What to do with the family this Santa Claus Parade weekend in Greater Moncton (Nov 24-26)

It’s the big one, everyone! This weekend is the true kick off to Christmas season in the Greater Moncton area and it is holly jolly packed with goodness so let’s get to it!!


We don’t usually add Thursday events, but when the Town of Riverview holds its Light Up ceremony, it’s a must!!

riverview light it up waterfront christmas lights moncton pickle planet events activities holiday
Photo via Town of Riverview from a previous #LightUpRiverview event. The Town also shared the photo used for our cover image this week.

It’s a beautiful event when the Town of Riverview turns on the lights along Riverfront Trail – a Hallmark movie come to life! The mayor will be at the gazebo to flick the switch at 7pm. Felix Belliveau will be playing at the Holy Whale Beer Hall from 6-8pm, Flea Market Underground will be rockin’ the Gazebo until 8:15pm, the Christmas Barn will be on site with hot chocolate creations for sale (and look for them on the Riverfront throughout the season!), there’ll be a large post box for your letters to Santa (remember your return address!), RBC will be collecting for the food bank, and the Fundy Chocolate River Station will have a market full of vendors to visit. Best of all — the Youth Village will be in full force! The Riverview Youth Collective will have colouring pages and a scavenger hunt for you to take part in, the Riverview High School Royal Reign Dragon Boat Team will be hosting a hot chocolate stand, & Riverview Rink Rats U13 hockey team will be hosting a wreath fundraiser.

PS: If you’re looking for amazing light displays, we’re working on updating our annual guide but we saw the LOBSTER TRAP TREE in Alma was built again this week!!

Thursday is also the Lighting of the Tree of Hope in Shediac, at Pascal Poirier Parc at 6:30pm.

And don’t forget the Wildcats game versus the Islanders.


The annual Antler Breakfast is Friday morning! Enjoy a hearty breakfast and don some antlers to help raise funds for youth-serving charities in our area. The event is spread across six locations this year, so lots of opportunity to find your perfect fit!

Christmas at the Coliseum is the biggest holiday craft show around! The 36th annual edition kicks off Friday at 2pm, with doors open till 9pm. The opening is usually packed, so if crowds aren’t your thing, you might want to wait for Saturday – it’s a lovely quiet shopping experience when folks are heading to the parade! (Admission is $8/adults, children 12 & under free; pay once & return each day – just get a stamp before you leave.)

Cineplex has lots of family-friendly options, including Disney’s Wish and the new Trolls movie.

BCG Dieppe is showing the Super Mario Bros movie (English with French subtitles, free entry!) on Friday; doors open at 6pm.

The Town of Salisbury is holding a youth ball hockey tournament, starting at noon. Registration is closed for teams now, but you can come watch!

Shediac’s annual Santa Claus parade is Friday, November 24 at 7pm.

Return to Riverview to hear the Codiac Concert Band at the Riverfront Trail.

And it’s a special night at the Avenir Centre as the Wildcats celebrate alum Corey Crawford!


Christmas at the Coliseum is open 10am to 9pm on Saturday.

The Riverview Lions Club is hosting a pancake breakfast, 8-11am. Enjoy a great breakfast for just $10/person or $30/family – and kids five & under eat free!

The 2nd weekend of the 9th annual Wintergreen Craft Fair is taking place Saturday, 10am-4pm, at the Coverdale Rec Centre in Riverview. More than 50 awesome vendors, $2 entry, live music, Santa from 1-3pm (take your own photos for free), and more!

Cineplex is showing ELF on the big screen again! 12:30pm on Saturday & Sunday at Trinity.

Libraries always have great activities on the go; this Saturday at 2:30pm there’s a bilingual puppet show storytime with Jake the Dog at the Moncton library. A great pre-parade activity!

The Royale Greater Moncton Santa Claus Parade takes place Saturday, November 25 at 5pm, starting at the corner of Cameron and Main Streets in downtown. Watch for Family Fun Zones along the way, with entertainment before the big event – and don’t forget your letters to Santa; Canada Post carriers will be walking the parade route to collect them! Check out our tips for watching with littles! We see the Capitol will have its doors open for Cocoa with Kevin from 4-6pm & the City of Moncton’s Open House will be from 5-6pm.

For details on the City of Moncton street closures for the parade, check out their site: www.moncton.ca There will also be street closures in Dieppe, around Champlain and Paul, later in the day.

The Moncton Youth Orchestra is holding a free concert at the Riverview Arts Centre at 7pm.

The 8th annual Noel en Acadie, hosted by Laurie LeBlanc, is at the Casino at 7:30pm.


Christmas at the Coliseum wraps up today; open 10am-5pm.

There’s also a Christmas Fair & Market at the Riverview Lions Club from 10am-3pm – with a face painter for the kiddos!

‘Tis the Season at Riverview Arts Centre is an afternoon concert (2pm start!) with Tutta Musica Orchestra, Cameron Molly, Shane Douthwright, Samantha Robichaud Corkum, the Sussex Avenue Fiddlers, and Ivan & Vivian Hicks. (The RAC has a whole line up of incredible holiday shows, including Lennie Gallant on Wednesday, Dance Chaos Christmas Show, Storytime with Clara on December 9, DancEast’s The Nutcracker on December 9 & 10, and Gunning & Cormier Christmas Dec 14.)

The 10th Annual Emergency Services Parade of Lights takes place Sunday, November 26. It starts at the fire station in Sackville, with line-up at 6pm and the parade at 6:30pm. The emergency vehicles make their way through the community; follow the link to see the route!


  • 🎅 Santa is at CF Champlain for the season; you can book a photo op on line.
  • 🎅 Santa is also posing for photos at Bass Pro Shops.
  • 🎅 Santa & Mrs. Claus are stopping by MacArthur’s in Moncton Saturday & Sunday, 1-3pm, from this weekend until Dec 17. The shop is a winter wonderland and you’re welcome to snap a selfie for free!
  • 🎅 Check out our visit with Santa to hear more about his Moncton visits – and we can tell you his call in show on Rogers will be December 7 & 8!


Here’s our trusty list of places you might want to check out with the family anytime! (Also a good check list for experience gift ideas this holiday season.)

  • Resurgo Place’s dinosaur & Picasso are only here till January; don’t miss your chance to visit! The museum is always a hands-on hit with our kids; a great outing anytime. (Open 10am-5pm Saturday – a great pre-parade option – and noon-5pm on Sunday; it’s half-off on admission on Thursday nights, 5-8pm, if you’re looking for an evening outing.)
  • Llamazing Adventures still had weekend spots available when we checked!
  • Wanna test your adventure skills outdoors? Check out Off Grid Adventure in Anagance!
  • Magnetic Hill Zoo is currently open five days a week, 10am-4pm (closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays).
  • Add a little neon flair to your weekend with Glow Zone nights Friday & Saturday at SkyZone. Lasers, black lights, fog machines & more! All ages welcome, wear white or florescent colours, 7-10pm.
  • Looking for something geared just to littles? Hop Skip Jump is the place to check out.
  • The City of Moncton generally hosts two public swims every weekend: Saturdays 3-4:35pm at the University of Moncton’s CEPS ($3 admission), and Sundays 1:303pm at the YMCA ($3 admission).
  • You might also want to check out swimming at the Riverview Aquatic Centre (open swim on Saturdays at 1:35 & 2:40) & the Dieppe Aquatic Centre (public swims on Saturday at 3:15pm & 6pm, Sunday at 3:15pm), or check out the indoor splash pad at the North End YMCA.
  • We’re always a fan of visiting the library – whether there’s special programming or just to drop in & explore!
  • Another family favourite is hitting the bowling alley or arcade. Go retro vibes with Holy Moly in Riverview, check out glow bowling times at Fairlanes in Moncton, or head to Bowlarama & its awesome arcade in Dieppe.
  • Want to move as a family? Try a visit to FitRocks Climbing GymMarco’s Clinic (laser tag), or the Riverview Indoor Skatepark Riverview Youth Centre. We see the new Moncton North skate park is open now at the North End YMCA, too!
  • Creative mood? Try DIY Studio to paint your own pottery! They usually have lots of holiday themed pieces – now’s a great time to start thinking ahead for holiday gifts, too!
  • Up for a challenge? Room Escape Atlantic usually has a few non-scary, kid-friendly options & Mystery Moncton Mystere is great for the teens & up. There are also online options you can purchase to play on your own time!
  • ⛸️ The Oval at Place 1604 in Dieppe is ready for the season! Lace up your skates (or use their free loan program – check for available dates & times on their website) daily (weather permitting) from 10am – 9pm, though there are short closures from 1-1:30 & 5-5:30pm for maintenance.


You can find all the details for skating throughout the week on our Guide to Ice Skating in Greater Moncton, but here’s what you need to know this weekend (these times are free unless otherwise noted; if they’re crossed out, they’re not happening this weekend):




For more on weekday options, check out our Skating Guide!


There’s a family-friendly holiday comedy show coming to the Journey Church on Salisbury Road on Tuesday night, 7pm.

The Sue Stultz Turkey Drive kicks off November 29; the goal is 3979 turkeys by December 2 to local families have a full holiday meal. An amazing community tradition since 1991!

Looking for more info on upcoming holiday markets in the area? Swim on over to our pal East Coast Mermaid’s site for a fantastic guide!

Wild Lights at the Zoo starts December 1!

And did you see – the City of Moncton announced its New Year’s Eve Family Fun Party?! Free fun from 2pm to midnight, including live music outside the Avenir Centre & fireworks at 8:30pm AND at midnight!

We’ll have more fun ideas to share next weekend; be sure to come back!

Pssst! Do you love making gingerbread houses & creations? Want to know how to make your own gingerbread from scratch – and from products made right here in New Brunswick? Tune in December 7 when I co-host a baking segment from the Crosby’s Kitchen with Emma from Mrs. Dunster’s! You can register online to get the recipe we’ll be using – and the details on the prizes to be won!

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