Summer fun is almost endless in Halifax. No matter if you are a local or just visiting Halifax for the first time, there is something that you will enjoy in the city or surrounding areas. To get the summer fun started, here are 50 things to do in Halifax to help you be ready for fun in the sun.
1. Ride the Harbour Hopper
Go from driving around the city to exploring the harbour on the Harbour Hopper. This is one of the most popular ways of seeing the city, and is worth the ride even if you have lived in Halifax your whole life.
2. Go Rollerskating at the Emera Oval
The Emera Oval is a popular location during the winter for ice skating, but the fun does not end in the spring. During the summer, the Oval becomes a roller rink. If you don’t own a set of rollerblades, you can always rent a pair at the Oval.
3. Hike to the top of Citadel Hill
Citadel Hill has some of the best views of Halifax. The hike to the top can be challenging at times. It is a great place to enjoy a picnic lunch.
4. Relax in the Public GardensTheHalifax Public Gardensis a favorite place to explore and relax in by both locals and travelers. This 16-acre oasis in the heart of downtown is home to over 140 different species of plants.
5. Kayak in the Harbour
Get a different perspective of Halifax and Dartmouth with Kayak Halifax. There are three guided tours of the harbour that visitors can choose from. Kayaking in the harbour is a great way to get on the water and learn how to kayak.
6. Test your mini-golf skills at The Putting Edge
Play a round of mini-golf under the black lights at The Putting Edge. Before or after your game on mini-golf, you should try the interactive arcade. You can play all summer long with their summer pass.
7. Camp on McNabs Island
This island can be spotted in the Halifax Harbour, and is easy to reach. You can book the camping site on contacting The Friends of McNabs Island Society. If the campsite is booked, visiting the island during the day is still a fun time.
8. Visit Atlantic Slash Adventure
Feel like a kid again by spending a day at Atlantic Splash Adventure. You can cool off at the water park, which has six new slides this year. You can also race your friends or family at go-karting or test your gaming skills and have fun all day.
9. Visit the Discovery Centre
The Discovery Centre is fun for all ages, and a great place to visit all summer long. You can check out the feature exhibit. The Dome Theatre is a must see because the full dome has live star shows and fulldome films that allow you to explore the vastness of space, discover the ancient remnants of a star or have the best seats in town to watch an amazing meteor shower!
10. Watch a Shakespeare By The Sea Show
Point Pleasant Park is home to the famous Shakespeare By The Sea. These shows are new and exciting ways of experiencing Shakespeare and other classic authors. 2019 is the 26th year of Shakespeare By The Sea performing.
11. Explore the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market
The Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market is open every day of the week, but the best time to visit the market is on the weekend. You can find everything from locally grown produce to locally made crafts and fresh flowers. If you get hungry, there are many options available.
12. Ride the Ferry from Halifax to Dartmouth
Harbour cruises can be expensive, but there is another way of seeing the harbour, the Halifax Transit Ferry. The ferries depart every 15 minutes and are only $2.50 for adults and $1.75 for children and seniors, plus you can ask for a free transfer to travel on buses or get back on the ferry. For the best visit, climb the stairs to the upper open level and enjoy the view.
13. Explore Halifax Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
The most popular museum in Halifax, the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is home to over 30,000 artifacts. The most notable is the Titanic exhibit, which tells the story of Halifax’s grim role in the recovery efforts. It can take hours to fully explore the exhibits in Canada’s largest maritime museum.
14. Watch an Outdoor Movie in the Public Gardens
Once a month, a giant inflatable movie screen is set up in the Public Gardens. FIN Outdoor shows a different movie each month. So, pack a blanket and some snacks to enjoy when you watch the movie under the stars.
15. Try the Official Food of Halifax
The Donair has long been proclaimed as the official food of Halifax. Luckily if you are on a budget, the Donair is an inexpensive meal and available just about everywhere. The King of Donair has been open almost 45 years and is still a popular stop.
16. Get Subs at 2 Boys Smoke House
If you are looking amazing sub to enjoy during a picnic, you need to try 2 Boys Smoke House in Dartmouth. This deli is a hidden gem because they make some of the most amazing subs and delicious smoked meats that you need to try, especially if you are a meat lover.
17. Checkout the Buskers at the Waterfront
There is something for everyone at this festival with fire breathers, acrobats, comedians, magicians, street performers and so many other great entertainers.
18. Try the Best Poutine in Halifax at Willy’s Fresh Cut
Many Haligonians claim that the best poutine in Halifax is from Willy’s Fresh Cut. It is a few blocks from the waterfront, and is located on Pizza Corner.
19. Ride the Halifax Community Road Train
This trolley can be spotted traveling its short loop around the Waterfront area during the spring and summer months. The Halifax Community Road Train will take you to popular locations around the area, so it is a great way of seeing the area.
20. Tour the City on Bike
If you love cycling, the I Heart Bikes City Tour is for you. The most popular tour is 2 hours long and will take you to many of the famous locations in Halifax. Their other tours are 4 and 6 hours long and let you explore more of the city.The tours take place rain or shine, and you will be provided a bike to ride.
21. Become a Cowboy at Hatfield Farm
Just minutes outside of Halifax is the Hatfield Farm,where you can enjoy wagon rides, mini golf, and indoor inflatable games. There are also pony rides, playgrounds and a petting zoo for the kids. If you want to spend the weekend outside of the city, there are cozy cabins and bunkhouses that you can stay at.
22. Eat at the Oldest Drive-in Diner in Canada
The Chicken Burger is the oldest drive-in diner in Canada, and has been a staple in Bedford for over 70 years. Travel back in time, and enjoy a tune on the jukebox. Just behind The Chicken Burger is the Chicken Little, a small ice cream stand that has picnic tables where you can enjoy your meal.
23. Customize Your Ice Cream on the Boardwalk
Right on the boardwalk, Sugah! Confectionery & Ice Cream Emporium allows you to create your own ice cream with their base flavours and toppings. It is amazing to watch the staff hand mix the ice cream on the marble slab.
24. Enjoy craft beer during Halifax Seaport Beerfest
Halifax Seaport Beerfestis atlantic Canada’s largest gathering of Craft Beer, Specialty, Import & Cider! Breweries and agents representing over 110 producers will be on hand to sample and discuss over 300 unique products. Special pavilions from regions such as BC, ON, QC & Ireland highlight Craft Beer not normally found in NS.
25. Taste Halifax Food + Beer Tours
This is not the average food tour, so you should be prepared to try everything from traditional Nova Scotian meals to amazing offerings from food trucks. You will learn about the culinary culture of Halifax with a small group of people and a knowledgeable guide on a Taste Halifax Food + Beer Tour.
26. See the Man in The Window
St. Paul’s Churchis the oldest Anglican Church in North American and is the oldest building in Halifax. If you visit the church, you should look at the second story windows. In one of the windows, there is an image of a man. The story says that the heat and light generated by the Halifax Explosion etched the image of one of the church’s deacons into the window.
27. Go Swimming at Chocolate Lake Beach
Chocolate Lake Beach is just 5 minutes from downtown Halifax. During the summer, this beach is a popular spot for families because there are lifeguards on duty most days. It is a perfect location to get away from the busy downtown on a hot summer afternoon.
28. Walk in the Sand at Conrads Beach
A 25-minute drive from downtown Halifax, Conrads Beach is a gorgeous sandy beach just before Lawrencetown. It is one of the nicest sand beaches near Halifax and while kept secret. Stoney Beach is just a short walk from Conrads Beach.
29. Visit Crystal Crescent Beach Provincial Park
Crystal Crescent Beachis a ‘must-see’ location just 35 minutes from Halifax because it has three white sand beaches that are absolutely gorgeous. There is also a great hiking trail that is a 13km loop, which will take you mostly along the coastline, through some wooded areas and to the massive ocean rocks.
30. Hike Bluff Wilderness Trail
TheBluff Wilderness Trailis not a very well-known trail, which makes it a great trail to hike if you want to spend some time with nature. It has four loops that total over 30 km of trail that will take you through woodlands and barrens.
31. Travel Back in Time at Memory Lane Heritage Village
Memory Lane Heritage Villageis a reproduction of a 1940’s rural Nova Scotia village. You can explore the general store, schoolhouse, boat house and gold prospecting complex. During your visit, keep an eye out for animals like lambs, chickens, and kittens that are commonly spotted around the town.
32. Visit the Acadian House Museum
West Chezzetcook is a close-knit community on the Eastern Shore that is home to the Acadian House Museum, which is only open in July and August. You can choose to experience what life was like for Acadians in the 1850’s on a walking tour or just explore the town on your own.
33. Go Camping at Shubie Park Campground
Right next to Dartmouth’s Shubie Park is the Shubie Park Campground. Being right in the city, you are very close to everything it has to offer. So, pack your camping gear and relax in comfort knowing you can easily pick up anything you may have forgotten at home.
34. Explore Porters Lake Provincial Park
Porters Lake Provincial Parkis just 45 minutes outside of Halifax and has over 70 campsites available. It is the ideal spot for fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and just relaxing on the beach. You can spend a relaxing day or weekend away from the city.
35. Go Thrift Shopping
Thrift shopping or secondhand shopping does not only save you money, it is also a lot of fun. Halifax is full of wonderful secondhand shops that you can pick from. Some of the most popular options in Halifax include Elsie’s Used Clothing and Brilliant Clothing Boutique.
36. Hike Blue Mountain Birch Cove Wilderness Area
Blue Mountain Birch Cove Wilderness Area is the newest and most extensive wilderness protection project. It is also one of the Canada’s largest urban parks and is one of 40 designated wilderness areas in the province. If you hike to the top of Blue Mountain, you will be rewarded with a 360 degree view because the peak of the mountain is the highest point of Halifax’s Chebucto Peninsula.
37. Explore Hemlock Ravine Park
Hemlock Ravine Park is only a short drive from downtown Halifax and is a hidden gem. The park has a heart-shaped pond at the entrance named Julie’s Pond, which was built by Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, for his mistress. The 4-km stacked loop trails offer wonderful hiking and jogging, with one of them being an off-leash trail for dog walking.
38. Stop at Kept
You can find both local and international goods at Kept. This little gift and housewares shop sells everything from home décor, paper goods, jewelry, toys and much more. You are never sure what little ‘gems’ you will find at Kept because it is a boutique that has something for everyone.
39. Museum of Natural History
You can easily spend the whole day inside the Museum of Natural History, exploring the interesting displays and trying the educational activities. The Science on a Sphere show gives you information about live weather and ocean movements around the world. Don’t forget to say hi to Gus the Turtle.
40. Get Messy at Clay Café
You do not need to be an artist or an art lover to have fun at the Clay Café. Everything you need to make your own pottery is at the Clay Café. It is a great option for a rainy summer day activity.
41. Be a Pirate on the Tall Ship Silva
The Pirate Cruise Aboard the Tall Ship Silva takes you out on the harbour and has fun pirate themed activities. You will learn about Halifax’s Golden Age of Piracy, along with taking a turn steering the wheel, helping hoist or furl the sails, and learning to be a pirate.
42. Explore Halifax Harbourfront
The ‘Historic Properties’ area of Halifax’s downtown has been turned into the Halifax Harbourfront. The Harbourfront is lined with shops, restaurants and cafes for visitors to enjoy. You can easily explore the Harbourfront on foot and is a great way of spending a summer afternoon.
43. Visit Pier 21 National Historic Site
Pier 21 was the gateway for over one million immigrants to move to Canada from 1928 to 1971, and it’s now a ‘must-visit’ interpretive center. You can learn what is was like to leave home and travel across the ocean to come to Canada via interactive exhibits. From the large glass windows, you can spot the lighthouse on Georges Island on clear days.
44. Visit the East Coast Lifestyle
East Coast Lifestyle has quickly become a local and tourist favorite shop on the waterfront. The classic t-shirts have been worn across the world. You can show your Nova Scotia pride with the ECL logo because East Coast Lifestyle allows you to bring a piece of home with you wherever you go.
45. Shop for souvenirs at Made in the Maritimes
Even if you have lived in Maritimes your whole life, shopping for souvenirs should be a part of your summer to-do list. Made in the Maritimes is not the average souvenir shop. Instead of typical postcards, t-shirts, and magnets, you will find high-end items all made in the Maritimes. This is the perfect place to find what makes Nova Scotia special.
46. Spend the Weekend at Halifax West KOA
On the banks on the Sackville River is Halifax West KOA, which is a peaceful camping retreat with all the comforts of home. You can go swimming or explore the wooded trails. A great option for those looking to spend time camping without roughing it.
47. Play Cosmic Bingo
A great to spend Saturday night is playing Cosmic Bingo at the Halifax Forum. The black lights make the cards and markers glow neon colors, along with music. Try your luck at bingo this weekend.
48. Challenge Your Friends and Family to Karting or Laser Tag
Kartbahn will keep you busy all day inside with both karting and laser tag. The indoor courses are fun and will test your skills. Kartbahn has fun and challenging activities for kids of all ages.
49. Watch a Show at the Grafton Street Dinner Theatre
Experience a unique dinner at the Grafton Street Dinner Theatre. Enjoy great food with music and comedy. Visitors will also enjoy being served by the performers who do double-duty as the wait staff.
50. Pride Festival
Participate in numerous diverse events and celebrate with thousands of people at the 31st Halifax Pride Festival.
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