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)

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

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

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)

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 Paradis des Praz (Les Praz, Chamonix)

My MBFF boys headed off for some fun at Paradis des Praz at the weekend and it reminded me what a wonderful little hidden jewel it is.  This natural playground is well-known to families living in the region, but perhaps not to those visiting. Nestled in the woods in Les Praz, a short walk from the golf-course car park (or from Les Tines, in the opposite … Continue reading Le Paradis des Praz (Les Praz, Chamonix)

Baby & Toddler Playgroups & Storytelling au Pays du Mont Blanc

When I had my first baby, I came across playgroup & storytelling information progressively, so hopefully it will be of use to some folk to have a list of some of the playgroup & storytelling options for babies and toddlers au Pays du Mont-Blanc: Playgroups and Music & Dance groups au Pays du Mont-Blanc Chamonix – «ChamCats Carers, Mums n Tots» Chamonix «ChamCats Carers, Mums n Tots» … Continue reading Baby & Toddler Playgroups & Storytelling au Pays du Mont Blanc

Le Jardin des Cimes (Plateau d’Assy)

MBFF was thrilled to discover Le Jardin des Cimes in Plateau d’Assy a few years ago.  It is a truly magical garden, with breathtaking views of the Mont Blanc Massif. Le Jardin des Cimes (“Garden of the Summits”) has revitalised the area of Plateau d’Assy; not only are the garden and café a delight for locals and tourists alike, but jobs have been created and there are plenty of activities and … Continue reading Le Jardin des Cimes (Plateau d’Assy)

Le Parc de Merlet Animal Park (Les Houches)

Le Parc de Merlet animal park is perched at 1563m, about 600m above the village of Les Houches. It is home to around 80 animals that roam freely within the boundaries of the park: chamois, ibex, deer, mouflons, marmottes . . . and even the odd llama (see here for more information about the animals that live here)! A little history . . . The park was opened in 1967, the … Continue reading Le Parc de Merlet Animal Park (Les Houches)

Passy Playgrounds

Jardin des Cimes in Plateau d’Assy This is not a conventional playground – and neither is it free (as you have to pay an entrance fee to enter the gardens) . . . but I’ve included it in this Passy Playgrounds post, as you can’t find many playgrounds with such an incredible view of the Mont-Blanc massif . . . These wooden structures at Le … Continue reading Passy Playgrounds

Sallanches – Springtime Family Stroll

Springtime has arrived . . . and while I dream of one day being in Japan for its famous springtime cherry blossoms, for now I am excited to share this little Sallanches town walk with you. While there is still snow on the higher altitude walks, why not take a leisurely amble through the streets of Sallanches, enjoy the spring blossoms and discover a little history as you … Continue reading Sallanches – Springtime Family Stroll

Base de Loisirs des Belles (Praz-sur-Arly)

We only recently discovered this outdoor leisure space in Praz-sur-Arly, on a sunny autumn day . . . our boys were delighted to be able to play in the vast open space surrounding the playgrounds, and we were able to lift our faces to the sun and relax (for a short period!). The leisure space is much more than just playgrounds, however, so head along well-equipped with … Continue reading Base de Loisirs des Belles (Praz-sur-Arly)

Barryland – Musée et Chiens du Saint-Bernard (Martigny)

We first visited Barryland – Musée et Chiens du Saint-Bernard with a dog-loving and inquisitive 3 year old and a sleeping (mostly!) newborn baby in a pram . . . this visit coincided with the arrival of St-Bernard puppies! Last year we visited again and this visit coincided with another litter of cute puppies, but also with the most wonderful Easter Egg Hunt in the grounds next … Continue reading Barryland – Musée et Chiens du Saint-Bernard (Martigny)

Chamonix Parks, Woods & Gardens

Chamonix, while boasting many terrific hiking routes and skiing opportunities, can also lay claim to some beautiful parks, gardens and woodland.  This could be of particular interest if you have small children or babies in buggies!  Here is our list: Parc Couttet  A relative newcomer to Chamonix, inaugurated in the summer of 2015, the Parc Couttet is a little gem of a park, right in the … Continue reading Chamonix Parks, Woods & Gardens

Le Lac des Chavants (Les Houches)

The Lac des Chavants in Les Houches is a relaxating destination for families in both summer and winter (and spring and autumn!). *Please note that Lac des Chavants is NOT a swimming lake!* In the warmer months, there is a playground here, a climbing rock, an area to play pétanque, fishing in the lake, and a relaxing buggy/dog-walking path around the lake and into the woods. This is the … Continue reading Le Lac des Chavants (Les Houches)

MBFF’s Favourite Playgrounds au Pays du Mont Blanc

MBFF has spent seven years discovering and testing playgrounds in the Pays du Mont-Blanc.  We are fairly confident that we have tested most of them (please let us know of any treasures we may have missed along the way!).  The following list highlights our personal favourites; this is clearly subjective . . . and I’ll admit that at certain points on our journey of discovery, we had to avoid … Continue reading MBFF’s Favourite Playgrounds au Pays du Mont Blanc

Lacs des Ilettes (Sallanches)

Officially known as Base de Loisir des Ilettes, les Lacs des Ilettes actually consist of three lakes and this is a popular place year-round for locals to come for a stroll en famille, for a bike ride, a dog-walk (permitted around the 3rd lake) or a jog and workout.  In summertime, the middle lake is a popular choice for swimmers and the 3rd lake for windsurfers. Le … Continue reading Lacs des Ilettes (Sallanches)