With summer just around the corner, now’s the time to start planning your next family adventure. Check out all of the great activities on offer across the Mainland Nova Scotia Parks Canada sites – there’s something for everyone to enjoy!
Maybe it’s time to try something new? Take your pick – we’ve got lots of new programs and activities waiting to be enjoyed.
Discover the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, where the sounds of a modern, bustling port city are exchanged for the crack of rifle-fire and the skirl of bagpipes. The kilted 78th Highlanders and the Royal Artillery help visitors step back to 1869. One of Canada’s most visited National Historic Sites, the Halifax Citadel helps bring a piece of Canada’s early history to life.
Ready, Aim, Fire! at the Halifax Citadel – feel the adrenaline rush as you fire an original Snider-Enfield rifle, just like a 78th Highlander in 1869! Offered daily, May to October, between 10am – 3pm, cost $22.00 + entry. Step back in time and take your best shot!
Bring the whole Family to the Halifax Citadel – there’s never been a better time to bring the kids!
- A Soldier’s Life – Calling all kids (6-12) for this once in a lifetime opportunity to play soldier in a 19th century fort! Enlist, get a uniform and settle into this role-playing adventure. Who said history can’t be fun? Offered July and August, 2pm-3:30pm, cost $7.30 + entry.
- Citadel Adventures comic book fun – kids (6-13) will enjoy becoming a spy with the help of a special spy kit. Find the clues and help foil the enemy’s plans – you’ll discover some of the darkest corners of the fort in your search! Free with admission - pick up your kit in the Information Centre upon arrival and start your adventure.
- Parks Canada XPLORERS – Curious and active children (6-11) will love becoming certified Parks Canada Xplorers! Pick up your free booklet and complete the fun activities to get your collectible souvenir – it’s as simple as that! Available in most Parks Canada sites across the province.
Road to 2017 Hometown Heroes - this is your opportunity to connect with the past and discover the events that helped shaped our nation. Canada will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017. Parks Canada is excited to commemorate Canada’s history and build a lasting legacy for important nation-building milestones. Special events commemorating key events and anniversaries will help tell the stories of our hometown heroes - those that went off to war and those that kept the home front safe will be featured over the next two years.
Visit the newest attraction at the Halifax Citadel and get a sense of what life was like in the trenches on the Western Front during the First World War in a 200 foot simulation of a Canadian trench. This special immersive exhibit will bring this pivotal piece of history to life and will be open until 2018. Watch for more opportunities and special events on www.parkscanada.gc.ca/halifaxcitadel
As you sit at the edge of Port-Royal National Historic Site overlooking the harbour of the Annapolis River-Basin, it’s easy to imagine why French explorers chose this location for settlement. Samuel de Champlain once called this place ‘’the most suitable and pleasant for a settlement that we had seen’’. One of the earliest French settlements in North America, Port-Royal lives on today as Canada’s first major historical construction proudly celebrating 75 years since it’s construction in 1941! A Milestone anniversary representing the coming together of a community to recreate history for decades to come.
Visitors are invited to join in the 75th anniversary and attend the official celebration on Sunday, July 3rd - don’t miss the chance to officially be inducted into the Order of Good Cheer! There’ll be fun activities, special guests and presentations, music and more – stay tuned for all of the details, www.parkscanada.gc.ca/portroyal
The Habitation is yours to discover - enter the forge, sit down at the kitchen table, check out the sleeping quarters, smell the herbs in the apothecary or visit the fur room – there’s no better way to personally experience how the French lived here. The habitation comes alive from 9am - 5:30pm daily in July and August.
Celebrate our preserved history and culture and learn more about the Mi’kmaw culture. Step into a wigwam and immerse yourself in the tales, songs and legends of the Mi’kmaq. Try your hand at some traditional games – and learn more about the crucial relationships forged with the French. Join regular interpretive programs and don’t miss the special events planned this summer.
Once the epicenter of the conflict between Europe’s empire builders, Fort Anne National Historic Site is now the cornerstone of one of Canada’s prettiest towns. In 1917, it became Canada’s first National Historic Site – and will soon be celebrating its centennial next year. Come join us – more details to follow at www.parkscanada.gc.ca/fortanne.
Imagine life long ago - step inside the Officers’ Quarters and into another era when French and English settlers and soldiers took turns calling this place home. Their stories of struggle and survival still echo through the artifacts and exhibits. See 400 years of history unfold on a unique canvas - the 5.5-metre-by-8.5-metre Heritage Tapestry took 100 volunteers some 3 million stitches to craft.
Fort Anne is the perfect destination to give yourself extra time to play:
Dress the part Try on some period costumes and wooden shoes inside the Officers’ Quarters. Pretend you’re a soldier or an Acadian farmer!
Take the fort! See if you can climb all the way to the top of the earthen walls. Give up? Roll down the hill and surrender.
Walk on a wall The perimeter trail is set atop the raised earthen walls in the shape of a star. The view of the Annapolis River and Basin is stunning from here!
Try a new game Borrow a croquet set and try your hand at this gentle sport.
Bring your kites It’s breezy here – and perfect for letting your kite soar high.
Enhance your visit with an extra special experience and join the Candlelight Graveyard Tour. Grab a lantern and follow your guide through one of the oldest English graveyards in Canada. The names etched in stone reveal a fascinating story about the area and its inhabitants. Presented by the Historical Association of Annapolis Royal. No Reservations required. Meet at Fort Anne parking lot. Rain or Shine. Visit Tourannapolisroyal.com/graveyard.html for fees and schedules.
Try out some outdoor adventure at Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site- come for a paddle, stay for the stars!
Kejimkujik is the only national park to also be designated a national historic site, and the only inland national park in Atlantic Canada. Listen to the tale of the Mi’kmaq, carved in stone and shared through stories and legends. Keji’s night sky will dazzle you once darkness falls. Thousands of stars come out to play in Nova Scotia’s only Dark Sky Preserve. Join a Parks Canada interpreter and staff from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) for stargazing every Saturday night (weather permitting). New for 2016, visitors can take advantage of meteor showers, the lunar eclipse or brush up on constellations on your own time by renting a Dark Sky Kit from the Visitor Centre. Kits include binoculars, a star finder, a red light and the monthly observations for the night sky – everything you need and each month brings something new to discover!
Parks Canada interpretation activities are always included with park entry fees during July-August – pick up the schedule upon arrival and take advantage of the incredible offerings. One of Keji`s most popular tours is of the Petroglyph tour – Kejimkujik has the largest collection in eastern North America! Follow in the footsteps of history - the ancient stone carvings paint a vivid picture of the Mi’kmaw way of life.
Take a hike (or a paddle)! Keji has some of the best trails and most gentle waterways around. Bring your bike, canoe or kayak, or rent one from Keji’s on-site outfitters, Whynot Adventure, 902-682-2282, www.whynotadventure.ca If you`d prefer to be guided, new this year during July and August, climb aboard a 10-person Voyageur Canoe for a one hour paddling excursion with experienced guides. Slow down, sip some tea and enjoy the tranquility as you dip your paddle into the still waters of the Mersey River and listen to the captivating stories of this special place. Offered Mondays at 3:00 p.m. (English) Thursdays at 6:00 p.m. (Bilingual), and Saturdays at 3:00 p.m. (English). Cost: $14.70/person + entry for up to 8 visitors.
You can also have a Keji experience along the South Shore at Kejimkujik Seaside…it`s a little piece of heaven with sun kissed sand and turquoise waters waiting to be explored.
Looking for a more active adventure this summer, sign up for the newest in `Sciencetourism` or behind the scene science, Gone Crabbin’! Take part in this exclusive coastal experience and help protect native species from the invasive European Green Crab. Be prepared to get your hands wet and have fun as you weave your rowboat between the stunning granite islands pulling traps from the water. Offered Tuesday to Saturday, 10 am-2pm during July and August. Pre-booking required by calling 902-682-2772. Cost: $29.30 for up to 6 people.
It`s time to hit the road and discover the best that Parks Canada has to offer in Nova Scotia. Seek out our iconic Red Chairs at Kejimkujik, Fort Anne, Port-Royal and the Halifax Citadel and take the time to slow down, relax and revel in a magical moment when time stops. It`s Time to Connect….wWith nature – with history – and with friends and family.
Find your Red Chair moment at Parks Canada this summer and #ShareTheChair. Take your pic and don`t forget to tag us when you share.