First Bell: Winter 2019

by Heather Laura Clarke

Full STEAM ahead

STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics, and we can’t think of a better place to explore all things STEAM than the Discovery Centre on Lower Water Street. Check out the new Beyond Rubik’s Cube exhibit: a multi-sensory, interactive experience in robotics, art, music, computer programming and engineering. It’s running now through Jan. 6. There’s so much for your children to do: they can program a robot to follow their commands through a maze, learn to solve a Rubik’s Cube (without just peeling off the stickers) and make cool digital patterns on the interactive touch tables. Psssst, remember the Discovery Centre has free admission every Wednesday from 5–8 p.m.!

Welcome to Moose Country

Whether you’re raising a hockey-loving kid or a kid mostly interested in the popcorn and a later-than-usual bedtime, Halifax Mooseheads games are a fun family outing at the Scotiabank Centre. While you’re reading this issue, there are home games scheduled for Dec. 13, Dec. 28, Dec. 31, Jan. 3, Jan. 4, Jan. 10, Jan. 12, Jan. 23, Feb. 1, Feb. 4, Feb. 8, and Feb. 9. Youth tickets are $10 (for kids 12 and under). See or call 902-451-1221.

Explore Nova Scotia’s natural, cultural wonders

Are you due for another visit to the Museum of Natural History? The exhibitions are always changing, plus there are hundreds of permanent exhibits on our local mammals, birds, geology, and marine life. Ninety-seven-year-old Gus the Tortoise goes for a stroll every day at 3:30 p.m. and if you are lucky you might get the chance to feed him a bit of fresh lettuce during his outing. Don’t miss the Science on a Sphere presentations that let you experience live weather, the planets, earthquakes, and ocean currents, all on a huge 5.5-meter round screen. There’s even a neat demonstration on Facebook friendships! Family admission is $12.50 for one adult and children or $17.95 for two adults and children; the best deal is an annual family pass for just $42.50, less than the cost of three visits.

Create a masterpiece

Wear old clothes because this could get delightfully messy. Halifax Central Library, on Spring Garden Road, is hosting Art Day with Ross Creek Centre for the Arts on Dec. 7 from 1–4 p.m. Drop by with your kids to make awesome art together and bring your finished masterpieces home at the end. Everyone is welcome and there’s no pre-registration necessary, but adults must accompany children under seven.

Take off to Never-you-mind-land

Get ready for a fresh, funny take on the classic tale of Peter Pan. Neptune Theatre’s holiday show runs now through Jan. 5, 2020, and Wendy, Michael, and John will be introduced to a wild cast of characters, including peculiar pirates, a posse of Underdog Kids and a show-tune-lovin’ Captain Hook. There’s going to be a special ASL interpreted performance plus a “relaxed” performance that’s ideal for anyone with sensory sensitivities. Tickets are $30-$87 plus fees and taxes, available at

Support local shops

If your kids have a bit of holiday cash that they’re eager to spend in January, why not take them to a sweet locally-owned bookstore like Woozles so they can #BuyLocal? Introduce them to local authors and titles like The Terrible, Horrible, Smelly Pirate by Jacqueline Halsey, Carrie Muller and Eric Orchard, or Hockey Morning Noon and Night by Dorette Groenendyk.

Make it a movie date

It can be pricey to take the whole family to the movies, so we’re fans of Cineplex Family Favourites events. On Dec. 14 at 11 a.m., Cineplex Theatre in Dartmouth Crossing and Lower Sackville are showing Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch and charging just $2.99 per person for admission. Tots under three get in for free, and you’ll earn 25 Scene points for each ticket purchased. Grab Kid’s Packs for everyone and enjoy a late-morning snack as you kick back and watch the Grinch’s heart grow three sizes.

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