Things to do in Halifax
Experience the best of our winter season. Let us help you decide.
Winter highlights include:
- Outdoor ice skating on the Oval, open for the season December 15th
- Sleigh (or wagon) rides at Hatfield Farm on Sunday afternoons
- Festivals and events, such as the In the Dead of Winter Music Festival, Upstream Music’s Open Waters Festival, and Savour Food & Wine Festival
- Halifax museums and galleries, including exhibition The Way Things Are at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (free from 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. on Thursday nights!)
Popular & Historic Sites
Halifax Citadel National Historic Site - Constructed between 1828 and 1856, Halifax Citadel National Historic Site is a star-shaped naval station sitting atop a hill in the heart of downtown Halifax. A living Halifax history museum where a costumed animator will take you on a guided tour of musket galleries, garrison cells and more, where you’ll spot the 78th Highland Regiment practicing drills and the 3rd Brigade of the Royal Artillery firing the cannon every day at noon.
Fisherman’s Cove - watch the fishermen come in with their daily catch; take a boat ride and explore McNabs Island.
Government House - the working residence of every Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia since 1805 and the ceremonial home of all Nova Scotians, this Georgian-style building is the oldest official government residence in Canada. Free guided tours are available from July 1 to September 2, 2013 - Mondays & Fridays from 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and Saturday & Sundays from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Halifax Public Gardens - one of the finest original formal Victorian Public Gardens in North America. Located along Spring Garden Road, a main shopping area, the Halifax Public Gardens feature 17-acres of rare flowers & trees, sparkling fountains, historic statues, and free concerts from the picturesque red-roofed gazebo.
Historic Properties - Stroll in the footsteps of privateers - licensed pirates who stored their booty in these warehouses. Restored and redeveloped in the early 1970's this area is now the home of colourful shops, pubs, restaurants, and outdoor cafes. It's only a stone's throw from the oldest saltwater ferry service in North America, and the departure point for many of the city's harbour tours.
Old Town Clock - one of Halifax’s most famous landmarks officially began keeping time for the garrison and residents of Halifax in 1803.
The Parish of St George - The Parish of St George, then housed in the Little Dutch (Deutsch) Church, was founded in 1756 by the first wave of German immigrants to Nova Scotia. In 1800, construction began on the Round Church, which is the only surviving wooden round church in North America and a stunning example of Palladian design. Discover St George's connections to the royal family, the Titanic and the Halifax Explosion, as well as its triumphal rise after a devastating fire in 1994. It is open for tours July 2 - August 30, 2013 from 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday - Friday.
Peggy’s Cove - a picturesque destination, Peggy’s Cove is one of Nova Scotia’s most breathtaking, famous and photographed places. The iconic lighthouse sits atop rolling, rocky terrain within this quaint fishing village along the beautiful Atlantic ocean.
Province House - this fine Georgian building is home to the first responsible government in the British Empire. Tours available.
St. Paul’s Church - Constructed in 1750 and located within Grand Parade, St. Paul's Church is the oldest building in Halifax and the oldest Protestant place of worship in Canada. Amongst particular items of interest are a 1908 Cassavant pipe organ and artifacts from the Titanic.
Saint Patrick's Church - Tour Saint Patrick's Chruch, opened in 1885, and the Halifax Explosion Irish Interpretation Centre; browse the Irish gift shop and enjoy homemade cookies and lemonade. Summer tour schedule: Monday to Friday, 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m.
SS Atlantic Heritage Park - a burial site and a memorial to those who perished in the sinking of the SS Atlantic off the shores of Mar's Head, Lower Prospect, Nova Scotia on April 1, 1873.
William E. deGarthe Memorial Provincial Park (Peggy’s Cove, NS) - Sculptor and painter William E. deGarthe lived in Peggy’s Cove. A gallery exhibiting his work is open to the public between May 1 and October 31 each year.
Casino Nova Scotia - Located on the Halifax Waterfront, Casino Nova Scotia offers exciting gaming, dynamic dining, and top-notch entertainment year-round. Ample parking available and access to most major hotels through the pedway system.
Discovery Centre - Discovery Centre is a not-for-profit charitable organization whose mission is to stimulate interest, enjoyment and understanding of science and technology through innovative, exciting, hands-on experiences. Great for children.
Hatfield Farm Cowboy Adventures - Hatfield Farm Cowboy Adventures is a 5th generation family run farm. Open year round, this rustic lodge with country atmosphere is home to horseback riding, rubber rodeo, petting zoo, mini golf, wagon rides, and more. A great spot for family fun.
Bedford Institute of Oceanography - Canada's largest center for ocean research and first major federal center devoted to oceanography. Guided tours available by appointment only.
Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame - Honours athletes, teams, and builders who have contributed to Nova Scotia's sport heritage and culture.
Emera Oval - The Emera Oval is Halifax's own public outdoor skating rink on the Halifax Common. A legacy of the 2011 Canada Games, the Oval now offers ice skating in winter and roller & inline skating in summer. Skate rentals available.
Sands at Salter - The Sands at Salter is an urban beach area on the Halifax waterfront (at the foot of Salter St.) Formerly an empty lot, this temporary green space was built based on public input and feedback. Available for public use and recreational activities, the Sands at Salter hosted two Junior World Volleyball Championships in 2011 and 2012, and is home to 2013's SandJam Halifax tennis and volleyball event.
Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park - This wildlife destination is sure to please nature lovers with a number of mammals and birds to see in a lovely setting. Take a guided of self-guided tour and explore the park on its well-maintained trail, and don't miss Shubenacadie Sam, the famous groundhog who makes his weather prediction each February. Benches, a large picnic area, and playground add to this family destination.
Volleyball Nova Scotia Beach Volleyball Park - Located at 261 Commodore Dr. in Dartmouth, the Volleyball Nova Scotia Beach Volleyball Park features officially-approved sand and a lighting system for night games. Open for public use anytime if there aren’t major tournaments.
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
With a history dating to 1908, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia acts as a gateway for the visual arts in Atlantic Canada by bringing the art of the world to Nova Scotia and the art of Nova Scotia to the world. Discover Nova Scotian folk art with the new, permanent collection, Show of Hands, which celebrates the imaginative creations in the hands of artists whose lives were, and are, inextricably bound to the land and sea. Art lovers should place the gallery high on their list of Halifax attractions.
Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 - Over 1.5 million immigrants, war brides, displaced people, evacuee children, and Canadian military personnel passed through this famous building between 1928 and 1971. The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 is a monument to the stories of people who helped build our nation.
Dartmouth Heritage Museum - The Dartmouth Heritage Museum operates two historic houses of Victorian Evergreen House (26 Newcastle St., current headquarters of the Museum/open year round) and Quaker House (55 Ochterloney St., one of the oldest buildings in HRM/open seasonally). Throughout the year, many rotating exhibits, heritage events, walking tours, and historic programming are run by the Museum. The Museum will soon be moving to its new location on the Dartmouth waterfront. Protecting, preserving and promoting local heritage.
Maritime Museum of the Atlantic - The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is the oldest and largest Maritime Museum in Canada. The collection at the Halifax museum includes artifacts, images, charts and plans relating to the marine history of Nova Scotia, including the Halifax Explosion and the Halifax connection to the Titanic. The Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian merchant marine, Nova Scotia small craft and local shipwrecks are particular strengths of the collection much of which represents the period 1850 to the present.
Memory Lane Heritage Village - You’ll hear tales of survival and triumph, of land and sea, of real lives and real people as told by their descendants. Discover this era of change, when modern conveniences changed lives.
Museum of Natural History - At the Museum of Natural History, there's something for everyone! Discover the natural wonders of Nova Scotia's land and sea. Enjoy world class fossils, mammals, birds, archaeology and exquisite First Nations Mi’kmaw porcupine quillwork on bark. Visiting exhibitions from national and sometimes international sources are complimented by interpretative programs offered by Museum Naturalists.
The Africville Museum - Housed in the reconstructed replica of the Seaview United Baptist Church that was demolished in the 1960’s when the community of Africville, located on the shores of the Bedford Basin, was destroyed, the Museum tells the story of Africville from the perspective of the former residents, the consultants, and the Mayors involved in the Africville decision. Within the museum you will find beautifully arranged panels as well as audio visual kiosks that tell the story of Africville. Open year round: May 15 to October 15, Tuesday - Sunday, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.; October 16 to May 14, Tuesday - Friday, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Anna Leonowens Gallery - The Anna Leonowens Gallery, part of NSCAD University, exhibits contemporary studio and media art, craft and design, and curatorial projects generated exclusively within the university community.
Argyle Fine Art - Argyle Fine Art represents a unique variety of contemporary art by established and emerging Canadian artists and provides an environment for everyone to enjoy, learn about, and acquire art.
Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum - See a variety of aircraft at the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum, located on Highway 102 near the Halifax Stanfield International Airport. The Museum (and its sister museums at Greenwood and Shearwater) is dedicated to preserving civil and military aviation history of all regions of Atlantic Canada.
Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia - The Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia welcomes visitors to experience the story of why thousands of people with African heritage came to be Canadians, in Nova Scotia, almost a hunded years before Canadian Confederation. The centre explores the history of settlement through artifacts, charts and images, including some that explain how more than 20 small remote villages were organized so that their populations could work together with people beyond their own local communities. Many events have taken place at the centre, such as cultural portrayals in the form of music, plays, concerts, as well as educational activities in the form of workshops, lectures and guided tours. Programs of the Black Cultural Centre extend beyond its doors to the broader community of Nova Scotia.
The Cole Harbour Rural Heritage Farm Museum - The Cole Harbour Rural Heritage Farm Museum is a community museum dedicated to preserving and interpreting Cole Harbour's agricultural past and to developing understanding of plants, animals and farming today. Historically, Cole Harbour was a prosperous, well cultivated market garden and dairy community serving the city of Halifax. Visit the museum to explore the area's agricultural and natural heritage.
The Craig Gallery - Located at Alderney Landing, The Craig Gallery provides an opportunity for amateur and established artists (including painters, sculptors, and interactive multi-media artists) to display their works.
Eyelevel Gallery - Eyelevel Gallery is home to exhibitions, performances, special projects, and workshops dedicated to the presentation, development and promotion of contemporary art.
Gallery Page & Strange - Gallery Page & Strange is a contemporary gallery located in the historic Granville Square of downtown Halifax, exhibiting a variety of works and exhibitions.
HMCS Sackville - Experience what it was like to serve at sea in the U-Boat infested waters of the North Atlantic by visiting HMCS Sackville, visiting that last of 269 corvettes built during the Second World War. Sackville was commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy in 1941 and escorted convoys from St. John's, Newfoundland to Londonderry, Northern Ireland from 1942 to 1944 bringing much needed food, fuel and military supplies to the United Kingdom in support of the war effort. The ship has been restored to her 1944 appearance by the Canadian Naval Memorial Trust and serves as Canada’s Naval Memorial, honouring not only those who served in battle, but all sailors who died in peacetime since the founding of Canada's navy in 1910. Sackville is open for visitors daily, including Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through out the summer and can be found berthed at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.
Mary E. Black Gallery - Located within the Nova Scotia Centre for Craft and Design in the Halifax Seaport, the Mary E. Black Gallery displays works in a variety of artistic mediums.
Naval Museum of Halifax - Located in the Stadacona section of CFB (Canadian Forces Base) Halifax (near Gottingen St. and North St.), the Naval Museum of Halifax is open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Explore the largest collection of Naval artefacts in Canada in Admiralty House, a National Historic Site opened in 1819 as the residence of the Commander-in-Chief of the North Atlantic and Caribbean Squadron.
Port Loggia Gallery - The Port Loggia Gallery, located at NSCAD University’s Port Campus, displays projects by students, staff, and alumni in a variety of media that can be viewed by visitors of the Halifax Seaport.
Ralph and Rose Chiodo Harbourside Gallery - Located in The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, the Ralph and Rose Chiodo Harbourside Gallery hosts a variety of exhibitions exploring themes such as immigration, cultural diversity, cultural heritage and identity, and more.
Seeds Gallery - Seeds Gallery features the work of students and alumni of NSCAD University and strives to enhance the Halifax art community.
Swoon Fine Art - Swoon Fine Art, Antiques and Fashion is a commercial art gallery and antique shop located in a two-storey, 9-room Victorian farmhouse, just outside of Halifax, Nova Scotia
From lively pubs to family spots to traditional favourites to new eateries, Halifax offers dining experiences for any taste. Enjoy one of Halifax’s many restaurants, tour a winery and dine on-site, explore how maple syrup is made, visit a local microbrewery, or experience a lively farmers' market. Explore fresh seafood, local ingredients, a passion for innovative cuisine, fun and exciting culinary tours, and so much more: http://destinationhalifax.com/culinary
• Acadian Maple Products Ltd.
• Alexander Keith's Nova Scotia Brewery
• Domaine de Grand Pre Winery and Le Caveau Restaurant
• Go North Tours
• Grafton Street Dinner Theatre
• Grape Escapes Nova Scotia Wine Tours
• Jost Vineyards
• Local Tasting Tours
• Alderney Landing Farmers Market
• Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market
• Historic Farmers' Market
• Hubbards Farmers' Market
• Garrison Brewing Co.
• The Wolfville Magic Winery Bus
• East Coast Outfitters
• Murphy's the Cable Wharf Charter Boats (deep sea fishing, nature & whale watching cruises, Harbour Hopper, Harbour Queen, Mar II, Theodore Tugboat, Tall Ship Silva)
• Shining Waters Marina (Four Winds Charters, Sea Sun Kayak Island Coast Adventures)
• Kaynoe Rentals on the Shubie Canal
• Shubenacadie Tidal Bore Rafting Park
• St. Mary's Boat Club
• Ambassatours Gray Line
• Atlantic Tours
• Blue Diamond Tours
• Bluenose Sidecar Tours
• CANADVAC Travel Services Ltd
• Go North Tours
• Grape Escapes Nova Scotia Wine Tours
• Great E.A.R.T.H. Expeditions
• Halifax Tour Guys
• I Heart Bikes
• Local Tasting Tours
• Open Top Tours
• Segway Nova Scotia
• TayMac Tours
• East Coast Balloon Adventures
• Halifax Citadel Regimental Association Ghost Walks
• The Halifax Ghost Walk
• The Wolfville Magic Winery Bus
• Winery Association of Nova Scotia
• Domaine de Grand Pre Winery
• Jost Vineyards
• L'Acadie Vineyards
• Annapolis Highland Vineyards
• Avondale Sky
• Benjamin Bridge
• Blomidon Estate Winery
• Gaspereau Vineyards
• Luckett Vineyards
• Muir Murray Estate Winery
• Petite Riviere Vineyards
• Sainte Famille Wines
• Amos Pewter Ltd
• Bogside Gallery
• Clearwater Lobster & Seafood Shop
• Island Beach Co of Nova Scotia Store
• Murphy's the Cable Wharf Company Store
• NovaScotian Crystal
• Rum Runners Rum Cake Factory
• Sweet Jane's
• Mic Mac Mall
• Barrington Place Shops
• Bedford Place Mall
• Halifax Shopping Centre
• Park Lane
• Scotia Square
• Sunnyside Mall
Embrace Spa, Quality Inn Halifax
When we place value in taking care of ourselves, we are able to take care of the rest. A hectic life requires balance. It starts with attaining peace and serenity on the inside, then it overflows into our daily lives. At Halifax's Embrace Spa, we welcome our guests with calming teas, soft music and an atmosphere sure to please the senses. It's a simple choice: revitalize your spirit. Isn't it time to embrace yourself?
Interlude Spa, Halifax Marriott Harbourfront
Interlude Spa has locations in both the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront and historic downtown Dartmouth. This full-service spa offers a wide variety of services, including aesthetics, fitness, massage and hair care.
Spirit Spa, Courtyard by Marriott Halifax Downtown
Spirit is about helping you look and feel your best. It’s about taking care of yourself with services designed to help you recharge, relax and beautify.
Located in downtown Halifax in a historic landmark building, Spirit’s atmosphere is warm, inviting and inspiring. Since opening in 2002, Spirit has been acclaimed as one of Halifax’s top spas and salons and has been recognized internationally for its interior and spa design.
Sykea Salon & Spa, The Westin Nova Scotian
Sykea Salon and Spa promotes a welcoming environment while encouraging rest and relaxation. This premiere Halifax spa offers a full-line of treatments and services for the hair, nails, skin and body for both men and women. Our highly experienced professionals combine their creative and technical skills to provide the best service and care for you including complimentary tea, coffee or wine during salon services.
Aqua Spa, Atlantica Hotel & Marina Oak Island
The Aqua Spa is a secluded paradise located on Nova Scotia’s romantic South Shore. Here you find complete tranquility while you breathe in the briny salt air that surrounds our oasis. Clear your mind and let our professionals transport your body and soul to a renewed level of relaxation and bliss. Our state-of-the-art facility is the ultimate escape.
The Spa at Fox Harb'r, Fox Harb'r Golf Resort & Spa
Fox Harb'r is more than a have for golf, ocean-side recreation, and renowned culinary experiences. It's a sanctuary wrapped in serenity and natural beauty that inspires well-being. Drawing on the essence of the East Coast and offering second-to-none expertise from a carefully selected spa personnel of aestheticians, therapists, and technicians, The Spa at Fox Harb'r inspires guests to reclaim their energy and vitality.
Ocean Spa, White Point Beach Resort
White Point Beach Resort is considered a spa for the soul. Pounding ocean surf of the Atlantic laps along the stretch of white sand beach and distinct smells of sea salt waft in the air on refreshing breezes. Those who appreciate a traditional and authentic spa experience will enjoy unique treatments on this oceanfront each setting. White Point Beach Resort's Ocean Spa is the only location in Atlantic Canada offering Chopra Centre Perfect Health Ayurveda Retreats by sought-after health practitioner Karen Whynott.