MBFF has now spent 9 years discovering and testing 🌈 playgrounds 🏔 au Pays du Mont-Blanc. We are fairly confident that we have tested most of them (please let us know of any treasures we may have missed along the way!). The following list highlights our personal favourites (this is clearly subjective!).
At certain points on our journey of discovery, we had to avoid certain playgrounds, as with two energetic boys three years apart in age, some playgrounds were somewhat challenging with just one pair of hands to rescue the little monkey who just had to follow his big brother to the top of climbing frames!
And over the years of testing these playgrounds, fabulous new ones have emerged (to our constant delight!) and some have been renovated.
Le Paradis des Praz
Nestled in 🌲 the woods of Les Praz, next to 💦 a gurgling stream for paddling, young children will love this playground! / there are 🐴 pony rides and ☕️ a buvette on-site / read all about this magical spot in a separate MBFF article.
LAC de PASSY
💦 Lac de Passy is, in effect, a large playground all year round (see here for MBFF Lac de Passy article / 🍁 Lac de Passy in autumn article), but in the ☀️ summertime it truly turns into a giant playground with: 🏖 a giant sand-pit (ie the beach!), 🌳 an accrobranches ®, 🏰 bouncy castles, ⛳️ mini-golf, 🚣♂️ pedalos & electric boats to rent, 💦 wibit softplay on the water, a fitness track in the woods, and plenty more activities . . .
And, since summer 2018, there is a fabulous sand-based playground near the beach-end of the lake, and various other wooden climbing structures and a slide dotted around the lake too . . . the sandy playground is more comfortable to use in the morning or in the evening, as it does not have any shade and in the ☀️ midday sun is HOT! (perfect to combine with an evening picnic!).
TWO of Combloux’s playgrounds are on our favourites list!
Adventure Playground in Combloux
This playground is top of our list. The location is wonderful: perched just above the 💦 Plan d’Eau Biotope, there is a commanding view of 🏔 Mont Blanc from here. The playground is aimed at the 3+ age group and is largely made out of wood and rope. It comprises: 🕸 a spider-web climbing frame and netted swing, balancing beams, leap-frog toadstalls, a tyrolienne . . . Much of this is under a huge canopy of shade, which makes it an ideal spot to head on a ☀️ hot summer’s day! A bit further up the hill are some netted tunnels to crawl through and some climbing for older children. Do be warned that there is not much in this adventure playground for wee ones, apart from the netted swing . . . perfect if you have a sleeping baby in a buggy and older children to entertain! But if you have a very active toddler who wants to do just like his “big brother” or “big sister”, you will spend your whole time running (so take an extra pair of helping hands if possible!). There are also a couple of 🍏 picnic tables, so you can make a 🥗 picnic lunch or snack. Down the hill, just next to the 💦 Plan d’Eau Biotope, is a lovely green space for running with some boulders to clamber over. There is also a volleyball court with sand. We love to bring visitors here – there is something for everyone!
🗺 address: Chemin du Perret, 74920, Combloux; 🚙 parking: there is FREE parking just above this playground;
Louparc Playground in Combloux
The new kid in town, this playground opened a few years ago. It is located next to the 🚵♀️ pumptrack, 🛹 skatepark and 🏀 City Stade in Combloux, and there is now a new parcours freestyle for older kids too (very popular with local teenagers!) – the whole area is beautifully landscaped and you’ll have stunning views of 🏔 the Mont Blanc Massif from here. All of the amenities on offer makes this the perfect spot for the whole family – little ones can play while older siblings can have fun on skateboards or bikes or with balls right next door! There are 🍏 picnic tables and a 🥤 snack bar open during the summer months. There are also 🚾 next to the car park / good to know: it is walking distance to the centre of town for picnic provisions (with a super little boulangerie just around the corner!);
🗺 address: 220 route de la Mairie, 74920, Combloux; 🚙 parking: there is the school car park next door;
Aire de Jeux de Saint-Martin
All of the playgrounds in Sallanches are well-equipped and good for all age-groups. Saint-Martin playground stands out because of its excellent location right by the 💦 Arve river, and next to the historic 🌉 Pont Saint-Martin. Its main attraction is the tall climbing frame with the “tunnel slide”, and there are also swings and other climbing options for older children and 🚂 a train for little ones. An added bonus is the plentiful FREE parking on-site! (we did have to avoid this playground for a while when little brother was very small, as he kept trying to follow big brother to the top of the tunnel climbing frame, and Mummy kept having to go to the rescue! We are now back on track!). It is also next to the ⚽️ football stadium, so a handy retreat when an older sibling is training! Also an ideal spot with a bike or draisienne.
[ good to know: a visit to this playground couples well with a visit to the 💦 Lacs des Ilettes or 💦 La Cascade d’Arpenaz, as both are nearby ]
🗺 address: Esplanade de St Martin, 74700, Sallanches; 🚙 parking: plenty of FREE parking on-site!
Aire de Jeux de l’Eglise in Sallanches
We are also big fans of the ⛪ church playground in Sallanches, as it has shade in the summer months and it is a great place to head after a visit to 🍏 Sallanches’ Saturday market or after a visit to the 🦌 Centre de la Nature Montagnarde (2020 – currently SHUT for renovation!) or the 📚 Médiathèque Ange Abrate. There are 🚾 in the car park opposite.
🗺 address: esplanade de St Martin (St Martin) and place du Commissaire Chesney (Aire de Jeux de l'Eglise), 74700, Sallanches; 🚙 parking: FREE, right next to playgrounds;
SAINT-GERVAIS-LES-BAINS & LE FAYET
Jardin du Mont-Blanc (Saint-Gervais-les-Bains)
Saint-Gervais-les-Bains town centre has a delightful playground (renovated a few years ago) to keep your little ones active and happy. Located in the 🌳Jardin du Mont-Blanc, the landscaping around the playground is itself lovely, with lots of grassy slopes, an old well and bandstand and some well-positioned benches to admire 🏔 the mountain views. The playground has as a theme 🚂 Le Tramway du Mont-Blanc, and children can play at driving their own tram! There is also a netted swing, a swing for tiny ones, a small trampoline, a climbing frame and a dameuse (snow plough)!
[ good to know: Saint-Gervais’ weekly market is on a Thursday morning, so this can make a good respite with children ]
[ also good to know: MBFF enjoys meeting friends at this playground on summer evenings – playground time followed by 🍻drinks over the road at the ephemeral terrace bar Esplanade 2KM3, followed by dinner (a favourite spot is restaurant La Galeta). ]
🗺 address: Jardin du Mont-Blanc, avenue du Mont Paccard, 74170, Saint-Gervais-les-Bains (perfect after a visit to the Thursday market!); 🚙 parking: there is FREE parking in the multi-storey car park (the brightly painted 2KM3) just across the road from the playground;
Le Parc Thermal in Le Fayet
🌳 Le Parc Thermal has a fairly newly-renovated playground, its theme being the 💦 thermal baths. It is the perfect playground to come to with a toddler or baby (or both), as there is plenty to keep everyone occupied – lots of green grass for picnics and ball games, running and biking, a 🐟 fish pond with 🦆 ducks and the wonderful 🚂 mini steam trains in the summer months. There are paths for buggy walk and baby-carrier hikes and there is the 🖼 musée en plein air from May until November. During the ☀️ hot summer months, you can find some respite here, with the cooler air coming off 💦 the Borrand river!
🗺 address: 355 allée du Dr Lépinay, 74190, Le Fayet, Saint-Gervais-les-Bains; 🚙 parking: there is FREE parking right next to the playground within the park;
MEGÈVE & PRAZ-sur-ARLY
Megève’s new playground
This new playground, l’aire de jeux du Petit Arly, across the road from Megève’s Palais des Sports, is aimed at younger children, and its location makes it a great place to unwind or have a snack after a swimming or ice-skating session at the sports centre!
[ good to know: on Friday mornings, 🍏 Megève’s market is just across the road; a good place to buy a snack or a picnic lunch! ]
🗺 address: route du Palais des Sports, 74120, Megève; 🚙 parking: there is plentiful paying parking opposite the Palais des Sports;
La Base de Loisirs des Belles in Praz-sur-Arly
Praz-sur-Arly has a fantastic playground set within its Base de Loisirs des Belles! In fact, it comprises two playgounds (one for little ones with a fire-engine and slide, and one for older children with a tyrolienne and climbing frame). On-site you will also find a 🛹 skatepark, ⛳️ mini-golf (summertime), 🧗♂️ a small climbing wall (summertime), 🏀 a multi-sports pitch, 🎾 tennis courts and 🚵♀️ a VTT course down by the river (Ludik Park). There is also a small buvette with an outdoor terrace and indoor space too.
🗺 address: Plaine des Belles, 74120 Praz-sur-Arly; 🚙 parking: FREE parking on-site;
Le Parc de Loisirs du Pontet
🌈 Le Parc de Loisirs du Pontet has a wonderful playground, which was just recently renovated, within the leisure park, and located right next to the small 🚣♂️ boating and fishing lake. You’ll need to watch small children closely, as the water’s edge is right next to the playground, but older children can play happily while their parents have a quiet drink over at the ☕️ café and restaurant Le Chalet du Lac (you are still able to keep an eye on the munchkins from here!).
[ good to know: in the ☀️ summertime in the park, are the bouncy castles, trampolines and quads run by Nash Mountain Games) ]
FURTHER AFIELD PLAYGROUNDS
The following two playground are not located 🏔 au Pays du Mont-Blanc, but rather in 🇨🇭 Switzerland! However, as favourites of the MBFF team, I thought they were worth a mention . . . possible for either a day visit or weekend trip.
Le Parc Pré Vert at Signal de Bougy (Switzerland)
Over on the other side of 💦 Lac Léman, there is a wonderful parc de loisirs, Le Parc Pré Vert at Signal de Bougy: 110 hectares, 🌳with woodland, 🌈 a large playground, buggy-friendly walks, 🦆animals, ☕️ a spacious family-friendly restaurant, 🍏 picnic areas, 🎨workshops for children, 🎭 an outdoor theatre, a parc aventure, ⛳️mini-golf and more . . . all with 🏔 a splendid view of Lac Léman and snowy peaks!
Botanical Gardens Geneva (Switzerland)
The 🌷 Botanical Gardens (Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques de Genève – CJBG) in Geneva – as well as the beautiful trees, plants and greenhouses (and lots of green grass to run around or picnic!) this park has a wonderful wooden playground, a magical carrousel in the warmer months, and 🦌 a small animal park! / there is also a restaurant/snack bar on-site / see here to read MBFF’s article / FREE!