Tag Archives: Family friendly

Inside Halifax Library kid_edited-1

5 FUN things to do over the holidays with your family in Halifax!

Christmas vacation is the longest break away from school, aside from summer vacation of course, that kids get. Even with family visiting and holiday events going on, I’m sure parents and guardians would love a few ideas to keep children and teens entertained during the two week break!

Here are 5 ideas to consider:

  1. Get Air Trampoline Park: The hottest new activity in Halifax is the Get Air Trampoline Park. It’s a great way to get a lot of exercise indoors without your kids even noticing!

This huge facility features wall-to-wall trampolines, foam pits, dodge ball or try your luck on the slack line. You can even review your jumps on their video monitors.

  1. Seven Bays Bouldering: If you have older teens, they might like to hang out at the new bouldering gym, Seven Bays Bouldering. Bouldering is a form of rock climbing performed without ropes or harnesses.

It’s safe because the walls aren’t very high. You follow routes across the wall instead of up it. Teens 14 and older can climb without an adult and rent climbing shoes if they need them. They also have a coffee shop, which serves coffee, smoothies and light fare.

  1. Halifax Central Library: My family just can’t get enough of the new Central Library. All of the Halifax Regional Libraries have fantastic programs for kids and teens, but hanging out at the Central Library is an event in itself.

They have a media room you can reserve to record your own song or podcast, loads of books, games, computers and a terrace with a great view of the city.

  1. Take in a Mooseheads Game: Support your local hockey team and head out to a Halifax Mooseheads game at the Scotiabank Center. There are a couple of games over the holiday break and the new seats in the arena are very comfortable!

Tickets start at only $10 for a child.

  1. Pier 21: Do you know that Canada received one million immigrants through Pier 21 between 1928 and 1971? Now is a perfect time to visit the newly re-opened Pier 21 and learn more about Canada’s history of immigration.

The museum also has a new temporary exhibit about the Empress of Ireland, one of the greatest maritime disasters in Canada’s history.

Check out the 10 places in Halifax with free admission for more ideas!

 

Steampunk Beast credit Dan Miner

5 Family Friendly Halloween Events in HALIFAX!

The scariest, creepiest night of the year is upon us – Halloween is coming on October 31st! Many of us will be enjoying horror movie marathons, haunted houses and midnight graveyard strolls. But not everyone likes to be scared out of their wits! And some of us have small children too young to enjoy these horrid happenings.

What can these families do to celebrate a Halifax Halloween? They can check out one of these family-friendly Halloween events!

HAL-CON Halloween Parade, Oct 24th
There are sure to be some incredible costumes to see at this event – the third annual parade by HAL-CON: Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Comic Fan Festival. You never know when Darth Vader or Frodo Baggins will march by! Parade entries will be judged beforehand and winners chosen in categories such as “Best Spirit” and “Most Humorous”.

Find a spot along the route, cozy up and watch the magic unfold before your eyes.

Halloween Cat Show, Oct 24th & 25th
The only thing better than dressing up in a costume is dressing up your cat! Even if you don’t have your own cat to clothe, you can see dozens of others at the costume contest, starting at 1pm Saturday.

Warning: Distinct chance of cuteness overload!

And if that doesn’t fill your ‘squee’ quotient, you can always wander around and view the dozens of beautiful, non-costumed kitties vying for awards. No worries about a black cat crossing your path at this event.

Halloweenie, Oct 25th
If you think cats in costumes are cute, just picture wiener dogs! There will be lots of them at the Atlantic Canada Dachshund Rescue’s 2nd annual event.

Enjoy a costume contest, bobbing for weenies and there may even a special guest or two (careful, you may end up taking a weenie home with you!). This is a chance to not only have fun, but support a local charity, which is always a great option for everyone in the family.

Sci-Fi Symphony, Oct 31st & Nov 1st
In case you don’t have enough fantastical fun at the HAL-CON parade, you can take the whole family out to this concert, which showcases the iconic scores of blockbuster franchises such as Star Wars, Star Trek, Game of Thrones and more.

Speaking of iconic, the show is hosted by none other than English actor John Rhys-Davies (from Lord of the Rings and Indiana Jones). And if you can’t miss the trick-or-treaters on the 31st, there is a second show for you to enjoy on November 1st!

Get your tickets here.

A Wild Halloween Party, Oct 31st
It’s ok to get a little wild on Halloween, and it’s particularly appropriate at Shubenacadie Wildlife Park. Stop by on the 31st to show off your costume to the animals (I am sure they will be very impressed if you go as a lion or skunk), take in the haunted house and maybe a few “surprises”. The kids will love exploring and learning cool animal facts, and you will love getting home with plenty of time to prep for trick-or-treating. Regular park admission applies.

You don’t have to leave the kids at home to enjoy this spectacularly spooky holiday. This is sure to be a happy Halloween for Haligonians of all ages!

Hal Con Flash Mob Photo: Nathan Benjamin
Hal Con Steampunk Beast: Dan Miner

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Top 5 Fun Fall Family Activities!

Are you searching for some fun family activities to do this fall? Look no further than this great list!

  1. Corn Mazes and Apple Picking

Just outside the city limits, there are a multitude of orchards and corn mazes full of family fun for all ages. If you’ve never been apple picking, explored a corn maze or picked your Halloween pumpkin right from the vine, then this is the year to do it!

The two spots with the most family activities are Noggins Corner Farm Market in Greenwich and River Breeze Farm & Corn Maze in Truro. You can find a corn maze, wagon rides, a petting zoo, jumping pillow, straw mountain, pumpkin U-Pick and more at River Breeze. While at Noggins you can find a wagon ride, corn maze, rope maze, duck races, washer toss, puzzle mazes, the barnyard adventure area and the Red Cross Haunted House.

  1. Take in a Ghost Tour of Citadel Hill

In the dark of the night, after all the tourists have gone home, your family can brave a family friendly ghost tour of the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site. While this isn’t for the faint of heart, it’s definitely fun and age appropriate for older children.

Led by a costumed guide, you travel deep into the dungeons of Citadel Hill and learn more about the history of the fortress and the ghosts who supposedly reside there.

Tours are offered on Friday and Saturday nights.

  1. Bluenose Ghost Festival at Alderney Landing

If your family is looking for more Halloween fun, take them to the Bluenose Ghost Festival at Alderney Landing on October 9-11 and 15-31. You’ll find a haunted house, cemetery tour, a trick or treat house and more!

Pop into the Alderney Landing Farmers’ Market if you’re there on the weekend to grab some local apples or pumpkin pie!

  1. Take in a Wagon Ride at Hatfield Farms

There are lots of fun activities at Hatfield Farm in the fall. The weekend family round up includes a Wagon Ride, Petting Pen, Mini Golf, All-You-Can-Eat Hot Dogs and time in their Rubber Rodeo with the inflatable games.

They are having a Halloween Costume Party on October 31st which also includes a full meal, campfire and a DJ!

  1. Nocturne: Art at Night

Nocturne is a family friendly, delightful art festival, which takes place on October 17th from 6pm to midnight.

It spans the harbour with exhibits in both downtown Halifax and downtown Dartmouth, linked by the ferry. Various displays of wonder showcasing the visual arts scene are located in both museums and public spaces and the event is completely free.

Let us know if you take part in one of these fun family activities on Facebook and Twitter!

Family Fun at the Clay Café

Our family loves art, so choosing the Clay Café, for one of our March Break activities was an easy choice, however, the Clay Café is fun for everyone! My mother-in-law came with us and she hasn’t painted in a long time. My youngest daughter is 9. All four of us had a wonderful time painting our ceramics and my mother-in-law commented on how relaxing it was.

When you first arrive at Clay Café, you choose a ceramic piece from the shelves on the wall to paint. They have over 300 pottery shapes to choose from! You pay for it first so you’re all ready to go when it’s done. The prices are marked on the bottom and include your paint and firing. There are many items to choose from ranging in price from approx. $1 to $60 (Averaging $12-30). There are a lot of practical ceramics such as plates, soap holders, light switch covers, mugs and bowls. There are also whimsical pieces such as moustaches, animals, letters and flying piggy banks. My girls always take a little while choosing something to paint because there are so many fun pieces.

Since we were there on a Saturday, it started to get busy quickly, but there were enough seats for everyone and it didn’t feel crowded. There was even a birthday party going on while we were there.

Once you have your piece picked out you have to decide how to paint it. There are books you can look at for ideas, stamps, stencils and sponges to make patterns with and fun paint items such as puffy and speckled paint. There are so many ways you can paint your pottery, but the one thing to remember is that you can’t paint it wrong! Art is for fun and can never be wrong! This is why ceramic painting is such a wonderful activity for children. They have the opportunity to express themselves in any way they want. My daughter painted her flying piggy bank with polka dots and I painted a mug tiki style for my husband.

It took all of us equally about 2 hours to paint our pottery. We left them to be fired and picked up in about a week.

We decided since we were in Halifax already we would check out a fun restaurant for lunch. My daughter chose The Wooden Monkey because we have been there before and love it. I was happy she choose it, because of their purpose. According to their website, The Wooden Monkey strives to support and help grow a healthier, local, sustainable food system here in Nova Scotia. They are committed to supporting as many local and organic farmers as they can. You can absolutely taste the difference in the food. It’s just delicious. From the apple in the chicken sandwich to the honey in your tea, everything is so very flavourful.

I had the weekend Eggs Benedict special, which was slightly sweet and had the most delicious thick slices of ham (and I am a pretty picky eggs benedict eater). My daughters both ate off the adult menu, although they do have a child’s menu. My youngest also had the Eggs Benedict and my oldest had the Fish and Roasties. She ate it in about 5 minutes, which is testimony to how good it was.

The décor in the restaurant is warm and inviting, with wood that was re-purposed from Hurricane Juan. Although some might not consider The Wooden Monkey a family restaurant, we have always felt comfortable bringing children in to eat there. High chairs are available if needed. The prices are a little higher than a typical chain restaurant due to the fact that the food is locally sourced and much of it is organic.