Five things to do in Halifax this winter

(Photo: Kristen Thompson)

(Photo: Kristen Thompson)

Skating at the Oval

Free

The Emera Oval opens for its first skate on Saturday, Dec. 16. It’s open seven days a week all winter. The oval, three times the size of an NHL hockey rink, is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise while you’re at it! Figure and hockey skates are free to rent for all ages (and sizes) with a piece of government ID.

Anyone looking for a romantic date should try the evening skate! There’s nothing like skating through the romantic holiday lights at the oval, especially when it’s snowing.

Don’t know how to skate? The Oval has you covered. Just show up to one of their free “learn to skate” programs.

Halifax Public Gardens

Free

For the first time ever, Halifax’s favourite spot to enjoy warm summer days will be open for the winter. Enjoy a soothing stroll through the park with a warm drink from one of the many nearby coffee shops or stop by to see the gardens buried under a fresh layer of snow. Avoid the summer crowds and experience the Victorian era gardens like a true Haligonian this winter. Just be sure to keep in mind that although the gates will be open, the public washrooms will not.

The gardens will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day.

Tobogganing down Citadel Hill

Priceless

If you’ve never been sledding down Citadel Hill have you even truly lived? If you’ve lived in Halifax for winters past, you’re bound to have seen someone tobogganing down Citadel Hill. If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush try sledding on the west side of the hill, near the Wanderers Grounds. A steep incline guarantees a fun ride without the risk of careening into traffic.

Not in it for the thrill? The hill has plenty of gentler slopes to slide down. Pick up a cheap sled on your way over or borrow from a friend!

Point Pleasant Park

Free

Do you love dogs? What about the smell of crisp ocean air? Or maybe hikes are more your thing?

Point Pleasant Park offers all of these and more! Get lost exploring Halifax’s best paths and trails. Take your dog to the off-leash area and let it run wild through the snow. Climb through the ruins of forts past, explore the beach in the snow, or just go to enjoy the crashing waves of the gorgeous Atlantic Ocean.

Peggy’s Cove

$30-$60 (with food and a rental car)

Peggy’s Cove is the quintessential Nova Scotia tourism site. Each summer it fills with tourists and locals alike, eager to see Canada’s most famous lighthouse, explore the beautiful rocky landscape and enjoy fresh, Nova Scotian lobster.

This year, beat the crowds and visit in the winter like a true local. After all, everything looks better covered in snow. The Sou’Wester Restaurant and Gift Shop is open year-round, so you can warm yourself up with some hot clam chowder once you’ve enjoyed the sights.

If you don’t have transportation, you can rent a car for the day for about $30.