Welcome to another fabulous weekend, everyone! Christmas prep is full on now – and we have the run down of markets, Santa sightings, skating & so much more.
REMEMBER: Sharing is caring! If you’ve loved our site since 2015 or are just new to joining us, we’d LOVE if you’d take a moment to tell your friends about all the resources you can find on Pickle Planet Moncton!
It’s Atlantic Slam weekend! 🏀 What an incredible opportunity for our community to witness top tier US College basketball right here at home – and for those teams to experience the awesome vibe that is Greater Moncton! There are games November 16-19, 2023 at the Avenir Centre with teams from Yale, Gardner-Webb, Weber State, and Colgate on the court, as well as prep school teams from Orangeville, Rothesay Netherwood, CZ Academy (a Czech basketball federation project), and United Scholastic Academy. Get out & cheer them on! ⛹️♀️
⛸️ 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.
DYK: November 17 is World Prematurity Day. You can find me celebrating the day with a Facebook/YouTube live with the Canadian Premature Babies Foundation. If you’re not familiar with the impacts of prematurity on our communities, as well as our healthcare system, here are a few tidbits:
- 💜 One in 10 babies worldwide is born early – three weeks or more before their due date. In Canada, the rate is about 1 in 12 – meaning you likely know families touched by prematurity.
- 💜 Prematurity is the leading cause of infant mortality in Canada, responsible for about one-third of infant deaths, and the leading cause of childhood disability.
- 💜 Many preemies go on to achieve incredible feats, such as two-time Olympic luge athlete Kimberley McRae, who I had the chance to interview on the CPBF podcast.
- 💜 The world’s youngest surviving premature twins, Adiah and Adrial, were born in Toronto when their mother was 22 weeks pregnant. I’ll get to speak with her & her husband on Friday!
📚 Looking for a fantastic Christmas gift for young readers? GADZOOKS! The Christmas Goose is a fabulously fun read from right here in Southern New Brunswick – and Jennifer McGrath will be signing the brand new paperback version at Chapters this Saturday, 12-4pm. Look for her in the kids’ department with a Gadzooks-inspired craft, too!
PS: Looking for another New Brunswick Christmas story for littles? Check out Reil Nason’s new Catastrophe at the Christmas Ceilidh.
Kids Flow is hosting a clothing swap at The Arches of St. George on Sunday, 1-3pm. Bring items to give away and find some to take away; donations will also be accepted to pass on to a local shelter.
SANTA SIGHTINGS & CHRISTMAS MARKETS
‘Tis the season to shop local – and myself & a few dozen friends will be doing a blitz of local spots to visit this season on Friday night. Watch for the #LeveragingLocalGMA tags on socials to help you get a peek into just a few of the amazing businesses we have in the GMA.
If shopping is your jam, here are some local markets you’ll want to make time for this weekend:
- 🎁 Christmas in the Cape at Affinity Farm kicks off November 16 & runs until Dec 10 in Shediac Cape. It’s worth the adventure!
- 🎁 Friday is the first of two Moonlight Madness events in Sackville for the holidays. Shops will be open with specials & there’ll be hot chocolate at the corner of Bridge & Main from 6-9pm. It’s also the town’s tree lighting ceremony, so you know Santa will be stopping by!
- 🎁 The Jones Lake outdoor Christmas Market kicks off Friday at noon (open till 7pm), featuring wreaths, swags, handmade stained glass, macrame, & so much more! Continues Saturday, too, 10am – 5pm!
- 🎁 The Crandall Christmas Market is a must-stop tradition for many; I think it was the first Christmas market I ever went to in Greater Moncton! I still have some incredible quilled Christmas cards I bought that sale. And if you have a little on your list, Monkey Bum Designs is bringing their Closing Sale at this event. Amazing deals on incredible products! (I’ve been buying her stuff since before I had kids!) Open 9am-3pm; $2 entry.
- 🎁 The Arches of St. George’s first pop-up of the season is Saturday, 10am-3pm. We LOVE this space & the mix of vendors who visit for these pop ups!
- 🎁 One of our favourite markets each year is the Wintergreen Craft & Gift Fair at the Coverdale Centre in Riverview, happening from 10am-4pm; $2 entry. They have a second event this year, on Sunday, November 25, too!
- 🎁 Irishtown Community Centre’s annual craft fair is happening Saturday, 8:30am – 3pm.
- 🎁 Nicholas’ Hope Family Services is holding a Holiday Market at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church from 1-5pm on Saturday, with face painting, photo ops, & more.
- 🎁 Tantramar Regional High School’s 19th annual craft fair is happening Saturday, 10am-3pm. More than 50 vendors; we’re told it’s one not to miss! Entry is $5; kids under 12 free.
- 🎁 Hope-Wellness Eco-Resort in Hillsborough is the site for a Creative Night Market on Saturday, 5-9pm. Entry is $5; kids are free.
- 🎁 Christmas at Lady Smith Manor is another beautiful event, filled with incredible gift ideas & displays worthy of the setting! Tickets are limited, so don’t wait any longer to book yours! Entry is $5; children under 12 are free. The event happens Saturday & Sunday in Dorchester.
- 🎁 Curt’s Christmas Market is at the Riverview Lions Club Saturday & Sunday, 9am-4pm, with vendors on both floors!
And if you’re looking for the man in charge of gifts …
- 🎅 Santa arrives at CF Champlain on Friday; you can book a photo op on line.
- 🎅 Santa is also posing for photos at Bass Pro Shops.
- 🎅 Santa & Mrs. Claus are stopping by MacArthur’s in Moncton Saturday & Sunday, 1-3pm, from this weekend until Dec 17. The shop is a winter wonderland and you’re welcome to snap a selfie for free!
🎅 The 70th annual Saint John Santa Claus Parade takes place at 6pm on Saturday.The forecast has resulted in the cancellation of this event. 🙁
- 🎅 Amherst’s holiday celebrations kick off this weekend, with their parade
at 6pm on Saturdayrescheduled to Sunday night – and the send off event for Nova Scotia’s Tree for Boston & the Holiday Light Up in Victoria Square!
AND .. he’s on the Pickle Planet Podcast with Jenna & Tosh this week! Watch for the episode to drop on Monday!
Check our Guide to Santa Parades & Winter Festivals for more!
And don’t forget – the Royale Greater Moncton Santa Claus Parade is next Saturday! We have a full post dedicated just to tips & tricks for heading to the parade.
Here’s our trusty list of places you might want to check out with the family anytime!
- Resurgo Place’s new temporary exhibit is open – and it includes a full dinosaur & a Picasso! The museum is always a hands-on hit with our kids, but I know the dino will tip the scales for so many!!
- Llamazing Adventures still had weekend spots available when we checked!
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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 9-10:30am
- ⛸️ 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!
Looking for more info on upcoming holiday markets in the area? Swim on over to our pal East Coast Mermaid’s site for a fantastic guide!
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!