What to do with the kids in Moncton this weekend (Dec 2-4)

Welcome to December, everyone! We have three weekends full of fun before it’s Christmas Eve weekend — and Pickle Planet has all the info you need to make the most of this month! We have tips on where to find the best Christmas light displays, yummy seasonal drinks, simple crafts to do with the kids, stocking stuffers, and so much more — including this weekend’s jam-packed list of events & activities to enjoy!!

MUST READ: Christmas light displays in Greater Moncton


The Petitcodiac Santa Claus Festival of Lights Parade takes place Friday, December 2 at 7pm.

Hillsborough’s annual Santa parade will be December 3 at 6:30pm.

The annual Santa Claus Parade in Bouctouche takes place Saturday, December 3 at 6pm.

(Sussex’s Santa Claus Parade has been moved to Dec 10, FYI.)

Global Pet Foods & PAW (People for Animal Wellbeing) are holding pet photo sessions with Santa on Saturday at their Riverview store. There will be treats for dogs & cats; photo is by donation to PAW with a suggested minimum of $5.

Santa is also doing pet photos on Saturday at Pet Valu on Mountain Road, with a minimum $25 donation to CARMA.

Christmas at Toys for Big Boys happens Saturday morning, with a special visit from Santa between 10am and noon!

Then Santa is off to MacArthur’s Nurseries where he’s scheduled to be Saturday & Sunday from 1-3pm each day. Be sure to follow their social media to see if he’ll make an appearance again next weekend – but even if he isn’t scheduled, their displays make for an incredible visit any time!

Looking for a special Santa experience? Join him for breakfast at the Irishtown Community Centre on Sunday! (Reserve your spot in advance.)

Santa is also squeezing in a visit to the Legion in Salisbury on Sunday at 1pm, with lots of fun activities for the kids including cookie decorating, hot dogs, cotton candy, face painting, and more. Santa will also be posing for $5 selfies at McTavy’s General Store in Salisbury on Sunday (11am-6pm) & next Saturday.

The annual Cap-Pelé Santa Claus Parade is Sunday, December 4 at 6:30pm.

Santa is also taking reservations for visits at CF Champlain & Bass Pro Shops!


Wild Lights is back at the Zoo! Open December 1 through January 7 (closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays, as well as Dec 24 & 25), this is a fantastic opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and some incredible light displays! (Psst! Watch our social media channels for a ticket giveaway, too!)

If you’re up for a little road trip & LOVE holiday fun, consider visiting Saint John on December 2 for Uptown Sparkles! The Rockwood Joly Trolley will be running, DJs & live music, ice sculptors, fire pits, vendors, dancers, and so much more. Don’t forget to visit the nearly two dozen creations along their Gingerbread Trail, too! If you’re in that part of the province, don’t forget to add a visit to the Quispamsis Arts & Culture Park Holiday Dreamland lights display to your list

There are more than 150 vendors at the Moncton Coliseum this weekend for the Atlantic Farm Mechanization show.

The Wildcats host the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles on Friday night, along with their annual food drive for Food Depot Alimentaire.

Fun on Ice is back in Dieppe! Enjoy bonfires, marshmallows, hot chocolate, music, and more at the skating oval each Friday night, starting at 6:30pm. This week’s performance includes a fire show with Geomatrix. (The skating oval is open daily now – and we see that Santa & Mrs. Claus are planning a visit Dec 16!)

The Ian Fowler Oval is open for skating outside the Avenir Centre, too.

RELATED: Public Skating Schedules for Greater Moncton Area Rinks

Journey Kids is holding a free showing of the movie, The Star, Friday night at 122 McClelan Ave, Riverview. Donations to the food bank are accepted.

The DNA Swag Hoop Classic is on, with local high school boys’ basketball teams battling it out. The gold medal game will be Saturday at 3pm at Crandall University.

The Moncton Youth Orchestra is holding its Festive Concert at Bernice MacNaughton High School on Saturday at 2pm.

Fans of highland dancing are welcome to drop into the annual Christmas Highland Dancing Competition hosted by the Greater Moncton Scottish Association, taking place Saturday at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Chruch (77 Hildegard Drive, Moncton). Dancing begins at 9am with the younger dancers; intermediate & premier dancers begin at 1pm. Admission is $6 (ages 10 & under free).

Kids Flow Exploration is hosting an Elves’ Workshop for children ages six to 10 at the Dieppe Arts & Culture Centre on Saturday, 9am to noon. Enjoy yoga, crafts, and more.

The Arches of St. George is celebrating with its annual Yule Be Giving Local shopping event this Saturday. Check out incredible deals and lots of holiday spirit from 10am – 4pm.

Sunny Brae Baptist Church is holding a Christmas event this Saturday evening. Deck the Halls is a free event for the community, starting at 6pm. They have an indoor Christmas wonderland to explore, live music, cookies and hot cocoa, outdoor decorations and a bonfire, and more.

New Hope Church has lots of holiday fun planned, including a kids’ gingerbread bash 2-4pm on Saturday, Dec 3.

The Wildcats are back on the ice again Saturday night, hosting Tigres De Victoriaville and their annual toy drive!

The amazing Riverbend Community School is having an open house on Sunday at 3pm. We’ve visited with owner/educator Rebecca many times over the years & can’t say enough great things about her approach to learning, the welcoming environment she creates, and the results her students and families share! Check out our visit last week and her chat with some former students who’ve finished high school.

The Dan Bohan Centre in Riverview will be showing The Grinch (2018 animated version) after mass on Sunday, at 12:30pm. If you’re interested in attending, please reach out in advance to Karen at 387-4918.

Dieppe is holding a Holiday Market at Doiron House Sunday, noon to 5pm. Shop from a dozen or more merchants, drop off donations of toys and non-perishable food, and celebrate the opening of Café Inclusio.

Sackville’s Atlantic Wildlife Institute is holding a Willow Ornaments Workshop on Sunday, from 1-4pm. Cost is $30 to cover materials, pre-registration is required. Call 506-364-1902. Also in Sackville on Sunday, Nature Canada’s tour bus will be stopping to offer some fun interactions and collect letters to bring to the NatureCOP conference coming up in Montreal.

Also on Sunday, the Ukrainian Club of Moncton has an awesome Christmas Fair planned, with photo ops, face painting, crafts, eats, & more. Stop in between 10am & 4pm at 90 Park Street.

This weekend is the first of two Christmas in the Country weekends throughout Albert County, with dozens of great events & activities planned. You can find a full list on their Facebook page, but here are a few highlights:

Here are a few more Christmas shopping markets & events this weekend:

December 3

December 4

Looking to buy a real Christmas tree? Most lots are opening this weekend! You can stop by the Salisbury Lion’s Club Wednesdays through Sundays, the BGC Riverview lot opens Friday at 5pm at Downeys Home Hardware & remains open daily until supplies are gone.

RELATED: Where to pick & cut your own Christmas Tree in New Brunswick


The Town of Shediac & the Beausejour Daycare are turning City Hall into a magical Christmas Kingdom, open to the public for free on Tuesday & Wednesday.
Salisbury is holding a gingerbread & craft night for kids on Tuesday at 6pm at the Village Office. Space is limited, so register in advance. Cost is $5/child.

The annual Sue Stultz & Moncton Firefighters Turkey Drive is happening Wednesday through Friday, Dec 7-9. It will be a ‘drive thru’ format behind the St. George Fire Station, with volunteers on hand 10am to 7pm each day to accept donations. The goal is a turkey on every table for Christmas!

Sackville’s Vogue Cinema has showings of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation & It’s a Wonderful Life coming up; we hear Clarke & Eddy might make an appearance on Dec 9.

Bennic & Snapology are teaming up for a Grinch-themed event on Dec 10; a great chance to have the kids entertained while you snag some time to prep for the holidays!

Check back next weekend for a full list of events & activities – and remember to drop us a note if you have a family-friendly community event you’d like to include.

Need more ideas on things to do (or experience gifts to buy)? FAMILY FUN IN GREATER MONCTON

Great spaces to appeal to a variety of ages & interests are Hop Skip Jump!SkyZone (Glow Zone fun on Fridays & Saturdays!), & DIY StudioOlder kids might want to try laser tag at Marco’s Clinic, climbing next door at FitRocks Climbing Gym, or maybe test their wits at Room Escape Atlantic or Mystery Moncton Mystere. There’s also the Moncton Sports Dome on Friday nights for laser tag, Just Dance, Xbox & Nintendo gaming.

Have you visited the Riverview Indoor Skatepark & Youth Centre lately? A visit anytime is a great idea!

Another great idea is bowling & we see that glow times are back Fridays & Saturdays at Fairlanes in Moncton! We also love Bowlarama in Dieppe (be prepared for the arcade section!) and The Marvelous Holy Bowly in Riverview.

Don’t forget Resurgo PlaceDoiron HouseMoncton Public Library, or a visit to Bass Pro to see the 12,000-gallon freshwater aquarium; stop by to see striped bass, Atlantic sturgeon, trout, perch, and more!

Cineplex has theatres in both Dieppe & Moncton; movie time is always a great treat.

Looking to get wet? Why not check out the swim times at the Pat Crossman Aquatic Centre in Riverview, the Moncton YMCA at Vaughan Harvey, and the Dieppe Aquatic Centre. Both the Moncton & Dieppe pools are great with littles; Dieppe has a sloped entry with a pirate ship, while the Vaughan Harvey YMCA has a separate kiddie pool. The YMCA Moncton North has an indoor splash pad & playground; non-members are welcome.

Maybe you want to lace up & hit the rinks: Free public skating schedules for Moncton, Riverview, Dieppe, & more!


We see Cafe l’amiral’s eggnog lattes and peppermint hot chocolates are back for the season & Salisbury’s Wright’s Bakery’s winter drinks have returned. A few more of our go-to local spots for hot chocolates & seasonal lattes include Cafe Archibald‘s Famous Grandma’s Hot Chocolate, Tony’s Bistro & Pâtisserie is so cozy & delicious — the perfect spot to curl up with a cup, and of course The Ice Cream Barn in Riverview!

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

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

Many smaller communities also have markets & great hidden eating gems, like Salisbury’s growing market/antique scene as well as the Old Church Farmer’s Market in Hillsborough.

Treat your tastebuds with a walk along St. George Street for Halo Donuts, Lost and Found Ice Cream (we tried the chocolate orange & eggnog twisted soft serve last weekend – SO yummy!), 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! If you’re enjoying a riverside stroll in Moncton, pop into the Starving Artist Cafe.

new brunswick made hot chocolate board pickle planet moncton

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