF went last year and loved it!) / the Christmas market, the Village des Lutins and the Big Wheel on the water’s edge, the house of Père Noël up above in Rochers-de-Naye / Santa, with his sledge and reindeer, makes an appearance each evening above your heads at 17h, 18h and 19h / Portugal as guest of honour this year / good to know: the market does get very busy in the evenings, so do take due care with children and pushchairs! / when we went to Montreux Noël last year, we ended up parking at Gambetta and decided to walk down the lakeside towards the market . . . it took about an hour, but there were playgrounds and sculptures along the way, and it really was lovely (shiny and twinkly all the way!) . . . on the way back to the car, we took the bus / wrap up warmly for the Big Wheel / website: www.montreuxnoel.com / for parking/transport information, see here;

until 31st December -🎄«Festival Lausanne Lumières»🎄(6ème édition)Lausanne – discover Lausanne in “another light” – light installations in the centre of Lausanne / website: http://www.festivallausannelumieres.ch;

© Festival Lausanne Lumières

until 31st December – 🎄 Bô Noêl (Marchés de Noêl de Lausanne)🎄 – Lausanne – covered market of St-François and more . . .  / website;

until 7th January 2018 – Mercatino di Natale (Marché Vert Noël)Aosta – a Christmas village within the Roman archaeological site of Aosta – address: area del Teatro Romano, city centre of Aosta / good to know: if you head to Aosta for its Christmas market, there is a wonderful playground in the streets behind the Roman theatre (see post Christmastime for photos);

© Aosta Noel
© Aosta Noel

Wednesdays  in Geneva
Wednesdays at the Natural History Museum (Muséum Genève)

Wednesday 20th December – Atelier du mercredi: «Elever sa propre colonie de fourmis»Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle (Natural History Museum)Geneva –  13h45 to 15h and 15h15 to 16h30; / see here for more details / address: 1, route de Malagnou, 1208, Geneva, Switzerland;

«Mercredis Family» & «Visites à Petits Pas» at the MAH (Musée d’Art et d’Histoire)

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:

Wednesday 20th December – Visite à petits pas: «l’étoile de Noel»MAH (Musée d’art et d’histoire) 10h30 AND 15h30  for children 3 to 5 years, accompanied by adult / FREE and no reservations needed;

Mercredis Family © MAH

Wednesday 20th DecemberWorkshop: Dessiner avec Alexia – Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève – Geneva13h30 to 15h – one Wednesday per month, artist Alexia Turlin runs a drawing workshop for children 8 to 16 years / this week, in conjunction with exhibition Jouneys without arrivals by Chinese artist Qiu Zhijie, Alexia Turlin and Cassandre Poirier-Simon, will be teaching calligraphy, Chinese ink painting and more / and also 10th January; 

© Centre d’Art Contemporain

Thursday 21st December

Thursday 21st December«ChamCats Carers, Mums n Tots» – Salle Paroissiale (Church Hall) of  the Presbytery of the Protestant Church Chamonix10h to 12h – this playgroup is open to all babies and toddlers (and carers!) up to school-going age / biscuits & cake are always appreciated! / every Thursday, except during the school holidays / address: Salle Paroissiale of the Presbytery of the Protestant Church, passage du Temple, 74400, Chamonix;

until 30th DecemberVillage de Noël Place Balmat  Chamonix10h to 20h – market made up of numerous little wooden chalets: artisans, producers (decorations, sweet products, spices, presents, teas and tisanes, local food products) / animations, spectacles, parades, letters to Santa / visit Santa from 15h to 19;

© chamonix.com

© chamonix.com

Thursday 21st DecemberGuided Visit: exhibition «Gay-Couttet un siècle de photographies»Maison de la Mémoire et du Patrimoine14h30 – photos from 1880 to 1980 from the Gay-Couttet family – price: adults 4€, reduced 3€ and children under 18 years FREE! / every Thursday until May;

© chamonix.com

Thursday 21st December – Spectacle de Noël de l’EMDIAuditorium de l’EMDIEspace Animation – Les Houches18h30 – with Ecole de Musique et de Dance;

© Vallée de Chamonix

Thursday 21st December – Après-Midi Seniors (NEW at l’Étape!)l’EtapeArgentière – 13h30 to 16h45 – a great initiative from local association l’Etape in Argentière . . . board games and cards and a welcoming environment for the older generation / kettle available to make hot drinks / price: 15€ to join the association and thereafter free / for 60+ years! / more information: Céline on 06 71 97 01 76;

© l’Etape

until 7th January 2018Les Festivités de Noël à Sallanches – Sallanches the Village de Noël (pretzels, pain d’épices & mulled wine) / ice-skating at La Grenette / spectacles on Wednesdays, rides around town in the calèche, letterbox to post your letter to Santa on the Place Charles Albert & creative workshops on Saturdays / illumination of the Christmas tree on Place de l’Ancienne Poste / opening of the advent calendar at the l’Hôtel de Ville every Saturday evening . . . 

Thursday 21st DecemberAnimations musicales – Village de Noel – Sallanches18h to 21h;

© Office de Tourisme, Sallanches

Thursday 21st DecemberConcert: «Tailleurs 2 Costards» – Salle Léon Curral – Sallanches20h;

Thursday 21st December  Saint-Gervais-les-Bains Market 8h to 13h;

Thursday 21st December – Thursday Night Cinema MJC Saint-Gervais: «Le Sens de la Fete» by Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache (France, 2017) – Théatre MontjoieSaint-Gervais-les-Bains20h30duration: 1h51 / price: 5€ / see full December schedule on the MJC website;

Thursday 21st December –Megève fête l’HiverPlace du VillageMegève8h to 20hapéritif, offered by Mairie de Megève, under the Christmas tree!

© megeve.com
© megeve.com

until 25th DecemberLe Big Barouf du Père Noël Bonneville – listen to Christmas tales, warm up next to a fire . . .

© Bonneville Animations © Bonneville Animations
© Bonneville Animations © Bonneville Animations

until 24th December🎄Bonjour l’Hiver (22ème Festival des Arts de la Rue)🎄 Annemasse – theatre groups, games, processions, Village de Noël/Marché de Noël (35 stands) on place de l’Hôtel de Ville, with ice-skating rink / La Journée du Père Noël on Saturday 23rd December from 15h / Action Solidaire: deposit new and used books at Crédit Mutuel d’Annemasse situées 8 rue Charles Dupraz (next to la Place des Marchés) – the books will then be given to children at the hospital / ice-skating rink: 22nd, 23rd and 24th December, and then 26th December until 6th January from 10h to 19h/20h (Friday & Saturday);

© annemasse.fr

all year – 🎄Le Hameau du Père Noël🎄 – it might be open ALL YEAR round, but the festive spirit at Le Hameau du Père Noel can be truly felt in this run-up to Christmas! Visit the home of Santa, the elves’ workshop, see Santa’s sleigh, maybe his reindeer . . . La Maison du Père Fouettard (Santa’s grumpy brother) and La Chaumière de la Mère Noël . . . and a post-box for letters to Santa and a little Christmas shop! / more information: www.lepetitpays.com / good to know: buggies are not permitted inside the houses for safety reasons (you will have to leave them in the buggy park); Le Grenier des Totottes – if you have a baby/toddler dummy that you would desperately like to convince your youngster to stop using, then perhaps a visit here is the opportunity? He/She can hang it in the renovated Le Grenier des Totottes! and NEW for 2017 – in return for each tototte, a meal is offered to a Cambodian child in need, part of «Pour un sourire d’Enfant» / address: 75 rue des Alouettes, 74350, Saint-Blaise, tel: 04 50 32 73 64;

© Le Hameau du Père Noel

until 7th January – 🎄Noël des Alpes🎄 – Annecy –  illuminations, Marchés de Noël, ice-skating rink . . . / more information & programme: here;

© Annecy Noel

until 30th December – 🎄Marché de Noël🎄 – Place CarnotLyon – more information: www.marche-noel-lyon.fr / with ice-skating rink / Friday & Saturday evening – until 21h / ❤️Coup de Coeur❤️ Lyon is particularly atmospheric at Christmastime, and the market is lovely . . . . we headed there for a weekend in late November one year and managed to fit in a visit to the beautiful village of Pérouges / good to know: wrap up warmly, as the winter wind bites in Lyon!

© Marché de Noel de Lyon

until 7th January 2018 – Le Fabuleux Village ou la Légende des Flottins – Evian every day from 15h to 19h if you fancy a change from Christmas markets, this event is perhaps for you? The legend of fairy folks from the Alps, washed up on driftwood in Evian . . . . and a legend involving Santa paying them a visit . . . / during 3 weeks, Evian will be filled with actors, storytellers, musicians, circus performers and sculptors / events: 23rd, 28th, 29th, 30th December and 4th to 6th January – go for a ride on a solar electric boat on Lac Léman! (reservations: 04 50 75 04 26) / 24th December – Santa leaves Evian! / 7th January –  the Flottins leave Evian until next year! / see here for more details;

until 24th December – Village de Noël – Thônes;

© Thones Tourisme

until 7th January 2018🎄Cirque de Noël🎄PlainpalaisGeneva price: CHF 25 to 55 (all tickets for show at 18h CHF 25)  / more information: +41 (0)22 321 22 41 079 318 40 50 or www.cirque-de-noel.ch or info@cirque-de-noel.ch;

© Cirque de Noel Genève

until 14th January 2018 🎄«Geneva Lux» Festival de Lumières🎄 Ile de Rousseau – Geneva – this light festival debuted in 2014 / Swiss and international light artists, with installations made for Geneva during this festive period / FREE / website;

© Geneva LUX

until 24th December – 🎄Montreux Noël🎄Montreux – from the lakeside of Lac Léman, to the Château de Chillon and above to the mountainside village of Rochers-de-Naye, Montreux Noël is a festive destination for the whole family (MBFF went last year and loved it!) / the Christmas market, the Village des Lutins and the Big Wheel on the water’s edge, the house of Père Noël up above in Rochers-de-Naye / Santa, with his sledge and reindeer, makes an appearance each evening above your heads at 17h, 18h and 19h / Portugal as guest of honour this year / good to know: the market does get very busy in the evenings, so do take due care with children and pushchairs! / when we went to Montreux Noël last year, we ended up parking at Gambetta and decided to walk down the lakeside towards the market . . . it took about an hour, but there were playgrounds and sculptures along the way, and it really was lovely (shiny and twinkly all the way!) . . . on the way back to the car, we took the bus / wrap up warmly for the Big Wheel / website: www.montreuxnoel.com / for parking/transport information, see here;

until 31st December -🎄«Festival Lausanne Lumières»🎄(6ème édition)Lausanne – discover Lausanne in “another light” – light installations in the centre of Lausanne / website: http://www.festivallausannelumieres.ch;

© Festival Lausanne Lumières

until 31st December – 🎄 Bô Noêl (Marchés de Noêl de Lausanne)🎄 – Lausanne – covered market of St-François and more . . .  / website;

until 7th January 2018 – Mercatino di Natale (Marché Vert Noël)Aosta – a Christmas village within the Roman archaeological site of Aosta – address: area del Teatro Romano, city centre of Aosta / good to know: if you head to Aosta for its Christmas market, there is a wonderful playground in the streets behind the Roman theatre (see post Christmastime for photos);

© Aosta Noel
© Aosta Noel

Friday 22nd December

until 30th DecemberVillage de Noël Place Balmat  Chamonix10h to 20h – market made up of numerous little wooden chalets: artisans, producers (decorations, sweet products, spices, presents, teas and tisanes, local food products) / animations, spectacles, parades, letters to Santa / visit Santa from 15h to 19h;

© chamonix.com

Friday 22nd December – Spectacle de Noel de l’EMDIDanse at L’Espace OlcaLes Houches18h30 – with Ecole de Musique et de Dance;

© Vallée de Chamonix

until 7th January 2018Les Festivités de Noël à Sallanches – Sallanches the Village de Noël (pretzels, pain d’épices & mulled wine) / ice-skating at La Grenette / spectacles on Wednesdays, rides around town in the calèche, letterbox to post your letter to Santa on the Place Charles Albert & creative workshops on Saturdays / illumination of the Christmas tree on Place de l’Ancienne Poste / opening of the advent calendar at the l’Hôtel de Ville every Saturday evening . . . 

Friday 22nd December – Animation musicale – Village de Noel – Sallanches20h;

© Office de Tourisme, Sallanches

until 25th DecemberLe Big Barouf du Père Noël Bonneville – listen to Christmas tales, warm up next to a fire . . .

© Bonneville Animations © Bonneville Animations
© Bonneville Animations © Bonneville Animations

until 24th DecemberBonjour l’Hiver (22ème Festival des Arts de la Rue) Annemasse – theatre groups, games, processions, Village de Noël/Marché de Noël (35 stands) on place de l’Hôtel de Ville, with ice-skating rink / La Journée du Père Noël on Saturday 23rd December from 15h / Action Solidaire: deposit new and used books at Crédit Mutuel d’Annemasse situées 8 rue Charles Dupraz (next to la Place des Marchés) – the books will then be given to children at the hospital / ice-skating rink: 22nd, 23rd and 24th December, and then 26th December until 6th January from 10h to 19h/20h (Friday & Saturday);

© annemasse.fr

all yearLe Hameau du Père Noël – it might be open ALL YEAR round, but the festive spirit at Le Hameau du Père Noel can be truly felt in this run-up to Christmas! Visit the home of Santa, the elves’ workshop, see Santa’s sleigh, maybe his reindeer . . . La Maison du Père Fouettard (Santa’s grumpy brother) and La Chaumière de la Mère Noël . . . and a post-box for letters to Santa and a little Christmas shop! / more information: www.lepetitpays.com / good to know: buggies are not permitted inside the houses for safety reasons (you will have to leave them in the buggy park); Le Grenier des Totottes – if you have a baby/toddler dummy that you would desperately like to convince your youngster to stop using, then perhaps a visit here is the opportunity? He/She can hang it in the renovated Le Grenier des Totottes! and NEW for 2017 – in return for each tototte, a meal is offered to a Cambodian child in need, part of «Pour un sourire d’Enfant» / address: 75 rue des Alouettes, 74350, Saint-Blaise, tel: 04 50 32 73 64;

© Le Hameau du Père Noel

weekends until March 2018 – Winter activities at Téléphérique du Salève – Téléphérique du Salèveraquettes hire for snow-shoe circuits, luges, ice-skating rink . . . / until March 2018;

© Téléphérique Salève

from Friday 22nd until Thursday 28th December Village de Noël La Grenette & centre of town Samoëns – 16h to 19h30;

© samoens.com

until 7th JanuaryNoël des Alpes – Annecy –  illuminations, Marchés de Noël, ice-skating rink . . . / more information & programme: here;

© Annecy Noel

until 30th December – Marché de Noël – Place CarnotLyon – more information: www.marche-noel-lyon.fr / with ice-skating rink / Friday & Saturday evening – until 21h / ❤️Coup de Coeur❤️ Lyon is particularly atmospheric at Christmastime, and the market is lovely . . . . we headed there for a weekend in late November one year and managed to fit in a visit to the beautiful village of Pérouges / good to know: wrap up warmly, as the winter wind bites in Lyon!

© Marché de Noel de Lyon

until 7th January 2018 – Le Fabuleux Village ou la Légende des Flottins – Evian every day from 15h to 19h if you fancy a change from Christmas markets, this event is perhaps for you? The legend of fairy folks from the Alps, washed up on driftwood in Evian . . . . and a legend involving Santa paying them a visit . . . / during 3 weeks, Evian will be filled with actors, storytellers, musicians, circus performers and sculptors / events: 23rd, 28th, 29th, 30th December and 4th to 6th January – go for a ride on a solar electric boat on Lac Léman! (reservations: 04 50 75 04 26) / 24th December – Santa leaves Evian! / 7th January –  the Flottins leave Evian until next year! / see here for more details;

until 24th December – Village de Noël – Thônes;

© Thones Tourisme
 until 7th January 2018 – 🎄Cirque de Noël🎄PlainpalaisGeneva price: CHF 25 to 55 (all tickets for show at 18h CHF 25)  / more information: +41 (0)22 321 22 41 079 318 40 50 or www.cirque-de-noel.ch or info@cirque-de-noel.ch;
© Cirque de Noel Genève

until 14th January 2018 «Geneva Lux» Festival de Lumières Ile de Rousseau – Geneva – this light festival debuted in 2014 / Swiss and international light artists, with installations made for Geneva during this festive period / FREE / website;

© Geneva LUX

until 24th December – 🎄Montreux Noël🎄Montreux – from the lakeside of Lac Léman, to the Château de Chillon and above to the mountainside village of Rochers-de-Naye, Montreux Noël is a festive destination for the whole family (MBFF went last year and loved it!) / the Christmas market, the Village des Lutins and the Big Wheel on the water’s edge, the house of Père Noël up above in Rochers-de-Naye / Santa, with his sledge and reindeer, makes an appearance each evening above your heads at 17h, 18h and 19h / Portugal as guest of honour this year / good to know: the market does get very busy in the evenings, so do take due care with children and pushchairs! / when we went to Montreux Noël last year, we ended up parking at Gambetta and decided to walk down the lakeside towards the market . . . it took about an hour, but there were playgrounds and sculptures along the way, and it really was lovely (shiny and twinkly all the way!) . . . on the way back to the car, we took the bus / wrap up warmly for the Big Wheel / website: www.montreuxnoel.com / for parking/transport information, see here;

until 31st December -🎄«Festival Lausanne Lumières»🎄(6ème édition)Lausanne – discover Lausanne in “another light” – light installations in the centre of Lausanne / website: http://www.festivallausannelumieres.ch;

© Festival Lausanne Lumières

until 31st December – 🎄 Bô Noêl (Marchés de Noêl de Lausanne)🎄 – Lausanne – covered market of St-François and more . . .  / website;

until 7th January 2018 – Mercatino di Natale (Marché Vert Noël)Aosta – a Christmas village within the Roman archaeological site of Aosta – address: area del Teatro Romano, city centre of Aosta / good to know: if you head to Aosta for its Christmas market, there is a wonderful playground in the streets behind the Roman theatre (see post Christmastime for photos);

© Aosta Noel
© Aosta Noel

Saturday 23rd December

Saturday 23rd December – Chamonix MarketChamonix from 7h30 to 12h30  address: Place du Mont-Blanc, 74400, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc;

Saturday 23rd December – Jardin d’Eau swimmingChamonix public poolCentre Sportif Richard BozonChamonix10hprice: 10,60 per session (one child + up to 2 adults) or 105,60 for 12 sessions / for children 6 months to 3 years / please check current schedule: 04 50 53 23 70;

Saturday 23rd December – Petits Poissons swimmingChamonix public poolCentre Sportif Richard BozonChamonix11hprice: 10,60 per session (one child + up to 2 adults) or 105,60 for 12 sessions / for children 3 to 5 years / price: 10,60 per session (one child + up to 2 adults) or 105,60 for 12 sessions / please check current schedule: 04 50 53 23 70;

© http://www.cc-valleedechamonixmontblanc.fr

until 30th DecemberVillage de Noël Place Balmat  Chamonix10h to 20h – market made up of numerous little wooden chalets: artisans, producers (decorations, sweet products, spices, presents, teas and tisanes, local food products) / animations, spectacles, parades, letters to Santa / visit Santa from 15h to 19h;

© chamonix.com

Saturday 23rd DecemberL’Arrivée du Père NoelLes Houchesfrom 18h – with warm drinks offered!

© Les Houches Animations

Saturdays 23rd & 30th December – Pot d’AccueilTourist OfficeServoz16h30 to 17h30;

© Servoz Tourisme

until 7th January 2018🎄Les Festivités de Noël à Sallanches🎄 – Sallanches the Village de Noël (pretzels, pain d’épices & mulled wine) / ice-skating at La Grenette / spectacles on Wednesdays, rides around town in the calèche, letterbox to post your letter to Santa on the Place Charles Albert & creative workshops on Saturdays / illumination of the Christmas tree on Place de l’Ancienne Poste / opening of the advent calendar at the l’Hôtel de Ville every Saturday evening . . . 

Saturday 23rd December – Sallanches MarketSallanches – from 8h to 13h  a bustling market up and down the quai, and in the Pré de Foire;

Saturday 23rd DecemberWorkshop: Loisirs Créatifs de Noel by Cocktail Grenadine – Salle Saint-Eloi – Sallanches14h AND 15h30 / from 7+ years / address: rue Pelissier, Sallanches / reservations: Office de Tourisme on 04 50 58 04 25;

Saturday 23rd DecemberSamedi de l’Avent – Hotel de Ville – Sallanches17h30 / opening of the advent calendar, with hot chocolate served;

© Office de Tourisme, Sallanches

Saturday 23rd DecemberChristmas activities: make a Christmas decoration for your tree – Le Parc en Folie Sallanches – in the morning;

 

© Le Parc en Folie

Saturday 23rd DecemberDiscover Ice-HockeyOutdoor PatinoireMegève18h15 – for children 4 to 12 years – FREE! – with Club de Sports de Megève – every Tuesday during the school holidays;

Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th December – Marché de Noēl aux Contamines – l’Espace Animation des Contamines-Montjoie10h to 20h – 30 artisans, hot chocolate, mulled wine, oyster tasting, folkloric dancing, Santa Claus photos;

© Les Contamines-Montjoie Tourisme

until Thursday 28th December Village de Noël La Grenette & centre of town Samoëns – 16h to 19h30;

© samoens.com

until 24th DecemberBonjour l’Hiver (22ème Festival des Arts de la Rue) Annemasse – theatre groups, games, processions, Village de Noël/Marché de Noël (35 stands) on place de l’Hôtel de Ville, with ice-skating rink / La Journée du Père Noël today from 15h! / Action Solidaire: deposit new and used books at Crédit Mutuel d’Annemasse situées 8 rue Charles Dupraz (next to la Place des Marchés) – the books will then be given to children at the hospital / ice-skating rink: 23rd and 24th December, and then 26th December until 6th January from 10h to 19h/20h (Friday & Saturday);

© annemasse.fr

Saturday 23rd December – Marché de Noël – Place du Tilleul – Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval – from 15h;

 

© Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval

until 25th DecemberLe Big Barouf du Père Noël Bonneville – listen to Christmas tales, warm up next to a fire . . .

© Bonneville Animations © Bonneville Animations
© Bonneville Animations © Bonneville Animations

weekends until March 2018Winter activities at Téléphérique du Salève – Téléphérique du Salèveraquettes hire for snow-shoe circuits, luges, ice-skating rink . . . / until March 2018;

© Téléphérique Salève

all year – 🎄Le Hameau du Père Noël🎄 – it might be open ALL YEAR round, but the festive spirit at Le Hameau du Père Noel can be truly felt in this run-up to Christmas! Visit the home of Santa, the elves’ workshop, see Santa’s sleigh, maybe his reindeer . . . La Maison du Père Fouettard (Santa’s grumpy brother) and La Chaumière de la Mère Noël . . . and a post-box for letters to Santa and a little Christmas shop! / more information: www.lepetitpays.com / good to know: buggies are not permitted inside the houses for safety reasons (you will have to leave them in the buggy park); Le Grenier des Totottes – if you have a baby/toddler dummy that you would desperately like to convince your youngster to stop using, then perhaps a visit here is the opportunity? He/She can hang it in the renovated Le Grenier des Totottes! and NEW for 2017 – in return for each tototte, a meal is offered to a Cambodian child in need, part of «Pour un sourire d’Enfant» / address: 75 rue des Alouettes, 74350, Saint-Blaise, tel: 04 50 32 73 64;

© Le Hameau du Père Noel

until 7th January – 🎄Noël des Alpes🎄 – Annecy –  illuminations, Marchés de Noël, ice-skating rink . . . / more information & programme: here;

© Annecy Noel

until 30th December – 🎄Marché de Noël🎄 – Place CarnotLyon – more information: www.marche-noel-lyon.fr / with ice-skating rink / Friday & Saturday evening – until 21h / ❤️Coup de Coeur❤️ Lyon is particularly atmospheric at Christmastime, and the market is lovely . . . . we headed there for a weekend in late November one year and managed to fit in a visit to the beautiful village of Pérouges / good to know: wrap up warmly, as the winter wind bites in Lyon!

© Marché de Noel de Lyon

until 7th January 2018 – Le Fabuleux Village ou la Légende des Flottins – Evian every day from 15h to 19h if you fancy a change from Christmas markets, this event is perhaps for you? The legend of fairy folks from the Alps, washed up on driftwood in Evian . . . . and a legend involving Santa paying them a visit . . . / during 3 weeks, Evian will be filled with actors, storytellers, musicians, circus performers and sculptors / events: 23rd, 28th, 29th, 30th December and 4th to 6th January – go for a ride on a solar electric boat on Lac Léman! (reservations: 04 50 75 04 26) / 24th December – Santa leaves Evian again! / 7th January –  the Flottins leave Evian until next year! / see here for more details;

until 24th December – Village de Noël – Thônes;

© Thones Tourisme

until 7th January 2018 – 🎄Cirque de Noël🎄PlainpalaisGeneva price: CHF 25 to 55 (all tickets for show at 18h CHF 25)  / more information: +41 (0)22 321 22 41 079 318 40 50 or www.cirque-de-noel.ch or info@cirque-de-noel.ch;

© Cirque de Noel Genève

until 14th January 2018 🎄«Geneva Lux» Festival de Lumières🎄 Ile de Rousseau – Geneva – this light festival debuted in 2014 / Swiss and international light artists, with installations made for Geneva during this festive period / FREE / website;

© Geneva LUX

until 24th December – 🎄Montreux Noël🎄Montreux – from the lakeside of Lac Léman, to the Château de Chillon and above to the mountainside village of Rochers-de-Naye, Montreux Noël is a festive destination for the whole family (MBFF went last year and loved it!) / the Christmas market, the Village des Lutins and the Big Wheel on the water’s edge, the house of Père Noël up above in Rochers-de-Naye / Santa, with his sledge and reindeer, makes an appearance each evening above your heads at 17h, 18h and 19h / Portugal as guest of honour this year / good to know: the market does get very busy in the evenings, so do take due care with children and pushchairs! / when we went to Montreux Noël last year, we ended up parking at Gambetta and decided to walk down the lakeside towards the market . . . it took about an hour, but there were playgrounds and sculptures along the way, and it really was lovely (shiny and twinkly all the way!) . . . on the way back to the car, we took the bus / wrap up warmly for the Big Wheel / website: www.montreuxnoel.com / for parking/transport information, see here;

until 31st December -🎄«Festival Lausanne Lumières»🎄(6ème édition)Lausanne – discover Lausanne in “another light” – light installations in the centre of Lausanne / website: http://www.festivallausannelumieres.ch;

© Festival Lausanne Lumières

until 31st December – 🎄 Bô Noêl (Marchés de Noêl de Lausanne)🎄 – Lausanne – covered market of St-François and more . . .  / website;

until 7th January 2018 – Mercatino di Natale (Marché Vert Noël)Aosta – a Christmas village within the Roman archaeological site of Aosta – address: area del Teatro Romano, city centre of Aosta / good to know: if you head to Aosta for its Christmas market, there is a wonderful playground in the streets behind the Roman theatre (see post Christmastime for photos);

© Aosta Noel
© Aosta Noel

🎄Christmas Eve🎄

until 30th DecemberVillage de Noël Place Balmat  Chamonix10h to 20h – market made up of numerous little wooden chalets: artisans, producers (decorations, sweet products, spices, presents, teas and tisanes, local food products) / animations, spectacles, parades, letters to Santa / visit Santa from 15h to 19h;

© chamonix.com

© chamonix.com

Sunday 24th DecemberSanta arrives at Plaine -Joux – 14h to 18h – a goûter offered by L’Office de Tourisme de Passy and the Village Vacances Guébriant in a magical Christmas setting!

© Plaine-Joux

until 7th January 2018🎄Les Festivités de Noël à Sallanches🎄 – Sallanches the Village de Noël (pretzels, pain d’épices & mulled wine) / ice-skating at La Grenette / spectacles on Wednesdays, rides around town in the calèche, letterbox to post your letter to Santa on the Place Charles Albert & creative workshops on Saturdays / illumination of the Christmas tree on Place de l’Ancienne Poste / opening of the advent calendar at the l’Hôtel de Ville every Saturday evening . . . 

Sunday 24th DecemberBalade en calèche – Place Grenette (departure) – Sallanches14h to 17h30;

Sunday 24 DecemberCalendrier de l’Avent: départ du Père Noel – Hotel de Ville – Sallanches17h;

© Office de Tourisme, Sallanches

Sunday 24th DecemberOpening night of outdoor ice-skating rinkPatinoire de Comblouxin front of MairieCombloux – FREE for this night!

© combloux.com

Sunday 24th DecemberChristmas Eve MassEglise St NicolasCombloux18h;

Sunday 24th DecemberVisit from Santa – centre of Cordon – Cordon17h30;

© http://www.savoie-mont-blanc.com

Sunday 24th December – Noël à Saint GervaisPromenade du Mont-Blanc and MJCSaint-Gervais-les-Bainsfrom 15h – face-painting, balloon-sculpting, Santa, Charlotte la Marmotte / 17h15: rendez-vous in front of MJC for parade of local associations / 18h – Grand goûter de Noël on Promenade du Mont-Blnac, offered by Tourist Office, with music from Florian d’Animation Sonic / remember that the centre of Saint-Gervais will be pedestrianised over the holidays;

© Saint-Gervais-les-Bains Tourisme

from Sunday 24th to Friday 29th DecemberVillage de Noël & outdoor ice-skating rinkEsplanade de la PatinoireMegève14h to 19h – you can sign up for the workshops on-site / ice-skating rental on-site / see megeve.com for more details;

© Megève

from Sunday 24th to Friday 29th December Festival Magie de Noël Praz-sur-Arly – demonstrations and workshops with Felix, French champion of magic! / Sunday 24th December, 18h to 19h: magic demonstrations; Monday 25th, Tuesday 26th, Wednesday 27th & Thursday 28th December from 14h30 to 16h: workshops to learn magic; 

© prazsurarly.com
© prazsurarly.com

Sunday 24th December – Marché de Noēl aux Contamines – l’Espace Animation des Contamines-Montjoie10h to 20h – 30 artisans, hot chocolate, mulled wine, oyster tasting, folkloric dancing, Santa Claus photos;

© Les Contamines-Montjoie Tourisme

until Thursday 28th December Village de Noël La Grenette & centre of town Samoëns – 16h to 19h30;

© samoens.com

until 25th DecemberLe Big Barouf du Père Noël Bonneville – listen to Christmas tales, warm up next to a fire . . .

© Bonneville Animations © Bonneville Animations
© Bonneville Animations © Bonneville Animations

weekends until March 2018Winter activities at Téléphérique du Salève – Téléphérique du Salèveraquettes hire for snow-shoe circuits, luges, ice-skating rink . . . 

© Téléphérique Salève

all year – 🎄Le Hameau du Père Noël🎄 – it might be open ALL YEAR round, but the festive spirit at Le Hameau du Père Noel can be truly felt in this run-up to Christmas! Visit the home of Santa, the elves’ workshop, see Santa’s sleigh, maybe his reindeer . . . La Maison du Père Fouettard (Santa’s grumpy brother) and La Chaumière de la Mère Noël . . . and a post-box for letters to Santa and a little Christmas shop! / more information: www.lepetitpays.com / good to know: buggies are not permitted inside the houses for safety reasons (you will have to leave them in the buggy park); Le Grenier des Totottes – if you have a baby/toddler dummy that you would desperately like to convince your youngster to stop using, then perhaps a visit here is the opportunity? He/She can hang it in the renovated Le Grenier des Totottes! and NEW for 2017 – in return for each tototte, a meal is offered to a Cambodian child in need, part of «Pour un sourire d’Enfant» / address: 75 rue des Alouettes, 74350, Saint-Blaise, tel: 04 50 32 73 64;

© Le Hameau du Père Noel

until 7th January – 🎄Noël des Alpes🎄 – Annecy –  illuminations, Marchés de Noël, ice-skating rink . . . / more information & programme: here;

© Annecy Noel

until 30th December – 🎄Marché de Noël🎄 – Place CarnotLyon – more information: www.marche-noel-lyon.fr / with ice-skating rink / Friday & Saturday evening – until 21h / ❤️Coup de Coeur❤️ Lyon is particularly atmospheric at Christmastime, and the market is lovely . . . . we headed there for a weekend in late November one year and managed to fit in a visit to the beautiful village of Pérouges / good to know: wrap up warmly, as the winter wind bites in Lyon!

© Marché de Noel de Lyon

until 7th January 2018 – Le Fabuleux Village ou la Légende des Flottins – Evian every day from 15h to 19h if you fancy a change from Christmas markets, this event is perhaps for you? The legend of fairy folks from the Alps, washed up on driftwood in Evian . . . . and a legend involving Santa paying them a visit . . . / during 3 weeks, Evian will be filled with actors, storytellers, musicians, circus performers and sculptors / events: 28th, 29th, 30th December and 4th to 6th January – go for a ride on a solar electric boat on Lac Léman! (reservations: 04 50 75 04 26) / *Santa leaves Evian today!* / 7th January –  the Flottins leave Evian until next year! / see here for more details;

until 24th December (last day) – Village de Noël – Thônes;

© Thones Tourisme
until 7th January 2018🎄Cirque de Noël🎄PlainpalaisGeneva price: CHF 25 to 55 (all tickets for show at 18h CHF 25)  / more information: +41 (0)22 321 22 41 079 318 40 50 or www.cirque-de-noel.ch or info@cirque-de-noel.ch;
© Cirque de Noel Genève

until 14th January 2018 🎄«Geneva Lux» Festival de Lumières🎄 Ile de Rousseau – Geneva – this light festival debuted in 2014 / Swiss and international light artists, with installations made for Geneva during this festive period / FREE / website;

© Geneva LUX

Sunday 24th December Noël à Carouge Sunday shoppingCarougeSwitzerland – the Christmas market has happened already, but it is still festive to head to Carouge for Sunday shopping (the shops will be open in the run-up to Chrismas) / there is also an ice-skating rink! / ❤️Coup de Coeur❤️ If you have never visited Carouge, then Chritmastime is a lovely time to head there . . . it is considered as the “Greenwich Village” of Geneva . . . architecture showing its Sardinian roots: terraces, and passageways, boutique shops, lovely cafés and restaurants;

Noel à Carouge © carouge.ch

until 24th December (last day!) – 🎄Montreux Noël🎄Montreux – from the lakeside of Lac Léman, to the Château de Chillon and above to the mountainside village of Rochers-de-Naye, Montreux Noël is a festive destination for the whole family (MBFF went last year and loved it!) / the Christmas market, the Village des Lutins and the Big Wheel on the water’s edge, the house of Père Noël up above in Rochers-de-Naye / Santa, with his sledge and reindeer, makes an appearance each evening above your heads at 17h, 18h and 19h / Portugal as guest of honour this year / good to know: the market does get very busy in the evenings, so do take due care with children and pushchairs! / when we went to Montreux Noël last year, we ended up parking at Gambetta and decided to walk down the lakeside towards the market . . . it took about an hour, but there were playgrounds and sculptures along the way, and it really was lovely (shiny and twinkly all the way!) . . . on the way back to the car, we took the bus / wrap up warmly for the Big Wheel / website: www.montreuxnoel.com / for parking/transport information, see here;

until 31st December -🎄«Festival Lausanne Lumières»🎄(6ème édition)Lausanne – discover Lausanne in “another light” – light installations in the centre of Lausanne / website: http://www.festivallausannelumieres.ch;

© Festival Lausanne Lumières

until 31st December – 🎄 Bô Noêl (Marchés de Noêl de Lausanne)🎄 – Lausanne – covered market of St-François and more . . .  / website;

until 7th January 2018 – Mercatino di Natale (Marché Vert Noël)Aosta – a Christmas village within the Roman archaeological site of Aosta – address: area del Teatro Romano, city centre of Aosta / good to know: if you head to Aosta for its Christmas market, there is a wonderful playground in the streets behind the Roman theatre (see post Christmastime for photos);

© Aosta Noel
© Aosta Noel

Sunday 24th December – Rhémy de Noël, le Père Noël de CourmayeurCourmayeur Italy – Rhémy, Courmayeur’s Santa (with a legend attached!) / see here for more

© http://www.lovevda.it

🎄Christmas Day🎄

until 30th DecemberVillage de Noël Place Balmat  Chamonix10h to 20h – market made up of numerous little wooden chalets: artisans, producers (decorations, sweet products, spices, presents, teas and tisanes, local food products) / animations, spectacles, parades, letters to Santa;

© chamonix.com

Monday 25th December – Les LutinsPlace Balmat & rues piétonnes et village de Noël – Chamonix – 

© chamonix.com

Monday 25th December – Spectacle: «Mozza et Rosalie» (animation sur piste)  Domaine Skiable du Prarion (bottom of ski pistes)  Les Houches 14h – FREE!

© Les Houches Tourisme

until 7th January 2018🎄Les Festivités de Noël à Sallanches🎄 – Sallanches the Village de Noël (pretzels, pain d’épices & mulled wine) / ice-skating at La Grenette / spectacles on Wednesdays, rides around town in the calèche, creative workshops on Saturdays . . .

© Office de Tourisme, Sallanches

Monday 25th DecemberChristmas MassEglise St NicolasCombloux9h30;

Monday 25th DecemberOutdoor ice-skating rinkPatinoire de Comblouxin front of MairieCombloux – see Tourist Office for prices!

© combloux.com

until Friday 29th DecemberVillage de Noël & outdoor ice-skating rinkEsplanade de la PatinoireMegève14h to 19h – you can sign up for the workshops on-site / ice-skating rental on-site / see megeve.com for more details;

© Megève

until Friday 29th December Festival Magie de Noël Praz-sur-Arly – demonstrations and workshops with Felix, French champion of magic! /  Monday 25th, Tuesday 26th, Wednesday 27th & Thursday 28th December from 14h30 to 16h: workshops to learn magic; 

© prazsurarly.com
© prazsurarly.com

until Thursday 28th December Village de Noël La Grenette & centre of town Samoëns – 16h to 19h30;

© samoens.com

until 25th December (last day)Le Big Barouf du Père Noël Bonneville – listen to Christmas tales, warm up next to a fire . . .

© Bonneville Animations © Bonneville Animations
© Bonneville Animations © Bonneville Animations

all year – 🎄Le Hameau du Père Noel🎄 – visit the home of Santa, the elves’ workshop, see Santa’s sleigh, maybe his reindeer . . . La Maison du Père Fouettard (Santa’s grumpy brother) and La Chaumière de la Mère Noël . . . and a post-box for letters to Santa and a little Christmas shop! / more information: www.lepetitpays.com / good to know: buggies are not permitted inside the houses for safety reasons (you will have to leave them in the buggy park); Le Grenier des Totottes – if you have a baby/toddler dummy that you would desperately like to convince your youngster to stop using, then perhaps a visit here is the opportunity? He/She can hang it in the renovated Le Grenier des Totottes! and NEW for 2017 – in return for each tototte, a meal is offered to a Cambodian child in need, part of «Pour un sourire d’Enfant» / address: 75 rue des Alouettes, 74350, Saint-Blaise, tel: 04 50 32 73 64;

© Le Hameau du Père Noel

until 7th January – 🎄Noël des Alpes🎄 – Annecy – illuminations, Marchés de Noël, ice-skating rink . . . / more information & programme: here;

© Annecy Noel

until 30th December – 🎄Marché de Noël🎄 – Place CarnotLyon – more information: www.marche-noel-lyon.fr / with ice-skating rink / Friday & Saturday evening – until 21h / ❤️Coup de Coeur❤️ Lyon is particularly atmospheric at Christmastime, and the market is lovely . . . . we headed there for a weekend in late November one year and managed to fit in a visit to the beautiful village of Pérouges / good to know: wrap up warmly, as the winter wind bites in Lyon!

© Marché de Noel de Lyon

until 7th January 2018 – Le Fabuleux Village ou la Légende des Flottins – Evian every day from 15h to 19h if you fancy a change from Christmas markets, this event is perhaps for you? The legend of fairy folks from the Alps, washed up on driftwood in Evian . . . . and a legend involving Santa paying them a visit . . . / during 3 weeks, Evian will be filled with actors, storytellers, musicians, circus performers and sculptors / events: 28th, 29th, 30th December and 4th to 6th January – go for a ride on a solar electric boat on Lac Léman! (reservations: 04 50 75 04 26) / 7th January –  the Flottins leave Evian until next year! / see here for more details;

until 7th January 2018 – 🎄Cirque de Noël🎄PlainpalaisGeneva price: CHF 25 to 55 (all tickets for show at 18h CHF 25)  / more information: +41 (0)22 321 22 41 079 318 40 50 or www.cirque-de-noel.ch or info@cirque-de-noel.ch;