Christmastime au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

Your update of what is on over this🎄Christmas season au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)🎄 from 12th December onwards . . . Christmas villages & Marchés de Noël that are still up and running, ⛸️ seasonal outdoor ice-skating rinks, and story-telling, spectacles, creative workshops,🎄sparkling Christmas trees, 🎅 visits from Santa . . . there is much festive fun to be had au Pays du Mont-Blanc and beyond over the next two weeks and into … Continue reading Christmastime au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

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)

December Agenda au Pays du Mont-Blanc

December is: the ❄️opening of ski stations and 🎿 the first ski days of the season; ⛄building snowmen; snow-suits to school (and a scrabble in the morning to find hats, gloves and scarves!); Advent Calendars and 🎄putting up the Christmas tree and decorations at home; 🎅 letters to Santa; ⛸️ice-skating on the seasonal ice skating rinks and heading up the hill for some sledging; villages and towns sparkling with Christmas lights; mulled wine … Continue reading December Agenda au Pays du Mont-Blanc

Gypaètes Barbus © Antoine Rezer Photography

Bon Anniversaire, Gypaète Barbu! (© Antoine Rezer Photography)

The gypaète barbu is celebrating two big birthdays this year: 30 years since its successful re-introduction into France (1987), and 20 years since the first gypaète was born in the Alps (1997). And so, to celebrate within the domain of the convention Rencontres Internationales du Gypaète Barbu (10th to 12th November), Asters, Conservatoire d’Espaces Naturels has put together a fantastic programme for the whole family this … Continue reading Bon Anniversaire, Gypaète Barbu! (© Antoine Rezer Photography)

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 2017» (Pays du Mont-Blanc)

«Les Petits Asticots» – the yearly children’s festival au Pays du Mont-Blanc – will be back again for another amazing season from the 21st to 26th October 2017!  Six days of theatre, music, circus and workshops for little people! 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 … Continue reading Festival: «Les Petits Asticots 2017» (Pays du 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

Les P’tits Experts de la Nature (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 (Sallanches)

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 … Continue reading Softplay & Bouncy Castles au Pays du Mont Blanc

The beautiful quais of Sallanches

I was walking along the quais in Sallanches last week and the chataignes (chestnut trees) were all in bloom and had formed a tapestry above my head . . . and I thought how I must write a post about how NOW is the time to experience Sallanches’s riverside at its most lush! A trip to Sallanches’s Saturday morning market (which is lovely; a post to come) … Continue reading The beautiful quais of Sallanches

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 it all in one place . . . a list of some of the playgroup & storyteeling options au Pays du Mont-Blanc: Chamonix Chamonix «ChamCats Carers, Mums n Tots» takes place in the Salle Paroissiale (Church Hall) of  the Presbytery … 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 … Continue reading Bowling au Pays du Mont Blanc

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

Sallanches Skatepark

On some beautiful sunny afternoons this spring, we have found ourselves down at the Sallanches skatepark! I must admit to having been somewhat ignorant towards to our local skatepark, and so I was pleasantly surprised with the discovery!  It has been recently renovated, and there is lots of space for skateboards, scooters and BMX bikes.  I was also pleasantly surprised by the range of ages present – little ones on … Continue reading Sallanches Skatepark

Centre de la Nature Montagnarde (Sallanches)

Set in the historic 14th century Chateau des Rubins, just behind the Eglise St Jacques, 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 explaining the … Continue reading Centre de la Nature Montagnarde (Sallanches)

MBFF’s Favourite Playgrounds au Pays du Mont Blanc

MBFF has spent six 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 … 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)

Salle Léon Curral (Sallanches)

You don’t have to head as far as Geneva to get your fill of culture (though there is certainly much culture to be had there too!). Head to Sallanches’ Salle Léon Curral for some excellent (and very reasonably priced!) entertainment.  Here you will find concerts (recent concerts have included: Ayo, Irma, L.E.J), theatre, comedy, dance, circus acts . . .  Recently renovated, and with spectacular views of … Continue reading Salle Léon Curral (Sallanches)