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Christmas & New Year 2019/20 in Méribel - What weather to expect & what to do

Family fun and a guaranteed white Christmas

Featured in: | Caroline Sayer, Meribel Reporter | Published
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Méribel is at its liveliest and most fun-packed during the Christmas holidays with a huge variety of entertainment for all ages.

Whether you want to ski hard, party hard or just spend happy family time in magical, snowy surroundings, you will find Méribel perfect for a festive holiday.

What are the Christmas snow conditions like in Méribel?

Méribel has benefited from numerous snowfalls to low altitude in early December. The resort is already beautifully white and you can ski into the village. As usual, more lifts and pistes will open for the second week of the season and full lift opening is expected for the Christmas week. Snow depths are already 150cm on the summits and 60cm in the village, so there is plenty of snow for the holiday period. Skiing conditions have been excellent in the first week of the season, with good snow at all altitudes.

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What weather to expect in Méribel over Christmas?

Heavy snowfalls fell all around the Méribel Valley last weekend and the long-term forecasts suggest more snow will fall in the days leading up to Christmas. A white Christmas is guaranteed so, if you are driving to Méribel, make sure you bring your snow chains!

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What to do on Christmas Eve in Méribel?

December 24th is the focus of festivities in France with most families exchanging presents and eating their main Christmas meal that evening. During the day, you may catch sight of Father Christmas on the slopes with goodies to give away from his sack. The big event of the day, however, is the spectacular parade when Father Christmas and his dazzling helpers pass through Méribel Centre from 17:00 and Méribel-Mottaret from 17:30. Santa Claus has lots of chocolates for children who have been ‘good’ and, afterwards, there will be a chance to join in with carol singing over mulled wine in the Tourist Office square.

Are there any religious services in Méribel over Christmas?

A Christmas mass is celebrated at the ice-rink on December 24th from 19:00, with another service taking place in Les Allues on December 25th at 18:00. A multi-lingual, Protestant service is held in Mussillon chapel, Notre Dame des Neiges, in the afternoon on Christmas day.

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How about some Méribel Christmas fun for children?

Méribel hosts dozens of family activities over the holiday period, some traditional and some more original. Children aged 6 to 13 can take part in a torchlight descent with the ESF ski school in Mottaret on December 24th and in Méribel Centre on December 25th, then watch a special ski show. Kids usually adore meeting and cuddling the friendly huskies in the Inuit Village – come and pet them from 14:00 onwards. Also, make sure you watch the free shows held on the snow at the Altiport – don’t miss the eagle show on the 26th (at various at times from 10:00 to 16:00) when a Golden Eagle will perform and then make a ski descent with its handler. A second novel show is an ice-sculpting demonstration on the 31st, also at the Altiport – both these shows are accessible on foot or skis. Finally, children of all ages love sledding, especially by moonlight, the “Himalaya by Night” sledding evening in Mottaret every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday this Christmas offers you an entire green piste to whizz down. 

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What to do on Christmas Day in Méribel?

It may be a bank holiday but everything in Méribel will remain open on Christmas Day, including the ski lifts. Skiing on Christmas day is a joy – the slopes tend to be quiet, there’s a wonderful atmosphere and you’ll see plenty of fancy dress too. On the 25th, you have a chance to say goodbye to Father Christmas before he flies back to the North Pole. He will make a last appearance at la Chaudanne from 17:00 and the local ski instructors will light his way home with flaming torches.

A foodie's Christmas in Méribel

If you want to experience a French-style Christmas, make the most of all the gourmet goodies on offer. Foie gras, oysters, smoked salmon, caviar, scallops and snails are common starters, and the main dish is as likely to be quail, goose or guinea fowl as turkey. If you still have room, try a “bûche de noel” (chocolate log) to finish your feast.

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Where to party in Méribel for New Year's Eve?

Celebrations start early with a DJ performing at après-ski on the snow in Mottaret centre. This is followed by a torchlight descent, ski show and fireworks, held simultaneously in Mottaret, Méribel Centre and Méribel Village from 18:00. If you want to be at the centre of the action at midnight, the place to be for the countdown is la Chaudanne in Méribel Centre. From 22:30 onwards, there’ll be a DJ, dancing on the giant outdoor dance floor and a firework display. Alternatively, spend the evening high in the mountains at Méribel’s famous high altitude club, La Folie Douce. Arrive by lift, then enjoy a night including dinner, a show, cabaret and clubbing ‘til late…

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Post-Christmas pampering in Méribel

If, after all this fun, you feel in need of some chill time on January 1st, pop along to the Aquazen evening in the Olympic Centre pool. Soft music, massages, stretching sessions and general relaxation are the perfect antidote to too much fun the night before! Don’t forget there are lots of other activities on offer at this multi-sports centre throughout the holiday period.

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More inspiration...

For more happening in Meribel during your stay, check out our events calendar here.

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