Activities all year round
Montenvers Train & Mer de Glace - Take the rack and pinion train up through the forest to the glacier; the ride in itself is an adventure and once you are at the top you can walk or take a gondola down to the edge of the glacier. There is a crystal display, ice cave, glacier exhibition, café, shop and restaurant. Included in the Mont Blanc Unlimited in winter & the Mont Blanc Multipass in summer
Alpine Luge Coaster – a cross between a roller coaster and a toboggan run! Open in summer and winter at the Planards ski area, access via the chairlift (included in your ticket price).
Free descent with the Mont Blanc Unlimited in winter & the Mont Blanc Multipass in summer.
Jardin d’Eau - Saturday morning baby (under 4 years) swim session in the children’s pool at the Sports Centre. For an hour the children’s' pool is warmed up a couple of degrees and filled with inflatable toys and water jets. Times vary, so enquire at the sports centre for details.
Saint Bernard Kennels - A breeding centre for the famous Saint Bernard mountain dogs. The Elevage de Saint-bernard aux Houches is located between Servoz and Les Houches, at the Aire de la Fontaine exit on the main road out of Chamonix. Visits last around half an hour. The centre is open every day except Sundays and Monday mornings, from 10:00-11:30 and 14:00-17:30.
Richard Bozon Sports Centre - Swimming pool with baby pool, jacuzzi and a water slide make this a good option for rainy days. There is also an indoor climbing wall, an ice rink and a gym (adults only).
Parc des Loisirs - Opposite the Montenvers train station by the Planards nursery slopes, this leisure area offers trampolines, carousels, mini-motorbikes and more. Plenty of activities for 1-12 year olds, including the famous Alpine Luge Coaster (see above).
Accro Parc - Ropes, bridges and Tarzan swings through the forest at Les Gaillands. Suitable for all ages, with a special course designed for the very littlest monkeys (minimum height 1m).
Merlet Animal Park - Meet the famous marmots in their natural habitat! Wildlife such as marmots, deer, chamois, llamas, bouquetin and goats can easily be spotted as they go about their business in this nature park up above Les Houches. Lots of short signposted hikes that look out over stunning views over the valley and beyond. There is a restaurant, visitor centre and toilet facilities.
Paradis des Praz - A woodland paradise, perfect for families with small children can be found behind the golf course in Les Praz. There's a safe paddling lake with rope swings and stepping stones, pony rides, playground, kiosk serving snacks and drinks, signposted hikes. It's free entry, although you are encouraged to buy refreshments from the kiosk if you want to make use of the picnic tables and toilet facilities.
Gorges de la Diosaz - One of Chamonix's many natural wonders, the gorges are a short train ride away in the pretty village of Servoz. A wooden walkway takes you deep into a natural chasm in the earth, past plunging cascades and dripping rock formations. Suitable for young children but not advisable with a pram or pushchair.
Mini Tourist Train - Short tour of Chamonix’s sights with commentary in various languages. The train leaves every 30 minutes from the Post Office from 10am to 7pm with pick-ups at the Montenvers train station and the Aiguille du Midi. Runs from start of May to end of September. Discounted price with the Mont Blanc Multipass.
: Learn how to drive a pack of husky dogs and be prepared to hold on tight as they dash through the snow.
: There are lots of trails in and around the Chamonix valley, just waiting to be explored. This is a great activity for all ages and you might even spot some wildlife.
Paret sledging: A great activity for groups of friends, where you take the last lift of the day up to Grands Montets ski area mid station, and slide all the way down the home run on traditional wooden ‘paret’ sledges. Great fun for anyone over 12 years old and for groups.
Ski joering is an ancient form of transport that consists of being pulled along on skis by a horse, who you control with a special harness attached to the reins. You can try out this unusual activity in Servoz, next to the church, every Thursday afternoon from 15:00.