Five Fun Free and Almost Free things to do in Halifax

It’s been a few years since I spent some time and Halifax.  It’s an interesting city historically and being surrounded by water and with garden areas and parks has places to walk and explore on a low budget.  In the past several years the amazing growth in the downtown area is still very much in evidence but people areas are also part of the new planning and there is much to enjoy.

Point Pleasant Park

This 190 acre park on the end of the Halifax peninsula has over 39 km of walking trails through a variety of trees, shrubs ferns and wild flowers.  You can explore some historical sites including the Prince of Wales Tower and the Martello Tower. There are lots of dog walkers and some off leash areas.    in 2003 Hurricane Juan felled many of the older trees which are now covered in with new growth.

There are 2 parking areas and the park is readily accessible by bus.  Bring water, snacks, layers and good walking shoes.  Orient yourself from the maps at the main entrances.

Information and maps  https://www.halifax.ca/parks-recreation/parks-trails-gardens/parks-outdoor-spaces/point-pleasant-park

Public Gardens

The Halifax Public Gardens on Spring Garden Road were established in 1836 and are the oldest Victorian Gardens in North America.  Impeccably kept and flowering plants and gardens in all seasons.  This park was my first attempt at photography at age 10 with my brownie camera and months later when I got the film developed the photos came back with al the statue heads cut off.  Only years later when I looked at the negatives I saw that the heads were there!  So my disappointment had turned me off of photography at that point.   I love wandering the various paths and it seems to take you back a century in time.

The main entrance of the park is on the corner of the trendy Spring Garden Rd shopping area which unfortunately at this time (July 2021) is all dug up for improvements.  The shops and restaurants are still accessible to pedestrian traffic.

Information and map https://www.halifax.ca/parks-recreation/parks-trails-gardens/gardens/halifax-public-gardens

Halifax Boardwalk

The Halifax Boardwalk is an exciting 3Km walk along the waterfront from the Halifax Seaport and market passing shops, views of sailboats and ships in the harbour, art installations,  museums, trendy restaurants and seaside shacks, fun for the kids, buskers and entertainers, and ever changing views of Georges Island, the bridges and Dartmouth on the far side.   A mix of the old and new from the historic properties to the large high rise buildings reflect the changing nature of Halifax.   You can easily spend several hours or the day exploring the boardwalk.

Explore the Halifax Waterfront https://discoverhalifaxns.com/explore/halifax-waterfront/

Halifax Ferry

For an inexpensive harbour view of Halifax take the ferry from Halifax to Alderney Landing in downtown Dartmouth or the Woodside Ferry.  You will get great views of the Halifax sky line and the bridges. The Water Street Terminal is on the boardwalk next to Murphys Cable Wharf. The fare is $2.75 (cash only) and a transfer ticket takes you on to the bus as well.


Schedules https://www.halifax.ca/transportation/halifax-transit/ferry-service

Fares https://www.halifax.ca/transportation/halifax-transit/fares-tickets-passes/fare-strategy-frequently-asked-questions

Peace by Chocolate

Peace by Chocolate opened this beautiful new store on the Boardwalk near the ferry landing and Murphys Cable Wharf.  There is an extensive selection of their signature chocolate bars. This is a great place to find gifts for any occasion – birthdays, welcome to Canada, and Peace in many languages. Enjoy a pistachio ice cream and sit outside on the patio area to watch the world go by.

I have a fondness for this place as it began in Antigonish (my home town) and the compelling story of resilience of the Syrian family that arrived here and started the business.  The book “Peace by Chocolate“ is available in the shop is a gripping read.

Peace by Chocolate https://peacebychocolate.ca/

Welcome to Halifax walking map https://discoverhalifaxns.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/2021-Halifax-Urban-Walking-Map.pdf

For Next Time

  • Ferry to George’s Island
  • Discovery Centre
  • Pier 21 Museum
  • Halifax Library