LES MERCREDIS – nature, creative activities, sport and relaxation for children au Pays du Mont-Blanc

[ La Rentrée 2020-2021 UPDATE ! ]

WEDNESDAYS are, in many of the 🏔 Pays du Mont-Blanc communes, a day free from scholastic duties (for young children, at least!). A day to perhaps explore a new ⚽️ sport or 🎨 leisure activity, 🏡 to relax at home or to head to garderie . . .

[ see article 📚 La Rentrée for more details about clubs and associations to sign up to on a termly or yearly basis! ]


Colour code for listings:

Chamonix Valley (Chamonix, Argentière, Les Houches, Servoz & environs) and Vallorcine

Passy & environs

Sallanches, Combloux, Cordon & Domancy

St Gervais, Le Fayet & environs

Megève, Praz-sur-Arly & environs

Les Contamines-Montjoie & environs

🇫🇷 Further France 🇫🇷

🇨🇭 Switzerland 🇨🇭 


For working parents, you will find an accueil de loisirs near to you, where your child or children will enjoy a full programme of cultural and sporting events: school garderies, MJC Chamonix, FJEP Passy, MJC Saint-Gervais, Espace Loisirs de Vouilloux (Sallanches), Le Palais Megève . . .

Check with your local mairie or school for the closest to you!

Wednesday programme FJEP Passy:

© FJEP Passy
© Espace Animation Sallanches

Forest Schools au Pays du Mont-Blanc

There are a few 🌳 forest school options now 🗻 au Pays du Mont-Blanc, and you can sign up for these either on a termly, holiday or ad-hoc basis (depending on each organisation). Here are the ones known to me:

  • 🌳 Faire l’Ecole Buissonière (Chamonix Valley) – bilingual groups on Wednesdays during the month of September / booking page / FB page;
  • 🌳 dehOrs (Chamonix Valley) – sessions on a Wednesday from this new forest school, led by two accompagnatrices de montagne / FB page / website;
  • 🌳 EXPLORE (Chamonix Valley)private group on FB, sporadic forest outings;
  • 🌳 Les Ateliers “A l’écoute de la forêt” (Viens, Vis et Deviens, Montessori in Plateau d’Assy) – for 5 to 12 year olds, on Wednesday afternoons / run by Aurélia Mignon, part of Association L’École Buissonnière – activités nature en forêt / more information on website;
  • 🌳 Les P’tits Poucets (Viuz-en-Sallaz) ateliers nature parents-enfants – for children 3 to 12 years, on a Wednesday morning / website and contact: asso.lesptitspoucets@gmail.com;
[ SCHOOL HOLIDAYS ] Les P’tits Experts de la Nature workshops at the Centre de la Nature Montagnarde (Sallanches) 

[ NB – the Centre de la Nature Montagnarde in the Château des Rubin is currently SHUT for renovation UNTIL later 2020, so you will be unable to visit the museum until further notice. However, the museum has set up a temporary small display area in the old médiathèque, during the renovation works ]

On Wednesday afternoons, during the French school holidays the 🦇 Centre de la Nature Montagnarde organises workshops (indoor & outdoor, depending on the workshop) for children aged 6 to 12 years (check age requirement for each individual workshops, as this varies!) called 🦇 Les P’tits Experts de la Nature. Children are given a certificate booklet when they do their first workshop and they collect a stamp for each completed workshop. During their 2-hour workshop, they become little “experts” in different fields of nature! / timings: 14h to 16h / price: 7€ per child (parents are welcome, free of charge, but their presence is not required!) / reservations: places are limited, so you must book directly with the Centre de la Nature Montagnardetel: + 33 (0)4 50 58 32 13 / address: Château des Rubins105 montée des Rubins, 74700, Sallanches / parking: there is free parking next door in the Parking du Lévant-Château au des Rubins just opposite;

Château des Rubins and médiathèque as seen from playground Sallanches © montblancfamilyfun.com

upcoming Toussaint workshops:


Cat Kartal Art School (Argentière)

As well as Cat’s wonderful summer workshop Art & Nature, she will still be offering art classes for children in the old chalet of the 🐼 Panda club in Argentière on Saturdays (though not on Wednesdays this year, I thought I’d still include this in this article!) / don’t forget : ☔️ rain jacket, proper hiking shoes, dry clothes, pants & socks, polar fleece, indoor shoes AND ☀️ sunhat suncream, sun glasses, water, 🎒 backpack and goûter!

📱 contact: 06 33 02 17 61 / 📧 catkartal@hotmail.fr / chamonix-artschool.com;

for more information, see website;

© Cat Kartal
Les Ateliers Montessori Viens, Vis et Deviens, Montessori (Plateau d’Assy)

This Montessori outfit in Plateau d’Assy also has creative Wednesday workshops: éveil musical and more . . . Follow their FB page to keep up-to-date! / website;

© Viens, Vis et Deviens, Montessori
Les mercredis créatifs à Saint-Gervais (September)

At 15h at the office de tourisme / Wednesday 23rd September: pop-up origamis / note: you must sign up at OT!

© Saint-Gervais Tourisme
Le Chalet des Créateurs (Saint-Gervais)

This creative hub sometimes has workshops on a Wednesday! / check programme here;

Wednesdays at La Maison de la Créativité (Conches, Geneva, Switzerland) 

MBFF is a HUGE fan of this centre for creativity for families in Conches, Geneva . . . we discovered the house and grounds of 🎨 La Maison de la Créativité one sunny Saturday of autumn 2016! A house and gardens full of treasures for children, wonderful workshops, an outdoor “kitchen”, a playground, incredibly welcoming staff . . . see here for more details / no need to reserve! / aimed at children up to the age of 6 years / website / price: 3CHF for children and adults 2+ years (bring Swiss change; no cards!) / 🗓 opening hours: Wednesdays 9h30 to midday AND 14h30 to 17h30, and one Saturday per month 9h to 12h and 14h30 to 17h30 / address: 7 chemin Calandrini, 1231, Conches, Switzerland / tel: +41(0)22 810 18 90 / 🅿️ parking: on route de Florissant, and then a short walk (or take draisienne!);

🎨 2020 information:

  • limited places, 64 people per x3 time slost (you must reserve on on the website here);
  • mask obligatory for adults;
  • disinfection for hands available in each room of house;

For children not signed up to a club or leisure centre, then here is a list of some of the activities they (generally for the 4+ or 6+ age groups) can sign up to 🏔 au Pays du Mont-Blanc on Wednesdays on an ad-hoc basis, rather than on a termly or yearly basis . . . (for babies & toddlers, see separate article 👪 Baby & Toddler Activities au Pays du Mont-Blanc).

Do check with MJC Chamonix, FJEP Passy, MJC Saint-Gervais and Le Palais Megève for sporting activities availalbe for youngsters on a Wednesday on a termly or yearly basis!

 Le Sport Loisir (Chamonix)

La ville de Chamonix-Mont-Blanc souhaite favoriser la pratique des activités physiques et sportives POUR TOUS. Dispositif récurrent, le SPORT LOISIR a pour objectif de sensibiliser, toute l’année (les mercredis, hors vacances scolaires), un maximum d’enfants scolarisés ou domiciliés à Chamonix-Mont-Blanc à différents sports (ESCALADE, VTT, JUDO, PATIN, TENNIS, NATURE-RANDO…) en proposant une initiation à des prix attractifs. Le SPORT LOISIR est une alternative aux activités «compétition» pratiquées dans les sections sportives des Clubs des sports. Il peut aussi être considéré comme un tremplin pour l’inscription future dans l’un de ces clubs. Les initiations sportives proposées sont encadrées par des professionnels des disciplines concernées. La coordination est assurée par le personnel de la mairie de Chamonix-Mont-Blanc.”

Le Sport Loisir is open to children from M/S up to CM2 scolarisés dans l’une des écoles de Chamonix / reservations at the Mairie,
and you’ll need to provide (if not already signed up on portail famille):
  • une attestation d’assurance scolaire, périscolaire, extra scolaire;
  • le carnet de santé, pages des vaccinations;
USEP (Union Sportive de l’Enseignement du Premier Degrés) in Sallanches

Through my sons’ school, I discovered this wonderful initiative . . . primary school children can discover a whole host of different ⚽️ sports through the USEP on a Wednesday morning or afternoon, for a very small fee. . . as my son doesn’t often have ski classes on a Wednesday, this was a great way to discover different sports (on a rotating schedule of cycles of sports) / USEP website;

CrossFit Mont-Blanc

NEW! In Chedde (Passy), your youngsters can now practise 🤸‍♂️ crossfit (a combination of gymnastic and endurance activities) on Wednesdays and Saturdays! A lot of the activities are outdoors! / address: CrossFit Mont-Blanc, 332 avenue des Râches, 74190, Passy / tel: 09 86 57 73 85 / website;

price:

  • 1 séance par semaine : 25€-30€/mois;
  • 2 séances par semaine : 45€-55€/mois;
  • carte 10 séances : 90€;
© CrossFit Mont-Blanc

Check Le Palais in Megève’s FB page, for ad-hoc theatre, activities and sports available on a Wednesday!

© Le Palais Megève

If you are looking for 💦 swimming lessons for your wee ones (for me swimming is the number one sport that the kids MUST learn to a certain standard!), then all of the Pays du Mont-Blanc local pools have maitre nageurs and lessons on offer, including classes for babies and toddlers. Schools will also offer swimming lessons.

If you are looking for competition level swimming, then you have the clubs:


There are the official Mairie-run music and dance schools, where you can sign up for group or individual lessons on a yearly basis, you’ll find classes with MJC Chamonix and Saint-Gervais, FJEP Passy, Le Palais Megève . . . or there are some independent tutors and schools available for some ad-hoc lessons, drop-ins and stages:

Altimove dance classes (Les Houches)

Association Alti’move website here . . . and FB page ;

© Association Alti’Move
Street dance avec Tiphaine (Salle Jean Morel, Servoz)

New Wednesday classes in Servoz in 2020 . . .

© Et si on bougeait
Alp’Show Dance & Attitude Dance Studio (Sallanches)

Alp’Show Dance has several dance classes on offer for children and adults on a Wednesday ! / see website for more details;

© Alp’Show Dance

Are your children in need of a pause to relax and breathe deeply? There are now several options for 🧘‍♀️ breathing, meditation and yoga exercises 🏔 au Pays du Mont-Blanc!

Meditation & Relaxation classes – La Maison du Bien-Être (Sallanches) and Les Ateliers de Zébrus 

Private classes, group classes, binôme classes with parents . . . there are regular Wednesday sessions, so check the FB page / address: La Maison du Bien-Être, Place Saint-Jacques, 74700, Sallanches;

© Les Ateliers de Zebrus
© Les Ateliers de Zebrus
Yoga pour enfants Pays du Mont-Blanc

Try 🧘‍♀️ MJC Chamonix, 🧘‍♀️ association Tanc’il y aura des Poètes, 🧘‍♀️ FJEP Passy, 🧘‍♀️ MJC Saint-Gervais, 🧘‍♀️ Sallanches Cercle du Yoga (Wednesdays from 17h until 17h45 in the Salle de Karaté du Gymnase du Rosay; can sign up on termly basis, as well as yearly!), Yoga Enfants (Sallanches) and 🧘‍♀️ Le Palais Megève . . .

© Yoga Enfants
© Yoga Enfants
Sanskriti – yoga pour les enfants (Scionzier)

The lovely Prachi & Benoit (a Franco-Indian couple who met on 🧘‍♀️an ashram in India) now have their own beautiful yoga studio in ScionzierYoga Sanskriti – and they offer yoga for children on Wednesdays! / 7 to 11 years at 10h30, and for teenagers at 18h / good to know: there is also a café and restaurant on-site called the Hungry Yogi, with Indian and vegetarian dishes! / website and FB page / address: 31 rue du Bourg Dehors, 74950, Scionzier / tel: 06 21 56 07 46;

© Sanskriti Yoga

Ski Clubs and Biathlon

It seems far ahead in the year, but ski season will soon be upon us! There are various options on a Wednesday for ⛷ ski alpin, ski de fond, biathlon, and 🏂 snowboarding:

  • sign up for group ESF lessons at the different ski stations;
  • sign up for individual ESF lessons;
  • CAF-subsidised lessons and outings;
  • ski clubs and ⛷ competition level skiing and slalom;

My boys have never shown an interest in competition skiing or on being at the next Olympics, so here are some of the organisers of group sessions, with the onus on FUN, and not simply competition:

  • Multiglisse (Les Houches) lots of different options to choose from / Weds, Sat and school holidays;
  • Ski Passion (ESF Combloux) – (Weds), Saturdays and school holidays;
  • SkiSurfLoisirs (MJC Saint-Gervais & ESF) – Wednesday and Saturday outings . . .

good to know: as of 2019, ESF Combloux allows you to book one-off lessons for Wednesdays or the weekend (you can book until 18h the evening before!), which is a brilliant option for those who do not seek a weekly commitment! ]

Skiing at Combloux – ESF Combloux © montblancfamilyfun.com

L’HEURE du CONTE at the Médiathèque Ange Abrate in Sallanches 

📚 Storytime for children takes place on certain Wednesdays in the Salle de l’Heure du Conte / website / address: Médiathèque Ange Abrate, 81 place du Commissaire Chesney, 74700, Sallanches;

  • Wednesday 23rd September AND 7th October 2020 at 10h30 – for 3 to 4 year olds;
  • Wednesdays 16th & 23rd September AND 14th October 2020 at 16h – for children 5+ years;
  • Saturday 19th September AND 10th October 2020 at 10h30 – for tiny ones (18 months to 3 years);
L’Heure du Conte © Médiathèque Ange Abrage

There are also sometimes spectacles organised / see current programme here;

The Espace Jeunesse, furnished with beanbags and rugs, and the Salle de l’Heure du Conte are located upstairs (with WC located nearby, very practical!).

Children’s Section in the médiathèque © montblancfamilyfun.com
L’Heure du Conte at the Médiathèque Le Palais Megève 

[ note: this activity has not yet resumed! / see agenda for updates ]

There is a regular 📚  storytelling session organised at the Médiathèque in Megève (located within Le Palais) every Wednesday (or alternate Wednesday out of season) for children 3+ years (as well as a session one Saturday per month for bébés lecteurs, for little ones from 0 to 3 years) / for children 3+ years – 17h FREE! – no reservations required / also, 📚 L’Heure du Conte (bébés lecteurs) one Saturday per month at 10h30 – for children 0 to 3 years – FREE! – no reservations needed / address: Espace Jeunesse à la Médiathèque, 247 route du Palais des Sports, 74120, Megève / tel: +33 (0)4 50 91 57 70;

l’Heure du Conte à Megève © megeve.com
Contes des Alpes (Le Palais, Megève) – Wednesdays 9th & 16th September 2020

📚 ” Les hommes peuplant ce monde d’en-haut, lumineux, mais très rude, ont pendant des siècles peuplé leur vie de légendes et de contes, transmis lors des veillées. Les vallées alpines ont généré un imaginaire puissant, qu’essaie de transmettre ce spectacle. Savoyard, dauphinois, valaisan, vaudois ou valdotain, à travers lui il s’agit aussi de révéler un peu de la vie de ceux qui ont peuplé ces montagnes avant nous : aux touristes de passage, comme aux habitants dont la mémoire s’étiole. ” / Wednesdays 14h to 17h  (each session 10 minutes);

Contes des Alpes © megeve.com
Les Histoires de Charlotte, spécial “Rentrée des Classes” (Bibliothèque Fernand Braudel, Saint-Gervais) 

every FIRST Wednesday of the month (except school holidays) at 16h / for 4+ years / FREE! / see here for more information /
address: Bibliothèque Fernand Braudel, 450 avenue du Mont d’Arbois, 74170, Saint-Gervais-les-Bains

Les Histoires de Charlotte © Saint-Gervais Tourisme

[ good to know – the 📚 médiathèques throughout the 🏔 Pays du Mont-Blanc have regular spectacles, ateliers, films for children throughout the year! / check their websites and FB pages to keep up-to-date ]

📚 Librairie Les Carnets d’Albert (Sallanches) 📚 

For little ones, it is worth checking out the events calendar at the bookshop 📚 Librairie Les Carnets d’Albert on the Place Charles Albert in Sallanches . . . there are sometimes readings of books for small children or workshops / address: 220 place Charles Albert, 74700, Sallanches / FB page to follow for information;

© Librairie Carnets d’Albert

🎥  Le Grand Soir Cinébus (screening for children) in Les Houches 🎥 

On two Wednesdays every month at 17h30🎥 Cinébus shows children’s films at the Salle d’Animation in the centre of Les Houches / see current programme here / price: adults 5,50€ and children 3,50€ / address: Salle d’Animation, Les Houches;

© Le Grand Soir Cinébus

[ for more ideas for cinema outings, see MBFF article 🎥 « Cinemas au Pays du Mont-Blanc » ]


TEENAGERS . . .

There are plenty of activities offered from the cultural organisations: MJC Chamonix and Saint-Gervais, FJEP Passy and Le Palais Megève . . .

Gare des Glaciers (MJC Chamonix) – open Wedndesdays 15h until 17h / see here for more information / address: route des Pélerins;

Gare des Glaciers © MJC Chamonix

FJEP Jeunesse Passy (11 to 17 year olds) – open on Wednesday afternoons (and other days) / see here for more information;

NEW! Espace Loisirs Jeunesse (for 11 to 16 year olds / collègiens) will be opening on Wednesday afternoons, 13h30 until 18h30, and during the school holidays! / the welcome is un accueil libre, with: babyfoot, snooker, board games, sports and cultural activities, outings / the animateurs present can also help youngsters organise their own project! / address: 66 rue du Dr Bonnefoy / complete dossier required!

© Ville de Sallanches

[ to see a full list of museum and exhibition options, head over to MBFF article Museums & Exhibitions au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond), which I update reguarly! ]

Some museums offer activities for children on a Wednesday!

Muséum Genève (Musée d’Histoire Naturelle) in Geneva 

The 🐻 Natural History Museum in Geneva is always a winner with children who love nature and animals, and its main collection is always FREE (only the temporary exhibition is payant, except for the first Sunday of each month, when this also is FREE). In addition, on Wednesdays there are sometimes 🎨 🦖 workshops on offer, see here for more details;

les mercredis des Trésors until 24th February 2021, an e-scientifique from the Muséum will talk to you in the exhibition Trésors about an object related to his or her research! / 14h to 16h, non-stop / FREE / for 6+ years / more information here;

Trésors © Muséum
Natural History Museum, Geneva © montblancfamilyfun.com
Musée d’Histoire des Sciences (Geneva)

The 🧬 Musée d’Histoire des Sciences in Geneva also has a Wednesday programme – les mercredis des sciences; see here for more details;

© Musée d’Histoire des Sciences
© Musée d’Histoire des Sciences
Centre d’Art Contemporain de Genève (Geneva) 

This 🎨 contemporary art museum normally offerse 🎥 short films for children on the first Wednesday of the month (except holidays) at 15h / duration: 40mins / for children 4+ years / FREE! / check for updates, as this does not appear to be operating right now!

address: Cinéma Dynamo, 4th floor of Centre d’Art Contemporain de Genève, rue des Vieux-Grenadiers 10, 1205, Genève / in collaboration with Animatou, Festival International du Film d’Animation de Genève / website and FB page;

© Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève / Animatou
MAH (Le Musée d’Art et d’Histoire), Musée Rath & La Maison Tavel in Geneva 

The 🏛 MAH in Geneva is housed in a magnificent building, has a great play area for children next to the café and restaurant, and offers guided family visits on Wednesdays: Mercredis Family, Visites à Petits Pas . . . see September to December programme here;

© MAH

Here is the current programme:

  • La collection beaux-arts revisitée et L’enfant dans l’art suisse: d’Agasse à Hodler – from 9th June 2020, at 🏛 Musée d’art et d’histoire;
  • Gilbert Albert. Joaillier de la nature – from 9th July 2020 at 🏛 Musée d’art et d’histoire;
  • L’eau-forte est à la mode: 1840-1910 – from 13th September 2020 at 🏛 Cabinet d’arts graphiques du MAH;
  • Fred Boissonnas. Une odyssée photographique – from 25th September 2020 at 🏛 Musée Rath;

⇒ more information: www.mah-geneve.ch:


For more information about BABY & TODDLER PLAYGROUPS & ACITIVITES on a Wednesday au Pays du Mont-Blanc, see separate article here . . . (note: I am still updating this article!);


FOR PARENTS . . .
Espace Famille (l’Espace Animation Sallanches) 

There are some special days reserved for families and parents at the Espace Animation in Vouilloux, Sallanches: Pause Café des Parents (one Wednesday a month) and Activités Parents-Enfants . . . / good to know: there is a good playground outside and this centre is near the industrial zone, for shopping requirements! / see Sallanches Mairie website for more information;

© Espace Animation Sallanches
© Espace Animation Sallanches

[ for more parent meet-ups on other days of the week, see separate article BABY & TODDLER ACTIVITIES au Pays du Mont-Blanc ]


💡 MORE IDEAS 💡 

For 💡 more ideas for Wednesday activities with children 🏔 au Pays du Mont-Blanc, see MBFF FB page, or you can also scroll through the seasonal lists of activities on offer au Pays du Mont-Blanc . . .

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