Updated January 17, 2016
It may never stop snowing. But if you manage to dig yourself out of your house, there are a few things to do with the snow that don’t involve a shovel. We polled our readers on Twitter and Facebook to find out what winter activities were worth braving the cold for. In no particular order, here are the top things to do during the winter months in Nova Scotia.
1. Sugar Moon:
I love this place, and based on the Twitter feedback, so do many of you. Sugar Moon is a maple syrup farm and restaurant in Earltown. They are open year-round, but winter leading into spring is arguably the best time to go. You can rent snowshoes and explore the property, have huge stacks of organic pancakes and maple beans, and come March you can experience sugar season. Read about our experience at Sugar Moon’s Maple Brunch HERE.
We just tried snowshoeing for the first time in January and I’m hooked. It’s great exercise and the shoes make a huge difference in allowing you to get around in the snow. We were surprised to learn that many community centres across Nova Scotia have FREE snowshoe rentals. Read all about that (and find a pair near you) HERE.
We also like the free weekend snowshoeing at Shubenacadie Wildlife Park. @KeithElliott and @ModernMilkMaid recommend snowshoeing the area in and around Sugar Moon (they rent snowshoes on-site).
3. Skiing and Cross Country Skiing:
Nova Scotia has four ski hills – Ski Martock, Ski Wentworth, Ski Ben Eoin, and Ski Cape Smokey (thanks, MAnda!), which means that for many places in the province a ski day-trip is do-able. It’s a fun way to get outside for the day, get some exercise, and enjoy the snow.
If you have kids in grade 4 or 5, you can apply for the Snow Pass, a $30 program that lets kids aged 9-10 access three ski passes per participating ski hill in Canada.
But if you’re not up for downhill, there are a number of places in Nova Scotia where you can rent and try cross country skis. @CaperRD suggests North Highlands Nordic in Cape North for the beautiful trails, scenery and hospitality. You can learn more on their website.
4. Winter Walking:
There are few things that we find more relaxing than a winter walk in one of the many great parks around the province. Long Lake and Point Pleasant Park are two of our favourites in Halifax and Victoria Park in Truro is so pretty in the winter (you’ll see a stunning frozen waterfall if you’re lucky).
If you live in, or are visiting Halifax, The Oval is a great place to go for an outdoor skate. When the weather is right, there are a number of other lakes suitable for skating. We also have a few indoor rinks. I like the Dartmouth Sportsplex which has some great family skate sessions. Read about our experiences on the Halifax Oval HERE (it’s free, and there are free rentals on-site).
You can also rent free snowshoes on-site (for use on the commons only).
We have some great sledding spots around the province. Everyone has their own favourite spot. This one is ‘The Pitt’ off of Novalea. It was recommended (and this near-miss video was recorded) by @KatieBlaikie.
Need a sled? Check out these locally made toboggans from Dan Peacock. He uses local wood and local rope and makes these beauties to order in Shelburne!
7. Winter Driving and Beaching:
@SarahRums suggested this one, and she has some awesome photos to support just how great a winter trip to the beach can be. She recommends Lawrencetown, but lately I’ve been seeing a lot of winter beach shots from all around our province.
If you have a free day, clear roads, and your snowtires on, a winter road trip up the South Shore is a lovely way to winter beach hop and see some beautiful winter sights. We love this daytrip itinerary from Lyndin Kane that includes german chocolate cupcakes, espresso, and blue rocks.
8. Sleigh Rides:
There are lots of places across Nova Scotia where you can take a sleigh ride. Hatfield Farm is one of them. They have sleigh rides, hot chocolate and bull riding, along with an adorable petting zoo. Read about our experiences at Hatfield Farm HERE.
Not everyone wants to be outside during these cold winter days. @CaperWheelLady reccommends hibernating (something I am also a fan of when hot chocolate and a fireplace are involved). Here are a few other indoor activities perfect for Winter:
9. Firehouse Ironworks:
They offer one-day to one-week blacksmith courses. If you know anything about smithing, you will know it involves a very hot fire. What better way to warm yourself while learning a new skill? One of our favourite adventures to date. Read about our experiences at Firehouse Ironworks HERE.
They have a program called “Blacksmith for a Day”, a fun introduction to smithing and a great “hot date” or daytrip with friends.
10. Take a Food Tour, or Dine Around:
Warm up and eat well is with the new Open Kitchen Tours from Local Tasting Tours. Learn to perfect your pizza in the Salvatore’s kitchen and more on this four-stop food tour of the North End. You can read about our experiences HERE.
Another affordable way to food tour is during Dine Around. Dine around is held at over 20 restaurants in Halifax and beyond. In 2018 it will run from January 15th – March 15th. Participating places serving three course meals that start at $25. They also have some fun food events, like this crash course in Halifax Cocktails. It’s a great excuse to brave the cold!
Want to start planning some warm weather adventures? Check out these 10 Day-Trips Within Two Hours of Halifax. You can also check out 25 fun things to see, do, and experience along the Sunrise Trail.
Looking for great local gifts made in Nova Scotia? Check out our Local Wishlist, which features hundreds of products made in Nova Scotia!