Things to Do during Winter/Christmas Holidays in Halifax

Visit Hatfield Farm to enjoy wagon rides during the holidays.(Credit: Hatfield Farm)

The Winter and Christmas Holidays from school are just around the corner, which means it is time for you to start thinking about what fun activities are available to do with the family during the week or two long break. Luckily, there is a lot of fun to be had in Halifax and HRM during the winter break. So, instead of spending your holiday break being bored at home this year, you should spend some time outside with family and friends exploring the beautiful city.

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New Year’s Eve in Halifax

I. Hatfield Farm

Spend a day out in the snow, and be a cowboy or cowgirl at Hatfield Farm. The farm is still open during the winter. Take a wagon ride through the snow, or spend some time making friends with the animals at the petting zoo.

Public Rides (Above 15 – $8 + HST per adult & $6 + HST per child 3-12) are offered on Sundays at 2pm from December 30-March 31, 2019 and private rides are available any day by reservation.

II. Sledding Spots to Check Out

Citadel Hill

Citadel Hill is an obvious sledding spot and one of the most popular locations in the city for this specific reason. There are many spots to pick from and you just need to wait for a good snow fall. The Wanderer’s Grounds, on the hill’s west side has an extremely steep slide and a long landing area. The only disadvantage of sledding down Citadel Hill is that you can pick up too much speed at times.

Flinn Park

Flinn Park is located on the right side of the North West arm close to the Armdale Roundabout. It is a small but reliable place to go sledding. This hill has a lot of jumps and twists, which makes it a great place to go for experienced sledders who are looking to catch some serious air.

Dartmouth Commons

The best place to sled at the Dartmouth Commons is near the gazebo. You just need to look around for a good hill to go sledding on.

The Mother Hill

The Mother Hill is located behind Mount Saint Vincent where the Mother House once stood. The hill is part of Clayton Park and provides a long sledding journey that takes you through the MSVU campus and the surrounding subdivision.

The Pit or Merv Sullivan Park

The Pit is a popular sledding spot and is often called the best sledding spot in Halifax. It does have a steep hill, so you do pick up speed quickly all the way to the bottom of this former quarry.

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III. Skating Rinks

Emera Oval

The Emera Oval is the place to be all year round because it is the largest outdoor artificially refrigerated ice surface east of Quebec City. The Emera Oval opens for the winter season on December 15, 2018. You should check the Halifax website to see what dates and times that the Emera Oval is open.

Dartmouth Sportsplex

If you are looking to go skating or do some walking or running inside, the Dartmouth Sportsplex is the place to visit. There are open skate times available from Monday to Saturday and the track is open every day of the week.

Scotiabank Centre

On Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays at noon, there is free skating at the Scotiabank Centre. The noon skate is an adult skate, and you will need to bring your own skates.

Halifax Forum

The Halifax Forum offers two skating times for you to enjoy. They have an adult and senior skate, along with a Parent and Tot skate and both skate times are free. There are a lot of dates and times available for you to skate, which will keep you busy this winter.

IV. Christmas and New Year’s Celebrations

Christmas in Halifax

New Year’s Eve in Halifax

The Halifax Lights at Splendour in the Park – Halifax until January 14, 2019

The Splendour in the Park is a light show that is set to classic holiday music, which is held in Cornwallis Park. On December 16, there will be miniature Holiday Train rides, Santa Photos, Ice Sculptures, and much more for everyone to enjoy.

Christmas Eve Sleigh Rides at Hatfield Farm

Go dashing through the snow on a Christmas Eve Sleigh Ride at Hatfield Farm. These sleigh rides are available all winter long on weekends. Just keep in mind that the Christmas Eve Sleigh Rides do need to be pre-booked and can take up to 30 people.

New Year’s Eve Dinner and Dance at Hatfield Farm

Ring in the New Year’s at Hatfield Farm. Start the night off right with an all-you-can-eat hip o’ beef. There will be sleigh rides, campfires, and rubber rodeo. Dance the night away. Just remember that the event is ‘Bring Your Own Booze’ in cans, plastic, and cardboard containers only.

Christmas Day Grand Buffet at Delta Hotels by Marriott Halifax

The Christmas Day Grand Buffet is back again this year, so you don’t have to worry about cooking Christmas dinner. So, take the family out to enjoy a delicious holiday buffet overlooking the Halifax Harbour. The Marriott Chefs prepare local festive fare including local favorites like Atlantic salmon and mussels.

Home for the Holiday Party at Marriott Halifax Waterfront

Why wait for New Year’s Eve to get all glammed up? The Home for the Holiday Party is the perfect place to celebrate and is a ‘must-attend’ party. Big Fish will take the stage. This year the party moved to the Marriott Harbourfront, so there are more tables, more seating, and more bars where you can ring in the New Year with your sweetheart.

IV. Indoor Fun

Get Air Trampoline Park

Keep active this holiday season and have fun with your family and friends at the Get Air Trampoline Park. This fun trampoline park is a popular location for kids and teens, but it is safe for all ages. They are open every day from 10 am to 10 pm. On the weekends, Club Air is open from 9 pm to midnight.

Ground Zero Climbing Gym

Ground Zero Climbing Gym is the largest and first indoor rock-climbing gym in Atlantic Canada. It is a great way to stay active this holiday season. Even if you have never rock climbed before, Ground Zero has a wall for you to try and learn how to climb.

Discovery Centre

Have some fun inside and learn something new at the Discovery Centre. The STEAM exhibits make it fun to learn about the world. This holiday season, the Towers of Tomorrow with Lego Bricks exhibit is open alongside the permanent exhibits.

Karting and Laser Tag at Kartbahn

Challenge your friends and family to see who the best driver is at Kartbahn karting, when you race around the course for 8 to 12 minutes. Don’t forget about the over 3,000 + square foot indoor laser tag arena. So, team up with your family and friends and get ready to fight.

Putting Edge

Get out of the house for some fun this holiday season. The Putting Edge makes mini golf fun with their unique layouts and glow golfing. There is also an arcade with many games that will test your gaming skills.

Rock Climbing at Seven Bays

Warm up at the licensed café at Seven Bays before getting active and trying your hand at rock climbing. Seven Bays is located on Gottingen Street and is close to a bus stop, which makes it easy to get to. There are new boulders every week, so there is always a new challenge for you to conquer at Seven Bays.

The Board Room Game Café

Pick one or more of the over 500 games and warm up with a hot drink and snacks at The Board Room Game Café. If you are not sure how to play a game, ask the helpful staff and they will explain the game to you. The library of games keeps growing.

Do some holiday shopping at Halifax Seaport Farmers Market

Holiday shopping can be very stressful, and it can be difficult to find unique gifts for everyone on your list. This year, shop local and buy fresh produce and your holiday gifts at one of the many farmers market in HRM. The largest and longest running farmers market is the Halifax Seaport Farmers Market. The market is open from Tuesday to Sunday every week; however, the market will be closed on Christmas and Boxing Day.

Hope for Wildlife

If you or your family members love animals, you should visit the Hope for Wildlife rehabilitation centre. The centre takes care of orphaned and injured wildlife from across Nova Scotia. You can take a tour of the learning centre and visit the wildlife gardens to learn more about the animals and maybe even meet a few of them. The centre is open Saturdays and Sundays from 12 pm to 4 pm. Admission is free, but donations are always welcome.

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