Winter is in full swing here in the Maritimes, which means it’s a great time to get out there and explore a different side (and season) of the East Coast! One of our favourite places to spend time during the winter months (when we’re not setting sail on the mv Fundy Rose, of course) is in Halifax—Nova Scotia’s capital city. There’s so much to see and do here in the snowy season, that you’ll be happy to brave the cold to experience an unforgettable winter day in Halifax. Whether you’re visiting for a day, a weekend, or longer, here are a few of our favourite Halifax activities for a winter day.
For some people, the first signs of winter mean it’s time to bundle up, but for us, they mean it’s time to sharpen our skates and get ready for a winter on the ice at the Emera Oval. Originally built for the 2011 Canada Games, the oval proved so popular with locals that it became a permanent facility on the Halifax Commons.
Today, the oval is a winter staple for Haligonians and visitors to the city. The size of three NHL sized rinks, hundreds of people skate here every day—from beginners stepping on the ice for the first time to speed skaters training for their next competition. Rentals at the oval are free, and there is even a spot to grab a quick snack and a hot chocolate after you finish your skate. Come with a friend, or make some new ones as you make your way around the track, and put your best skate forward as you start your winter day in Halifax!
Halifax is full of hills, making it a great place for sledding! So if a winter thrill ride is what you’re after, you’ve come to the right place! Of course, the most famous sledding spot in Halifax is Citadel Hill—and for good reason. Rising high above the downtown core, Citadel Hill offers beautiful views of the harbour and enough of an incline to get your heart pumping! Specifically, we love to sled on the Wanderer’s Grounds, which offers a nice, long landing area to slow down after you make your way down.
If you’re looking for some serious speed on your sled, consider venturing to Merv Sullivan Park in the city’s North End. Affectionately known as “The Pit,” this former quarry is well known by locals for its steep incline and high-speed sledding. Be sure to wear your helmet and put on a brave face—you’ll need them both!
A winter walk after a fresh snowfall can provide a wonderful sense of calm, as well as beautiful views. Point Pleasant Park is our favourite spot to go walking in a winter wonderland. Why? With nearly 40 kilometres of walking paths, several preserved ruins of historic fortifications, and beautiful views of the ocean, it’s a fantastic spot to spend an afternoon in any season, but is uniquely special in winter. If that isn’t enough, there are also off-leash dog walking areas, so if you have a soft spot for four-legged friends, or have one of your own, this is the perfect park to visit.
Nova Scotia may be a small province, but it’s certainly made a huge impact on the sporting world. That impact can be felt at the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame—home to over 150 years of Nova Scotian sporting history! While the museum is home to many displays, simulators, and exhibits, the most popular collection profiles Halifax’s hometown hero, Sidney Crosby.
The Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame is free to visit, and is a great place to stop and explore before attending a Moosehead’s game at the Scotiabank Centre!
Oh, and don’t forget to pack your winter coat and gloves!