Five Holiday Themed Road Trips in Nova Scotia

twas the month before christmas event

Twinkling lights, jackalopes, giant gingerbread, parades, carolling, hot cider and Yuletide markets. The holidays have arrived in Nova Scotia. Take Christmas light-spotting to the next level with a holiday themed road trip through our beautiful province.


Christmas on the Mersey
December 1, 2019
We attended this event for the first time last year, and it is a truly lovely holiday event. Experience the coming together of communities and people along the historic Mersey River in Liverpool, Nova Scotia. This event is held in partnership with the Acadia First Nation, who will gather the community around the Great Fire Pit for Mi’kmaq dance and lighting of the fire.  There is a tree lighting, a candlelit walk across the bridge and a parade of light taking place on both land and on the historic Mersey River. Read about our experience in 2016 HERE. (Note: Christmas on the Mersey is now part of the South Shore Christmas Crawl. The complete 2019 schedule is here.)

Gingerbread House Festival
November 29 – December 1, 2019
This time of year the town and shops in Chester, Nova Scotia are transformed into a festive game of I Spy. Discover elaborate gingerbread displays and hundreds of giant wooden gingerbread! Now in its eighth year, the Gingerbread House Festival invites the community and visitors to visit, vote for their favourite Gingerbread creations, and even create their own. The creations are truly impressive, take a peek over on their Facebook page HERE.

Read about our experiences at the Gingerbread House Festival HERE.

Christmas Displays Nova Scotia

Secret Decorations in Clare
December 2019
If you need a little help getting in the holiday spirit, a road trip to Clare is a good start. The “little woods” on the St. Anne campus are transformed for the holidays with hundreds of ornaments beautifully displayed along the trails. No one is quite sure who decorates the woods, but it was one of my favourite discoveries last year.

See more photos from our magical walk through Le Petit Bois HERE.

Father Christmas Festival Mahone Bay
November 29 – December 8, 2019
Walk the streets of Mahone Bay and delight in life-size, hand crafted Father Christmas figures. It’s a truly enchanting time to visit the town, and it’s more than just decorations. During the event there are many family friendly events, including the Fantasy Christmas Experience, the Yuletide Gourmet Market, Carollers & Concerts, a Decorated House Tour and so much more!  See the schedule of events HERE.

You can also read about our experiences and see more photos of this event HERE.

Barrington Festival of Lights
Various events November 21 – December 14, 2019
The Barrington Festival of Lights kicked off on November 23, 2017 with fireworks and the lighting of the Lobster Trap Tree, a giant Christmas “tree” made of lobster traps. The tree is an important community fixture, commemorating fishermen lost at sea, those who have passed, and those who continue to make their living on the ocean. And every trap the tree is made of has sat at the bottom of the ocean, and been recycled to its new purpose. See the full schedule of events HERE.

We visited the Lobster Trap Tree for the first time last year during a holiday road trip along the South Shore which you can read about HERE.

Want more fun holiday dates and ideas? Check out our other holiday road trips and our 12 Dates Of Christmas series:

Christmas on the Mersey
A Holiday Road Trip Along Nova Scotia’s South Shore
Maple Brunch at Sugar Moon
Meeting Santa and His Reindeer at Shubenacadie Wildlife Park
Christmas Light Tour of Halifax
The Halifax Oval
Holiday GLO
Handmade Holidays
Real Trees and DIY Trimmings
A Little Spirit (Spa)
Burgers for a Cause
Neptune Theatre
Dessert For Dinner & Fun Local Finds
The Algonquin

About the author

The Local Traveler

Two travellers' tales of finding adventure on the East Coast. This blog is dedicated to the best parts of travel, and to discovering, celebrating and promoting things to do in our corner of the world, and sometimes beyond. We especially love craft beer, day trips, romantic escapes, local food & hidden gems. Join our community on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and share tips and photos of your favourite East Coast adventures.

Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube