Top 11 family-friendly things to do this summer in the French Alps
We’re only halfway through the 2019 winter season here in the Alps, but it’s never too early to start getting excited about your summer family holiday! In recent years Alpine resorts have pulled out all the stops to make themselves as enticing in summer as they are under three feet of snow. From mid June to the end of August the calendar of summer events and activities in the French Alps is chock-a-block. Kids and adults alike are well catered for with a host of activities for all ages.
Here are our top 11 family-friendly summer events that we are most looking forward to this summer in the mountains. For the full list of things to do in our destinations this summer take a look at our Aravis and Morzine ‘What’s On Guides’.
La Clusaz summer events
La Clusaz is renowned as a family-friendly resort, having been accredited with the “Famille Plus” award for the last ten years. There’s rarely a dull moment in this Alpine village with regular events for all ages all summer long.
Whatever time of the summer you are visiting La Clusaz there is plenty going on. Check out our hand-picked La Clusaz chalets at OVO Network here!
Alps Bike Festival – 14 -16 June
A huge mountain biking festival in a spectacular setting, the Alps Bike Festival (formerly the Roc des Alpes) returns to the Haute-Savoie for a second edition. With races for all ages and abilities, this is a fantastic event for all mountain bikers.
With shows, music, children’s activities, summer luge and much more, this is a great event for all the family.
Get a taster of the event with this excellent video from day two of the 2018 edition:
Learn more about mountain biking in La Clusaz on our blog about the La Clusaz mountain bike trails here.
Musique à Beauregard – 16 – 27 July
Photo credit: Musique à Beauregard
Music enthusiasts will absolutely adore this classical music festival set in the heart of the Aravis mountains. The second edition of this festival in 2018 put music in the heart of the mountains at five sites and with more than 100 musicians! Families were catered for with musical walks, workshops for children, and a singing academy, which performed at the end of the festival.
Last year we caught up with the event organisers, Barthélemy and Virginie Allard, ahead of the festival to get an insider’s look at the whole event. See what they told us here.
The Musique à Beauregard festival returns this summer from the 16 – 27 July. For more information and to book tickets visit the Musique à Beauregard website (please note that the website exists in French only).
Fête du Reblochon – 11 August La Clusaz
One for all the family, this festival celebrates the history of local farming and the production of Reblochon, the famed local cheese. See how the cheese is made in the afternoon, and enjoy folk dancing, bread-making and a grand parade through the village.
Though this is a trail running event, the festival is by no means limited to experienced runners only! The festival runs over three days, with competitive races for all ages as well as non-competitive walks.
The 34th edition will see 12 races over the three days, from 7km all the way up to the Super-Belier at 76km! There are three kids races, from the age of eight, as well as a Mystery race…
Find out more on the Le Belier website (please note the additional information is in French)
Summer events Le Grand Bornand
Back to Grand Bo – Parapente 23 – 30 June
Watch as the sky above the Aravis mountains is taken over by hundreds of colourful paragliders this summer! Amateur pilots join the best pilots in the world in this unique competition to see who can cover the greatest distance. Paragliders take off from the summit of Mont Lachat and try to fly as far as possible – all they have to do is take off and land in Le Grand Bornand and track their flight by GPS.
Find out more on the Le Grand Bornand website.
Bonheur des Mômes– 25 – 30 August
Roughly translated as ‘happiness of the little ones’, this festival is definitely all about keeping kids happy. Every year the festival literally takes over the mountain village of Le Grand Bornand and attracts thousands of visitors from across France, Europe and beyond.
Come along and you’ll find everything from magic shows and street art, to pottery workshops, theatre and a huge music garden made out of recycled items such as bottles, pans and even wellies!
It is a week of so much fun, entertainment and action for children, all with a very unspoilt, traditional vibe that genuinely leaves you with a warm glow.
Read all about the Bonheur des Mômes festival on our blog post “A Very Special Children’s Festival”.
As the festival takes place during a busy week in the summer it is important to get ahead of the game when booking your accommodation. See which OVO Network chalets in the Aravis are still available for the week of 25 August here.
Fete de la musique – Morzine – 21 June
Music takes over the streets of Morzine during the Fête de la Musique, with bands and crowds spilling out from the bars and restaurants. Every type of music is on offer, from local amateur bands to professional DJs, and from classical orchestras to traditional folk bands.
The full agenda is not normally released until June, so watch this space. More info can be found at the Fête de la Musique website.
Pass’Portes du Soleil 2019, Chatel – 28 June
The Pass’Portes du Soleil event marks the start of the summer biking season in the Portes du Soleil. This event, taking place on the 28 June, sees 8,000 riders hit the trails all over the Portes du Soleil in one day! The classic circuit is 80km long, including 7000m of downhill and 1000m of uphill.
Fifteen lifts give you access to nine different resorts, with some great riding along the way. The event is non-competitive so you can take it as easy or hard as you like. It is recommended to get to the first lift as early as possible to give you the best chance to complete the course.
For bikers and non-bikers alike, if you make your way across to Chatel, you will find a mountain bike show with lots of events. You also have the opportunity to test top of the range mountain bikes from a host of top manufacturers. Chatel is only 50 minutes from Morzine and well worth a visit during the festival.
With start points in all nine resorts, including Morzine, this is easily accessible to our Morzine guests. Discover more about Morzine and find your dream summer chalet from our Morzine page
Summer events in and around Annecy
Medievals d’Alby – Alby sur Cheran – 11 -12 May
Enjoy a weekend of medieval fun in the town of Alby sur Cheran, near Annecy. Watch reenactments of battles, with knights on horseback challenging each other to duels, and discover what it was like to live in medieval times. Entry is 6€ for one day or 10€ for two days and free for children up to 10 years old.
There are a number of medieval themed food and drinks stalls for refreshments. Visit the website for more information.
Please note that due to the popularity of the event, parking in the immediate vicinity of the festival is very difficult.The organisers recommend that you use the car parks at the College d’Alby or the “carpool area” at the exit of the Autoroute which is signposted. There are free shuttle busses running to and from these car parks every half hour.
Find out more at the Medievals d’Alby website.
Annecy Film Festival – 10 -15 June
The Annecy International Animation Film Festival was created in 1960 and became an annual event in 1988. See the latest award-winning animated films, discover the next trends and meet directors and new talents. Films from more than 88 countries are screened at a number of theatres around the town. One for the kids – this year it will host the world premiere screening of the new Playmobil: The Movie!
See the full program at the Annecy Film Festival website.
Red Bull Elements – 19 September
The Red Bull Elements is an extreme relay race like no other. Teams of four take on Lake Annecy and the impressive La Tournette mountain. The teams of athletes swim, run, paraglide and mountain bike to get to the finish line.
The most impressive activity, from a spectators point of view, has to be the paragliding. The pilots aim to land on a floating platform in Talloires harbour, and not everyone quite manages to stay out of the water!
Get a taste of what to expect at the event by watching the adrenaline fuelled teaser below:
If you haven’t booked your summer holiday in the French Alps yet, what are you waiting for? Visit OVO Network to explore our stunning chalets in the Alps.