Ultimate Nova Scotia Fall Activities Guide
The temperatures have dropped and the leaves are quickly turning shades of orange and red. That means it's time to compile your Nova Scotia Fall Activities bucket list and we're here to help. Now that the back-to-school crazy is over, there's tons of time left to enjoy this cozy and festive time of year.
Nova Scotia Fall Activities | YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE
1. Visit A Haunted House
OK, this wasn't on the top of Brent's list but I'm putting at the top of mine because I LOVE THIS S$%*! Haunted houses are, to me, the best part of October and I thoroughly enjoy getting the pants scared off me. And, good news! Nova Scotia's got plenty of haunted houses to choose from. In fact, last year we did 8 of them (check out the list here) and this year I'm already scheduled to add more to this list (so check back).
2. Visit a Farm
Whether you've got kiddos or not, visiting a working farm during the fall is a great way to spend an afternoon. There are plenty to choose from but our top picks would be Ross Farm in New Ross, Hatfield Farms in Hammonds Plains, or Lismore Sheep Farm in River John.
3. Take Ghost Tour
Most old cities offer some sort of Ghost Tour and aside from being spooky (which I love), they actually offer a great history lesson. We've done several of these tours now and have really come to enjoy them! Most recently, we did the Liverpool Burial Grounds Ghost Tour but they've also got them in Halifax.
Here are a few others you might want to check out in Nova Scotia:
- Valley Ghost Walks
- Windsor Ghost Walks
- Halifax Citadel Ghost Tours
- Lunenburg Haunted Tour
- Halifax Ghost Walks
- Haunted Sidney Ghost Tours
You get the idea – search the name of your city and “ghost walk” and you'll find them! Another great resource is to call the municipality of your city. They've always got the inside scoop on upcoming events.
3. Visit The Kentville Pumpkin People Festival
(Oct 5 – 27th 2019)
Does this really need an explanation? If you're not from these parts here's the scoop. The entire town of Kentville (and surrounding area) get together and craft an incredible number of pumpkin people throughout the town. They act out all sorts of different scenes and remain up for the month of October. It's actually one of the coolest things you'll see.
Find all the details about the Pumpkin People Festival HERE.
There are also all kinds of pumpkin patches & U-picks to explore while you're in the Annapolis Valley. Whether you want to pick something for yourself or just stroll around and enjoy the fall festivities.
4. Tackle a Corn Maze
It only happens this time of year and it's good clean (or dirty) fun to try your hand at navigating a 10ft maze of corn stalks. Fair warning: wear your boots because it can be messy! Here are a couple to try:
5. Fall Festivals to Attend
There are too many to list but a Nova Scotia fall activity guide wouldn't be complete without a good list of festivals. The colors here on Canada's east coast are AMAZING and we've got more festivals to celebrate than you can shake a stick at.
The dates and specifics on these change each year so we thought we'd just give you the list and you can vet them yourselves. Here's a look at some of our favorites:
- Celtic Colors, Cape Breton
- Wentworth Valley Fall Festival of Colors, Wentworth Valley
- Nova Scotia Harvest Wines Festival
- Shelburne Giant Pumpkin Festival
- Halifax Oyster Festival
- Halifax Pop Explosion
- Devour Foot & Film Festival
- Nocturne: Art at Night Festival
6. Farmers Markets
Let's talk about food. Thanksgiving is a HUGE part of the fall and what's better than heading to your local market to pick up all the fresh produce, pies and baked goods you need. It's a great time of year to stock up on all your favorite market products or just get in the festive mood by strolling through the vendors.
Nearly every community in Nova Scotia has its own Farmer's Market. We love visiting as many as we can, especially this time of year!
- Halifax Seaport Farmers Market
- Tatamagouche Farmers Market
- Pugwash Farmers Market
- Truro Farmers Market
- New Glasgow Farmers Market
- Antigonish Farmers Market
- Wolfville Farmers Market
- Lunenburg Farmers Market
- Cape Breton Farmers Market
- Yarmouth Community Market
7. Take a Scenic Drive
Put on your coziest sweater, bring your camera and hit the road. Nova Scotia is an incredibly beautiful part of our country and there are all kinds of amazing road trips you should take. Some of our favorites include:
- Driving the Cabot Trail
- Annapolis Valley
- Advocate Harbour (often called the “mini Cabot trail”
- Nova Scotia's South Shore
We've also built 7 complete itineraries to take you to all the corners of Nova Scotia. So, if you're looking for something unique – this is it!
The list goes on and on but the point is, there are a LOT of great reasons to visit the valley in the fall. What did we miss? There's so much!
8. Glamping in the Maritimes
OK, I know I said this was a Nova Scotia fall activity guide but I'd be remiss to leave out the other maritime provinces. Glamping has become one of my favorite ways to relax, unwind and reconnect with nature (and myself). Whether you want to try your hand at solo-travel or take a time-out with friends or a loved one, give Glamping a try.
We've explored many options but some of our favorites are:
9. Hit the Hiking Trails
You didn't think we'd write a post about Nova Scotia fall activities without hiking, did you? We've got a much larger list compiled here that you can check out but here are a few of our fall favs.
Rogart Mountain at SugarMoon Farms
This trail isn't particularly easy but it's short (6.1km) and you're rewarded with a pancake breakfast at the end. We've hiked this trail many times but our favorite seasons are to tackle Rogart is Fall & Winter. Head into SugarMoon Farms when you're finished for a maple inspired breakfast!
Devil's Bend in Economy
This is a tough one but I'm telling you, it's awesome! It's about 13km round trip and while you can take the road out, don't. Take the trail in both directions. It's an up and down, rolling hill, kind of hike with incredible views of the Economy river throughout. You land at Economy falls which are also amazing.
Skyline Trail in Cape Breton
I know, I know – it's so cliche! But, the truth is, it's popular for a reason. The skyline trail is 7-10km round trip and not particularly challenging or interesting. That is, until you get to the end! You've seen this shot before and it's magnificent. This trail is, without question, one you should definitely do.
10. Tidal Bore Rafting
Yes, in the fall! Trust me, October is the BEST time to experience the tides because the waves are at their best. There's nothing better than a Nova Scotia adventure followed by a hot shower and a toasty bonfire. I've been Tidal Bore rafting in every season (except winter) and the fall is my absolute favorite.
11. Take Advantage of Patio Season's End
There are so many fantastic restaurants in Nova Scotia and many have patios. You might think they all roll up the decking this time of year but nope! Many have table fire pits, outdoor heaters and even infrared lamps to keep you cozy. Check out these downtown Halifax patios that all give you a reason to stay outside!
12. Wine & Food Tours
We've gone down the rabbit hole of wine & food tours recently and we're OBSESSED. First of all, the value for your money is outstanding. Secondly, you can enjoy your bevvies and not worry about driving (or cabbing). And, thirdly, the tours we're going to recommend offer exclusive treats that you can't get any other way.
Our current favorite food & wine tours in Nova Scotia:
- Eat Halifax Tour (Amazing – we loved this so much)
- Halifax Beer Bus (because…beer)
- Wine & Lunch Escape
These tours are all through the same company. While they're not the cheapest (FYI – cheap usually means lower quality), they are THE BEST (in our opinion). We've toured with many groups and Grape Escapes + Taste Halifax really takes it up a notch for an elevated experience.
13. Little Scares + Odds & Ends
There are so many things to do in the fall that we couldn't possibly list them all. Here are a few others that didn't fit nicely into one of our categories:
- Museums that host spooky events like the Halifax Discovery Centre
- Horror movies & special events at your local Cineplex
- Scary themed Escape rooms (so fun)
- Wildlife Parks, Zoo's & Aquariums often have “fright nights” or other spooky events!