children and Nova Scotia

Apr 13th, 2005, 12:59 PM
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children and Nova Scotia

Would anyone recommend vacationing with children in Nova Scotia? We have two 9 year olds. What would you reccomend doing and where would you stay?
mcmars is offline  
Apr 13th, 2005, 01:27 PM
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If I was nine, I'd want to go to the beach in New Brunswick,near Shediac, and in Prince Edward Island, near Canvandish.

But I probably would not want to go into the water in Nova Scotia.

But ON the water in Nova Scotia... that's different. Take the kids whale watching.

And there's some interesting things for kids to look at in the maritime museum in Halifax, and in the fort in Louisbourg, but that's quite qa way from Halifax.

There's a fort in Halifax worth visiting, too.

In New Brunswick, there's kid stuff at Fundy National Park, and they'd probably enjoy the Hopewell Rocks, and Magnetic Hill in Moncton. The Bore is, well, a bore, though.

If I was taking a nine year old, I'd make sure I took the ferry at least one way to PEI, instead of the bridge both ways.

BACKGROUND: I used to be nine, and when I was nine I was in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and PEI for the summer. I'm not nine anymore, but I have a ten year old and know what kids like.
BAK is offline  
Apr 13th, 2005, 01:31 PM
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My daughter, who was 10 at the time, and I traveled to Nova Scotia almost 2 years ago and had a marvelous time. Some of her favorite sights/activities included: the Highland Games in Antigonish (with bagpipers, Highland dancers, and burly men doing athletic games - for information, click on; and Children's Day at Highland Village in Iona, where both boys and girls are dressed in period costume and spend the day with the staff participating in traditional activities and gaining a deeper understanding of the lifestyle of the Scots in Nova Scotia. The program takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each Wednesday through July & August and costs $30 CDN per children ages 8 to 14. Costumes and lunch are provided. For information, go to . If you have a daughter, you'll want to travel to Prince Edward Island (PEI), just a long bridge or ferry ride away. In Cavendish, PEI, you can see the Anne of Green Gables House and visit Avonlea Village, kind of like a miniature DisneyWorld with costumed Anne of Green Gables characters interacting with the children and reenacting portions of the book. It was high quality and very enjoyable. Also on PEI: Woodleigh Replicas (several beautiful acres with replicas of English landmarks such as St. Paul's Cathedral and the Tower of London -- ranging from 3' to 20' high -; the Anne of Green Gables musical in Charlottestown; and the evening performances at the College of Piping & Drumming (
laurafromtexas is offline  
Apr 13th, 2005, 04:15 PM
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Hi,McMars! When are you planning on travelling? I grew up in NS & we went in the water throughout the summer so I disagree w/ BAK on that one! Ingonish Beach on Cape Breton Island is beautiful. Stay @ Keltic Lodge. There are some wonderful hiking trails in the area & lots of meandering brooks which are great for picnics. The scenery is spectacular....even in the eyes of a 9yo!! Then head down to Baddeck. Stay @ Inverary Inn. You can charter a sail boat & tour The Bras d'or Lakes. From Baddeck you can "day trip it" to the Fortress of Louisbourg. If you are seriously considering NS you have to get a copy of "The Doers' & Dreamers'" Guide" published by NS Dept of Tourism. While in NS you can also take the ferry( or bridge but ferry wld be more fun for kids) over to PEI. The PEI beaches are amazing....sand dunes, lobster suppers, biking, hiking, golf nearby. Stay @ Shaw's Hotel on Brackley Beach. PEI also publishes an excellent travel publication.
wow is offline  
Apr 13th, 2005, 05:34 PM
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BAK- may be a dumb question but why would you "not want to go into the water in Nova Scotia"? Just wondering.
TO is offline  
Apr 13th, 2005, 06:14 PM
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Re> "not want to go into the water in Nova Scotia"?<

Aside from lobsters biting my toes -- no wait, that would mean I could catch the lobster -- the reason is geographical, if that's a word.

Except for a small part of the Nova Scotia coast adjacent to New Brunswick and across from PEI, the water on the NS coast is very, very cold.

The Gulf Stream, however, directs currents in such a way that, combined with the sandy, gently sloping shape of the bottom of the ocean up close to the shore,on the east coast of New Brunswick (as contrated to the Fundy coast) and the coast of PEI, the water is much, much warmer.

When the tide goes out, in many spots in NB and PEI (and just a little of NS) there's a very sandy bottom, with slight indentations that form tidal pools. Some of these are six inches deep, some maybe two feet deep, lots inbetween, and on sunny days the water in these warms up even more, and kids can play happily in the shallow water for hours.

In contrast, in the other parts of the ocean coast, the water starts off colder, and when the tide goes out the bottom is often rocky, and or slimy.

But around Shediac, at Parlee Beach and in that neighborhood, where our family used to have a cottage, and on the Cavendish coast of PEI, the water's great. (still a lot colder than Jamaica or Florida, though)


BAK is offline  
Apr 14th, 2005, 08:30 AM
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Actually, in Cape Breton we have a huge inland saltwater lake that gets much warmer than most ocean temperatures in the Maritimes (it takes up most of the middle of the island). It's so big (largest in North America) that you'd never know you weren't in the actual ocean itself, and there are beautiful beaches, some public some completely secluded, all around it. Because it is a lake and not an ocean, it heats much more quickly. McMars, definitely order a package from I would recommend coming here with kids - there are endless whale watching opportunities, gentle or more challenging hikes, a great harbour hopper (amphibious vehicle) in Halifax, Highland Games all over the place, the Fortress of Louisbourg, where kids can play replicas of the games played by children who inhabited the Fortress and sample food typical of that time too, the Alexander Graham Bell museum, with lots of neat info and displays, tidal bore rafting on the world's highest tides, etc etc. Depends on what your kids are into really. That being said, I have to agree that PEI is great too!
ScotiaGirl is offline  
Apr 14th, 2005, 06:13 PM
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my parents took us to Nova Scotia/PEi when we were kids. had a great time! by all means, it's a great family destination.
flygirl is offline  
Apr 15th, 2005, 10:36 AM
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To BAK - Thanx for that lesson on Nova Scotia waters. I too am planning to visit Nova Scotia in July with my 7 year old. During our 7 days there we are planning to do quite a bit of driving as there is so much to see. I had wanted to also have him enjoy some time on the beach just swimming. The Nova Scotia book I ordered showed several beaches on the map. I took that to mean that the waters were fine for swimming. Thank you for your input.
TO is offline  
Apr 15th, 2005, 01:14 PM
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Your 7 year old can play on the beach & swim in the ocean in NS. But the later in July the better. I grew up in NS & we "lived in the ocean" in the summer!!
wow is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 03:02 AM
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Which gateway are you using to enter NS?

Lots for kids to do - or little for them to do which is probably preferable when you can spend a day at the beach enjoying the sand, beach combing, etc. For warmer waters, don't forget Pictou County. Melmerby beach is a wonderful spot to spend a day relaxing. There are many other hidden jewels to enjoy as well. There are cottages not to far from the Merb that have an outdoor pool, etc. and lots of kids of their own. The Museum of Industry is a great spot to spend an afternoon - very hands on. Trenton Park has an outdoor pool as well as miniature golf. Take a sailing tour out of Pictou.

Other things to do in NS;
Halifax - Discovery Centre, Museum of Natural History, Citadel Hill, Pirate's Cove (waterslide) at the Dartmouth Sportsplex, Freak Candy Shop, Bud the Spud on Spring Garden Road (enjoy home-cooked french fries while sitting on the Library wall watching the sites), The Harbour Hopper, just taking the ferry across to Dartmouth, whale watching, Peggy's Cove (a must with kids - great rock jumping), Lawrencetown Beach (cold but nice).

As for other parts of NS there is so much for them to do:
Fundy Geological Museum, Parrsboro if they like dinosaurs, Shubenacade Wildlife Park, Upper Clements Park, Oaklawn Farm Zoo. etc.

In Cape Breton Louisbourg is not to be missed but plan on a full day. Alexander Graham Bell museum in Baddeck is a good visit. The village itself has lots to offer. One of my kids favorite destinations. They can take a little ferry located at the marina across to a beach - great spot and very busy!

Tanya is offline  

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