Less than a month to go until Christmas & this weekend is packed full of holiday events to kick off the festive season!
Thursday, November 24 is the annual Light Up Riverview event, with thousands of lights along the waterfront coming in & staying bright until January 8. There will be lots of activity on Thursday night, with music and drink specials at the Holy Whale Beer Hall, an indoor vendor market at the Chocolate River Station, hot chocolate from The Christmas Barn, a special box for letters to Santa, live music on the gazebo main stage until 8:15pm as well as carolers and more along the trail, a food drive, and more. The lights go on at 7pm.
There’s also a tree lighting ceremony Thursday night in Shediac, at 6:30pm in Pascal Poirier Park.
Did you grab tickets to the annual Antler Breakfast Friday morning? A fundraiser organized by the Progress Club of Greater Moncton, the Antler Breakfast a fun way to get your co-workers, family, or yourself into the holiday spirit and enjoy a hearty meal. Happening 6:30-9am at a few spots around downtown; it looks like there are a few tickets left!
Friday is the start of Turner’s at the Coliseum, one of the province’s largest Christmas craft shows. Doors open at 2pm; the event runs until Sunday.
The Moncton Wildcats are at home Friday night, hosting the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.
Friday also marks Shediac’s annual Santa Claus Parade
Saturday is the return of the Royale Greater Moncton Santa Claus Parade! The route runs from Cameron & Main to Champlain & Paul, starting at 5pm. With 65 registered floats & walking groups this year, the parade should take a little less than an hour to pass by. If you can’t make it out, Rogers will be filming the parade and showing it later that night on TV, as well as on their website accessible to everyone!
Pickle Planet’s Parade Watching Tips
- Grab some glow sticks and silly hats.
- Bring snacks, including something warm in a thermos.
- Dress the kiddos in their PJs under their snowsuits for added fun – and ease at bedtime!
- Find a spot with a public washroom nearby (or a workplace you can access in an emergency).
- Don’t forget hats, mitts, and scarves for the adults as well as the kids.
- Most parades have volunteers collecting for the food bank and postal carriers gathering letters to Santa. Don’t forget to bring yours!
- Bring a camp chair or blanket to sit on, but be courteous of others.
- Invite friends and family to join you; it’s great to have one person save your spot while another takes a walk with little people not used to waiting.
- Be sure to take home whatever you bring with you; litter left along the route gets you straight on Santa’s naughty list!
Also happening alongside the parade is the City of Moncton’s light up ceremony. Enjoy treats at City Hall from 5-6pm, with the lighting of the trees at 5:30pm (the parade generally passes by shortly after).
If you’re heading downtown this weekend, make note that Euston Park Social’s winter weekends are back! They’ll be open Friday & Saturday, with local makers & more. They’re also planning the same for the next two weekends!
If you’re looking for a less busy parade option, Sackville Fire & Rescue are hosting their Parade of Lights on Saturday night, as well. Start time is 6:30pm.
If you’ve been following Pickle Planet for awhile, you know how much READING LOCAL means to us — and that Jennifer McGrath‘s Christmas books are always a must-read this time of year! If you don’t have any of her works yet on your shelves, make plans to head to Chapters on Saturday for an in-person opportunity (noon – 4pm) to pick up her lovely children’s books (options for toddlers to tweens!) and even have them signed. What a great present!
DancEast’s presentation of Clara’s Dream: A Nutcracker Story is happening Saturday & Sunday at the Riverview Arts Centre.
There’s a Sunday afternoon Wildcats game, against the Halifax Mooseheads. This game will host the annual Teddy Bear Toss; fans are encouraged to bring a new teddy bear to toss onto the ice when the Cats score.
THIS WEEKEND’S LOCAL CHRISTMAS MARKETS
- Riverview Light Up & Vendor Market, 3:30-8:30 (light up at 7pm)p
- Turner’s Christmas at the Coliseum, (Fri 2-9pm, Sat 10am-9pm, Sun 10am-5pm)
- Moncton Lion’s Club, 9am – 4pm
- Boyle Family Farm’s Christmas tree lot is open all week, with animals to visit on the weekend
HOT DRINKS & YUMMY EATS
We see Cafe l’amiral’s eggnog lattes and peppermint hot chocolates are back for the season! We’ve also been waiting for Wright’s Bakery’s winter drinks to appear; they had some delicious options last year. 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 when it reopens!
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.
MORE IDEAS FOR 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. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is playing at both, while Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile is at Trinity Drive.
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!
Here are just a few of the upcoming events we thought you might want to know about. We’ll be back next week with a full listing of local events & activities to enjoy with the family!
The Greater Moncton Scottish Association’s Christmas Dance Competition is happening Saturday, December 3. The public is invited to watch the young Highland Dancers perform; there will be merchandise for sale and a canteen available. Admission is
Christmas in the Country draws together dozens of great events throughout Albert County the first two weekends in December.
Planning a holiday party – or just some quiet nights at home with a little something fancy to drink? Check out some of our past holiday podcast episodes for inspiration & recipes — and stay tuned for our 2022 version soon!