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Best summer ever!

The Bard, the beer, music, art, sports and SO MUCH MORE—our 50 favourite things to see and do in Halifax this summer

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Halifax Seaport Beerfest. Photo: Steve Jess

Halifax Seaport Beerfest. Photo: Steve Jess

Scott-Mary

Shakespeare by the Sea

1. Shakespeare by the Sea: All summer
Grab a lawn chair and head to Point Pleasant Park for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Antony and Cleopatra, or Sleeping Beauty. shakespearebythesea.ca

2. Stillwell Waterfront Beer Garden: All summer
Craft beer, the waterfront: this has all the makings of a perfect summer day. Grab some friends and settle in. barstillwell.com

3. Summer Concert Series in the Public Gardens: All summer
Enjoy a bandstand concert every Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. This year’s performers include the Paul Mason Group, Rose Nadira and the Maritime Brass Quintet.

4. Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga with SUP Dude Yoga: All summer
Step up your yoga practice with water and a stand-up paddleboard. Lessons all summer. supdudeyoga.com

5. Cultural Walking Tour at Point Pleasant Park: All summer
Take a self-guided tour around Point Pleasant Park and check out areas of natural cultural and historical significance. pointpleasantpark.ca/en/home/thingstodo/culturalwalkingtour.aspx

6. AFF Outdoor Film Experience: All summerAvengers_(Earth-199999)_001
Enjoy a big-screen film in Dartmouth Crossing or on the Halifax Waterfront. 2015’s theme is “The Summer of SuperHeroes,” featuring films such as X-Men: First Class (July 31), The Incredibles (August 15) and Marvel’s The Avengers (August 21). atlanticfilm.com/festivals/outdoor-film-experience

7. Visit a Farmers’ Market: All summer
There are plenty to keep you busy all summer long. Markets in the area include Seaport Market, the Historic Farmers’ Market, Dartmouth Farmers’ Market, and the Hubbards Market.

Photo: Lisa Enman

Visit a Farmers’ Market. Photo: Lisa Enman

8. Halifax Citadel Ghost Tour: All summer
Spend a spooky evening touring the Halifax Citadel. (We hear there’s a little ghost girl grabbing people’s hands.)  pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/ns/halifax/activ/visit9/visit9b.aspx

9. Storytime at Uncommon Grounds Café: All summer
Stop in the Public Gardens for a story with Woozles Children’s Bookstore. The magic happens on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 10:30. halifaxpublicgardens.ca/event/story-time-at-the-uncommon-grounds-cafe

10. City Tour with I Heart Bikes: All summer
Rent a bike and tour the city using one of the I Heart Bikes maps as a guide. Prefer travelling with a group? Join a tour. iheartbikeshfx.com

11. Local Tasting Tours: All summer
Explore Halifax’s best-kept culinary secrets with a city food tour. Just don’t forget to grab your ticket. localtastingtours.com

Lebanese Festival

Lebanese Festival

12. Tuesday Night Tunes: All summer
Join the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic for a concert at 7:00 pm every Tuesday night all summer long. maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca

13. Lebanese Festival: July 9–12
Sample Lebanese food, dance and music at this free Olympic Community Centre event. lebanese-festival.ca

14. Jazz Festival: All summer
Check out concerts all over Halifax. Performers include Moon Hooch, Kenny Werner Trio and Deva Mahal. (Halifax Magazine is proud to sponsor the free concerts in Hydrostone Park). halifaxjazzfestival.ca

Halifax Jazz Festival

Halifax Jazz Festival

15. Peggy’s Cove Area Festival of the Arts: July 10–19
Now in its 5th year, the Peggy’s Cove Area Festival of the Arts has expanded to focus on three main events: an arts fair, Paint Peggy’s Cove and Beyond, and a studio tour with more than 35 stops. “In terms of performances, the highlight this year is the involvement of Unicorn Theatre, the children’s theatre here in the area,” says Paula Fredericks, marketing chair of the festival. “They’re very popular, and they sell out pretty much every show.” For the first time, this year’s festival will also bring its plein air painting (where visitors can watch artists at work outside) to Hubbards. peggyscoveareafestivalofthearts.com

16. Strawberry Social: July 11
Head to the Rose and Kettle Tearoom at the Cole Harbour Heritage Museum for strawberry shortcake, tea and lemonade. coleharbourfarmmuseum.ca

17. Concert of Newfoundland: July 12
Join musician John Christopher, author of the memoir Molasses Bread and Tea at the Halifax Central Library. Concert begins at 2:00. halifaxcentrallibrary.ca

18. Anchor City Rollers: August 1, 15, 29
Catch a roller-derby match at the Bowles Arena in Dartmouth. No skates required! anchorcityrollers.ca

Photo: Tammy Fancy/FancyFreeFoto

Photo: Tammy Fancy/FancyFreeFoto

19. Halifax Summer Opera Festival: July 18–August 16
With 15 performances, and a range of music that includes musical theatre and art song, this month-long festival has plenty to offer. halifaxsummeroperafestival.com

20. Brian McConnell Quartet Concert: July 11
Stop by the Keshen Goodman Library at noon for a jazz concert with Brian McConnell, Georges Hébert, Danny Parker and Scott Ferguson.
halifaxpubliclibraries.ca/branches/locations/keshen-goodman.html

Pride-Ciolfe-Pride-Parade-3

Photo: Terra Ciolfe

21. Halifax Pride Festival: July 16–26
This year, Halifax Pride is getting back to its roots by celebrating the history and heritage of the LGBTQ+ community. “That’s a big want from our community this year,” says Willem Blois, chair of the festival. “We’re hoping it will add a fresh new perspective to Pride. We’re not taking away from the parades and the celebrations because we’ll still be doing a lot of that, but we definitely want to be a lot more reflective.” And the Heritage Gathering on July 19 will be a big part of that. On Sunday afternoon, the stretch of Gottingen Street between Cornwallis and Cunard will shut down as community organizations like The Youth Project and Rainbow Refugee Association of Nova Scotia showcase their work. halifaxpride.com

22. Hey Rosetta and Mardeen: July 17
Check out 2015 East Coast Music Award winners Hey Rosetta at the Shore Club in Hubbards, along with opening act Mardeen. shoreclub.ca

Hey Rosetta

Hey Rosetta

23. Kirtan with Krishna Das: July 18
Join “yoga’s rock star” at McNally Theatre as he performs his signature blend of traditional kirtan and modern instrumentation. krishnadas.com/tour_schedule.cfm

24. McNabs Island 25th Anniversary Picnic: July 18
Catch a ride from Murphy’s Cable Wharf and head to McNab’s Island for guided hikes, entertainment and games. mcnabsisland.ca/events/mcnabs-island-25th-anniversary-picnic

25. Motionball’s Marathon of Sport: July 18
Gather a team, raise some funds and compete against local Special Olympics athletes in sports like soccer and floor hockey. motionball.com/events/marathon-of-sport-halifax-2015

26. NSDCC Designer Craft Show: July 17–19
Go to Victoria Park to check out the high-quality, unique work of some of Nova Scotia’s best artisans. nsdcc.ns.ca

Photo: Kyle Cassidy

Weird Al Yankovic . Photo: Kyle Cassidy

27. Pride Swag Party: July 20
Prep for the parade by making some great swag with the Youth Project and Halifax Central Library. There will be button making, jewellery making and more. halifaxcentrallibrary.ca

28. Bahamas: July 21
Grab a ticket and head to the Rebecca Cohn to catch double JUNO award winner Bahamas as he performs music from his latest album Bahamas is Afie. dal.ca/dept/arts-centre.html

29. Weird Al Yankovic exhibit: July 21–28
Missed out on tickets to see Weird Al Yankovic? Catch him at Argyle Fine Art instead. For one week, the gallery will feature Darren and Julie Moreash’s Weird Al marionettes. argylefineart.comAfrician-Festival

30. Africa Festival of Arts & Culture: July 24–26
Head to Sackville Landing and treat your senses to the Africa Festival of Arts & Culture. This year’s performers include the local Carson Downey Band and singer Ranzie Mensah. “Many people wanted Amadou Kienou, from Burkino Faso, to come back,” says George Mbamalu, chair of the festival’s organizing committee. “He’s a fantastic drummer from Toronto, and he’s coming back this year. Myself, I fell in love with him because he can drum.” The festival will also have a bigger vendor area this year, with a big increase in arts and crafts. afacs.org

31. World Tuna Flat Races: July 25
Head over to the Hubbards Cove waterfront for a day of races, food, face painting and music. > novascotia.com/events/festivals-and-events/world-tuna-flat-races/-1242

32. Slide the City: July 25–26
Float down a Halifax city street on a 333-metre Slip and Slide. All you need is a wristband ($40, $35 if you register online in advance) and a swimsuit. slidethecity.com/events/halifax/

Buskers-Izza-Flambe

Halifax International Busker Festival

33. Halifax International Busker Festival: July 29–August 3
Brave the crowds and immerse yourself in the oldest festival of its kind in Canada. Performers include the English Gents, Aerial Manx, and Izza Flambe. buskers.ca

34. Art of Disability Festival: July 30
Join Independent Living Nova Scotia at Alderney Landing from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. as their members present their creative work. ilns.ca

35. Journey: July 31
Check out classic rock band journey at Alderney Landing as they perform five decades worth of hits. (Be patient, they’ll get to “Don’t Stop Believin’” eventually.) alderneylanding.com/events/outdoor_events.html

36. Discover Culture: Henna: August 1
Learn about henna’s 5,000-year-old history at Pier 21’s Canadian Museum of Immigration. pier21.ca/visit/whats-on-calendar

37. Natal Day Festival Concert: August 1
Don’t miss the concert at Alderney Landing. Performers include David Myles and Gary Beals. natalday.org/events.php

38. Halifax Seaport Beerfest: August 7–8
Get your ticket and spend your weekend sampling nearly 300 craft and imported beers and ciders at the Cunard Centre. seaportbeerfest.com/tickets

Halifax Seaport Beerfest. Photo: Steve Jess

Halifax Seaport Beerfest. Photo: Steve Jess

39. Dutch Mason Blues Festival: August 7–9
Catch Bonnie Raitt, James Cotton and Tinsley Ellis in concert at this year’s festival. Events are scheduled at the Dartmouth Sportsplex and Alderney Landing. dutchmason.com/festival/sandbox

40. Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour: Atlantic Cat 250: August 8
Head to Scotia Speedworld in Enfield for a night of fast-paced motor-sports action. scotiaspeedworld.ca/schedule.html

41. Broadway on Argyle Street (Neptune): August 12–23
Off The Leash Creative and WillPower Theatre bring the best of Broadway to Neptune Theatre. Featuring songs from Les Miserables, Wicked, Fiddler on the Roof and more. neptunetheatre.com

42. Annual Clam Harbour Sandcastle and Sand Sculpture Contest: August 16
Go ahead, get dirty. Don’t miss the annual sandcastle and sand sculpture competition at Clam Harbour Beach. halifax.ca/sandcastle

Annual Clam Harbour Sandcastle and Sand Sculpture Contest.

Annual Clam Harbour Sandcastle and Sand Sculpture Contest.

43. Dartmouth Comic Arts Festival: August 16
Go to Alderney Landing to meet dozens of comic artists at this free all-ages celebration of comics. Open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. dcaf.strangeadventures.com

44. Prismatic Arts Festival: August 19–23
Head to Alderney Landing for diverse performances by some of Canada’s best artists: theatre, dance, music, spoken word, visual arts and media arts. Performers include Montreal’s Nomadic Massive and Signal Theatre’s Winter Home. prismaticfestival.com

45. Downtown ArtWalk: August 20
“Oh, I’m not an art-gallery person,” you say? Here’s a way to stay true to yourself and get some culture. Go on a self-guided ArtWalk and discover Halifax’s artistic side. facebook.com/pages/Downtown-Artwalk/842645265763779

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Dahlia Day at Public Gardens

46. Heroes versus Villains Exhibit at The Dart Gallery: August 21
There are two kinds of people in the world: those who root for Batman, and those who cheer on the Joker. Whichever you are, you’ll dig this exhibit. “I work with a number of different artists to come up with ideas for shows, so I can’t take all the credit,” says co-owner Jane MacDougald. “This idea was brought to me by Eric Miller of Dartmouth Clothing Company.” As they chatted, MacDougald and Miller came up with the idea of lining one side of the gallery with heroes, and the other side with their corresponding villains. The show will include the work of Miller and Pierre Tabbiner.

47. 78th Highlanders Freedom of the City Parade: August 21
Halifax’s military heritage comes to life, as the Halifax Citadel’s 78th Highlanders march from the Citadel to Grand Parade. novascotia.com/events/festivals-and-events/78th-highlanders-freedom-of-the-city-parade/-401

48. Dahlia Day at Public Gardens: August 26
Join a guided tour of the dahlia beds at the Halifax Public Gardens. halifax.ca/publicgardens/DahliaDay.php

49. Halifax Urban Folk Festival: August 20-September 6
Don’t miss this Halifax bar-based event. Performers include Steve Poltz, Joel Plaskett and The Stogies. halifaxurbanfolkfestival.com

50. Battle for New Scotland: August 29GlasgowWarriors
It’s easily the biggest rugby match to ever come to Halifax, as Team Canada hosts the Glasgow Warriors at the Wanderers Grounds (with 5,000 temporary seats). It’s Canada’s final home match before this fall’s Rugby World Cup in England. battlefornewscotland.ca

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