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10 Things To Do At The Downtown Dartmouth Ice Festival

Winter is a magical time of year and very soon you can join the Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission for the Downtown Dartmouth Ice Festival presented by East Coast Credit Union! This year, the festival has been expanded to three days – February 7 to 9, 2020.

Visit Downtown Dartmouth for during the day for free activities including live ice sculpting, live music, hot chocolate, food, drink, shopping specials and much, much more. Then weather depending, come back at night for a romantic walk past the sculptures which will be lit up.

We’ve compiled our list of 10 Things To Do At The Downtown Dartmouth Ice Festival. There is something for everyone! So, dress the family for the outdoors or bring your significant other to Downtown Dartmouth Ice Festival!

#1 Take in the live ice sculpting!

Everyone's favourite part of the Ice Festival is the live ice sculpting. There will be six ice carvers, carving non-stop along Portland Street, the East Coast Credit Union at 155 Ochterloney and King's Wharf from 12pm - 4pm on Saturday. On Sunday, artist Joel “Swampbear” Palmer will carve some more and Saturday's sculptures will be on display.

Be sure to vote for your favourite to win some great travel prizes. Details below.

#2 Free horse-drawn wagon rides

Horse-drawn wagon rides presented by Alderney Real Estate Appraisals will be available on Saturday from 12pm - 4pm. They load at the rear entrance of the East Coast Credit Union, located at 155 Ochterloney Street.

Keep warm while you wait in the credit union with free hot chocolate with donations accepted for the United Way.

The wagon rides are free with donations collected for the Downtown Dartmouth Street Navigator program.

#3 Fireside song circles

Fireside song circles are presented by BOYNECLARKE LLP. Come enjoy free music led by musicians around cozy propane campfires from 12pm - 4pm on Saturday. There will be three campfires located at 155 Ochterloney Street, 163 Portland Street and 71 Portland Street.

Each campfire will feature free marshmallow roasting and hot chocolate. Cups are provided but you're encouraged to bring your own mug. Donations will be accepted for the United Way.

#4 Skating party with the Ice Princesses at Zatzman Sportsplex

Did you know the Ice Princesses can skate? They can and want you to join them in a free family skate at the Zatzman Sportsplex on Saturday from 5pm - 7pm.

They'll be posing for photos along with Downtown Dartmouth Ice Festival Mascot, Portland The Penguin. There will also be free hot chocolate, with donations accepted for the United Way.

The skate is hosted by HRM District 5 Councillor Sam Austin and Zatzman Sportsplex

#5 Indoor Winter Wonderland Bounce Zone

Kids can visit the indoor Winter Wonderland Bounce Zone located at the Alderney Landing Theatre for free. This event runs Saturday and Sunday from 12pm - 4pm.

There will be Ice Princess visits and photo ops at the entrance to the theatre. You can pay a visit with mascot, Portland The Penguin. Plus, take the ultimate winter selfie with the giant snow globe!

#6 Alderney Landing Farmers’ Market

The Alderney Landing Farmers’ Market will have additional Downtown Dartmouth Ice Festival Fun this weekend.

It takes place on Saturday from 8am - 1pm and the Sunday Market 11am - 3pm.

#7 Dartmouth Players presents “Much Ado About Nothing”

Dartmouth Players presents “Much Ado About Nothing” by William Shakespeare, directed by Joanne Arbuthnott at the Sawmill Playhouse, 33 Crichton Avenue.

Friday and Saturday: Doors open 7pm and showtime is 8pm
Sunday: Doors open 1pm and showtime is 2pm

Tickets are $17 for adults and $14 for students and seniors. They can be purchased at

#8 Dine, sip, drink and shop your way around!

There is plenty to eat, drink and buy during the Ice Festival! Plenty of establishments downtown will have Ice Festival Specials. New Scotland Clothing is having a tax free sale all weekend! Keep warm with a chilli popup and free hot chocolate at Brightwood Brewery. Lake City Cider will have a cookie popup from @wekdhalifax and non-alcoholic mulled cider for $3.

For a complete list, please visit here.

#9 Play at the Loose Parts Playground

There will be a loose parts playground on the park grounds near Prince Albert Road and Irishtown Road. Children of all ages invited to play outside with simple materials such as wood, milk crates, etc.

The area is monitored by volunteers, but parental supervision is required.

#10 Vote for your favourite ice sculpture and you could WIN!

New for 2020, participate in the Ice Sculpture People's Choice Contest and you could win some great prizes!

Saturday and Sunday everyone is invited to vote on their favourite ice sculpture. There will be at least 25 sculptures to choose from. They're located at East Coast Credit Union, King’s Wharf and along Portland Street.

To vote on Saturday, fill out a ballot at the hot chocolate stations and drop it off at Alderney Landing Theatre. On Sunday, ballots will be located at Alderney Landing Theatre.

Your ballot will be entered to win:
1st prize - $500 Via-Rail travel voucher
2nd prize - $250 Via Rail travel voucher
3rd prize - Halifax Thunderbirds game tickets for four

Prizes will be drawn for at the conclusion of of the festival on Sunday.

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