The Annapolis Valley runs from East Hants to Digby and there are many unique locations in between for visitors to explore. This picturesque region of Nova Scotia has many tourist attractions such as forts, historic sites, markets, wineries, and gardens. The valley has fertile soil that is protected on both sides from cold winds by mountains, so fruits and vegetables flourish there because they are sheltered from any inclement weather. In May, when the apple trees start to blossom, the valley is a wondrous sight. However, the summer is when the Valley really comes alive, so you should have a fun time in the Valley this summer with the 25 activities listed below.
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1. Oaklawn Farm Zoo
Oaklawn Farm Zoo is a favorite spot of families in the Annapolis Valley. Along with traditional farm animals, the zoo is also home to exotic animals like African lions, Siberian tigers, Maras, meerkats, zonkeys, guanacos, bald eagles, snowy owls, monkeys, painted turtles, and many more. The zoo provides visitors with up-close experiences with many of the animals.
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2. Upper Clements Park
This is a ‘must visit’ during the summer months for both locals and travelers. Upper Clements Park is made up of two parks, the Adventure Park and Amusement Park, along with a campground. The Adventure Park is great for those who are looking for a hands-on adventure and love climbing. The Amusement Park is the main attraction and has rides that are fun for kids of all ages.
3. Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens – Wolfville
You should stop and smell the flowers at the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens. The gardens feature plants from nine different habitats, along with a medicinal and a food garden. You can spend a relaxing afternoon, just watching the ducks and frogs that call the carved sandstone lily pools and brooks home.
4. Wolfville Farmers’ Market – Wolfville
Wolfville Farmers’ Market is open on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings, and is a ‘must do’ activity for anyone who is in the area on those days. Each market day has its own theme and live music provided by local musicians. You will find many vendors with delicious food options, along with and local goods, produce, baking, wine, craft beer, jewelry and crafts at this popular market.
5. Valley Drive-In – Cambridge
Watch the hottest movies under the stars at the Valley Drive-In, which is a 1950’s style single-screen drive-in theater that shows movies every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night from May until the end of September each year. You can bring the whole family or round up your friends because a carload of people is only $28 for two movies. They have a pretty complete snack bar with popcorn to burgers and you get large portions at affordable prices.
6. Noggins Corner Farm Market – Greenwich
Noggins Corner Farm Market is not only a great place to buy fresh produce, it is also a fun place to spend the day with the family. The Barnyard Adventure Area is where the kids can run, slide, jump and find their way through mazes. You can try to make your way through the challenging corn maze or ride the wagon to the apple orchard and pick your own apples.
7. Hennigar’s Farm Market – Greenwich
Just outside of Wolfville, in Greenwich, is a lovely farm market and petting zoo. Hennigar’s Farm Market has fresh fruits and veggies, along with Nova Scotian homemade crafts and an ice cream stand. At the petting zoo, you can pet and feed the goats, visit the bunnies and chickens, and feed the ducks and fish in the pond. The on-site cookhouse is a great option for lunch and supper.
8. Fort Anne National Historic Site – Annapolis Royal
Canada’s oldest remaining reminder of the time when the European empires where fighting over the Annapolis River. Fort Anne National Historic Site is a gorgeous site right in the middle of Annapolis Royal that has breathtaking views of the Annapolis Basin. You can explore the fort on your own with the Xplorer Activity Booklet. However, you definitely should go back in the evening and take the graveyard tour, which is a real highlight of Annapolis Royal that is definitely not to be missed.
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9. Storm Warning Paintball – Steam Mill
Challenge your friends and family to a friendly game of paintball. Storm Warning Paintball is fun for all skill levels and will teach you basics, especially if you have never played paintball before. They can provide groups and individuals with an unforgettable day of action and adventure on many types of challenging courses.
10. Greenwood Military Aviation Museum – Greenwood
Take photos with life-sized planes on the lawn of the Greenwood Military Aviation Museum. Inside the free museum, there is a flight simulator and other interactive exhibits. It takes around an hour to fully explore the museum. This museum is a ‘must see’ Valley destination for aviation buffs, young & old.
11. Kejimkujik National Park – Maitland Bridge
The only National Park and National Historic Site, Kejimkujik Nation Park is a ‘must’ place to visit. Spend the day exploring the wilderness trails, rivers and lakes on foot or by canoe or kayak. You can also spend the night under the stars. The stars are very visible since the park is a designated Dark Sky Preserve.
12. Camp at Jellystone Park Campground – Kingston
Meet Yogi Bear and his friends at the Jellystone Park Campground. You can bring your own tent or RV to the park, or there are 14 cabins on site that you can stay at. The Jumping Pillow is a lot of fun for all ages. You can also go gemstone mining, play a rousing round of mini golf, and take a dip in the pool during your stay.
13. GAEL Tours – Smith’s Cove, Digby
You can book a tour to learn about Digby and the surrounding area with GAEL Tours. The tour will take you around the shores of the Annapolis Basin, which is designated as the Fundy Aquarium Ecozone. You will learn about and even hold some sea creatures on the tour. This tour is a wonderful unique experience where you get to explore the ocean floor in the Bay of Fundy during low tide.
14. Blomidon Provincial Park – Canning
Blomidon Provincial Park is known for its amazing views of the Bay of Fundy. It is a camping and day-use park located on the shores of the Minas Basin. It is a great option for family picnics, hiking, camping, photography, beachcombing and reconnecting with nature. This natural attraction also provides a variety of habitats, abundant wildlife, striking natural features, along with the world’s highest tides washing its shores.
15. Pick Blueberries at Blueberry Acres – Centreville
The Annapolis Valley is known for its u-picks, and Blueberry Acres/Vital Berry Farm is a popular spot of u-pick blueberries. The season starts in late July/early August and runs until mid-to-late September. They also offer u-pick raspberries and grape tomatoes that are grown in their greenhouse.
16. Jubilee Park – Bridgetown
The Jubilee Park is a Natural Playground that the residents of Bridgetown created. This play area has all the elements that you would find in nature, including stumps, logs, hills, boulders, and sand. Along with the play area, there is also a picnic area, a floating dock and boat launch and kayak rentals for the whole family to enjoy.
17. Windsor Playland Safari – Windsor
The Windsor Playland Safari is located near the Windsor Exhibition grounds and all the activities are outside. You can cool off by sliding down the waterslide or challenge your family to a round of mini-golf and a go-kart race. If you get hungry, the on-site canteen has daily specials that the whole family will enjoy.
18. Ross Farm – New Ross
Ross Farm is a fun living heritage farm where everything is done in the traditional Nova Scotian way. You can try your hand at wood-working, planting, candle making and other skills. The whole family will enjoy meeting and interacting with the animals around the farm.
19. Aylesford Lake Beach – Aylesford
If swimming in the ocean is not your thing, then a day at Aylesford Lake Beach is a great option. It is a relatively new site, which was man-made and opened for public use in 1990. Since then it has been well visited by tourists and regular beach goers alike. There is a boardwalk, a canteen, and picnic areas. The kids will love the playground that is close to the beach.
20. Kentville Farmers’ Market – Kentville
This market is the best place to find locally grown foods and hand-made crafts in Kentville. The Kentville Farmer’s Market takes place on Wednesdays at Center Square during the summer. There are new vendors each week and there is always something tasty for lunch or snack.
21. The Clay Ground Studio – Wolfville
Get messy at The Clay Ground Studio in Wolfville. You can make your own clay items with the tools at the studio, or you can pick one of the many pre-made items and paint it yourself. Who says spending time inside has to be boring?
22. OnTree Fun & Adventure Park – Windsor
Spend some time high in the trees at OnTree Fun & Adventure Park. The park has climbing tracks that will challenge you. You can zip around on the zip lines and much more. The park was designed to be safe and fun for all ages and abilities.
23. Dempsey Corner Market – Aylesford
Along with a shop selling fresh fruits and vegetables, there is also a petting zoo at the Dempsey Corner Market. If you want to pick your own fruit, you can do so during the summer. There is always something happening at Dempsey’s, so you don’t need to worry about the kids being bored while you are shopping.
24. Jonny’s Cookhouse and Ice Cream Shop – Berwick
Jonny’s Cookhouse and Ice Cream Shop is one of the best places in the Annapolis Valley to get burgers, poutine, fish and ice cream. The roadside dinner is on the outskirts of Berwick. During the summer, you can enjoy your meal and ice cream on the wooden deck. The soft-serve ice cream is a ‘must try’ on a hot summer day.
25. Action Jax Family Fun Park – Annapolis Royal
Challenge your family to a round of mini-golf or find out who is faster with a go-kart race at Action Jax Family Fun Park. There is also an arcade at the park. This fun park is only a short 2-minute drive outside of Annapolis Royal and is open all summer long.