📚 La Rentrée is often an exciting time for children, sometimes daunting too: a new class and teacher(s), new subjects, seeing their friends again after the long summer holidays . . .
This 📚 Rentrée 2020, is – of course – a little bit more full of apprehension and uncertainty than usual. With government regulations and advice in constant flux with the spreading of this Covid pandemic, many of us are wondering “will schools remain open this year“? Collège and lycée students are returning to a school with masks and social distancing measures are still in place for all children.
And so, with the current state of affairs, details in this article are certainly subject to change. More than ever, please do check the running of events and the regulations required to participate in such events (reservations, limited numbers, etc . . . )!
[ I shall soon update the article Les MERCREDIS au Pays du Mont-Blanc, with a list of ad-hoc activities children can sign up to! (as opposed to committing to a termly or yearly course!) ]
Colour code for listings
Chamonix Valley (Chamonix, Les Houches, Servoz, Arentière and environs) and Vallorcine
Passy (Plateau d’Assy, Plaine-Joux, Marlioz, Chedde, Bay)
Sallanches, Combloux, Cordon & Domancy
Saint-Gervais, Le Fayet, Saint Nicolas de Véroce, Bionnassay and environs
Megeve & Praz-sur-Arly and environs
Les Contamines-Montjoie and environs
Autumn Agendas & Catalogues 2020 – 2021
The summer holidays are over, but have left a spot open to autumn agendas and catalogues :
New Chamonix cultural agenda 2020 – 2021
Find the cultural agenda for 2020 – 2021 here:
Chamonix Valley September 2020 Agenda
New Cultur(r)al agenda 2020-2021 (Sallanches)
The Salle Léon Curral offers a wonderful programme each year of theatre, music, and dance events for the whole family. With membership, you’ll get reduced tickets! / see here for the programme / the billeterie will open from Tuesday 2nd September!
Saint-Gervais September programme
New Saison Culturelle Les Allos Théâtre de Cluses (Théâtre des Allobroges, Cluses)
September agenda for the Château de Montrottier (Lovagny, near Annecy)
This castle will remain open until 31st October, so there is still plenty of time to visit!
Geneva Camerata Saison 20 / 21 (Geneva)
For concerts en famille, see here;
Here are some of the events scheduled this autumn au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond).
[ for more information about sports events, see separate article here ]
Concours PHOTOS – Le Patrimoine Naturel de Haute-Savoie (Haute-Savoie)
Budding 📷 photographers, head out in nature and send off your pics to hautesavoieexperience.fr ! / see website for themes and rules! / until 30th September 2020 / prizes to be WON!
NEW MEG exhibition! (Musée d’Ethnographie, Geneva) – from 9th September 2020
The exhibition « Jean Dubuffet, un barbare en Europe » was delayed and is now opening from 9th September 2020 / this exhibition will recount the life and works of Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985), painter, sculptor and writer, and will specifically concentrate on the artist’s visit to Switzerland (and to the MEG!), after the WW2 – a trip that would define the « l’Art Brut » / this exhibition brings together around 300 works of art and is organised with the collaboration of la Fondation Dubuffet and Collection de l’Art Brut, Lausanne, and co-produced with le Mucem (Marseille) and l’IVAM (Institut d’art moderne de Valence, Espagne) / MEG website information;
address: boulevard Carl-Vogt 65-67,1205, Geneva, Switzerland / tel: +41 (0)22 418 45 50 ;
« Un Coup de Théatre » (Annecy) – 12th ⇒ 20th September 2020
A theatre festival in Annecy! / more information and programme here;
Le Tour de France ⇒ 20th September 2020
Le Tour de France was postponed from its usual July slot and even if it is not passing through the Pays du Mont-Blanc, the route is never too far away (this edition, La Roche-sur-Foron and Plateau des Glières étape 18, on 17th September 2020), and nothing beats those gilets zooming past our home a few years ago . . . / check website for the route and FB page for updates;
Soirées Brame du Cerf (Centre de la Nature Montagnarde) – Fridays 18th September and 7th October 2020
Festival de la Parentalité (La Maison du Bien Etre, Sallanches) – 18th & 19th September 2020
Miam Street Food Festival (Cluses) – September 18th & 19th 2020
Samoëns American Festival (Samoëns) – September 18th ⇒ 20th 2020
[ ANNULÉ ! ]
Get out your cowboy hat and boots, and head over to the 12th edition of the Samoëns American Festival ! Country music, dancing and more! / FB page;
La Comblorane (Combloux) – 19th & 20th September 2020
La Comblorane was cancelled this summer, so an alternative day has been planned, with fundraising for the Hôpitaux du Pays du Mont-Blanc (in recognition of the hospital’s work during the pandemic).
Saturday 19th September:
Randonnée théâtralisée A pas de loup – set in 1924, with a dégustation at the Alpage de Beauregard / 10h – 12h / 5€ / from 7+ years / reservations with l’Office de Tourisme;
Family Race – 16h-17h (un départ toutes les 5 minutes) / 5€ per family / 5+ years / sign up on-site;
Course de garçons de café – 1 tray and glasses of water, to finish the parcours and the obstacles without spilling a drop! (1 children’s race, 1 adult race) / 17h-18h / FREE! / from 5+ years;
Soirée barbecue-concert – bring your BBQ meat / 18h-21h;
Sunday 20th September:
Petit-déjeuner et stretching d’avant-départ – from 7h30;
Rando solidaire – a new parcours, at your rhythm, for this special 16km edition, +900 dénivelé positif / departure 8h to 9h30 / 10€ / you must sign up beforehand at the Office de Tourisme (or pay extra 5€);
inscriptions en ligne : https://boutique.combloux.com/comblorane-solidaire
Journées Européenes du Patrimoine 2020 – 19th ⇒ 20th September 2020
Back again this year, this initiative opens lots of sites de patrimoine not always open to the public all over France, and there will also be some guided tours! / the theme this year is: “Patrimoine et éducation : apprendre pour la vie !” / website and programmes here au Pays du Mont-Blanc;
La Monchu dans L’Pentu (Saint-Gervais) – road biking event – Sunday 20th September 2020
La Monchu dans l’Pentu is a road biking event au Pays du Mont-Blanc, with ” ni chronomètre ni classement ” / for all, 13+ years / departure and arrival Le Parc Thermal in Le Fayet / raising money for charity ARAMIS / more information here;
⇒ 4 parcours:
- Tot-drêt dans l’cascade – a familial 30km route / Cascade d’Arpenaz (Sallanches) and Cascade du Cœur (Chedde) / play game along the way: Tot-Dret dans la Cascade;
- parcours VTT pour les enfants – in the Parc Thermal;
- La p’tite – 54km / Côteau de Passy, Montée de Cordon and return to St Gervais Mont-Blanc via St Nicolas-de-Véroce;
- La Monchu – 74km, for the sporty!
- Dans l’Pentu – 97km, for the super sporty! / with Megève and Les Contamines-Montjoie added to the parcours!
Fête de la Science: planète nature – 2nd ⇒ 12th October 2020
Soirées Brame du Cerf (Centre de la Nature Montagnarde) – Friday 7th October 2020
Fête de la Courge (Pateau d’Assy) – 10th October 2020
The autumn festival up at Plateau d’Assy!
Le Jour de la Nuit (12th edition) – 10th October 2020
Turn out your lights and see the difference!
Toquicime (Megève) – 16th ⇒ 19th October 2020
The mountain cuisince festival! / “Rendez-vous en octobre 2020 pour célébrer, partager et réinventer la cuisine de montagne. Ateliers, conférences, dégustations, concours… cet automne, Megève est plus que jamais la capitale de la gastronomie alpine. Un événement pour le grand public en accès libre et gratuit !” / website;
« Les Petits Asticots 2020 » – 17th ⇒ 23rd October 2020 (Pays du Mont-Blanc)
This annual Toussaint holiday festival is programmed again this year, with locations throughout the Pays du Mont-Blanc: spectacles, music, dance, puppets, circus, theatre, workshops / good to know: the billeterie opens on 1st October 2020, so book quickly, to avoid disappoint (from experience, the spectacles get booked up quickly!) /see MBFF article here and website;
[ note: a more detailed agenda will be available for the Toussaint holidays, with information also about the agricultural foires! ]
We are lucky to have so many options for leisure here au Pays du Mont-Blanc!
To join ⚽️ local sports clubs, you will largely need to sign up on a yearly basis, and this either happens before the summer holidays or during La Rentrée period . . . the choice is endless: climbing, football, volleyball, karate, judo, tennis, danse, gymnastics, roller-blading, mountain biking, skiing, biathlon . . .
There are normally a few big days to find out about (and try out!) ⚽️ sports clubs and associations au Pays du Mont-Blanc, but this year some of these have been cancelled (others not; I can’t quite figure out the logic and inconsistency of this!) . . .
Forum des Sports in Chamonix – on 5th September, at the Salle Coubertin du Centre Sportif Richard Bozon (entrance via Salle Madoeuf) / if kids are already signed up to clubs, réinscription this year is mainly via internet;
Espace Évasion (Espace Olca, Les Houches) – for more information, see here;
Fête du Sport de Passy – normally held at Lac de Passy, this day has been CANCELLED this year!
Fête du Sport de Sallanches – normally an annual event along the quais, La Grenette and Pré de la Foire , this has been CANCELLED this year! / Annuaire Associations Sportives here;
Combloux – see Sport Section on the Mairie website for a description of some of the sports on offer for the 2020 & 2021 season (football, tennis, yoga, karate . . . );
Bourse & Forum des Sports Megève (Palais des Sports, Megève) – more information here;
Faites du Sport Outdoor (Parc de Loisirs du Pontet, Les Contamines-Montjoie) – a new event for this year, being held on the 5th & 6th September 2020! / try out lots of different sports!
For gymnatics, there is the club in Passy (USMB Passy), though be prepared for hard graft and competition level! – portes ouvertes on 5th & 6th September 2020 / for more relaxed options, try MJC Chamonix and Saint-Gervais, FJEP Passy or 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 lessons.
If you are looking for competition level swimming, then you have the clubs:
Football clubs are a popular option for youngsters! You have various options au Pays du Mont-Blanc: Chamonix, Les Houches-Sevoz, Passy/ Saint-Gervais, Sallanches, Combloux, Megève . . .
Football clubs are superbly run, but be warned that the commitment is huge: from 6 years, training is x2 a week, and with matches on Saturdays too!
There are several tennis clubs au Pays du Mont-Blanc:
- Le Tennis Club de Chamonix-Mont-Blanc – more information on FB page;
- Tennis Club Les Houches;
- Tennis Club de Passy / Saint Gervais – website;
- Tennis Club Sallanches – website;
- Megève (Le Palais) – from 7+ years;
- Parc de Loisirs du Pontet in Les Contamines – more information;
. . . and 🏐 babyHand in Chamonix, for 3 to 5 year olds AND their parents!
There are several climbing clubs au Pays du Mont-Blanc, where children can learn the discipline at competition level if they so desire:
- Chamonix Escalade – FB page;
- En Passant par la Montagne – on Mondays at 18h;
- Passy Escalade – from 4+ years / very popular! / website;
- CAF Sallanches – from 7+ years, children automatically become members of CAF, with outings offered and reduced price ski lessons too! Brilliant! / FB page;
- Club Escalade de Saint-Gervais;
There are also some independent climbing options, offering stages and lessons at the weekend, on a weekday and during the holidays (where the onus is not at all on competition!):
- Koala Grimpe (Chamonix Valley) – highly recommended by MBFF, Magali and her team are LOVELY! / FB page & website;
- Coco Grimpe (Chamonix Valley) – see website or FB page for more details;
- Granite Escalade (Chamonix Valley) – website and FB page;
- Mont-Blanc Escalade (Les Houches) – indoor climbing wall / FB page and website;
- MJC Saint-Gervais – my elder son did lessons here and really enjoyed them! / location: climbing wall in one of the pile of the viaduct bridge!
- Le Palais (Megève) – lessons available here, including Baby Grimpe!
You have several options for VTT / mountain biking clubs for chidlren here au Pays du Mont-Blanc:
- Chamonix mountain bike club;
- Passy VTT;
- Praz-sur-Arly club;
You have a few options for horse-riding stables here au Pays du Mont-Blanc:
- Centre Équestre du Mont-Blanc (Les Houches) – website;
- Les Ecuries du Duc (Combloux) – see website;
- Les Ecuries des Fiz (Le Fayet) – FB page;
- Centre Equestre Les Contamines-Montjoie – during the school holidays / see here;
And a few options for yoga classes for little ones: Bulles de Qi (Sallanches), Cercle de Yoga (Sallanches), Yoga un Chemin de Vie (Combloux) . . . and try MJC Chamonix and Saint-Gervais or FJEP Passy! And these new classes in Sallanches: yoga enfants;
There are also some independent taster days (journées découverte) organised by individual sports clubs . . . this gives children the chance to try out a few sessions of the new sport, before signing up for the year! Here are some that I have found:
Chamonix Patinage Artistique – free figure skating taster day for kids and adults on Wednesday 2nd September!
Chamonix Hockey Club – portes ouvertes on Wednesdays 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th September!
Chamonix Hockey Club filles – journée portes ouvertes FILLES on Saturday 12th September!
Saint-Gervais Hockey Club journées découverte – on Saturdays 5th & 12th September and Wednesday 9th September;
Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc Patinage portes ouvertes – Tuesdays 8th, 15th & 22nd September 2020;
Ice Parties at Le Palais Megève – on 5th & 12th September, go try out figure skating!
Megève Hockey Club séances de découverte – Wednesdays 9th and 16th September and Saturdays 12th and 19th September;
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. Here are the ones known to me:
- Faire l’Ecole Buissonière (Chamonix Valley) – bilingual groups / FB page;
- EXPLORE (Chamonix Valley) – private group on FB, sporadic forest outings;
- dehOrs (Chamonix Valley) – new forest school option, led by two accompagnatrices de montagne / FB page;
- 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;
Find below a list of the art, music and creative clubs and associations au Pays du Mont-Blanc . . .
Perhaps your children (or you?) are more interested in pursuing a creative pursuit? In which case, there are some interesting programmes available from our local cultural institutions (you’ll also find some sports classes, which tend to be less formal than the sports clubs, and with less commitment (usually one session per week) and less onus on “competition”;
Forum des Associations et Structures Culturelles – on Saturday 5th September 2020, from 10h until 15h, discover all of the creative associations of Chamonix! / address: Gymnase de l’ENSA, 4 promenade du Fori, 74400, Chamonix;
La Maison des Jeunes et de la Culture (MJC) Chamonix– see plaquette 2020 / 2021, for a list of this season’s activities! / Journée Portes Ouvertes on 5th September 2020!
New La Petite Université agenda (Chamonix Valley) – I did a photography stage last year with La Petite Université, which I enjoyed immensely, and the agenda is again rich this year, with new courses, talks and conferences! See website for more information and MBFF article about the association here. You can meet the association at the forum on the 5th September 2020;
Cat Kartal Chamonix Art School – Cat will be continuing her popular art sessions at her bucolic retreat in Argentière on Saturdays until November! / see FB page for more information;
Antenne Jeunes les Houches – for 11 to 18 year olds / see here;
” A l’Antenne Jeunes, tu pourras :
- Discuter avec tes potes;
- Avoir un accès Internet;
- Découvrir ou redécouvrir des jeux de société;
- Pratiquer des activités sportives;
- Jouer à la console;
- Mettre à profit tes talents de dessinateur;
- Et bien d’autres choses encore … “
L’Etape (Argentière) – a “laboratoire citoyen regroupant espace de co-working, salle d’activités et projets de village” / see FB page for more information / address: 329 rue Charlet Straton, à Argentière;
Forum des Associations (Salle Jean Morel, Servoz) – there is usually a day to find out more about more about sports and leisure activities on offer in the commune (and to sign up);
FJEP Passy (Parvis des Fiz) – sign up for sports and creative activities from 7th until 17th September 2020 (from 13h30) at the time of the activity you’d like to sign up for! (those already doing activities are able to sign up earlier, from the summer!) / lots of Wednesday options! / plaquette 2020/2021;
You’ll find a selection of courses on offer at the MJC Chamonix and Saint-Gervais, FJEP Passy, Le Palais Megève, and also . . .
Chamonix Ecole de Musique et Danse (EMDI) – for more information, see here / address: 381 rue du Lyret, 74400, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc;
MADhouse Theatre Chamonix – ” a theatre group for children living in Chamonix. Predominantly in English, however shows are bilingual and we have a mixture of children at the group in Morzine. We accommodate all languages as a lot is copy and repeat dancing, fitness and exercise! Location of classes and times tbc but this page is to show you what we do and how preparations are coming along! We take children from aged 3 up to late teens . . . and are open to suggestions. Dance classes will also be on offer in the future. MADhouse Chamonix will perform up to 3 shows a year and will give your child a thorough understanding and introduction into Dance, Drama, Theatre, Singing and acting through lessons, workshops and rehearsals. Most importantly these sessions are fun and allow your child to release their inner creativity… MADhouse started out as MORZINE Amateur Dramatics (MAD) but somehow lives up to its name! We look forward to meeting you in September! ” / see private FB group here;
L’Echo des Glaciers Harmonie Junior (Les Houches):
Alti’move (Les Houches) – hip-hop, street dance, baby move / planning and more information here;
Et si on Bougeait (Servoz) – street dance and more . . . / more information here;
Association JOY Studio – NEW – pompom lessons! / see FB page;
Ecole de Musique et Danse (Sallanches) – for more information, see here;
Académie Musicale du Mont-Blanc (Ecole Saint-Jacques, Sallanches) – a new initiative for Wednesdays since La Rentrée 2018, the Académie Musicale du Mont-Blanc is run by Kaori / éveil musical for little ones, instruments and more! / portes ouvertes on Wednesday 9th September 2020 at 16h / price per trimester: 100€ / see FB Page for more details;
Attitude Danse Studio (Sallanches) – funk dance classes / more information here / address: Salle Paroissiale, Sallanches;
Alp’Show Dance (Sallanches) – all types of dance offered here: Latin (Salsa, Bachata), rock, adults and seniors too! / a semaine portes ouvertes 14th September / more infomation here / address: 341 quai des Warens, 74700, Sallanches;
Ecole de Théâtre Les Hêtres de Domancy (La Tour Carrée, Domancy) – theater classes in Domancy! / a taster day on 16th September 2020!
MJC Saint-Gervais – réinscriptions are always open first to people having practised a specific activity at the MJC the previous year, and then the inscriptions will be open for a new activity and for new members / my son enjoyed very fun and laid-back climbing lessons here for a couple of years here / some Wednesday options! / calaméo programme 2020 – 2021;
Le Palais Megève activités extra-scolaire – online brochure 2020 / 2020;
Ecole de Musique Val-Montjoie (Saint-Gervais & Les Contamines-Montjoie)
Studio Danse (Cluses) – many different dance classes here!
For children wanting to take English or other language classes, there are several options: the MJC Chamonix and Saint-Gervais, FJEP Passy, Le Palais Megève, after school clubs, private tutors and also . . .
La Petite Université (Chamonix)
Les Jeunes Diplomates (Megève and NEW Les Contamines-Montjoie)
NEW – learn Japanese (adults)!
Megève – see website here;
Wednesday mornings in Les Contamines-Montjoie: 8h45 ⇒ 9h30 – starters GS/CP AND 9h45 ⇒ 10h30 – Flyers CE1/CM1 (x30 lessons over year, 45 minutes each lesson / groups of 8 max) / inscriptions;