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 a 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:
Chamonix – « Nocturnes à la Patinoire » – Thursday evening opening of the indoor ice-skating rink during the holidays;
Saint-Gervais les Bains – « Jardin des Glaces » with Charlotte the Marmotte / on Tuesdays from 10h to 12h during holidays / children from 3-12 years (two accompanying adults max);
Megève – ice-hockey matches, figure-skating shows, curling, some THEMED PARTY EVENTS (Halloween, Valentine’s Day . . . ), shows from professional skaters, and some sessions for very young skaters;
. . . see MBFF post Ice Skating au Pays du Mont-Blanc for more details about the indoor rinks;
Colour code for listings:
Chamonix Valley (Chamonix, Argentière, Les Houches, Servoz & Vallorcine)
Passy & environs
Sallanches, Combloux, Cordon & Domancy
Saint-Gervais-les-Bains, Le Fayet & 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 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 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 « Nocturne Givrée » – FREE ice-skating during school holidays from 20h to 22h.
address: 25 avenue des Alpages, 74310, Les Houches;
opening hours: from late December 2017 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€);
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 mid-December until March;
price: 5€ (including skate rental) / weekly deal: 39€ for the week for up to 5 people;
Sallanches’ winter ice-skating rink (200m2) is open as part of the Festivités de Noël, from early December to early January (NOW SHUT). 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 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 . . .
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 8th December 2018 to 6th January 2019 / 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;
* NEWS – Combloux’s seasonal ice-skating parcours WILL NOT OPEN for the 2018 / 2019 winter season, but there will be other activities in its place*
We experienced Megève’s outdoor ice-skating rink for the first time just before Christmas a couple of 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 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 22nd December 2018 until 11th March 2019, from 13h30 to 19h30;
price (skate-hire included!): adults: 9€ / children (5 to 14 years): 7,70€, FREE for under 5s!
Formule Kid’s Circuit de Motos: right next to the ice-skating rink, you will find a circuit de motos, run by Formule Kid; Happy Hour takes place on Sundays . . .
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 in 2017* – a playground for children, next to the ice-skating rink, with trampolines! (price: 5€ for 20 minutes);
Jardin des Glaces for young skaters – on Wednesday and Sunday mornings, 10h to midday, with music and accessories for children / see website;
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 2018 until 24th March 2019, 9h30 to 13h and 16h30 to 20h (opening times/dates may vary, depending on the outdoor temperature) / FREE Friday evenings from 19h (except skate hire);
price: adults: 4€ / children: 3€; FREE for under 5s! / skate hire: 3€;
*discounts for those with a carte d’hôte!*
🇫🇷 FURTHER FRANCE 🇫🇷
The outdoor ice-skating rink in Cluses is the first seasonal rink to open for the winter season near the Pays du Mont-Blanc! Located in the centre of town, it hosts plenty of themed 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 2019 (opening times/dates may vary, depending on the outdoor temperature);
price: adults: 4,50€ / children (under 12s): 4€ / skate hire: 3€;
During Annemasse’s Christmas celebrations « Bonjour L’Hiver », a small ice-skating rink is set up in the centre of town / NOW SHUT for the 2018/2019 winter season.
Téléphérique du Salève
From mid-December, the ice-skating rink at the top of the Téléphérique de Salève is open on weekends and on certain Wednesdays.
address: Téléphérique du Salève, route du Téléphérique, 74100, Etrembières / tel: +33 (0)4 50 39 86 86;
opening hours: open mid-December until end of March, weekends Friday to Sunday and some Wednesdays;
price: users of téléphérique: 3€ (for the hour) and non-users: 9€;
As part of the Christmas market🎄Village des Alpes🎄in Annecy, there is an ice-skating rink . . . / NOW SHUT;
As part of🎄Le Marché de Noël de Lyon🎄, a seasonal ice-skating rink sets up on Place Carnot! / NOW SHUT!
🇨🇭 SWITZERLAND 🇨🇭
Parc des Bastions (Geneva)
There is an ice-skating rink set up every year in Geneva in the Parc des Bastions, this year 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;
As part of Noël à Carouge, a seasonal ice-skating rink sets up (FREE for under 6s!) / Ice Bar restauration / gloves a must and helmet recommended! / discos for children once a month, 18h to 20h / 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 (Friday 30th November until Sunday 2nd December) of the lovely Marché de Château de Coppet (the MBFF team tested it out a few years ago!);
🇨🇭 🇫🇷 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 «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);
In the 🇫🇷 French Jura, at the ski station Les Rousses, the lake is “officially” frozen and ready for skating!