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!
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.
EVENTS & ACTIVITIES DEC 2-4
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.
The Ian Fowler Oval is open for skating outside the Avenir Centre, too.
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 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).
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.
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:
- Broadleaf Ranch is open, with wagon rides (noon – 2pm, $5), Charlie Brown u-cut trees, baked goods, and more. It looks like they even have a few glamping units available this weekend; a perfect HQ for exploring the region!
- There will be hosts in period costume for A Victorian Christmas at the Steeves House Museum
- Maplegrove Inn is hosting a Victorian Tea
- Lots of great spots to purchase locally made gifts, eats, & more!
- A fun way to experience Christmas in the Country is with Excellence NB’s Sip & Shop tour. No need to worry about driving plus fun extras!
Here are a few more Christmas shopping markets & events this weekend:
- Salisbury Baptist Church’s annual Christmas Craft & Bake Sale, 9am – 2pm
- Sunny Brae Baptist Church’s Deck the Halls, 6pm
- Queen Elizabeth School, 10am – 2pm
- Rare Flair Christmas Craft Fair, Riverview Lions Club, 10am – 3pm
- Sleigh the Holidays Pop-Up Market at Canvas Moncton, 10am – 2pm
- The Wellness Exchange Christmas Pop-Up, 10am – 3pm
- He’s a Jolly Elf, Boyle Family Farm, 11am – 3pm
- Christmas Bazaar at the Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame, 9:30am – 2:30pm
- Chipoudy Community Revitalization Committee Christmas Craft Fair, Riverside-Albert Recreation Center, 9am – 4pm
- Olde Tyme Christmas with Story Time with Father Christmas at Bates Barn, 10am – 3pm
- Euston Park Winter Market
- Maritime Creations’ Handmade Holiday Craft Fair at Riverview Community Hall, 9am – 3pm
- Chipoudy Community Revitalization Committee Christmas Craft Fair, Riverside-Albert Recreation Center, 9am – 2pm
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.
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 Studio. Older 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 Place, Doiron House, Moncton 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!
HOT DRINKS & YUMMY EATS
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!
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.