Summer Holidays – workshops & stages for children au Pays du Mont-Blanc

It will soon be the summer holidays for many of us au Pays du Mont Blanc (what? didn’t the children have most of the month of May off school? I’m personally still recovering from that onslaught!) . . . some of us may be going away, some of us may be staying in the mountains, many of you may be visiting our majestic mountains, valleys and lakes!

So here are some of the workshops and stages on offer to children au Pays du Mont-Blanc over the summer months (art & creativity, sport, outdoors & nature . . . ), to help with your summer planning.  Please check, also, your local sports and theatre clubs.  I shall update this list with any new workshops that I hear about over the next month, and please feel free to send me details of any workshops that you are organising over the summer months!

I am currently writing a separate post listing all of the nearby family festivals over the summer months, as well as some of the regular workshops and activities on offer on a more ad-hoc basis.


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




CAP Loisirs (Chamonix Valley)

In the Chamonix Valley, Cap Loisirs (MJC) offers activities over the summer months / divided into different age groups / see here for more details:

  • P’tits Boutch – PS of maternelle / location: Les Pélerins;
  • Argentière – PS to GS of maternelle / location: Argentière;
  • Servoz – PS to GS of maternelle / location: Servoz;
  • Planard – CE2 to CM2 of école primaire / location: Planard;
  • Balmat – MS of maternelle to CE1 / location: école Balmat;
  • Club Ados – 6ème to 13ème collège & lycée / location: Gare des Glaciers;

inscriptions: residents of the Vallée de Chamonix get priority and can sign up from 1st June (see further dates in flyer below) / you need to pay in full on the day you sign up;



Antenne Jeunes Les Houches

Lots of great summer activities to sign up for at Antenne Jeunes Les Houches (11 to 18 year olds) / website / FB page;


FJEP Passy (Parvis des Fiz, Passy)

Le FJEP – Foyer des Jeunes et d’Education Populaire in Passy is an association offering workshops for children and adults throughout the year, the headquarters being le Parvis des Fiz.  During the summer holidays, there are plenty of workshops on offer, as well as the Parvis des Fiz operating as a daily centre aéré / see  website or FB page for summer programme / contact: 04 50 93 67 11 / address: Parvis des Fiz, 275 rue Arsène Poncet, Passy;

Le Parvis des Fiz Passy © FJEP Passy

les camps de l’été pour les enfants 6 à 17 ans (prices in flyer below):

  • un long séjour in the Drôme – from 16th to 25th July (Secteur Jeunesse) / for 10 to 14 year olds / sports activities;
  • mini-camp Lac Léman – from 20th July to 3rd August / for 6 to 9 year olds / swimming, discovery of medieval town Yvoire and the Jardin des 5 Sens, visit to musée des pompiers, spectacle Aigles du Léman, kermesse, BBQ;
  • mini-camp horse-riding aux Contamines-Montjoie – from 6th to 10th August aux Contamines-Montjoie / for children 8 to 11 years / horses, swimming, hiking . . .
  • nuitée for 3 to 5 year olds – Wednesdays 1st August AND 22nd August – camping in the FJEP gardens (completely fenced in!) / a night away from home, crêpes . . .
FJEP summer stages © FJEP Passy

stage de théatre pour les jeunes de 11 à 15 ans – from Monday 23rd to Friday 27th July, 9h to 16h30 / with Françoise Lagrange / price: 114,50€;

FJEP theatre stages © FJEP Passy


MJC Saint-Gervais 

The excellent MJC (Maison de Jeunesse et Culture) in Saint-Gervais-les-Bains offers plenty of summer workshops and stages / the summer plaquette is now available (see flyers below) / website & FB page for updates;

inscriptions: 4th of June for Saint-Gervais/Les Contamines-Montjoie inhabitants, and 11th June for everyone else!

© MJC Saint-Gervais
MJC Saint-Gervais ©


art & creativity workshops ©
Cat Kartal «Art & Nature» workshops (Chamonix)

Cat Kartal is an artist who lives in the Pays du Mont-Blanc and – as well as running an art studio and producing her own work – she runs the fabulous «Art & Nature» workshops for children (6 to 12 year olds) over the summer holidays.  This summer, she is offering workshops in July and August (daily or weekly options from 10h15 to 17h15).

The aim of these workshops is to complement a walk in nature with creative activities – the perfect balance! (the children produce sketches in-situ, or back in the studio).  My elder son very much enjoyed his week of «Art & Nature» last summer (and this, despite the stage being during the rainiest week of the summer!) / see website and FB page: Cat Kartal – Art&Nature for more details and dates.

inscriptions: from now / see website for more details;

«Art & Nature» planning © Cat Kartal
«Art & Nature» creations ©


L’Etape (Argentière)

The Étape association in Argentière organises creative/nature-based/sports workshops for children (from 7 to 12 years) over the summer holidays, and they are finalising details for these for this summer / more information: 06 78 53 59 06 or FB page l’Etape;

© L’Etape Argentière


Ateliers Créatifs from Atelier Couleurs & Sens (Sallanches) 

Atelier Couleurs & Sens in Sallanches has published its July workshops for children 6 to 17 years / mornings 9h to 12h AND/OR afternoons 13h30 to 16h30 / price: 18€ per day or 11€ for half day and 75€ for the whole week / all equipment supplied / possibility to bring own lunch / reservations: 06 13 64 34 47 / address: (new, more spacious location near Satoriz): 732 rue Général de Gaulle, 74700, Sallanches (1st floor of Buzzolini Publicité) / website;

July workshops © Atelier Couleurs & Sens


Enluminure – L’Atelier Temps de Pigments (Sallanches)

Calligraphy workshops this summer in Sallanches with Temps de Pigments / from 12+ years / see flyer below! / website;

sign up: 06 46 84 06 66 or

© L’Atelier Temps de Pigments


Galerie et Atelier de Miage (Saint-Gervais-les-Bains)

Sandrine offers pottery classes to children (4+ years with accompanying adult) and adults; there is an inter-generational approach at her gallery, which I find inspiring / you can sign up for single lessons during the summer holidays / FB page for more details and prices / to email Sandrine:;


Le Chalet des Créateurs (Saint-Gervais-les-Bains)

Le Chalet des Createurs in Saint-Gervais-les-Bains will be offereing some creative stages for children this summer / see FB page or website for updates / see here for MBFF post about this creative hub for local talent! / address: 900 route de Megève, Lieu- dit Le Robinson, 900 Route de Megève, Lieu- dit Le Robinson, 74170, Saint-Gervais-les-Bains / tel: 04 50 91 46 69 or
06 02 33 11 75;



Le Palais in Megève 

Le Palais in Megève recently published its programme for children’s workshops (4+/5+ years up 13 years) over the summer months / duration: workshops of 3 to 5 days  / creative & sports activites / see online pdf (link below) for dates, prices and more details;

creative activities on offer:

  • dessinateurs en herbes (5 to 7 years); 
  • créa fun (7 to 13 years);
  • fashion design (6 to 17 years);
  • theatre (6 to 12 years);

inscriptions:  from 4th to 10th June, priority given to réinscriptions from 2017/2018 / from 11th June at 17h30, inscriptions open to everyone;

*NB – for more options (sport stages, teenager stages), see sections below*


Globule Radio workshops (Chamonix)

The Globule Radio workshops in Chamonix allow children (8 to 15 years) to discover the different aspects of radio broadcasting (behind the scenes and on-air), and to put together their own radio programme / over July and August, there will be 3 workshops, each one-week long / themes of workshops: culture, environment, local life, métiers de la vallée / bonus workshop:  «Contes et histoires pour enfants» / all the details of these workshops to be found on the Globule Radio website and FB page / these workshops come highly recommended by a friend! / more information: 07 63 62 92 69;

insciptions: sign up from 7th June 2018;

© Globule Radio


«Le Petit Photographe» by Byzance Photo Reportages (Saint-Gervais-les-Bains)

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

© Byzance Photos Reportages


sport, nature & outdoors ©
Vallogrimp’ climbing (Chamonix Valley)

Vallogrimp’ is a popular climbing school offering various climbing workshops (including canyoning and alpinism) for children (4+ years) over the summer holidays in the Chamonix Valley.  The inscriptions day has been and gone, but you can contact them to see if there is still availability (there was still availability yesterday!) / see website for dates and classes on offer / *NB – you will need to hire or buy all of your own equipment for these workshops* / *good to knowdecouverte canyoning avec Vallogrimp every Friday (9+ years) during the summer holidays (more information on website;


Coco Grimpe climbing (Chamonix Valley)

Coco Grimpe offers climbing workshops of four half-days (Monday to Thursday) for children (4+ years) over the summer holidays (recommendation from Chamonix resident Isobel R, whose son really enjoyed his climbing course last summer!). Christophe Darlot aims to get children to discover climbing by having fun at various sites around the Chamonix Valley: on crags, some cordless bouldering, indoor climbing walls, slack-line . . . / all equipment is provided by Coco Grimpe, except for climbing shoes (can be rented) / see website or FB page for more details;


Alti’Move street dance/street jazz (Chamonix Valley)
Tiphaine will let us know soon if there will be any Alti’Move stages this summer . . . meanwhile, there will be Zumba en plein air in July! / follow updates on FB page / also, spectacle de fin d’année on Saturday 16th June at 20h at the Espace Olca in Les Houchesaddress: Association Alti’Move, 31 chemin du Viaduc, 74310, Les Houches;
© Alti’Move Chamonix
Le Palais in Megève 

There will also be sports stages on offer at Le Palais in Megève over the summer holidays / workshops of 3 to 5 days, for children aged 4+/5+ years up to 13 years & teenagers / see online pdf (link above or below) for dates and details / website and tel: 04 50 58 77 58;

  • *NEW* warrior kids (6 to 12 years);
  • acrobatics (5 to 12 years) – 3 days;
  • yoga (4 to 12 years) – 3 days;
  • sports collectifs (4 to 12 years) – 3 days;
  • judo (4 to 12 years) – 3 days;
  • acro-équlibre (5 to 12 years) – 3 days;
  • circus (5 to 12 years) – 5 days;
  • dance  (4 to 11 years) – 5 days;
  • swimming (5 to 12 years) – 5 days;
  • tennis (3 to 13 years);
  • ice-skating (5 to 12 years);

inscriptions:  from 4th to 10th June, priority given to réinscriptions from 2017/2018 / from 11th June at 17h30, inscriptions open to everyone;

stages for teenagers (13 to 17 years) – see section below;

Le Palais, Megève  ©


Le Parc Patrice Dominguez (Les Contamines-Montjoie)

Le Parc Patrice Dominguez is a fabulous activity park in Les Contamines-Montjoie, with plenty of sports and leisure activities on offer, to keep the whole family entertained all day (tennis, biathlon, accrobranche ®, donkey & pony rides, mini-golf, quads, canirando, le parc du chien polaire, golf, climbing, tir à l’arc, a playground, bouncy castles & trampolines, a pedalo lake and a swimming lake!) / and, as well as the daily activities on offer, there are also some stages (tennis, golf) – check website for more details;


Swimming stages au Pays du Mont-Blanc

Many of our local swimming pools au Pays du Mont-Blanc offer swimming stages over the school holidays (one or two weeks of 30mins to 45mins sessions). Here are the swimming pools to contact directly for more information:

  • Chamonix public pool in the Centre Sportif Richard Bozon website;
  • Marlioz swimming pool in Passy – the moniteurs at this Passy swimming pool come highly, highly recommended by MBFF! / website;
  • Sallanches swimming pool – Monday to Friday, in July and August (one week of each month, one hour lesson) / price: 85€ / website;
  • Saint-Gervais-les-Bains swimming pool – website;
  • Megève’s newly renovated pool at Le Palais – see brochure for summer stages above or below;
Piscine extérieure Centre Sportif Richard Bozon Chamonix ©


Golf workshops for children au Pays du Mont-Blanc
Golf workshops for children ©
  • Jean-Claude Bonnaz, from the Golf Club in Chamonix, will be offering weekly or daily golf stages for children (débutants and perfectionnement) in July and August / see his website for dates and prices;
  • try, also, Le Parc Patrice Dominguez in Les Contamines-Montjoie / see here for more details;


Horseriding stages au Pays du Mont-Blanc
Horseriding for children ©

Do check with local horse-riding centres, for updates about summer stages:

  • Le Centre Equestre Mont-Blanc (Les Houches)website;
  • Les Ecuries des Fiz (Le Fayet)website;
  • Les Ecuries d’Antan (Passy)website;
  • Les Ducs de Comblouxwebsite;
  • Le Cheval de Feug (Megève)stages of 5 days for children 4+ years) / see here for more details / address: 255 route du Feug, 74120, Demi-Quartier / tel: 06 09 01 29 43 or 04 50 93 32 89 / website;
  • Le Centre Equestre Les Contamines-MontjoieFB page;


Tennis stages au Pays du Mont-Blanc
Tennis workshops for children ©

Many of the tennis clubs au Pays du Mont-Blanc will offer tennis workshops for children over the summer months . . .

  • Le Tennis Club de Chamonix-Mon-Blanc – will be offering tennis workshops (and SQUASH too!) for 2 to 4 year olds (stages baby tennis), 4 to 6 year olds (stages mini tennis) and for 7 to 17 years olds / duration: 1h to 4h sessions in the morning or afternoon, 5 days a week / booking details in flyer below;
© Tennis Club Chamonix
  • Tennis Club de Passy/Saint Gervaiswebsite;
  • Tennis Club Sallanches – there will be stages on 9th to 13th July / 16th to 20th July / 23rd to 27th July / 27th to 31st August / price: 100€ week (mornings only) and 180€ week (full day) / beginners, intermediate, advanced / website;
  • Stages de Tennis Combloux – the tennis courts in Combloux are next to the Plan d’Eau Biotope / see Combloux Tourisme for more information about summer tennis stages for children;
Tennis Club Sallanches
  • Parc Patrice Dominguez in Les Contamines offers tennis workshops over the summer: stage mini-tennis (4 to 7 year olds), 1 hour per day – 69€; stage enfants from 7 years, 1h30 par per day – 129€ / more information;
© Tennis Les Contamines-Montjoie


VTT stages au Pays du Mont-Blanc
VTT workshops for children ©

The various VTT clubs/associations au Pays du Mont-Blanc offer stages over the summer months, often with practice on the pumptracks too / you can check directly with them for what’s on offer:

  • CS Chamonix VTTwebsite and FB page;
  • Union Cycliste de Passywebsite;
  • Vélo Club Mont-Blancwebsite and FB;
  • MJC Saint-Gervaiswebsite and FB page;
  • Vélo Club Praz-sur-Arlywebsite;
  • Le Parc Patrice Dominguez in Les Contamines-Montjoiewebsite;
  • Ecole de VTT Alain Julliot – it is also worth checking the private VTT school Ecole de VTT Alain Julliot here;



Do check with the Pays du Mont-Blanc football clubs for summer stages:

  • Chamonix FCwebsite;
  • US Mont-Blanc Passy/Saint-GervaisFB page;
  • ASC Sallancheswebsite;
  • Football Club de ComblouxFB page;
  • Football Club de Megève;
© ASC Sallanches


«Le Camp Nordic» with 3D Nordic (Praz-sur-Arly)

Coup de Coeur

I wish I could partake in this stage, but sadly I’m a little too old.  This is a new activitiy for your petits trappeurs from 3D Nordic for this summer: 2 days in the company of their lovely dogs, with a night in a tent! / for children 10 to 12 years / camp location: 1350 metres above Praz-sur-Arly, in the forest, with a Canadian tent and bonfire! / for more details, see website / dates: 7th & 8th July 2018 AND 4th & 5th August 2018  / price: 95€/personne;

skills to be learned during the stage:

  • complicity between the child and his/her designated dog;
  • the responsibility to hydrate, feed, pay attention to dog;
  • team spirit;
  • independence & autonomy;
Le Camp Nordic © 3D Nordic


Stages Pianos Megève
In July and August, children (6+ years) can take piano lessons in Megève (beginners to advanced) in a chalet equipped with 4 pianos! / dates: Sunday 8th to Friday 13th July AND Sunday 5th to Friday 10th August / lessons of 30 minutes each or 1h over 6 days / group lessons, workshops / with Sylvie Chatron-Michaud & her team / prices: see website;
© Stages Piano Megève


You might be interested in sending off your children to the French institution of a colonie de vacances . . . I have not yet done this, but several of my French friends have . . .

Les colonies de vacances have been part of France’s social fabric for nearly 150 years now.  Originally associated with the Protestant church (and the IIIrd Republic) – and aimed at removing children living in urban difficulty, and sending them for a bucolic respite to the countrysie, mountains or seaside – these days colonies de vacances are both secular or religion-based, and vary in length and cost, with different themed-options. 

a little history: les colonies de vacances in France were created in 1880, and since then 60 million French children have taken part in them.  They actually first appeared in neighbouring Switzerland in the 1870s, when a pastor – Wilhelm Bion – placed 68 children from Zürich with mountain-dwelling families for 3 weeks. These Ferien-Kolonien then spread into neighbouring countries, and were also largely led by benevolant Protestants, with the aim of extracting children from the poverty and squalor of their urban industrial life (where diseases like tuberculosis and rickets were rife) and to send them to the fresh air of the countryside, the mountains, the seaside; Edmond Cottinet (“father of the colonies de vacances in France”) did the same for the colonies de vacances in France that Wilhelm Bion had done for the Ferien-Kolonien in Switzerland.  Where the colonies de vacances differed in France from neighbouring Switzerland, was that in France the children were sent together to centres, managed by a specialist, while in Switzerland the children were dispersed amongst country folk. The aim in France was hence to live together and yet to also learn autonomy (these are still visions of the colonies de vacances in modern times!); the ideals of fraternité learned could then be dispersed into wider society, an especially important ideal after two world wars, when it was felt imperative to strengthen links between citizens.  The Républicains of the Troisième République had already established free, secular and compulsory schooling, with Les Lois Ferry; the dual purpose of these lois – to disentangle young French people from the grip of the Catholic church and to convert them to republican ideals, distancing them from monarchical ideals, and to create young individuals who could protect la patrie (the defeat of France against Prussia in 1870 was still very raw in the conscience of the French); les colonies de vacances served to deepen this influence.  By the time of the Front Populaire‘s short, but significant, time at the helm of French politics, les colonies de vacances had grown so much that 220 000 children had taken part; it was decided in 1938 to instate rules.

colonies de vacances in numbers: 100 000 children in 1913; 400 000 in 1948, 1 million in 1955 . . .

l’âge d’or des colos – the number of children partaking in colonies de vacances continued to grow after WW2, and their «âge d’or» came with help from the state in the 50s and 60s . . . and then, from the 1990s, numbers saw a sharp decline and they have halved in the last 20 years. what are the reasons for this? – longer congés payés, mass consumption, individualism, less infrastructure, cheaper holidays for families, price rises . .  these days, there are fewer colonies de vacances available for those in need, and more thematic colonies available for those with adequate means.


  • internet article in Le Figaro: «L’âge d’or des colonies de vacances» (by 
  • article on website of Colonie de Vacances Eva Soleil«Les colonies de vacances : une chambre d’écho de l’Histoire de France» / here;
  • «Histoire des Colonies de Vacances» by Laura Lee Downs Perrin, p433;


BlaBlaKids with La Petite Université Chamonix

La Petite Université Chamonix will be offering English stages this summer – BlaBlaKids / price: 285€/310€ / more information here or FB page / dates: from 9th to 13th July ( 8 to 10 years) and from 30th July to 3rd August (6 to 8 years);

© La Petite Université Chamonix


Jeunes Diplomates Megève

Les Jeunes Diplomates in Megève offer summer camps from 7+ years / address: 126 route de Rochebrune, 74120, Megève / tel: 04 50 90 23 61 / email: / website;


Les Séjours Tranfrontaliers (hiking)

Last week there were still some places available for the Séjours Transfrontaliers de l’Espace Mont-Blanc for this summer (bringing together young people from France, Switzerland & Italy) / for 12 to 15 year olds / contact François Amelot ( / more information;

© Espace Mont-Blanc
© La Communauté de Communes de la Vallée de Chamonix Mont-Blanc


Globule Radio workshops for teenagers (Chamonix)

Globule Radio workshops in Chamonix is offereing teenagers the chance to work with Sirius Plan at the Maison des Artistes / dates: 4th to 7th July / you will find all the details of these workshops on the Globule Radio website and FB page / these workshops come highly recommended by a friend! / more information: 07 63 62 92 69;

insciptions: sign up from 7th June 2018;

© Globule Radio


Antenne Jeunes Les Houches

Lots of great summer activities to sign up for at Antenne Jeunes Les Houches (11 to 18 year olds) / website / FB page;


Session Raft – spécial ado été 2018 stage eau-vive (Chamonix & Passy)

Session Raft offers open-water workshops for teenagers (11 to 17 year olds) over the summer holidays (until 3rd September) – 5 sessions Monday to Friday, half-days of 2h20, mainly mornings / price: 130€ / *NB – participants need to be confident swimmers!* / more information: 04 50 93 63 63 or / website / address Passy: 1871 chemin des Peupliers, 74190, Passy and tel: +33 (0) 450 93 63 63 / address Chamonix: 73 impasse de l’Enclume, 74400, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc and tel: +33 (0) 450 93 63 63;

Stage Ado Session Raft ©


Stage de théatre (FJEP Passy)

For youngsters 11 to 15 years / from Monday 23rd to Friday 27th July, 9h to 16h30 / with Françoise Lagrange / price: 114,50€ / see above for more details about FJEP Passy;

FJEP theatre stage © FJEP Passy


MJC Saint-Gervais 

The excellent MJC (Maison de Jeunesse et Culture) in Saint-Gervais-les-Bains offers plenty of summer workshops and stages for teenagers / website & FB page for updates;

inscriptions: 4th of June for Saint-Gervais/Les Contamines-Montjoie inhabitants, and 11th June for everyone else!

Plaquette ados © MJC Saint-Gervais


Le Palais Megève

Le Palais in Megève has some fabulous creative, sport & outdoor stages on offer this summer for teenagers (pdf leaflet below): 

  • stylisme & création;
  • BD character creation;
  • white-water rafting;
  • paintball;
  • outdoor laser games;
  • fitness;
  • parkour;
  • dance;
  • swimming;
  • tennis;

inscriptions:  from 4th to 10th June, priority given to réinscriptions from 2017/2018 / from 11th June at 17h30, inscriptions open to everyone;


Paintball Experience Megève

Contact Paintball Experience Megève for details about summer stagesprice: 110€ (for 3 days, 2h per day, all equipment included) / address: chemin du Thorbiau, Côte 2000, 74120, Megève / tel: 06 09 81 31 17 / website or FB page;

© Paintball Experience Megève


Les Jeunes au Sommet (Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval)

On the 12th & 13th July, an accompanied walk for 12 to 15 year olds / departure from Passy, a walk to Refuge de Sales, with an overnight in the refuge . . . the following day a walk up to the pointe de Sales / price: 10€ / see here for more details / video presentation;

© Les Jeunes aux Sommets / Asters


Elevation Indoor (parcours indoor)

The last information I had about the summer camps at this freestyle/parcours indoor centre in Neydens was that they were COMPLET / but if interested, it might be fruitful to contact them to see if anyone has dropped out . . . / see here for the programme (week camp or one day) / website;

*NB – the practice of freestyle/parcours is gaining in popularity au Pays du Mont-Blanc!  See Le Palais in Megève’s summer stages for teenagers, and “watch this space” for the area being developed around the pumptrack in Combloux, as there is an outdoor parcours in construction!

© Elevation Indoor


TNA Cable Park (wakeboarding & waterskiing)

It’s worth looking to see if any of the stages at this lake in Arenthon offering wakeboarding and waterskiing have become available . . . / website

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.