ways to celebrate christmas at home moncton riverview dieppe new brunswick pickle planet

Where to go to see Christmas light displays, sip the best hot chocolate, visit Santa, and take in events in Greater Moncton 2021.

You guys – we’re sorry. We haven’t been quite as regular with these posts as we’d all like & we hate to feel like we’re letting you down! The pandemic shifted our weekly event listing round ups to monthly posts about things to do with the family, but now everyone is ready to be out & about again & things are actually happening, but the craziness of life has made it difficult to keep up our old routine. We’re not sure yet what we’ll be creating in 2022, but you can rest assured it will be something to help keep Moncton families connected & creating memories!

Now, what you’re really here for! What Pickle Planet is best know for since 2015; a one-stop list of everything family-friendly happening in the Greater Moncton Area. This is a loooooong list, so we’ve broken it up by category. Be sure to read through to the end to catch it all!

WHAT YOU’LL FIND

  • Details on Santa visits
  • Addresses of some of the most elaborate Christmas Lights around
  • Family-friendly events & activities happening in Moncton, Dieppe, Riverview & beyond
  • Indoor skating – free & paid ice skating times
  • Indoor attractions (swimming, museums, & more)
  • Outdoor adventures & ideas
  • Markets & yummy places to go for treats – like our fave hot chocolate options!
  • & more!

Please remember to always check our source links for updates, and follow provincial & national health guidelines for safety during the pandemic.

Let’s get going, shall we?!


WHERE TO FIND SANTA IN & AROUND MONCTON

  • Santa arrived at CF Champlain November 19; book your visit in advance online. (Proof of vaccination is required.)
  • Santa’s also on duty at Bass Pro Shops; we’re hearing lots of great things about the set up this year. Reservations & vaccinations (for those eligible) are required. Details here.

Portable North Pole is a great online resource for personalized messages from Santa and the elves, with colouring pages and online stories, too.

Good to Know: While Santa can personalize several parts of his message, most of his video remains the same, so you might want to request a family video.

You’re likely familiar with the NORAD Santa Tracker; it’s been sharing details about Santa’s Christmas Eve flights for more than 50 years. For a great little story on how it all started (a misprint in a Sears ad!), check out this NPR story.

Good to know: If you need help coaxing little ones into bed, Santa tends to fly over New Brunswick starting around 9pm (though he does backtrack to ensure no one is missed).

YOU MIGHT ALSO WANT TO READ … our CHRISTMAS CHEAT SHEET! Tips for wrapping, holiday games, and more.


AWESOME CHRISTMAS LIGHTS & DISPLAYS TO VISIT

Riverview Light Up & the Town’s Merry & Bright Map is a must-see! The Riverfront Trail is like walking through a Hallmark movie, straight into the heart of Stars Hallow. The map shows you dozens of more homes throughout the community decorated & ready for your viewing pleasure.

Did you watch Deck the Halls lately? It just popped up on Netflix & I must say, watching Danny deVito create that epic light show is a hoot!

Local houses with lights set to music

  •  73 Salengro Cresent, Moncton
  •  3202 Mountain Road (between the Zoo & Lyons’ store), Moncton
  •  65 Warren Avenue, Riverview
  • 375 Colpitts Road, Salisbury area
  •  114 Pasadena Drive, Moncton (Hopefully will begin in mid-December; the creator was busy helping with Wild Lights at the Zoo & wanting to minimize traffic for the neighbourhood; check for updates on his Facebook page.)

If you haven’t been, Wild Lights at the Magnetic Hill Zoo is magical!

So is the winter sparkle at Place 1604 in Dieppe.

There’s some great indoor & outdoor decor at MacArthur’s in Moncton, including their amazing polar bear lights & 25-foot decorated tree outside.

Phillips Bros has an amazing display on Edinburgh Drive; there’s a photo on their Facebook page.

We’ve noticed a lot of amazing displays along the Salisbury Road this year, including many with wooden cutouts that are fantastic. Look out for the Grinch, as well as Santa & Mrs Claus on a tractor!

Shediac’s Big Lobster has his Santa hat on for the season – and there are lots of fantastic displays throughout the community to visit. You can see some of them on the Town’s Facebook page: Ville de Shediac / Town of Shediac – Posts | Facebook

A few more notable dispalys:

  •  The lights of Downtown Moncton & Centennial Park
  •  Corner of Milner & Alexander
  • Shediac Road & Branch Road
  • Pebble Creek Way
  • Falcon Drive
  • Thistlevale Drive
  • Mailhot Avenue

Know more houses to share? Comment below & we’ll update as we can!


WHAT’S HAPPENING IN DECEMBER

Everyone could use some extra kindness right now, and Sunny Brae Baptist Church is offering to cheer you & yours up with free Timbits while you enjoy the Christmas lights. Drive thru their parking lot between 5:30 & 6:30pm on Saturday, Dec 18 and pick up some treats and a map to see the lights!

For more daily kindness, follow along with Project Nice List! Daily kindness & creativity challenges posted on Facebook & Instagram at 7am each morning, December 1 -24. This is a Pickle Planet/Natalie Davison collaboration that has brought so much joy to my life since 2016.

If you’re a National Lampoon fan, don’t miss your chance to grab a photo with Cousin Eddie’s RV! The folks at Pine Acres RV have created a masterpiece that they’re filling with toys for donation this Christmas. You can see it on their Facebook page, along with details on how to drop off gifts.

Wildcats are on home ice Dec 18 if you want to catch a game before Christmas. You might also want to pick up some tickets for Dec 28, 31, Jan 2, 7, 8 & beyond as stocking stuffers.

You can also shop fabulous crafters & more in Riverview on December 17 at the Moonlight Madness Craft Pop Up on Coverdale Road & the Very Merry Market at the Moncton Market.

Sackville’s Church by the Lake is hosting a drive-thru Living Nativity on December 18.

There’s an incredible line up of holiday shows happening at the Capitol Theatre throughout December, but we think you’ll especially be interested in the pay-what-you-can presentation of Robin Hood by DuffleBag Theatre on Dec 30. A great option for family fun heading into the New Year!


MORE MARKETS & YUMMY TREATS TO EXPLORE

The Moncton Market & the Dieppe Market are both open on Saturdays from 8am to 1pm, with fantastic options for local goodies.

Treat your tastebuds with a walk along St. George Street for Halo Donuts, Lost and Found Ice Cream, and maybe even a Taco in a Bag from Notre Dame de Parkton or something from Dolma. You’re also super close to Co Pain Artisan Bread Company & oodles of great restaurants!

Your sweet tooth might also know that the Carefree Cakery is opening Dec 9 in Dieppe. Amazing cakes, cookies, & more!

If you’re looking for amazing Christmas visual with your treats, head to Atelier Tony’s in Dieppe. Their social media photos are amazing – we can’t wait to see it person soon!

WHERE TO FIND THE BEST HOT CHOCOLATE IN GREATER MONCTON

Okay, we’ve dreamed of a doing a hot chocolate crawl & tasting them all to compare, but time just isn’t on our side. But we do have an epic list of places you should try & let us know which you love most!

  • Wright’s Bakery has been blowing me away with their seasonal drinks this year – not to mention their breads & cookies & squares!
  • Our kids love popping into Aaron’s Coffee for a hot chocolate treat in Salisbury.
  • The Ice Cream Barn in Riverview reopens in December for fancy hot chocolates & treats; another family favourite for us.
  • Cinnamon Soul Cafe & Bakery is always worth the trip to Hillsborough – and we hear great things about their hot chocolate.
  • Cafe Archibald gets mad love for its Famous Grandma’s Hot Chocolate.
  • Tony’s Bistro & Pâtisserie is so cozy & delicious; the perfect spot to curl up with a cup.
  • We love stopping into Damascus Coffee in Riverview; the options for lattes & more are just about endless!
  • Tim Hortons has a Peppermint Hot Chocolate, IHOP offers a Christmas Oreo Hot Chocolate, and Second Cup & Starbucks of course both have fun seasonal flavours, too. Many of the larger chains offer online ordering in advance for a quick drive-thru pick-me-up – which can be a life-saver with little kids during the holidays!

Do you have a favourite local spot for hot chocolate? Let us know so we can add to this list!

Why not create some hot chocolate fun at home?

new brunswick made hot chocolate board pickle planet moncton

OUTDOOR & INDOOR ICE SKATING 

You can find details on all paid & free indoor & outdoor skating time in our full Guide to Ice Skating in Greater Moncton, but here is a quick look at what’s happening.

OUTDOOR: Both the Ian Fowler Oval in Moncton (in front of the Avenir Centre) & the Dieppe Skating Oval (at Place 1604) are refrigerated & open for outdoor skating now. More outdoor community rinks generally become usable in January.

  • Monday:
    • Dieppe’s UNIplex preschoolers 9:30-10:30am (FREE)
    • Crossman/Kay Arena parent & tot 10:15-11:15am ($2)
    • Riverview parent & tot 1:30-2:30pm (FREE)
    • Superior Propane Centre public 3:30-4:30pm ($2)
  • Tuesday
    • Dieppe UNIplex preschoolers with sticks, 9:30-10:30am (FREE)
    • Crossman/Kay Arena parent & tot 10:15-11:15am ($2)
    • Riverview parent & tot 1:30-2:30pm (FREE)
    • Riverview 12 & under 3-4pm (FREE)
    • Superior Propane Centre public 3:30-4:30pm ($2)
  • Wednesday
    • Crossman/Kay Arena parent & tot 10:15-11:15am ($2)
    • Memramcook adults & kids 12:50-1:50pm & 2-3pm (FREE)
    • Riverview parent & tot 1:30-2:30pm (FREE)
    • Dieppe’s AJL 3-4pm
    • Superior Propane Centre public 3:30-4:30pm ($2)
    • Riverview 18 & under 3:30-4:45pm (FREE)
  • Thursday
    • Dieppe’s UNIplex preschoolers 9:30-10:30am (FREE)
    • Crossman/Kay Arena parent & tot 10:15-11:15am ($2)
    • Riverview parent & tot 1:30-2:30pm (FREE)
  • Friday:
    • Dieppe UNIplex preschoolers with sticks, 9:30-10:30am (FREE)
    • Crossman/Kay Arena 10:15am-11:15am *unless there are tournament bookings; please check the schedule (FREE)
    • Memramcook public 1-2:30pm (FREE)
    • Riverview parent & tot 1:30-2:30pm (FREE)
    • Crossman/Kay Arena 3:30-4:30pm *unless there are tournament bookings; please check the schedule (FREE)
    • Riverview 12 & under, 4-5:15pm (FREE)
    • Hillsborough 8:15-9:15pm ($2/person or $5/family)
  • Saturday
    • Moncton Coliseum parent & tot 9:30-10:30am ($2)
    • Hillsborough 2-3pm ($2/person or $5/family)
    • Crossman/Kay Arena 2:30-4pm ($2)
    • Moncton Coliseum 3:45-5:15pm ($2)
    • Riverview 3:45-5:15pm (FREE)
    • Dieppe’s AJL 6:15-7:15pm (FREE)
    • Hillsborough 8-9pm ($2/person or $5/family)
  • Sunday:
    • Superior Propane Centre Parent & Tot skating 9:45am-10:45am ($2)
    • Memramcook 11:30am-12:25pm (FREE)
    • Superior Propane Centre 11:45am-12:45pm ($2)
    • Dieppe’s AJL 2-3pm (FREE)
    • Hillsborough 2:15-3:15pm ($2/person or $5/family)
    • Crossman/Kay Arena 2:30-4pm ($2)
    • Petitcodiac 1pm-2:30pm ($2/skater, free for ages five & under)
    • Riverview 2:30-4pm (FREE)
    • Dieppe’s UNIplex 3:45-4:45pm (FREE)

MORE INDOOR FUN IDEAS

  • There are several spots that generally often indoor walking, with many tracks being stroller-friendly (at least at certain times). Check with the Moncton Coliseum, Crossman Centre/Kay Arena, & the UNIplex in Dieppe for current information.
  • Check your local public library for storytimes, teen groups, and more!
  • Marco’s Clinic is a great spot for basketball & laser tag! (It’s just across the parking lot from our next spot.)
  • FitRocks Climbing Gym has great courses for all ages. Perfect for any combination of climbers.
  • DIY Studio is a great spot for a paint-your-own pottery outing. We’re thrilled to see they’re getting a bigger space this month!
  • SkyZone is reopened, now on St. George Blvd, near Hillcrest School. Woo hoo!
  • Hop Skip Jump! is open with reduced capacity, but no reservation required.
  • Bowling is always fun! Bowlarama in Dieppe offers gutter blockers for kids & an awesome arcade section.
  • The new YMCA Moncton North has an indoor splash pad & playground!!
  • Resurgo Place is closed Sundays & Mondays.
  • Doiron House, celebrating Acadian community life in Dieppe, opens for the season June 3.
  • The Riverview Indoor Skatepark is a wonderful place to learn & practice your skills; book a time and check them out!
  • Escape rooms are great fun with older kids; check out the options at Room Escape AtlanticMystery Moncton Mystere, & at Shediac’s Le Moque-Tortue
  • Timber Lounge offers family bookings, too. Another great option for tweens & teens (or a night out).
  • The YMCA, Dieppe Aquatic Centre, & Riverview Aquatic Centre all offer public swim times. And don’t forget the YMCA North End’s indoor splash pad!
  • Cineplex has theatres in both Dieppe & Moncton, with new releases back on the big screen!

OUTDOOR IDEAS

Most kids love animals – and there are some fun options locally to consider:

Farmer Brown’s is always hopping with workshops & of other fun options for families. (Plan to grab some of their delicious pizza while you’re there, too!)

Love ninja warrior courses? Parkour? Check out Off Grid Adventure in Anagance for an awesome adventure course! (Gift cards for experience gifts are always a great idea.)

Head to Hiking NB for amazing details on trails throughout the province – including lots of winter options.

There’s a Culture & Heritage Scavenger Hunt for the City of Moncton – check it out & you could even win a prize.

The Town of Riverview’s Mill Creek Challenge is another great way to get out & explore – and you might even win ice cream!

Maghill Paintball is a fantastic option with teens. A two-hour rental (birthday party package) available!

Don’t forget to take time to enjoy local parks & playgrounds, which can be just as fun in winter as in summer! Here are a few of the large spaces to explore, with trails & occasional activities planned. You can also check out our Playground section for dozens of profiles of local spaces to play. Some of these spaces will even have community rinks this winter!


THE JENNA & TOSH SHOW

Season 4 is underway! You can find all 130+ episodes of our podcast on this site – but be sure to subscribe on your favourite app to always get the latest conversations straight away!

Our previous holiday specials include lots of yummy cocktail recipes; check them out!


Something we forgot? Let us know! You can message us through our Facebook page.


Need more ideas for fun with the family? Check out additional details for arcades, bowling alleys, and other attractions on Pickle Planet’s Guide to Family Fun in Greater Moncton. We’ll also be updating our Guide to Winter Fun with sliding hills, sleigh rides, and more soon!

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