Wintertime vacations are a cherished child memory for many, so when you have kids of your own you want to get it right.
Luckily, Nova Scotia has several places to bring the whole family for great winter fun. These locations were chosen partly for their proximity to other sources of winter fun and partly for how family-friendly their grounds are. That way, no matter how frightful the weather might be, everyone can still have a fun winter trip!
If your kids like to play pretend, why not go on a Cowboy Adventure at Hatfield Farm? This includes accommodations (bring your own sleeping bag, but you’ll be inside so don’t worry), a farmer’s breakfast, dinner, and a sleigh ride!
During the day you can also explore the farm’s many offerings, from pony rides to the petting zoo. It’s a fun themed getaway less than an hour’s drive from Halifax so it’s a great choice for a winter long weekend.
Phone: 902-835-5676 or 1-877-835-5676
Address: 1840 Hammond Plains Road
Cabot Shores: The Cabot Trail’s Wilderness Resort
If you’ve ever wanted to see the Cabot Trail in the winter, making Cabot Shores your base is a great choice. They have a variety of lodging options, including yurts, the tiny house, chalets, and the lodge, so your only limits are the size of your group and how outdoorsy you want to be in the winter.
With trails nearby perfect for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, it’s perfect to enjoy all the winter fun you can handle.
If it’s a colder day, the Lodge has 2 common rooms packed with books, ping pong, pool, and board games for relaxing together and meeting other guests.
They also have a breakfast buffet where kids under 10 eat more cheaply, so you can start your day with everyone choosing what they want and however much they want without any need for fighting.
Windsor is home to a lot of history, so it’s perfect for making new memories.
Whether you want to have a ski vacation at Martock or Wentworth or you’re just looking to get away to the Valley, the Clockmaker’s Inn is the perfect choice for low-key, charming lodgings. The suites are a charming mix of traditional and modern (so yes, they have a TV), and kids under 12 stay for free! There are toys to be had for the little ones, you can have breakfast in your suite if mornings are rough, and it’s close to many great attractions in the Annapolis Valley.
Address: 1399 King Street, Windsor
Phone: 1-902-792-3600 or 1-866-778-3600
Irwin Lake Chalets
Another great place if you want peace and quiet with nature activities nearby, Irwin Lake Chalets promises peaceful days and nights in cozy chalets.
There are trails and birdwatching opportunities at the property, as well as a TV and DVD player that you can borrow movies for from the main office (you might have to explain to the kids what a DVD is, the four-year old I babysit thought I was making it up).
With no cable or Internet, this is a chance to fully unplug as a family. Don’t worry about getting bored though, because there’s plenty to do quite close to Irwin Lake. My personal recommendation is Sugar Moon Farm, because you can take a tour and find out how maple syrup is made, and get to taste it!
Phone: 902-895-2663 or 1-866-55IRWIN (1-866-554-7946)
Address: 680 Loch Haven Lane, Old Barns Nova Scotia
Antigonish is a great place to do a short getaway, especially if you’ve got a student at St. F.X. in your family! The Keppoch Inn provides a great base to explore the town of Antigonish, including a way to participate in the endless pizza place debate.
Best of all, it’s close to Keppoch Mountain, which is perfect for winter activities like cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and simply exploring. At the Keppoch Inn you get a calm experience of small town life while having access to a natural winter wonderland; truly the best of both worlds.
Address: 112 Post Road, Antigonish
Mersey River Chalets & Nature Retreat
Another natural retreat, Mersey River is ready for whatever size family gathering you might want. They’ve got tons of chalet options, and tons of activities on-site. They’ve got trails for walking, cross country skiing, star gazing and snowshoe trails. And if you’re looking for a more extreme winter adventure,
Kejimkujik National Park is only 7km away. And if you’re just looking for quality family time in the chalet, stay inside, enjoy the fully equipped rooms, and celebrate winter time with family.
Address: 315 Mersey River Chalets Road, Maitland Bridge
Norse Cove Seaside Camping
If you’re looking for a fully outdoor winterized experience, why not go winter camping? Now make sure that everyone’s on board for this, but if everyone’s down to camp then Norse Cove Seaside Camping is the place for you. They’ve got huts ready for any winter weather, or campsites if you’re ready for winter tent camping. They’ve got how showers, a BBQ, board games at the Longhouse, and WiFi!
Address: 51 Dewolfes Road, Tangier
Oak Island Resort & Conference Centre
If you want to gaze upon one of the most famous treasure islands in history, Oak Island Resort will give you a perfect front seat view. This resort is pet and family friendly with plenty of activities for both two-legged and four-legged family members alike. They’ve also got a whole list of winter activities, from building snowmen, swimming in the pool, enjoying a winter bonfire, and so much more. Do some research and tell your kids all about the story of Oak Island as you enjoy hot chocolate by a bonfire.
Address: 36 Treasure Drive , Western Shore
Oceanstone is an awesome place to stay if you want to enjoy some time away from the big city, but not too far away. The various cottages and guest rooms allows you to pick the perfect place to enjoy some time away. You can visit Peggy’s Cove nearby, or explore one of the trails (maybe on snowshoes), or stay in and enjoy some card or board games together. Have a winter beach walk, enjoy dinner at the Rhubarb, and relax as a family.
Address: 8650 Peggy’s Cove Road, Indian Harbour
Old Orchard Inn
The Old Orchard Inn is another beautiful place to stay in the Annapolis Valley. Like the Clockmaker’s Inn, you’ll be close to the ski hills and Wolfville for a wide variety of winter Valley activities. The Old Orchard Inn has some awesome facilities onsite too—they have an awesome spa and heated indoor pool (with a hot tub and sauna!), and several different dining rooms. Have all your winter fun and come back to have all the chill relaxed from your bones.
Phone: 902-542-5751 or 1-800-561-8090
Address: 153 Greenwich Road South, Greenwich
The Quarterdeck is a fun place to go either by yourself, as a couple, or with your kids. The view of the ocean and the giant beach which is perfect for walking and exploring in any season. They’ve got an excellent restaurant and a nice pool, so there’s things to do. There are nice TV options, the bigger suites have awesome soaker tubs, and the WiFi is great. And do you know what the best part is? There is a nightly homemade cookie delivery. What else could you want?
Address: 5 Willow Lane, Summerville Centre
Phone: 1-902-683-2998 or 1-800-565-1119
The Silver Dart Lodge
Baddeck is a beautiful little town with a fantastic pizza place, and the Silver Dart Lodge is an awesome place to stay and enjoy it. They’ve got a beautiful dining room with a menu perfect for people of all ages, and their lodges are perfect for a family to enjoy wintertime together. There’s a playground and trails onsite, as well as a lookoff with binoculars. Whatever the weather, you’re bound to have a great dinner and a cozy night’s sleep all together, and isn’t that what it’s all about?
Address: 257 Shore Road, Baddeck
If you want to stay in the heart of Halifax, my personal recommendation is the Westin. Not only is it a beautiful hotel right on the waterfront, it’s close to all of the downtown Halifax sights and activities—it’s only a few minutes’ walk to the Discovery Centre for instance, which is handy on cold days. The Westin has great onsite facilities for dining and fitness, or you can explore Point Pleasant Park (which is gorgeous in the winter). Best of all, it’s close to the grocery store, so if you’ve got a kiddo in diapers or bed time snacks are a sacred tradition, it won’t take long to have everything you need.
Address: 1181 Hollis Street, Halifax
White Point Beach Resort
White Point Beach Resort is famed for its summer fun, but that’s a bit unfair—it’s a great place to stay in the winter too (personal experience here). You won’t have to leave the property to enjoy delicious meals, lodge activities, indoor pools, beach walks, and snowshoeing or cross-country skiing the trails. With something for everyone to enjoy, start a family tradition this winter and head out to White Point!
Phone: 902-354-2711 or 1-800-565-5068
Address: 75 White Point Beach Resort Road, White Point
By: Adrienne Colborne