It’s that time of year when the ⛸️ seasonal ice-skating rinks ⛸️ begin to appear in town centres throughout le Pays du Mont-Blanc . . . a lovely way to spend some time en famille, or to let the youngsters play with their friends. Sometimes, next to the ice-skating rink, you might find yourself rewarded with a mulled wine stand or small Christmas market!
As well as the ice-skating rinks au Pays du Mont-Blanc, there are plenty in neighbouring France and Switzerland . . .
And don’t forget that the year-round indoor rinks in Chamonix, Saint-Gervais-les-Bains and Megève offer festive fun during the school holidays: Saint-Gervais les Bains – Jardin des Glaces with Charlotte the Marmotte on Tuesdays from 10h to 12h, children from 3-12 years (two accompanying adults max) / an Soirée Givrée (late-night ice-skating) on 27th December and ice-skating gala in Megève on 30th December / ice-hockey matches, figure-skating, curling . . . ) / . . . see MBFF post Ice Skating au Pays du Mont-Blanc for more details;
* What to wear* – it is a good idea to dress very small skaters in their WINTER SUITS, in order to keep them warm and water-proofed (in case/when they fall!) / GLOVES – very important to avoid a skate injuring the hand and to keep hands warm! / HELMET for little ones.
Located in the heart of Les Houches village, this is an outdoor ice-skating rink with a stunning view! It measures 26m x 56m / FREE FRIDAYS «Nocturne Givrée» – FREE ice-skating during school holidays from 20h to 22h (29th December 2017, 5th January, 16th & 23rd February and 2nd & 9th March 2018);
Address: 25 avenue des Alpages, 74310, Les Houches;
Opening hours: from 23rd December 2017 to 7th January 2018, every day from 14h to 20h and Thursday and Friday from 14h to 22h / from 8th January to 9th February 2018, every day from 14h to 18h / from 10th February to 11th March, every day from 14h to 20h and Thursday and Friday from 14h to 22h;
Adults & Children: 2€
Skate hire: 3€
FREE entrance and skate rental for holders of Pass’Sport / FREE skate with Mont-Blanc Unlimited 3 to 21 day pass (skate rental: 3€);
Located opposite the bubble lifts in Vallorcine, in the complex of the Résidence Vallorcine Mont-Blanc, this small ice-skating rink is open to the public during the winter months.
Address: Residence Vallorcine Mont-Blanc, Chef Lieu, 74660, Vallorcine;
Tel: +33 (0)4 50 54 75 20;
Parking: FREE parking at bubble lifts;
Opening hours: Vallorcine’s outdoor rink is open from 17th December 2017 until 31st March 2018, 15h to 19h30;
Price: 5€ (including skate rental) / weekly deal: 39€ for the week for up to 5 people;
Sallanches’ winter ice-skating rink (200m2) opens on Saturday 9th December, as the Festivités de Noël commence, and stays open until 7th January 2018. It is a festive little ice-skating rink located inside La Grenette (the old grain market), within the cute little Marché de Noël. This is an added bonus for adults, as they can have a mulled wine and a pretzel while the little ones skate (if not skating with them, of course!). Or, little ones can warm up after their skating session with a hot chocolate and pretzel! There will be some themed soirées and live music here: La Boum des Enfants on Wednesday 27th December from 15h to 18h30 & Dancing on Ice (for older children) from 18h30 to 21h30; a Gala de Patinage on Saturday 30th December from 18h;
Address: Place de la Grenette, 74700, Sallanches;
Parking: you can park in the underground car park Pré de Foire or in the adjacent streets (some FREE parking nearby in the Lévaud and La Frasse car parks);
Opening hours: from 9th December 2017 to 7th January 2018 / Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays & Fridays 16h30 to 19h / Wednesdays and weekends 10h to 20h / school holidays every day from 10h to 20h / Christmas Day and New Year’s Day from 15h to 19h;
Price (including skate rental):
Adults and children: 3€/hour (including skate hire);
Children under 4 years: 2€/hour;
Combloux’s seasonal offering, “Le Village du Grand Nord” has a fun little ice-skating parcours with white Christmas trees set around the edges (and with mountain animal noises to accompany you as you skate!). If you are accompanying little ones, but not skating, there are hot drinks and snacks to be bought from the little chalets set up for the season in “Le Village du Grand Nord”! It is located in the centre of town, in front of the Mairie/Office de Tourisme. Opening night this year will be on Sunday 24th December, 17h to 19h – FREE!
Address: 49 chemin des Passerands, 74920, Combloux;
Parking: there is FREE parking in the car park opposite;
Opening hours: opening night on Sunday 24th December, 17h to 19h – FREE! / thereafter, every day until 11th March 2018 from 10h to 12h30 and from 15h to 19h;
Price (including skate rental):
Adults and children: 4€ and FREE for under 3s;
Carnet of 10 entrances: 30€;
Season Pass: 50€;
We experienced Megève’s outdoor ice-skating rink for the first time just before Christmas last year. Our 6-year old son had a great time; he could have kept going for hours and we eventually had to drag him away to pick up his younger brother from crèche! The ice-skating rink is located right next to the Puck restaurant/café, which has a sunny terrace – the perfect spot for parents/accompanying adults to have a drink while watching the little ones skate! During the Christmas holidays, the Village de Noël sets up right next to the rink.
Address: place de la Résistance, 74120, Megève;
Opening hours: from 23rd December 2017 to 11th March 2018, from 13h30 to 19h30;
Price (skate-hire NOT included!):
Children: 4.20€, FREE for under 5s!
Skate hire: 3.50€
Hockey: FREE ice-hockey demonstrations for children aged 6 to 9 years every Tuesday from 18h15 during the French school holidays!
Located in the centre of Les Contamines, in Les Loyers, and open from December until late March, you can skate at this semi-natural outdoor ice-skating rink with views of les Dômes de Miage! *New for 2017!* – a playground for children, next to the ice-skating rink, with trampolines! (price: 5€ for 20 minutes);
Address: route de Notre Dame de la Gorge, Les Contamines-Montjoie;
Tel: +33 (0)4 50 47 06 23/04 50 47 01 58;
Opening hours: open from 20th December 2017 until 24th March 2018, 9h30 to 13h and 16h30 to 20h (opening times/dates may vary, depending on the outdoor temperature);
Children: 3€; FREE for under 5s!
Skate hire: 3€
*Discounts for those with a carte d’hôte!*
The ice-skating rink in Cluses is located in the centre of town and hosts plenty of events over the season / see website for more details / NB it is obligatory to wear GLOVES!
Address: place des Allobroges, 74300, Cluses;
Tel: (+33) 07 68 11 69 44;
Opening hours: open from 28th October until 25th March 2018 (opening times/dates may vary, depending on the outdoor temperature);
Children (under 12s): 4€;
Skate hire: 3€
During Annemasse’s winter celebrations «Bonjour L’Hiver» (22ème Festival des Arts de la Rue), an ice-skating rink is set up in the centre of town.
Opening hours: open on 9th, 10th, 13th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 20th, 22nd, 23rd and 24th December, and then 26th December until 6th January from 10h to 19h/20h (Friday & Saturday);
Téléphérique du Salève
From Friday 15th December, the ice-skating rink at the Téléphérique de Salève will be open on weekends and on Wednesdays 3rd January and 14th & 21st February 2018 / from size 26.
Address: Téléphérique du Salève, route du Téléphérique, 74100, Etrembières;
Tel: +33 (0)4 50 39 86 86;
Opening hours: open from 15th December until end of March, weekends Friday to Sunday and some Wednesdays;
Users of téléphérique: 3€ (for the hour);
As part of 🎄Noël des Alpes🎄in Annecy, there is an ice-skating rink . . . / more information & programme: here;
Geneva (Parc des Bastions)
There is an ice-skating rink set up every year in Geneva in the Parc des Bastions, near the Monument de la Réformation. It is FREE to skate and skate rental costs 2 CHF.
Address: Parc des Bastions, Geneva, Switzerland;
Tel: +41 (0)79 445 25 64
Opening hours: until 25th February 2018 / Tuesday to Friday 13h to 19h; Saturday 10h to 20h and Sunday 10h to 18h (shut on Mondays) / during school holidays, Tuesday to Sunday 11h to 19h / shut 25th December, 31st December, 1st and 2nd January 2018;
Ice-skating further afield . . .
*For more information about ice-skating rinks set up within Christmas markets further afield see MBFF’s Christmastime post (La Roche-sur-Foron, Lyon . . .)*
None of the lakes au Pays du Mont-Blanc freeze over solidly enough to allow for ice-skating fun au nature during the winter months . . . however, if ice-skating on a natural lake is something you would like to try out, then website Loisir.ch has a detailed list of some of the offerings of lake skating in Switzerland (among other artificial ice-skating rinks) / see «Top 20 des patinoires de Suisse romande» for more details: Lac de Joux (VD); Lac des Taillères (NE); Lac Noir, Schwarzsee (FR); Lac de Champex (VS);