«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)

Geneva, Nyon, Cluses & Annecy – FREE museums on first Sunday of the month!

Throughout the year in Geneva, and from October until May in Cluses & Annecy, many of the 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 is today, Sunday 3rd February! Cluses FREE first Sunday of … Continue reading Geneva, Nyon, Cluses & Annecy – FREE museums on first Sunday of the month!

3D Nordic – husky sledding in Praz-sur-Arly

This year for Christmas, I offered the MBFF family a husky dog-sledding outing with 3D Nordic in Praz-sur-Arly. I had noticed that this was to be 3D Nordic‘s last winter season in Praz-sur-Arly, before they head off to new adventures in Lapland next winter season . . . so I seized the opportunity and booked us a baptême chiens de traîneaux! What a treat for … Continue reading 3D Nordic – husky sledding in Praz-sur-Arly

Domaine des Planards (Chamonix Centre)

Domaine Skiable des Planards, a two minute walk from the centre of town, and with its own FREE parking, is one of Chamonix’s two Beginner ski areas (the other being at the Savoy slopes, connected to Domaine Skiable de Brévent). In addition, it is the site of the year-round Chamonix-Luge Alpine Coaster, set within the Parc des Attractions de Chamonix (re-opens in April). The ski area is comprised of: … Continue reading Domaine des Planards (Chamonix Centre)

La Poya Ski Area (Le Buet, Vallorcine)

*NB La Poya will shut for the 2017/2018 season on 15th April 2018* La Poya is a small family-run ski area in the hamlet of Le Buet (not far from the train station), near to Vallorcine. It comprises: two drag lifts, a rope tow for Beginners and a pulley lift for small children, with 2km of pistes, including green, blue, red and even a black … Continue reading La Poya Ski Area (Le Buet, Vallorcine)

La Vormaine Beginner/Nursery Skiing (Le Tour)

La Vormaine, “the biggest of the small ski slopes“, is the splendid Beginner/Nursery ski area, nestled in the village of Le Tour (1432m), next to the Charamillon bubble lift. Ski pass options at La Vormaine La Vormaine is a good value ski area, as it allows families to opt for 2h30, 4 hours (often enough with toddlers to entertain!), a day or more, at a … Continue reading La Vormaine Beginner/Nursery Skiing (Le Tour)

Combloux Skiing

Combloux is definitely one of the most family-friendly ski areas in the Pays du Mont-Blanc, and skiing here will reward you with some of the most beautiful views of Mont Blanc and the mountains of Les Aravis and Les Fiz! ⛷Ski Pass Options⛷ You have different ski pass options to suit your family’s needs at Combloux: Les Portes du Mont-Blanc – 100km of pistes link … Continue reading Combloux Skiing

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)

Cordon Skiing

The village of Cordon is known as 🗻 Le Balcon du Mont-Blanc 🗻because of its magnificent views of Mont-Blanc, and it has a small, family-friendly ski station with 11km of ski pistes. A favourite ski station for the locals, it is perfect for tiny skiers and Beginners, as well as having a good selection of pistes for the more experienced skier. Cordon ski area normally opens towards the end of … Continue reading Cordon Skiing

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)

Pistes de Luge au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

❄️ DECEMBER SNOWFALL ❄ au Pays du Mont-Blanc . . . often we have a snow flurry in October or November, but the snow of autumn 2018 is teasing us! When the ❄ first snow arrives, the delight and excitement is catching: walks knee-deep (or shoulder-deep for the little ones!) in the white fluffy stuff, snowball fights, ⛄️ making a snowman (or perhaps a snowcat or other snow animal) . … Continue reading Pistes de Luge au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

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

Praz-sur-Arly Skiing

Praz-sur-Arly is another of our local ski resorts au Pays du Mont-Blanc that ticks all of the boxes for family skiing: a mixture of gentle and more difficult pistes (60 per cent of the pistes are GREEN and BLUE!), the Opoualand and Waouland pistes reserved for children (adults are only permitted here if they accompany a child!), an outdoor softplay games area called Dragon Tirecorde, a … Continue reading Praz-sur-Arly Skiing

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)

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)

Family strolls with small children: lakes in autumn au Pays du Mont-Blanc

YAfter 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» (Pays du Mont-Blanc)

The 18th edition of Les Petits Asticots – the annual children’s festival au Pays du Mont-Blanc, taking place during the Toussaint school holidays – will be yet again offering families six inspirational days of theatre, music, dance, circus and workshops from 20th to 26th October! 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 … Continue reading Festival «Les Petits Asticots» (Pays du Mont-Blanc)

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 . . . and … Continue reading La Maison du Salève (Présilly)

LES MERCREDIS – workshops, sport, creative activities (AND RELAXATION!) for children au Pays du Mont-Blanc

📆 WEDNESDAYS are once again – au Pays du Mont-Blanc – 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. To join local sports clubs, or to sign up for activities at the MJC Chamonix, FJEP Passy, MJC Saint-Gervais or Le Palais in Megève, you will largely need to sign … Continue reading LES MERCREDIS – workshops, sport, creative activities (AND RELAXATION!) for children au Pays du Mont-Blanc

La Petite Université – Chamonix Mont-Blanc

La Petite Université is ready for the 2018/2019 season, and you can sign up already for one of its many courses (at the CAF in Chamonix or online); see website for more details. ORIGINAL POST FROM 2017: Have you heard that there is a new university au du Mont-Blanc?  It’s called La Petite Université – Chamonix Mont-Blanc!  Subjects on offer include: glaciology, permaculture, photography, life drawing, … Continue reading La Petite Université – Chamonix Mont-Blanc

FAMILY HIKES – tips for hiking with small children

*2018 update – this appears to be a very popular post on the MBFF website, so I have updated it with a few new suggestions for family walks!* 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 … Continue reading FAMILY HIKES – tips for hiking with small children

SOFTPLAY, INDOOR PLAY & BOUNCY CASTLES au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

Au Pays du Mont-Blanc, we are lucky to have a softplay option in the industrial zone of Sallanches for those RAINY DAYS all year round . . . and in the summer months, plenty of bouncy castles spring up in lovely locations too . . . and further afield in the Arve Valley and beyond, there are some larger softplay and indoor play areas . . . … Continue reading SOFTPLAY, INDOOR PLAY & BOUNCY CASTLES au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

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/gifts to buy; a centre providing workshops for children and adults throughout the year (and especially during the school holidays); there are plans to set up workshps for local artists; A little history Charlotte Paget is the protagonist … Continue reading Le Chalet des Créateurs (Saint-Gervais-les-Bains)

Lac de Passy

Lac de Passy, officially referred to these days as a Base de Loisirs (due to the numerous leisure activities on offer), is the largest lake in the Pays du Mont-Blanc.  Ideal for a swim and a splash during the summer months, it is also frequented by cyclists, joggers, buggy-walkers, fishing enthusiasts, windsurfers, paddle-boarders and dog-walkers (NB dogs are not permitted at the beach/criques ends of the lake during … Continue reading Lac de Passy

Le Paradis des Praz (Les Praz, Chamonix)

My MBFF boys headed off for some fun at Paradis des Praz at the weekend and it reminded me what a wonderful little hidden jewel it is.  This natural playground is well-known to families living in the region, but perhaps not to those visiting. Activities at Le Paradis des Praz Nestled in the woods in Les Praz, a short walk from the golf-course car park (or … Continue reading Le Paradis des Praz (Les Praz, Chamonix)