‘Tis the season to be jolly and we can’t think of any better way to get in the festive spirit than visiting PEI’s charming capital for the Charlottetown Christmas Festival presented by the Confederation Court Mall, Nov 29th – Dec 1st.
Celebrating its 6th year, the three-day festival, formerly known as Victorian Christmas Weekend, has quickly become a beloved yuletide tradition of both locals and visitors alike and is jam-packed with timeless holiday activities for all ages.
Here are 10 Ways to Kick Off the Holiday Season at the Charlottetown Christmas Festival.
PEI’s largest open-air winter market is back and bigger than ever! Inspired by European Christmas markets, the streets of Charlottetown will be shut down to make room for more than 60 local vendors. Discover local artisan wares, tasty foods, Christmas crafts and more while enjoying the market’s festive ambience created by warm fire pits, sparkling lights and plenty of Christmas decor.
Santa loves a big Christmas celebration and he’ll be around all weekend long for visits with good boys and girls! Hang with Santa at the Charlottetown Christmas Market and the Confederation Court Mall throughout the Festival and, of course, make sure you give him a big wave as he winds his way through the streets during the Charlottetown Christmas Parade!
Want to treat the kids to an extra special experience?
Water’s Edge at the Delta Prince Edward will be hosting a very special “Breakfast with Santa”!
Treat yourself to a Charlottetown Christmas getaway and enjoy exceptional rates and special holiday-inspired packages at some of Charlottetown’s most welcoming accommodations. Available exclusively during the Festival (Nov 29 – Dec 1), nightly rates with participating hotels/inns start at $99. Some hotels even like to get into the holiday spirit by offering fun add ons such as the Delta’s “Breakfast with Santa” event.
When the cold starts to nip at your nose, it’s time to cross the street into the Confederation Court Mall’s Warm-Up Zone where plenty more fun awaits. Get toasty and keep the kids entertained with a card and colouring station, face painting and more all Saturday and Sunday afternoon!
There’s nothing that brings the community together quite like The Charlottetown Christmas Parade, which takes place on the evening of Saturday, Nov 30. This beloved annual tradition gives visitors a unique opportunity to experience a very special Christmas celebration for many Islanders. Families fill the sidewalks to cheer on dozens of brightly-lit floats and children are encouraged to bring their letters for Santa to be collected by Canada Post employees.
For more info on the parade route and time, click here.
New to the scene in 2019, Founders’ Food Hall & Market will be joining the Festival fun, with an array of activities and special offers for shoppers and hungry folk. Located on the waterfront, this special historic space is now home to over 20 local food and artisan vendors, so you’ll be sure to find something to suit every taste, from hot vegan eats to German marzipan treats to bespoke gifts and so much more.
The City of Charlottetown and Discover Charlottetown are bringing back a crowd favourite: FREE horse-drawn wagon rides! Families can experience this timeless winter tradition and enjoy the beauty of historic downtown Charlottetown the way it’s meant to be viewed. Find the starting point on the corner of Queen St. and Richmond St.
PRO TIP: line-ups for this attraction can get long during peak times but early birds are likely to luck out with short waits.
It’s not a Christmas celebration until the sounds of classic carols fill the streets. You can look forward to sing-alongs and traditional caroling all weekend long as you roam the Christmas Market and Confederation Court Mall and soak in the beautiful harmonies of the UPEI Music Society carollers.
Be sure to also catch live music at the Market stage on Queen St. and the Mall at select times throughout the Festival. The kids will also love Mike The Music Man, who will be performing as part of the Confederation Court Mall’s Pre-Parade Party on Saturday (2:30pm- 4pm).
Well, maybe not a reindeer, but the Christmas-themed petting zoo will be sure to create adorable moments that you will be glad you brought your camera for. Find it in front of The Guild on Queen St during the Charlottetown Christmas Market.
The Charlottetown Christmas Festival will be serving up a selection of your favourite classic Christmas movies to enjoy throughout the weekend. Grab a mug of hot chocolate and treats from the Market, then settle in for a healthy dose of holiday nostalgia.
There you have it – 10 reasons you’ll want to mark your calendar and join the fun at the Charlottetown Christmas Festival from November 29th to December 1st. For more details and a full schedule of events click here.