My Nova Scotia Adventure Mama Bucket List

Feb 7, 2017

Nova Scotia Adventure Mama Bucket List |

Nova Scotia is full of opportunities for adventure. I used to make pretty regular appearances 100 feet underwater at some of the incredible shipwrecks off of Chebucto Head, but nowadays, my adventures look a little different.  As a self-proclaimed adventure mama, I’m always on the lookout for things that I can do with my one- and four-year-old kiddos in tow.  It’s a bonus if those adventures are something that truly feeds my desire for outdoor fun that gets my blood pumping as well!

Let’s be honest, though, sometimes just getting out of the house with both kids and a well-packed diaper bag, snacks included, is an adventure in and of itself.  My perspective is that we all have days like that, and there’s a season for everything.  I know my scuba diving days will return, but for now, I’m happy to explore more kid-friendly experiences.


Here are my top five picks for adventuring with your kids in Nova Scotia.  Some of these I’ve done, and some are still on my personal bucket list.


  1.  Camping and Road-Tripping the Cabot Trail

I’m not gonna lie:  we did this when my daughter was about 18 months old and it was sort of miserable.  Not Cape Breton, no:  our kid.  Our kid was having a baaaaad weekend.  Which is why this trip is still on my bucket list.  All in all, the Cabot Trail is not a huge drive, so it works out well to take several days to do it with your kids, stopping a lot to check out the views, the beaches, the hikes and the playgrounds along the way.  It’s a trip that both parents and kids will remember for a long time to come.


2.  Brier Island whale-watching


This one was on our bucket list forever, and we finally did it this summer.  We headed down to Brier Island in the early Fall, when the humpback whale-watching was at its finest, and had the experience of a lifetime watching our daughter squeal with delight as she got up close and personal with these amazing mammals (until she got seasick.  But that’s a story for another time).


3.  Solo retreat at Windhorse Farms


Yeah, you read this right.  Every adventure mama needs to take time for her own adventures.  I went on a solo retreat at Windhorse Farms right before my son was born, and I’m still aglow from the incredible weekend I had tromping through the snowy forest, stoking the wood stove, and chipping melting ice off the roof of my cabin with an axe before it flooded my little forest home.  Yes, even that part was beautifully memorable.  The quiet of the forest at night was all-consuming, and such a relief from the usual tiny-voiced chatter I hear 24/7.  My weekend away was the perfect rejuvenation for the sometimes exhausting job of motherhood.


4.  Sugar Moon Farm for the tapping of the maple trees


Sugar Moon Farm during maple syrup season is a kid’s and parent’s dream come true.  Hiking or snowshoeing, pancakes, and the opportunity to see first-hand where that sweet, sticky elixir comes from: it’s an adventure that satisfies everyone’s love for outdoor excitement.


5.  Camping in Keji for Thanksgiving Weekend


For as long as I’ve known my husband, we’ve had an annual tradition of going camping on Thanksgiving weekend.  Evidently, the large majority of seasonal campers at Kejimkujik National Park have the same plans:  the campground always seems abuzz as the folks who’ve spent the summer riding bikes and canoeing together begin to wind down the year, pack up their trailers, and head home.  Though Keji is always a favourite place for us – lots of easy walking trails for the kids, playgrounds, biking, and water sports – this time of year is particularly special.  There is always a pumpkin-carving contest on Thanksgiving weekend, and we make a habit of traipsing around Jeremy’s Bay in the early dusk, inhaling the aromas of campfire smoke and burned marshmallows, and checking out the pumpkins.  It warms my heart just to think of it.

When was the last time you connected with your wild self?