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The Best Christmas Lights, Hot Chocolates, & More in the Greater Moncton Area 2020

WHERE TO FIND THE BEST CHRISTMAS LIGHT DISPLAYS IN GREATER MONCTON

This post is FILLED with great resources for making the most of the 2020 Christmas season in Greater Moncton. Read all the way through for crafts, gift ideas, Santa info, tips for a toddler-friendly tree, and so much more. But first – THE LIGHTS!

Folks always share lots of great ideas on our Facebook page about where to head to check out Christmas light displays. You can check out this year’s post to see what folks are sharing; we’ll keep updating our list below, too!

Please remember to be be cautious when slowing or stopping to admire the handiwork & don’t block anyone’s driveway.

We’ll highlight a few must-visit traditions first:

Light Up Riverview features tens of thousands of lights along the Waterfront Trail, with amazing photo opportunities and a chance to imagine yourself in Stars Hallow or your own personal Hallmark Christmas movie!

Tune your radio to 107.7 FM and cruise along Warren Avenue in Riverview to find Sonny Arsenault’s house; for several years now he has set thousands of lights synced to music. (Check out this 2015 video of the home from 91.9 The Bend – but it’s just as awesome this year, we promise!) Keep traveling through Riverview along Callowhill Road, out to Pine Glen Road; there are lots of houses with light displays.

A trip along Elmwood Drive is a tradition for many, and for good reason! Right across from the entrance to Irishtown Park you’ll find a display unlikely to be matched anywhere in the city. Check out this great television story on the display and how it all began. (1150 Elmwood Drive for the exact location.)

The Star Trek house near Centennial Park is quickly becoming a traditional stop for many – be sure to watch the upstairs windows when you visit.

We are constantly blown away by the set-to-music display at the Hogan’s home on Pasadena Drive in Moncton. Be sure to check it out; their 2020 version is beyond incredible! There are some other great light displays with music, too, including on Salengro Drive.

You can also bring the family to WILD LIGHTS, the winter exhibit at the Magnetic Hill Zoo. There are hundreds of thousands of lights displayed throughout the 40 acre park, as well as animals to visit. Check their site for admission details; children under three are free.

When you’re leaving, be sure to drive up Mountain Road toward Lyons’ Store; the house at 3202 Mountain Road has an incredible display with homemade decorations that move, 35,000 lights, and music playing on 89.1FM.

Houses with lights set to music

  •  114 Pasadena Drive, Moncton
  •  73 Salengro Cresent, Moncton
  •  3202 Mountain Road (between the Zoo & Lyons’ store), Moncton
  •  65 Warren Avenue, Riverview

More Riverview spots

More Moncton spots

  •  We love the lights downtown & at Centennial Park each year!
  •  Corner of Milner & Alexander
  • Shediac Road & Branch Road
  •   40 & 83 Pebble Creek Way
  • 22 & 59 Falcon Drive
  • 62  Thistlevale Drive
  •  Mailhot Avenue (so many lovely homes!)

More Dieppe spots

  •  510 Chartersville Road

Lots of homes along Salisbury Road are decorated, as well as along Upper Coverdale. Make a big loop & enjoy all the wonderfully hand-painted shop windows in the Village of Salisbury! Did you see our photo of the mannequin Christmas tree on Instagram? Check it out!

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A trip to see the Lobster Trap Christmas Tree in Alma in on our must-do list this season!

The Town of Sackville shared a list of wonderfully decorated homes & businesses – more than two dozen places to visit & enjoy.

Petitcodiac’s annual Festival of Lights has lots of homes & businesses in the holiday spirit. You can find a map with some local highlights to visit here.

Another wonderful stop on your country Christmas journey should be the Country Kitchen & General Store in Elgin. They keep sharing mouth-watering photos of their Christmas in a Jar Seasonal Specialty Coffees – available to go!

Looking for a Christmas Light Route? Try this!

  • Start by driving across the Gunningsville Bridge; the view of Riverview’s Riverfront lights from this approach is my favourite.
  • Continue along Coverdale Road all the way to Salisbury. There are lots of great lights along the way; the Hicks’ home with its Big Fiddle & colourful trees is a lovely treat.
  • When you get to Salisbury, turn right. Notice the painted windows of Salisbury Tire, and the great collection of inflatables at Kayla’s Keepsakes. A few minutes down the road, you’ll be in Boundary Creek (wave as you go by!).
  • Turn right onto Brighton Street into a lovely little decorated subdivision. (For those looking for a walkable neighbourhood to visit, this is a great option.) Just as you enter, you’ll want to turn left onto Green Briar Drive, then make your way down Greenvale Street until you turn back onto Green Briar. It’s a short trip, but so wonderful!
  • Now you’ll want to get back onto Salisbury Road, heading towards Moncton – but we’re turning off on Lower Mountain Road! Head up to the Homestead Road, and turn right. Keep a look out for the amazing start near the Berry Mills exit!
  • You’re going to turn off Homestead onto Route 126 – but just for a moment! Turn as if you’re stopping into Lyon’s Country Store, and make your way to 3202 Mountain Road. This incredible display is set to music, featuring more than 35,000 lights. It’s one of my favourites!
  • Continue on Mountain Road, towards the Casino. You’ll spy some of the amazing lights at the Zoo as you drive by; a visit here is always a treat, too.
  • By Glad Tidings Chruch, turn onto Sunshine Drive. From here, it’s a left onto Oak Ridge Drive, then a right onto Falcon. All of these streets have some lovely displays & homes (another area you could enjoy a walking tour!) but 22 & 59 Falcon are stand outs. (Remember this area for Halloween decorations, too!)
  • From here, we suggest making your way back to Mountain Road, then turning left onto Frampton Lane. Lots of great houses to admire along here; in particular, take the right turn to check out the handiwork at 62 Thistlevale Drive. Take Mount Pleasant Road back to Mountain. Now, we’re turning right & then a quick left onto Hildegard Drive.
  • Just as you get onto Hildegard Drive, you’re going to take a left onto Laforge – the house right here on the corner is such fun! We’re getting to the star of the night – the Hogan’s home at 114 Pasadena Drive. You’re going to want to stop, maybe even have a snack. We loved watching one family cuddle in the trunk of their vehicle to watch the display, while a little soul danced away on the sidewalk. The show begins at 5:30pm each night, and goes until 10pm. Here’s just a tiny snippet – we don’t want to ruin the fun by sharing too much!!
  • Leaving Passadena, make your way to Mailhot (via Barrieau, Ivy, & Hildegard), turning left and driving until you turn right on Ryan Road. Follow along until you can turn onto Amiens Drive, which brings you to another musical light show at 73 Salengro Cresent.
  • Without stops, this is easily an hour route, so with hot chocolate & cookies stops and time spent admiring the hard work of these homeowners, this route will be a full evening outing for you & your loved ones.

THE BEST GIFT GUIDES FOR SHOPPING LOCAL & ONLINE

Shifting even just a few of your usual purchases to local will make an incredible impact to our local economy – and we have oodles of great ideas to help you find the best of the local best!

25 Made-in-New Brunswick Gifts for Babies, Toddlers, Tweens, & Teens – and everything can be ordered online!

Gifting prepared meals is a busy mom’s dream! Check out the great options from Sankara Market; you can learn more about them on our podcast episode with co-founder Lily.

Want to shop in person & know your gift purchases will be environmentally conscious as well as supporting local? MacArthur’s Market is a must-shop! Don’t forget to make time to admire all their Christmas decor.

macarthurs market moncton ad

We love this new online shop featuring crafts & art from Mi’kmaw & Wolastoqi women. Check out Nujintuisga’tijig E’pijig & see if you can find the perfect gift for someone on your list.

Need some stocking stuffer ideas for little ones? We’ve got you covered!

STOCKING STUFFERS FOR INFANTS & TODDLERS

Our friends are creating some great local guides, too! Check out Tiny Adventures Journey for Carmen’s must-give/must-have gifts that are all Moncton-based & see if you can spy us in the BlogJam Atlantic Gift Guide – a great resource for the small entrepreneur in your life, endorsed by Dragon’s Den queen Arlene Dickinson!

IDEAS TO KEEP THE KIDS BUSY AT CHRISTMASTIME

Our favourite go-to for keeping little hands busy is homemade play-dough. It’s perfect for hours & hours of play, wonderful for gifting, & and so fun to add a little sparkle or scent! Grab our recipe here. We also love simple crafts that can double at gift tags or Christmas cards!

Celebrating Baby’s First Christmas? Then you’ll want to check out local mom & nutritionist Jillian Reid for all things little ones & healthy eating for 2021. Click here to check out her Instagram.

jillian reid registered dietitian kids mom food meals moncton

RELATED: How to use home staging tips to keep your home looking sharp this Christmas

ALL ABOUT THE CHRISTMAS TREE

Need TIPS FOR A TODDLER-FRIENDLY CHRISTMAS TREE? We’ve got you covered!

toddler friendly christmas tree ideas
There’s something magical about heading into the woods to choose a Christmas tree. We’ve rounded up details on all kinds of Christmas Tree U-Pick Farms around New Brunswick to help you make this dream come true!

CHRISTMAS TREATS

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Your mouth is watering now, right?! Those mugs of hot chocolate, topped with homemade whipped cream & all kinds of New Brunswick goodies like crushed Chicken Bones, Wabanaki Maple Syrup, and Crosby’s Molasses are a perfect way to indulge this season! We created this charcuterie-style Hot Chocolate Dessert Board

HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN HOT CHOCOLATE BOARD

There was a great post on Facebook about local spots for a fancy hot chocolate. Here are a few spots in Greater Moncton to grab a special treat!

  • Cafe Archibald got mad love for its Famous Grandma’s Hot Chocolate; I think we’re going to have to make a trip soon to try it out ourselves!
  • Our kids love popping into Aaron’s Coffee for a hot chocolate treat, and supporting this new business in Salisbury is a great way to stay on that Nice List.
  • We also see our friends at The Ice Cream Barn in Riverview are opening on Saturdays & Sundays for fancy hot chocolates!
  • Cinnamon Soul Cafe & Bakery is always worth the trip to Hillsborough – and we hear great things about their 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!

Looking for a healthy seasonal snack? Why not roast up some Curried Christmas Nuts! This is a family favourite – and can be a great giftable item for those who can enjoy nuts.

curried christmas nuts recipe spiced healthy snack

Christmas parties are smaller this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t mix up a fancy cocktail or two to enjoy! Here are two tasty options from our 2019 holiday party.

Mix a Merry Mojito

  • Muddle (mash) mint, sugar, and lime juice in a tall glass
  • Fill with ice and add soda water
  • Add rum (if desired)
  • Garnish with mint leaves & cranberries

simple holiday mocktail cocktail recipe garnish cocoa room moncton riverview pickle planet podcast

Christmas Margarita

  • Rim a short glass with lime juice and coarse salt
  • Add tequila and triple sec if desired
  • Add lime juice and cranberry juice
  • Garnish with a lime twist and cranberry skewer, add some pomegranate seeds

For more drink ideas, check out our 2019 Pickle Planet Podcast Christmas Party Episode – complete with video!

HOW TO SEE SANTA THIS CHRISTMAS

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

Good to Know: If your kids are sticklers for detail, be warned: while you can personalize several parts of Santa’s message, most of his video remains the same. My three kiddos didn’t question that their videos were almost identical, but older siblings might notice. You might want to do a family video.

In previous years, you could sneak a peak of Santa feeding his reindeer before the big day on the Reindeer Webcam, but this year it’s a lovely view of an impressive Santa float in Baddeck, Cape Breton.

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.

Here are a few more posts you might find helpful this Christmas season – or next!