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

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)

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)

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

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

2KM3 – when a car park becomes ARTWORK! (Saint-Gervais)

A contingent of the MBFF team (the youngest member and myself) headed off last week on a voyage of art exploration and discovery . . . to the newly painted multi-storey car park in Saint-Gervais-les-Bains: 2KM3. Our visit We went with a draisienne (push bike).  There was art, and there were some steep descents (and ascents on the return journey) for the little one! What … Continue reading 2KM3 – when a car park becomes ARTWORK! (Saint-Gervais)

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

Au Pays du Mont-Blanc, there is one large cinema in Sallanches – the Ciné Mont-Blanc, and then a scattering of small screens, which have lots of personality! Chamonix Chamonix’s Cinéma VOX is a bit of an institution. There are VO films to choose from and the venue is also used to host certain events: shows for children, mountain films, the Chamonix Adventure Festival and other film … 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

Forte di Bard (Italy)

The MBFF team are big fans of Italy for holidays!  As a destination from the Arve Valley, it is easy to get there through the Mont Blanc Tunnel and we can also book hotels and apartments last minute!  Italians LOVE children (and not just well-behaving children; ALL children!), the food is very family-friendly (and delicious!), and there is endless nature and culture to explore. We … Continue reading Forte di Bard (Italy)

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)

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)

Centre de la Nature Montagnarde (Sallanches)

Set in the historic 14th century Château des Rubins, just behind the Eglise St Jacques in Sallanches, the Centre de la Nature Montagnarde is a museum dedicated to the Alps. Set across 5 floors, an interactive journey will take you from glaciology and geology, to some close encounters with the resident taxidermy (a wolf, a lynx and a bear, among others!).  As well as panels … Continue reading Centre de la Nature Montagnarde (Sallanches)

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

MEG – Musée d’Ethnographie de Genève

One of our favourite museums in Geneva is the MEG (le Musée d’Ethnographie de Genève) . . . we watched as it was being built and we were excited when it opened its shiny new doors! The adventure starts before you even enter the museum – the architecture is modern and audacious (designed by Graber Pulver Architekten AG) and there is a pretty landscaped garden (Hager Partner AG) … Continue reading MEG – Musée d’Ethnographie de Genève

MAH – Musée d’Art et d’Histoire (Geneva)

One of the largest museums in Switzerland, the MAH – Musée d’Art et d’Histoire, displays over 650 000 sculptures, objects and paintings over 5 floors. Built in 1910 by the architect Marc Camoletti, the museum is located in the old town, and so is a short walk from plenty of other family delights. We thoroughly enjoyed our last visit here, concentrating on just a couple of … Continue reading MAH – Musée d’Art et d’Histoire (Geneva)

Megève Médiathèque

Megève’s Médiathèque is found within the Palais des Sports et des Congrès.  It comprises: L’Espace Jeunesse (Children’s Section) Located up on the first floor, this is a great place for children (from babies to teenagers) to enjoy: books, comic strips and mangas, documentaries, CDs, DVDs and CD-ROMs.  There is also a collection of foreign language titles. There is comfortable furniture in the area dedicated to babies and small children. Ludothèque Jeunesse … Continue reading Megève Médiathèque

Chamonix Médiathèque

As well as housing many works pertaining to the Chamonix Valley, Haute-Savoie, the Alps, skiing and mountaineering, the Médiathèque de Chamonix makes for a great rainy afternoon visit for families.  There is a large children’s section (with comfortable chairs), and a fantastic Ludothèque (toy library), with toys that you can play with on-site and also toys to borrow (you need to be registered for this service). The library … Continue reading Chamonix Médiathèque

Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle (Geneva)

Geneva’s Natural History Museum has been our go-to museum on rainy days for the last 6 years!  We have, over the years, pushed a sleeping baby around the exhibits here, watched our toddlers crawl/run/topple over and we have spent plenty of time running after them too! What a wonderful museum this is!  Set across 4 floors, the permanent exhibits include: local fauna, animals of the world … Continue reading Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle (Geneva)