Located by the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, Halifax is friendly, modern city with a little something for everyone, especially the kids. From fun on the water to visiting historic sites and free museums, there are plenty of fun things to do in Halifax for families. Whether attending the Halifax Busker Festival or enjoying a fun day on the waterfront, here are some of the best Halifax family activities both kids and parents can enjoy (no promises on sullen teenagers though).

Tall Ship Silva

Image courtesy of Discover Halifax

Visiting the Halifax Waterfront 

Halifax’s revitalized waterfront is the perfect spot for Halifax family fun! With a 4km boardwalk lined with shops, restaurants, and cafes, it’s a great spot to grab an ice cream cone and go for a stroll. Another one of the most fun things to do in Halifax for families, there are a number of chartered Halifax harbour cruises and ferries including the famous Tall Ship Silva. 

Georges Island

Image courtesy of Discover Halifax

Set Sail for Georges Island National Historic Site 

Located in the heart of Halifax Harbour and accessible only by ferry, Georges Island National Historic Site was once home to Fort Charlotte, one of the British military’s naval defences meant to stand guard against French and American aggression. Today, its ruins can be explored, including the warren of underground tunnels where artillery ammunition was stored. In addition to touring the fortress grounds and the tunnel system, the island features beautiful views of Halifax across the harbour and the ferry ride itself is a treat for intrepid young sailors. 

Halifax Citadel

Image courtesy of Discover Halifax

Stand Guard at Halifax Citadel 

Built on a hill overlooking the Halifax Harbour, the Halifax Citadel has stood guard over the city since 1749 when its first iteration was established as Fort George by British soldiers. Today, the Halifax Citadel is a beloved National Historic Site and living history museum where costumed performers recreate the daily life of the 78th Highlanders regiment who were once garrisoned within its fortifications. In addition to exhibits and guided tours, the Citadel holds historic re-enactments such as the changing of the guard, the firing of the noon gun, and performances by the regimental marching band. 

Halifax Beach

Image Courtesy of Discover Halifax

Hit the Beach! 

There’s no better way to spend a sunny day than hitting the beach, and Halifax is home to many sandy beaches both along the ocean and the inner lakes. For instance, Black Rock Beach located on the southern end of the Halifax boardwalk is the perfect spot to lay out a blanket and enjoy some sun. Black Rock Beach is also a stone’s throw from Shakespeare by the Sea, an outdoor theatre series where families can see the greatest works of the Bard performed live and for free. 

For a beach day excursion outside of the city, Conrad’s Beach is less than 30 minutes from downtown Halifax, offering quieter environs and is also a popular spot for water sports like windsurfing. McNabs Island is the perfect hidden gem to discover, featuring an idyllic, sandy beach to enjoy. The only catch is you need a boat to reach it! 

Busker Festival

Image courtesy of Discover Halifax

Be Amazed at the Halifax Busker Festival 

Every year, Haligonians celebrate the Natal Day long weekend (the first weekend of August) with the annual Halifax Busker Festival. Buskers from around the world takeover the city’s waterfront district, including towering stilt walkers, fire breathers, magicians, musicians, and plenty more performances that will delight attendees of all ages. One of the best family friendly activities in Halifax! 

Maritime Museum Atlantic

Image courtesy of Discover Halifax

Visit Free Museums in Halifax 

Travelling can be expensive, and museum admissions for the whole family can add up fast. However, there are a number of free museums in Halifax where kids can have a great time and perhaps learn a thing or two about the history of the city. For instance, the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame located in the Scotiabank Centre is free to enter and features artifacts from across 150 years of the province’s athletic history, as well as exhibition dedicated to hometown hero and NHL star Sidney Crosby. 

Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum is another of the most popular Halifax children’s attractions. A community museum featuring several heritage buildings and a variety of exhibits commemorating the daily life of rural Haligonians. More importantly, it’s home to a menagerie of farm animals kids can get up close and personal with, as well as a manicured public garden with a variety of wild flowers on display. Children under 5 can also enjoy free admission to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, featuring model ship displays that they’ll love! 

Sugah 1

Image courtesy of Discover Halifax

Grab a Bite at Family Restaurants in Halifax 

Everyone knows one of the most fraught situations while on vacation is finding a place to eat when you have a fussy eater in the family. Not to worry, there are a number of fun, friendly family restaurants in Halifax both kids and grown-ups can enjoy. For instance, kids will adore the novelty of the Chicken Burger, a classic drive-in style diner that’s operated continuously since 1940. Adults can enjoy the restaurant’s titular chicken burgers while kids can choose from hot dogs, burgers and chicken strips. For a bite by the waterfront, Bluenose II offers a fun kids menu and Halifax-fresh seafood for the grown-ups. A favourite spot in town since it opened in 1964

After dinner, drop by Sugah Confectionary & Ice Cream on the boardwalk. This cute little candy shop offers a cornucopia of sweet delights including chocolate and ice cream made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. You can also grab a quick ice cream cone by the water from Black Bear Ice Cream, featuring a number of dairy-free and vegan options. 

Peggys Cove

Image courtesy of Discover Halifax

Visiting Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse 

No trip to the Halifax area is complete without experiencing the sight of the iconic Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse first-hand. Perched above a rocky strip of shore, Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse has lit the way to Halifax for over a hundred years, since it first was established in 1915. One of the most iconic symbols of Nova Scotia, the lighthouse has been depicted on countless stamps, post cards and commercials. 

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