Fredericton is charmingly situated on the lower banks of the St. John River, where riverside walking trails meet a compact downtown that is filled with brick heritage buildings. New Brunswick’s capital is a beautiful cultural and heritage centre that really is a spectacular, natural playground for adults and kids alike. There are many free and affordable things to do in Fredericton, which offer visitors a wide variety of authentic experiences they won’t find anywhere else.
1. Take a Frog Walk
You can learn about the seven frog and toad species that call the Hyla Park Nature Preserve home on a Frog Walk. The tours take place every Thursday at 7 pm from June 21 to August 30. So, spend an evening learning about the wetlands and the other biodiversity in the Preserve.
2. Explore the Fredericton Trail
There is 115km of trail network to explore this summer. You can either walk, run, bike, Rollerblade or skateboard on the trails in comfort because more than 21 km of the trails are paved. Most of the Fredericton Trails will take you along the beautiful Saint John River.
3. Watch a Show at the Fredericton Outdoor Summer Theatre
The Officers’ Square becomes a stage daily during the summer. The Fredericton Outdoor Summer Theatre has presented free theatre performances by the Calithumpians for over thirty years. Each year, there are four shows on rotation. So, bring a lawn chair or a blanket and a picnic lunch, and enjoy the show.
4. Attend a Lawrence Amphitheatre Summer Concert
Each Wednesday at 7pm from June until August, the Lawrence Amphitheatre Summer Concerts take place. The free outdoor concerts feature some of the top performers in New Brunswick. Grab a seat at the Main Street’s Lawrence Amphitheatre and enjoy the live music.
5. Quartermain Earth Science Centre
Take a geological journey through Earth’s evolution at the Quartermain Earth Science Centre located at the University of New Brunswick. There are a number of exhibits, displays, events, and programs for the whole family to explore.
6. Visit the Soldier’s Barracks
The Soldier’s Barracks have been restored to what they may have looked like in the late 1820’s. Tours are available daily by the costumed interpreters from the adjacent Guard House in July and August. The tours are available in English and French.
7. The Cultural Market
There is nothing else like the Cultural Market in Fredericton. The market has a huge selection of goods and services from the across the world. This vibrant market brings together different cultures and is a great way to learn about the world without leaving the city.
8. Fredericton Boyce Farmer Market
The Fredericton Boyce Farmers Market has been recognized as one of the top community markets in Canada. There are over 250 outdoor and indoor vendors that you can see each Saturday. This market is a great place to hang out with friends or to start the weekend.
9. Mactaquac Biodiversity Facility
Take a tour of the Mactaquac Biodiversity Facility where around 400,000 juvenile and 500 adult salmon are raised. This is one of the largest Atlantic Salmon conservation hatcheries in the world, so there are signs and displays along the tour to demonstrate the life cycle of the Atlantic Salmon.
10. Try the Fredericton Geocaching Tour
All you need to go on the Fredericton Geocaching Tour is a map, GPS unit or a GPS app on a smartphone and a sense of adventure. There are 24 caches to pick from that divided into 3 categories: culture, heritage and nature. So, you just have to pick a cache to hunt for and experience the great outdoors.
11. Beaverbrook Art Gallery
The Beaverbrook Art Gallery is where art lovers can explore outstanding art from both local and international artists. There is a new showcase in the permanent collection, so it is bigger and better than ever. The exhibitions change every three to six months, which means there is always something new at the gallery.
12. Watch a Movie Under the Stars
The Under the Stars Film Series turns Officers’ Square into an outdoor movie theatre every Saturday and Sunday all summer long. Bring a lawn chair and join your friends for a nostalgic movie night. If you don’t have a chair, there are complimentary chairs available.
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13. Take a Guided Heritage Walking Tour
Take the family on a lively Guided Heritage Walking Tour with a historically costumed guide leading the way. There are two different tours offered daily from July 1 until September 3. Each tour leaves from City Hall and will take you to the historic sites around the downtown area.
14. Cool Off at Killarney Lake Park
A local favorite, Killarney Lake Park is home to a lovely freshwater lake with a sandy beach that is supervised during the summer months. There is also 20km of walking trails that will take you around the lake. This park is a great place to cool off or sunbath on a sandy beach.
15. Take a Break at Carleton Park
Spend some time cloud gazing or have a picnic at the Carleton Park. The park is on the north side of the city in Union Street. There are many locations on the southside green that have scenic views, which makes them perfect places to watch the spectacular sunsets.
16. Explore Wilmot Park
Wilmot Park is a perfect place to spend a summer day with the family. There are groomed walking trails that you can explore, along with a play park, lawn bowling, a basketball court, a lighted tennis court and the new Wilmot Park Splash Pad.
17. Learn about Wetlands at the Ducks Unlimited Conservation Centre
You can satisfy your curiosity about Canadian wetlands at the Ducks Unlimited Conservation Centre. This lovely building has a spectacular view of the Saint John River from its back deck. It also has great interactive displays and very enthusiastic staff who are ready to answer all your questions about conserving the wetlands and Ducks Unlimited Canada.
18. Smell the Roses at Jardin Botanique de Fredericton Botanic Garden
The Jardin Botanique de Fredericton Botanic Garden is located at the western end of the Odell Park. The garden was established in 1990 and has continued to grow each year with new additions. The botanical society, that takes cares of the garden, usually has guest speakers in once a month.
19. Great Canadian Beaver Pond Voyage
Kids of all ages will enjoy the outdoor adventure at the Great Canadian Beaver Pond Voyage at the Mactaquac Provincial Park. You can explore the park on your own or book a free guided tour. The tour includes a fun treasure hunt that both adults and kids will enjoy. New Brunswick provincial parks can be visited for free on Canada Day and New Brunswick Day (August 5, 2019).
20. Garrison Night Market
During the summer on Thursday nights from June 20 t0 September 5, Carleton Street comes alive when the Garrison Night Market opens. You can walk through the aisles of booths selling local and imported products. The food vendors and local breweries often have free samples if you get hungry. There is also a stage set up near the 104th Regiment of Foot Bridge that hosts local musical entertainment, which adds to the festive atmosphere of the market.
21. Cultural Expressions Festival from June 21 – 23, 2019
Celebrate Canadian Multiculturalism Day at the Cultural Expressions Festival. The weekend is full of dance and live music performances, a parade, displays and other fun family activities. 2019 is the 11th year for this popular festival and it is going to be bigger than ever.
22. Learn New Skills at the Falls Brook Festival from July 19 – 21, 2019
Spend the weekend learning new skills at the free workshops during the Fall Brook Festival. The festival focuses on sharing skills and knowledge among community members with talks, workshops, or guided walks. The festival will also feature local bands, along with local vendors and artists.
23. Family Art Day at Beaverbrook Art Gallery on June 30, 2019
This is the perfect way of spending quality time with the family. On Family Art Day, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery opens its doors to all ages from 12 pm until 5 pm. Along with free admission to the exhibitions, there are free art activities around the Gallery.
24. Life at the Lakes on August 10 – 11, 2019
Life at the Lakes is an annual festival in Fredericton that has a little bit of everything. There is a car show, nature walks, local artisans at work, a beer garden and so many more activities. While many of the activities at this festival are free, there may be some that have a cost.
25. Acadian Day Celebrations on August 15, 2019
The Acadian Day Celebrations offer a variety of activities that will entertain the whole family. You can enjoy the live music performances, the flag raising, the tintamarre (parade) or try your luck and skills with the games. Just be sure to remember to bring something that makes noise to join in the tintamarre.