Ten Things to Do in Halifax This April

Eat donair, watch films made on smartphones and attend a tea festival in Nova Scotia’s capital 


Photo courtesy Destination Halifax

Whether you’re looking for a cool festival, some historical insight or delicious food, there’s something for everyone in this coastal city. Here are 10 reasons to visit Halifax this month.

Attend a short film festival where everything was filmed on smartphones

Call if Halifax’s version of the Oscars. On April 22, the Halifax Smartphone Film Festival will screen short films shot by professionals and beginners alike at the Halifax Central Library. The twist? They were all filmed on smartphones. Snack on free cider samples and gourmet popcorn as the winners of the SPFF awards, also known as the Spiffies, are announced.

Chow down on Halifax’s official municipal food

This past November, Halifax’s city council voted to make donairs the city’s official food, so obviously this is a must-try. There are several places in the city that serve the meaty delight, but King of Donair, which was the first donair shop in Canada, is particularly well-loved.

Embrace your inner nerd at Spring Geequinox

Celebrating all things geek, Spring Geequinox is the place to indulge your passion for cosplay, comics, video and board gaming and art. Illustrator Jean-Baptiste Monge, Halifax actor Tim Dunn and cosplayer Nathan DeLuca are just a few of the guests that will be at the Halifax Forum for the weekend event, which runs April 22 to 24.

Find out more about your family’s history at Pier 21

Pier 21, an oceanfront ship and immigration terminal used from 1928 to 1971, has been home to the Canadian Museum of Immigration for more than 15 years. The national museum is full of exhibits that explore the history of Canadian immigration, and the staff can help you look into your own family’s background as it has access to immigration records and arrival sources dating back to 1865 at the Scotiabank Family History Centre.

Have a laugh at a comedy festival

The annual Ha!ifax Comedy Festival has been stirring up laughter for more than 20 years. From April 27 to 30, catch more than 25 comedians including Bob Marley, Cathy Jones and Rich Hall performing at different venues across the city. Plus, check out the free, one-hour show featuring three of the festival comedians at the Halifax Central Library on April 29.

Sip some tea at the Halifax Tea Festival

Tea drinkers will feel right at home at the second annual Halifax Tea Festival on April 9. Sample teas from big name companies like David’s Tea and local shops like World Tea House and Sawadee Tea House. There will also be workshops, tea vendors, tealeaf readings and more at the one-day event.

Shop at the oldest, continuously operating farmers’ market in North America

Halifax is home to several farmers’ markets, but the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market holds the distinction of being the oldest, continuously operating market in not only Halifax, but all of North America. Even at 265 years old, it isn’t showing its age. The market is home to more than 150 vendors selling everything from crafts and soap to fresh fish and baked goods.

Snack on a sweet or savoury crepe from a new eatery

Open since late 2015, Portland Street Crêperie serves sweet and savoury crepes that are perfect as a to go snack or a sit-down meal. And at only $4 to $8 for a crepe, it’s easy to justify a stop here. Try the Oreo cheesecake crepe, which has housemade New York cheesecake and Oreo cookie crumble.

Take a leisurely stroll down the Halifax Harbourwalk

Spring is finally here, and that means leisurely evening walks will soon become a regular thing again. Located across the street from the Alexander Keith’s Brewery, Halifax’s waterfront boardwalk stretches almost 4 kilometres along the Atlantic coast. Put on your walking shoes and take in the sights, restaurants and shops you can stop in at along the way.

Tour and grab a pint at an iconic brewery

One of the most well known names in beer, the original Alexander Keith brewery on Lower Water Street offers hour-long tours on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during the current off-season. Actors dressed up in 1863 garb will walk you through the iconic brewery, where you’ll learn how the beer is made. Then, finish up at the Stag’s Head Inn to sample one or two ales.