Baby & Toddler Activities au Pays du Mont-Blanc

When I had my first baby seven years ago, I had just moved to a new town in the Pays du Mont-Blanc, away from a network of friends . . . I rather short-sightedly thought that this would be the opportunity to make new discoveries, and to have new adventures.  In effect, it was . . . but at times I was also incredibly lonely, … Continue reading Baby & Toddler Activities au Pays du Mont-Blanc

3D Nordic – husky sledding in Praz-sur-Arly

This year for Christmas, I offered the MBFF family a husky dog-sledding outing with 3D Nordic in Praz-sur-Arly. I had noticed that this was to be 3D Nordic‘s last winter season in Praz-sur-Arly, before they head off to new adventures in Lapland next winter season . . . so I ceased the opportunity and booked us a baptême chiens de traîneaux! What a treat for … Continue reading 3D Nordic – husky sledding in Praz-sur-Arly

Domaine des Planards (Chamonix Centre)

Domaine Skiable des Planards, a two minute walk from the centre of town, and with its own FREE parking, is one of Chamonix’s two Beginner ski areas (the other being at the Savoy slopes, connected to Domaine Skiable de Brévent). In addition, it is the site of the year-round Chamonix-Luge Alpine Coaster, set within the Parc des Attractions de Chamonix (re-opens in April). The ski area is comprised of: … Continue reading Domaine des Planards (Chamonix Centre)

La Poya Ski Area (Le Buet, Vallorcine)

La Poya is a small family-run ski area in the hamlet of Le Buet (not far from the train station), near to Vallorcine. It comprises: two drag lifts, a rope tow for Beginners and a pulley lift for small children, with 2km of pistes, including green, blue, red and even a black piste. You can opt for a half-day ski pass, at a very reasonable … Continue reading La Poya Ski Area (Le Buet, Vallorcine)

La Vormaine Beginner/Nursery Skiing (Le Tour)

La Vormaine, “the biggest of the small ski slopes“, is the splendid Beginner/Nursery ski area, nestled in the village of Le Tour (1432m), next to the Charamillon bubble lift. It is a good value ski area, as it allows families to opt for 2h30, 4 hours (often enough with toddlers to entertain!), a day or more, at a reasonable price. See here for current prices. … Continue reading La Vormaine Beginner/Nursery Skiing (Le Tour)

Les Contamines-Montjoie/Hauteluce Skiing

Les Contamines-Montjoie/Hauteluce is one of our family’s favourite ski areas – some broad, sunny pistes, excellent snow, panoramic views of the Mont-Blanc Massif and Beaufortin, lovely restaurants on the slopes  . . . just great! Snow machines also ensure good snow at the start and end of the season. The ski station straddles over both sides of the Col du Mont Joly, linking Haute Savoie and … Continue reading Les Contamines-Montjoie/Hauteluce Skiing

Combloux Skiing

Combloux is definitely one of the most family-friendly ski areas in the Pays du Mont-Blanc, and skiing here will reward you with some of the most beautiful views of Mont Blanc and the mountains of Les Aravis and Les Fiz! Ski Pass Options You have different ski pass options to suit your family’s needs at Combloux: Les Portes du Mont-Blanc – 100km of pistes link … Continue reading Combloux Skiing

Les P’tits Experts de la Nature workshops (Sallanches)

Every Wednesday afternoon during the French school holidays, the Centre de la Nature Montagnarde in Sallanches organises worshops for children aged 6 to 12 years 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! My son … Continue reading Les P’tits Experts de la Nature workshops (Sallanches)

Cordon Skiing

The village of Cordon is known as Le Balcon du Mont-Blanc because of its magnificent views of Mont-Blanc, and it has a small, family-friendly ski station with 11km of ski pistes.  A favourite ski station for the locals, it is perfect for tiny skiers and Beginners, as well as having a good selection of pistes for the more experienced skier. Cordon ski area will be opening this … Continue reading Cordon Skiing

Seasonal Ice-Skating au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

It’s that time of year when the ⛸ seasonal ice-skating rinks ⛸ begin to appear in town centres throughout le Pays du Mont-Blanc . . . a lovely way to spend some time en famille, or to let the youngsters play with their friends.  Sometimes, next to the ice-skating rink, you might find yourself rewarded with a mulled wine stand or small Christmas market! As well as … Continue reading Seasonal Ice-Skating au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

Plaine-Joux Skiing (Passy)

While the children are young and learning how to ski, or if you have beginner skiers in your group, then Plaine-Joux in Passy is the ideal ski station au Pays du Mont-Blanc for multiple reasons: it’s a small, family-oriented ski resort; there are 12km of wide, gentle, sunny pistes (green, blue and red) with stunning views of the Mont Blanc Massif; this is an affordable ski resort, … Continue reading Plaine-Joux Skiing (Passy)

Pistes de Luge au Pays du Mont-Blanc

❄November snowfall au Pays du Mont-Blanc!❄ . . . walking knee-deep (or shoulder-deep for the little ones!) in the snow, snowball fights, making a snowman (or perhaps a snowcat or other snow animal) . . . and sledging fun!  When the first November snowfall arrived last year, the MBFF team headed up to Plaine-Joux in Passy for some fun on a luge . . . except that … Continue reading Pistes de Luge au Pays du Mont-Blanc

Ice-Skating au Pays du Mont-Blanc

Le Pays du Mont-Blanc has three indoor ice-skating rinks that are open all year round, and so are good places to head to escape the heat or rain during the summer months, as well as to visit in the wintertime!  In addition, during the winter holiday season, there are severa seasonal outdoor ice-skating rinks (usually set up right in the centre of town), that open  for a limited period; … Continue reading Ice-Skating au Pays du Mont-Blanc

Praz-sur-Arly Skiing

Praz-sur-Arly is another of our local ski resorts au Pays du Mont-Blanc that ticks all of the boxes for family skiing: a mixture of gentle and more difficult pistes (60 per cent of the pistes are GREEN and BLUE!), the Opoualand and Waouland pistes reserved for children (adults are only permitted here if they accompany a child!), an outdoor softplay games area called Dragon Tirecorde, a … Continue reading Praz-sur-Arly Skiing

Gypaètes Barbus © Antoine Rezer Photography

Bon Anniversaire, Gypaète Barbu! (© Antoine Rezer Photography)

The gypaète barbu is celebrating two big birthdays this year: 30 years since its successful re-introduction into France (1987), and 20 years since the first gypaète was born in the Alps (1997). And so, to celebrate within the domain of the convention Rencontres Internationales du Gypaète Barbu (10th to 12th November), Asters, Conservatoire d’Espaces Naturels has put together a fantastic programme for the whole family this … Continue reading Bon Anniversaire, Gypaète Barbu! (© Antoine Rezer Photography)

La Maison de la Créativité (Conches, Geneva)

The MBFF family visited La Maison de la Créativité in Conches on the outskirts of Geneva, on a crisp, sunny day in 2016 . . . what a magical discovery, for children and adults alike! A house (Villa Calandrini) set in copious grounds and surrounded by woodland, with views of the Salève mountain, and it even has its very own Faraway Tree ® (reference to Enid … Continue reading La Maison de la Créativité (Conches, Geneva)

Family strolls with small children: lakes in autumn au Pays du Mont-Blanc

After a visit to Japan during the magical time of «autumn leaves», I never thought that autumn would inspire me in the same way again . . . But then I returned home to the Pays du Mont-Blanc, and was charmed all over again by the palette of red, ochre, gold and orange covering the trees, crunching under my feet and reflected in the lakes of … Continue reading Family strolls with small children: lakes in autumn au Pays du Mont-Blanc

Festival «Les Petits Asticots» (Pays du Mont-Blanc)

«Les Petits Asticots» – is an annual children’s festival au Pays du Mont-Blanc – it takes place during the Toussaint school holidays and provides families with six inspirational days of theatre, music, dance, circus and workshops! The MBFF team absolutely LOVE «Les Petits Asticots» – not only are the shows of high quality, the festival is local and its timing during the Toussaint holidays is just so welcome … Continue reading Festival «Les Petits Asticots» (Pays du Mont-Blanc)

La Maison du Salève (Présilly)

A visit to La Maison du Salève makes for a wonderful family day out . . . originally an 18th century farm from the Chartreuse de Pomier (La Ferme de Mikerne – see here for more history), the building has been renovated to host a cultural centre recounting the history of the Salève mountain and its environs (a permanent interactive exhibition) and temporary exhibitions . . . and … Continue reading La Maison du Salève (Présilly)

Les mercredis – workshops & creative activities for children au Pays du Mont-Blanc

Depending on where we live au Pays du Mont-Blanc, some of our children still have school on a Wednesday morning and some communes have opted to go back to the 4-day week . . . it’s hard to keep track, with all of the changes to the rhythme scolaire these last years! Each year, during the period just after La Rentrée – up and down the valley – … Continue reading Les mercredis – workshops & creative activities for children au Pays du Mont-Blanc

La Petite Université – Chamonix Mont-Blanc

Have you heard that there is a new university au du Mont-Blanc?  It’s called La Petite Université – Chamonix Mont-Blanc! If you weren’t able to attend the journée présentation back in July, then you will find some of the team this Saturday 9th September, from 10h to 16h, on the Promenade du Fori (along the Arve river, after the Place du Mont-Blanc), at the «Forum des Associations» … Continue reading La Petite Université – Chamonix Mont-Blanc

Family Hikes – tips for hiking with small children

With the recent beautiful weather we’ve been having, after lots of RAIN, I thought it time to write a post about hiking with small children. Family hiking with small children is not a simple task! Well, perhaps it is for some families . . . perhaps your children were born hikers!  But for many of us, getting our children to LOVE hiking in the mountains is … Continue reading Family Hikes – tips for hiking with small children

Softplay & Bouncy Castles au Pays du Mont Blanc

Au Pays du Mont-Blanc, we are now lucky enough to have two softplay options – one in Chamonix and one in Sallanches – for those RAINY DAYS all year long . . . and in the summer months, plenty of bouncy castles spring up in lovely locations: Indoor Softplay Centres La Petite Folie Softplay (Chamonix) This softplay café in Chamonix Sud opened its doors in the summer of … Continue reading Softplay & Bouncy Castles au Pays du Mont Blanc

Le Chalet des Créateurs (Saint-Gervais-les-Bains)

Every now and again a new place to visit comes along that really makes me SMILE . . . The Chalet des Créateurs in Saint-Gervais-les-Bains is one such venture. The Chalet des Créateurs is many things at once: a gallery showcasing local creative talent (45+ créateurs, and always changing); a boutique with unique hand-made, local goods/gifts; a place for children and adults to try out workshops! A … Continue reading Le Chalet des Créateurs (Saint-Gervais-les-Bains)

Lac de Passy

Lac de Passy, officially referred to these days as a “Base de Loisir” (due to the numerous leisure activities on offer), is the largest lake in the Pays du Mont-Blanc.  Ideal for a swim and a splash during the summer months, it is also frequented by cyclists, joggers, buggy-walkers, fishing enthusiasts, windsurfers, paddle-boarders and dog-walkers (NB dogs are not permitted at the beach/criques ends of the lake during … Continue reading Lac de Passy