Halifax is known for its cold and snowy winters, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do. There are so many things to do in Halifax in the winter months, and in the summer it’s a great time to hang out and explore Nova Scotia without the tourist crowds! So bundle up and check out these 14 great things to do in Halifax in winter.
What is the weather like in winter in Halifax?
A Halifax winter can be chilly, although it is not as cold as other places in Canada. While it is located on the east coast of Canada, meaning it receives considerable snow, being on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean means that winter temperatures are more moderate in Canada than elsewhere.
The average temperature in winter is below zero. January temperatures hover around -5 to freezing. February is the coldest month, when the temperature drops to -10, although on some days the temperature will sometimes drop to -20 or -30. The first half of March is still chilly, with temperatures similar to February, although they will begin to rise as the month ends.
And while there is little snow in Halifax because it is a coastal city, expect some rain in winter as well.
Be sure to bundle up, wear layers, and enjoy these fun things to do in Halifax in winter!
Fun things to do in Halifax:-
Skate at the Emra Oval
Located on Halifax Common, Emera Oval was originally built as a speed skating track for the 2011 Canada Games. It is now open to the public for free outdoor skating every winter. Skates and helmets are free to rent (with government-provided ID). There are no lockers though, so bring a tote bag to store your shoes or boots. It is a great way to get out and enjoy the winter season!
Take a Walk in the Public Gardens
Right in the heart of downtown Halifax, the Public Garden is a great place to visit year-round. The trails are well maintained and it is a great place to get away from the city and enjoy the serene winter scenery. Open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and in the evenings in November and December for holiday light displays.
Walk Along the Waterfront Boardwalk
The Halifax Boardwalk is the most visited attraction in Nova Scotia at any time of year. One of the longest boardwalks in the world, this is a great place for a walk in summer or winter. While many kiosks and shops remain closed in winter, some are still open. Watch your move – it can be snowy!
Point Pleasant Park
With a 39km path and stunning views of Halifax Harbour, Point Pleasant Park is a great place to hang out in the winter! There are lots of trails, some more difficult than others, and there’s plenty to see throughout the park—including a tower and the remains of military forts. There are walkways along the water, or on chilly windy days, stick to paths inside that is slightly warmer.
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There are so many great hiking trails in Halifax! Across the harbor in Dartmouth, Shuby Park is our personal favorite. It’s a great urban park, with kilometers of trails and a large off-leash area as well. In Halifax, there is also a series of trails of lakes, or for a shorter hike, try Frog Pond.
Go Cross Country Skiing
Skiing is a great way to get outside and enjoy the winter scenery, Halifax has plenty of trails that are perfect for cross-country skiing – the Chain of Lakes Trail, the Frog Pond Trail, in Point Pleasant, and Dartmouth, in Shuby Park There are lots of cross country ski trails on.
Explore the Art Gallery
Warm up and spend some time inside at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. The largest art museum in Atlantic Canada, the gallery displays a large collection of local art, as well as a collection of folk art, including the smaller Maude Lewis House. Open Thursday 2-9 PM, Friday – Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM
Visit the Public Library
Another great place to spend those chilly winter days is the Halifax Public Library. Even for those who are not booking lovers, the architecture of the building is stunning (in fact, the building has won a few awards for its architecture). There are also some great city views from the fourth floor. So grab a book, find a comfortable place, and stay warm indoors.
Shop the Halifax Seaport Market
Halifax is home to the oldest continuously operating farmers’ market in North America. It has shifted locations over the years and is now on the waterfront near Pier 23. Stop by the Halifax Seaport Market on a Saturday or Sunday, have a pastry and coffee and check out local arts and crafts as well as lots of local food.
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Experience the Icewine Fest
The Icewine Festival is a great annual event that highlights icewine and other types of wine that are made right here in Nova Scotia. It runs for two weekends in February – sees the website for more details.
Dine Around Halifax
During the month of February, local restaurants are offering menus around special meals ranging in price from $10 – $50. Choose to eat or order to go, however you choose to experience Halifax’s Food Festival, your taste buds will thank you. Find participating restaurants and menus here.
Drive to Peggy’s Cove
One of the most photographed places in NS, Peggy’s Cove is gorgeous any time of year. While most visitors come to see the iconic lighthouse, it’s also worth taking the time to explore the village of Peggy’s Cove. In a traditional Nova Scotian fishing village, you’ll see colorful houses and lobster boats tied to the pier. Be sure to bundle up, and bring your own camera!