Make the most out of the holiday season in the Maritimes this year and add these festive experiences around our ports to your itinerary.

Celebrate the most magical time of the year in the Maritimes with Northumberland and Bay Ferries. Whether you’re taking the ferry to visit loved ones, exploring a new destination or looking for some holiday experiences to get into the Christmas spirit, magical moments await here on the East Coast of Canada. To give you those festive feelings, we’ve compiled a list of some of the many events taking place around the region this holiday season. There’s something for everyone here this time of year and there’s no better way to get the perfect keepsake, create new memories and celebrate the holidays with the ones that mean the most than at one of these many special events.

Saint John, New Brunswick

A snowy street in Saint John, New Brunswick
Location: Saint John / Photo Credit: @Sjxposed
2nd Annual Outdoor European Style Christmas Market: Sundays from November 17 to December 8, 2023

On Sundays throughout the holiday season, visit the 2nd Annual Outdoor European Style Christmas Market. Taking place at Belding Hills Farm, this event features over 40 vendors, all selling unique hand-crafted items, winter warmers and many food and drink options to fuel the fun. When you’re finished shopping, take in the scenic views from The Farm and see it decked out with Christmas lights and music.

Rockwood Park German Christmas Market: Weekends between November 17 to December 17, 2023

On weekends throughout November and December, get into the holiday spirit at the Rockwood Park German Christmas Market and explore their wood stalls filled with local vendors, delightful nutcrackers, tasty gingerbread, mouth-watering bratwurst, delicious mulled wine and a symphony of lights and decorations.

The Annual St. John Christmas Parade: November 26, 2023

For both the young and the young at heart, get that festive feeling at the Annual Downtown Saint John Christmas Parade. Join Santa and his special friends in the historic Downtown Saint John and pick your favourite spot on the sidewalk along the parade route to help welcome the Big Guy to town! Deliver your letters to Santa and don’t forget to bring along a non-perishable food item or a donation for the Community Food Sharing Association.

Uptown Sparkles: December 1, 2023

Celebrate the beginning of the season at Uptown Sparkles with music, outdoor firepits, ice sculptures and winter-friendly outdoor activities! Many Uptown boutiques, shops, restaurants, cafés, businesses and galleries offer special activities and stay open late for the festivities.

Craft NB’s Christmas Festival: December 1-3, 2023

Craft NB’s Christmas Festival is returning to Saint John December 1-3 at a new location, the UNG Grand Hall. The annual festival showcases fine craft by master craftspeople working in glass, leather, pottery, jewellery, metalworks, fine art, wood, fibre, basketry and more. Tickets are $5 for the whole weekend.

A Child is Born – Cantores Celestes Maritimes & Saint John Men’s Chorus: December 9, 2023

The Cantores Celestes Maritimes will perform A Child is Born in the beautiful Stella Maris Church. This church is known for its incredible acoustics, so the performance is sure to sound fantastic. Whether you love medieval and renaissance music or more contemporary masterpieces, you’ll get into the spirit of Christmas at this live event. Tickets are $25 per person.

9th Annual Mayor’s Tree Lighting: December 13, 2023

Join Mayor Nancy Grant and Council for the 9th Annual Mayor’s Tree Lighting, featuring live music, ice skating and sights and sounds that will bring the holiday season to life in the heart of Rothesay.

Yarmouth and Acadian Shores, Nova Scotia

Two people walking around a snowy, lit up park at night.
Location: Frost Park, Yarmouth / Photo Credit: Tourism Nova Scotia / Photographer: @daveyandsky
ELF: The Musical: November 24-25, 2023

If you plan on visiting Yarmouth and Acadian Shores with Bay Ferries during the holidays, be sure to add ELF: The Musical to your travel itinerary. You can watch this musical take on a holiday favourite at the Th’Yarc Playhouse and Arts Centre on select dates throughout November. Tickets are available for $25 for adults and $18 for youth.

Community Family Christmas Party: November 26, 2023

Join the Community Family Christmas Party in Yarmouth to get ready for the festive season with a variety of kid-friendly activities, including a bouncy castle, photos with Santa, gingerbread house decorating, letters to Santa and more! The event is free, with light refreshments provided.

Pictou, Nova Scotia

Colourful buildings on a wharf, frozen harbour in front of a sunrise
Location: Pictou Waterfront / Photo Credit: Tourism Nova Scotia / Photographer: @daveyandsky
Jon Mullane’s The Feels Like Christmas Tour: November 24, 2023

Sing to the songs of the holidays with award-winning Jon Mullane’s “The Feels Like Christmas Tour” with Special Guest Alfie Zappacosta at the Glasgow Square Theatre. Spend the night with two great Canadian artists for an uplifting evening of holiday music and the hits you know.

Christmas Light Up: December 1, 2023

Ring in the Christmas season in Pictou at the annual Christmas Light-up held at Market Square on December 1. Watch a festive parade in downtown Pictou, a vibrant tree lighting ceremony, a live nativity, story reading with Mrs. Claus, local entertainment, complimentary hot chocolate and, of course, Santa’s visit.

Christmas Card Workshop: December 3, 2023

If you’re in the Pictou area on December 3, sign up for the Christmas Card Workshop at Glasgow Square at 2:30 pm. Get in touch with your creative side and make the perfect festive cards for your loved ones in a relaxing atmosphere with a glass of wine for $25 per person.

Charlottetown and Points East Coastal Region, PEI

A snowy residential street in Charlottetown with footprints in the snow.
Location: Charlottetown / Photo Credit: Tourism PEI / Photographer: Brian McInnis
Charlottetown Christmas Tree Lighting: November 24, 2023

Kick off the holidays on the Island with Charlottetown’s Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony. Beginning at Founder’s Hall at 6:15 pm, join the candlelight promenade all the way up to the Confederation Centre Plaza, where the Christmas Tree Lighting will take place at 6:30 pm. This family-friendly event will also feature entertainment, treats and a pyrotechnic display.

Souris Christmas Craft & Bake Fair: November 24-25, 2023

Start your holiday shopping at the Souris Christmas Craft & Bake Fair in the Acorn Room at the Eastern Kings Sportsplex, with a wide variety of artisans selling handcrafted items and baked goodies for the holidays. Tickets are $2 per person.

Charlottetown Christmas Festival: Weekends from November 24-December 24, 2023

Celebrate the holidays with the whole family at the 2023 Charlottetown Christmas Festival featuring the Victorian Christmas Market from November 24-26, 2023, the all-new Mistletoe Market on weekends from November 24 to December 24 and a variety of festive events like Breakfasts with Santa, Yuletide Walking Tours, holiday movies at City Cinema, horse & wagon rides, children’s entertainment & more. See the full schedule of events here.

PEI Crafts Council Craft Fair: November 24 & 26, 2023

Feeling crafty? The annual PEI Crafts Council Christmas Craft Fair will be held at the Seaport (Port Charlottetown) the weekend of November 24. This festive annual event features artisans selling pottery, visual art, leatherwork, jewellery, hand-painted silk, nature art, books, quilts, knits, mustard, woodworking, weaving, embroidery, photography, pet designs, chocolate and much more. You won’t want to miss PEI’s longest-running craft show this holiday season.

Charlottetown Christmas Parade: November 25, 2023

Join Santa in PEI’s capital city for the annual Charlottetown Christmas Parade! Watch the floats cruise by with your favourite Christmas characters and kick off the Christmas season with a joyful experience.

The Indigenous Artisans Christmas Market: November 25, 2023

The Indigenous Artisans Christmas Market will bring over 50 Indigenous Artisans from across the Mi’kmaq Territory of Epekwitk together to share their history, art and culture as part of the Charlottetown Christmas Festival. Learn about Mi’kmaq culture and discover Indigenous artists on your next trip to Charlottetown with Northumberland Ferries.

Christmas Cookies & Carols Concert: November 25, 2023

Get your sweet treat fix and sing along to classic Christmas carols at the Christmas Cookies & Carols Concert in Montague. Enjoy a magical evening with seasonal songs performed by the talented Kelley Mooney, one of PEI’s favourite entertainers.

Darren Morris Design Christmas Decorating Workshop: November 27, 2023

Get some tips for what’s in style this Christmas at the Darren Morris Design Christmas Decorating Workshop. This event, taking place in Souris, will surely bring compliments to your holiday home. Tickets are $15 per person and can be purchased at the Souris Town Hall or the Evergreen Cafe. Each ticket includes complimentary hot drinks and snacks at the event.

Barra MacNeils An East Coast Christmas: December 15, 2023

Enjoy an evening with East Coast legends ringing in the season at Barra MacNeils An East Coast Christmas. Relish in a highly entertaining mix of traditional and original seasonal fare stamped with a Celtic vibe, lush vocal harmonies and instrumental brilliance, all at the Sobey Family Theatre in Charlottetown. Tickets range from $38.20 to $52 and can be purchased here.

Mike Biggar and Terra Spencer’s Songs of the Season: December 17, 2023

Mike Biggar and Terra Spencer are bringing the Songs of the Season to Trailside Music Hall in Charlottetown this season. The show features many of their acclaimed, original holiday songs, inspiring carols and standards of the season — all playfully arranged in Biggar’s noted soulful, bluesy roots styling. Tickets are $38.99 per person.

Set Sail for the Holiday Season with Northumberland and Bay Ferries

Whether you’re home for the holidays or visiting for the season, there’s no better way to explore the Maritimes than aboard MV Fundy Rose and Northumberland Ferries. Pack your bags and make sure a journey by ferry is on your wish list this year! View our latest schedules and start planning your Maritime adventure today.