CHRISTMASTIME & HOLIDAY SEASON 2020 au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

At 🎄 Christmastime, we are normally spoiled 🏔 au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond) with 🎄 villages & marchés de Noël and ⛸ seasonal outdoor ice-skating rinks too . . . This year is a little different . . . in the shadow of the pandemic, many of us won’t be joined by or joining family for this festive season, and many of the holiday events that we have … Continue reading CHRISTMASTIME & HOLIDAY SEASON 2020 au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

« Noël au Château de Coppet » (Switzerland)

I can’t quite remember how we first heard about 🎄« Noël au Château de Coppet » – a delightful Christmas market, located between 🇨🇭 Geneva and Nyon, on 💦 Lac Léman in Switzerland. But I’m so glad that we did, as we had a lovely experience there four years ago! We’ve been meaning to head back ever since, but we’ve not yet managed it! What makes … Continue reading « Noël au Château de Coppet » (Switzerland)

SKI INDOOR 4810 – perfect your skiing INDOORS! (Passy)

During the school holidays, MBFF was invited to test out the ⛷ new indoor ski centre in Passy: Ski Indoor 4810! The boys were really excited to dig out their 🎿 ski boots, helmets and gloves ahead of the official ski season, and to try out something so novel! Being a pretty mediocre skier myself, I was somewhat more apprehensive, but I was certainly intrigued to … Continue reading SKI INDOOR 4810 – perfect your skiing INDOORS! (Passy)

BIENVENUE à La Ferme Les Montagnards (Ormaret, COMBLOUX)

🇫🇷 Français – J’ai tout d’abord entendu parler de la ferme pédagogique 🐮 La Ferme Les Montagnards, située dans le petit village d’Ormaret à Combloux, grace à la crèche et à la garderie de mes fils – les deux y sont allées en excursion et sont rentrés avec des histoires sur leur “journée à la ferme“. . . J’ai ensuite découvert la ferme moi-même avec mon fils cadet, … Continue reading BIENVENUE à La Ferme Les Montagnards (Ormaret, COMBLOUX)

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)

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)

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

Festival « Les Enfants d’Abord » (Sallanches)

As residents of Sallanches, we have watched the 🎭 children’s festival « Les Enfants d’Abord » get bigger and better each year! (the festival has now been running for 24 years!). Over 4 days – this year from Tuesday 6th to Friday 9th August 2019 – every afternoon and evening (15h30 until 18h30) the pedestrian streets of Sallanches, as well as the quais, the Pré de Foire, the Place de … Continue reading Festival « Les Enfants d’Abord » (Sallanches)

La Maison du Salève (PRÉSILLY)

A visit to 🌳 La Maison du Salève makes for a wonderful family day out . . . originally an 18th century farm from the Chartreuse de Pomier (La Ferme de Mikerne – see here for more history), the building has been renovated to host a cultural centre recounting the history of the ⛰ Salève mountain and its environs (a permanent interactive exhibition and temporary exhibitions) . . . … Continue reading La Maison du Salève (PRÉSILLY)

Les Grandes Médiévales d’Andilly (postponed until spring 2021 !)

A few years ago now, the MBFF tribe headed to the 🎪 Les Grandes Médiévales d’Andilly with some friends and their children. We had a fabulous day (the whole family concurred and all of the friends too!). It really was a memorable day . . . and the 2020 edition is nearly here! So, what do you need to know about this extraordinary family event? What are Les … Continue reading Les Grandes Médiévales d’Andilly (postponed until spring 2021 !)

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 broken … Continue reading RAINY DAYS au Pays du Mont-Blanc

BABY & TODDLER activities au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

When I had my first baby 9 years ago, I had just moved to a new town 🏔 au Pays du Mont-Blanc . . . I was quite lonely and keen to find baby activities and playgroups in order to get out and about and to socialise a bit! Progressively, I discovered the 🌈 playgroups that were available locally for parents and babies . . . but … Continue reading BABY & TODDLER activities au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

« Montreux-Noël » (Switzerland)

🇨🇭🎄« Montreux-Noël » will open this year on 21st November 2019, and it will run until the 24th December 2019 (and this year is its 🎁 25th birthday, the first edition having been last century, in 1995!) . . . so let me to share with you MBFF’s experience at this fabulous Christmas event and market, and some astuces too . . . I had wanted to go … Continue reading « Montreux-Noël » (Switzerland)

Le Jardin des Cimes (Plateau d’Assy)

🌻 Le Jardin des Cimes is a truly 🌷 magical garden at altitude, with breathtaking views of 🏔 the Mont Blanc Massif. 🌻 Le Jardin des Cimes (“ Garden of the Summits ”) has revitalised the area of Plateau d’Assy; not only are the gardens and ☕️ café a delight for locals and tourists alike, but jobs have been created and there are plenty of activities and 🌲workshops on offer for families and schools, … Continue reading Le Jardin des Cimes (Plateau d’Assy)

Médiathèque «Ange Abrate» in Sallanches

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 new médiathèque is spacious, with a very open-plan, bright and modern style of architecture. The Section Adulte is located on the ground floor, where you will also find 15 mulitimedia spots, … 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 Salève, to Annecy, to … Continue reading MUSEUMS & EXHIBITIONS au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

[ Geneva, Nyon, Cluses & Annecy ] – FREE museums on FIRST SUNDAY of the month!

Throughout the year in 🇨🇭 Geneva and Nyon, from 🗓 September ⇒ May in 🇫🇷 Cluses, and from 🗓 October ⇒ May in 🇫🇷 Annecy, several 🖼 museums & temporary exhibitions are FREE on the 🗓 FIRST Sunday of the month! In addition, the museums often put on some 🎨 wonderful workshops & guided tours for children and families (also FREE) on this day. The next FREE Sunday will be this 🗓 … Continue reading [ Geneva, Nyon, Cluses & Annecy ] – FREE museums on FIRST SUNDAY of the month!

PLAINE-JOUX skiing (Passy)

While the children are young and learning how to ski, or if you have beginner skiers in your group, then ⛷ Plaine-Joux in Passy is the ideal ski station 🗻 au Pays du Mont-Blanc for multiple reasons: ⛷ it’s a small, family-oriented ski resort; ⛷ there are 12km of wide, gentle, sunny pistes (green, blue and red) with stunning views of the Mont Blanc Massif; ⛷ this is an affordable ski resort, … Continue reading PLAINE-JOUX skiing (Passy)

Gypaètes Barbus © Antoine Rezer Photography

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

The gypaète barbu celebrated two big birthdays in 2017: 30 years since its successful re-introduction into France (1987); and 20 years since the first gypaète was born in the Alps (1997); Some gypaète barbu facts: NAME – the gypaetus barbatus is what is known as an «Old World vulture»; ie it resides in Africa, Asia and Europe, as opposed to the Americas; SIZE – the gypaète barbu … Continue reading Bon Anniversaire, Gypaète Barbu! (© Antoine Rezer Photography)

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 Blyton’s … Continue reading La Maison de la Créativité (Conches, Geneva)

Le Chalet des Créateurs (Saint-Gervais-les-Bains)

🎨 Le Chalet des Créateurs in Saint-Gervais-les-Bains is a fabulous venture, bringing together: 🖼 a gallery showcasing local creative talent (45+ créateurs, with collections changing with each season); 🎁 a boutique with unique hand-made, local goods and gifts to buy; 🎨 a centre providing workshops for children and adults throughout the year (and especially during the school holidays); a workshop for local artists; A little history Charlotte Paget is the protagonist in this … Continue reading Le Chalet des Créateurs (Saint-Gervais-les-Bains)