You’ll find plenty of fun things in Halifax for kids year-round, from strolling near springtime blooms in the Halifax Public Gardens to summertime Harbour Hopper Tours on the water. Autumn brings family-friendly seasonal events to the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, and in the winter you can snuggle up with a good book at the Halifax Central Library. There are also plenty of things to do with toddlers in Halifax, ranging from children’s bookstores and heritage farms to playing in the park.

1. Get hands-on with experiments at the Discovery Centre

The Discovery Centre is an interactive science museum located on the Halifax Seaport. Immersive galleries explore everything from how the human body works to forces of nature and flight. A large children’s play area includes a variety of themed play spaces that are best enjoyed by kids 8 and younger. An Innovation Lab for children 8 and older contains experiments and real-world experiences for older kids to discover. The Discovery Centre is wheelchair accessible and offers an in-house cafe. There is no dedicated parking lot at the centre, but several paid lots are located in the nearby area of Halifax.

2. Explore pebbled beaches at Point Pleasant Park

Point Pleasant Park is one of the great free places to go with kids in Halifax with its open green spaces, historic sites, and unique coastal ecosystems. You can explore scenic wooded trails, pebbled beaches, and the ruins of fortified military towers. A series of military monuments are housed within the park, paying homage to Canadian maritime history. Seasonal cultural performances are offered at Cambridge Battery at Point Pleasant Park, by the Shakespeare by the Sea theatre company. Many of the paved trails in Point Pleasant Park are wheelchair accessible, and family-friendly facilities are available.

3. Watch soldier reenactments at the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site

The Halifax Citadel National Historic Site is a hilltop fort in the shape of a large concrete star. This historic fort has been restored to its original glory, as it would have looked in the Victorian era. The Citadel offers seasonal history programs and reenactments, with costumed actors portraying soldiers and civilian tradespeople. Both guided and self-guided tours are available, and a ceremonial firing of the gun is conducted daily at noon year-round. Seasonal events are held at the Citadel throughout the year, ranging from ghost tours around Halloween to Victorian Christmas events in wintertime.

4. Explore nature exhibits in the Museum of Natural History

At the Museum of Natural History, you can explore galleries ranging from geology and archaeology to marine life, mammals, and regional history. You’ll also see a Nature Lab with a collection of live creatures, including one of the oldest gopher tortoises in the world. The Museum of Natural History offers sensory resources on its website for visitors with autism or other sensory sensitivities. The museum is wheelchair accessible.

5. Learn about historic communities at the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia

The Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia is a museum exploring the culture and history of African Nova Scotians. Museum collections range from exhibits on historic Black communities to the desegregation of schools and the battalion of Black soldiers who served in World War I. The centre hosts regular special events and programming throughout the year and offers family-friendly facilities as well as a gift shop.

6. Learn about Canada’s immigration history at Pier 21

The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 is situated within a former major immigration site for Canada on Halifax Harbour. Today, the museum explores the stories and history of thousands of immigrants who journeyed to Canada from 1928 to 1971. Kids can dress up in period costumes and walk in the steps of someone immigrating from another country through first-person stories, packing trunks, and interactive children's exhibits. Visitors can also contribute to the museum’s evolving digital Belonging Quilt and test their Canadian citizenship knowledge at the Citizen Test Table.

7. Get creative with paint at Clay Cafe Pottery Studio

Clay Cafe Pottery Studio is a hands-on workshop where you can get creative and paint your own pottery pieces. First, you select an unfinished piece of pottery, with hundreds of choices ranging from plates and teapots to figurines, piggy banks, and vases. Then it’s time to paint your pottery and create your own masterpiece, leaving it at the studio upon completion to be glazed and fired. In a few short days, you’ll be able to take your one-of-a-kind art piece home with you. Anyone who can hold a paintbrush can paint their own pottery.

8. Climb to the top of Dingle Tower in Sir Sandford Fleming Park

Sir Sandford Fleming Park is a good spot for family-friendly activities in Halifax, with a historic coastal tower, playgrounds, walking trails, and green space. Also known as Dingle Park, this expansive space offers wooded trails to explore, salt marshes, ponds, and a sandy beach to play on. The park’s historic Dingle Tower rises 10 stories from the coast and includes unique architectural features such as 2 large bronze lions at the base. You can climb the stairs to the top of Dingle Memorial Tower for beautiful views over the area. The park offers a small parking lot and is free to enjoy.

9. Find your new favourite book at Halifax Central Library

The Halifax Central Library is a large public library located in downtown Halifax, a building with striking modern architecture that resembles a giant stack of glass books. The library’s vast collection of books includes a large children’s section as well as preteen and young-adult books. Two cafes are located inside the library, and the rooftop terrace provides seating and panoramic views of the city. The entire library is wheelchair accessible, and there is parking available.

10. Check out historic ships at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic

The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic houses an expansive collection of artifacts, ships, and exhibits, and is one of the largest maritime museums in Canada. Ship collections at the museum range from more than 60 small craft to the CSS Arcadia, a historic 180-foot steamship. Exhibits include over 30,000 artifacts, photographs, maps, and historical information, as well as hands-on displays and interactive spaces. The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is wheelchair accessible and also offers family-friendly facilities.

11. Tour Halifax by land and sea with Harbour Hopper Tours

Harbour Hopper Tours offers unique tours of Halifax both by land and by sea. You’ll climb aboard an unusual aquatic vehicle to see some of the popular landmarks around Halifax by land, then drive into the water at Halifax Harbour. Your tour continues by sea, where you’ll check out additional sights from the water. The tour is fully narrated by informative local guides, and tours are appropriate for all ages. A wheelchair-accessible boat is available with advance notice; see the company’s website for more information. Tours are typically conducted seasonally from June through the end of September.

12. Learn about a historic Black community in the Africville Museum

The Africville Museum honours the stories and experiences of the African Nova Scotian community of Africville, located on the northern shores of the Halifax Harbour. In the 1960s, this historic community was destroyed, and its people were unjustly displaced. The museum’s collections explore the Black heritage of this region of Nova Scotia, commemorating the injustices they faced and celebrating their strong community spirit.

13. Take a scenic stroll through Halifax Public Gardens

Free family activities in Halifax include exploring the Halifax Public Gardens, a collection of large Victorian-era gardens located opposite Victoria Park. You can explore winding walking trails through the gardens past elaborate flower beds, stone bridges crossing over ponds, and collections of statues and monuments. Concessions are available in the Horticultural Hall. Regular public events are held at the gardens, from summer concerts in the outdoor bandstand to holiday celebrations. The park is typically open from 8 am to sunset from the beginning of May through the end of October.

14. Find a new children’s book at Woozles

If you’re looking for things to do with toddlers in Halifax, you can check out Woozles, one of the oldest children’s bookstores in Canada. This shop is entirely about children, with offerings ranging from a large collection of kids’ books to appeal to various ages to toys, games, crafts, and stickers. You won’t have to utter a single “don’t touch that,” as everything in Woozles is geared toward providing kids with a magical experience. Friendly staff members are available to help suggest books or help you find a special book from your childhood, and Woozles facilitates a ton of family-friendly events throughout the year.

15. See historic aircraft at the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum

The Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum is an aviation heritage museum located across the street from Halifax Stanfield International Airport. Within the museum, you can explore a collection of historic aircraft, helicopters, and light planes, along with artifacts, engines, and weaponry displays. You can climb aboard a flight simulator and practice soaring through the skies. The Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum is wheelchair accessible and offers family-friendly facilities and a gift shop on-site.

16. Explore a historic farm at the Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum

Just outside of Halifax is the Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum, a historic working farm in Cole Harbour. This charming farm is a great spot for activities for toddlers in Halifax, with friendly cows and sheep to wave at, heritage buildings and gardens to explore, and plenty of farm equipment to look at. Animals are typically present at the farm from May to October, and springtime visitors may be lucky enough to see baby farm animals in the pastures. You can stop by the Rose & Kettle Tea Room for refreshments, or check out the museum’s cozy gift shop. The farm is free to visit, but be sure to donate to their ongoing community support work.