I know the official first day of summer was technically a couple weeks ago but now that school is out it feels like it finally is really summer!
It feels like a long time coming and we are MORE than ready to soak in every warm summer day this year. Growing up as a kid in Halifax is a privilege. Clean air, sparkling lakes and ocean beaches, forests for days...the possibilities for fun are endless.
We're welcoming it with lots of day trips and a couple longer road trip vacations and we'll be bringing our favourite ideas to you with a new series called Weekend Wanderings with great ideas for weekend adventures both in the Halifax region, and within a few hours of it for bigger trips! Be sure to subscribe to our email list so you don't miss any of the summer fun!
Every year our family creates, what we call, our Summer Fun List, also known as a Summer Bucket List. This year we were driven by our plans for a simple, retro-inspired summer (along with a few new favourite places to visit) that also celebrates our region.
Here are thirty ideas to get started!
- Roll down Citadel Hill
- Walk on the ocean floor on the Bay of Fundy (though we'll probably save riding the highest tides till they're a little bigger!)
- Build a sand castle on any of our amazing beaches and check out the Clam Harbour competition for inspiration (we love the beaches all year round!)
- Visit Peggy’s Cove and fly a kite or climb the rocks (just stay away from those dark ones!!)
- Go on a whale watching boat and try to spot some ocean wildlife
- See ALL the parades happening this summer
- Kayak through the Shubie Canal
- Go on another family camping trip (read about our first one here, including some tips for camping with littles in an article I wrote here) and put that free Park Pass to good use!
- Spend a day wandering the waterfront taking in as many Busker acts as possible
- Go on a VIA Rail train ride to Truro or Moncton and stay overnight there (kids ride cheap in the summer!)
- Watch a movie outside, under the stars, at either one of the Atlantic Film Festival kids' offerings or at the drive-in theatre in the Annapolis Valley
- Re-visit our local museums, the Discovery Centre and Pier 21
- Watch fireworks over the harbour
- Climb to the top of the Dingle Tower (and play on their new natural playground and attend the Free Forest School on Tuesdays)
- Do a train focused weekend and visit all the spots on our train list here, as well as ride the new Halifax waterfront train
- Walk across the newly reopened Macdonald Bridge walkway
- Attend Peter Pan at Shakespeare by the Sea in Point Pleasant Park
- Visit Atlantic Playland and go on as many rides as possible
- Take the ferry back and forth across the habour and visit the playgrounds on either side.
- Ride our bikes as a family on a Rail Trail or one of the many parks in the region
- Get french fries from Bud the Spud and people-watch while we eat them
- Visit as many playgrounds as possible, including some out-of-province ones on the #Canada150 list we contributed to! Here are some of our favourites in the Halifax region to get started with.
- Sail the harbour on one of the boats that go to McNab's Island
- Read one hundred books per kid through Halifax's free summer reading club.
- Visit all the splash pads around the region, including this one which has become a summertime staple in our family!
- Go to all of the local tot-friendly animal adventures from our list here
- Visit a local Farmer’s Market (or even a working farm!) and buy supplies for lunch direct from the farmers.
- Go to the Commons and play on the Oval
- Eat ice cream on the waterfront boardwalk in Halifax, Dartmouth, or Eastern Passage (or all of them - there's never too many ice cream moments!)
- Visit the Public Gardens and have a picnic while enjoying music at the bandstand (plus Woozles does story time there every Tuesday too)