[ 2021 update – due to Covid restricitions, this fabulous children’s festival has not taken place since 2019 ! This article will need an update! ]
As residents of Sallanches, we have watched the 🎭 children’s festival « Les Enfants d’Abord » get bigger and better each year! (the festival has now been running for 24 years!).
Over 4 days, every afternoon and evening (15h30 until 18h30) the pedestrian streets of Sallanches, as well as the quais, the Pré de Foire, the Place de la Grenette, the Place Saint-Jacques, and 📚 the Médiathèque Ange Abrate play host to FREE games, activities, 🎨 workshops, déambulations and spectacles for CHILDREN! In effect, Sallanches becomes a giant playground!
[ ⇒ to peruse the full schedule of workshops & events and 🗺 a map of where all the activities are taking place, see here ]
Workshops & Activities
The festival offers 🎨 diverse workshops, some that you must sign up for beforehand ( at the OT de Sallanches: 32 quai de l’Hotel-de-Ville / tel: 04 50 58 04 25 ), and some which you can try out en accès libre.
Some workshops return every year by popular demand ( 🐹 Amidoux animal care, 📚 book illustration, 🎨 porcelaine painting, pottery, calligraphy . . .) and there are also new additions (this year string art, Chinese ink and more . . . ).
And even if you don’t manage to get a place at the workshops requiring an inscription, there are also lots of other 🎨 workshops and activities on offer that you don’t need to sign up for, so it is still really worthwhile to wander around and see what takes your fancy! A few years back, when I had a baby in a buggy and a toddler, we just enjoyed a 🐺 colouring & mask-making workshop and the games set up along the quais.
Here are some of the workshops and games available for children, en accès libre:
- Le Parcours Aventure (6+ years) with the Bureau des Guides de Sallanches – tyrolienne, pont népalais, filet de pirates . . . all over the Sallanche river!
- Ludik Aventure (3+ years) – balance skills and adventure for wee ones!
- 🎲 Les Jeux Géants (for all ages!) from Terre de Jeux – along the Quai Alexandre Curral;
- 🏓 Crazy Pong (4+ years) – in the Pré de Foire;
- 🎪 Les Arts de Cirque (3+ years) from L’Oiseau de Passage – in La Grenette;
- Origami (8+ years) – from Sayaka Hodoshima and Studio Origami;
- 🐺 Centre de la Nature Montagnarde – creative and nature workshops!
. . . and 🎆 light-painting with Pierre Hassenboehler, 🍭 sweetie brochettes with Les Petits Invités, 🎨 face-painting from the fabulous Mam’Zelle Pastel & Compagnie Rouge Paillette, 🧬 fun science workshops with Les Savants Fous and Le Moulin à Étincelles . . .
📚 and NEW in 2019: “ Il était une fois . . . “ at the 📖 Médiathèque Ange Abrate – meet with the authors and illustrators of children’s literature and create your own stories and pictures! (in partnership with the lovely local bookshops Les Carnets d’Albert and Livres en Tête).
Les Déambulations & Spectacles
« Les Enfants d’Abord » is a children’s festival rich in 🎭 the performance arts!
There are entertaining 🎭 déambulations every day from 15h30 – bubbles, puppets, humour . . .
This year, for the first time, there will be 🎪 circus performances from Cirque Autour in a huge tent set up in the Pré de Foire every day at 15h30, 16h30 and 17h30!
And in addition, 🎪 every evening at 19h in the same tent, there will be a different spectacle for the children!
🏙 La Nocturne des Enfants d’Abord – another first for 2019, on Wednesday 7th August, the entertainment will continue into the night, until 21h30: storytelling, spectacles, parade, lantern tour . . .
Tac’Inette, la chouette mascotte !
Look out for 🦉 Tac’Inette, the cute mascot of « Les Enfants d’Abord », always happy to give you a cuddle or pose for a photo!
Where to grab a snack during the festival
There are plenty of spots up and down the quais to grab 🥤 a drink or snack during the festival:
- there will be a Coin Sucré set up on the Pré de Foire and on Wednesday 7th August a Coin Gourmand on the Place Saint-Jacques (with participating food trucks and restaurants);
- 🍦La Cabane à Glaces (on the Quai Alexandre Curral);
- 🍰 Chocola’thé for fresh juices and cake;
- 🍰 Délicat Délice for cake!
- a friendly Carrefour Express;
And it is lovely to head down to the 💦 water’s edge of the Sallanche river for a wade and cool down (disclaimer: be careful with young children!) . . .
And don’t forget that you also have 🌈 two fabulous playgrounds in the centre of Sallanches!