Les Vacances d’Hiver (events, culture, nature & sport) au Pays du Mont-Blanc

If you reside (or are holidaying) 🗻 au Pays du Mont-Blanc, the February holidays (across France from 8th February until 8th March 2020, and 🗻 au Pays du Mont-Blanc, from 22nd February until 8th March 2020) are often the opportunity to sign the young ones up for ⛷ skiing or snowboarding lessons . . . but for those searching for alternatives to ski lessons, in this article you will find many other ideas (many of them FREE!) to occupy your youngsters over the February holidays 🗻 au Pays du Mont-Blanc and a bit further afield!

[ in addition to the local garderies, espaces loisirs and crèches in the area, there are extra childcare services available for tourists during the school holidays, on and off the pistes (contact your local tourist office for more information). For more information about baby and toddler activities 🗻 au Pays du Mont-Blanc, see separate MBFF article Baby & Toddler activities au Pays du Mont-Blanc ]

[ to peruse more general ideas for ❄️ WINTERTIME activities en famille, see separate MBFF article ❄️ Wintertime en famille au Pays du Mont-Blanc . . . ]


Colour Code for listings:

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

Passy & environs

Sallanches, Combloux, Cordon & Domancy

St Gervais, Le Fayet & environs

Megève, Praz-sur-Arly & environs

Les Contamines & environs

🇫🇷 Further France 🇫🇷

🇨🇭 Switzerland 🇨🇭


In chronological order:

🎬 Festival Cinémino (family film festival) – from 9th February until 15th March 2020 🎬 

The 🎬 Festival Cinémino is a film festival for children and families, mainly centred around Annecy & environs, but with a few screenings here 🗻 au Pays du Mont-Blanc  in Plateau d’Assy and in Saint-Gervais / when? from 21st to 28th February au Pays du Mont-Blancwebsite / more information below in 🎬 CINEMA & FILM section . . . ©

© Cinémino
« Intervall’ée » # 4 (Chamonix Valley) – from 14th February until 6th March 2020

Des épreuves diverses et burlesques . . . une compétition mont-blantesque “ – after a good ski day, support your local commune! / last year’s winners: Servoz & Les Houches / when? Fridays, from 14th February until 6th March, from 18h30, in different locations in the Chamonix Valley!

© Chamonix Valley
« Losar 2147 – Nouvel An Tibetan » (Espace Olca, Les Houches) –

Three days of celebration for the Nouvel An Tibétain / films and discussions, workshops, concerts, talks, Tibetan food . . . / when? where? Espace Olca, 267 rue du Mont Blanc, 74310, Les Houches; 

Losar – Nouvel An Tibétain © Les Houches

The 🗻 Pays du Mont-Blanc is all about our majestic nature . . . and there are plenty of ways to explore it during ❄️ the winter months: sledging, snow-shoeing, searching for animal prints in the snow . . . walks in the forest, making a snowman . . .

You’ll find a long list of ideas for winter fun in separate MBFF article ❄️ Wintertime en famille au Pays du Mont-Blanc . . . and in this article you will find some events specific to the winter holidays . . .

🦌 (Argentière) sortie nature: « les animaux de la montagne à l’épreuve de l’hiver » – on Wednesday afternoons (12th, 19th, 26th February AND 4th March 2020) from 14h until 16h / for children and families / bouquetins, chamois, deer, marmottes and more share the mountain with us; learn about their life and their behaviour with Alex, animateur nature / observe, respect and ask questions! / from 12+ years / FREE! / reservations: 04 50 54 03 06;

© Asters / Vallée de Chamonix

🐄 (Servoz, La Maison du Lieutenant) – the permanent exhibition here, MESALPES, « L’agriculture de montagne, Coeur du territoire », presents a link between the alpine culture and agriculture of the olden days, with agriculture of today and of the future – multimedia, models and old alpine objects / and there is often a temporary exhibition too / 🗓 opening hours: open Wednesday to Saturday, 14h to 17h / workshops: there are often workshops held here, for children and adults / address: Maison du Lieutenant, 2231 Le hameau du Mont, 74310, Servoz / website / NEW – café La Chirv’ette during the school holidays;

La Maison du Lieutenant, Servoz © Servoz Tourisme
© Servoz Tourisme

🐺 (Passy Plaine-Joux) « Les mercredis des p’tits loups » – a different activity for little ones every Wednesday afternoon from 14h on the front de neige;

Plaine-Joux igloo making © montblancfamilyfun.com

🦌 (La Réserve Naturelle de Passy) – up at the Réserve Naturelle de Passy, there are holiday activities organised for children and families! / see FB page for more details / programme here / good to know: my boys had a SUPERB time running around playing the chasse au trésor-jeu de piste Le Jeu du Tétras during the Toussaint holidays – they used up energy, had fun and learned some nature facts!

🦌 (Sallanches, Centre de la Nature Montagnarde) Les P’tits Experts de la Nature:

  • Wednesday 19th February Les P’tits Insectes en hiver: ” Les insectes petits, voire très petits, bizarres, attirants, effrayants … Viens découvrir leur mode de vie. En quoi sont-ils utiles et, même, indispensables ? Comment survivent-ils à l’hiver ? Tels des scientifiques, nous partirons à leur recherche sous les souches, dans la terre . . . ” / for children 8 to 12 years;
  • Wednesday 26th FebruaryLe P’tit Modeleur: ” Découvrons ensemble l’argile, cette matière rocheuse et naturelle que nous appelons parfois de la terre. Quels sont son histoire, ses propriétés, ses différents stades et où la trouver ? Nous répondrons ensemble à ces questions avant de fabriquer notre propre création ” / for children 6+ years;
  • Wednesday 4th March Le P’tit Ecosystème / for children 8 to 12 years years;

( RDV at Centre de la Nature Montagnarde (temporary address during renovations of the Château des Rubins: 9 route de Doran, 74700 Sallanches) / from 14h until 16h / wear warm clothes! / reservations: 04 50 58 32 13)

© Centre de la Nature Montagnarde

(PRAZ-sur-ARLY) Pisteurs d’un Jour – be a pisteur for the early hours before the ski station opens (Thursdays 8h40 until 9h) Avoir un niveau de ski 3ème degré ou équivalent type Flèche. Posséder un forfait de ski en cours de validité. Les participants mineurs doivent obligatoirement être accompagnés par une personne majeure. Port du casque obligatoire FREE! / OR, Petits Pros des Cîme on Wednesdays at 14h, learn about the profession of maître-chien d’avalanches, with Hervé and his dog Elbo (for children 8 to 12 years, with parent) / reservations: +33 (0)4 50 21 90 57 / more information here;

© Praz-sur-Arly Tourisme

🦌 Réserve Naturelle des Contamines-Montjoie – organises nature-inspired activities for children over the holidays / see FB page for more details;

© Réserve Naturelle Les Contamines-Montjoie

🦌 La Maison du Salève – organises nature workshops over the holidays, and is also a great place to visit en famille! / for workshop details, see here / preferably visit on a fair weather day, as the gardens are lovely and there are walks to enjoy en famille nearby . . . originally an 18th century farm from the Chartreuse de Pomier, La Ferme de Mikerne has been renovated to host a cultural centre recounting the history of the Salève mountain and its environs / MBFF article here / address: 775 route de Mikerne, 74160, Présilly;

© La Maison du Salève

And some indoor nature . . .

(ARGENTIERE, La Maison du Village) Soirées Nature

© Argentière Tourisme

🌲 🌲 🌲

Some fairly local accrobranches will be open over the school holidays:

  • 🌳 Filenvol – we have now been to Filenvol twice and each visit had a FABULOUS time! / the concept is to run and jump and slide within large nets suspended from the trees (no need for harnesses!) . . . giant trampolines in the trees! / there are hammocks (adults can bring a book!), a small buvette and plenty of spots for picnics here / opening hours: all year, 10h to 17h or 18h / price: see here / address: 396 chemin du Vallon, 74560, Monnetier-Mornex (near Salève/Annemasse) / website;
Filenvol © montblancfamilyfun.com
  • 🌳 Acro’Aventures Reignier – located between Annemasse and La Roche-sur-Foron / address: route des Rocailles, 74930, Reignier / website / re–opening weekend of 22nd & 23rd February, 11h until 16h;
  • 🌳 Acro’Aventures Talloires – lots of adventures to be had up in the trees here, and with stunning views of parapente departures and Lac d’Annecy: Parcours Aventure, Chasse au Trésor, Vélopark,Course d’Orientation, and La Forêt des Sens (open to buggies) / for children from 1m in height / address: route de Planfait, 74290, Talloires / tel: 06 07 56 90 58 / website;
© ACRO’Aventures

🦇 🦇 🦇

🦇 Les Grottes de la Balme (Isère) – re-opening for the school holidays (22nd February until 8th March 2020, from 13h30 until 18h), these caves are located a 40mins drive to the east of Lyon, 2 hours from Chamonix / the temperature in the caves is between 12° et 15°C all year-round (so warmer than outdoors during the winter months!) / no dogs allowed, no camera flash / picnic spot at entrance to village, with rain shelter, WC and playground / opening days:every day 13h30 until 18h, 22nd February until 8th March 2020 / on Wednesdays 26th February & 4th March: animation « La Balme aux 40 Voleurs » (treasure hunt), see here (reservations: +33 (0)4 74 96 95 00) / websiteaddress: rue des Grottes, 38390, La Balme-les-Grottes;

© Grottes de la Balme

🐻 Musée de l’Ours des Cavernes – open over the school holidays from 14h until 18h (shut Saturdays!) / website / address: Musée de l’Ours des Cavernes, Epernay, 73670, Entremont-le-Vieux (near Chambéry);

© Musée de l’Ours des Cavernes

🐰 🐰 🐰

There are 🐄 several farms to visit en famille au Pays du Mont Blanc.

[ for a more extensive list of farms to visit, see separate article ❄️ WINTERTIME activities for families au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond) ]

Here are some ideas for visits and workshops over the holidays:

🐄 (SERVOZ) « De la traite au fromage » – visit a dairy farm in Le Mont, learn about the 🐄 farm and the cows and milking and cheese-making (you can even taste the cheese) / reservations with Office de Tourisme de Servoz: 04 50 47 21 68 / 2231, Le Mont, 74310, Servoz;

🐄 (SALLANCHES, St-Roch) Visite à la Ferme des Cabrettes – guided visit of this goat farm in St Roch / Thursdays 10h until midday / FREE / possibility to buy cheese / reservations: 04 50 47 87 87 or 06 30 01 80 73 / address: 1100 route du Freney
74700, Sallanches;

🐰 (COMBLOUX, La Ferme Les Montagnards in Ormaret) « Les Petits Fermiers » farmyard workshops and family visits / when? Tuesdays 10h until midday and Thursdays 14h until 16h; NOTE: Friday 21st Februaryt to replace Thursday 20th February, 14h until 16h / ❤️ highly recommended by MBFF! / see FB page for more details and MBFF article about this local farm;

🐑 (SAINT-GERVAIS-les-BAINS) La Ferme des Roches-Fleuris – see FB page for the opening hours of this 🐑 chèvre farm in Saint-Gervais-les-Bainsaddress: 1510 route D’Orsin, 74170, Saint-Gervais-Les-Bains;

@ La Ferme des Roches Fleuries GAEC

🐑 (FLUMET) Bergerie des 2 Savoie – visit the farm and taste the produce! / for all, 5+ years / price: 3€ / reservations: 07 88 81 07 44 / address: Bergerie des 2 Savoie, route de l’Adret, Flumet;

🐰 🐰 🐰

Some of the animal parks – in and near the 🗻 Pays du Mont-Blanc – are open in winter or have winter options . . .

[ for a full list of the animal parks and aquariums in and near the 🗻 Pays du Mont-Blanc, see separate MBFF article 🦌 Animal Parks & Aquariums au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond) ]

🦌 (Les Houches) Le Parc Animalier de Merlet – this lovely animal park (located at an altitude of 1500m!) has some winter outings scheduled! / see website for more details / 🗺 address: 2495 chemin de Merlet, 74310, Les Houches  /  📞 tel: +33 (0)4 50 53 47 89;

© Parc de Merlet

🐶 (Les Houches) Élevage de Saint-Bernards – at this kennel (chenil) located between Servoz and Les Houches, you’ll learn about the beautiful and fascinating 🐶 Saint-Bernard breed (originally from Asia, they were introduced to Europe and the Alps by the Romans; the remoteness of alpine valleys explains the conservation of the breed!) on a guided tour by the owners / 🗓 opening hours: 10h to 11h30 and 14h to 17h (shut on Sundays and Monday morning) – do give them a call before visiting as they sometimes close in the event of bad weather! / website 🗺 address: 223 chemin des Vorziers, La Fontaine, 74310, Les Houches (access: Aire de la Fontaine) / 📞 tel: +33 (0)4 50 47 23 60;

Élevage de Saint-Bernards (Les Houches) © montblancfamilyfun.com

🦌 (MEGEVE) Domaine du Coulairon (élevage de rennes) – reindeer au Pays du Mont-Blanc, and here you can visit the élevage! / various formules available (you need to book in advance): formule découverte, visit + goûter, and visit and dinner (in a typical Finnish Kota!) / you can also visit the bergerie / website FB page address: 1850, route de la Côte 2000, Megève tel: 06 80 57 21 94 / reservations;

© Domaine de Coulairon

🦌 Le Zoo des Marécottes – not too far away, just over the border in neighbouring 🇨🇭 Switzerland, we visited 🦌 Le Zoo des Marécottes for my son’s birthday a few years ago, right at the end of December . . . it was a sunny winter’s day, we took the train, and it was MAGICAL! The sun shone through the trees for the short walk from the Marécottes train station, we fed deer, we had a cosy lunch (with cake and candles in the restaurant on-site) . . . highly recommended for the winter holidays! This animal park is the highest in Europe at 1100m, and nestled among🌲 trees . . . April 2017 saw the 🐻 birth of a baby black bear (Mirus) . . . and 2019 saw the arrival of a couple of wolves / you can buy food to feed the 🦌 deer and there is a cosy restaurant on-site (check opening hours) / 🗓 opening dates: all year! (though restaurant has separate opening hours) / website / getting there: you can take the train from the Chamonix Valley to Les Marécottes! / 🗺 address: Zoo et Piscine des Marécottes, rue des Combasses 3, 1923, Les Marécottes, Switzerland / 📞 tel: +41 27 761 15 62;

🇨🇭🦌 Conservatoire et Jardins Botaniques de Genève (botanical gardens) – there is a small animal park with deer and ducks here, and the gardens are lovely all year-round / also, a super playground and restaurant on-site!) FREE to visit! / see MBFF article here;

🇨🇭🐗 Parc aux Animaux du Bois-de-la-Bâtie (Geneva) – set over an area of 2,5 hectares, there are about 300 species of indigenous fauna here, including some endangered species and conservation projects! You’ll find explanatory panels about the animals on your route around the park / opening hours: every day (November to March: 8h to 18h) / FREE to visit! / website / address: Le Bois-de-la-Bâtie, chemin de la Bâtie, Geneva, Switzerland;

Parc aux animaux du Bois-de-la-Bâtie © Patrick G. Lopreno / Ville de Genève

 🏂 ⛷

⛷ 🏂 SKI & SNOWBOARD classes & clubs 🏂 ⛷ 

From 🏂 ski and snowboarding clubs, to group or private lessons, there is plenty to choose from to perfect one’s technique (and above all have FUN!) 🗻 au Pays du Mont-Blanc . . . the first point of call is often the ⛷ ESF (Ecole de Ski Français) and the discounted classes offered through the CAF (Club Alpin Français). Other options include:

  • ski clubs of different communes;
  • Multiglisse Les Houches;
  • Ecole de Glisse (offered through the CAF) Sallanches;
  • Ski Passion in Combloux;
  • Ski Surf Loisirs (MJC Saint-Gervais) (for after the winter holidays) enjoy the snow, without the competition . . . see website for MJC Saint-Gervais for more details;
Skiing at Combloux © montblancfamilyfun.com

And don’t forget some of the fun events on the pistes during the school holidays 🗻 au Pays du Mont-Blanc . . . (descentes flambeaux and more . . .) . . . here are some ideas:

(Les Houches) – Jeu de Piste (Le Prarion) and Goûter et descente aux flambeaux (Le Tourchet) – on alternate Thursdays, a treasure hunt on the pistes (daytime) or a descente aux flambeaux (evening) / see here for more information;

(VALLORCINE, La Poya) Les Nocturnes de la Poya – every Thursday until 3rd March, from 16h30 until 21h, ski with

© ESF Vallorcine / Vallorcine Tourisme

(Passy Plaine-Joux) Descente aux Flambeaux – on Tuesday 25th February, at this super family-frienly ski station . . . 

© Passy Mont-Blanc Tourisme

(SAINT-GERVAIS) – Ski de Rando sessions from 21st until 23rd February 2020;

© Saint-Gervais

(PRAZ-sur-ARLY) Praz Adrenaline Days– every Wednesday of the holidays 12th, 19th and 276th February and 4th March – until 16h on the Front de Neige: vol en parapente (RDV base of télésiège Crêt du Midi, 8+ years, 50€), wingjump (reduce weight by 30%, FREE!), glisse en folie (snowtubes, snowskates, yooners, FREE!), fatbikes (from 14h, FREE, NEW – airbag! / more information here;

© Praz-sur-Arly Tourisme
© Praz-sur-Arly Tourisme

⛷ (LES CONTAMINES-MONTJOIE, Domaine Nordique) Challenge Biathlon familles ou amis – discover biathlon, with prizes and apéritifs / price: 15€;

© Les Contamines-Montjoie Tourisme

🛷 🛷 🛷

[ for some ideas of where to head with a 🛷 luge au Pays du Mont-Blanc, see separate post ❄️ Pistes de luge au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond) . . . there, you’ll also find suggestions for strolls with a sledge, with very small children and babies ]

🗻 Au Pays du Mont-Blanc over the holidays, there is also some organised sledging fun:

🛷 (LES PLANARDS, Snooc) NEW activity at Les Planards ski station in Chamonix – the snooc is a hybrid French invention, somewhere inbetween a sledge and skis, and with no need to be an expert skier to try it out! / equipment needed: ski clothes, gloves, snow boots / price: here;

🛷 (LES HOUCHES, 🚡 Télécabine du Prarion) Descente en Paret – every Friday at 16h, during the school holidays (subject to weather conditions) / last descent of the day on a paret (an ancestral sledge) / about 45 minutes descent / minimum age 10 years / RDV Télécabine du Prarion at 16h / inscriptions: Office de Tourisme des Houches / price: 10€ + forfait remontées mécaniques;

© Les Houches Tourisme

🛷 Saint-Gervais (🚡 Bettex – Mont d’Arbois) – after the pistes have shut for the day, go on a 4km accompanied STIGA sledge descent (organised by OXYGENE GLISSE & AVENTURE) / when? Thursday 13th February, Tuesdays 18th and 25th February and Thursday 5th March at 17h15 / see here for more information / price: 25€ / reservations: 04 50 47 76 08;

© Saint-Gervais Tourisme

(Megève) Les Soirées Luge Rochebrune & Mont d’Arbois – after the pistes shut for the day, sledge for free in Megève, with music  and tombola! / bring your own luge! / Tuesday at Rochebrune and Thursday at Mont d’Arbois;

© Megève Tourisme

⛸ ⛸ ⛸

{

[ see separate article Seasonal Ice-Skating au Pays du Mont-Blanc for more information ]

(CHAMONIX) Nocturne de la patinoire de Chamonix – on Wednesdays, from 21h until 23h, from 5th February until 22nd April 2020 / price: adults 6,60€, children 4,90€ (and skate hire 4.40€, or bring your own!) / address: Patinoire du centre sportif Richard Bozon, 165 route de la Patinoire, 74400, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

Chamonix’s indoor ice-skating rink © montblancfamilyfun.com

⛸ (Patinoire, Les Houches) Nocturne Givrée 

© Les Houches Tourisme

(Patinoire de Saint-Gervais) Gala de Patinage in Saint-Gervais – on Tuesdays at 19h30;

© Patinage Saint-Gervais
© Patinage Saint-Gervais

⛸ (Patinoire Olympique, Megève) Les Soirées Givrées – every Wednesday evening with a different theme, from 19h30 until 22h30, from 12th February until 26th March / price: 4€;

© Soirées Givrés Megeve
© Soirées Givrés Megeve

(Les Contamines-Montjoie, Patinoire des Loyers) – ice-skating and curling taster-sessions at the outdoor rink here!

and for younger skaters . . .

  • Jardin des Glaces avec Charlotte la Marmotte (Patinoire, Saint-Gervais-les-Bains) – on Tuesdays from 10h until midday / for children 3 to 10 years;
Charlotte la Marmotte © Saint-Gervais-les-Bains
  • ⛸ Jardin de la Glisse (Le Palais, Megève) – at the indoor Olympic patinoire in Megève / when? Sunday 16th & 23rd February, Sunday 8th March, from 9h30 until 11h30 / for children under 10 years / price: 4€;
© Le Palais Megève
Jardin de la Glisse @ Le Palais Megève
  • ⛸ (Les Contamines-Montjoie, Patinoire des Loyers) – this outdoor rink next to the river in Les Contamines-Montjoie is equipped for small skaters and has a special slot reserved for little skaters on Wednesdays and Sundays (10h until midday) during the holidays! / NEW – indoor changing chalet and foodtruck on-site! / see opening hours here;
Patinoire les Contamines-Montjoie © montblancfamilyfun.com

⛸ Patinoire de Cluses – 600m2 in the centre of town / themed nights and animations . . .

© Patinoire de Cluses

🏌️‍♀️ ⛳️ 🏌️‍♀️

⛳️ (SERVOZ) Street Golf sur neigewhen? Tuesdays, from 15h until 18h / where? Pré de l’Eglise, 74310, Servoz;

© Servoz Tourisme

🏰 🏔 🏦 

Whether you are a tourist wanting to learn more about the history, culture and architecture of the town or village you are visiting, or a resident wanting to learn more about where you are living . . . then there are plenty of guided tours to choose from . . . here is a selection of what is on offer during the winter months:

🏔 Pays du Mont-Blanc visites culturelles – a schedule throughout the PaysduMtBlanc, from June until December / see FB page for news;

🏦 (Chamonix)guided visit of the townwhen? Thursday mornings, 10h until midday / price: 9€ / reservations: OTs of Chamonix Valley;

🏔 Chamonix Valley Les Virées Culturelles de Christine – see website for more details;

🏔 Chamonix ValleyTeresa Kaufman’s Photo Walks – see website here;

🏦 Chamonix – guided tours of the Musée Alpin / see museum website for more details;

📷 Servoz Rallye Photo when? every Tuesday from 9h until midday during the holidays / get to know Servoz village by doing a photo hunt / bring 📷 a camera or a mobile phone camera / where? start at OT Servoz, 113 rue du Bouchet, 74310, Servoz;

© Servoz Tourisme

🏔 Passy & Plateau d’Assy – visit the architectural wonders (the sanitoriums, Notre Dame de l’Eglise church and more) / further details on Passy Mont-Blanc Tourisme;

🏔 Combloux Visite guidée de l’entreprise Lorenzio Granit du Mont-Blanc (Comboux) – visit Laurenzio’s granite production and learn about the métier des graniteurs, from extraction of the granite from Mont-Blanc to the finished product (chimneys, work desks, fountains, tables and more . . . ) / see here for more details / when? every Friday from 17h to 17h45 / price: 5€ and free for under 15s / address: 340 route de la Barme, 74920, Combloux / reservations: here / also, guided visits of the town during the holidays;

© Combloux Tourisme

⛪️ Cordon – visit the Baroque church / more details on Cordon Tourisme;

🏰 Saint-Gervais-les-Bainsmaisons fortes and old hotels and history of the Thermes / programme of exhibitions and guided visits over the holidays:

🏰 Megève – visit the town or the route de la Calvaire / more details on Megève Tourisme;

⛪️ Les Contamines-Montjoie – during the school holiays, RDV every day at 9h in front of the Tourist Office, for a guided tour of the town / reservations at Tourist Office / donations welcome;

L’église baroque Les Contamines-Montjoie © montblancfamilyfun.com

When it ☔️ RAINS or ❄️ SNOWS for days on end, one can often be at a loss of what to do with little ones . . . for a full list of ideas, head over to MBFF articles (ice-skating, indoor skiing, softplay & indoor play centres, indoor tennis . . .):

➡️ for ☔️ RAINY DAY & INDOOR ideas, head to MBFF articles:

And here, below, are some special activities organised over these ❄️ Vacances de l’Hiver . . .

🎨🎨🎨

Youngsters will finds some creative activities at médiathèques, museums and other institutions au Pays du Mont-Blanc over the holidays . . .

CHAMONIX VALLEY

📚 (Médiathèque de Chamonix) atelier: Treestyle / Fridays 21st & 28th February at 15h / for 7+ years / reservations recommended!

© Mediathèque de Chamonix

🏔📷 (Musée de la Patrimoine) animation tout public : Speed shooting 1, 2, 3 cliquez ! ( 1, un temps pour découvrir l’éxposition; 2, un temps pour photographier; 3, un temps pour échanger / Thursdays 20th February & 5th March (and again during spring holidays 16th & 30th April) at 16h / come with camera or phone camera! / address: Maison de la Mémoire et du Patrimoine, 90 rue des Moulins, 74400, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc /

© Chamonix Tourisme

🗻🎨 (Musée Alpin, Chamonix) & (Musée Montagnard, Les Houches) see below – in MUSEUMS SECTION – for details about 🎨 creative workshops and guided tours at these two fabulous museums;

PASSY, Plateau d’Assy & Plaine-Joux

⛪️🎨 (EGLISE du Plateau d’Assy)Les guides du patrimoine Savoie Mont-Blanc will show you the works of artworks in the ⛪️ church (many created by famous artists!) – then you will be invited to draw, play, and  manipulate your knowledge / RDV à l’église du Plateau d’Assy / price: 5€ / reservations: 04 50 58 80 52;

Notre-Dame-de-Toute-Grâce © A.Tobé
SALLANCHES

🎨 (Médiathèque Ange Abrate) Atelier récup‘: creative workshop on 25th February, 15h until 16h15 & 16h45 until 18h / reservations: 04 50 93 95 49;

© Médiathèque Ange Abrate

(Sallanches, Zanin) Cours Pâtissier: macarons- on Saturday 22nd February, 14h30 until 17h30 / address: Laboratoire ZANIN, 540 avenue du G Jacques de Montfort à Sallanches / price: 70€ / reservations: 04 50 34 59 24

© Zanin
Saint-Gervais-les-Bains & Saint Nicolas de Véroce

🎨 (OT, Saint-Gervais) « Atelier Loisirs Créatifs » over the school holidays, on Wednesdays, there are 🎨 creative workshops organised at 15h30 and again at see 16h30 / see AGENDA for more details;

🎨 (historic landmarks) « Ateliers Les P’tits Créateurs » over the school holidays, there are several 🎨 creative workshops organised in Saint-Gervais-les-Bains & St Nicolas de Véroce in their historic buildings / see AGENDA for more details;

🎨 (Chalet des Créateurs) The 🎨 Chalet des Créateurs in Saint-Gervais-les-Bains (a boutique and atelier housed in an old scierie) offers workshops over the holidays/ see website for current details / MBFF post about le Chalet des Créateurs;

🇨🇭 Geneva, Switzerland 🇨🇭

🇨🇭🎨 La Maison de la Créativité (Conches, Geneva, Switzerland) The MBFF family are huge fans of this 🎨centre of creativity for families in 🇨🇭Conches, Geneva . . . a house and grounds full of treasures for children, incredible (and always changing) workshops, an 🍴 outdoor “kitchen”, a playground, incredibly welcoming staff . . . / February opening:Wednesdays 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th February (morning and afternoon) and Saturday 15th February (morning and afternoon) AND every day (14h30 until 17h30) from Monday 10th until Friday 11th February, 14h30 until 17h30 / no need to reserve! / aimed at children up to the age of 8 years / 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 bring draisienne!) / price:3CHF for children and adults 2+ years (remember to bring small Swiss cash if possible!) / more information: website and MBFF article;

🎨🎨🎨

© montblancfamilyfun.com

We are lucky, 🏔 au Pays du Mont-Blanc, to have some superb museums . . . and during the school holidays, there are often guided tours and workshops for families and children . . . here are some of the activities happening over the holidays 🏔 au Pays du Mont-Blanc, and a bit further afield . . .

[ ➡️ for more ideas for exhibitions and museum visits, see MBFF post Museums & Exhibitions au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond). . . ]

🏔🖼 Musée Alpin (Chamonix) 🖼🏔

The wonderful 🏔 Musée Alpin in Chamonix has some 🎨 creative activities, workshops and guided visits planned for children and families over the February holidays:

➡️ see FULL PROGRAMME here . . .

© Musée Alpin

🎨🎨🎨

🗻 Espace TairrazMusée des Cristaux et de l’Alpinisme (Chamonix) 🗻

[ this museum in central Chamonix is currently being renovated, and therefore SHUT to the public for now! ]

🎨 🎨 🎨

🏔🖼 Le Musée Montagnard (Les Houches) 🖼🏔

This lovely little museum in the centre of Les Houches, offers some fabulous 🎨 workshops for children and families over the school holidays / check FB page for more information / for full programme, see here / price: 4€ / reservations: 04 50 54 54 74 / address: Musée Montagnard, 2 place de l’Eglise, 74310, Les Houches;

🎨 programme for winter holidays:

© Le Musée Montagnard

🎨 🎨 🎨

🕰 Musée de l’Horlogerie et du Décolletage (Cluses) 🕰

This little museum in Cluses, dedicated to the history of décolletage and watch and clock-making in the Vallée de l’Arve, will be open every day over the February holidays, from 14h until 18h / see programme of animations here / website;

🏰 🏰 🏰
🏰 Château d’Annecy 🏰

There are 🎨 family visits and workshops over the school holidays! ⇒ see here / website;

Château d’Annecy © montblancfamilyfun.com

🇨🇭 🇨🇭 🇨🇭

🇨🇭🖼 Musée d’Art et d’Histoire(MAH,Geneva) 🖼🇨🇭

A 🎨 few workshops & guided visits are organised for little ones and older ones at this fabulous museum in Geneva ⇒ Mercredi Family and Mercredi Family on 19th, 21st and 26th February and 4th March / see museum website AGENDA for more details;

© MAH

📚 📚 📚

📚 Quartier Libre SIG 📚

There are regular temporary exhibitions at this super little exhibition space in central Geneva, on a tiny islet on the Rhône and next to Lac Léman:

📚 current exhibition: ABCH Illustratrices Illustrateurs Jeunesse Suisses, until 1st March 2020 / young literature Swiss illustrators are being put in the spotlight at this exhibition . . . and they have imagined an illustrated abécédaire, centred on the theme of Switzerland: 26 artists, 26 letters and corresponding words (translated in to the 4 official Swiss languages) / FREE! / website / address: Quartier Libre SIG, Pont de la Machine, 1204, Genève;

© Quartier Libre SIG

🏰 📷 🏰

🏰 Forte di Bard – 📷 the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition (Aosta Valley, Italy) 🏰

The majestic 🏰 Forte di Bard, is both a fortress and cultural centre, with museums and temporary exhibitions! / see here for MBFF article about a visit here en famille (highly, highly recommended!) / and to read more about 📷 the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, which is shown here every year between February and June, see here;


CHAMONIX VALLEY

🗓 full programme over the winter holidays:

Les Houches 

Les Houches

Servoz

📚 Thursday 27th Februarystorytelling: Histoires et légendes de Servoz / when? where? Maison de l’Alpage113 rue du Bouchet, 74310, Servoz;

Servoz

Argentière 

🎭 « Mercredis Festif » – on Wednesdays during the school holidays at 18h;

© Chamonix Valley Tourisme

Vallorcine 

A wide range spectacles are on offer during the school holidays / [ see VALLORCINE AGENDA for more details . . . ]

  • 📚 Histoires avec Kamishibaï (Bibliothèque de Vallorcine)
© Vallée de Chamonix
PASSY, PLATEAU d’ASSY & PLAINE JOUX

🗓 full programme:

SALLANCHES

📚 Saturday 22nd February – at La Médiathèque Ange Abrate (SALLANCHES) – there will be Les Racontines at 16h / all children welcome / reservations: 04 50 93 95 49;

Les Racontines à Médiathèque Ange Abrate Sallanches © Médiathèque Ange Abrate
COMBLOUX

[ see full programme of events in Combloux over the holidays on Combloux Tourisme agenda ]

  • 🐺 « Les Légendes de Combloux » (COMBLOUX) lots of animations (theatre, treasure hunt, and more) throughout the week, based on the legends of Combloux and the resident wolves! / more information here;
© Mairie de Combloux
© Combloux Tourisme
  • Sunday 23rd Februaryspectacle: « Animalia » (cinéma-concert) by CIE la Compagnie des Barbarins Fourchus (Grenoble) – Chinese cinema, with music and poetry / when?  at 17h / where? at the Office de Tourisme (address: 2ème étage de l’Office de Tourisme, 49, chemin des Passerands, 74920, Combloux);
  • 🌈 Tuesday 25th February Journée Pitch – from 10h until 17h, on the Front de Neige at Le Cry, you will find Pitch (goûter brand), games and animations: rodéo mécanique, trampoline, igloo and snowman-making, goûter offered . . .
Journée Pitch Combloux
SAINT-GERVAIS & SAINT-NOICOLAS de VEROCE

There are a huge number of activities planned for families and children over the school holidays / see see AGENDA for more details;

MEGEVE & PRAZ-sur-ARLY

[ Megève Tourisme agenda here and Praz-sur-Arly’s here ]

  • Auditorium – Médiathèque, 247 route du Palais des Sports, 74120, Megève;
© Megève Tourisme
  • Place du Village, 1 place de l’Eglise, 74120,  Megève;
© Megève Tourisme

🎥 🎥 🎥

Over these February holidays, there is:

  • 🎥 a children’s film festival – « Festival Cinémino » in Plateau d’Assy and Saint-Gervais-les-Bains;
  • 🎥 Wednesday’s Cinébus Les Houches;
  • 🎥 Vallorcine ValloCiné;
  • 🎥 Le Palais Megèvespecial film sessions for children and families;
  • 🎥 and plenty of films on offer at the cinemas: the Vox (Chamonix), the Ciné Mont-Blanc (Sallanches)Panoramic (Megève);
🎥 Festival Cinémino (family film festival) – 24th & 27th February and March 🎥

The 🎥 Festival Cinémino is a film festival for children and families, mainly centred around Annecy & environs, but with a few screenings here au Pays du Mont-Blanc  in Plateau d’Assy and in Saint-Gervais / website / 4€ a ticket;

© Festival Cinémino

🎥 Saint Gervais (Théâtre Montjoie) – see here for more details / address: Théâtre Montjoie,190 rue de la Vignette, 74170, SAINT-GERVAIS-LES-BAINS / tel: 0450523003 / MJC cinema🗓 film schedule programme: films will show on Thursdays 27th February and 5th March, one film at 10h and another at 17h;

© MJC Saint-Gervais
© MJC Saint-Gervais

🎥 Plateau d’Assy (Cinéma du Plateau d’Assy) – see here for more details / address: 34 rue de l’Eglise, 74480,PASSY / website Cinéma du Plateau d’Assy / 🗓 film schedule: Monday 24th February – 17h30: L’Odyssée de Choum and 18h15 Abominable;

🎥 (LES HOUCHES, Le Grand Soir Cinébus) 🎥

« Vik le Viking » by Éric Cazes (France, Belgique, Allemagne) / address: Espace Animation, 27 place de la Mairie,,74310, Les Houches;

🎥 (Bibliothèque de Vallorcine) – Vallo’ciné  🎥

! / Le Voyage du prince, film d’animation by JL Laguionie (8+ years) and Marche avec les loups, documentary by JM Bertrand / address: Bibliothèque de Vallorcine, Le beau séjour, Chef lieu, 74660, Vallorcine;

© Cinébus
Megève (Le Palais)

As well as the films on offer at the small Panoramic cinema, there is:

🎥 Soirée CinéBalnéo (Le Palais, Megève)  a film in the espace aquatique, with water heated to 32° / 34°C ! / 19h30 until 22h / price: 10€ adults, children (5 to 14 years) 6€ / reservations: 04 50 21 15 71 ;

  • 🗓 14th February« Love Actually »;
  • 🗓 6th March – « Belle and Sébastian 3 »;

🎥 Friday 28th FebruaryCiné Famille (Le Palais, Megève) – at 15h; Le Ciné Famille – a surprise and FREE film at the médiathèque!

⚙️ ⚙️ ⚙️

🇨🇭⚙️ Musée d’Histoire des Sciences (Geneva) ⚙️🇨🇭

⚙️ « Mercredis des Sciences » – Wednesday science workshops over the February holidays, with a different theme each week / more information / address: Parc de la Perle du Lac, 128 rue de Lausanne / good to know: visit the lovely Parc de la Perle and ask for the map of a family parcours at reception . . . and take the opportunity to visit the lovely, lovely Botanical Gardens opposite!

Mercredis des Sciences © Musée d’Histoire des Sciences

A whole new breed of 🧬 INTERACTIVE MUSEUM has taken off in recent years, where children can explore, understand and then create through DOING . . . here are some suggestions not too far from the Pays du Mont-Blanc:

🇫🇷 🔗 La Turbine (Cran-Gévrier, near Annecy) – Le Centre de Culture Scientifique Technique et Industrielle de Haute-Savoie is an innovative pedagogic centre equipped for families to learn about science in an interactive way / 🗓 opening hours: from Tuesday to Sunday, 14h to 18h / FREE entry on first SUNDAY of month! / website / address: La Turbine, place Chorus, Cran-Gevrier, 74960, Annecy / tel: 04 50 08 17 00;

⚙️ current exhibition: « T’es sûr-e? »; 

🧘‍♀️ Les Ateliers de Zebrus (Sallanches) – various stages during the holidays for children and binomes parents & children . . .

© La Maison du Bien-Etre

🌈 🌈 🌈

[ to peruse all of the softplay and indoor play centres au Pays du Mont-Blanc and beyond, see separate article here ]

🌈 Le Parc en Folie softplay in Sallanches will be open EVERY DAY over the February holidays, and will have plenty of 🎨creative workshops on offer too! / see FB page for more details / address: 1431 avenue André Lasquin, 74700, Sallanches (industrial zone, near Aldi) / ❤️ recommended by MBFF for 🎁 organised birthday parties for under 6s (Sabrina & her team deal with everything, taking away all stress for the adults!);

🌈 🌈 🌈

Holiday English Lessons

Jeunes Diplomates in Megève . . .

© Jeunes Diplomates

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