This was our first summer with a toddler, and what a great opportunity to rediscover my favourite season in the Halifax Regional Municipality all over again. We have a 13-month old on the run and we wanted to make sure that he got to enjoy as many outdoor activities around the city as possible. We had our trusty friend ‘Google’ to help us out and also got a few ideas from fellow parents. Here are some of the hot spots we’ve discovered.
1. Cole Harbour Outdoor Pool aka Colby Pool
Since we live in Dartmouth, this has been a nice little spot to run to during the summer with our son, Kyrie. He loves the water, and the toddler pool is the perfect size for him to splash around in. The pool is so shallow, it probably comes up to his knees in the shallow end which is ideal for our little guy who’s still new to the water.
2. Westmount Park Splash Pad
Kyrie fell in love with splash pads when we went to Florida back in May and when a co-worker informed me that one existed in Halifax, we had to get there as soon a possible. The Westmount Park is located right by the Halifax Shopping Centre and is a perfect spot for kids of all ages. It includes two big playgrounds, an open field nearby and the splash pad which is perfect for a hot sunny day. Kyrie could easily spend a whole afternoon running through the splash pad, running out to warm up and have a snack, and back in the water. It’s perfect for toddlers because there’s lots of water splashing around and is relatively safe because there is no standing water.
3. Ferry ride to downtown Halifax or downtown Dartmouth
The ferry is such an inexpensive way to tour the Halifax Harbour and arrive at the heart of downtown Halifax (or downtown Dartmouth, whichever side of the harbour that you live on). Kyrie enjoys the ferry and watching the sailboats along the way. When you get to downtown Halifax, there’s so much to see including a new playground area by the Museum of the Atlantic as well as another one of my son’s favourite spots, the water fountains at Bishop’s Landing. This kid loves the water.
On the other side of the harbour, the waterfront area of Dartmouth by Alderney Landing looks to have had a facelift in recent years and has a nice, brand new playground. It’s perfect for children 18 months and older plus there’s beautiful view of Halifax cityline. There’s also an open field if you want to pack a picnic or kick a ball around with your little one.
Being on the Atlantic Coast, the province is full of wonderful beaches. We live just outside of Cole Harbour so there are a few beaches just 10-20 minutes away. Rainbow Haven is a popular beach that a lot of people from the city flock to, but we like to head to our hidden gem, Conrad’s Beach (on the way to Lawrencetown Beach) which doesn’t get quite as busy.
5. The Library
Living in Nova Scotia, we’re all too familiar with the string of foggy/rainy days in the summer. So, one of the best spots for our son has been the public libraries. We frequent the Woodlawan Public Library and Kyrie loves the books and all the toys, plus they have a big wall of magnets in the children’s area. We are in there just about every week with a bag full of new books to read with him.
Even though Kyrie would be content staying home playing in his blowup pool on the deck most days, it’s fun as a new dad to take him as I rediscover summer in Halifax with a whole new perspective and enjoy what this city has to offer. I’m sure there’s plenty of places we have yet to discover, so what’s your favourite spot for toddlers in the city?