Located on Canada’s eastern coast, Halifax is a bustling city with beautiful historical buildings and a fascinating history. This city, which is known for having the most bars per capital in all of Canada, has multiple renowned attractions such as Citadel Hill and Peggy's Cove Lighthouse. This destination, like most of Canada, can be costly so it’s always a good idea to keep in mind some free activities. Here are 16 great free activities in Halifax this summer which will help alleviate some of the stress on the budget/financial strain while you enjoy this wonderful city!
Every year, the International Buskers Festival settles into Halifax's downtown for approximately a week. From fire breathing, to incredible magic tricks and gravity defying stunts, the amazing shows are a great source of entertainment for all ages! (Keep in mind that even though you can sit and watch without paying, the performers do travel the globe in order to attend these events and rely on tips in order to be able to participate in these events.)
Head to the Halifax boardwalk for a 4km long stroll. Here you can observe all the activity in the Halifax Harbour while sipping on a drink, or take the Ferry over to Dartmouth to see Halifax Harbourfront from the other side
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Explore an old fort while taking in historical facts at Halifax’s Citadel Hill. Once you’re done visiting the fort, walk around the top of the hill to take in the views of the city’s downtown core, bridge and harbor. If you're around at noon, don't be scared with the noise as the cannon goes of daily at this time.
*This must-see attraction usually charges admission, but this fee is waived for all of 2017 in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary!
Thinking of lacing up your hiking shoes and enjoying the beautiful sights and sounds of nature? There are multiple hiking trails around the city that are well worth the trip, including Bluff Wilderness Trail and Duncan's Cove.
Tunes at Noon
Head down to Grand Parade on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays summertime to enjoy some great music by Nova Scotian artists. Make sure to check the schedule ahead of time!
Check out the buzzing Halifax Seaport Farmer’s Market. Other than taking in the crowds (great people watching spot!) and the variety of products offered, you might luck out and benefit from free samples and free entertainment.
*Worth noting is the rooftop patio with a great view and wonderful breeze under the sun which is typically open summer times. Make sure to venture off and check it out if it's open!
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Going to be in the area over the summer months? Then check out this schedule to see when the Atlantic Film Festival might be offering free outdoor movies. Bring your blanket or chairs, a picnic and enjoy this great activity for the family.
Head to the beach
Go to the beach for a walk, swim or just to enjoy the tranquility of listening to crashing waves. Nearby beaches to the city include Conrad’s Beach, Crystal Crescent Beach, Lawrencetown Beach and Rainbow Haven Beach.
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Spend some time at the lake
If you are located too far from the beaches to make the trip over, consider heading to the lake instead, as these are often frequented by the locals who want to go for a swim or spend a relaxed day near water without having to make the trek out of town. Great spots to check out include Penhorn Lake, Chocolate Lake and Long Lake.
Go for a rejuvenating walk in nature! The tranquility, fresh air and forest smell is closer than you realize! In the city, you can opt for Point Pleasant Park, which also boasts various interesting historical artifacts. Subbenacadie Park in Dartmouth offers great trails with a small beach for swimmers and kayak rentals are often available as well. Both these parks offer large parking lots, easy access to the well maintained trails and dogs off leash areas. If, on the other hand, you want to stay in the city, head out to the Public Gardens on Spring Garden Road. This wonderful park is sure to inspire you with the colorful lively flowers and calmness usually reserved for forests. Here you might opt to sit on a beach, relax, indulge in people watching or imagine what the ducks and swans must be thinking of the passersby!
Looking for some exercise? Whether it's rollerblading during summertime or ice skating winter time, the Oval is a great destination to check out! Located on the Halifax Commons, With a government issues ID, you are able to rent the required equipment (so no worrying if you don't have any skates) and head on out to enjoy the outdoors. Just make sure to check out their website for their hours.
Take a free walking tours
Wanting to explore Halifax by foot while learning some interesting facts? Why not head down to meet the free tour guides at the designated spot and enjoy a great outing! (Of course, this isn't entirely free but they do work on a donations only basis). Have a look at their schedule and contact information here.
From Canada Day events to weekly Sunday afternoon concerts, there are various free music events happening in this city throughout the year. Pack a snack, grab a friend and head on out for some great tunes!
Halifax Central Library
Opening in 2014, this library offers more than books! Hidden inside the amazing architecture of this building and its criss-cross staircases are an auditorium, community rooms, computers and cafes. If visiting in summer time, make sure to take in the view overlooking the beautiful Halifax Harbour from the cafe on the 5th foors patio!
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Located in the Fairview Cemetery in Halifax's north end, these gray granite markers will send a shiver up your spine. This cemetery has 121 victims of the Titanic sinking who were laid to rest here, more than any other cemetery.
Visit a Museum
While most museums come with an admission fee, the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic offers free entre on Tuesday evenings and the Museum of Natural History is free on Wednesday evenings.
Now that you've caught up on these 16 free things to do in Halifax this summer, head on out and go enjoy yourself! And certainly don't forget to share your knowledge and add any other great free activity ideas in the comments section below!
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