School is out and we are well into the summer months. The kids are already bored and you are wondering how to keep them amused for the next few weeks without breaking the bank. Luckily, HRM has so many great places to spend a lazy summer day. Here are some of our favourite FREE activities to do this Summer! (Click on each activity for more info).

1. Swing on Over to a Local Playground

There are so many interesting and unique playgrounds to visit around HRM that you could literally visit a new spot every week. There are nautical inspired playgrounds, natural playgrounds and playgrounds for all ages. Bring a picnic and settle in for a day of playground fun!

2. Take in the Sweet Sounds at a Public Gardens Concert

Dance the afternoon away at the Halifax Public Gardens Concert Series. With a variety of free activities happening all summer, each Sunday will feature a different local artist that will entertain at the Bandstand from 2-4pm.

3. Go for a  Skate at the Halifax Oval

Grab your inline or 4-wheel skates and head down to the Halifax Commons for some fun summer skating at the Emera Oval. If you don’t have your own skates, no sweat!  Skates, inline skates, bikes, scooters and plasma cars are available to borrow FREE of charge. Bring your ID to borrow skates and don’t forget your helmet. Helmets and protective gear are also available to borrow at the site.

4. Visit the Library 

The HRM Libraries have tons of cool programs for preschoolers, kids and teens and they are all FREE to participate. Check out the Halifax Public Libraries website to find programs near you at one of their 15 library locations! Also, don’t forget to join the TD Summer Reading Club and get a free reading kit, including a magazine filled with fun summer activities. As you read during the summer, you can visit the library to collect cool rewards and a chance to win exciting prizes!

5. Cool off at a Splash Park

When the summer sun heats up, cool down at one of HRM’s splash parks. It’s a great way to enjoy the summer sunshine and most parks are great for all ages.

6. Cruise the Halifax-Dartmouth Ferry

The Halifax Harbour Ferry to Alderney Landing or Woodside is one of the cheapest boat cruises that you will find and the kids will love the ride! Halifax Transit will provide FREE rides from July 1 to August 31. Alderney ferry will be free every Saturday during this period. Kids under 5 years of age are always free!

7. Eat Out at One of These Great Picnic Spots

Food always tastes better in the great outdoors! Get the whole family to help with the sandwiches and snacks and head to your favourite picnic spot. These are some of our favourites. Grab a frisbee and blanket and you are set for the afternoon.

8. Be a Beach Bum

Nova Scotia has some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. Most are a bit of a jaunt from the city but well worth the adventure. Get prepared to spend the day because the kids never want to leave – sun, sand and snacks will be all you need for a day of fun!

9. Enjoy the Big Screen Under the Stars at a FIN Outdoor Movie 

The FIN Outdoor Film Experience will be showing movies at the Halifax Public Gardens. The movies are FREE however, Feed Nova Scotia will be accepting donations prior to the screening.

10. Take Swimming Lessons at the Beach

We may have possibly saved the best for last. Halifax Recreation offers FREE Swimming Lessons at many of the beaches throughout HRM. If you haven’t already registered, no worries! The next registration date for summer sessions 3 and 4 is coming up on July 11th. Mark your calendars because these spaces fill up fast! Call RecConnect at 902-490-666 or visit their website for more information or to register.

11. Walk across the Bridge

We are so used to driving hastily to get from point A to point B that sometimes we forget to slow down and take in the scenery. While we do not recommend you do this while driving, we want to remind you that the walking lanes across the Angus MacDonald memorial Bridge are there to help you slow down and take it all in.

Bonus Freebies!

FREE Festival Events:

There are lots of great Festivals that happen each summer in our beautiful city. Most of these festivals feature some fantastic FREE events throughout their schedule. Some of our favourite FREE Festival Events are the Kids Extravaganza at the Bedford Days Festival, the Pride Parade, and the Mother Goose Festival at the Natal Day Festivities! Check out our festival listing here.

Here are a few more places to visit over the summer holidays that offer FREE ADMISSION:

Maritime Museum of the Atlantic – Tuesday evenings from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia – Thursday evenings from 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

The Shearwater Aviation Museum – Always free admission

Have a great summer, Halifax!