Nova Scotia is famously known as ‘Canada’s Ocean Playground’ as it is a popular destination for families, offering kid friendly vacation ideas for children of all ages. Throughout the province, you’ll find places and activities that are perfect for your little ones, with family vacation packages and deals that will help as you create lifelong family memories.
Family Entertainment in Nova Scotia
This is your chance to step back in time with your Family in Nova Scotia. While there are many things to do with kids in Nova Scotia, some of the most popular experiences are those that bring history to life. If you’ve ever dreamed of going back in time, Nova Scotia is the place to do it!
Fortress of Louisbourg and Halifax Citadel National Historic Sites
Both the Fortress of Louisburg National Historic Site and Halifax Citadel National Historic Site allow you to literally touch and explore Nova Scotia’s past on the front lines of North American colonization, including imposing fortifications and soldiers on guard for both France and England.
Ross Farm Museum
Experience farm life in the 1800s at Ross Farm Museum, with a one-room schoolhouse, stave mill and blacksmith and cooper shops, before going outside to visit the animals in the barns and fields or take an ox or horse-drawn wagon ride.
At Sherbrooke Village, visit the homes and businesses of a town where it forever remains the late 19th century. Parents and children alike can even become part of that history, spending the day in period costumes, cooking on a woodstove, making butter and learning artisan skills such as rug hooking.
Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site
The Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site in Baddeck lets visitors share in the famous telephone inventor’s fascination with both sound and air, with numerous interactive exhibits, seasonal kite-making workshops and the chance to walk in the footsteps of Bell and his family.
Joggins Fossil Cliffs
If you’re looking to go way back in time, the Joggins Fossil Cliffs are home to the world’s most complete fossil record of life - 300-million year old “Coal Age” fossils! Explore the Joggins Fossil Centre and take a guided tour at low tide along the base of the famous cliffs of this UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. The Fossil Centre and the beach tours along the cliffs offer families the chance to literally get hands-on with millions of years of history.
Kejimkujik National Park
For outdoor adventurers, Nova Scotia has lots of opportunities to experience both its land and sea. Take the family camping in Kejimkujik National Park, where you can travel traditional canoe routes and see 18th and 19th century Mi’kmaq petroglyphs depicting scenes from their life.
Family Ocean Adventures
Whale Watching Tours
Nova Scotia is also one of the best places in the world to go whale watching. Several species of whales can be found in the waters off Nova Scotia, along with dolphins, seals, sea turtles, and even sharks. Your kids will never forget the incredible feeling of seeing that first whale come to the surface of the ocean!
Kid Friendly Beaches
With over 7,600 kilometers (4,750 miles) of coastline, it should come as no surprise that Nova Scotia has many incredible beaches, including a number of supervised beaches. Did you know that beaches along the Northumberland Shore of Nova Scotia boast some of the warmest waters in Atlantic Canada? Over on the Eastern Shore, the annual Clam Harbour Beach Sandcastle & Sculpture contest sees hundreds of contestants take sandcastle building to a whole new level – captivating both kids and adults with their skill.
Take the Family Tidal Bore Rafting
For the family that is always looking for a high energy experience, you’ll love tidal bore rafting on the Shubenacadie River. Twice a day, every day, when the tide rushes back into the Bay of Fundy, it creates a small wave called the tidal bore that pushes against the current of rivers flowing out, thus changing the direction of the current right before your eyes. Hold on tight as you’re about to experience one of the wildest white water rafting rides of your life! If this isn’t enough to satisfy your inner child, don’t miss your chance to mudslide down the slippery smooth riverbanks of the Shubenacadie River.
Family Fun in Halifax
The Discovery Centre
Your little Einsteins will be enthralled as they see science come to life at the Discovery Centre, featuring three floors of hands-on exhibits emphasizing informal learning through play and fun.
Museum of Natural History
At the Museum of Natural History, the whole family can see and interact with exhibits, from ancient fossils to the museum’s friendly mascot Gus the Turtle.
Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
Experience life on the sea and Nova Scotia’s nautical past, from the Age of Sail to the Age of Steam, at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic on the Halifax Waterfront.
Pier 21, Canada’s Immigration Museum
Learn what it was like to be a new immigrant arriving in Halifax at Pier 21, Canada’s Immigration Museum, where kids can interact with exhibits for all ages and parents can take the time to discover their family’s past.
Halifax International Busker Festival
Take in 10 days of fun and excitement for the entire family at the Halifax International Busker Festival, which takes place early each August. Featuring street performers from around the world — including dancers, comedians, magicians and many more — this one kilometer long, outdoor festival on Halifax’s Waterfront has something for everyone!