Ten things to do over Christmas break
The South Shore is full of ways to keep the kids entertained
Christmas Eve is the first official day of your child’s holiday break from school, which means they shouldn’t start feeling cooped up and bored until, oh, Boxing Day?
It might feel like a very, very, long time until school starts up again on Jan. 3, but we’ve got you covered!
From rosy-cheeked fun in the chilly winter air to indoor activities like bowling, crafts, and museum-hopping, we’ve got 10 suggestions that will keep everyone entertained ...
1. Where’s the fire?
If you want to get in out of the cold, you’ll warm up quickly at the Firefighters’ Museum of Nova Scotia in Yarmouth (451
Main St.). You can check out the different types of fire engines used from the 1800s to the 1930s — including hand-operated models like Canada’s oldest horse-drawn steam engine — and imagine what it must be like to run bravely into the hot smoke of a burning building.
The museum is open Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 per adult, $3 per child/teen (children under six are free) and $4 for seniors, or $10 for a family with school-aged children.
2. Get frosty!
Yarmouth Recreation recently shared the great idea of filling balloons with water and food colouring and putting them outside — or in your freezer — until they freeze solid. Remove the balloon and you’re left with some very cool gem-like orbs for decorating your lawn or turning into a frozen sculpture.
You can also turn it into a science experiment as you determine how cold the
water needs to be in order to freeze.
3. Glide and twirl.
Grab your skates and head for the Yarmouth Mariners Centre (45 Jody Shelley Dr.), which holds a family skating session Sundays from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Kids aged 7-12 can skate on their own from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., and teens can skate from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission is $4 per adult, $3.50 for seniors 55+ or youth over 14, $3 for children ($2 if they’re under five years old) and $10 for a family of four or more. If you get together and come as a group of 10 or
more, it’s just $3 per person.
4. Hit the playground.
Just because it’s freezing out doesn’t mean the playground’s closed! Bundle everyone up in their snowsuits and head to an outdoor playspace like the neat natural playground in Mahone Bay (63 Clairmont St.).
5. Go for a dip.
Bring your swimsuits and towels to the YMCA of Yarmouth (275 Main St.) for a community swim on Saturday (Dec. 22 and Dec. 29) from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., or 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. or on Sunday (Dec. 23 and Dec. 30) from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. It’s just $3 for nonmembers.
While the pool will be closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day, those with little ones can sneak it a parent/tot swim on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
6. Get your farm on!
When was the last time you visited Ross Farm? It’s open yearround and full of things to see and do, so it’s a perfect chance of scenery for bored families over Christmas break. During that long stretch between Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve, drive over to
Ross Farm Museum (4568 Hwy. 12 in New Ross) to learn more about the province’s rich agricultural history.
They’re open Wednesdays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 per adult, $8 per senior or university/college student (with student ID), $4 per child (anyone five years old or younger gets in for free), or $25 for a family. Psssst, bonus savings alert! Admission is free for everyone on Sunday mornings between 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.
7. Fridays are for splashing.
Did someone say FREE SWIM? The Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre (LCLC) in Bridgewater
(135 N Park St.) has once again partnered with the Government of Nova Scotia to offer a weekly free swim on Friday nights from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.
This special event includes the lap pool, the play pool and the therapy pool, so everyone can enjoy their preferred spot for swimming, splashing or relaxing.
8. Get creative.
Need to get out of the house? We hear you! Luckily, the Margaret Hennigar Library in Bridgewater (135 N. Park St.) is all set to welcome families over the Christmas break.
Even on days when they don’t have activities scheduled, branch coordinator Katherine Sharp says you can ask for craft supplies at the desk. She used to be a teacher and loves setting children up with creative activities during their time at the library.
9. Go on a scavenger hunt. Libraries across the South Shore are running a colouring contest as well as a fun scavenger hunt through Dec. 23. Head over to the Alean Freeman Library in Greenfield (5060 Hwy. 210), the Lunenburg Library (97 Kaulbach St.), the Margaret Hennigar Library in Bridgewater (135 N. Park St.) or the Thomas H. Raddall Library in Liverpool (145
Old Bridge St.) to take part. Kids who finish the hunt receive a book as their prize!
10. Throw a strike.
Bowling is fun for people of all ages, even if you’re so small you need to bend over and roll the ball between your legs. (Actu- ally, sometimes that ends up working well and the toddler wins.)
Head to a local bowling alley, like Bowl-more Lanes in Bridgewater (240 Dufferin St.), Brunswick Lanes in Yarmouth (80 Brunswick St.), Pajo’s Bowling Alley in Lunenburg (79 Victoria Rd.), Swansburg's Bowling Alley in Shelburne (155 Mowatt St.) or Wilson's Bowling Center in Digby (312 Warwick St.) to bowl a few strings with the whole family. Bonus points if you all get perfectly-sized shoe rentals on the first try!
Visit Ross Farm over the break for some education mixed in with lots of fun.
Bowling is fun for people of all ages.