November 30, 2022
The weather’s getting cooler, the days are getting shorter, and the kids are starting to try really hard to be good! It can only mean one thing — the holiday season is here! And this year, we’re excited to share that amazing events are taking place all around the Maritimes. Prince Edward Island,Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are buzzing with exciting activities for folks of all ages. So, whether you’re searching for the perfect gift for your friends and loved ones or want to get caught up in that festive feeling, the happenings in the Maritimes this season are sure to put you in the ho-ho-holiday spirit
Here are a few fantastically festive events you can look forward to.
On Prince Edward Island, Cavendish and its neighbouring communities are bringing the good tidings to you with their Good Tidings on the North Shore event. Running every weekend through December 18, this event features fun local shopping, pop-up activities at different businesses, special holiday workshops, trail hikes (yes, actual walking in a winter wonderland), community theatre, and so much more.
Learn how to make wonderful Christmas and holiday signs, practice your centrepiece and wreath-making skills, or show off your creativity by decorating gingerbread houses. Fuel the holiday fun at Burger Blitz Sundays, or take in a performance of A Christmas Carol at the Watermark Theatre. And, of course, you can also stop by Anne’s house to view the Christmas decorations, decorate cookies, listen to carollers and get a quick photo at the holiday photo booth. While on the North Shore, be sure to shop local at the many beautiful boutiques in the area.
Anyone who’s spent time in Charlottetown during this time of year knows they take the holiday season very seriously — and this year is no exception! In fact, not only are they once again hosting their annual Charlottetown Christmas Festival, they’ve expanded it to be bigger than ever! Running through January 2, this magical festival is full of fun for all ages. To officially welcome the spirit of Christmas, stop by the Confederation Centre of the Arts for Charlottetown’s Christmas Tree Lighting and Candlelight Walk. For Grinch fans (but not Grinches!), there’s the return of Whoville — where more than 50 unique, handmade Whoville-inspired characters are on display to greet visitors along the Confederation Centre Plaza and Victoria Row. And that’s just the beginning! When you visit Charlottetown this season, you can enjoy Breakfasts with Santa, Yuletide Walking Tours, holiday movies at City Cinema, horse and wagon rides, wine tasting, the hot chocolate trail and more. Also, don’t forget about the holiday magic on the Plaza and Holiday Dreams, A Spectacular Holiday Cirque — they’re sure to put you in the spirit!
In New Brunswick, Saint John is getting in on the seasonal fun you can enjoy as soon as you arrive aboard MV Fundy Rose. On December 2 — and running all season long — join us as we light up Uptown in holiday lights and cheer at Uptown Sparkles! The Mayor of Saint John will be on hand for the tree-lighting ceremony, and the historic City Market will be lit up in full holiday mode! Not only that, but there will also be Victorian carollers, horse trolley rides, a holiday craft market full of local vendors, specials and treats at Uptown restaurants and boutiques, and much more. In addition, the Gingerbread Trail is happening once again this holiday season! Embark on a magical journey of beautifully decorated gingerbread displays scattered throughout businesses in Uptown Saint John.
While promenading through Uptown Saint John, make your way to the Saint John Theatre Company, where they will be playing the Christmas classic, Miracle on 34th Street. “To market, to market, to buy a fat pig! Home again, home again, jiggety-jig.” Well, of course, we know you won’t be buying a fat pig, but you will, in fact, be looking to pick up some nice gifts for loved ones! So why not spend Saturdays with Santa at Market Square. Running from November 26 to December 17, relish in the season’s highlights with Christmas decorations, music and some shopping. No doubt about it, this will be a perfect time to see all that Uptown Saint John has to offer.
Beyond Saint John in the village of St. Martins, they’re celebrating the season right with Christmas in the Village. Every Saturday from November 26 – December 18, St. Martins will transform into a holiday wonderland, complete with vendors offering a wide selection of hand-crafted, locally-made gifts. You’re sure to find something for everybody on your list. And, if you’re looking for even more holiday markets, make your way to the Outdoor European Style Christmas Market in Hampton on Fridays, 4 – 9pm and Saturdays, 12- 9pm, from November 18 to December 10. Here, eat, drink and be merry while shopping for unique gifts for family and friends. Children will also have the opportunity to take photos with Father Christmas, just in time to send out your Christmas cards.
If you’ve visited Halifax during the holiday season before, then you know the Halifax Christmas Tree Lighting is a must! This event will propel you into the upcoming festivities of the season. If you’re looking for something to do to really put you into the magic of Christmas, a stroll through Glow Gardens is just the event you need. From November 23 – January 2, marvel at millions of twinkling lights, towering exhibits, and interactive activities — all while enjoying a selection of food, beverages, and holiday hits. But it doesn’t stop there! Be sure to check out the winter market and browse for gifts created by local artisans. Speaking of lights, we must admit nothing shows the spirit of Yuletide more than strolling through the city past sparkling lights. Stop by Halifax City Hall for a light projection or promenade through the Public Gardens and be mesmerized by the dazzling light displays. Finally, we would be remiss if we did not mention a stop by the homes of the brothers Giacomantonio en route to any of the activities mentioned above. Thousands of people stop by their homes on Connaught Avenue to gaze upon their elaborate decorations — a tradition that all began honouring their mother’s love for Christmas.
Music is in our DNA here in the Maritimes. And when the holidays roll around, there’s nothing we like more than singing songs with the ones we love. Luckily, there are plenty of performances on the calendar this year — with music for fans of every style!
On December 10, you can check out Reeny Smith’s Family Christmas at the Chester Legion. This show mixes gospel with contemporary R&B and Jazz for a performance that, just like the name implies, will be loved by the entire family!
Lenny Gallant will be bringing his fifth annual Innkeeper’s Christmas tour across Nova Scotia (and all the Maritime provinces) this holiday season. The show is in support of his album, Christmas Day on Planet Earth, and is sure to be filled with new songs and holiday classics alike — as well as maybe a few of Lenny’s best-known favourites!
If you’re in the mood for four weeks of fun this holiday season in Halifax, you’ll want to experience everything the Evergreen Festival has to offer. Running November 25 – December 18, this winter showcase is all about highlighting the things that make Nova Scotia so great. There are arts and crafts, food and spirits, beautiful bright lights, and all kinds of culture.
Are holiday lights your thing? You’ll love the glow of Evergreen Bright, an outdoor trail of twinkling lights and storefront displays throughout downtown and along the waterfront. And while you’re on the waterfront, be sure to visit the Evergreen Market, where local vendors will be selling the coolest seasonal goods. In addition, there are themed Soups & Sips at restaurants around town that are certain to keep you feeling full and warm as you explore. And if you’d like to dance the night away, make your way to the Evergreen Stage presented by the Jazz East Rising Association, where the weather won’t be frightful, and the tunes will be so delightful!
Make your list, check it twice, and make sure you get out and explore the Maritimes this holiday season! And when you do, be sure to include a voyage on MV Fundy Rose, or Northumberland Ferries, in your plans!