CHRISTMASTIME au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

At🎄Christmastime🎄, we are spoiled au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond) with🎄Villages & Marchés de Noël🎄and ⛸ seasonal outdoor ice-skating rinks⛸ too . . . 

For information about 🎄CHRISTMAS MARKETS🎄, see separate post:

For information about SEASONAL ICE-SKATING RINKS, see separate post;

In this post, you will find information about:

  • 🎄the lighting of town and village CHRISTMAS TREES in early December;
  • 🎆 dazzling light shows & installations;
  • 🎅 visits from Santa;
  • 🎄🎅 BIG Christmas events for families (Evian’s «Le Fabuleux Village ou la Légende des Flottins», Le Hameau du Père Noël at Mont-Sion, the Grotto du Père Noël in Rochers-de-Naye, «Noël à Barryland» and more . . . );
  • 🎨 creative holiday-themed workshops;
  • 🎶 a CALENDAR of Christmas concerts, spectacles, déambulations, and storytelling for families;

more information: be sure to check local tourist offices and their website agendas for updated information! *


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-Montjoie & environs 🏔️

🇫🇷 Further France🇫🇷

🇨🇭 Switzerland 🇨🇭

🇮🇹 Italy 🇮🇹


🎄Christmastime CALENDAR au Pays du Mont-Blanc (& beyond)🎄

Here are some of the BIG DATES for families in the advent period . . . (for information about Christmas concerts, spectacles and storytelling, see section below):

🇨🇭 29th November until 13th January 2019 🎆« Geneva Lux »🎆 (centre of Geneva);
🇨🇭 Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd December – « Noël comme au Moyen-Âge » (at the Château de Chillon);
🇫🇷 Sunday 2nd December – « Venez choisir et couper votre sapin » at La Maison Pugin (near Annemasse);
🇨🇭 Sunday 2nd December – « Magie de Noël » (at the Château d’Aigle);
🏔️ Wednesday 5th December – « Nouvelles Illuminations de Noël » (Chamonix);
🇫🇷 Thursday 6th until Sunday 9th December 🎆« Fête des Lumières »🎆 (Lyon);
🇫🇷 Friday 7th & Saturday 8th December – « Lancement des Illumunations de Noël » (Cluses);
🇨🇭 Friday 7th until Sunday 9th December – « Fête de l’Escalade » (Geneva);
🏔️ 🇮🇹 Saturday 8th DecemberLes Pélerins illuminationsSallanches’ illumination du sapin & soirée lancement des festivités de Noël / Megève’s illumination du sapin / Courmayeur’s « Welcome Winter 2019 »;
🇨🇭 Saturday 8th December – « Noël à Barryland » (Musée et Chiens du St Bernard, Martigny);
🇨🇭 Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th December – «Noël comme au Moyen-Âge » (at the Château de Chillon);
🇫🇷 Sunday 9th December – « Venez choisir et couper votre sapin » at La Maison Pugin (near Annemasse);
🇫🇷 Friday 14th Decemberarrival of Les Flottins at Evian’s « Le Fabuleux Village ou la Légende des Flottins »;
🇨🇭 Saturday 15th & Sunday 16 December – « Noël comme au Moyen-Âge » (at the Château de Chillon);
🇫🇷 Sunday 16th December – « Venez choisir et couper votre sapin » at La Maison Pugin (near Annemasse);
🇫🇷 Sunday 16th December – « Grandes Fêtes Médiévales et Vikings » (La Roche-sur-Foron);
🇫🇷 Sunday 16th December – 🎄« Noël en Savoie »🎄(Ecomusée du Lac d’Annecy, Sévrier);
🏔️ from Saturday 22nd until 29th December 🎄🎅 Noël à Combloux 🎅
🏔️ Sunday 23rd December🎅 Santa arrives in Les Houches!🎅
🏔️ Monday 24th December🎅 various parades & 🎅Santa arrivals au Pays du Mont-Blanc (see below) . . . Chamonix, Passy Plaine-JouxCordonMegève, Praz-sur-Arly, Les Contamines-Montjoie . . .🎅;
🏔️ from Monday 24th December until 29th December – 🎄Village de Noël🎄(Megève);
🏔️ Wednesday 26th December 🎆 « Fête des Lumières » 🎆 (Saint-Gervais-les-Bains);
🏔️ Thursday 27th December & 1st January 2019 – « Balade aux lampions » (Cordon);
🏔️ Friday 28th December – « Parade Lumineuse » (Chamonix);
🏔️ Sunday 30th December – « Parade Chorégraphiée » (Chamonix);
🏔️ Sunday 30th December – ⛸ « Glide »  (indoor patinoire, Megève);
🏔️ Wednesday 2nd January – « Parade sur échasses » (Chamonix);
🏔️ Friday 4th January – « Déambulation Lumineuse » (Chamonix);

Au Pays du Mont-Blanc, there are special events planned for the🌲ILLUMINATION du SAPIN🌲in:

  • Chamonix – on Wednesday 5th December in centre & 8th December in Les Pélerins;
  • and Sallanches & Megève on the same evening: Saturday 8th December (so you’ll have to choose which event to attend!):
Chamonix

🌲Chamonix has brand new Christmas lights this year, spread across the different quartiers . . . a 10m high sapin will adorn the Triangle de l’Amitié, decorated with the sportsfolk of the town (skiers, hockey players, alpinists!) . . . and other symbols of the mountains (skis and télécabines) will be placed around town / when? on Wednesday 5th December, with children meeting in place du Mont-Blanc from 17h15 and light sticks handed out . . . parade leaving at 17h30 with Batacuda de Nino (EMDI teacher and students) and a show from Felix, vin chaud and papillotes for all!

© Mairie de Chamonix

🌲In Les Pélerins, there will be the illuminations of « Noēl » and the inauguration of the new place / when? on Saturday 8th December, 16h30 to 18h30 / where? at Place des Séracs (Les Pélerins);

© Mairie de Chamonix and commerçants de quartier
Sallanches

🌲Sallanches’ illumination du sapin & soirée lancement des festivités de Noël 🌲is a family affair – children are given lanterns and there is music . . . the Village de Noël also opens this same evening, so you can head there afterwards for a vin chaud! / when? Saturday 8th December, from 18h next to sapin / where? sapin (Place de l’ancienne Poste) . . . then be guided by music, lights and performers to the Pré de Foire for a spectacle: « Cabaret de Noël » at 19h;

Megève

🌲Megève has hosted🌲a majestic Christmas tree in its town centre🌲for the last 50 years . . . and there is a special illumination event! / *good to know – be aware that this event attracts many people and it does get very busy!* / when? Saturday 8th December, at 19h30 / where? Place du Village;

🎄In Cluses, there will be les lancement des illuminations de Noel on Friday 7th December, Place Charles de Gaulles and on Saturday 8th December, Square Pierre Vallet, La Sardagne

🎄For information about Courmayeur’s lighting of the Christmas tree event: « Welcome Winter 2019 » (also on Saturday 8th December), see below . . .

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Your own🎄Christmas tree . . . 

Choosing your own Christmas tree to take home and decorate is a lovely family tradition . . . and to make an event of choosing and cutting down your own🌲sapin, there is the Christmas tree plantation La Maison Pugin, in Reignier (near Annemasse) – the first THREE Sundays in December are reserved for families, so along with «venez choisir et couper votre sapin», there are workshops and games organised for children, to make for a special and festive day! / you can also meet the prized 🐑 animal friends of the plantation! /🎄price of sapins: from 25€ / when? Sundays 2nd, 9th AND 16th December / address: Maison Pugin, Arculinge, Reignier-Esery (follow signposts from centre of Reignier) / for more information, see website / read more about La Maison Pugin in MBFF post;

© La Maison Pugin

There are some very impressive 🎆 light shows and installations organised au Pays du Mont-Blanc and beyond over the advent and Christmas period . . .

Saint-Gervais-les-Bains – 🎆« Fête des Lumières »🎆

Inspired by Lyon’s 🎆« Fête des Lumières »🎆, Saint-Gervais has hosted its own smaller 🎆« Fête des Lumières »🎆 since 2016! / several light installations are placed around town (the church, Place du Village, Maison Forte de Hautetour, Esplanade Marie Paradis) / the centre of town is pedestrianised over the Christmas holidays, making a visit even more enjoyable / when? Wednesday 26th December until 1st January 2019, 17h30 to 22h30;

© Saint-Gervais-les-Bains Tourisme

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Avoriaz – 🎆« Féerie de Lumières »🎆

The 🎆« Féerie de Lumières »🎆 in Avoriaz is a magical light show installed for Christmas and New Year . . . three weeks of animations and spectacles (light paths in the snow, illuminated sledge runs, 🎆 fireworks and more) / for more information, see herewhen? from 17th December to 6th January 2019;

Féérie des Lumières © Avoriaz Tourisme

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Lyon – 🎆« Fête des Lumières »🎆

🎆« La Fête des Lumières »🎆 is an annual event in Lyon, attracting visitors from all over France (and the world) . . . in December every year, the whole city of Lyon is transformed into a theatre of light, with many of the principal monuments lit in resplendent colour, and different districts of the city embellished with light creations. To read about this year’s themes and creations, see website / *NOTE – Lyon is very busy for this event, so do take due care with small children/pushchairs!* / when? Thursday 6th until Sunday 9th December, from 20h to midnight;

© La Fête des Lumières Lyon

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Geneva – 🎆« Geneva Lux »🎆 (centre of Geneva)

🎆« Geneva Lux» Festival de Lumières🎆 is a light festival that debuted in 2014 in Geneva / Swiss and international light artists create installations made specifically for Geneva during this festive period / more information: on website / when? from 29th November 2018 until 13th January 2019;

© Geneva Lux

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Lausanne – 🎆« Lausanne Lumières »🎆 (7ème édition)

Discover Lausanne in “another light” during this light festival . . . light installations are created in the centre of town (places: de la Gare, de la Louve and de l’Europe) / website: here / when? from 22nd November until 31st December (same dates as Bô Noël Christmas markets);

© Lausanne Lumières

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Courmayeur (Italy) – 🎆« Welcome Winter 2019 »🎆

Music, town lights,🎄lighting of the giant Christmas tree, and 🎇 FIREWORKS . . . the official start of the winter season in this Italian ski town! / when? Sunday 8th December, from 18h / where? historic centre of Courmayeur,

« Welcome Winter 2019 » © Courmayeur Tourisme

Whether residing au Pays du Mont-Blanc, or visiting as a tourist over the Yuletide, there are plentiful events for the whole family . . .

AU PAYS DU MONT BLANC

Chamonix

 « 1980: Patinage Artistique de Chamonix » – an ice-skating show at the patinoire de Chamonix / when? Friday 14th December at 18h30 / FREE!

© Chamonix Patinage Artistique

🎅 « La Parade de Noël » – there will be festive, light-filled déambulations (parades) on Christmas Eve through the streets of Chamonix: La Brigade des Jouets (burlesque and musical), the delicate Les Jouets Blancs, and Céleste (who glides like a gentle caress 9 metres above the public!) . . . and an appearance from 🎅 Le Père Noël himself . . . / see chamonix.com for more details / when? Monday 24th December, from 18h / where? departure Place Balmat, to arrive under the enourmous sapin of la Place du triangle de l’Amitié;

Christmas Eve Service (Culte de la Veille de Noël) – at 18h30 at the Eglise Réformée in Chamonix AND Culte de Noël on 25th December at 10h30 (en français, with English translation);

🎆 

🎆 « Parade Chorégraphiée » when? on Sunday 30th December;

🎆 « Déambulation sur échasses »  when?  Wednesday 2nd January;

🎆 « Déambulation Lumineuse »  when?  Wednesday 4nd January;

© Chamonix Travelling Crib

 

Le Musée Alpin – there will be workshops & guided tours for children and families over the holidays . . . / see FB page or Chamonix Tourist Office AGENDA for more details;

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Les Houches 

🎅 L’Arrivée du Père Noël – arrives in the place du village on Sunday 23rd December . . .

© Les Houches Tourisme

« Snow-Lanta » – a family event (like TV adventure game – lots of different tasks, like making a cabane) / organised by Office de Tourisme and ESF Les Houches / where? Lac des Chavants, Les Houches / when? Friday 28th December from 14h to 16h (with prizes and goûter offered by Office de Tourisme);

© Les Houches Tourisme

Le Musée Montagnard – there will be workshops for children and families over the holidays . . . see FB page for more details;

LES HOUCHES has a busy winter holiday schedule for families: sledging, Nocturnes Givrées at the patinoire, Tourchet Night Fever, games, treasure hunts, spectacles – see Les Houches Tourist Office website agenda for more details *

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Argentière

« Mercredi Festif » – Félix, a Samuraï with 🔥 flames . . . on 26th December, from 18h . . . and on 2nd January 2019 at 18h, another « Mercredi Festif », this time with Bertox – optical illusions and juggling! (for children 8+ years);

© Argentière Tourisme

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Vallorcine

There is a🎄Marché de Noël🎄on Sunday 2nd December and films for children (see below);

© Vallorcine Mairie

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Servoz

There is a🎄Marché de Noël🎄on Sunday 16th December and a spectacle for families (see below) / * see Servoz Tourist Office website agenda for more family activities *

© Mairie de Servoz

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Passy 

As well as the annual🎄Marché de Noël🎄at the Parvis des Fiz on Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd December, there is . . . 

🎅 Arrivée du Père Noël à Plaine-Joux – on Christmas Eve, from 14h to 17h / the Office de Tourisme and le Village Vacances Guébriant offer you a goûter

🐺« les mercredis des p’tits loups » – every Wednesday at Plaine-Joux from 26th December – from 14h to 16h;

🦌Animations Vacances de Noël Réserve Naturelle de Passy – there are lots of different nature activities (cinema, creative workshops and nature outings at the Réserve Naturelle de Passy at Plaine-Joux) / see FB page for more details;

for more information about family activities over the holidays, see Passy Mont-Blanc Tourist Office WEBSITE AGENDA *

Plaine-Joux © montblancfamilyfun.com

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Sallanches

Sallanches has a very festive and busy🎄Christmas holiday agenda🎄:

🌲«Illumination du sapin & soirée lancement des festivités de Noël»🌲- on Saturday 8th December, from 18h next to sapin on parvis de l’ancienne Poste (see above);

🎄« Les Festivités de Noël à Sallanches »🎄the theme this year is all things CHOCOLATE, with numerous chocolate-themed events and workshops planned :

  • « Charlie et la Chocolaterie »  film on Wednesday 12th December, 15h, at the Salle Léon Curral (reservations at OT de Sallanches);
  • exhibition at the Médiathèque Ange Abrage: « La Chocolaterie Pissard, une histoire à croquer » (until 20th December);
  • chocolate and biscuit workshop on Saturday 15th December AND chocolate cupcake decorating workshop on Saturday 5th January at Place Grenette (reservations OT Sallanches);

🎄In town during the month of féstivités: a Village de Noël (cute little Christmas village, with little wooden cabanes set next to the ice-skating rink at La Grenette – pretzels, pain d’épices & mulled wine) / ice-skating at the patinoire inside La Grenette / spectacles and creative workshops on Wednesdays & Saturdays / storytelling at the Médithèque Ange Abrate / letterbox to post your letter to Santa on the Place Charles Albert / meetings (Wednesdays), photos, calèche with Santa / opening of the advent calendar at the l’Hôtel de Ville every Saturday evening / when?  from 8th December to 6th January 2019;

To see the whole programme of events, look here;

© sallanches.fr
Posting a letter to the Père Noël in Sallanches © montblancfamilyfun.com

Le Parc en Folie softplay – there will be Christmas workshops on offer at this softplay centre in Sallanches / see FB page for more details;

Check with Sallanches’ Couleurs et Sens (art workshops) and Lydie’s Cake (cupcakes) for children’s Christmas workshops . . .

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© Domancy Mairie
Domancy

Saturday 22nd DecemberCirque & Magie from 14h to 17h at the Tour Carrée (with l’Oiseau de Passage)

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Combloux 

Combloux has just announced its prgramme for the « Semaine de Noël à Combloux », from the 22nd until 29th December:

  • Le Père Noël – photo session on Saturday 22nd December from 18h to 18h45, Sunday 23rd December 9h15 to 9h55 and Christmas Eve from 9h15 to 9h55;
  • Atelier: décoration de biscuit de Noël – for children accompanied by an adult, on Christmas Eve, from 14h to 16h;
  • Balade en calèche dans le village – an annual event, Santa and his sleigh in Combloux from 22nd to 24th December;
  • Storytelling: Lis-moi une histoire de Noël – the reading of Christmas books at the bibliothèque on Wednesday 26th December and 2nd January 2019, from 17h to 17h45;
  • Concert de Noël – see below;

To see all of the🎄family events planned for families in Combloux over the Christmas holidays🎄, see Combloux Mont-Blanc Tourist Office WEBSITE AGENDA.

© Combloux Tourisme

🐓 La Ferme les Montagnards GAEC (Ormaret) – visits for FAMILIES on (with a reblochon-making atelier) over the Christmas holidays / see FB page / be sure to book:

  • Wednesday 26th December, 10h to 12h;
  • Thursday 27th December, 14h to 16h;
  • Wednesday 2nd January 2019 10h to 12h;
  • Thursday 3rd January 2019, 14h to 16h;
Collecting eggs at Ferme Les Montagnards © montblancfamilyfun.com

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Cordon

🎅 Le Père Noël – Santa stops off in Cordon on the 24th December at 17h30 . . .

💡« Balade aux lampions » – a magical lantern-lit walk with stories / about 45mins / for children 3+ years (with accompanying adult) / FREE! / 27th December & 1st January, at 18h / reservations required and weather-permitting;

© Cordon Tourisme

* see Cordon Tourisme website agenda for more ideas (ski piste entertainment, dog-sledding . . .) *

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Saint-Gervais-les-Bains

A busy Christmas schedule awaits in the pretty Saint-Gervais-les-Bains!

🎄Marché Gastronomique de Noël🎄« Réveillon’s Nos Papilles » – all you need to organise a Christmas Eve party, culinary demonstrations and plenty of surprise animations! / when? Saturday 22nd & Sunday 23rd December, 10h to 20h or 19h;

Le Jardin  des Glaces – ice-skating for children with Charlotte la Marmottewhere? patinoire, 77 impasse de la Cascade / when? from 26th December to 2nd January 2018, every Tuesday between 10h and midday;

Charlotte la Marmotte © Saint-Gervais-les-Bains

🎇 « La Fête des Lumières » – see above;

« Mercredis des enfants » – workshops and spectacles (at different locations), every Wednesday during the school holidays;

« Les Ptits Créateurs » – workshops for children at La Maison Forte de Hautetour / see Saint Gervais les Bains WEBSITE AGENDA for more details;

Chalet des Créateurs – creative workshops / where? 900 route de Megève, Lieu-dit Le Robinson, 74170,
Saint-Gervais-les-Bains / when? during the school holidays / see website for more details . . .

for more ideas, see Saint Gervais les Bains WEBSITE AGENDA *

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Megève

As well as the spectacular lighting of the Christmas tree in Megève, you will find . . .

🎄Village de Noël🎄and ⛸outdoor ice-skating rink⛸ – Megève’s outdoor ice-skating rink is a lovely place to skate due to its size and location . . . it is very atmospheric, with all the Christmas workshops and decorations in the Village de Noël next door / when? from 24th to 29th December, 14h to 19h / you can sign up for the workshops on-site;🎄

Patinoire à Megève © montblancfamilyfun.com
Village de Noël © Megève Tourisme

🎅 Parade du Père Noël – on 24th December from 19h30 / parade aux flambeaux with Santa in his sleigh, accompanied by his elves and ESF!

© Megève Tourisme

« Ateliers des Lutins » – children’s workshops at Le Palais de Megève / see FB page for more details;

« Glide » – an ice-skating show on 30th December at the indoor patinoire;

Glide © Megève Tourisme

for more ideas, see the Megève Tourist Office WEBSITE AGENDA *

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Praz-sur-Arly 

* see Praz-sur-Arly Tourist Office WEBSITE AGENDA for more information about family activities over the holidays *

🎅 Arrivée du Père Noel avec Draz (the dragon mascot of Praz) – on Monday 24th December, at 15h . . .

Skiing at Praz-sur-Arly © montblancfamilyfun.com

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Les Contamines-Montjoie

Here are the big Christmas dates for your diary:

🎄Marché de Noël – is over the weekend of 22nd & 23rd December, in the Espace Animation;

🎅 Arrivée du Père Noël – 24th December at 18h / spectacle de Noël, with parade aux flambeaux de l’ESF, followed by an appearance from Santa / where? Place du Village;

🎿 La Ruée des Fadas – 8km obstacle course over a weekend (ski, fiesta, race . . . in fancy dress!) / when? Friday 14th to Sunday 16th December / see Les Contamines-Montjoie website to sign up;

for more information about holiday events, see Les Contamines-Montjoie Tourist Office WEBSITE AGENDA *

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FURTHER FRANCE

Cluses –🎄« Noël dans ma ville »🎄

🎄Illuminations (7th and 8th December) and all sorts of animations in Cluses . . . / for full programme of events see here;

when? from 7th to 24th December;

© Ville de Cluses

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Annemasse -🎄« Bonjour l’Hiver »🎄

« 23ème Festival des Arts de la Rue », with Marché de Noël, ice-skating rink and animations . . .

when? from 7th to 24th December;

© Annemasse Animations

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Evian – 🎄« Le Fabuleux Village ou la Légende des Flottins »🎄

If you fancy a change from Christmas markets, this event is perhaps for you? A legend of fairy folks from the Alps (les Flottins), washed up on driftwood in Evian, and also a legend involving Santa paying them a visit . . . / over 3 weeks, Evian is filled with actors, storytellers, musicians, circus performers, sculptors and spectacles! / events: 14th December – arrival of the Flottins, with a light show! . . . 19th to 24th December – 🎅Santa will be in Evian . . . and leaves on the 24th December . . . and the Flottins leave Evian on the 6th January! / for complete programme, see here / when? from 14th December until 6th January 2019, every day from 15h to 19h;

© La Légende des Flottins / Evian Tourisme

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Téléphérique du Salève (Etrembières)

There are plenty of winter activities to enjoy from the top of the Téléphérique du Salève: raquettes and luges for hire, ⛸ an ice-skating rink . . . all with a super view of Geneva and Lac Léman! / see here for more details / when? winter weekends (Friday to Sunday) and some Wednesdays, from 14th December to March;

© Téléphérique du Salève (2017 to 2018 season)

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La Roche-sur-Foron –🎄« La Roche, Rondes et Lumières »🎄

🎄« La Roche Rondes et Lumières »🎄(Les Vikings à l’assaut de la Cité) is for lovers of medieval times! / with an ⛸ ice-skating rink, children’s workshops, oyster bar . . . / when? from 24th November until 6th January 2019 / « Grandes Fêtes Médiévales et Vikings » on 16th December in the afternoon (Les contes d’Elaéra, déambulations dieux et lutins scandinaves, juggling, acrobats, children’s workshops . . . and much more) / full programme here;

© La Roche Rondes et Lumières

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Bonneville -🎄« Le Big Barouf du Père Noël débarque à Bonneville! »🎄

Plenty of animations in Bonneville, with « Le Big Barouf du Père Noël débarque à Bonneville! » / when? from 14th to 23rd December / see here for more details;

© Bonneville Animations

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Saint-Blaise – 🎅 Le Hameau du Père Noël 🤶(Col du Mont-Sion)

It might be known for being OPEN ALL YEAR-ROUND, but the festive spirit at 🎅 Le Hameau du Père Noël 🎅 can truly be felt in this run-up to Christmas! You can visit: the home of Santa, the elves’ workshop, you can see Santa’s sleigh, maybe his 🦌reindeer . . . and let’s not forget La Maison du Père Fouettard (Santa’s grumpy brother, for anglophones!) and La Chaumière de la Mère Noël . . . and there is a post-box for letters to Santa, and a little Christmas shop! / more information, price & opening hours: www.lepetitpays.com / address: 75 rue des Alouettes, 74350, Saint-Blaise / tel: 04 50 32 73 64;

good to know: 

  • Le Hameau du Père Noël is probably most suited for a visit with small children, while they are still full of the magic of Christmas!  It’s possibly not the place to head if your children are edging towards the age of “disbelief”, as more questions might arise . . . “why is Santa here all year round sleeping and not in the North Pole?”;
  • there can often be a very long line in the morning, during the run-up to Christmas!
  • 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 with a 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!
  • Post Box – get your letter ready to send to Santa!
  • there is a crêperie on-site, but in busy periods, do not rely on this to feed your little ones!
© Le Hameau du Père Noel
© Le Hameau du Père Noel

***

Sevrier (Ecomusée du Lac d’Annecy, Lac d’Annecy) -🎄« Noël en Savoie »🎄
At the Ecomusée du Lac d’Annecy on Sunday 16th December, 14h30 à 17h30, a festive afternoon to discover how the Savoyards celebrated Christmas in the past! Animations for young and old, with goûter « maison » / address:place de l’Eglise, Sevrier / FREE !
© Ecomusée du Lac d’Annecy

***

Annecy -🎄« Noël des Alpes »🎄

A visit to Annecy is lovely at any time of year, but at Christmastime it really sparkles, with🎄« Noël des Alpes »🎄: illuminations, animations, workshops, ice-skating rink, son et lumière projected on the Hôtel de Ville (this year The Nutcracker), a🎄Marché de Noël🎄and the🎄Village des Alpes🎄/ more information & programme: here / when? from 23rd November 2018 until 6th January 2019 / where? two different locations in Annecy: Marché de Noël opposite Hôtel de Ville, and Village des Alpes opposite centre commercial Courier;

Noël des Alpes © Lac d’Annecy Tourisme

***

🇨🇭 SWITZERLAND 🇨🇭

« Le Magie de Noël » – Château d’Aigle

For the first Sunday of the Advent, a journée féérique from 10h to 16h at the Château d’Aigle / workshops (no reservation needed): drawing competition, letters to Santa, photo studio, Santa’s workshop, crèche vivante, meetings with Saint Nicolas from 10h30 to 12h and 13h30 to 15h / more workshops  where reservation needed, see website / petite restauration, vin chaud and thé de Noël / reservations: +21 244662130 or info@chateauaigle.ch;

© Château d’Aigle

***

Martigny (Musée et Chiens du St Bernard) – « Noël à Barryland »

🎅« Noël à Barryland » 🎅 – photos with Santa and a Saint Bernard dog, un coin bricolage, animations and Christmas goûter! / when? Saturday 8th December, 10h to 17h / address: Barryland, rue du Levant 34, 1920, Martigny, Switzerland / more information: here;

❄️Randonnées Hivernales – be pulled along in a small sledge by a Saint-Bernard dog! / where? Champex-Lac / more information: hee;;

« Noël à Barryland » © Barryland

***

Geneva (Les Bains des Paquis) – Calendrier de l’Avent

A 📆 fabulous advent calendar at the historical Bains des Paquis in Geneva! Each cabin opens onto a pice of art, depicting this year art with the theme of Noël en Enfance / new door opens each evening at 19h, until 24th December! / see here for more details;

© Sylvie Wibaud

***

Geneva (Plainpalais) – Cirque de Noël 

The Cirque de Noël in Geneva is run by the famille Van Gool and consists of: acrobats, clowns, horse shows and more . . . / when? from 24th November to 6th January 2019 / prices, schedule & programme on website;

© Cirque de Noël Geneva

***

Geneva – «Fête de l’Escalade»

The «Fête de l’Escalade» is Geneva’s very own festival, celebrated every December to commemorate Geneva’s victory against the Duke of Savoy’s troops in 1602. As night falls in Geneva, you are transported back to 1602 . . . you can follow a group of about 800 folk in costume, and wander through the city’s streets and lanes, in search of the historic landmark which clinched independence for Geneva: the ESCALADE . . . warm up next to one of the many fires and taste the traditional marmite en chocolat! / when? 7th to 9th December / more information: here / video for children;

© 1602

***

🎄« Montreux-Noël »🎄

As well a the atmospheric🎄Marché de Noël🎄along the lakeside in Montreux (with plenty to keep children and families enchanted!), « Montreux-Noël » comprises two other magical Christmas events for families:

🎅Santa’s Grotto in Rochers-de-Naye – travel on the 🚂 cogwheel train up the mountain to Santa’s Grotto (situated at 2,042m!) . . . meet Santa, get a certificate, magical decorations . . . / opening hours: every day except Mondays and Tuesdays from 22nd November to 24th December (open Christmas Eve, Monday 24th December!); the little train leaves Montreux every hour from 9h17 until 15h17 (subject to decent weather conditions!) / website;

🎄« Noël comme au Moyen-Âge » (at the Château de Chillon) – there are lutins (elves), jugglers and more medieval characters in the castle grounds, which are beautifully decorated for Christmas / plenty of Christmas aromas, workshops and entertainment! / *good to know – dress warmly, as a medieval castle next to a lake is extra-chilly in December! / when? weekends of 1st & 2nd, 8th & 9th and 15th & 16th December, from 10h to 17h / price: adults CHF15, children CHF6 / see website for more details;

«Noël comme au Moyen-Âge» © Château de Chillon

***

Gruyères – « Noël à Gruyères »

Gruyères is a chocolate-box quaint cobble-stoned medieval village with a crowning castle . . . and so Christmas here is féérique: a Christmas Market (7th to 9th December), an advent calendar in the windows of the medieval town, Christmas’ music & lights, concerts and processions, a 🎁 gift hunt for children, a Quête de Chocolat, a Christmas exhibition in the castle, midnight mass . . .  / see website or pdf programme for exact dates of activities / when? from 24th November until 27th January 2019;

© Gruyères Tourisme

***

Geneva (Arena) – «Disney on Ice» – «Crois en tes rêves» ⛸

Once the Christmas decorations have been stowed away, there is . . . «Disney sur Glace» – «Crois en tes rêves»⛸ in Geneva from 1st to 3rd February 2019 / join Vaiana, Rapunzel, Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty’s Aurore and more characters . . . and celebrate the 90th anniversary of Mickey Mouse! / tickets;

© Disney sur Glace

***

🇮🇹 ITALY 🇮🇹 

There are Christmas markets in Aosta (among the Roman ruins) and in the medieval village of Bard / see post CHRISTMAS MARKETS for more information . . . and also on Courmayeur’s Christmas calendar . . .

Courmayeur – 🎅Rhémy de Noël🎅 (il Babbo Natale di Courmayeur)

Rhémy is Courmayeur’s very own Santa (with a legend attached) / see here for more details / where? main square of Courmayeur / when? Monday 24th December;

© Courmayeur Tourisme

Christmas concert or spectacle is a fine way to get into the spirit of the holidays . . . there are lots of concerts planned in churches and chapels au Pays du Mont-Blanc in December . . .

And, for the children and families, there are plenty of magical spectacles and storytelling sessions (FREE!) . . * please also check with Tourist Offices, as I won’t manage to list them all! *

© Mairie de Domancy

In chronological order:

Sunday 2nd December Concert de Noël (Savoie Harmonica)  18hEglise de Domancy;

Sunday 2nd December Concert de Noël (Ecole Municipale de Musique)  17h30Parvis des Fiz, Passy;

© Ecole Municipale de Musique, Passy

Saturday 15th December Concert d’Hiver de l’Harmonie de Saint-Gervais (L’Echo du Mont-Blanc)  20h30Espace Mont-Blanc, Saint-Gervais-les-Bains;

© Saint-Gervais-les-Bains Tourisme

Saturday 15th December Concert de Noël 20hEglise Saint-Jacques, Sallanches;

© Sallanches Tourisme

Sunday 16th December Les Chambelles’ «Hallelujah!» (a workshop to learn Handel’s Hallelujah chorus) – 14h to 17h – Eglise Réformée, Chamonix;

Monday 17th December Les Chambelles’ «Bon Noël!» – 18h (families) and 20h (later) – Eglise Réformée, Chamonix;

© Les Chambelles

from 17th to 21st DecemberEMDI: «Noêl: les Spectacles»Chamonix Valley;

Wednesday 19th DecemberLectures de Noël18h30Médiathèque des Houches;

© Médiathèque des Houches

Wednesday 19th December  Concert de Noël by Académie Musicale du MontBlanc at Mountain Store, Passy;

Académie Musicale du Mont-Blanc

Saturday 22nd December Concert / Spectacle de Noël de l’Harmonie Municipale des Houches et de Passy – 20h30 – a rock theme this year / all public!

© Les Houches Animations

Saturday 22nd DecemberSpectacle de Marionettes: « Nuit de Noël » 10h30 AND 15h30Médiathèque Ange Abrate, Sallanchesreservations: 04 50 93 95 49;

© Sallanches Tourisme

Saturday 22nd December – Concert de Noël by Chœur Sallanch’chante – 16h30Médiathèque Ange Abrate, Sallanches;

la Caisse de Secours de la Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix /
Chef de Chœur: Michel Minier & Orgue: Iain Cleaver;

© Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix

Sunday 23rd DecemberSpectacle de Noël: « Le Secret du Père Noël » – 17hSalle Communale, Argentière – by Philippe Fourel, with public participation (storytelling, magic, song) / reservations required;

© Argentière Mairie

Sunday 23rd DecemberConcert de Noël18hEglise de Combloux;

© Combloux Tourisme

Sunday 23rd DecemberConcert de Noël by La Chorale Montjoie17h30Eglise de Saint-Gervais;

© Chorale Montjoie

Monday 24th December film: « Bientôt Noël, mais la neige n’est pas au rendez-vous, alors les habitants prennent les choses en mains »16h30Bibliothèque de Vallorcine – a story inspired by Norwegian folklore;

© Bibliothèque Vallorcine

Tuesday 25th December« Rouge Zèbre »18hEspace Olca, Les Houches;

© Les Houches Animations

Wednesday 26th Decemberspectacle enfants de Noël « Les Illusions d’Anto » (compagnie l’Oiseau de Passage) – 18hEspace Animation, Les Contamines-Montjoie;

© Les Contamines-Montjoie

Thursday 27th Decemberspectacle: « Au Pays de Noël »18h30 Salle Jean Morel, Servoz;

© Servoz Tourisme

Saturday 29th DecemberConcert de Noël: Antonio Federico Mormina (à la guitare) 20hEglise de Saint-Martin in St-Martin-sur-Arve (donations welcome);

© St Martin sur Arve

Sunday 30th DecemberConcert de Noël 19hPraz-sur-Arly;

© Praz-sur-Arly Tourisme

Monday 31st Decemberfilm: « le voyage extraordinaire d’un petit garçon, un bonhomme de neige et son chien » – 16h30Bibliothèque de Vallorcine;

Wednesday 2nd January 2019 concert familial Chap’s – 17h30Vallorcine (la salle au-dessus de l’office de tourisme) – concert spectacle, interaction with audience;

© Vallorcine Office de Tourisme

3 thoughts on “CHRISTMASTIME au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

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