[ 2020 UPDATE – many of these will not be opening for the winter season 2020, due to Covid-19 regulations ]
It’s that time of year when the ⛸ seasonal ice-skating rinks begin to appear in town centres throughout 🏔 le Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond) . . . 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 a small 🎄 Christmas market!
As well as the ⛸ ice-skating rinks au Pays du Mont-Blanc, there are plenty in 🇫🇷 neighbouring France and in 🇨🇭 Switzerland too, some well worth a visit . . .
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:
⛸ Chamonix – « Nocturnes à la Patinoire » – 🗓 Thursday evening opening of the indoor ice-skating rink during the school holidays;
⛸ Saint-Gervais les Bains – « Jardin des Glaces » with Charlotte la Marmotte / (normally) on 🗓 Tuesdays from 10h to 12h during school holidays / children from 3-12 years (two accompanying adults max);
⛸ Megève – Jardin de la Glisse for under 10s (🗓 certain Sundays), 🏒 ice-hockey matches, figure-skating shows, 🥌 curling, 🎉 some THEMED PARTY EVENTS . . .
[ >>> see ⛸ MBFF article Ice Skating au Pays du Mont-Blanc for more details (addresses, opening hours) about the indoor rinks ]
Colour code for listings:
Chamonix Valley (Chamonix, Argentière, Les Houches & Servoz) and Vallorcine
Passy & environs
Sallanches, Combloux, Cordon & Domancy
Saint-Gervais-les-Bains, Le Fayet, Saint-Nicolas de Vérone & environs
Megève, Praz-sur-Arly & environs
Les Contamines-Montjoie & environs
🇫🇷 Further France 🇫🇷
🇨🇭 Switzerland 🇨🇭
What to WEAR . . .
- ✅ it is a good idea to dress very small skaters in their WINTER SKI SUITS, in order to keep them warm and water-proofed (in case or when they fall!);
- ✅ GLOVES – very important to avoid a skate injuring the hand, and to keep hands warm and dry!
- ✅ HELMET for little ones;
AU PAYS du MONT-BLANC
Located in the heart of Les Houches village, this is an outdoor ice-skating rink with a stunning view! It measures 26m x 56m / 🗓 FRIDAYS during the holidays: « Nocturne Givrée » – FREE ice skating from 20h to 22h;
🗓 opening dates: from late December until March;
price: 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€);
address: 25 avenue des Alpages, 74310, Les Houches;
Located 🚡 opposite the bubble lifts in Vallorcine, in the complex of the Résidence & Spa Vallorcine Mont-Blanc, this small ice-skating rink is open to the public during the winter months;
🚙 parking: FREE parking at bubble lifts;
🗓 opening dates: Vallorcine’s outdoor rink is open from mid-December until March;
price: 5€ (including skate rental) / weekly deal: 39€ for the week for up to 5 people;
address: Residence Vallorcine Mont-Blanc, Chef Lieu, 74660, Vallorcine / tel: +33 (0)4 50 54 75 20;
⛸ ⛸ ⛸
⛸ Sallanches ⛸
[ CANCELLED for winter season 2020-2021 ]
Sallanches’ ⛸ winter ice-skating rink (200m2) is open as part of the 🎄 Festivités de Noël, 🗓 from early December until early January. It is a festive little ice-skating rink located inside La Grenette (the old grain market), next to the cute little 🥨 Marché de Noël. This is an added bonus for adults, as they can have a mulled wine and a 🥨 pretzel (savoury or sweet), 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 are some 🎵 themed soirées and live music here: La Boum des Enfants & Dancing on Ice and Les Démo’ et Initiations de Patinage Artistique . . .
🚙 parking: you can park in the underground car park Pré de Foire or in the adjacent streets (some FREE parking nearby in the La Frasse and Lévaud and car parks);
🗓 opening hours: from early December until early January / 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€ per hour (including skate hire) / children under 4 years: 2€ per hour;
address: Place de la Grenette, 74700, Sallanches;
⛸ ⛸ ⛸
⛸ Megève ⛸
We experienced ⛸ Megève’s outdoor ice-skating rink for the first time just before Christmas a few years ago. Our then 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 🥘 Restaurant Le Puck, which has a sunny terrace – the perfect spot for parents or 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.
🗓 opening hours: from late December until early March, from 13h30 to 19h30;
price (skate-hire included!): adults: 9€ / children (5 to 14 years): 7,70€, FREE for under 5s!
address: place de la Résistance, 74120, Megève;
⛸ ⛸ ⛸
⛸ Les Contamines-Montjoie ⛸
Located in the centre of Les Contamines-Montjoie, in Les Loyers, and 🗓 open from December until late March, you can skate at this semi-natural outdoor ice-skating rink (1400m2) with views of 🏔 les Dômes de Miage!
NEW since 2019 – a new playground and pumptrack (when not covered in snow!). Also new, is the hut, so that you can put on your skates in comfort and warmth! And, the foodtruck Le Repaire des Curioos, is on-site for snacks!
⛸ Jardin des Glaces for young skaters – 🗓 on Wednesday and Sunday mornings, 10h to midday, with music and accessories for children / see website;
🗓 opening hours: open from mid December until late March, 9h30 to 13h and 16h30 to 20h (opening times and dates may vary, depending on the outdoor temperature) / FREE Friday evenings from 19h (except skate hire), with 80s tunes;
price: adults: 4€ / children: 3€ and FREE for under 5s! / skate hire: 3€ / discounts for those with a carte d’hôte!
address: route de Notre Dame de la Gorge, Les Contamines-Montjoie / tel: +33 (0)4 50 47 06 23/04 50 47 01 58;
🇫🇷 FURTHER FRANCE 🇫🇷
⛸ Cluses ⛸
The ⛸ outdoor ice-skating rink in Cluses is under new management this year, and usually one of the first seasonal rinks to open for the winter season near the 🏔 Pays du Mont-Blanc! Located in the centre of town, its 600m3 of ice hosts plenty of themed events over the season / see website for more details / NB – it is obligatory to wear GLOVES!
🗓 opening hours: open from late October (Toussaint holidays) until early March (opening times and dates may vary, depending on the outdoor temperature and weather!);
price: adults: 4,50€ / children (under 12s): 4€ / skate hire: 3€;
☕️ snacks & drinks for sale!
address: place des Allobroges, 74300, Cluses / tel: (+33) 07 68 11 69 44;
⛸ Les Carroz ⛸
The ⛸ ice-skating rink in Carroz opens mid-December, and remains open until early March! / ➡️ pdf brochure: here;
⛸ Samoëns ⛸
The ice-skating rink in Samoëns is located in the Grenette, in the centre of town, and it normally opens for the Toussaint holidays! / more information here;
⛸ Annemasse ⛸
During 🎄 Annemasse’s Christmas celebrations « Bonjour L’Hiver », a small ⛸ ice-skating rink is set up in the centre of town;
⛸ Annecy ⛸
[ CANCELLED for winter season 2020-2021 ]
As part of the Christmas market 🎄 Village des Alpes in Annecy (opposite Centre Commercial Courier), there is an ⛸ ice-skating rink (one small one for very young skaters and their parents, and a much larger one for more experienced skaters) . . .
🇨🇭 SWITZERLAND 🇨🇭
⛸ Parc des Bastions (GENEVA) ⛸
[ the lovely Christmas market in the Parc des Bastions was set to move lakeside for 2020, but in has been CANCELLED for this winter season 2020-2021 ]
There was an ⛸ ice-skating rink set up every year in the 🌳 Parc des Bastions, as part of the new Christmas market 🎄 Noël aux Bastions (until 31st December) / FREE to use rink, 2CHF for skate hire;
address: Parc des Bastions, Geneva, Switzerland / tel: +41 (0)79 445 25 64;
⛸ Carouge ⛸
As part of 🎄 « Carouge Magique » , a seasonal ⛸ ice-skating rink sets up (FREE for under 6s!) from mid-November! / ☕️ Ice Bar restauration / 🧤 gloves a must and helmet recommended! / 🎶 discos for children once a month, 18h to 20h / NEW for 2019 – two platforms adapted for wheelchair skating! / more information here;
address: Place de Sardaigne, Carouge;
⛸ Château de Coppet (Lac Léman) ⛸
The ⛸ seasonal ice-skating rink at the 🏰 Château de Coppet is open to the public over the weekend of the lovely 🎄 Marché du Château de Coppet (the MBFF team tested it out a few years ago!);
⛸ Patinoire Quartier du Flon (LAUSANNE) ⛸
[ CANCELLED for winter season 2020-2021 ]
If you head to Lausanne during the festive Bô Noël and Lausanne Lumières, then you might want to indulge in some ⛸ skating action at the Patinoire du Flon . . . It is FREE to skate and you can rent skates on-site for CHF5 (many Swiss folk have their own skates!) / special events like silent skating ! / website;
opening hours: early November until late February, 11h until 22h (shut Christmas Day and 2nd January);
address: Esplanade du Flon, CH-1003, Lausanne;
🇨🇭🇫🇷 FURTHER AFIELD SWITZERLAND and FRANCE 🇫🇷🇨🇭
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 « Où patiner en Suisse Romande? » for more details: Lac de Joux (VD); Lac des Taillères (NE); Lac Noir, Schwarzsee (FR);
At nearby 🇨🇭 Lac de Champex (Champex-Lac, VS), the lake ❄️ freezes for ice skating (weather dependent) and there is an artificial rink too! It is nicknamed “ petit Canada ” / dimensions: 70m x 150m / see here for more information;
In the 🇫🇷 French Jura mountains, several lakes ❄️ freeze over for skating, at the ⛷ ski station Les Rousses for example! / see here for more information;