Family-Friendly Halifax: Navigating Parenthood in Your New City

Richard Payne
Published on December 4, 2023

Family-Friendly Halifax: Navigating Parenthood in Your New City

Moving to a new city is always an adventure, and for parents, the stakes are even higher as they search for a place that not only suits their needs but also caters to the well-being and happiness of their children. Halifax, with its east coast lifestyle, friendly communities, and picturesque landscapes, is an ideal destination for families looking to build their lives. In this guide, we’ll explore the family-friendly side of Halifax and provide tips for parents navigating their way through this growing city.

Choosing the Right Neighbourhood:

Halifax has various family friendly neighbourhoods, each with its unique charm and character. For families, considerations such as proximity to schools, parks, and family-friendly amenities are crucial. Exploring areas like Clayton Park, Bedford, and Dartmouth can provide a range of options, from suburban tranquility to vibrant urban living. Semi rural neighbourhoods with good highway access are popular with families moving here, and these include Fall River, Hammonds Plains, Upper Tantallon, Lantz and Elmsdale to name a few. Reach out anytime to chat about your requirements in a neighbourhood and I can give you my recommendations.

Education and Childcare:

Halifax takes education seriously, offering a range of schools, both public and private, to cater to the diverse needs of families. From pre-primary to high school, parents can find institutions that prioritize quality education and a supportive environment. Halifax Regional Centre for Education serves 58,000 students in 137 schools and is the largest centre for education in Atlantic Canada. Find tons of education resources here and here

Additionally, the city provides various childcare options, including daycare centers and preschools, ensuring that working parents have access to reliable services.

Parks and Recreation:

One of the highlights of Halifax is its abundance of green spaces and parks. Point Pleasant Park, Shubie Park, and the Halifax Public Gardens are just a few of the family-friendly outdoor spaces where children and families can play. The city’s commitment to maintaining these areas makes Halifax an ideal place for families seeking an active lifestyle. This is a great guide to all the parks in Halifax Metro. You’ll have plenty to explore!

Halifax Parks & Recreation offers a wide range of facilities and activities for residents and visitors alike. These include park trails, fields, youth programs, recreation programming, culture and heritage and beaches. The city benefits from a variety of recreation centres including the Adventure Earth Centre, Canada Games Centre, Sackville Sports Stadium and the Emera Oval. For more information on Halifax Park and Recreation facilities as well as programs and activities, check this out.

With the ocean on our doorstep, you’re never more than 60km from the ocean at any point in Nova Scotia and spoilt for quality beaches. Surfing in Nova Scotia may be a well-kept secret, but for those in the know, it’s a thrilling adventure waiting to happen. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a curious beginner, Nova Scotia’s diverse surf breaks, welcoming community, and maritime charm make it a destination worth checking out.

Family friendly winter activities in Halifax include sledding (check out this previous blog post on the best hills in Halifax), skiing (Ski Martock is just 45 minutes from Halifax and offers a variety of skiing and snowboarding activities for all skill levels, outdoor skating (Emera Oval is free and is great fun), snowshoeing, lake skating, sleigh rides (check out Hatfield Farm) and so much more. We tend to have good traditional winters with snow and nice enough temperatures to actually get outside and enjoy it!

Family-Oriented Events:

Halifax hosts a multitude of events throughout the year that cater to families. From seasonal festivals to cultural celebrations, there’s always something happening in the city. This not only provides entertainment but also helps families integrate into the community and meet other parents.

Healthcare and Family Services:

Access to quality healthcare is paramount for families, and Halifax does well in this regard. The city is home to excellent healthcare facilities, pediatricians, and family doctors (this is a contentious issue across Canada with a massive shortfall in the number of doctors to the growing number of patients requiring assistance). I’ve written a whole blog on how to access Primary Care if you are unable to register with a Family Physician. You can read about it here.

IWK Health is the largest facility in Atlantic Canada caring for patients under 21 years of age and the only Level 1 paediatric trauma centre east of Quebec. Based in Halifax, IWK Health is also one of only two health centres across Canada that cares for both women and children. Additionally, various family services and support groups are available, ensuring that parents have the resources they need to navigate parenthood successfully.


Halifax is a community that welcomes families with open arms. From education to recreation and healthcare, the city is designed to cater to the diverse needs of parents and their children. As you embark on this new chapter in Halifax, rest assured that you’re not just moving to a city; you’re becoming part of a warm, welcoming and relaxed pace of life. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if we can answer any of your questions about life in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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