What to do with the kids for the Family Day long weekend in Greater Moncton (Feb 17- 20, 2023)

Welcome to the long weekend, everyone! Family Day is February 20, 2023 in New Brunswick, which means most businesses, schools, and more are closed on Monday. There’s lots to do, so let’s get to it!

If you’re a hockey fan, you’re in luck! The Wildcats have three games on the schedule: Thursday night against the Islanders ($10 student night!), Saturday Pride Night with the Sherbrooke Phoenix, and a Sunday Funday afternoon game with all the kid-friendly extras against the Halifax Moosehead!

Early Childhood Family Resource Centre has lots of great drop-in & registered programming for littles, including face painting on this Thursday mornings family free play (9:30-11:30am at the centre) & Active Kids Friday at the Crossman Centre (10:30-11:30am).

For more ideas for drop-in and/or free fun for littles during the week, be sure to check out the public libraries, too! Lots of storytimes, craft sessions, & just great opportunities to visit.

Dieppe’s Fun on Ice Friday night series continues, with DJ Madness on hand for the tunes this week.

Memramcook is planning a Family Winter Fun night Friday at Gayton Park, 6-8pm, with a bonfire, treats, games, & more.

On Saturday, children’s author Diane Carmel Léger will be reading her book, My Two Grandmothers, at the Théâtre du Monument-Lefebvre at 10:15am. This is a lovely picture book that honours Léger’s Acadian grandmother in Memramcook and her Scottish grandmother in Dorchester. You’re asked to register for this free event by calling 506-381-1760 or emailing bibliopm@gnb.ca.

Salisbury Lions Club is holding a Pancake Breakfast Saturday (7-10am), with pancakes, syrup, drinks, and treats, just $10/plate – but $5 for children 6-10 years old & free for those younger!

Moncton’s PolarFest is happening this weekend in Centennial Park. Head over Saturday, Sunday, & Monday for lots of fun – though a few planned events might not be possible due to the fluctuating weather. Skating & sliding are dependent on conditions, but Mama K’s, Beavertails, & Fusion Express food trucks will be on site, DJ Bones will be spinning tunes, there will be jumbo yard games to play, the Belliveau Orchard shipping container bar, a Kilt Skate (or just party!) with the Greater Moncton Scottish Association (Saturday 2-3pm), and more.

February Frolic continues in Fundy Albert, with a Saturday morning breakfast at the Kiwanis Club in Hillsborough, lots of activities at Broadleaf Ranch (10am-4pm) Saturday & Sunday, a birding outing at the Shepody Trail on Sunday, and a Family Day Sliding event planned for Fundy National Park on Monday! Find all the events & details on their website.

Resurgo Place is offering 50% off admission prices on Saturday & Sunday, as a nod to the Family Day long weekend. This Sunday you can take advantage of a marine sciences hands-on activity with Ingenium (included with admission).

Three Rivers (Petitcodiac) is WAS planning a Winter Carnival on Saturday; they announced Thursday afternoon they’ll postpone because of the warm weather being followed by rain. We’ll watch for a new celebration date!

On Sunday, the Winter Fest fun is in Elgin, with treats on the bonfire, snowshoeing, skating, snow painting, and more planned at the EGO Park from 1-4pm.

Cap-Acadie’s Snowball Carnival kicks off this weekend, with a breakfast on Sunday at the Saint-André-LeBlanc Centre & a magic show at the Cormier-Village Cultural and Sports Centre at 2pm. On Monday, there are outdoor activities at YesDonat-Robichaud School from 2-4pm. 

MONDAY – FAMILY DAY

Again, a reminder that many things will be closed – and some services, too. Codiac Transpo is NOT running on Family Day, so take that into consideration if you rely on public transit to get around. Most stores will be closed, but recreational & amusement businesses are allowed to open & you can usually find pharmacies’ open with reduced hours on provincial holidays. Resurgo Place is CLOSED on Monday, but remember they’re offering half-off admission Saturday & Sunday. Public libraries are closed Monday, but you can access audiobooks, books, and more online via the app, Libby.

UP FOR A ROAD TRIP?

There are amazing winter festivals happening in Charlottetown and Fredericton this weekend, if you’re looking for a day trip option. Halifax is always a great visit, too, and there are two amazing exhibits on now – dinosaurs at the Discover Centre & body works at the Museum of Natural History.

Sticking to trips within New Brunswick, you might also want to check out The Shacks in Rothesay for some ice fishing fun, or maybe a trip to Sugarloaf for skiing or Mont Farlang for tubing is more your thing. Just looking for something neat to see? The World Pond Hockey Championships are on in Plaster Rock! And Sunday night in Saint John’s Rockwood Park is going to be a blast, with live music, bonfires, glow sticks, storytelling, trolley rides, fireworks at 7pm, treats to purchase, and more.

Long weekend have you thinking about March Break?! We’ll have our annual MEGA MARCH BREAK round up coming soon, but if you’re looking for more getaway ideas, we saw some fantastic deals still available at Great Wolf Lodge outside Boston and in Valcartier in Quebec. Indoor water parks, outdoor winter fun, cool places to explore – perfect little getaways for the family!

MORE IDEAS FOR INDOOR FAMILY FUN

Stay active by checking out the options at FitRocks Climbing GymSkyZoneHop Skip Jump, or Marco’s Clinic. Or book a lane at Bowlarama in Dieppe (offers gutter blockers for kids & an awesome arcade section), Holy Moly in Riverview, or Fairlanes in Moncton (with Glow Bowling nights!). (During the week, 506 Elite Allstars offers an open play, drop-in session on Mondays & Wednesdays, 10-11am. Cost is $5/child or $4/sibling. You & the kids will have full access to the gymnastics mats, spring floor, and bounce house.)

A great spot to get moving is the Riverview Indoor Skatepark & don’t forget the Riverview Youth Centre is open Saturdays from 4-6pm & 7-10pm for all ages, with badminton, table tennis, basketball, board game lounge, and more. (They’re also open for ages 12-14 on Wednesdays from 3:30-6pm & 7-9:30pm.)

Swimming is always a great idea! Little ones in particular will love the indoor splash pad at YMCA Moncton North (open to the public Saturdays & Sundays, 8:30-10:45am, 12:15-2:15pm, & 3:45-4:45pm), the pirate ship & sloped entry at the Dieppe Aquatic Centre (public swims on Saturday 3-4:55pm & 6-7:55pm & Sunday 3-4:55pm), and of course the warm kiddie pool at the YMCA Greater Moncton (public swims Saturdays 6-7:70pm & Sundays 1:30-3pm). There’s also open swims at Riverview’s Pat Crossman Aquatic Centre on Saturdays from 1:30-2:25pm & 2:30-3:30pm.

Maybe you’re feeling creative & a trip to DIY Studio is the ticket! Or stretch your critical thinking skills with a family trip to Room Escape Atlantic (their site shows a few non-scary, kid-friendly options) or Mystery Moncton Mystere (for the teens & up). It’s always fun to check out Bass Pro’s 12,000-gallon freshwater aquarium with striped bass, Atlantic sturgeon, trout, perch, and more.

There aren’t many little kid friendly movies currently playing at the Cineplex theatres, but we’re sure they’ll still be packed with families out to see Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Puss in Boots (we hear it’s a little scary for some, though it is animated & rated G) and Avatar: The Way of Water (rated 14A & over three hours long).

Doiron House, celebrating Acadian community life in Dieppe, is open Saturdays & Sundays.

If you’re just looking to get moving, there are several spots that often indoor walking, with many tracks being stroller-friendly (at least at certain times), including Moncton ColiseumCrossman Centre/Kay ArenaYMCA North, & the UNIplex in Dieppe. Check their sites for current information.

Love ninja warrior courses? Parkour? Check out Off Grid Adventure in Anagance for an awesome adventure course & their new indoor climbing walls.

riverview skating sliding hill winter wonderland playground park moncton PICKLE PLANET

SLEIGH RIDES, DOG SLEDDING, & MORE

We see bookings are basically full this weekend at Country Sleigh Rides (near the Irishtown Community Centre)! Their sled fits up to 16 adults; one-hour private bookings include time in the barn with the animals and a 40-minute ride and generally cost $125-$150. Call 506-874-4090 to book & find more info in their Facebook group.

Another fun winter adventure is NB Urban Mushing, also offering private group bookings to experience sled dogs in action in Greater Moncton!

Boyle Family Farm offers winter horseback riding, as does Broadleaf Ranch (who also have sleigh rides).

You can also book winter walks with Llamas with Llamazing Adventures!

If you’re looking for neat winter trails to explore, head to Hiking NB for amazing details on trails throughout the province. You might also want to follow along with Maritime Detours and Explore Nature’s Bounty for locally-guided options.

SKIING & MORE

You can rent cross-country skis ($20 for two hours) and snow shoes ($10 for two hours) at Moncton’s Centennial Park (available in both child and adult sizes, with some multi-day options available), and snow shoes ($10 for two hours) and fat bikes ($20 for two hours) at Moncton’s Mapleton Park. You can also bring your own gear to enjoy on the trails! Find info on the rentals, trails, conditions, and more via Camp Centennial.

Poley Mountain is open for the season, with lots of skiing & snowboarding fun on 30 trails.

INDOOR SKATING

To check on skating schedules for weekday info, cancellations, & rules on helmets, etc: Moncton Public SkatingDieppe Public SkatingMemramcook Public SkatingSackville Public Skating, & Hillsborough Public Skating

There are lots of indoor & outdoor skating options in the Greater Moncton Area. Here’s where to lace up inside this weekend!

  • Friday:
    • Dieppe AJL preschoolers with sticks, 9:30-10:30am (FREE) 
    • Moncton’s Superior Propane Centre, parents & tots, 10-11am (FREE)
    • Crossman Community Centre / Kay Arena 10:15-11:15am (FREE)
    • Sackville Parent & Tot 10:15-11:15am (FREE)
    • Riverview parent & tot 1:30-2:30pm (FREE)
    • Crossman Community Centre / Kay Arena 3:30-4:30pm (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 Community Centre / Kay Arena 2:30-4pm ($2)
    • Riverview 3:45-5:00pm (FREE)
    • Moncton Coliseum 3:45-5:15pm ($2) 
    • Dieppe’s AJL 6:15-7:15pm (FREE) 
    • Hillsborough 8-9pm ($2/person or $5/family)
  • Sunday:
    • Moncton’s Superior Propane Centre, parents & tots, 9:45-10:45am ($2)
    • Moncton’s Superior Propane Centre, 11:45am-12:45pm ($2)
    • Memramcook 11:45am-12:45pm (FREE)
    • Dieppe’s AJL 2:15-3:15pm (FREE)
    • Hillsborough 2:15-3:15pm ($2/person or $5/family)
    • Petitcodiac 1pm-2:30pm ($2/skater, free for ages five & under) 
    • Crossman Community Centre / Kay Arena 2:30-4pm ($2)
    • Riverview 2:30-4pm (FREE)
    • Sackville 2:45-3:45 (FREE)
    • Dieppe’s UNIplex 3:15-4:30pm (FREE)

OUTDOOR SKATING

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 – with Friday nights always featuring extra fun in Dieppe with their Fun on Ice from 6:30-8pm. (Check on schedule changes due to weather here.) Moncton’s Muskrat Skating Trail in Centennial Park is open, too – as long as the weather cooperates!

Dieppe also has two outdoor rinks in Rotary St-Anselme Park that are listed as open for the season (weather depending).

Irishtown/Maple Hills community has a lovely looking outdoor rink this season at the community centre; check their Facebook group for updates on when it’s open for skating and/or games.

Petitcodiac’s outdoor rink is at 42 Maple Street, with a new warming shelter for getting your skates on/off & a lovely sign showing the snowshoeing trail. You can generally find a daily update (green flag or red flag photo) in the Facebook group Petitcodiac Happenings.

Salisbury‘s outdoor rink is also a great little ODR to enjoy! You’ll find updates on the Salisbury & Petitcodiac Recreation Facebook page.

SLIDING HILLS IN GREATER MONCTON

Tobogganing, sliding, sledding, coasting – whatever you call it, it’s one of the most fun things to do in winter! Every neighbourhood has its favourite hills, but here are a few to-go spots to seek out this winter.

  • There are a few municipally-approved toboggan runs at Centennial Park in Moncton.
  • Rotary St-Anselme Park in Dieppe also has several great spots (check if they’re open here).
  • In Riverview, head to Winter Wonderland Park, on Quinn Court (off Gunningsville Boulevard) for some awesome tracks (and some snowboarding ones, too!) or behind Claude D. Taylor School.
  • Our kids love sliding at Highland Park in Salisbury; the hill is fantastic!
  • Shediac’s Pascal Poirier Park is often home to many sliding tracks in the winter.
  • In Fundy Park, check out the Headquarters Tobogganing Hill, and if you’re at Kouchibouquac Park, Patterson Hill is a great spot for sliding, though it is a long walk (2km) to reach the site.

Whether you tackle some of these ideas or create your own family fun, we hope you have a fantastic weekend!

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