Look, finding fun activities to do once the sun goes down isn’t always easy. I, however, consider myself an expert on the odd and out of the ordinary. Get out of the same-old same-old and try one of these alternatives.
1. Go on a ghost tour of Halifax
Until the beginning of November, Parks Canada runs a tour of some of Halifax’s most haunted places, starting with the Clocktower on Citadel Hill and ending at the waterfront boardwalk! Speaking from personal experience, the hosts take you on an interactive, 70-minute walk where you’ll be drawn into a world of spirits and history so rich that you won’t even have time to think about the fact that you just walked what would normally feel like 30 blocks. Tours run almost every night, starting at 8:30pm, and you can find your tickets on Eventbrite (pre-booked tickets are $19.45; taking your chance at the Citadel kiosk is $17.24). I suggest you bring a friend, someone whose hand you can squeeze when you inevitably get the chills!
The Halifax Ghost Walk runs 2-hour tours, starting at the Old Town Clock (side of Citadel Hill) at 8:30pm until October 30. This one has been going since 1990, so you know it’s going to be good and creepy! Tickets are a $15 for students—not a bad deal for two hours! Call 902-466-1060 for more info or follow them on Twitter @thehfxghostwalk.
2. Check out a pottery café
If you’re looking for out-of-the-box fun that’s also easy, creative, and carefree, then I suggest trying the pottery cafe, DIY Studio, in Dartmouth. Open until 9pm, Tuesday through Saturday, DIY Studio is a no-experience needed introduction into the world of ceramic painting. All tools and paints—which, for the record, there’s an overwhelming amount to choose from—are included in the price of the pieces you choose straight from the wall of dining ware, figurines, and more! To make it even better, as the name suggests, there’s a café serving delicious food and drinks. I suggest their lemonade!
3. Try a hot yoga class
Stretching your muscles is an amazing way to end the day and encourage healthy sleep patterns, as well as offer an unexpectedly wonderful workout. Shanti Hot Yoga, at 5508 Spring Garden Rd., is an amazing studio that offers night classes from 7–8pm that are catered to anyone—all the way from a complete beginner to a yogi expert! Unlike some studios, Shanti does not require a membership (i.e. if you find it’s not your thing then you aren’t locked into an entire month of it) and offers student prices with a quick show of your DalCard. However, if you find yourself loving the class, there are also student prices offered for memberships!
4. Monkey around at one of Halifax’s climbing gyms
East Peak is at the corner of Oxford and Quinpool, just a short walk from Studley Campus, and is open to non-members from 3–10pm, Monday through Friday, and 3–9pm, Saturday and Sunday. As someone who had never climbed before moving to Halifax, it can be daunting to walk into a gym as a new climber who’s curious and a tad bit nervous. However, East Peak does offer courses to new climbers that will provide you with all the instruction and confidence you’ll need to feel like a pro on the wall! Student prices are offered, with a day pass costing about $30 with equipment rentals included. But I highly recommend the 10-day punch pass that gives you 10 days to drop in and out and doesn’t expire!
Similarly, Seven Bays Bouldering, at Gottingen and Cogswell, offers beginners courses, student pricing, and a 10-day punch card! They’re open on weekdays until 11pm and weekends until 9pm. What I enjoy about Seven Bays is their separate cafe with a view into the climbing wall, allowing for a fun experience for an entire friend group, even those who don’t particularly love to climb. Eating a cinnamon bun and watching your friends fall off the wall is just as much fun as climbing, if not more so!
5. Let your inner actor—and eater—shine at a dinner theatre
If you’re looking for something fun and different to do with some friends, an immersive dinner show at the Grafton St Dinner Theatre might be perfect for you! The show currently playing is “Somebody to Love,” which invites the audience to become guests at a wedding reception that may, or may not, go horribly, horribly—and hilariously—wrong. It’s guaranteed to be a fun time, with great food, comedy, and pricing deals for students. The shows usually run for about three hours, meaning your evening will be well covered!
6. Book a night of axe throwing
Perhaps it’s just me, but if you also get to that point in the semester where you start feeling like pulling all your hair out strand by strand— for me, that’s the second week—I highly recommend going somewhere where throwing really heavy and sharp objects at plywood is safe and legal! You can book a slot at HaliMac Axe Throwing for one hour with your friends for a reasonable price and, if it so happens that you all work until 9, fear not because they’re open until 11pm most nights.
7. Show off your putting prowess at mini-golf
If you're looking for a blast from the past—think the best Grade 5 party of your life—then look no further than Putting Edge, Halifax’s own glow-in-the-dark mini-golf extravaganza! At $14 a person, mini-golf is an option for even the brokest of university kids (this is tried and tested for me) and with 18 holes, you’ll be sure to get every bang for your buck. If mini-golf isn’t exactly your thing then you may be pleased to hear there’s also an arcade—yes, glow-in-the-dark as well. It’s all open until 12am on Friday and Saturdays!
8. Support some fellow Dal students
There are always students doing amazing things on and off campus, so why not show them some love? Check out the varsity athletics schedule to see when you might be able to catch a Tigers game at Dalplex, Wickwire Field, or the Halifax Forum. We also have club sports in rugby, football, lacrosse, field hockey and a whole lot more. Cheer them on and make sure you wear your black and gold!
There are incredibly talented students in the Fountain School of Performing Arts who regularly perform in plays, concerts, and recitals in the Dal Arts Centre. You never know, you may see some future stars!
9. Cheer on the pros and semi-pros
Halifax is also home to some good high-level sports that always offer a fun night of entertainment for not a ton of money. The Halifax Mooseheads play in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and their regular season starts in late September downtown at the Scotiabank Centre.
If you prefer something ice-free, also at the Scotiabank Centre are the Halifax Thunderbirds of the National Lacrosse League. Lots of action and plenty of loud music make their games a lot of fun, but you’ll have to wait until early December for their season to start.