Springtime Activities for families au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

We have one more bank holiday this May 2018: Pentecôte . . . and then it is full steam ahead with school and work . . . until the summer holidays! Until the summer activities post, I thought it might be useful to have a general list of activities available for families & children au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond) at hand in one list . … Continue reading Springtime Activities for families au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

Médiathèque «Ange Abrate» in Sallanches

It has teased us with its opening date for quite some months . . . and finally the Pays du Mont-Blanc has a new médiathèque to add to its list! The Médiathèque «Ange Abrate» in Sallanches finally opened its doors to the public on a rainy morning – Saturday 17th March 2018 – with a day of animations for the whole family . . . The … Continue reading Médiathèque «Ange Abrate» in Sallanches

Museums & Exhibitions au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

We are lucky to have some wonderful museums au Pays du Mont-Blanc, many housed in architectural gems (old, new and renovated) . . . and as well as their permanent collections, they also offer temporary exhibitions and workshops for children and families over the school holidays! And if we venture further than the Pays du Mont-Blanc – to Cluses, to Annemasse, to la Maison du … Continue reading Museums & Exhibitions au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

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

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 is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum, London*), and was excited to find … Continue reading «Wildlife Photographer of the Year» (Forte di Bard)

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 several seasonal outdoor ice-skating rinks (usually set up right in the centre of towns au Pays du Mont-Blanc), that open  for … 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, sport & creative activities for children au Pays du Mont-Blanc

Each year, during the period just after La Rentrée – up and down the valley – there were plentiful events for children and parents to find out more about possible activities/sports to sign-up for, either on Wednesdays or on other days of the week; there are forums and portes ouvertes from: MJC Chamonix; FJEP Passy; MJC Saint-Gervais; various sports clubs au Pays du Mont-Blanc (Fêtes des Sports in … Continue reading Les mercredis – workshops, sport & 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 2016 … 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. This new art project really is a masterpiece: an alternative museum of street art, a FREE museum, a museum open every day of the year! Parking one’s car has … Continue reading 2KM3 – when a car park becomes ARTWORK! (Saint-Gervais)

Baby & Toddler Playgroups & Storytelling au Pays du Mont-Blanc

What you’ll find in this post is a list of baby & toddler playgroups, including music and dance groups for pre-schoolers, au Pays du Mont-Blanc. I have also compiled a list of some of the regular storytelling sessions that take place au Pays du Mont-Blanc. For a much more detailed list of Baby & Toddler Activities au Pays du Mont-Blanc, see post. Colour code for listings: … 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 complex in Sallanches – the Ciné Mont-Blanc, and then a scattering of smaller screens, which have lots of personality!  During the summer months, many of the communes screen FREE outdoor films, so be sure to look at Tourist Office agendas for this lovely initiative. Chamonix Chamonix’s Cinéma VOX is a bit of an institution. There are VO … 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. This post 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!  In fact, the only spa I have managed to visit has been Deep Nature’s Les Granges d’en Haut in Les Houches.  I have … 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 Saint-Jacques in Sallanches, the Centre de la Nature Montagnarde is a museum dedicated to the Alps.   Set across 5 floors, an interactive journey transports visitors rom glaciology and geology, to some close encounters with the resident taxidermy (a wolf, a lynx and a bear, among others!).  As well as panels explaining … 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 MBFF’s 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 to the public! 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 … 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. , which makes it a fabulous RAINY DAY destination, as you can hop from books, games, workshops and storytelling, to the sports centre (swimming, climbing, ice-skating and more). 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, … Continue reading Megève Médiathèque