Family events for Natal Day weekend

I know I've been talking (whining?) about the weather a lot lately, but really, who hasn't? So to start my Natal Day weekend sum-up, let's just get that out of the way: the weather will do something this weekend, and it might be good, and it might be bad, and we won't know until any actual moment, and then the next moment will be different, so really there is no point worrying about it, right? Right. There's lots to do this long weekend. Don't let the wacky weather stop you!

As I was looking through the Natal Day event information to figure out what to include on HRM Parent, I was struck by how much music is such a big part of the weekend and reminded again at what an awesome city this is. I've included some of the concerts in the information below, but since most of it is not specifically aimed at families (or is not suitable for families), please make sure to check out for more details on the Natal Day music scene this weekend.

(The below is all in the calendar, folks, but I'm making it insanely easy for you to see the family-friendly Natal Day events in one go, cuz I'm nice like that, heh.)

  • Tunes at Noon, 11am-1pm, Thurs July 30 and Fri July 31, at Grand Parade, Halifax: Live music in the Grand Parade with local groups and musicians. Everyone welcome!
  • Alexander Keith's Natal Day Kick-off, 12-1pm, Thurs July 30, at Sackville Landing, Halifax waterfront: Official Kick-off for Natal Day including Flag Raising, Free Natal Day Cake & Live Entertainment.
  • Kiwanis Mother Goose Festival, 10am-1pm, Sat Aug 1, Ferry Terminal Park, Dartmouth: Come and meet your favourite nursery rhyme friends! There will be crafts, games, story telling, Free Woody’s bouncy castle, Free Natal Day Cake served by Mayor Peter Kelly & members of the Natal Day Committee, the Mother Goose Play and much more! Event designed for ages one to ten, however, all welcome!
  • Natal Day Harbour Fireworks, 10pm, Sat Aug 1 (rain dates either Sun Aug 2 or Mon Aug 3), Halifax/Dartmouth waterfront: Make a date to see one of the most spectacular Fireworks Shows in Atlantic Canada. The best viewing is on the waterfronts in both Dartmouth and Halifax. Note: If fireworks are rained out all three evenings the show will be postponed until Natal Day 2010.
  • Maritime Heart Center MACPASS Miles, 9-11am, Sun Aug 2, Macdonald Bridge in Dartmouth: Join community and internationally recognized runners in this exhilarating run on the Macdonald Bridge – rain or shine. There are separate races for male and female adults (18 to 99) and youth (4 to 17), then the by invitation male and female ELITE races. Visit for more information or to pre-register before July 31. On-site registration starts at 7:30am.
  • 103rd Dartmouth Natal Day Road Race, 8-9:30am, Mon Aug 3, Dartmouth: This Road Race has seen five generations of citizens and visitors running in one of the oldest consecutive road races in Canada. Includes strong runners, joggers, walkers, strollers, and whole families running together! To register please visit Fast Company Running Club website. Walk in registration is also available on Sunday, August 2 at Christ Church Hall from 3-6pm and on race day from 6:30-7:30am. (see for route info)
  • 4th Annual CFB Halifax Natal Day Pancake Breakfast, 9:30am, Mon Aug 3, Macdonald Bridge Toll Plaza: FREE pancake breakfast for the first 1000 people hosted by CFB Halifax. Presentation of the Colours Ceremony with a special performance by the Greenwood Air Cadet Summer Training Centre Band. A great opportunity to start off Natal Day Monday and to watch the Pepsi Natal Day Parade from the bridge deck.
  • Natal Day Parade, 10am-noon, Mon Aug 3, Halifax/Dartmouth: The Natal Day Parade is the longest running parade in Nova Scotia dating back to 1895 when it began in Dartmouth to celebrate the arrival of the railway to the then new Sugar Refinery. Now, 114 years later the parade still continues to take place starting in Halifax at Novalea Drive and following along to the Macdonald Bridge, across the bridge to Dartmouth and then along Alderney Drive, to Ochterloney Street ending at Sullivan's Pond. Get the whole family together for this annual Natal Day tradition and find a good spot along the route to enjoy the parade.
  • Pirate’s of Sullivan’s Pond Family Fun Day, noon-6pm, Mon Aug 3, Sullivan's Pond, Dartmouth: Wear your best Pirate Costume and come have some fun at the Dartmouth Natal Day Pirate Party! Celebrate with live entertainment on the Band Shell Stage, FREE train rides on OBIE The CN Train, FREE bounces provided by the Natal Day Committee and Patrick Drake the Magician in performance. Special animated readings of "The Terrible Horrible Smelly Pirate" by local childrens authors Carrie Muller and Jacqueline Halsey. Explore the inside of a 60ft long whale and have a day of fun for the entire family. There will be a first prize for the best dressed pirate & the best dressed pirate family. Free admission.
  • Natal Day Tea Party, 1:30-4:30pm, Mon Aug 3, Sullivan's Pond, Dartmouth: Join our Pirate Tea Party with Mayor Peter Kelly, members of Regional Council and the staff of the Heritage House Law Office. Celebrate with live entertainment, FREE refreshments (while supplies last) and fun for the entire family. Featuring: Pam Marsh, the HMCS Acadia Sea Cadet Summer Training Centre Band & Fiddle Fun. Don’t forget to dress up! Red Hatters Welcome! Free admission.
  • Annual Bridge Walk, 2-4pm, Mon Aug 4, Macdonald Bridge in Dartmouth and Halifax: The Halifax-Dartmouth Bridge Commission invites you to join us on the Macdonald Bridge for an afternoon of fun for the whole family. The Macdonald Bridge will be closed to all vehicle traffic for a two-hour period so residents and visitors can stroll the one-mile length of roadway and enjoy some family fun. Come take part in this community celebration and enjoy food, excitement and entertainment. Rain or Shine. Free admission.

Also check out the Natal Day website for more information. And stay tuned for a post on other events this weekend – there's no shortage of options for family fun in the HRM!

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