Chamonix is a fantastic winter wonderland with kids! Known for its skiing and mountain sports, the area encompasses five different resorts in a picturesque European city-center, providing a plethora of options for those looking for a cold-weather escape. My family and I visited in mid-December, and we loved every minute spent at this charming French village! From dog sledding with adorable Siberian huskies to day trips to Italy and amazing views overlooking Mont Blanc, there was no shortage of activities for my two active eight-year-olds. Still, visiting Chamonix with your family is always easier when you have a few destinations in mind. That’s why I’ve compiled some of my Best Winter Things to Do in Chamonix With Kids! to give you easy access when planning your next trip! Keep reading to get inspired for your future family vacations.
Explore the Town of Chamonix
The bustling, main resort town in the Chamonix Valley, the town of Chamonix offers a plethora of experiences for family travelers. Chamonix is a lively market town. Kids will love exploring its friendly streets and unique shops. It is known for being both a world-class ski resort, as well as a fantastic summer destination for hiking and rock climbing. In fact, the 1924 Olympics were held here! Additionally, Chamonix has a vibrant walkable main town in Chamonix. Then, Mont-Blanc Valley offers a mix of traditional and modern amenities and is worth exploring as a family. Plus, Chamonix has a great selection of restaurants. Even the pickiest of eaters can find something to love here! The town comes alive in the winter months, but families should consider Chamonix all-year-round. This charming village won’t disappoint!
Marvel in the Best Chamonix Views
Chamonix is famous for its enchanting vistas over Mont Blanc! Though there are countless places to witness these breathtaking panoramas, these were some of my family’s favorites.
Aiguille du Midi
Take in fantastic views of the French, Italian, Swiss Alps from Aiguille du Midi! Certainly one of the best winter things to do in Chamonix with kids, my family and I took an iconic cable car to this mountain peak’s top. This is one of the fastest ways to experience Chamonix’s most dramatic vistas. The rocky ride isn’t for the faint of heart, however! Families traveling with young kids should be aware of possible altitude sickness, as this excursion isn’t recommended for those under the age of five. Once we reached the top, resort staff took our photos within the glass skywalk called “Step Into the Void,” an adrenaline-pumping observation deck suspended in air! From there, kids can also explore The Museum of Alpinisme, the highest in the entire world.
There are also a few restaurants and cafes on the top, though we recommend making a reservation if you want to be guaranteed a table. Just remember to dress in warm layers, because the higher up you travel, the colder it becomes! Admission to the Aiguille du Midi gondola can be included with an unlimited Mont Blanc skiing pass.
Mer de Glace Train
Loop around Chamonix’s famous glacier on Montenvers train! Arguably the most famous attraction in town, this brilliant red railway transports families to the incredible Montenvers Station. Departing from Chamonix center, behind the main SNF train station, the ride only takes about twenty minutes. Plus, it offers stunning panoramas in the process! Marvel at remarkable views overlooking Mer de Glace. This is definitely one of the most popular attractions for families in Chamonix, and it’s for a good reason too. Though the ride itself is picturesque, my family and I were even more amazed once we reached the top of this stunning glacier!
Tip: Entry to Aiguille du Midi & Montenvers Train is included in Mont Blanc Unlimited pass! If you want to experience both of these fantastic winter things to do in Chamonix with kids, I recommend getting the pass.
The Ice Grotto/Cave
From the Mer de Glace glacier, we took another small cable car, and then walked nearly 415 steps down to a series of ice caves located below the glacier. (Even though we were so tired, it was worth it in the end!) Since the glacier moves about 70m each year, the grotto has to be dug out every summer. Photographs definitely do not do this adventure justice, which is why I’m recommending you experience it for yourself. I promise kids of all ages will have a blast navigating this natural wonder! My children loved exploring the caves and, which change every few months. Ultimately, keep in mind that tackling the steps is a lot of walking, and can be challenging for some little ones.
Tip: Once you’re done exploring Ice Caves and Mer De Glace area, it’s likely you worked up an appetite. Luckily, the Montenvers Station has a cafe and restaurant where you can enjoy panoramas of nearby peaks. Even if you’re not in the mood for a full meal, treat yourself to a sweet treat. Sip hot chocolate and overlooking one of the most gorgeous panoramas in the entire world!
Embark on Mountain Adventures
Chamonix’s high-adrenaline activities are best experienced as a family! Daredevil kids will love the mountain area’s rugged terrain, perfect for sports like snowboarding, dog sledding, and skiing.
The Chamonix Valley is one of the best freerides ski destinations worldwide! From Les Houches to Vallorcine, the town has nearly ten altitude and ski areas showcasing beginner slopes. My kids love to venture out, which is easy to do in Chamonix! The Teleski de Savoy is ideal for young children who are still learning, conveniently located at the foot of the Brevent Cable Car. Families vacationing here also enjoy Brévent-Flégère, a sun-soaked ski area featuring its very own Kid Zone. La Poya is another great beginner option for little children, as the pistes are easy on the wallet as well. Or, head to La Vormaine, located at the bottom of Le Tour. When there’s snow, Chosalets, at the bottom of Grands Montets, is also a worthwhile option. In Les Houches, discover a kids’ snow playground area called Ski Camp, where youngsters can snow tube, swing, and even zip wire!
Ski schools are another great option for kids visiting Chamonix! I enrolled my children at ESF Chamonix for the week, where they were able to sharpen their slope skills, in addition to interacting with skiers their own age. ESF Chamonix is one of the most prominent schools in the area, offering dynamic group lessons for kids of v. Lessons are available at both Le Savoy and Les Planards. The school is also famed for its Chamonix parade, which we were lucky to appreciate in person during our visit! During the parade, ski instructors wore funky matching outfits and marched through the streets singing and carrying torches that illuminated the striking Chamonix mountaintops. The experience was truly extraordinary! Not to mention, it is one of the best winter things to do in Chamonix with kids.
Dog Sledding/Husky Rides
Spend your day surrounded by cuddly canines by dog sledding! This fun-filled sport is becoming increasingly popular in ski areas like Chamonix, where families can race alongside adorable huskies. Huskydalen is one of few companies in the region that offers such a service, and they usually book up fast, so be sure to secure your spot in advance! Located in Le Golf, a short drive from Chamonix’s city-center, it involves learning how to dog mush and handle your own sleigh. It may not be great for young kids with no athletic ability. However, those who can hold their own will love whizzing through the snow with their cute companions! Seeing the Chamonix valley from a different perspective will be almost as unforgettable as spending a few hours alongside enthusiastic sled dogs! Located a short drive away in Bonneville, Evasion Nordique is another place that offers family-friendly dog sledding.
Enjoy a day of sledding or tobogganing at free family-friendly hills throughout Chamonix! Families can rent sleds from ski rental companies around the area, which include disc and traditional “paret sledging” or toboggans. Take your gear to the top of Parion in Les Houches and prepare for a wild ride! La Vormaine at Le Tour is another popular area for family sledding or tobogganing. In the Le Savoy beginners area, you’ll also find a mound of snow near the “magic carpet,” best used for sledding during the mid-season. Take the train from Chamonix to La Vallorcine and walk ten minutes to behind the La Poya Tourist Office, where you’ll also discover a “Piste-de-Luge” secured specifically for sledding! If you’d prefer to stay nearby in Chamonix, Bois du Buchet is only a few minutes from the town center. Near the Montenvers train station, Les Planards provides more sledding fun for everyone!
Ice skating is one of the best winter things to do in Chamonix with kids. Don’t miss the outdoor skating rink in Les Houches, situated in the heart of the village. Skate with your family while gazing out upon the mesmerizing Mont-Blanc! Opening times depend on the season, but the rink even hosts occasional events, like themed Friday nights. Admission to the Les Houches skating rink is also free for Mont-Blanc Unlimited and Via Cham cardholders. You’ll also get discounts with your tourist guest card, which Chamonix All Year will give you on arrival. Either way, children under six enter free, and you can rent skates if you don’t have your own. Little ones who are learning to ice skate can even rent sliders to help them glide easier on the ice. During other times of the year, guests can also visit the indoor Olympic rink for family fun.
Luge Alpine Coaster
Experience an exciting mountainside adventure on the Alpine Coaster! Located in Domain des Planards, a Chamonix recreational area, the coaster is known in French as the luge sur rails. Even better, it’s right outside the beginner ski area, convenient for little ones who are still learning. My kids could easily spend a whole day here if we let them. Though my husband and I had a pretty great time, too! The coaster takes you downhill through the slopes and can fit two. people per ride, making it easy to convert the experience into a friendly family race toward the finish line! The alpine coaster is open all year round, suitable for ages three and up. Those under eight must be accompanied by an adult during the ride. After we rode, we also explored the nearby Domain des Planards area, which has a small playground and a number of other activities!
Soar over Mont Blanc for a breathtaking panoramic vista! I didn’t have a chance to do this while in Chamonix, but I know it’s an extremely popular option for tourists visiting the area. Companies such as Chamonix Mont Blanc Helico and Fly Mont Blanc offer families the ability to see Chamonix from a birds-eye view through a thrill-seeking helicopter ride, perfect for adventurous older kids! Companies differ in their approach to the excursion, but prepare for it to last anywhere from one to two hours, including pick-up time. In the process, you’ll glide over Mer de Glace, Bossons Glacier, and other points of interest throughout the mountain range. No matter how long you plan on visiting, don’t miss this one-of-a-kind photo opportunity!
Chamonix’s location in the French alps also provides easy access to various ski towns around Italy and Switzerland. If you’re visiting with kids, consider taking a day trip to these fantastic nearby cities! A day trip to a neighboring country is one of the best winter things to do in Chamonix with kids!
Embark on a day trip to Courmayeur! My family loves taking advantage of the French Alps’ convenient location to visit this stylish Italian city, which is easily accessible by either bus or private car. In particular, I recommend Courmayeur for a family-friendly excursion, since the chic city is only twenty minutes from Chamonix! Just on the other side of Mont Blanc, you’ll easily be able to spot the difference in culture in this inviting, shopping-centric destination. Stroll through this picturesque Aosta Valley village to soak up some of the best boutiques and restaurants in the region. Or, take a nature walk through Val Ferris and Val Venny, two of the most popular valleys in town. No matter what you choose to do in Courmayeur, it’s surely a nice change of pace. Don’t forget to end your trip with some amazing Italian hot chocolate!
Megeve is another nearby ski town perfect for a day trip! In contrast to Courmayuer’s tranquil, quaint ambiance, this French destination boasts a bustling downtown area with various cafes and shops to explore. It’s still less than an hour away from Chamonix, though, so I recommend fitting both day trips into your itinerary if you have a chance! Try your hand at a new set of ski slopes, particularly designed for beginners. Then, wander narrow cobblestone streets while you peruse luxury jewelry, perfume, and clothing brands. Or, simply spend your day people-watching! Megeve is also famous for hosting a weekly Friday winter market, where you can purchase souvenirs, sample regional produce, and bargain for other artisanal products.
Enjoy Chamonix with Kids!
I hope you enjoyed this article on the Best Winter Things to Do in Chamonix With Kids! From delicious meals overlooking Mont-Blanc to endless winter sports, this French ski destination in the alps will definitely have something for you. I had a wonderful time with my family when I visited Chamonix, and I’m sure you will too. No matter where you decide to spend your next winter vacation, though, at least you’ll always have memories of the adventures you experienced together! I’m looking forward to the next time I can visit charming Chamonix with my kids.
All images included in this article, unless otherwise noted, were taken by and belong to Gunjan Prakash.