What to do with the kids this weekend in Greater Moncton (Dec 1-3)

Welcome to December, everyone!

The next few weeks are FULL of family fun ideas & activities; we’re doing our best to keep track of them all, but if you know of something we missed, drop it in the comments or send us a note! (Remember, you can ALWAYS let us know about upcoming events & activities; we love sharing the details in our round up and the best way to be included is to email us the details.) Also, don’t forget to click through to the source for the current updates before heading out; we do our best to update if we know of cancellations, but we don’t always know.

WHERE TO FIND SANTA

  • 🎅 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. We love the photo ops outside, too – and a visit to the aquarium is always a hit!
  • 🎅 Santa & Mrs. Claus are stopping by MacArthur’s in Moncton Saturdays & Sundays, 1-3pm, until Dec 17.
  • 🎅 Santa & Mrs. Claus are also stopping by the Christmas Ice Cream Hot Chocolate Barn by the Chocolate River Station each Thursday night until Christmas.
  • 🎅 And mark your calendars now for Santa’s annual call in show on Rogers December 7 & 8!

Santa will also be part of the Three Rivers/Petitcodiac Santa Claus Festival of Light Parade on Friday night. The parade begins at 7pm at the Baptist Church on Renfrew, making its way to the Fire Hall where Santa will greet children & hand out treats!

Breakfast is important for Santa, too! He’ll be dining at the Irishtown Community Centre on Saturday morning, 9am-noon. Bring the family to enjoy the meal; admission is by donation. Santa is scheduled to arrive at 10am.

Santa will be at the Hillsborough Christmas Parade this Saturday. (Check our Market section for details on the 21st annual Christmas in the Country events happening throughout Albert County this weekend!)

Bouctouche’s parade is Saturday night, 6pm; Santa will be there, too! There’s a special holiday market happening on Saturday, too; spend the whole day explore the area & celebrating the season!

Santa will also be stopping by Sussex this weekend, as their annual parade is happening Saturday night, starting at 6:30pm. We hear it’s set to be one of their largest parades in years, with nearly 70 entries! The forecast has prompted organizers to postpone till December 9.

On Sunday, Santa will join the parade in Cap-Acadie! It starts at 6pm.

He’s planning to pop into some local markets this weekend, too; find a list of those events further down our round up!

WEEKEND EVENTS

For the non-holiday seekers, it’s a big weekend for high school basketball in the GMA, with the annual DNA Men’s Hoop Classic taking place. There are various games Thursday through Saturday, at various high school gyms.

The Sue Stultz Turkey Drive in on until Saturday; the goal is 3979 turkeys so that local families have a full holiday meal. An amazing community tradition since 1991!

There are so many great ways to give to those in need this season; one fun way to donate toys is through the 14th annual Stuff a Bus Toy Drive with the crews from 96.9 & Q! They’ll have a Codiac Transpo bus at Sobeys on Vaughan Harvey from 6am-6pm on Thursday & Friday. Bring a new toy, gift card, or cash donation; all items will be given to the Salvation Army for their Christmas drive.

Can’t make it there? Look for the Toy Box if you’re at CF Champlain. Drop off a new, unwrapped gift before December 16th to help Moncton Headstart fill Toyland.

Wild Lights at the Zoo starts Friday; always a magical outing to see the beautiful displays throughout the grounds.

Friday is also the kick off to Dieppe’s Fun on Ice series; enjoy live music, bonfires, & more at the Place 1604 Skating Oval, starting at 6:30pm.

We know it’s an event for some families – the BGC Riverview’s Christmas Tree Lot opens on Friday night!

If you’re looking for some swoon-worthy photo backdrops for holiday magic, check out Trueman’s Christmas Tree Trail! Head to their Facebook page to see what it’s all about; you’ll fall in love! The farm is also offering holiday train rides this Saturday & next, with rides at 1pm, 2pm, & 3pm. We suggest reaching out in advance to secure your spot. Cost is $15/person or $50/group of 4. That includes the ride, a treat, and a hot chocolate!

The annual Holiday Tea at Thomas Williams House stats this weekend, with sittings Saturday & Sunday (as well as next weekend). There are pastries, scones with cream and jams, chocolates, and more from a variety of local suppliers. Phillippe Desjardins will be playing music, too! Seats are $15, tables for four are $50. Reserve your seats in advance; you can call 506-856-4327 or stop into Resurgo Place. (PS: Don’t forget – their temporary exhibit with Albert the Dinosaur and a Picasso painting is wrapping up in early January. Don’t miss it!)

Sunny Brae Baptist Church is holding a Deck the Halls event for the whole family on Saturday evening, 6-7:30pm. It’s sure to be a great time with live animals, live music, a scavenger hunt, treats, & more!

BGC rock climbing wall is open to the public this Saturday, 10am-3pm, for just $2. Ages 7+; indoor shoes required. Look for their upcoming December events, including cookie decorating, a showing of ELF, & so much more.

Boyle Family Farm’s Christmas trees are now on sale & they’re offering free pony rides, Saturday & Sunday, 10am-5pm.

Global Pet Foods is holding their annual Pet Photos with Santa at their Moncton store on Saturday and their Riverview store on Sunday; photos by donation.

CARMA Moncton is holding a SantaPaws Pet photo session at Pet Valu on Mountain Road Saturday; sign up online for a photo of your pet with Santa between 11am and 2pm. $25 minimum donation.

We always love a visit to the local library & this Saturday, the Moncton library is holding a holiday themed Bingo at 10:15am.

AKA Dance Studio is hosting a kids’ Christmas event at the Motorsports Hall of Fame in Petitcodiac Saturday afternoon, 1-4pm. Pictures with Santa, cookie decorating, crafts, & more. Admission is $5.

New Hope Community Church (on the Homestead Road) is holding a free movie night Saturday, starting at 6pm, featuring The Star movie.

The Wildcats host the Sagueneens de Chicoutimi on Saturday at 7pm at the Avenir Centre.

The Journey Church in Allison is hosting a Gingerbread Bash on Sunday. This is a free event, but you need to register in advance. You’ll get a nativity set to decorate, enjoy hot chocolate, snacks, and more.

The Fundy Blades Skating Club is hosting a free skate at the Hillsborough Arena on Sunday for World Skate Day. Stop in between 6 & 7pm; popcorn & hot chocolate will be provided! (More weekend skating times below!)

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!

CHRISTMAS MARKETS & SHOPPING EVENTS

ONGOING FUN ACTIVITIES & IDEAS

It’s Christmas light season – and you’ll love driving or strolling along the Riverfront Trail in Riverview, exploring the installations along the streets of Moncton and Dieppe, and of course traveling through neighbourhoods to find the best and brightest! The Lobster Trap Tree is in place in Alma; a must visit that pairs perfectly with this weekend’s Christmas in the Country!

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 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 often has weekend spots available this time of year. A great way to get out & get moving!
  • 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), then open again in the evening for Wild Lights!
  • 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.
  • Cineplex is always a fun option for a family outing.
  • 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.

SKATING SEASON — INDOOR SKATING TIMES

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):

Friday:

Saturday:

Sunday:

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

Free Indoor & Outdoor Ice Skating in the Greater Moncton Area

LOOKING AHEAD

Just a smattering of the things we know are coming in the next few weeks … more to come!

Feeli Tout is hosting a Christmas reading PJ party (in French) at the Dieppe library on Friday evening – but spaces are limited, so head to the library now to grab your free tickets!

Tickets are on sale for the KOLIADA Ukrainian Christmas Fest next Saturday at Lutz Mountain Heritage Museum.

Curt’s Christmas Market is back at the Riverview Lions Club next weekend, with two floors full of vendors.

Dieppe’s Holiday Market at Doiron House returns Sunday, December 10, 9am – 2pm. Santa will pop by in the afternoon for photos from 3-5pm, and A Christmas Carol will play, 6-8pm (French with English subtitles).

The UBUNTU Christmas Show is a fundraiser for the Centre de Pédiatrie sociale Sud-Est/ Southeast Social Pediatric Centre, featuring Izabelle Ouellet, Maxime Forbes, Mathias Goguen (son of Christian ”Kit” Goguen), and the Abbey-Landry school choir. It takes place at the Théâtre du Monument-Lefebvre in Memramcook on December 10 at 2pm.

Kids Flow has another family disco coming up at La Station on December 8!

December 16 sees another public event by Travel to You Zoo.

There are lots of great performances coming up at the Capitol Theatre, holiday and non, including Nutcracker shows, but we wanted to draw your attention to two things. If you have comedy fan on your gift giving list, tickets for the annual Hubcap Comedy Festival are now on sale. And if you’re planning for family fun between Christmas and New Year’s, the annual Dufflebag Theatre pay-what-you-can presentation of Snow White takes place December 28 at 2pm! (And don’t forget – tickets for The Little Mermaid production in February/March are on sale now with early-bird pricing until December 22.)

Poley Mountain’s holiday ski camps start December 27; you can register the kids now!

And speaking of things for the kids, tweens & teens with a cooking interest might want to know there are still some spaces at Brix for their classes between Christmas & New Years.

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!

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