How’s everyone doing? Full disclosure: Me, I’m a hot mess! 😛 This is the least prepared I’ve ever been for the holiday season – so thanks for sticking around through the craziness with me! I’m hoping to update all the seasonal posts I haven’t yet got to this weekend; keep your fingers crossed for me, please! (I know you’re all looking for the latest ‘must see’ Christmas lights route – I just need to double check a few usuals are set up & we’ll be good to go.)
If this is your first time here – welcome!! Pickle Planet is a passion project I started back in 2015, a way to bring families closer to each other and to their community, to create the sense of belonging we all want and need. The main driver for this is the weekend round up – the blog post you’re currently reading. Each week I scour dozens of websites & social media channels to try to find all the family-friendly events & activities that are happening in case you need some ideas on what to do this weekend.
I try to list things mostly in chronological order (though sometimes I’ll add in special categories) & then the list of ongoing attractions & ideas that are always a great choice any time of year. Please remember to always click through to the sources I provide; sometimes weather or life play havoc with plans and I don’t always know when an organization has to make changes.
PS: If you have events to share, drop a note anytime! Inclusion in this round up is free; there are paid opportunities for additional promotion to our tens of thousands of local followers, both here and on our social media.
Enough chatting; let’s get to it!
Thursday is the start of Hanukkah & there’ll be a celebration outside Moncton’s City Hall at 5:45pm.
Also on Thursday, there’s a comic book workshop for kids ages 8-15 at the Shediac Multipurpose Centre; it will be conducted in French. There’s an English version on Monday; register online in advance.
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!
Friday is Salisbury’s light up event in Highland Park, with a visit from Santa himself! Enjoy hot chocolate and cider, bring your letters, and make a non-perishable food donation to Salisbury Helping Hands. The fun begins at 5pm.
Kids Flow has another family disco coming up at La Station on Friday.
This week’s Fun on Ice at Dieppe’s Place 1604 features a bubble machine & DJ Chris playing French & Latin Top 40 hits. Enjoy the tunes while you skate the oval & warm up by the bonfire.
Wild Lights at the Magnetic Hill Zoo is an annual fundraiser that transforms the zoo into a sparkling wonderland! Open all of December, except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Riverview’s Light Up event has the Riverfront filled with gorgeous lights; take a stroll and enjoy the magic of the season. On Friday night, 4-7pm, the Journey Church will be serving hot chocolate at the gazebo to add a little extra fun to your walk!
Friday there’s a free concert with award-winning hip hop artist ONE8TEA at Hillsborough Baptist Chruch. Starts at 6:30pm.
Sackville‘s second night of Moonlight Madness is this Friday, with all kinds of shopping & dining specials, hot chocolate and wagon rides, and so much more!
- The Signature d’ici Arts & Craft Show is happening Saturday, 9am-3pm, at the Centre des Arts et de la Culture in Dieppe. Free entry, Santa Claus photo booth, kids’ craft zone, food, prizes, & more!
- If you’re looking to shop more, head to Riverview Lions Club for two floors of vendors, open Saturday & Sunday.
- And add Shediac to the list, too! More than 80 vendors will be at the Shediac Christmas Market Hosted By Shediac Craft Shop, open Saturday & Sunday at the Multipurpose Centre. (Don’t forget to stop by and see the Big Lobster with his Santa hat on for the season!)
- The Arches of St. George are hosting another pop up this weekend; visit with All The Pretties, La Rouere Chocolat, Bees Louise Honey, Audrey Favre Illustration (if you haven’t picked up a Moncton colouring book featuring her sketches yet, make a stop at Reurgo Place a must this weekend, too!), the Freezed Dry Shop, and The Modern Day Hippie from 10am-3pm, along with the businesses always on site like B Home & Bent Spokes.
- The KOLIADA Ukrainian Christmas Fest is taking place Saturday at Lutz Mountain Heritage Museum. You can stop to enjoy the vendors or sign up for some of their awesome workshops for a deeper cultural experience.
It’s #HolidayHoopla weekend in Riverview, which includes a free public swim Saturday, 1:35-3:30pm, at the Pat Crossman Aquatic Centre & free admission to the Riverview Indoor Skatepark & Youth Centre, 6-10pm. They have loaner boards you can use on site, head upstairs to play pool or video games, and hang out with friends & treats! Ages 12-17 can take part gingerbread man decorating & hot chocolate bar next door in the community hall from 7-9:30pm with the YOUth Drop In team, who’ll have some board games & fun on hand. There’s a free skate Sunday, too – details below!
Just outside Sackville you’ll find Trueman’s Farm – and Saturday (1-6pm) & Sunday (1-3pm) this weekend, enjoy train rides on the farm! Don’t miss out on their yummy ice cream & treats, and save time to walk the Christmas Tree Trail.
SkyZone is always a great option, especially on Glow Nights (be sure to wear white or florescent colours – it’s mandatory!) but this Saturday is extra fun with DJ Dionne spinning tunes starting at 7pm.
🎅 SANTA PARADES & MORE 🎅
The Salisbury Santa Claus Parade takes place Saturday at 6:30pm. Salisbury’s Big Red Barn hosts a Farmers & Artisans Market on Saturdays, with extra holiday flair – including Santa in his workshop – in December. Open 8am-2pm generally, with a special opening 4-8pm Saturday for the parade festivities! The parade will begin at 6:30pm at St. Jude’s Catholic Church on Main Street, making its way down Main to Douglas Street, where you can join the community by the fire station for treats. Please expect road closures and delays through this section & along entry routes to Salisbury from shortly before the parade until about 7:30pm or so.
Sussex’s Santa Claus Parade is also now taking place Saturday at 6:30pm; it was rescheduled due to the weather on its initial date.
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 also planning to stop by the Christmas Ice Cream Hot Chocolate Barn by the Chocolate River Station each Thursday night until Christmas. Catch them on your way to see the lights!
Santa will also be making an appearance at the annual Christmas at Toys for Big Boys party this Saturday, 10am – noon. Enjoy cake & store specials, 9am-1pm.
Sunday is a great chance to grab some goodies for the gamer or collector on your list. Maritime Collectibles is hosting another vendor fair with Hotwheels, Pokemon, sports cards, & more at the Main Lodge at Dieppe’s Rotary Park, 9:30am-2pm. Entry is $5; kids are free.
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 Sunday at 2pm.
The #HolidayHoopla fun continues in Riverview with a free public skate at the Byron Dobson Arena’s upper bowl, 2:30-4pm. There will be holiday music, free hot chocolate, and lots of fun!
Sunday is also a special day at Beloved Miniature Horse farm, with a special session for cuddling and brushing the horses, 1-4pm. Fee is $10/person; those 3 & under are free. If the weather cooperates, you can have a short sleigh ride for the littles for just $5, too!
ONGOING FUN ACTIVITIES & IDEAS
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 Gym, Marco’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 also skate under the sky at the Ian Fowler Oval in front of Moncton’s Avenir Centre! Please remember, no sticks/nets/pucks/rings allowed, and CSA-approved helmets encouraged. The oval is open 10am-10pm daily, weather permitting.
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):
- ⛸️ Shediac 8:30-9:30am
- ⛸️ Dieppe AJL preschoolers with sticks, 9:30-10:30am
- ⛸️ Superior Propane Centre parent & tot 10-11am
- ⛸️ Sackville Parent & Tot 10:15-11:15am
- ⛸️ Hillsborough public skating 8:15-9:15pm ($2/person or $5/family)
⛸️ Crossman Community Centre Kay Arena parent & tot 10:15-11:15am
- ⛸️ Riverview parent & tot 1:30-2:30pm
⛸️ Crossman Community Centre Kay Arena 3:30pm-4:30pm
- ⛸️ Riverview 12 & under, 4-5:15pm
⛸️ Moncton Coliseum parent & tot 9:30-10:30am ($2)
- ⛸️ Hillsborough public skating 2-3pm & 8-9pm ($2/person or $5/family)
⛸️ Crossman Community Centre Kay Arena 2:30-4pm ($2) ⛸️ Moncton Coliseum 3:45-5:15pm ($2)
- ⛸️ Riverview 3:45-5pm
- ⛸️ Dieppe’s AJL 6:15-7:15pm
- ⛸️ Superior Propane Centre parent & tots 9:45-10:45am ($2)
- ⛸️ Dieppe’s UNIplex 11:45am-12:45pm
- ⛸️ Superior Propane Centre 11:45am-12:45pm ($2)
- ⛸️ Memramcook Eugene Leblanc Arena 11:45am-12:45pm
- ⛸️ Dieppe’s AJL 1-2pm
- ⛸️ Petitcodiac 1pm-2:30pm ($2/skater, free for ages five & under)
Crossman Community Centre Kay Arena 2:30-4pm ($2)
- ⛸️ Hillsborough family skating 2:15-3:15pm ($2/person or $5/family)
- ⛸️ Sackville 2:30-3:30pm ($8/family, or $3/adult & $2/senior or child under 12)
- ⛸️ Riverview public 2:30-4pm
- ⛸️ Shediac 5:30-6:30pm
For more on weekday options, check out our Skating Guide!
This isn’t a full list of upcoming fun, just a few highlights! Keep checking back each weekend for a fresh round up; we usually post by Thursday afternoon. 🙂
Tuesday is the annual Sistema Winter Concert, happening at the Moncton Wesleyan Church at 6:30pm.
Salisbury’s annual children’s craft night is happening Wednesday; email email@example.com to reserve a spot.
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!
WINTER CARNIVALS in 2024
- Shediac’s Winter Carnival starts at the end of January, with festival mascot Bonhomme Coueche arriving for Groundhog Day.
- Dieppe embraces winter with Fun on Ice at Place 1604 on Friday nights throughout the winter, with live music and skating on the oval, as well as the city’s annual winter carnival in February.
- Riverview’s Winter Carnival takes place at the start of February with lots of great events centered around Winter Wonderland Park.
- And Moncton‘s PolarFest returns this year for another weekend of fun in Centennial Park in February.
Watch for more on these events & more in the New Year!