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What's on in Chamonix Christmas & New Year 2018

Our guide to the best Christmas and New Year events

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| Ana Hernández, Chamonix Editor | Published

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What's on in Chamonix Christmas & New Year 2018

The Christmas lights have been switched on, the smell of mulled wine is wafting on the air and the lifts are open – Chamonix is feeling very festive.

There's no better place to celebrate the festivities than a snowy ski resort. Here is our guide of what's on during the Christmas holidays.

Christmas concerts

If you fancy a good sing-along to get into the Christmas spirit, then you’ll find plenty of opportunities in Chamonix. The local music school, the Ecole de Musique et Danse (EDMI) will be performing all around the valley right up to December 21st. For some good old-fashioned carolling, head to Place Balmat on December 23rd, and remember to brush up on your French skills as you'll be singing traditional local 'chansons de Noël' like 'Mon beau sapin'.

Christmas parades

The streets of Chamonix will light up this festive season not only thanks to the mountain-sports-themed decorations that you'll see hanging above your head but also due to the beautiful parades featuring live music, circus performers and light shows that will take place throughout December. There will also be two special parades this yuletide, a Christmas Eve parade on December 24th from 18:00, and an ESF instructors' parade on December 26th from 19:00. Never a dull moment in this valley!

Montenvers Christmas train

The famous Montenvers-Mer de Glace vintage train offers Christmas-themed rides on December 22nd and 23rd. The decorated carriages will head up to the viewpoint over France's largest glacier where there'll be a treasure hunt for the little ones. Afterwards, kids will get the chance to meet Santa himself at the recently renovated Grand Hotel du Montenvers before descending back to Chamonix at 16:30.

Meet Santa

Father Christmas comes to Les Houches on the evening of December 23rd, just before his big world tour on Christmas Eve. He'll stop at the centre of town where he'll share a hot drink or two with whoever comes to see him. There will also be live music.

Christmas feast

Don’t miss out on all the trimmings just because you’re on holiday. Most restaurants in the Chamonix Valley will be offering a special Christmas menu. If you want to experience "Noël comme les Français" then you’ll find that the French usually hold the main feast on Christmas Eve – instead of turkey and sprouts, they prefer goose or duck, with seafood such as oysters and salmon being served as a starter. For a more international feast, head to Bighorn Bistro. Cham Sud's bistro and bakery are celebrating a roastastic Christmas weekend with delicious brunch, lunch and dinner offerings from December 23rd to Christmas. French toast, roast turkey, lots of veggie options, homemade desserts and live carolling are all in the menu. Wherever you go, we strongly recommend booking in advance.

New Year's Eve

The streets of Chamonix will fill up with revellers in the hours leading up to midnight on December 31st. The traditional Chamonix experience is to start out on a bar crawl straight from the slopes, with everywhere getting busier and noisier as the night progresses. By midnight, everyone will have lost their friends, found new friends, lost their beanie, found themselves wearing someone else's scarf, and will somehow have gravitated towards Place Balmat. At midnight they will watch fireworks light up the night sky and hug random strangers.

Many Chamonix's restaurants will be offering a special menu to usher in the New Year with champagne and a bit of class, while most bars will have a late license for tonight and will be hosting parties – mostly free to enter but a few may require tickets. We'd recommend Monkey's disco-themed bash or Bighorn's 1920's electro speakeasy – Studio 54 or The Great Gatsby, what's your jam? Other local party hubs like AmnesiaPrivilegeLa YauteLe VertMBCBard'Up and, of course, La Folie Douce will surely also host a party to see 2019 in.

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More inspiration...

This is only a small selection of what's happening in the last two weeks of 2018. Take a look at our Events Calendar to see a full rundown.

Events Calendar for Chamonix