Holidays can be pricey, especially on a city break. So including some free things to do on your itinerary can really help keep the cost down.
While on our trip to Canada we visited the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia. So during our visit we tried to include free activities and more off the beaten track locations as well as the more touristy attractions.
Some of these things aren’t as easy to find online but when you’ve found them, they’re worth a visit!
So here is our list of 10 things you can do in Halifax for free!
1.) Make dinner outside in an open oven
Get to know the community better at Dartmouth’s volunteer-run, wood-fired community oven. Every Saturday from May to November and every Thursday from June to August the volunteers host ‘Open Ovens’ from 12-3pm. From May to September, you can book the Park Oven as a venue to hold your own events as well!
There’s no more need for soggy, cold sandwiches for your picnic, bring a pizza or steak and use the oven at the Leighton Dillman Park.
If you fancy some gardening use the community garden-bed plot to plant some herbs and veggies to go with your meal!
2. Explore the city with a walking tour
As you might know by now, a walking tour is one of our favourite things to do in a new place. It’s a great way to start your trip, exploring a city in a new way, finding hidden gems and learning about things you’d never have known unless you spoke to a native Nova Scotian.
At the Halifax Free Tours they provide tours by locals who have been born and raised in the city. They have regular tours which are around 1.5-2 hours from 10-3pm daily. They start at the top of the Halifax Citadel and end along the waterfront.
3. Watch a movie outdoors
During the summer months of June and July FIN Atlantic International Film Festival puts on outdoor cinemas around the city of Halifax for the public to enjoy. For nearly 20 summers people have been enjoying classic films on a huge inflatable screen under the open sky. Check online to find out what films will be showing this summer.
4. Canoe on the Northwest Arm
St. Mary’s Boat club in Halifax provides free rentals on the weekends for you to paddle along the Northwest Arm. You can take a canoe for a max of 1 hour from 11-6pm and all safety equipment is provided for you. This provision is on from June till September and is the perfect summer activity to do with friends.
5. See the heart shaped pond
If you need a break from the city, the 200 acre Hemlock Ravine park is a great spot in Halifax, with trails for hiking. There are 3 main trails of interconnecting loops which are roughly 1 kilometres each.
In the park you’ll find the heart shaped pond which dates back to 1794, which was a centre piece of an elaborate garden built by Prince Edward. Now it’s all that remains of the estate but it’s a great place for a romantic picnic!
6. Take a free class or workshop
The Halifax Central Library is the number 1 place to visit on Tripadvisor in Halifax! The 5-level, glass building offers free classes and workshops, which you can browse and book online. The library has two cafes, a music studio, auditorium, and regular free events. Head to the rooftop terrace to get a great view of the city.
7. Skate at the Emera Oval
The Emera Oval was built in 2011 for the Canada Games. Now it’s used as a roller rink in the summer and a skating rink in the winter. You can rent equipment for free like helmets, hockey sticks and figure skates!
8. Relax in a hammock
Walk along the famous harbour in Halifax, one of the most visited destinations in Nova Scotia. The waterfront is known as one of the longest boardwalks in the world at 4 kilometres. Here you can find food stools, galleries and independent shops inside wooden huts and also the red hammocks by the seafront. So take a book, have a relax in the sun and enjoy the ocean breeze.
9. View Nova Scotian Art
The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is the largest art museum in the province. There are two galleries, one located in Halifax and the other in Yarmouth. Entrance to the gallery is $12 but admission is free on Thursday nights from 5pm-9pm. The Halifax gallery holds a permanent collection of nearly 19,000 works by Nova Scotian, Canadian and International artists.
Check online for their upcoming exhibitions.
10. Take a stroll in the oldest Victorian garden in North America
The Halifax Public Gardens, located in the heart of the city, opened in 1867 and is the perfect summer spot. Regarded as a brilliant example of “Victorian ‘Gardenesque’ landscape design and planting traditions” the gardens were dedicated as a national historical site in 1984. Included in the 17 acres are statues, waterfalls, bridges, 140 species of tree, carpet beds and a cafe.
Look out for upcoming events. Some events happening this year include the 9th Annual Dahlia Days Celebration in September and the ‘Paint The Gardens’ Event from July to September.
Check out their ‘What’s Blooming’ page to see what flowers will be in bloom ahead of your visit to make sure you don’t miss out on seeing your favourite flowers!
If you’ve been to Halifax or have any questions please comment below! #ForGlowingHearts
Our trip to Halifax was in partnership with Destination Canada, who we went on assignment with to explore Nova Scotia for 7 days, capturing the most beautiful spots and destinations along the way!
Find out more about Halifax and Nova Scotia at DestinationCanada.com