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Chamonix is known for its wonderfully different seasons, including world famous skiing and snowboarding. However, children rarely ski all day and lessons only start from 3 years old, but thankfully the Chamonix valley has many other activities to enjoy.
Here you will find our non-exclusive guide to fun winter activities to do with children and babies in Chamonix, Les Houches, Argentiere and the surrounding areas. More information such as prices and opening times for each activity can be found by clicking the linked titles.
Baby-Cham babysitters can happily take your children to participate in any of these activities (please note that activity costs are not included in babysitter booking fees and the babysitters costs must be covered if they also participate in paid activities)
Chamonix couldn't be so richly green or so wonderfully white without a little rain now and then.
Aside from a long lingering lunch at the brilliant family friendly restaurants/bars MONKEY BAR and BIGHORN BISTRO in Cham Sud or LE SOLEREY BREW PUB and THE KITsCH INN in Les Houches here are some rainy day activities for children in Chamonix, Les Houches, Argentiere and the surrounding areas.
Plan B Hotel - Living Chamonix is a lifestyle concept where you will find everything you are looking for to live an unforgettable experience in Chamonix.
The hotel is built around its large living space of over 700 m2. There you will find a large central bar and a restaurant offering a healthy and local offer. Also take advantage of a shop, a pop-up store, a children's area, many games (billiards, table football, board games) and even 2 bowling lanes to wink eye to the history of the place.
Finally, for the more studious, you will appreciate the lounge-lounge and its fireplace as well as the seminar room.
The location is ideal, right next to the main departure point for buses to take you to the various ski resorts in the valley (and also Italy, Switzerland) and to Geneva airport. The Aiguille du Midi cable car is 300 m away and the city center less than 5 minutes on foot.
As you can see, Plan B Hotel - Living Chamonix has been thought of as a real place of life where Chamonix residents and visitors come to share good times.
The small cinema in Chamonix centre (near the post office) shows blockbuster films and animations with some English versions (marked VO for Version Original or VOSTF if they have French subtitles).
They have a great kids corner with thousands of books of all languages for children, a great cheap place to bunker down in a rain shower! Downstairs there is a little play are for toddlers and tables and chairs that you can sit and play games on. Opening times vary, link is to French site.
Located at the base of the Plannards beginners pistes in Chamonix (opposite the Montenvers Train). The mini theme park is closed in winter but the famous Alpine Luge Coaster is open for children aged 3 onwards (3-7's must ride with an adult). Free with a Plannards lift pass too!
From Chamonix centre, journey on the old Montenvers rack and pinion train through beautiful mountain scenery, ending with stunning views of the Mer de Glace glacier, brave the 400 steps down to the glacier edge to go inside the ice grotto, or stay at the top where you will find a museum, hotel with restaurant and igloos. The website recommends only over 1 year olds, but we would suggest that it is more suitable for over 3 year olds due to the altitude and the many stairs. One of Chamonix's best attractions, so definitely worth a visit... book a baby-cham babysitter if you need to here.
Nature park located at 1500m, above Les Houches. As you explore the short hikes, there are 8 wild animal species that roam freely to look for. Children will love the animals and you will love the great photo opportunities as the park is situated opposite the Mont Blanc Massif range. Open from December 19th 2015 to mid-March 2016, on reservation, from Monday to Friday the park is open only to groups of 5 to 8 people, accompanied by a mountain guide to get the chance to see the wings of Merlet. You will appriciate peace, snowy land. 2 hour walk with snow shoes so you may want to hire a child carrier!
Indoor swimming pool (with great outdoor area for non-rainy days too), jacuzzi, water jets, slide, river rapids. They also do 2 brilliant Saturday morning sessions for children where they fill the pool with floating toys, one for 6 months-3 years called Jardin d'eau (one adult needed per child) and one for 3-5 year olds called Petites Poissons.
Indoor rink in Chamonix and outdoor rinks in Chamonix (by the sports centre- signposted 'Patinoire'), Argentiere (€3 skate hire, free entry, by the Marie) and Les Houches (€3/€2 skate hire, free entry, by the Piste du Torchet). For the Chamonix rink entry is free with Mont Blanc Unlimited pass and discounted with your Carte d'Hote.
Create some magical memories as you get pulled through the snow by a team of huskies. Over 8's can drive their own dog sledge (€75), under 8's can ride a passenger sledge (1 adult and 1 child or 2 children, as long as both passengers weigh under 80kgs total €90). Takes about an hour and there will be a safety briefing and time to take photos with the dogs.
Thursday evenings during the school holidays Les Houches offers free entry to the Piste du Torchet. With one drag lift you can experience floodlit skiing/snowboarding and sledging (bring your own sledge but some nights offer snow scooters and traditional sledges to try out).
Horse Drawn Sledge
Head to the Irish Coffee bar in the centre of Chamonix and you will find Dr Zhivago and his horse waiting to take you on a sledge drive around the centre of Chamonix in the snow!
Most sports and equipment hire shops in Chamonix sell sledges (your accommodation provider may also be able to provide them). Grab your sledge and hit your nearest snowy hill! Sledging isn't permitted on the pistes during lift open hours, but there are designated areas you can use during the day in Chamonix (on the parapont field behind the Richard Bozon sports centre and tennis courts), Les Houches (by lac des chavants*) and Argentiere (besides Les Chosalets beginners pistes). All of our babysitters have sledges that they can bring during bookings too!
*worth noting that there is also a great little free soft play area outside on the snow here suitable for all ages of children- theres even soft sledges on a mini slope!