Chamonix with Kids

Author: Dan Brewer

Last Updated:

We are mountain people. We live in the mountains, we play in the mountains and yes, we travel to mountains. When we decided to spend our summer on a family holiday to France, we knew we had to visit Chamonix with kids. Yes, Chamonix looks a lot like our home in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, but there is something special about the French Alps around Chamonix which all families will enjoy.

If you enjoy outdoor recreation as a family, you’ll have no trouble finding amazing things to do with kids in Chamonix. For starters, the Mont Blanc Natural Resort has so many gondolas, cable cars and chairlifts in the region that it’s super-easy to get up high to enjoy the spectacular views and do some kid-friendly hiking.

a 9-year old girl on a family holiday to France soaks in views of Mont Blanc on a kid-friendly Chamonix hike

No matter what your reason for visiting Chamonix with kids, we’re confident your family will love the stunning scenery of the French Alps and all the amazing things to do together.

a family on a family vacation to France enjoys views of the French Alps atop the Brevent Gondola in Chamonix

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12 Best Things to Do in Chamonix with Kids

1. Planpraz Gondola and Brevent Cable Car

The good news for parents visiting Chamonix with kids is that one of the best hikes in Chamonix is also a kid-friendly hike! The section of the Grand Balcon Sud hiking trail in-between the Planpraz gondola and the Flegere gondola is incredibly scenic, not too long and not too steep for most kids in reasonable shape.

Chances are good that if you are staying in Chamonix with your kids, you’ll want to start your day at the Planpraz gondola, which is only a 10-minute walk from town. The ride up the Planpraz gondola is a very scenic, especially if you look backwards towards the town of Chamonix and Mont Blanc.

a 7-year old boy enjoys looking down towards Chamonix from the Planpraz Gondola

Once at the top of the Planpraz gondola, we decided to do a little sightseeing before beginning our kid-friendly Chamonix walk, so we walked a minute or two to the Brevent cable car (telepherique) station. The morning light atop the Brevent cable car was just perfect for excellent family pictures with Mont Blanc in the background. There are multiple viewpoints at the top of the Brevent Telepherique, so be sure to explore the area a bit before heading back down.

a father and his daughter discover why the Brevent Cable car is one of the best things to do in Chamonix with kids

2. Kid-Friendly Hike: Grand Balcon Sud from Planpraz to Flégère

After taking the Brevent Telepherique back down to the upper Planpraz gondola terminal, we were ready to begin hiking the Grand Balcon Sud trail with our kids. There are multiple hiking trails which leave Planpraz for Flegere. The most popular trail begins by going uphill, but we elected to take the hiking trail which starts downhill, and then take the more popular route on the way back from Flegere to Planpraz.

a 9-year old girl hikes the Grand Balcon Sud trail

Taking the lower hiking trail from Planpraz to Flegere was really nice as we only saw a few other hikers along the way. Fewer humans means a greater chance of seeing some Chamonix wildlife like marmots, ibex or chamois. We made it a game to see who could spot some wildlife first, but alas, we never did see any. That’s just how it goes with Chamonix wildlife – sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t.

The lower trail to Flegere follows a wide gravel road which provides excellent views of Mont Blanc, Aiguille Verte and the other beautiful mountains of the French Alps on the opposite side of the Chamonix Valley. It’s these elevated views of Mont Blanc and the surrounding mountains which makes the Grand Balcon Sud trail so popular.

a Mom hiking with her family on the Grand Balcon Sud trail near Chamonix, France

After 2 km / 1.2 miles of hiking the lower trail, we met up with the main Grand Balcon Sud hiking trail. After so much solitude, it was a bit of a shock to suddenly be sharing the trail with so many other hikers. It was great to see so many families on this kid-friendly hiking trail in Chamonix. There were babies in backpack carriers, toddlers ‘walking’ and older kids of all ages on this trail. A very family-friendly hiking trail in Chamonix indeed!

The main trail is single track and is more of a real hiking trail with many rocks and roots to contend with. Much of the Grand Balcon Sud trail goes through forest, providing some welcome relief from the sun, which can get quite intense on this south-east facing slope.

a family hikes along the Grand Balcon Sud trail

Along the Grand Balcon Sud trail, there are plenty of things which will keep your kids entertained, such as walking through the path of some major rockslides. They will also get to watch paragliders and also some adventurous people on the nearby Via Ferrata routes.

After 5.4 km / 3.5 miles of very enjoyable family hiking along the Grand Balcon Sud trail, we arrived at the upper terminal of the Flegere gondola. Given it was included in our Chamonix MultiPass, we hopped on the L’Index chairlift to do some more high-elevation sightseeing.

a family boards the L'Index Chairlift for some French Alps sightseeing in Chamonix

After the L’Index chairlift, we took the main Grand Balcon Sud trail all the way back to Planpraz. The upper trail is a bit rocky, but we feel it’s the better route to take with kids back to the Planpraz terminal. It’s a gradual uphill, while the lower trail would have been downhill for a bit, followed by a very steep uphill section.

If you came to Chamonix with your family to enjoy spectacular scenery of the French Alps, hiking the Grand Balcon Sud trail with your kids is highly recommended. Hiking between the Planpraz terminal to Flegere and back makes it easy as you can enjoy this adventure right from town.

our family loved the Grand Balcon Sud hiking trail near Chamonix, France

Tips for parents hiking the Grand Balcon Sud trail with kids

  • The Grand Balcon Sud hiking trail has a south-east exposure, meaning it is fully exposed to the sun the moment it rises above the mountaintops. Bring plenty of sunscreen and full water bladders.

  • There are some sections of the Grand Balcon Sud hiking trail with some significant drop-offs, many with no safety rails. If your kids are too young to be trusted to make safe decisions, keep them close.
although the Grand Balcon Sud trail is a popular Chamonix hike for families, there are a few dangerous spots

Grand Balcon Sud hiking trail map

3. L’Index Chairlift

The open-air 6-person Index chairlift was a fun thing to do in Chamonix with kids. We kept our eyes peeled for marmots living in the rocky meadows below, but again came up empty. The top of the Index chairlift is less developed than the Brevent cable car, but there’s some excellent views to be had.

The different angle of Mont Blanc is nice, but what we especially enjoyed atop the L’Index chairlift was the better views of the additional valley glaciers further north up the Chamonix Valley.

two kids play in an alpine meadow with Mont Blanc in the background

4. Aiguille du Midi

A visit to the Aiguille du Midi is a must-do for every family visiting Chamonix with kids. Two thrilling back-to-back cable car rides whisk you from the valley floor up to a dazzling height of 3,842 m / 12,600 feet above sea level. At this altitude you are tantalizingly close to the snow-caped summit of Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Europe with an elevation of 4,809 m / 15,800 feet.

Upon arrival at the upper Aiguille du Midi terminal, you’ll immediately have a choice of crossing a very scenic bridge to enter the main building, or to climb a set of stairs towards a large outdoor terrace. Don’t miss the terrace as it was one of our favorite viewpoints from the Aiguille du Midi. There were outstanding views in all directions, including amazing views of the mountain we all came to see, Mont Blanc.

a father and son at Aiguille du Midi checking out the epic views of Mont Blanc

Terrace 3842

When we finished with the first viewpoint, we entered the main building and immediately got in line for the elevator to visit Terrace 3842. This is the highest viewpoint available at the Aiguille du Midi and is immediately underneath the iconic television antenna.

Terrace 3842 is the highest point at Aiguille du Midi

The wait for the Terrace 3842 elevator was approximately 20 minutes and the views were pretty much the same as the first outdoor terrace, except it was much more crowded. If you are in a rush, we’d recommend spending your time at the first outdoor terrace. 

The Void

You can also access The Void from Terrace 3842. The Void is a reinforced glass box which allows you to look straight down for over 1,000 m / 3,280 feet! Although The Void is undoubtedly a thrilling experience, we were unwilling to wait 50 minutes for an experience which lasts less than a minute.

the Void is a fun thing to do with kids at the Aiguille du Midi in Chamonix

Le Tube

After going back down to the main level of Aiguille du Midi, we entered Le Tube, which is a really cool weathered steel tube leading you across the southern face of Mont Blanc to yet another outdoor terrace, with yet even more amazing views of the French Alps.

The Tube is a fun attraction for kids at Aiguille du Midi in Chamonix, France

Panoramic Mont-Blanc Gondola to Italy

As you leave the Le Tube viewing platform, you’ll pass the ticket office for the Panoramic Mont-Blanc gondola to Italy. Adjacent to the Italy gondola is the exit for outdoor adventurers to access the glaciers. This is a really cool ice tunnel and it’s fun for kids to watch mountaineers get ready for their epic adventures!

three gondolas of the Panoramic Mont-Blanc gondola to Italy cross a massive glacier on Mont Blanc

Other Kid-Friendly Attractions at Aiguille du Midi

  • Cinema Immersive 4D: a multidimensional movie theatre dedicated to the mountains
  • Espace Ascension: fly over the amazing French Alps in this large format movie

As fun as these additional experiences sounded, we were eager to get on with our day and enjoy yet another kid-friendly hike in Chamonix.

Chamonix, Aiguille du Midi & Mer de Glace Full-Day Trip (all ages)

5. Kid-Friendly Hike: Grand Balcon Nord from Plan De L’Aiguille to Montenvers

We took the upper cable car back down from Aiguille du Midi to the Plan De L’Aiguille mid-station. From here we enjoyed an excellent family hike all the way to the Montenvers train station, where we could continue our day with two more very fun things to do with kids in Chamonix:

  • a visit to the Mer de Glace ice cave, followed by
  • a train ride on the famous Montenvers – Mer de Glace train.
The emerald green water of Lac Bleu on a kid-friendly hike in Chamonix, France

Leg 1: Hiking from Plan De L’Aiguille to Lac Bleu

The official Grand Balcon Nord Trail begins going downhill from the Plan De L’Aiguille terminal, but we chose to start our family adventure on the upper trail which swings by the small, but very pretty Lac Bleu. The trail to Lac Bleu begins through a rocky meadow, with towering mountain peaks overhead.

Take a moment to marvel at the steep glaciers barely clinging to the rocky mountains above. It was also fun to look across the Chamonix Valley and trace the steps we took on the Grand Balcon Sud trail the day prior.

a Mom hikes to Lac Bleu on the Grand Balcon Nord trail near Chamonix

The hiking trail is very rocky with uneven surfaces nearly the whole way to Montenvers. We recommend good hiking shoes and you should count on the hike taking longer than expected due to the difficult footing. It’s not hard, just a little awkward.

It only takes 0.6 km / 0.4 miles of hiking to reach the small, but beautiful Lac Bleu. The true beauty of this small lake in the French Alps is its glasslike reflections. At any given time there will be many hikers trying to get that perfect mountain reflection picture. Try to be respectful and don’t throw rocks, etc. into the water.

a boy takes a picture of the mountain reflection on Lac Bleu while on a family hike near Aiguille du Midi

Leg 2: Hiking from Lac Bleu to Grand Balcon Nord Trail

The next 1 km / 0.6 miles of hiking beyond Lac Bleu is mostly downhill through a lush, green meadow with many large boulders throughout. There’s a couple of spots with steep drop-offs, so watch your little ones closely while hiking in these spots.

After 1.6 km / 1 mile of hiking, you’ll meet up with the main Grand Balcon Nord trail, and it will suddenly become noticeably busier. The trail junction is adjacent to a charming little mountain stream which you’ll need to cross over a little rock bridge. The fun continues with a seemingly endless series of rock bridges over streams, which kids always love while hiking.

a family hikes from Lac Bleu to the Grand Balcon Nord mail trail

The Grand Balcon Nord trail offers nice views of Chamonix town, dramatic mountain peaks overhead and excellent views of the Brevent and Flegere areas of the Mont Blanc Natural Resort across the valley.

Leg 3: Le Signal Forbes Viewpoint

At the 4.3 km 2.7 mile mark, you’ll reach a trail junction. Your kids will likely try to persuade you to take the trail going downhill, but you must resist. The trail going uphill isn’t that much harder and rewards your family with some truly epic French Alps mountain and glacier views.

Over a series of tight switchbacks, you’ll gain approximately 100 m / 320 feet in elevation as you hike towards the Le Signal Forbes viewpoint. From here you’ll have truly incredible views of the pointy Aiguille Verte mountain peak with the long Mer de Glace glacier below.

two kids on a Chamonix family hike near the Le Signal Forbes viewpoint for an epic view of Aiguille Verte mountain

The Le Signal Forbes viewpoint is the perfect spot on your family hike in Chamonix to stop and have a snack with your kids and just soak in some of the best French Alps scenery you’ll find anywhere.

Leg 4: Le Signal Forbes Viewpoint to the Montenvers Train Station

It’s all downhill via a series of switchbacks from the Le Signal Forbes viewpoint to the Montenvers terminal. You’ll need to watch your footing but peek up every now and then for new views of the Mer de Glace glacier and many towering waterfalls produced by the glaciers further up the mountain.

an elevated view of the Mer de Glace glacier on the Grand Balcon Nord hiking trail

After 7.2 km / 4.5 miles of mostly downhill hiking, you’ll arrive at the Montenvers train station and the end of this epic kid-friendly hike in Chamonix. It took us 3h 15m to hike from Plan De L’Aiguille to Montenvers, which is slower than our typical pace while hiking with kids. The slower pace was due to the uneven footing all along the trail, coupled with countless stops for pictures of the amazing scenery along this hiking trail.

Lac Bleu to Grand Balcon Nord Hiking Trail Map

6. Grotte de Glace Ice Cave

The Grotte de Glace Ice Cave gives families a chance to walk through a cave carved in a glacier. This is a truly incredible experience and is another must do attraction in Chamonix with kids.

Upon finishing our Grand Balcon Nord hike with kids, we went to the Montenvers station and took the gondola ride down towards the valley floor where the Mer de Glace glacier rests. It’s a very quick gondola ride, but you’ll enjoy spectacular views of the glacier and the Aiguille Verte mountain peak overhead.

the upper gondola station for the Chamonix ice caves

Once at the bottom of the gondola, you’ll need to walk down a walkway with 520 stairs all the way to the famous Chamonix ice cave. Enjoy the walk down to the ice cave as you’ll be climbing back up these stairs to the lower gondola terminal on your way back!

The Chamonix Grotte de Glace ice cave was an incredibly fun family experience. It was pushing 30°C / 86°F outside, so to walk inside the icy cool belly of a glacier was such a treat on a hot summer day.

The entrance to the Grotte de Glace ice caves in Chamonix, France

The Grotte de Glace ice cave was much bigger than I expected, with many different tunnels carved into the glacier. There are many ice sculptures, etc. carved inside to help keep everyone entertained, not that they need any additional entertainment – the ice cave is awesome!

a girl feels the freezing ice walls of the Chamonix ice caves during a family summer trip to France

Walking the 520 stairs back up to the gondola isn’t as bad as it sounds as there are lots of flat walkways in-between staircases, giving you time to catch your breath. Nearly everyone around us was able to make the climb back up the stairs, without taking a break. Our kids were able to climb the stairs back up with very little difficulty.

7. Montenvers Red Train to Chamonix

After an epic day of visiting the Aiguille du Midi, hiking the Grand Balcon Nord and visiting the ice cave, we enjoyed a relaxing 20 minute train ride back to Chamonix on the Montenvers – Mer de Glace train.

the red sightseeing train from Montenvers to Chamonix

As you’d expect, the scenery along this historic train route is amazing, but to be honest, we’d been staring at it all day long. We simply sat back, had a few laughs and casually looked out the window at the mountains of the French Alps we’ve quickly learned to love.

8. Tramway du Mont Blanc

As much fun as we were having taking the gondolas and chairlifts around town, we were craving some different mountain scenery, so we were happy when our reservation for the Tramway du Mont Blanc came up on our third day in Chamonix with kids. Being 20 minutes outside of Chamonix, this was one of the few times we had to use our rental car in Chamonix.

The Tramway du Mont Blanc is the highest rail line in France and takes visitors to an amazing viewpoint of the Bionnassay glacier. This amazing glacier hangs dramatically below the summit of Aiguille de Bionnassay, one of the few French mountains over 4,000 meters / 13,100 feet.

mountain scenery aboard the Tramway du Mont Blanc

The train ride on the Tramway du Mont Blanc is not a long distance, but it’s quite slow due to the very steep incline. At times it’s hard to believe a train is going so steeply uphill. The overall time it takes to get from the first station (Le Fayet) to the final stop (Nid d’Aigle) is 75 minutes.

The Chamonix scenery is amazing along the way, but that can only hold a child’s attention for so long. Had we known the Tramway du Mont Blanc was over an hour each way, we’d have brought some books or activities for the kids.

It was nice to enjoy some different views of the French Alps during our ride on the Tramway du Mont Blanc. The train makes its way through a lush evergreen forest for the first 30 minutes or so before starting to provide some incredible vistas of the mountains. We were happy to see a deer in the forest – our first mammal sighting in Chamonix so far!

the Transway du Mont Blanc makes its way from Le Fayet to Nid d’Aigle

About 50 minutes into the journey, you’ll be treated to a different angle to view Aiguille du Midi and the summit of Mont Blanc. Shortly thereafter, the steep, dramatic Bionnassay glacier comes into view.

Our tram pulled into Nid d’Aigle at 9:15, exactly 75 minutes after our 8 AM departure from Le Fayet. Once at the top, the first thing you should do is go to the cash desk and book your return journey on the tramway.

you can appreciate how steep the Tramway du Mont Blanc is from the Nid d’Aigle station

We chose to return on the 12:25 departure, giving our family over 3 hours to enjoy some hiking around Nid d’Aigle and the Bionnassay glacier.

9. Hiking Around Nid d’Aigle

We came to Chamonix with our kids to enjoy hiking in some of the most spectacular mountain scenery on Earth, so you won’t be surprised to hear that we spent our 3 hours of free time hiking around Nid d’Aigle.

We followed the steady stream of people onto the hiking trail leading due south of the Nid d’Aigle train station. The trail begins uphill for a few hundred meters or so until you reach the Refuge du Nid d’Aigle, a small café with some incredible views of the Bionnassay glacier.

after taking a scenic train ride on the Tramway du Mont Blanc, a family enjoys a hike to the foot of the Bionnassay Glacier

Beyond the Refuge du Nid d’Aigle the trail starts to go downhill. Watch your step as the views of the Bionnassay glacier ahead are amazing and can be distracting. You can also see the small villages and a larger town off in the distance below, helping highlight how high in the mountains you are.

If you stop and look at the Bionnassay glacier from this vantage point, you’ll see a section of ice where it’s all jagged and uneven. It reminded me of the footage I’ve seen of the dangerous Khumbu Icefall on Mount Everest. I’m not sure if it’s exactly the same type of glacier formation, but it’s the first time I’ve seen this on a glacier in person.

unique ice formations on the Bionnassay Glacier near Chamonix, France

After 700 m 0.4 miles of hiking, you’ll get your first great up-close view of the Bionnassay glacier. From this position, it’s easy to appreciate the sheer size and magnitude of this monstrous piece of ice. Most visitors who arrive in Nid d’Aigle on the Tramway du Mont Blanc stop at this point and turn back for the Nid d’Aigle train station, but there is still a lot of good kid-friendly hiking ahead if you have the time.

the hike to the Bionnassay Glacier is one of the most fun things to do in Chamonix with kids

From the Bionnassay glacier viewpoint, you can turn west and follow the ridge of the glacier valley. The hiking trail becomes much less crowded now, so you can hear small details such as the sound of glacier melt water running in the valley below.

At the 900 m / 0.6 mile mark of this Nid d’Aigle hike, the hiking trail suddenly disappears into a field of boulders. From here, simply make your way through the boulders to the hiking trail on the opposite side of the adjacent gully (go north).

the hiking beneath the Bionnassay Glacier is a lot of fun for kids

We continued to follow this hiking trail downhill until we had hiked for 1.5 km / 0.9 miles. At this position, we had an incredible view of Aiguille de Bionnassay and the glacier below.

We followed the loop hiking trail all the way back to the Nid d’Aigle train station. We stopped at a point with excellent vistas, allowing us to look for elusive marmots in the nearby rocky meadows. It was also fun to be able to watch the Tramway du Mont Blanc go by in the distance below.

We arrived back at Nid d’Aigle about 30 minutes before our train ride back to Le Fayet on the Tramway du Mont Blanc. We found that 3 hours was the perfect amount of time for a family hike and a picnic lunch in the Nid d’Aigle area.

two kids on a family hike near Chamonix

10. Flégère Gondola

We missed out on riding the Flegere gondola earlier when we hiked to the L’index chairlift, so we were excited to go for a ride on our last day of our family trip to Chamonix. This time we took the Flegere gondola, followed by L’Index chairlift all the way to the top so we could hike to Lac Blanc.

the family-friendly hike to Lac Blanc begins with a ride up the Flegere Gondola and the L'Index chairlift

A newly built gondola, the Flegere gondola is the nicest gondola I’ve ever ridden in. Ok – I’m a giant mountain nerd, but it’s true. The Flegere gondola is a very big 10-seater with floor-to-ceiling windows. It’s amazing how the extra space and large windows make a big difference in your gondola experience. Try it out and you’ll see what I mean.

11. Lac Blanc Hike from L’Index to Flegere

They say that Lac Blanc is the most beautiful lake around Chamonix, so it sounded like the perfect hike for the last day of our family trip. To hike to Lac Blanc you have two options:

  • You can take the Flegere Gondola halfway up the mountain and then you can hike uphill to Lac Blanc, or
  • You can take the Flegere Gondola followed by the L’Index chairlift all the way to the top. This strategy allows you to hike downhill nearly the whole outing.

When you are paying for a Mont Blanc MultiPass, you are essentially paying for the easy altitude gain. You get to enjoy all the benefits of being high up in the French Alps with little-to-no effort. With a Mont Blanc MultiPass in hand for every member of the family, it was a no brainer for us to take the Flegere gondola and the L’index chairlift to the top for some nearly effortless downhill hiking with the kids.

a massive mountain dwarfs a young girl on a family hile in Chamonix to Lac Blanc

Leg 1: Hiking from L’Index to Lac Blanc

Once you arrive at the top of the L’Index chairlift, there’s a large sign pointing in the direction of the Lac Blanc hike. This is your first clue that this is a very popular family-friendly Chamonix hiking trail.

As you begin your downhill hike on a wide gravel road towards Lac Blanc, take a look to your right for an excellent view of the Mer de Glace Glacier and the massive Argentiere Glacier next to it. Similar to the Grand Balcon Sud hike, the views across the Chamonix Valley to Mont Blanc and its neighboring mountains are simply breathtaking.

the hiking trail to Lac Blanc is one of the most popular hiking trails for families in Chamonix, France

After 400 m / 1,300 feet of hiking, the wide gravel road transitions into a real hiking trail with plenty of uneven rocks to navigate. We recommend proper hiking shoes for this family-friendly Chamonix hike.

At the 0.7 km / 0.4 mile mark, you’ll enter the first of many boulder fields filled with rocks covered with bright green lichen. The lichen gives a funny effect that all the large rocks around the trail are a bright green, especially when the sun is shining.

Having all these large boulders near the hiking trail is especially fun for kids, who will love climbing up and over these fun rocks. This is one of the reasons why you’ll see so many families hiking to Lac Blanc with kids.

the lichen-covered rocks on the Lac Blanc hiking trail glow green in the summer sun

Another major reason for the popularity of Lac Blanc with hikers is the spectacular views. Once you reach the green boulder field, stop and take a look across the valley. You’ll be able to see at least 5 major glaciers, and countless smaller ones. What a truly special French Alps viewpoint!

You’ll walk through a rockslide at the 1.6 km / 1 mile mark of the Lac Blanc hike. It was here that we finally saw our first marmot of our family trip to Chamonix. The cute, furry little marmot was slowly walking from rock to rock just above us in the rockslide. This is prime marmot territory, so slow down and take a moment to look for these cute creatures. Please keep them wild and healthy by not feeding them.

an Alpine Marmot on the kid-friendly hiking trail to Lac Blanc

Between the rock slide and the Lac Blanc trail junction, there are many little mounds next to the trail where you can get an outstanding family picture with Mont Blanc in the background. Don’t be shy to ask any of the many hikers on this popular, easy Chamonix hike to take a family photo.

a family hiking to Lac Blanc gets a photo taken with Mont Blanc in the background

Leg 2: Lac Blanc

You’ll reach the trail junction for Lac Blanc after 2.6 km / 1.6 miles of mostly downhill hiking. From here, it’s a pretty steep uphill walk for 400 m / 1,300 feet to reach the lower lake. As you hike towards Lac Blanc, take a look towards the sky to see many colorful paragliders whisking by peacefully overhead.

The first lake is pretty small, but the large Refuge de Lac Blanc is on the far shore. The combination of these two is a beautiful piece of French Alps scenery. The refuge has a small café as well.

the French Alp views from the kid-friendly hike to Lac Blanc are stunning

Cross the little stream below the refuge and continue to hike uphill for a short walk to the shores of Lac Blanc. Before long you’ll be at the shores of a striking turquoise colored lake surrounded by towering mountain peaks. This is the perfect place to find a nice rock and have a family picnic while soaking in the beauty of Lac Blanc.

a family has a picnic next to Lac Blanc while on an excellent family hike near Chamonix

Chamonix: Tandem Paragliding Flight (Ages 6+)

Leg 3: Hiking from Lac Blanc to Flegere Gondola

Once you are ready to continue this kid-friendly Chamonix hike, take a moment to enjoy the view of the jagged peaks across the water of the lower lake. The views of Mont Blanc as you hike back towards the junction are hard to beat.

the views of the Chamonix French Alps are incredible from Lac Blanc

Once at the junction, take the hiking trail downhill to get back to the upper Flegere Gondola terminal. This hike is all downhill and can be steep at times. If you are balance challenged, you may appreciate having collapsible hiking poles for extra stability. There’s also a few sections of trail where they have installed handrails, or extra medal steps, etc. to help you manage the steeper spots.

kids love the fun downhill hike from Lac Blanc to the upper Flegere Gondola terminal

As the trail winds through a rocky meadow, you’ll notice that the green boulder field extends all the way down here too. If you hiked the Grand Balcon Nord trail, you’ll get a great view of it across the Chamonix Valley from here as well.

After 4.4 km / 2.7 miles of hiking, the upper Flegere Gondola terminal comes into view – it looks really close, but it’s further than it looks. As you near the end of the trail, you’ll cross over a long wooden boardwalk. There’s something about wooden boardwalks that make kids go nuts on a hiking trail – they are so much fun.

the long wooden boardwalk on the Lac Blanc trail is a fun thing for kids to enjoy

The final 200 m / 650 feet to the Flegere terminal is uphill. There’s a small café here to treat your family for a job well done on this excellent family hike in Chamonix.

Note, the Lac Blanc hike is similar to the Grand Balcon Sud hike in that it has a southern exposure. There is not a lot of shade on this hike (if any), so bring more water than you think you need in your water bladders and lots of sunscreen.

Lac Blanc Hiking Trail Map (L’Index to Flegere)

12. Chamonix Crystal Museum

Our son is a prolific rock collector (even if they are all grey and uninteresting) and our daughter loves beautiful rocks, minerals and crystals. Given their love of rocks and such, we rewarded them for a great hike to Lac Blanc with a visit to the Chamonix Crystal Museum, officially called Musee des Cristaux.

The Musee des Cristaux is a few blocks off the main pedestrian street in Chamonix town centre, right across the street from the Saint Bernard du Mont-Blanc catholic church. This small Chamonix museum packs in a ton of crystals into a small space.

They say a typical visit to the crystal museum takes 1 – 2 hours, but I imagine this is for people who visit without kids. Families who visit the Chamonix crystal museum with kids will find it hard to keep up with them as the kids run excitedly from display case to display case.

the Crystal Museum is a fun thing to do with kids in Chamonix indoors

The Chamonix crystal gallery is jam-packed with many beautiful and interesting crystals. Most of the delicate specimens are locked safely behind glass, but there’s just enough touchable crystals to keep kids happy.

A 4 Day Chamonix Itinerary for Families

We were so fortunate to spend 4 days in Chamonix with our kids. We packed a tremendous amount of kid-friendly activities into our time in Chamonix. To help you get a sense for how much time you need in Chamonix with your kids, here is how we spent our time in Chamonix:

Day 1 in Chamonix with Kids

We began our family trip to Chamonix with a sightseeing trip up the Planpraz Gondola, then took the Brevent Cable Car to the top of the mountain to enjoy excellent views of the French Alps. After taking he Brevent Cable Car back down, we enjoyed the very beautiful, kid-friendly Grand Balcon Sud hike from Planpraz to Flégère.

the French Alps tower over a family hiking the Grand Balcon Sud hiking trail

Once at Flégère we took the L’Index chairlift for some additional sightseeing, before descending and to hike the Grand Balcon Sud trail back to Planpraz. We rewarded the kids for an excellent hike with some amazing ice cream!

two kids show off their post hiking ice cream in Chamonix, France

Day 2 in Chamonix with Children

Our second day in Chamonix was my birthday, so I planned something special for this day. We began our day with an incredible cable car ride up to Aiguille du Midi to get as close to the summit of Mont Blanc as possible.

a massive glacier on Mont Blanc seen from a viewing platform at Aiguille du Midi

After soaking in the views of Mont Blanc, we enjoyed an excellent family hike on the Grand Balcon Nord trail. This popular hike begins from Plan De L’Aiguille (the middle cable car station) to Montenvers with scenic stops at Lac Bleu and Le Signal Forbes viewpoint.

two kids on a family hike beneath the Aiguille du Midi

From the Montenvers train station, we took a quick gondola ride down to the Grotte de Glace Ice Cave, which was an incredibly unique and fun thing to do with kids in Chamonix. On a hot summer day, it’s also very refreshing!

the cool Grotte de Glace Ice Cave is one of the best things to do in Chamonix with kids

We finished my epic birthday in Chamonix with a ride on the Montenvers Red Train back to Chamonix.

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Day 3 in Chamonix with Kids

On our third day in Chamonix, we dusted off the rental car and drove to the Le Fayet train station to catch the Tramway du Mont Blanc. After a very scenic 75 minute train ride, we spent 3 hours hiking in the shadow of the Bionnassay glacier.

after a fun train ride on the Tramway du Mont Blanc, two kids enjoy views of the Bionnassay Glacier

Day 4 in Chamonix with Children

For our final day of our family trip to Chamonix, we drove to the Flegere gondola to enjoy the most scenic hike in Chamonix. The very popular, kid-friendly hike to Lac Blanc begins at the top of L’Index chairlift and is nearly all downhill. In addition to the beauty of Lac Blanc, the views of the glaciers of the Chamonix Valley and Mont Blanc are hard to beat!

the Lac Blnc hike was our favorite kid-friendly hike in Chamonix

We finished our visit to Chamonix with kids with a visit to the crystal museum. Our kids love finding beautiful rocks, so this kid-friendly museum was a lot of fun for them.

Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Chamonix

Our next stop on our France vacation with kids was a family-friendly bike tour in Alsace. The bike tour means that we’ll be eating in restaurants every night, so we chose to self-cater most nights in Chamonix at our apartment rental. We did find a few kid-friendly Chamonix restaurants which we couldn’t resist though…

Cool Cats

When we recently travelled to Palm Springs with kids, we discovered a super-fun gourmet hot dog restaurant, so when we were researching kid-friendly Chamonix restaurants, we were excited to discover Cool Cats.

Located in the heart of central Chamonix, Cool Cats offers a wide variety of gourmet hot dogs and other sandwiches. Our 6-year old just ordered a plain old hot dog, but we loved our fancier ones, including The Comforter and The Mexican. Our daughter, who insisted she didn’t want hot dogs for dinner, ended up getting an Avocado Tartine – a very fancy avocado toast with pico de gallo on top.

the gourmet hot dogs at the family-friendly Cool Cats restaurant in Chamonix

Cool Cats is the perfect family restaurant in Chamonix for kids. We enjoyed it so much, we ate here twice. There’s great views from the outdoor seating area and there’s something on the menu for everyone.

Sushi Shop

After a long day of playing and hiking along the lower slopes of Mont Blanc, we felt the whole family had earned a sushi feast. We needed to wake early the next morning for an early reservation on the Tramway du Mont Blanc, so we needed to find a Chamonix sushi restaurant that was open early.

The only sushi restaurant we could find that was open at 5 PM was Sushi Shop, and even then all they offered at that time of day was pre-packaged take-away sushi meals. They insisted that all the boxed sushi meals were very fresh, so we decided to give it a shot.

a plate of takeaway sushi in Chamonix after a day of epic kid-friendly hiking in the valley

You know what? For take-away sushi it was pretty darn good. It wasn’t the world’s best sushi, but after a long day of hiking and sightseeing around Chamonix with kids, it hit the spot.

Where to Stay in Chamonix with Kids

Being the most famous resort town in the French Alps makes staying in Chamonix the easiest choice for many families. Although, there are a variety of smaller villages scattered around the beautiful mountain valley near Chamonix.

Although there are many good family-friendly hotels in Chamonix and area, we elected to rent an apartment. When we travel with kids, we prefer vacation rentals as we value the kid-friendly amenities such as kitchens, laundry facilities and separate bedrooms.

there are many great places to stay in Chamonix for families

We rented a small apartment in Chamonix just a few blocks from the Aiguille du Midi terminal. It was close enough to the gondolas and Chamonix town centre that we could walk everywhere, yet it was far enough from the craziness that it was nice and quiet.

Was the Mont Blanc MultiPass Pass Worth it?

Any family visiting Chamonix with kids will undoubtedly be looking at some of the attractions owned by the Mont Blanc Natural Resort. For example, no family trip to Chamonix would be complete without a trip up to the Aiguille du Midi.

As you browse the Mont Blanc Natural Resort webpage, you’ll notice they push the Mont Blanc MultiPass pretty hard. I usually shy away from attraction passes such as this, but it didn’t take me long to realize that we’d save a ton of money with this one.

a 7-year old soaks in views of the French Alps on a hiking trail near Chamonix, France

If I look at the in-person cost of all the things to do in Chamonix with kids that we described above in this post, vs what we paid for our 4-day Mont Blanc MultiPass, I calculate that our family saved nearly 300 Euros. We recommend you look at what you intend to do in Chamonix with kids and figure out if a Mont Blanc MultiPass is right for you.

a family on a summer vacation to France poses for a picture with Mont Blanc atop the Aiguille du Midi

We hope you enjoy your trip to Chamonix with kids as much as we did!

Visiting France with Kids

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Dan Brewer is an intrepid family travel blogger with a passion for exploring the world's most captivating destinations. With 58 countries under his belt and a sense of wanderlust that knows no bounds, he has made it his life's mission to share his travel experiences and insights with fellow families who love to travel.

When Dan isn't traveling with his wife and kids, he's either out enjoying the Canadian Rockies he calls home or working on one of his three travel sites (Family Can Travel, Travel Banff Canada and Ultimate Sports Road Trip).