The holiday season is fast approaching and St. John’s is all a bustle. The sidewalks are dressed in holiday style and the city is gearing up for a winter wonderland of festive events and classic Newfoundland activities, including the 6 listed below.

All Dressed Up


All dressed up and so many places to go. This may not be your typical holiday getup but you will fit right in for the Mummers Festival. Each year, the Mummers Festival hosts events over the first two weeks of December leading up to its crowning event, the Mummers Parade. Watch in delight or throw together an assortment of clothes to take to the streets in your silliest disguise.

Where: Parade Route in Georgetown, St. John’s. Locations vary for other events throughout the festival.
When: Parade December 14. Festivals runs from November 30 – December 18.
What: From ugly stick workshops to carolling and the finale, a parade in the streets of St. John’s. Participating in the Parade is of course free.
Mummers Festival calendar of events

Feel Merry & Bright

Photo By: Instagram @ purple_lady43

Take in the show of lights and festive spirit at the Merry & Bright Light Show at MUN Botanical Gardens. Here you can tour the winter landscape while sipping hot chocolate and joining in for a few carols beside their toasty winter open fire.

Where: MUN Botanical Gardens, 306 Mt Scio Rd, St. John’s. Shuttle Bus available from The Marine Institute
When: Runs daily from December 4-22 from 5pm -8pm
What: Admission
Adult (18+): $13.00
Child (3 to 17): $7.00 (ages 2 and under are free)
Family (2 adults & 3 children): $35.00
Purchase Tickets Here

A Crafty Af(fair)

Photo by: Instagram @ NLknits & eezzyymatt

Whether you’re simply going out to twack (window shop) or to purchase presents for your family, friends or even yourself, the holiday season is the perfect time to visit a craft fair or two.  Local artists handcraft everything from trigger mittens to pottery, to jewelry featuring labradorite stones – showcasing the unique and beautiful souvenirs of our province.

Where: To see a list of upcoming events including craft fairs at the Quidi Vidi Village Plantation and Quidi Vidi Brewery visit our event calendar.

Merry Brew Year

Photo By: Instagram @ Jenna Brake

What better way to get into the holiday spirit than with actual spirits. A brewery excursion around the bay with McCarthy’s Party Brew Bus will take you to two regional craft breweries and a distillery with a grand finale in Port de Grave to experience the annual Boat Lighting. This 20 year tradition lights up the fishing harbour with long liners trimmed with Christmas lights.

Where: Start in St. John’s with a bus tour along the Baccaleiu Trail to Port de Grave and back again to St. John’s.
What: $105 (+tax) per person, minimum of 12 people. Length of tour 6.5 hour, start time at 2:00 PM. Book your tour here.

Winter Bird Watching

Photo by: Instagram @ Brendan Kelly

“Four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.”

If the first four days of the classic Christmas carol sings to you then birding on the rock should be your next winter activity. Newfoundland is known for being a bird watchers paradise but it’s not just the Atlantic puffins and Northern gannets that flock to our shores. Our island destination is often a refuge for uncommon waterfowl, brightly painted songbirds and more. The winter season is an ideal time to explore the coast and boreal forests on the search for unique and plentiful birds. While here be sure to add to the Newfoundland & Labrador winter list with this one day birding excursion based in St. John’s.

What: Bird the Rock Packages starting at $379 for one day of guided birding + one night’s accommodations. ($499 for two people, based on double occupancy). Tours include lunch; breakfast included with room at the ALT Hotel. Discounts available for bookings of 3+ days or 3+ people. Click here to learn more.

Dashing Through The Snow

Photo by: instagram @ Scully_95 and jennoneill28

Though St. John’s is typically more temperate, due to our coastal location, we still get a fair bit of snow. It tends to come and go so when it is here it’s hard not to enjoy it. The ultimate snow lovers activity is snowshoeing through Pippy Park and other trails. The Outfitters also offer weekly evening and daytime snowshoe hikes subject to weather.

What: Snowshoe Friday Evening Hikes with The Outfitters are approximately 5km and are 2 to 2.5 hours.  If you require rentals, please drop by their shop at 220 Water Street prior to the hike.

Daytime hikes are also available. Snowshoe Day Tours – $89 without rentals or $99 with rentals.  Tours are 4-6 hours – depending on the route. These are guided tours and include a light lunch, a campfire and hot chocolate. Be sure to book your spot.

Published: December 5, 2019