January 7, 2019
The snowy season is in full swing here in the Maritimes, which means it’s a great time to get out and explore the East Coast’s winter wonderland! One of the places we love to visit is Halifax — Nova Scotia’s capital city. There’s so much to see and do here in winter, and we want to share a few of our favourite activities with you! So grab your hat and gloves, and make your way to Halifax to check out some of these unforgettable winter experiences.
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. As big as 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. This winter, things look a little different at the oval. The biggest change for 2021? You’ll have to register in advance for your skating session. This makes it easy to ensure everybody has a skating experience that’s fun, as well as safe. You can register for your spot up to two days in advance. Rentals at the oval are free, though in 2021 they will be available in limited quantities. And when you’re finished skating, head over to the food trucks! They’re serving up plenty of snacks and drinks again this year.
So book your time and get ready to make your way around the track. There’s no better way to put your best skate forward to 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! 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! There’s no better way to spend a snowy day than by slip-sliding down the hill to the Wanderer’s Grounds, which offers a nice, long landing area to slow down.
If you’re the type of person who has a serious need for speed, 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 the freshly fallen snow. 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.
Natural History? This museum, nestled between Citadel Hill and the Halifax Common is home to all sorts of artifacts of cultural significance to Nova Scotia. You’ll find archeology exhibits, ethonoly insights, and detailed looks at mammals, marine life, and our connection to them both.
The museum also plays host to many touring exhibits, and is home to one of Nova Scotia’s biggest (and oldest) celebrities, Gus! This 98-year old gopher tortoise has called the museum home since 1948, and is beloved by all. Be sure to stop by and say “Hello!” to him during your visit.
There’s “snow” doubt about it, winter is definitely heating up in Halifax! For more tips and ideas for enjoying your time in our neck of the woods, be sure to visit our Explore The Maritimes blog today!