A Tale of Two Playgrounds: Family Fun on Both Sides of Halifax Harbour

Playgrounds Halifax HarbourThe only thing more fun than a family ferry ride across the harbour is a family ferry ride that terminates at a playground!
Whether you live in Halifax or Dartmouth, there is an amazing playground on the other side. This means great views, and awesome maritime family fun on both sides of the harbour.

Dartmouth Waterfront

The best part? You can enjoy this family day out for the price of bus fare. So, first, pack some water and snacks, or even a picnic. Then, depending on which side of the harbour you wish to begin your adventure, follow these directions:

From Halifax

  • Start at the Halifax Ferry Terminal. On the weekends, the Ferry Departs on the hour and the half hour. You can view the full ferry schedule here.
  • At the time of writing, an adult fare is $2.50 and a child fare (aged 5-15) is $1.75. Children under 5 years old travel free. You need exact change, or a bus ticket (You can buy books of 10 tickets in advance at places like Lawton’s Drugstore).
  • Request a transfer for each passenger. A transfer is good for 90 minutes, so you might be able to use it for the journey back.
  • Take the short journey to Alderney Landing. If it’s a nice day, go to the  top of the boat, and enjoy the view. When our kids were young, we lied and told them that McNab’s Island was actually The Island of Sodor. We invite you to do the same…if you are that kind of parent!

When you arrive in Dartmouth, turn right and walk a few metres to the Kiwanis Playground. This is a great playrgound for kids of all ages. On the day we visited, we had our picnic lunch in a large spinning bowl that we nicknamed “the ashtray” (because of its shape, not its contents!!).

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The Kiwanis Playground on the Dartmouth Waterfront

The Train Tracks behind the playground are working train tracks, so take care not to play or walk on them, but if you are lucky you may see a train go by, like we did! Make sure you wave at the driver!

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Train at Alderney Landing

If you decide to stay a little longer in downtown Dartmouth, check out the Alderney Landing Public Library, Alderney Landing Weekend Market, or yummy hipster-mecca, Two if By Sea, on Ochterloney Street.

dartmouth waterfront family fun

From Dartmouth

  • Start at the Alderney Landing Ferry Terminal. On the weekends, the ferry departs at quarter-past and quarter-to the hour. You can view the full ferry schedule here.
  • At the time of writing, an adult fare is $2.50 and a child fare (aged 5-15) is $1.75. Children under 5 years old travel free. You need exact change or a bus ticket (You can buy books of 10 tickets in advance at places like Lawton’s Drugstore).
  • Request a transfer for each passenger. A transfer is good for 90 minutes, so you might be able to use it for the journey back.
  • Take the short ferry ride to the Halifax Waterfront. This is where you are going to get some nice views of the bridges and the Halifax waterfront. You will even be able to see the mast on top of Citadel Hill.
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The Submarine Playground

When you arrive in Halifax, turn left along the Halifax Harbourwalk. Go past Theodore Tugboat,  Murphy’s on the Water, and all the food merchants and tourist stalls. On your right, opposite the Tourist Information building, is the Orange Submarine. The Submarine Playground is awesome – designed and built by local shipbuilders, Tern Boatworks. Your kids will have a great time. Steps away is The Wave:  a large sculpture that looks like… a wave!

The Wave Halifax Harbour

Climb the Wave at your own risk: it’s not designed for play

Please be warned that The Wave is not actually designed for climbing, so it’s at your own risk.

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Cool abstract art at Bishop’s Landing, on the way to the Seaport Market

Staying a little longer? Visit The Maritime Museum Museum of The Atlantic, walk to the Halifax Seaport Market, or head back to Historic Properties for some food! We recommend Subway for an affordable lunch in a nice cozy, historic Halifax building.

If you take the ferry to one of these playgrounds, why not tag us on FacebookTwitter @familyfunyhz or Instagram @familyfuncanada. We’d love to see what you get up to – on both sides of the harbour!

 

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