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Perfect Secret Santa Presents For Every Personality!

With the nights getting longer, the days chillier, and the shopping malls much busier, the holidays must be getting closer! That means that it’s time to start gift shopping for family, friends and of course, the beloved – yet sometimes stressful – Secret Santa exchange.

Don’t let the pressure of finding a great gift get you down. If done right, Secret Santa exchanges can be a wonderful way to get into the holiday spirit. And lucky for you, we can help you find the present perfect for every personality!

Culture Enthusiast

With a variety of plays, movies, music and art around Halifax, it’s not hard to find the ideal gift for your enthusiast to celebrate the city and its vibrant culture.

$ Tickets to the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
$$ Pottery, painting, or another piece of artwork from a local artist
$$$ Tickets to Neptune Theatre

History Buff

From pirates and privateers to famous ships and legendary explosions, Halifax has a long and unique history. Tap into the province’s roots for the people in your life who love history.

$ A book about local history
$$ Annual family pass to a museum or historical site, such as the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History.
$$$ A night at the infamous Oak Island

Outdoor Explorer

Winter boasts plenty of outdoor activities in Halifax, so we suggest giving a gift that makes enjoying the great outdoors a little easier for your local explorer.

$ Toboggan to enjoy one of Halifax’s best tobogganing hills
$$ Snowshoes for a wonderful winter walk
$$$ Cross country skis to enjoy these top ski spots

Food & Brew Lover

Halifax is a foodie and brew lover’s paradise so there’s no better gift to give than a taste of the province’s delicious – and local – food and drink.

$ Local wine or beer
$$ A gift certificate to your favorite local restaurant
$$$ Tickets to a food or drink based event, such as the Savour Food & Wine Festival

Sports Fan

Halifax is home to a professional basketball team, The Halifax Hurricanes, and a well-known junior hockey team, The Halifax Mooseheads, and offers an assortment of sporting activities.

$ Tickets to the Halifax Hurricanes or the Halifax Mooseheads
$$ A pair of skates to use at the Emera Oval
$$$ A day-pass to Ski Martock (only an hour from Halifax)

Now that you’ve made your shopping list and checked it twice, all that’s left to do is have an enjoyable and safe festive season! Need some ideas for holiday family fun? Check out our top five things to do in Halifax over the holidays.

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Fun festive things to do in Halifax! Part 1: Live holiday performances

This blog post is part 1 of a 4-part holiday series on the Halifax Sociable blog. Check back each week for more tips on how to make the most of your holiday vacation in Halifax!

While the weather outside can be frightful, November and December can be made delightful. Wondering how? Well, forget about the winter weather and instead create a cozy holiday atmosphere by venturing out among the merrymakers to experience the joys of the holiday season in Halifax first hand.

So, this season, make sure you don’t leave the city without seeing at least one of these festive holiday favorites.

  1. The Nutcracker

It’s one of Halifax’s favourite holiday traditions. This grand production combines Tchaikovsky’s hauntingly beautiful scores, spirited dancing and larger-than-life puppets, to tell the magical tale of a little girl’s toy that comes to life as she’s whisked away to an enchanted world. It’s a festive favourite for all ages that is sure to get you in the holiday spirits.

When: December 9 to December 18, 2016
Where: Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, presented by Symphony Nova Scotia
More Info: symphonynovascotia.ca

  1. Miracle on 34th Street

Could the department store Santa be the real thing? Find out for yourself in Neptune Theatre’s production of Miracle on 34th Street.

Kris Kringle challenges the cynics among us in this musical adaptation of the popular holiday favourite. It’s the classic story of a jolly white-bearded gentleman with a twinkle in his eye, who spreads a wave of love and cheer throughout New York City. Filled with humor and great songs, this heartwarming musical is the perfect way to spend a festive evening out with your family!

When: November 22 to December 31, 2016
Where: Neptune Theatre
More Info: www.neptunetheatre.com

  1. Tales of A Charlie Brown Christmas

Experience the magic of the holiday season with timeless music that will warm your heart. Back by popular demand, the Halifax Jazz Festival presents Tales of a Charlie Brown Christmas, featuring local jazz legend, Jerry Granelli, an original member of the Vince Guaraldi Trio—the musicians who scored and performed the original recording of A Charlie Brown Christmas. Rediscover the true meaning of Christmas, as you experience the music with the musician who was a part of its inception.

When: December 4, 2016
Where: Presented by Halifax Jazz Festival at Spatz Theatre
More Info: halifaxjazzfestival.com

  1. Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

Looking to start a new festive family tradition? Check out Charles Dickens’ timeless Christmas tale, now in its 13th extraordinary year of production. It’s become a way to celebrate the holiday season in Nova Scotia. Experience the electrifying arrival of the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. It’s sure remind you with laughter and tears that the true Christmas spirit comes from giving. Experience the jubilant musical numbers, the ‘bah humbugs’ and Scrooge’s joyful discovery of life and love—it’s a story that will be sure warm your heart!

When: December 13 to December 24, 2016
Where: Presented by Eastern Front Theatre on Neptune’s Scotiabank Stage
More Info: www.easternfronttheatre.com 

  1. It’s A Central Small Town Christmas

Take the whole family to the theater for this production of It’s a Central Small Town Christmas. Join the talented crew from Nova Scotia Health Authority’s Central Zone Players as they tell the story of three families’ differences that become apparent when they’re forced to set up their competing Christmas tree lots in the same common space. The families quickly discover their common ground as they compete through song and dance.

When: December 7 to December 10, 2016
Where: Alderney Landing Theatre
More Info: www.alderneylanding.com

Check out our Events Calendar to see what shows are on stage while you’re here, or head to our Halifax Sociable blog or Sign-up for e-newsletter to get insider tips on holiday activities and events.

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Where to buy FASHIONABLE dresses in Halifax!

It’s time to step up your style game! Here are 6 of the best places to find that perfect outfit or dress around the Halifax region.

1. Bodega Boutique
Leading the charge of the revitalization of downtown Dartmouth, Bodega Boutique is focused on bringing “affordable fashion and pretty things to stylish women.” And they deliver.

With a carefully curated selection of clothes, jewelry and other accessories, a trip to Bodega is definitely going to result in something you’re going to want to wear to more than one event. Want a sneak peak of what they offer?

Visit their website (online shopping available!), Instagram and Facebook pages.

2. Sweet Pea Whether for a low-key house party of a glitzy New Years Eve event, you’re going to want to make a trip to Sweet Pea boutique. I cannot count the number of times Sweet Pea has come to the rescue for me – weddings, parties, work events, bridal showers, my own wedding rehearsal… if I need to look good for something, I know a trip to Sweet Pea is in order. If you want to feel tempted to spend the bulk of your pay cheque on beautiful dresses follow them on Instagram.

Yes please 💘 A post shared by Sweet Pea Boutique (@sweetpeahalifax) on

3. Biscuit General Store
A Halifax staple, both men and women know they can turn to Biscuit if they’re looking for a stylish addition to their closet. From brands you recognize, to their in-house label Bonanza by Biscuit, there are options and price points for all. Heading to a dinner party? After you’ve picked up something for yourself, shop their gifts section for the perfect host/hostess gift for the evening.

Follow Biscuit on Instagram and Facebook to stay up to date on sales and new styles.

4. Halifax Shopping Centre Fresh off it’s win for The Coast’s Best Mall 2016, Halifax Shopping Centre is establishing itself as a must-visit shopping destination in the city. As the mall wraps up a series of extensive renovations, you’ll want to stop in to ensure you’re set for any party scenario in the upcoming months. They’ll outfit you and yours from top to bottom – visit their website to see what stores are calling your name.

Flared pants are awesome 😎 #myaritzia #staffstyle #wilfredgirl A post shared by Gabriele 🌻 (@gab_akerley) on

5. Brilliant Clothing Boutique
From bags to boots to dresses, Brilliant can set you up with everything you need to construct a stunning outfit. The Brunswick St. consignment store only carries high-end brands, ensuring you get the quality you’re looking for with a price tag that won’t break your budget.

The stock rotates frequently, so be sure to follow Brilliant on Facebook so that you always know when they’re adding new items.

This amazing dress and clutch are perfect for your next fancy event!😊 #brilliant #hfxshopping #springfashion #shoplocal

A post shared by Brilliant Clothing Boutique (@brilliant_hfx) on

Did I miss your favourite place to pick up some party apparel? Let me know on Facebook!

Point Pleasant Park with Dogs

Pet-Friendly Hotels in the Halifax region!

Planning a visit to Nova Scotia’s capital city this year? Bring your furry friend with you! With picturesque dog parks, pet-friendly restaurants, and a variety of animal friendly activities, Halifax is the perfect place for you and your four-legged pal. After all, what’s a vacation without your very best friend!

There are many hotels in Halifax that recognize the close bond between you and your canine, and can’t wait to make you both feel right at home.

Here is a list of pet-friendly hotels in Halifax waiting to welcome your pup with open paws!

  • The Prince George Hotel pampers pets with their “Bow, Wow, Meow” Upon arrival, your pets will receive a check-in package that includes a comfy fleece blanket, biodegradable waste bags, a bowl for food and water, and an information package covering the best places for doggy visits in the city.
  • Best Western Plus Chocolate Lake is a “Certified Premium Pets Can Stay” property with rooms specifically for pups. The hotel even has its own resident dog, Coca the Chocolate Lab, who loves welcoming and sharing treats with new friends.
  • Cambridge Suites Hotel Halifax treats four-legged travellers like VIPs (Very Important Pets). From start to finish your pet will be pampered – including a welcome doggie bag with a treat, pet dish, toy and walking map.
  • The Lord Nelson Hotel & Suites provides pets with the best treatment possible. Each four-legged guest is greeted with a treat and the concierge is pleased to provide you and your pup information on pet services throughout the city.
  • Atlantica Hotel Halifax can’t imagine letting your pets ruff it! In fact, they believe that your pet deserves the same TLC as any other guest. Pets are welcomed by name and given a treat bag which includes a map of places in the city to stretch and socialize.
  • The Westin Nova Scotia is not only pet-friendly but, with their Westin Heavenly® dog products, promise that your pup will leave the hotel feeling rested and rejuvenated. Their concierge is also happy to show you the walking paths in the city.
  • Château Bedford Hotel & Suites ensures their guests a comfortable, memorable and safe stay – that includes your pet. A little further out of the downtown core, the hotel provides easy access to parks and hiking trails all around the Halifax Regional Municipality.
  • Hampton Inn & Suites are just waiting to give you and your pet a warm welcome. Located across from Shubie Park, the jewel of Dartmouth, the hotel is an ideal location for adventure loving dogs.

With all of the perfect places for your pooch in Halifax, there is no doubt that both of you will have the vacation of a lifetime.

Did we miss your favourite pet-friendly hotel in Halifax? Share it with us on Facebook or Twitter.