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Fun Things to do in Halifax

Nova Scotia

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city guide

Halifax, in full Halifax Regional Municipality, city and capital of Nova Scotia, Canada. A major amalgamation and incorporation as Halifax Regional Municipality (referred to as HRM) occurred in 1996 and united the City of Halifax, the City of Dartmouth, the Town of Bedford, and Halifax County Municipality within boundaries that include the original Halifax county (with the exception of First Nations [Native American] reserves). Halifax is a navy creation. It owes its existence largely to its location on one of the largest and deepest ice-free natural harbours in the world, which, over time, made Halifax one of the most important Canadian commercial ports on the Atlantic seaboard. At latitude 44 N, it is nearly halfway between the Equator and the North Pole, giving Halifax a relatively mild winter climate. The original city occupied a rocky peninsula 4.5 miles (7.2 km) long and 2 miles (3.2 km) wide that protrudes into the inlet and divides the harbour into an inner (Bedford) and outer basin. Inc. 1841. Pop. (2011) 390,096; (2021) 439,819.


Best time to go

The best time to visit Halifax is May through October. Summer and fall experience pleasant weather and usher in numerous festivals. However, these months also attract lots of tourists, so be prepared for steep hotel rates. If you're looking to avoid the crowds and the high prices, visit between November and February.


Fun city facts and activities

    1- Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame
    The Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame is located in the ScotiaBank Center at 1800 Argyle Street.
    This non-profit organization officially opened in 1964 and holds more than 7000 artifacts and photographs. Unique artifacts include an 1870s penny-farthing bicycle and a 19th century wooden cricket bat.
    The best part is the Sidney Crosby Exhibit that features the famous dryer that Crosby used to practice shooting in his parents basement in Cole Harbour.

    2 Maritime Command Museum
    The Maritime Command Museum is located at the Canadian Forces Base Halifax (Stradacona) on Gottingen Street.
    Located in a stately Georgian Mansion called Admiralty House, the museum holds a library of over 50 thousand volumes. Also included in the collection are historical artifacts including model ships, weapons, photos, medals and much more.

    3 Cole Harbour Heritage Farm
    The Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum is about a 15-minute drive from downtown Halifax, at 471 Poplar Drive.
    Dedicated to preserving Cole Harbours agricultural past they have a wonderful selection of animals, a garden and tea room. The site has eight heritage buildings, dating from 1780 to 1938. Most of the buildings are set up as museums and house a fantastic selection of antiques. This museum is a lot of fun for kids.

    4 Scott Manor House Museum
    Scott Manor House is a Provincial and Municipal Heritage Property located at 15 Fort Sackville Road in Bedford.
    Built in the 1700_s, it is the only full two and a half storey, gambler-roofed colonial structure in Nova Scotia. The third floor attics hand-hewn floorboards and handmade nails are still intact. There is a tea room and reading room in the house.

    5 Shearwater Aviation Museum
    Located at 34 Bonaventure St, in Shearwater, about a 15-minute drive from downtown Halifax, the Shearwater Aviation Museum is a fantastic addition to your day trip to Fishermans Cove.
    The museum has a library, uniform collection, flight simulator, art gallery, gift shop and a casino online T-33 cockpit. There are also 11 actual aircrafts to see including a Canadair Tutor CT-114 Snowbird and Swordfish HS469.

    6 William Ray Quaker Whaler House
    William Ray was a Quaker and cooper, from Nantucket, who moved to Dartmouth in 1785. As a cooper her serviced the local whaling industry. His house is the oldest in Dartmouth and one of the oldest in Halifax, and it closely resembles Quaker houses in Nantucket.
    The Quaker Whaler House is located at 57 59 Ochterloney Street, in Dartmouth.

    7 University Art Galleries
    The Dalhousie University Art Gallery at 6101 University Avenue, The Anna Leonowens Gallery (Nova Scotia College of Art and Design) at 1891 Granville Street, The Saint Marys University Art Gallery at 923 Robie Street and the Mount St. University Art Gallery at 166 Bedford Highway are all free of charge and hold large collections of Canadian and local art.

    8 Canadas Naval Memorial: HMCS Sackville
    The Canadian Naval Memorial is housed in the HMCS Sackville, the only remaining Flower Class Corvette and the oldest warship in Canada. The ship was built in Saint John, NB in 1940. The HMCS Sackville was chosen to be Canadas Naval Memorial because of its role in the Battle of the Atlantic.
    The ship is only open to the public from mid June to late October or by request and is located at Sackville Landing at the Halifax Waterfront.

    9 York Redoubt National Historic Site of Canada
    York Redoubt is located off Purcells Cove Road, about a 20 minute drive from Halifax.
    This 200-year-old fortification was originally built in 1793. The batteries were strengthened, over the years, to create an impressive fort, high on a hill, overlooking the Halifax Harbour. You can wander among the fortifications and enjoy incredible views at this free National Historic Site.

    10 Emera Oval
    The Emera Oval on the Halifax North Common is a great choice if youre looking for a free family activity. Not only is your entrance free, but they also offer free ice skate, roller skate and helmet rentals in both summer and winter.
    Keep an eye out for other free events, such as concerts, throughout the year!

City facts

Neighborhoods to explore

    Windmill Road
    Westwood & the Pubs
    Graham's Corner
    North Woodside

Food Specialties

    Nova Scotia is famously known for its seafood and in particular lobster and scallops. Being located on the Atlantic ocean you can't get much fresher seafood than what we have in our restaurants. Unless you eat it fresh off the boat, on the wharf that is.

Halifax Offbeat activities

Free or cheap things to do

1. Take a ghost tour of Halifax - Explore the dark side of the city on a tour of haunted sites.

2. Take a cruise around the harbour - View the city from a different perspective on a cruise around Halifax harbour.

3. Visit the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic - This museum has a vast collection of artifacts and exhibits that tell the stories of Halifax's maritime history.

4. Take a walking tour of the Citadel Hill - A visit to the star-shaped fort will take you back in time.

5. Take a guided tour of the Titanic gravesite - Visit the gravesite of the famous ship at Fairview Lawn Cemetery.

6. Visit the Halifax Public Gardens - Explore the historic gardens and enjoy the blooms of the various flowers.

7. Go on a food tour - Sample the best of Halifax's food offerings with a food tour.

8. Visit the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History - Learn about

Offbeat activites
Kid friendly

Fun things to do in with kids

Free or cheap things to do

1. Take a look at one of the many events happening in and around Halifax! Explore concerts, sports, volunteering opportunities, market events, and more!

2. Visit Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum. The home of a comprehensive collection of artifacts and exhibits depicting Atlantic Canada's aviation history. You can walk into a cockpit, view old engines, and explore the history of all types of planes. This is a great family outing where kids will be attracted by the amazing displays.

3. Walk to the Halifax Seaport Farmer's Market. This is a fun walk-through for the kids as there are over 250 vendors to shop or eat at. Get the kids involved as they can pick out fresh produce and help fill your shopping basket with goodies.

4. Young minds will never run out of things to explore at the Museum of Natural History. Experience geology, mammals, aquatic life, and more! Plus, the museum is home to numerous living specimens that make Nova Scotia their home.

5. Go visit the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. There is so much to see at the second-largest art museum in Atlantic Canada. The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is an inclusive public gathering place that connects people with art to inspire new ways of thinking.

6. The whole family can enjoy laser tag at Action Laser Tag. This is a great way to have fun and stay active. Have a blast chasing each other around and competing for the most points!

7. Kids who come to Pier 21 can learn the stories of the country's 1.5 million immigrants. Visitors can map family trees, play dress-up in period costumes, or listen to digital stories. This is a great way to keep kids connected to their ancestors and the countrys history.

8. Visit Hatfield Farm. It is open year-round for weddings, corporate & family parties, kids' birthday parties, trail rides, pony rides, lessons, and wagon/sleigh rides. Kids will see and learn about different animals and how to take care of them at the petting zoo.

9. As the largest forested park on the peninsula, families have much to explore at Point Pleasant Park. Visitors can expect to see many park benches, off-leash dog walking, a supervised beach, and St. Aspinquid's Chapel where many notable people are buried in the stone amphitheater. This is a popular place for weddings and family events.

10. Treat your family to some delicious dessert at Dee Dee's Ice Cream. There are many options of both hard and soft ice cream in different flavours. Try one youve never had before!

11. Both a museum and a social gathering place, the Black Cultural Centre showcases the history and culture of Nova Scotians of African descent. The whole family can enjoy workshops, jazz festivals, historic ceremonies, and more.

12. Enjoy the walking trails and a day outside with the family at Sir Sanford Fleming Park. This is a great way to get some fresh air and spend quality time together. Take a walk to the wharf and the sandy beach.

13. Visit the Naval Museum of the Atlantic. Its the oldest and largest Maritime Museum in Canada and interprets various elements of Nova Scotia's marine history. The museum is a valuable historical, cultural, and educational institution.

14. Visit the Discovery Centre. This is a non-profit organization that focuses on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, and math) through interactive learning experiences. You are guaranteed to have a good time and learn something new while doing it!

15. For 6 days in August the Halifax Busker Festival is a must-see for families! With multiple stages along the Halifax waterfront, you'll see mind-blowing shows from the world's top street performing artists.

16. Take the family for a hike at Hemlock Ravine Park. The park consists of a heart-shaped pond with a variety of wide and narrow paths that are great to walk around with your family and your dog.

17. Come have fun at the Ice Patch Hollow Indoor Playground! This is a great way to get the kids out of the house and keeping them active! Kids can make new friends and enjoy the games and climbing structures while the parents sit back and relax.

18. Try and escape in one of the Captured Escape Rooms. There are six rooms to choose from and it's up to you to try and escape in time! This is great to do as a family activity, birthday party, or for any reason to celebrate.

19. Take the whole family to Xen-Z Virtual Reality which provides amazing virtual reality experiences for all to enjoy. You can feel the thrill of piloting a fighter jet or the rush of formula racing.

20. Take the kids to one of the many playgrounds in Halifax. It is always good to get outside and spend some time as a family. Bring a frisbee or a ball to throw around, have fun, and enjoy outside play.

21. Have a family movie night at home or go out to one of the movie theatres in Halifax. Who doesn't enjoy a relaxing night watching a movie?

22. Go shopping in downtown Halifax. The area has a variety of small shops, plus plenty of places to get a snack while you're exploring.

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City data and FAQ 

What's unique about Halifax?
It is a port city where people come and go frequently. Somebody you meet could be from anywhere. It is very much the regional centre, and has a very high number of students and people here for only a few years with the military, research and government. There is a vibrant nightlife culture. The weather is comparatively mild, but it could be 10C any day of the year.
Lukas Pearse - Lives in Halifax, NS

Is Halifax, Canada worth visiting?
I will tell you what I like about Halifax. Halifax is a big port on the Atlantic Ocean. It has a beautiful park that you can visit, and you can swim there as well. It has a walking trail. It has a theatre for live performances. It has three universities. The downtown is a lively spot with lots of bars, restaurants, entertainment. There is a Busker Fest in the summer. There are lots of sporting events. There is the Scotiabank Centre to watch minor league hockey. Spring Garden Road is the place to go for small shops. There are a number of shopping malls. There is also Bayers Lake Park for shopping. The waterfront is a great place to go to walk and shop and view the harbour. There are harbour tours. I recommend a tour. I was on one. It was great. There used to be a tour of the city that visited historic spots in the city. I dont know if they still do this or not. I also went on a bus tour of Halifax. I enjoyed it as well. There is a very old cemetery that is downtown. You can also visit the graves of some victims of the Titanic. There is also museums. If you like Titanic artifacts, you can visit the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. I could keep on going, but I think you can get an idea of what Halifax has to offer.
Joyce Power - Lives in Halifax, NS

A definite YES. A beautiful seaport on the Atlantic Ocean port in eastern Canada, it is the provincial capital of Nova Scotia, which is a very beautiful peninsula to vacation in.
Wally White - Visited 100+ countries; 7 Continents; and all 50 US States

What is Halifax famous for?
With the world's second-largest natural harbor and being the lively hub of Atlantic Canada, Halifax is best known for its historical charm, community spirit, fresh seafood and incredible natural landscapes. Make the most of your visit with these must-visit attractions.

What is Halifax known for food?
The Donair - Halifax's official food. The iconic donair has been infiltrating westward in Canada, but make no mistake its roots are deep in Nova Scotia, Halifax to be exact. In 2015 this saucy, meaty, messy wrap became the official food of Halifax.
Halifax in the donair capital of the world. But as far as local, historical cuisine, seafood is where it is at in Halifax.
Lynn - Legal Support Contractor

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