We can probably all agree on one thing – winter months are EXPENSIVE! With the holidays, winter clothing, heating the house… and on and on, it feels like a breath of fresh air to find activities for the kids that won’t break the bank. When looking for something to do with the kids over the holidays and throughout the winter weekends, keep our list close by. The cost of these family-fun activities? $5 or less – but most are FREE!
Skating and Snowshoeing at the Emera Oval
Not only is skating FREE at the Emera Oval but if you don’t own a pair of skates, you can borrow skates for NO COST for use at the oval. Once you’ve finished skating, you can trade your skates in for a pair of snowshoes that you can also borrow at NO COST! Bring a picnic and a thermos of hot chocolate and enjoy a beautiful winter day at the Halifax Common.
There are also many indoor skating venues in HRM that have FREE public/family/parent and tot skates. Check our listing here for more details.
Splendour in the Park at Cornwallis Park
You can enjoy an evening at Cornwallis Park, toe-tapping to their holiday music and lights show, ‘Splendour in the Park’, taking place daily from 4:00 pm to midnight until January 2nd, 2020. Continue the downtown winter wonderland adventure with a short stroll down Barrington Street to the holiday lights of the Grande Parade!
Are you ready to be the hiking hero? Tell the kids you are taking them on a treasure hunt to find real treasure! Halifax has a TON of beautiful trails that are great for hiking any time of the year and are packed with things to find along the way. The snow may ‘up the difficulty factor’ a bit so why not make your own Geocache and hide it along the way? The kids will love to make a homemade treasure box and include treasures for others to find. I highly recommend suggesting to your kids to include trinkets that you embed in your feet on a daily basis or stickers from their collection to lessen the amount that you continually have to peel off random walls and furniture. You can download a free app to help on your hunt!
There is absolutely no better way to enjoy a day outdoors in the winter! Bundle up, grab the sleds and hit one of the many hills around HRM. Not sure which hill to head to first? Here’s our list of the best places to go sledding in Halifax.
The libraries in HRM have amazing programs for all ages year-round and the best part is that almost all of the featured programs are FREE! You can check out their programs and locations on their website and in addition to the scheduled programs, each library has a kids play and reading area which will keep them busy for hours!
Home Depot Kids Workshops
The Home Depot stores in Halifax and Dartmouth host a FREE Kids Workshops on the 2nd Saturday of each month. They feature a different DIY project every month for the kids to create, using wood, hammers, glue, and paint. Participants are required to pre-register so please be sure to check with your local store.
Cineplex Family Favourites Movies
Cineplex Theatres in Halifax, Dartmouth, and Lower Sackville host Cineplex Family Favourites on Saturdays. Catch your favourite seasonal movies, for only $2.99, most Saturdays at 11:00 am. Check ahead for the featured show of the week.
Michaels Kids Club Crafts
Each Saturday, you can sign up for your children (ages 3 & up) for a 30-minute crafting class. The projects are new every week and the kids always have a masterpiece completed to take home. Sessions cost $3 to participate and start every half hour from 10:00 am to 11:30 am.
Young Naturalists Club
The Young Naturalists Club is a FREE nature club geared toward youth and their families. The YNC in Halifax runs from September to June and all field trips are FREE to participate. The Club field trips usually take place on the 4th Sunday of each month at various locations in HRM. You can go to all the field trips or just those that fit your family’s schedule – just remember to register first!
Christmas Light Displays
There really is something special about spending time with your kids when they should be in bed. This is quality time and since they know the alternative, they are always on their best behaviour. Take advantage of this time! Grab a hot chocolate, jump in the car or if you are lucky enough to live within walking distance, grab your boots, maybe a sled, and go walking in the winter wonderland!
Museums, Art Gallery and Discovery Centre
We have lots of great museums to visit in HRM that offer hands-on fun and learning. Each has one evening a week where you can visit FREE of charge or by donation.
Maritime Museum of the Atlantic – Tuesday evenings from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Museum of Natural History – Wednesday evenings from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
The Discovery Centre – Wednesday 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
Here’s to the adventures that were in 2019, and to the adventures that will be in 2020!