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)

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)

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

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)

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 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)

Les Gorges de la Diosaz (Servoz)

A visit to Les Gorges de la Diosaz natural site makes for a wonderful visit en famille, come rain or shine (we have visited during both weather forecasts here at MBFF!).  You are in the shade for most of the walk, so this is a great option during a summer heatwave, as well as on a slightly drizzly day!  It is quite the experience to walk along the footpath, … Continue reading Les Gorges de la Diosaz (Servoz)

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

Cinemas au Pays du Mont Blanc

Chamonix Chamonix’s Cinéma VOX is a bit of an institution, and I was once a regular visitor with a pass (in my footloose and fancy free days when I lived just down the road!). There are VO films to choose from and the venue is also used to host certain events: shows for children, mountain films, the adventure film festival, guest speakers . . . *Good … Continue reading Cinemas au Pays du Mont Blanc

Bowling au Pays du Mont Blanc

There are two bowling alleys au Pays du Mont-Blanc: one in Chamonix, and one in Sallanches. Chamonix Chamonix’s Bowling has 8 bowling alleys, as well as an indoor mini-golf, a pool room (“billards”) and a games room. The entrance includes obligatory bowling shoes and you must wear socks! Opening hours: High season: open every day from 17h to 2h in the morning, or from 14h in the … Continue reading Bowling au Pays du Mont Blanc

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)

Swimming in Chamonix

If you’d like to go swimming in Chamonix, there are various options.  You might be lucky enough to be staying at a hotel or chalet with a pool, otherwise you can head to the public swimming pools on offer at the Centre Sportif Richard Bozon.  Alternatively, some hotels in the valley let you use their pool if you eat lunch at their restaurant or use their spa … Continue reading Swimming in Chamonix

Chamonix Valley Spas & Massages

Several hotels in the Chamonix Valley offer access to their spa centre and pool to non-hotel guests.  What follows is not a full list of tried and tested spas and massages; I have clearly not done enough of my own “parent pampering” in the last six years, as the only spa I have managed to visit has been Deep Nature’s Les Granges d’en Haut in Les Houches.  I have had … Continue reading Chamonix Valley Spas & Massages

Le Musée Montagnard (Les Houches)

The Musée Montagnard is housed in one of the oldest 18th century houses in the centre of Les Houches and has been arranged to show three typical rooms of such a house: the pèle (bedroom/living room), the outa (kitchen) and the sarte (pantry).  The museum houses a rich collection of traditional furniture and objects, largely provided by M. Albert Laprade, the eminent architect-urbanist, who was keen to protect the heritage of … Continue reading Le Musée Montagnard (Les Houches)

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)

Chamonix Museums

Chamonix has a great selection of museums, and these museums often offer creative workshops or guided tours for children during the school holidays (the Tourist Office will have a list of those scheduled during your stay). In Chamonix town itself you will find; the Musée Alpin; the Espace Tairraz (Musée d’Alpinisme et des Cristaux); the Maison de la Mémoire et du Patrimoine Janny Couttet (see below for … Continue reading Chamonix Museums

Montenvers Mer de Glace & Train (Chamonix)

Another great attraction in Chamonix on many families’ list is the Montenvers train journey up to the Mer de Glace glacier.  The famous little vintage red coggle train will take you on a relaxing 20 minute journey up the mountainside, through forests and tunnels cut through the rock, and up to the glacier at 1,913 m (an ascent of about 1000m).  Children from the age of 12 … Continue reading Montenvers Mer de Glace & Train (Chamonix)

Vallorcine Playgrounds

Vallorcine has a small playground near the train station and there is plenty of free parking on site.  There is also a basketball/football terrain just next to the playground. In the summer months, the green space behind the playground and next to the river becomes a small paradise for children (and their tired parents), as a bouncy castle appears, a small playhouse, a ping-pong table … Continue reading Vallorcine Playgrounds