Sports, art, ocean explorations, even dinosaurs—Halifax is chockablock with family fun this month
By Trevor J. Adams
It’s championship-basketball season in Halifax, as Scotiabank Centre hosts three major tournaments. From March 1–3, the AUS Basketball Championships sees Atlantic Canada’s top men’s and women’s university teams battle for the regional titles. Then from March 8–10, the U Sport Men’s Basketball Final 8 comes to town, with top teams coast-to-coast competing for the national title.
The Museum of Natural History on Summer Street boasts an array of permanent exhibitions, including Science on a Sphere, to learn about weather, shipping routes, and ocean currents. It’s home to Gus, the 96-year-old gopher tortoise who has delighted visitors for decades. And continuing through April, it features Dinosaurs Unearthed. This immersive exhibition, which has drawn rave reviews across North America, features lifelike animatronic dinosaurs, full-scale skeletons, and fossils from around the world.
March Break is the perfect time to foster your budding artistes at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia on Hollis Street. Events include March Break Art Classes from March 18–22—no experience necessary. Topics include painting and drawing, clay and sculpture, mixed media, and print-making. And of course, you’ll also find the usual vast selection of touring and permanent exhibitions, including works by acclaimed folk artist Maud Lewis.
The Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame at Scotiabank Centre on Duke Street is a riveting stop for sports fans of any age. Highlights include exclusive Sidney Crosby exhibits, Olympic artifacts, sports simulators, historic photos, and much more. Free admission; open before Halifax Mooseheads and Halifax Hurricanes games, plus 10am–5pm on weekdays.
Learning Made Fun
The Discovery Centre on Lower Water Street is the ideal spot to while away a blustery day. This huge, whimsical hands-on science centre is jam-packed with hands-on fun and interactive exhibits. This spring’s featured exhibit is The Science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not, sharing the science behind all manner of oddities and extraordinary feats. Special programming for March includes the Weather Wizard and Digital Discovery camps. See thediscoverycentre.ca for details.
Go Play Outdoors
Skating on the Oval on Halifax Common at the corner of North Park and Cogswell streets has become a rite of winter in Halifax—join the locals for a free whirl on the outdoor ice. No skates? No problem: free skate and helmet rentals are available on site with photo ID. It’s the largest outdoor refrigerated ice surface east of Quebec City. See halifax.ca/SkateHRM/index.php for skate times.
With exhibitions on the Titanic, Halifax Explosion, world wars, and piracy, the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is a hit with history buffs of any age—the ideal place to explore Nova Scotia’s seafaring history. Special programming for spring includes The Franklin Exploration, a look at the efforts to determine the fate of explorer John Franklin, who vanished in the Arctic archipelago, along with a crew of 134 men, some 170 years ago.