A Day in the Life: Winter in Halifax

December 21, 2017

Wintertime is here, and although some may consider going into hibernation for the season, Halifax has lots on the go. With pop-up shops, craft fairs, markets, wagon rides, comedy shows,  skating, skiing and the like, there is something new going on everyday of the week.


Oval Skating - web


Grab a Hot Drink

Start your morning by warming up in Dartmouth at the locally famous Two if by Sea Café. Dubbed TIBS by its faithful followers, this bright and busy spot can satisfy any caffeine cravings with Zane's Macciato Special and their mouth-watering croissant of the week. 


Go Snowshoeing 

Once your mugs are empty and your stomachs are full, grab your snowshoes and head to one of the many incredible trails within the city. 

Shubie Park
Shubie Park is located on the north side of Lake Micmac and is a 16-hectare urban park perfect for snowshoeing. Three main routes are found in the park, including one for off-leash dog walking. Head here on a sunny day after a good snowfall for a picturesque walk through a winter wonderland. 

Halifax Commons
This iconic winter location offers the perfect flat terrain for a beginner to get a light and leisurely walk in. For those without their own pair of snowshoes, the city of Halifax has free loans available from the Emera Oval during public skate times. All you need to do is bring a government issued photo ID. 

Sir Sandford Fleming Park
This park is ideal for multiple skill levels and abilities. It is well maintained during the winter, and popular with locals. It is located along the Purcells Cove Road and includes route options that will bring you to the Northwest Arm, the Dingle Tower, through forest and along the well-known Frog Pond.

The Bluff Trail
This popular hiking trail becomes an entirely new place once the snow falls. Located near Timberlea, the Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail offers multiple trail options and distances, but this trail is not for the inexperienced. The route offers stunning views of protected forest, waterways and rock faces, all covered in fresh powder and icicles. 


Go Skiing

If snowshoeing isn’t your winter sport, you can visit the ski hill at Martock, less than an hour’s drive from the city. Ski Wentworth is a bit further away, but the hills are worth it! Just over an hour outside of the city you can find a hill for the beginner and the expert in your group. You can also go cross-country skiing on many of the local trails within the city. A popular cross-country skiing destination is MacDonald’s Sports Park in Waverly along Lake Thomas.


Break for Lunch

Whether it’s a sit-down meal with Harbour views at the Wooden Monkey, or a take-away sandwich from The Other Bean: Sandwich and Coffee Bar, Halifax has many restaurants, pubs & cafes open for lunchtime. In the winter you can find cozy corners to warm up in at almost every restaurant while you watch the snowflakes drift past the window. 


Go Skating at the Oval

One of the most classic winter activities in Halifax is skating on the Oval. The Halifax Oval is one of the largest outdoor ice surfaces in Eastern Canada. The Oval has scheduled times for public skating throughout the day and is particularly beautiful at night when you can skate under the stars. After a few laps, take a break to sit on the benches and enjoy a warm Beavertail treat. 


Indoor Activities

After an afternoon filled with outdoor adventure, you may want to go inside for a little warmth. There are plenty of indoor activities in Halifax during the winter including:

  • Axe throwing at the Timber Lounge
  • Unlimited board games at The Board Room Cafe
  • Playing ping pong at Pong Social Club
  • Shopping at Park Lane, Halifax Shopping Centre, Mic Mac Mall, Dartmouth Crossing and the hundreds of independent shops throughout the city
  • Rock climbing at Seven Bays Bouldering cafe
  • Tasting craft beer flights at Stilwell, Good Robot, or any of the 15+ craft breweries in Halifax
  • Local festival: In the Dead of Winter on January 17-20
  • Escape rooms at Trapped and Captured Escape


Evening Stroll

After you’ve eaten dinner, finish your evening with a stroll through downtown Halifax for all the holiday cheer you need. Stop at a local café for a hot apple cider, or a hot chocolate to keep your mittens toasty while you walk. With the twinkly lights above the Historic Properties glittering in the snow, decorated lampposts on the sidewalks, and the Grand Parade tree, you won’t be short on sights to warm your heart.  Halifax’s famous Public Gardens is also open during the winter, weather permitting.