Le Château de Saint-Michel: castle ruins, woods and a parcours d’orientation! (SERVOZ)

Did you know that there were 🏰 castle ruins in 🏔 the Chamonix Valley? You’ll find the ruins of 🏰 the Château de Saint-Michel, a 14th century fortress built under the orders of Béatrix de Savoie, dame de Faucigny, in Servoz. The 🏰 castle ruins sit on a hilltop (860m), surrounded by trees, and the only remaining vestiges are the tower and parts of the … Continue reading Le Château de Saint-Michel: castle ruins, woods and a parcours d’orientation! (SERVOZ)

EASTER CHOCOLATE: chocolatiers artisanaux au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and a bit beyond)

How do you celebrate 🐣 Easter? Do you organise 🐣 a little Easter egg hunt in your garden or in a local park? Here 🗻 au Pays du Mont-Blanc, we live on the border with 🇨🇭 Switzerland, one of the most famous chocolate producing nations in the world! Those 🐄 happy alpine cows produce 🥛 a rich creamy milk, perfect to mix with cacao, to … Continue reading EASTER CHOCOLATE: chocolatiers artisanaux au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and a bit beyond)

BOIS du BOUCHET – strolls, bike rides, a parcours d’orientation, snowy options & MORE !

A 1km confinement radius is a different surface area for each family . . . some will have access to 💦 a waterfall, others 💦 a river walk, hopefully all can find some 🌿 green space or 🌳🌲 woodland . . . I realised last week that I had never written a full article about the 🌳🌲 Bois du Bouchet in Chamonix, which is certainly … Continue reading BOIS du BOUCHET – strolls, bike rides, a parcours d’orientation, snowy options & MORE !

20+ SUMMER TERRACES for families in the Chamonix Valley!

Our 🥗 local restaurants and cafés are beginning to re-open to the public after a long second and third Covid-enduced closure, with socially distanced tables and other modifications. Restaurants with terraces are therefore a particularly attractive option for people to head to, who want to eat out again, but are less keen to be seated indoors. Last summer, I put together this article, detailing some … Continue reading 20+ SUMMER TERRACES for families in the Chamonix Valley!

An AIRE de JEUX, a MARE aux TÊTARDS and a PARCOURS ORIENTATION (Argentière)

Sunday’s family outing started somewhat late in the day, as Daddy MBFF had to go and vote in the mayoral elections! By the time that we had sorted out 🍏 our picnic lunch, it was already midday and by the time we ate the picnic lunch it was 14h! A true Spanish lunch hour; no wonder Mr 6 was so grumpy! But the later lunch … Continue reading An AIRE de JEUX, a MARE aux TÊTARDS and a PARCOURS ORIENTATION (Argentière)

ACCROBRANCHES ®, GRIMPE d’ARBRE & TYROLIENNES au Pays du Mont-Blanc

With all of our wonderful 🧗‍♂️ rock climbing and Via-Ferrata routes 🏔 au Pays du Mont-Blanc, it is only natural that so many 🌳 accrobranches ® should also appear over recent years! We’ve tried out a few of them, and they are very popular with our 🐵 monkey climbing boys . . . 🌳 some tree climbing terminology: 🌳 accrobranches ® – it is a rope course … Continue reading ACCROBRANCHES ®, GRIMPE d’ARBRE & TYROLIENNES au Pays du Mont-Blanc

SPORTS EVENTS for families au Pays du Mont-Blanc (summer & autumn 2021)

It is officially ☀️ SUMMERTIME, and despite many of 🚵‍♂️ the sporting events 🏔 au Pays du Mont-Blanc and beyond having been cancelled over the springtime, we still have (for now!) a rich calendar of 🚵‍♂️ sporting events to participate in, or be a spectator at, over ☀️ the summer and 🍁 autumn months (we hope!). 🏃‍♂️  trail running, marathons and half-marathons; 🚵‍♂️ road-biking and VTT … Continue reading SPORTS EVENTS for families au Pays du Mont-Blanc (summer & autumn 2021)

FAMILY HIKES: La Cascade de Bérard (LE BUET)

The short hike up to 💦 La Cascade de Bérard, located just above the village of Le Buet (near Vallorcine), is the perfect family outing on a hot ☀️ summer’s day or after 🌧 strong rain – you’ll either be refreshed or you’ll see 💦 the waterfall in its rawest, most powerful form! If you head off on this hike in late spring or in early summer, then … Continue reading FAMILY HIKES: La Cascade de Bérard (LE BUET)

FAMILY HIKES: La Cabane du Cerro (CHAMONIX)

There are so many wonderful 🏔 hikes au Pays du Mont-Blanc and several of them are the perfect length for families with very young (or reluctant) walkers! I have always found (actually, I still do!) that hiking to ☕️ a mountain buvette, with the reward of 🍨 an ice cream or 🍓 a slice or fruit tart, is a great incentive to hike. As are … Continue reading FAMILY HIKES: La Cabane du Cerro (CHAMONIX)

Where to observe TADPOLES & FROGS au Pays du Mont-Blanc

Last year at this point in late May, MBFF went for 🍏 a picnic with friends up at 🎣 Lac de Javen in Megève – it was a much milder May! 🎣 Lac de Javen is a popular picnic spot for families in the summertime, as it is just a short hike to get there and there are plenty of activities on offer: ☕️ buvette and restaurant; … Continue reading Where to observe TADPOLES & FROGS au Pays du Mont-Blanc

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)

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 bud appeared this year on Friday 12th March 2021 – and this is seen in the Helvetian city as the first official day of 🌺 spring! (see below for further explanations). And here are the 🌺 first buds on our Sallanches co-property tree too: 🌷 Springtime: when 🌱 crocuses first timidly reach out … Continue reading SPRING & SUMMER BLOSSOMS and FLOWERS au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

Festival « Les Petits Asticots » 17th ⇒ 23rd October 2020 (Pays du Mont-Blanc)

🎭 Les Petits Asticots – the fabulous annual children’s festival 🏔 au Pays du Mont-Blanc, which takes place during the 🍁 Toussaint school holidays – will be yet again offering families seven inspirational days of theatre, music, dance, circus and workshops from 17th ⇒ 23rd October 2020! The MBFF family absolutely LOVE 🎭 Les Petits Asticots – not only are the shows of high quality, the festival … Continue reading Festival « Les Petits Asticots » 17th ⇒ 23rd October 2020 (Pays du Mont-Blanc)

VERTICALP EMOSSON – a vertiginous day out en famille! (Switzerland)

A couple of 🍁 autumns ago now, MBFF had a super adventure: we were invited to test out 🚃  VerticAlp Emosson ! We had the most gloriously ☀️ sunny day to experience this phenomenal feat of engineering, which also has a rich history. I would say that 🍂 autumn – before closure for the season at the end of October – is the best season to … Continue reading VERTICALP EMOSSON – a vertiginous day out en famille! (Switzerland)

SCIENCE ACTIVITIES & MUSEUMS for families au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

There are several 🧬 BIG SCIENCE EVENTS that occur regularly 🏔 au Pays du Mont-Blanc and beyond, and we have 🧪 La Fête de la Science approaching fast! 🧪 La Fête de la Science – from 2nd ⇒ 12th October 2020 (annual); 🧪 La Nuit des Sciences – every two years in Geneva; 🧪 CERN Open Days – every few years, CERN opens to the public; This got me thinking … Continue reading SCIENCE ACTIVITIES & MUSEUMS for families au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

AUTUMN PARKS & GARDENS au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

🍁 Autumn is a lovely season to visit 🌳 parks and gardens: on the trees, a sharp palette rich in shades of gold, brown red, orange and yellow . . . underfoot, 🍂 a blanket of leaves crunching and sent fluttering when the children find a mound and run through it . . . a crisp, and often ☀️ sunny day to accompany your exploits: playing and running, tree-climbing, LandArt, … Continue reading AUTUMN PARKS & GARDENS au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

La Petite Université (Chamonix Valley)

Did you know that there was a 📚 university in the Chamonix Valley? It’s called La Petite Université – Chamonix Mont-Blanc and it is now entering its 3rd year! Subjects on offer include: glaciology, permaculture, photography, life drawing, French & English lessons and much, much more! What is La Petite Université? 📚 La Petite Université is an association offering cultural courses and complementary talks, events, outings and 🎨 workshops to … Continue reading La Petite Université (Chamonix Valley)

LES MERCREDIS – nature, creative activities, sport and relaxation for children au Pays du Mont-Blanc

[ La Rentrée 2020-2021 UPDATE ! ] WEDNESDAYS are, in many of the 🏔 Pays du Mont-Blanc communes, a day free from scholastic duties (for young children, at least!). A day to perhaps explore a new ⚽️ sport or 🎨 leisure activity, 🏡 to relax at home or to head to garderie . . . [ ⇒ see article 📚 La Rentrée for more details about clubs and associations to … Continue reading LES MERCREDIS – nature, creative activities, sport and relaxation for children au Pays du Mont-Blanc

FAMILY HIKES: Chalet du Glacier des Bossons (+ télésiège)

The hike to the ☕️ Chalet du Glacier des Bossons is such a popular hike for families . . . but somehow it had eluded us until a couple of summer ago! My elder son studied glaciers at school, and that year his class’ sortie fin de l’année scolaire was a hike on the other side of the Glacier des Bossons, to the ☕️ Cabane du Cerro. … Continue reading FAMILY HIKES: Chalet du Glacier des Bossons (+ télésiège)

MBFF’s recommended family hikes au Pays du Mont-Blanc

With a now nine year old and a six year old in tow, the MBFF family is beginning to find its 🏔 hiking mojo (we hope). Here, below, you will find some of MBFF’s favourite (and tried and tested!) family hikes 🏔 au Pays du Mont-Blanc, with suggestions for 🥤 buvettes and 🏚 refuges for a snack, lunch or overnight! For general tips on hiking with small children see MBFF … Continue reading MBFF’s recommended family hikes au Pays du Mont-Blanc

Montenvers Mer de Glace & Train (Chamonix)

Another great attraction in 🏔 Chamonix on many families’ list is the 🚂 Montenvers cog rail journey up to the ❄️ Mer de Glace glacier (France’s largest glacier, at around 7km long). The iconic red train will take you on a relaxing 20 minute journey (around 5km) up the mountainside, through 🌲 forests, viaducts and tunnels cut through the rock, and up to the glacier at 1,913m (an ascent … Continue reading Montenvers Mer de Glace & Train (Chamonix)

Lac des Chavants (LES HOUCHES)

The 💦 Lac des Chavants in Les Houches is a relaxating destination for families throughout the year (note -please note that 💦 Lac des Chavants is NOT a swimming lake!) These days, the lake is referred to as a Base de Loisirs, as there are so many activities available there: you can 🎣 fish (with a permit) and you will find: 🍏 picnic tables and BBQ facilities, 🌲 walking … Continue reading Lac des Chavants (LES HOUCHES)

Le Paradis des Praz (Les Praz-de-Chamonix)

🌲 Le Paradis des Praz is a natural playground, a hidden jewel cocooned in the woods, well-known to families living in the region, but perhaps not to those visiting. As well as being a popular spot in the ☀️ summertime, over the winter school holidays the buvette is also often open – so you can have a magical walk through the ❄️ snowy forest and then warm up with … Continue reading Le Paradis des Praz (Les Praz-de-Chamonix)

ANIMAL PARKS & AQUARIUMS au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

We are 🐯 HUGE ANIMAL LOVERS here at MBFF  . . . and we are lucky to share our home with a couple of affectionate (and fairly tolerant!) 🐱🐱 felines. But perhaps some of you don’t have the home set-up to accommodate animal friends, or perhaps allergies are preventing you from doing so . . . Luckily – whether you live 🗻 au Pays du Mont-Blanc or you are visiting – … Continue reading ANIMAL PARKS & AQUARIUMS au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

RAINY DAYS au Pays du Mont-Blanc

[ note: please check Covid-19 restrictions for entrance (online reservations, face-masks, limited numbers, etc . . . ) ] You have perhaps heard that saying ☔️ “ there’s no such thing as bad weather; just badly dressed people “ ? (I heard this several times on a couple of work trips to 🇮🇸 Iceland!) . . . that may well be, but even the strongest of resolves can be … Continue reading RAINY DAYS au Pays du Mont-Blanc