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5 things to do on a rainy day in downtown Halifax!

Summer is officially over and temperatures have certainly dropped. We will all have to start spending more time indoors as the weather continues to cool, and we are likely to see more damp, rainy days from here on in. But what is one to do if it’s too wet and cold to be outdoors, but we want to do something fun? Here are five great places to spend a rainy day in Halifax:

1. Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

Even if you’re not an art lover, you are bound to become one after visiting this large provincial art museum. There are not only dozens of rooms full of beautiful things to look at (the permanent collection houses more than 17,000 items!), you can also get a local history lesson, tag along on an artist talk or tour, make a craft with the kids, browse the gift shop, then have a relaxing warm drink in the café, Pavia.

 2. Clay Café

You don’t have to be an artist or art lover to visit this creative centre either. Everything you could need is provided, so all you have to do is grab a bunch of friends and family, your thermos of hot tea, and a set of old clothes and settle in for an afternoon of DIYing!

There are many shapes, sizes and prices of ceramics to choose from and the atmosphere is super friendly and relaxing. The staff will help you along if you need it, or just leave you alone to contemplate your masterpiece and the rain rolling down the windows, whatever you prefer.

3. Museum of Natural History

You could easily spend a full day inside this museum, there are so many interesting and educational activities. Explore the lives of animals at night with Little Ray’s Nocturnal Life show, watch live weather and ocean movements on Science on a Sphere, and peek inside the habitats of the marine animals of our region.

Don’t forget to say hi to Gus the Turtle, who celebrated his 90th birthday this year!

 4. Oxford Theatre

Sure, you could visit one of the giant suburban multiplexes for a rainy afternoon movie, but nothing compares to watching a film in the charming, old-world setting of the Oxford. Turn off your phone and step back in time by seeing a quieter, character-driven independent film for a change. The velvet curtains, ornate statuary and grand balcony take you back to a simpler time when movie-goers only had one movie choice and one theatre.

A rainy day is the perfect time to take it slow lose yourself in a fascinating story.

 5. The Board Room Game Cafe

Playing a board game with a group of loved ones is a great way to pass the time, give your brain a workout and incite some friendly competition. What’s even more fun is playing one in a room full of other groups doing the same thing – the laughter is infectious!

Don’t know what to play? The Board Room staff is very knowledgeable and can recommend something based on your interests and skill level. Their delicious snacks and local beer are sure to keep you toasty for as long as you need.

So, the next time it rains all day, don’t sit at home like a sloth – get out there and enjoy some of the many fun indoor activities that Halifax has to offer!

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5 amazing apple orchards within 1 hour of Halifax

Fall is a favourite time of year to explore Nova Scotia’s natural surroundings with your family. It’s a season of corn mazes, pumpkin patches, and of course, amazing apple picking.

With so many outstanding orchards in Nova Scotia, there’s no better way to celebrate the season than by indulging in a freshly picked apple. Whether you’re craving apple pies for Thanksgiving, candy apples for Halloween, or a healthy snack, here are five places to pick a perfect apple this autumn – all within a 1-hour drive from Halifax.

1. Noggins Corner Farm Market
10009 Hwy #1, Greenwich, Nova Scotia

While you may visit Noggins Corner Farm Market for the apples, you’ll stay for the corn mazes, wagon rides, duck races, and barnyard play area. With all this and more, it’s not hard to see why Noggins is a local family favourite!

2. Gates U-Pick 1263 Starr’s Point Road, Port Williams, Nova Scotia In business for over 20 years, Gates U-Pick is a staple in the area and an expert in the art of apple growing. With over 20 varieties of apples, the best way to find your preferred flavour is with a free wagon ride and orchard tour.

Macintosh Picking A post shared by Josh Weagle (@joshweagle) on

3. Daniel’s U-Pick
4499 Route 14 (Chester Road), Windsor Forks, Nova Scotia

One thing is for sure, you definitely won’t leave Daniel’s U-Pick hungry! In addition to an assortment of apples, the farm offers a taste of local plums, pears, jams/jellies, honey and cider. Sounds pretty delicious to us!

4. Willowbank U-Pick Farm 110 Starr’s Point Loop, Port Williams, Nova Scotia Willowbank U-Pick Farm is a working farm owned by the Johnson family. During the fall, they open to the public and it is well worth the trip! Not only can you cross apple picking off your fall bucket list, but you can take in the farm’s petting zoo and corn maze!

5. Dempsey Corner Orchards
2717 Highway 221, RR#3, Aylesford, Nova Scotia

Picking your apples directly from the tree is way more fun then picking them off the shelf of a grocery store! Especially at Dempsey Corner Orchards! Plus, if you are looking for variety, you’ve come to the right place! They have 57 varieties of apples to try!

Where do you go to get your apples in Halifax?

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Top 5 SPOOKY places in Halifax to experience this Halloween!

There are a lot of perks to living in an old city. Beautiful architecture, history everywhere you turn, and ghosts.

Ghosts you say? Here is a list of spooky and haunted places in Halifax, that have been known to have a few ghost sightings!

1. Five Fisherman Restaurant and Grill – Now known as one of the best places to experience East Coast seafood, the Five Fisherman wasn’t always a restaurant.

Originally constructed as a school, it has also served as a mortuary, acting as the final stop for victims of some of the largest disasters to impact the area: the Halifax Explosion and the sinking of the Titanic.

So really it’s no surprise that there have been multiple reports of unexplained noises and shadowy figures on the property. Are you brave enough to dine? Learn more on their website!

2. Halifax Citadel National Historic Site – Completed as a British fort in 1856, the Halifax Citadel has all the eeriness you’d expect from a fortress that has housed prisoners and kept an active watch over a city on the ocean.

From stories of Grey Ladies to mysterious images on security cameras, more than a few unexplained happenings have occurred on the grounds. Want to learn more? The best way to experience this historic site is to sign up for a Ghost Walk, taking place every Friday and Saturday until the end of October.

3. Alexander Keith’s Brewery – The Alexander Keith’s Brewery on Lower Water Street is a popular Halifax tourist attraction, showing locals and tourists alike how Mr. Keith once brewed his popular beer. But did you know that despite having died in 1873, there have been recorded sightings of the famed politician checking in on the progress of his brewery?

Take a tour of the brewery and grab something to eat at the Red Stag Tavern – who knows who you might run into!

4. McNabs IslandOften admired from both Halifax and Dartmouth, McNab’s Island currently serves as a green space only accessible by boat. McNab’s has served many purposes in its history, including playing home to early settlers, a soda factory, and a Victorian garden. While a public picnic area may sound quaint, let’s not forget that the island was also once home to more eerie and sinister activity.

One specific area, “Hangman’s Beach,” showcased the hanging bodies of mutineers. These corpses served as a warning to anyone arriving in port who thought that Halifax seemed like a great place to get up to some unsavoury activity.

McNab’s stories definitely make me want to be on my best behavior!

5. St. Paul’s Anglican Church

Located right across the street from The Five Fisherman in Grand Parade, stands St. Paul’s Anglican Church. Completed in 1750, St Paul’s is the oldest building in Halifax!

Ghostly mysteries surround a face in one of the second floor windows of the church. Legend has it that on the morning on the Halifax Explosion, a deacon was standing in front of the window – due to the intense light and heat from the explosion, his profile was forever etched on the glass, leaving his shadow behind for years to come. Spooky truth or random coincidence?

Stand on Argyle Street, look at the church windows on the second floor and decide for yourself.

Have you seen any ghosts floating around Halifax? Let us know on Facebook!

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What is the best season to visit Halifax? FIND OUT!

Halifax is an urban hub filled with maritime charm. With its rich history, spectacular seascapes, and welcoming east-coast culture, there are plenty of reasons to choose Halifax as your vacation destination. But many people still wonder what is the best time of year to visit, so we’re taking a closer look at Halifax through the seasons, to help you decide!

Spring: With the arrival of sunshine, warm weather and outdoor activities, there are so many reasons to love spring in Halifax.

As the old adage says, April showers bring May flowers and Halifax is no exception. With the city beautifully in bloom, there’s no better way to celebrate the arrival of spring than with a stroll through one of the picturesque parks. Admire the fresh flowers at one of our favourites, and a very popular Halifax attraction, the Public Gardens. While you’re there, don’t forget to stop at Uncommon Grounds and Sugah! for a little treat!

Embrace even more fresh spring air by getting back to your favourite outdoor activities. We suggest dusting off your bike and hitting the trails or unpacking your golf clubs for a day on the green. Halifax will have you feeling in the spring spirit in no time!

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Summer: Summer in the Maritimes may be short, but it is oh so sweet! Whether you’re craving adventure or relaxation, there are plenty of ways to take advantage of the summer in Halifax.

Surrounded by water, summer adventures in Halifax are endless. Relax on one of our beautiful beaches, cool off with a refreshing swim, or enjoy the water with one of the many cruises in the city. Whether you set sail aboard the Tall Ship Silva, take a family ride on the Harbour Hopper, or go for ride on the Halifax Transit Ferry across the harbor. The Halifax-Dartmouth ferry is North America’s oldest, continuous, salt-water passenger ferry service – making it just one of the reasons why you’ll fall in love with our port city.

After you’ve cooled off, take to the city streets. Throughout the summer, the city is buzzing with activity, welcoming visitors from around the world – so, what better time to people watch? Take a walk on the waterfront and feel the summer breeze off the harbour, then pick a patio and soak in the east coast lifestyle.

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Fall: Blanketed in autumn’s brightest hues of yellow, red and orange, you’ll absolutely fall for the city during this crisp and colourful season.

With the fabulous fall scenery, it’s time to explore our beautiful and bountiful province. Take to the great outdoors with a hike through the leafy landscape of one of our many trails or indulge in the fresh fall flavours with a trip to the Halifax Seaport Market. For even more family fun this fall, travel just outside of the city where you can get lost in a corn maze, admire handmade scarecrows, pick some tasty apples or find the perfect Halloween pumpkin.

Speaking of Halloween, there’s no better time to embrace Halifax’s haunted history than with a ghost tour. If your fearless family is game for this eerie activity, we suggest the Halifax Ghost Walk or the Citadel Ghost Tour.

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Winter: With the awe-inspiring beauty of Nova Scotia glistening with ice and snow, it’s worth braving the chilly air to experience winter in Halifax.

You’ll be bright eyed and rosy cheeked after a day of outdoor winter activities. Whether you lace up your skates at the Emera Oval, slide down one of the city’s many tobogganing hills, or strap on your snowshoes to explore the area, you’ll have no trouble enjoying our winter season.

When the weather outside is too frightful, our indoor activities are so delightful. Take advantage of our thriving arts and culture scene with a visit to one of the many art galleries, museums and historical sites in the city, including the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, or the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History.

Now that we’ve explored all of the seasons, back to the question: When is the best time to visit Halifax? We think the answer is obvious! A warm welcome awaits you no matter what time of year you visit.

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What’s your favourite time of year to be in Halifax? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.