The nearly 2-year-old twins enjoyed dancing and a carousel at the festive market

By Peter Mikelbank
Updated December 05, 2016 02:43 PM
Eric Mahon/Courtesy of Prince's Palace

Carousel horses, a shiny red fire wagon, music, lights and a family surprise: Monaco’s royal twins, Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques, know how to do the holidays right.

The twins, who turn 2 on December 10, made an unscheduled visit to Monaco’s Christmas market on Saturday with their mom, Princess Charlene — and surprised their dad, Prince Albert.

Eric Mahon/Courtesy of Prince's Palace

“It was a great family hour,” one attendee tells PEOPLE.

After opening the principality’s traditional Christmas village on the Port of Hercules pier, Prince Albert moved to an adjacent village, where he was met by Princess Charlene and the twins.

Eric Mahon/Courtesy of Prince's Palace

“The princess wasn’t scheduled to attend, but she decided to come as a surprise,” says the observer. “A surprise to Daddy and the children. It was her idea, and you can’t imagine how much everyone enjoyed it.”

Eric Mahon/Courtesy of Prince's Palace

The family moment occurred just as a traditional Palladienne dance troupe performed and both children joined in, dancing along, with Gabriella in particular waving enthusiastically to the dancers and crowds.

Carried in their parents’ arms, the kids then toured a number of the chalet-style booths selling handicrafts and regional specialty foods before concluding their afternoon with their first carousel ride.

Eric Mahon/Courtesy of Prince's Palace

“They started out on the carousel horses with the prince and princess holding on,” says the observer. “Then Princess Charlene thought to put them in a small red firetruck and she held on to them. Afterward, they rode around on their own. There must have been four, maybe five, rides on the carousel.”