MBFF’s 20 favourite PICNIC SPOTS (with small children) au Pays du Mont-Blanc!

[ NOTE: for now, in adherance with regulations, you are NOT allowed to picnic at our local lakes ] I was lying in bed last night thinking of all of the lovely places that I’d like 🍏 to go for a picnic en famille; I’ve missed this activity these last two months! A picnic gets everyone outdoors and is often accompanied by a short walk or … Continue reading MBFF’s 20 favourite PICNIC SPOTS (with small children) au Pays du Mont-Blanc!

FAMILY HIKES: Bois de Fessy et les Blocs de La Pesse (Sallanches)

During confinement, we all had to find 🏡 walks within a 1km radius from home . . . though perhaps I was not able to go quite as far as I desired, this did encourage me to try out some of the 🏔 very local hikes, and one that we did en famille (though with much whining and shoulder support at times!) was this one: 🌳 … Continue reading FAMILY HIKES: Bois de Fessy et les Blocs de La Pesse (Sallanches)

BUGGY STROLLS: Parcours de l’Eau Artistique (Arve River, PASSY)

Each new spring season, ❄️ the  snow melts and the 🌷 first spring flowers peep up shyly from the lawns; this re-awakening of nature is the perfect invitation for a buggy stroll . . . Early in 🌷 the spring season there may still be too much ❄️ snow along the river paths at higher altitude in 🏔 the Pays du Mont-Blanc, but there is a lovely stretch … Continue reading BUGGY STROLLS: Parcours de l’Eau Artistique (Arve River, PASSY)

FAMILY HIKES: l’Alpage de Charousse (Les Houches)

The hike to 🌼 l’Alpage de Charousse (alpage means high mountain meadow) in Les Houches is one of my favourite short hikes in the Chamonix Valley, and one that MBFF has really enjoyed en famille with two small hikers. Description of hike The main highlight of this walk is arriving at the postcard perfect meadow – 🌼 the Alpage de Charousse (1200m)- when the blue, pink … Continue reading FAMILY HIKES: l’Alpage de Charousse (Les Houches)

GEOGRAPHY, HISTORY & CULTURE LESSON – learning about Paris (primary level)

I woke up a few weeks back now, on my 🐿 10th Groundhog Day, and decided that I would like to take the boys to 🗺 Paris . . . They have been asking to go for a while now, and I’ve always told them that we would go once they were old enough to be able to walk a fair distance without complaining (as … Continue reading GEOGRAPHY, HISTORY & CULTURE LESSON – learning about Paris (primary level)

ZOOLOGY (animal groups) & GEOGRAPHY LESSON (for 5 to 6 year olds)

I shared a short Facebook post a few weeks ago about some lesson ideas for teaching children about the 🌎 world (continents, the globe, atlases), and the specific 🦒 animals found in certain continents . . . Following on from that, and having played some more games surrounding the world and animal groups, I thought I would elaborate and write a longer article, with more … Continue reading ZOOLOGY (animal groups) & GEOGRAPHY LESSON (for 5 to 6 year olds)

ALPHABET & PHONICS LESSON – for 4 to 6 year olds

I used to be a secondary school teacher . . . but I have had little experience teaching younger children (the fact that I became a secondary school teacher indeed suggests that I chose not to teach younger children!). In these days of confinement, for my own sanity, I need to have a morning routine with my boys (9 and 6 years). My CM1 boy … Continue reading ALPHABET & PHONICS LESSON – for 4 to 6 year olds

ART HISTORY LESSON – teaching your children about VINCENT van GOGH from your home!

I first got really up close and personal with 🌻 Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890), his artistic genius and his personal demons, when I studied him for part of my GCSE art class (eek, 30 years ago!) . . . I made my dad sit on a decrepit old garden chair in our 🌸 springtime suburban garden, and then I painted him Van Gogh-style, with ☕️ a cup … Continue reading ART HISTORY LESSON – teaching your children about VINCENT van GOGH from your home!

SPRING & SUMMER BLOSSOMS and FLOWERS au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

It’s official in Geneva: 🌺 SPRINGTIME has ARRIVED ! The 🌳 Marronier de la Treille’s first blossom appeared this year on Sunday 8th March 2020 – and so this is seen in the Helvetian city as the first official day of 🌺 spring! (see below for more explanations). 🌷 Springtime – when 🌱 crocuses first timidly reach out to the sun from their bed of grass, when the first 🌺 almond and cherry … Continue reading SPRING & SUMMER BLOSSOMS and FLOWERS au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

PARCOURS ORIENTATION: L’Œuf de Plume La Gypaète (Le Reposoir)

Last weekend was unseasonably 🌸 springlike . . . and MBFF wanted to avoid the winter holiday crowds on our local ski pistes . . . and so I decided to plan an outing a bit further away. I get much inspiration for family visits from my boys’ outings with their garderies, and I remembered that last summer my younger son had headed up to … Continue reading PARCOURS ORIENTATION: L’Œuf de Plume La Gypaète (Le Reposoir)

Site Nordique La Livraz – cross-country skiing & winter walks (Megève)

MBFF has had some lovely family walks up at the ❄️ Site Nordique La Livraz in Megève. Not only is this one of 🎿 Megève’s cross-country skiing areas (there are a handful!), it is also a superb spot for ❄️ a family walk in wintertime, especially with young children or older relatives! You can pull little ones along in a 🛷 a luge and the terrain … Continue reading Site Nordique La Livraz – cross-country skiing & winter walks (Megève)

La Passerelle Himalayenne (PLATEAU d’ASSY)

The 🌉 Passerelle Himalayenne in Plateau d’Assy, which straddles the 💦 Nant Bordon ravine and allows you to access the 💦 Lac Vert via the original route du Lac Vert, was inaugurated on the 21st December 2019 . . . and since then, MBFF has been across it (and back) THREE times! On our most recent crossing, some Tibetan prayer flags had been attached to the … Continue reading La Passerelle Himalayenne (PLATEAU d’ASSY)

WINTER BUGGY STROLLS: Lac de Passy & Lacs des Ilettes

If you live at altitude 🗻 au Pays du Mont-Blanc, it can be a challenge to find a suitable path for buggy walks in nature over the ❄️ winter months: snow, ice, muddy ground underfoot . . . Luckily, if you head down to the Arve Valley, then you’ll descend about 500m in altitude . . . and here you will find our 💦 two … Continue reading WINTER BUGGY STROLLS: Lac de Passy & Lacs des Ilettes

« Wildlife Photographer of the Year » (Forte di Bard, ITALY)

It was quite by chance in the spring of 2014 that we discovered that we could enjoy the 📷 « Wildlife Photographer of the Year » exhibition fairly close to home, right near the 🏔 Pays du Mont-Blanc! I had always enjoyed visiting the London-based exhibition at the Natural History Museum (NB « Wildlife Photographer of the Year » competition / exhibition was developed and is produced by the Natural History Museum, London), … Continue reading « Wildlife Photographer of the Year » (Forte di Bard, ITALY)

SAINT-GERVAIS MONT-BLANC & SAINT-NICOLAS-de-VEROCE skiing

⛷ Saint-Gervais-Mont-Blanc & Saint Nicolas de Véroce are another two of our family’s favourite ski areas in the area – some broad pistes, some pistes running through the 🌲fir trees, 🗻 panoramic views of Mont-Blanc, some great off-piste for experienced (and suitably equipped!) skiers in search of powder (especially around Saint-Nicolas de Véroce and Mont-Joly), some fun runs for children . . . And though ⛷ Saint-Gervais-Mont-Blanc … Continue reading SAINT-GERVAIS MONT-BLANC & SAINT-NICOLAS-de-VEROCE skiing

CASTELLO GAMBA – modern & contemporary art in the Aosta Valley (ITALY)

Every visit to the 🇮🇹 Aosta Valley unveils another wonder to the MBFF family . . . On one of our last visits (back in the spring of 2019!), we stumbled – quite by chance – upon 🖼 a modern & contemporary art museum IN a 🏰 20th century castle overlooking the valley! I did know that one of the 🏰 Aosta Valley castles (the valley is know … Continue reading CASTELLO GAMBA – modern & contemporary art in the Aosta Valley (ITALY)

MINI WORLD LYON – a unique & fabulous family visit!

When my friend heard that we were to spend the weekend in Lyon during the Toussaint holidays, she asked if we were heading to Mini World Lyon, to see the Harry Potter Lego® exhibition: « L’expo-dont-on-ne-doit-pas-prononcer-le-nom » . . . and that got me wondering if I would be able to fit in a visit to our already busy weekend in Lyon, as I have two … Continue reading MINI WORLD LYON – a unique & fabulous family visit!

MBFF CHRISTMAS BAKING (and some beautiful memories)

🗓 December and🎄the advent period for me are synonymous with 🍪 BAKING: that wonderful smell emanating from the kitchen (the MBFF family lives in an open plan abode, so sweet smells do drift . . . ) . . . Such a cosy feeling does baking bring me: the aim being to share a sweet treat with loved ones . . . an activity rendered … Continue reading MBFF CHRISTMAS BAKING (and some beautiful memories)

« Noël au Château de Coppet » (Switzerland)

I can’t quite remember how we first heard about 🎄« Noël au Château de Coppet » – a delightful Christmas market, located between 🇨🇭 Geneva and Nyon, on 💦 Lac Léman in Switzerland. But I’m so glad that we did, as we had a lovely experience there four years ago! We’ve been meaning to head back ever since, but we’ve not yet managed it! What makes … Continue reading « Noël au Château de Coppet » (Switzerland)

SKI INDOOR 4810 – perfect your skiing INDOORS! (Passy)

During the school holidays, MBFF was invited to test out the ⛷ new indoor ski centre in Passy: Ski Indoor 4810! The boys were really excited to dig out their 🎿 ski boots, helmets and gloves ahead of the official ski season, and to try out something so novel! Being a pretty mediocre skier myself, I was somewhat more apprehensive, but I was certainly intrigued to … Continue reading SKI INDOOR 4810 – perfect your skiing INDOORS! (Passy)

LYON – 72 hours of fun & visits en famille !

During the 🍂 Toussaint holidays last year, MBFF spent a long weekend in the beautiful city of 🏙 Lyon. As Daddy MBFF had some work meetings in the beautiful city, we decided to head there en famille, arriving at our hotel (located in the 7è arrondissement, just across the river from 🖼 the Musée des Confluences) at 8h in the morning (eek!), in time for me … Continue reading LYON – 72 hours of fun & visits en famille !

L’Aquarium de Lyon (Lyon)

On our recent trip to Lyon, MBFF was treated to some tickets to experience the 🐟 Aquarium de Lyon. Did you think that aquariums were the reserve of 🌊 sea or ocean located cities? Think again – though Lyon is far from the sea or ocean, do remember that this beautiful city is located at the 💦 strategic confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers, and this … Continue reading L’Aquarium de Lyon (Lyon)

An AUTUMN WEEKEND en famille in VALLORCINE (Résidence & Spa Vallorcine)

Vallorcine – 🐻 la Vallée des Ours (latin name: Vallis Ursina) – located just 16km north of Chamonix, is an authentic mountain village with a unique history; its relative isolation for centuries, its proximity to🇨🇭 Switzerland, and its Walser history distinguish it from the parallel history of the Chamonix Valley. I love Vallorcine and its stunning location. In fact, as soon as I head up to the ⛰ Col du Montet, … Continue reading An AUTUMN WEEKEND en famille in VALLORCINE (Résidence & Spa Vallorcine)