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How to seek fun, refreshment and inspiration in downtown Halifax with two kids and a sleep deprived husband.

September 4, 2013

Ally: I like to think that we have a deep history with the fine folks with Downtown Halifax. When “Big Day Downtown” was first launched in 2010, our blog was even asked to be featured in a video vignette…

Inappropriate  innuendo at the 1:08 minute mark! Or maybe it was just me!

Anyway, where I’m headed with this intro is that I hope the fact that we share such a deep bond with the Big Day Downtown Selection Committee will excuse the fact that I brought my entire family along for this year’s adventure which asked that I take my $150 in search of Fun, Refreshment and Inspiration.


The Setup

Before I go any further into this post, you need to know what I was working with. At 9:30am, me and my entourage departed Bedford proper for downtown Halifax.

Actually it was more like this.


Please note that my son is wearing nautical in homage to L-A who was unable to partake in this exercise. It was his version of pouring out some boxed wine on the ground for his missing homie.

HughSo now that you know I was after fun, refreshment and inspiration with a three month old and a four year old, you will hopefully be more impressed with how the day went down.


“This is your change for an awesome experience. Literally. We want to hear about your awe-inspiring  day downtown.”

If I was going alone, I likely would have hit up Deserres Creative Market Place (or Loomis and Toles as I still call it). However, I had company and the first place of inspiration that came to mind was the Discovery Centre. I chose well.

For $27 ($10 for each adult, $7 for child), we had a blast. We spent about an hour and a half at the Centre, which had an Aquarium theme going on. We checked out lobster and lots of fish and played in a sandbox.


The second floor was definitely the highlight for our four year old. He spent a lot of time building things with the lego exhibit and made some friends on the big wooden truck. He also proved to be much better balancing than his ancient mother.

discovery centre

Yes! I am also wearing nautical stripes in honour of L-A!

We had tried the Discovery Centre a year and a half ago, and it didn’t go so well. This time, H. was old enough to enjoy all of the stations and get something out of it. It was a great way to spend a morning. On the way out, I used my Downtown Halifax Visa to purchase a few toys from the gift shop for H. (about $10). These would come in handy for the next segment of our adventure.


“Everybody has a different idea of how to have fun. Luckily, Downtown Halifax has something for everyone. Share your fun-filled experience with us.”

We would have stayed longer, but H. was getting hungry so we decided to head out and find a family friendly restaurant that would suit us. This proved to be a bit tricky. The first restaurant we went to, The Foggy Goggle, wasn’t able to serve us because of H.’s nut allergy. They said they had nuts all over the place on the line and didn’t want to risk a reaction. We appreciated their honesty and set out once again. We settled on The Old Triangle, where El Jeffe and I had spent lots of time when we were both working for the provincial government. “I fell down the stairs to the bathroom once,” I said to my husband. “Who hasn’t fallen down the stairs drunk to the bathroom at The Triangle,” he replied proudly.

Cut to eight years later (it was actually our anniversary weekend…awwww…), and we were golf clapping over the kid menu.


The sun had come out, so we nabbed a spot on the patio. Sorry to the other guests sitting close to us who had to endure H.’s space walkers “fighting”.

lunch1The food is always fantastic at The Triangle. I had the cheeseburger with sweet potato fries and curry to dip. Incredible. Jeff had the pan-fried haddock, fries and coleslaw, which he enjoyed because the rest of us don’t like cooked fish, so he never gets it at home (I could eat sushi for days, however). Jeff and I decided to split a Guinness (which he mostly drank) and H. managed to not spit out all of his hot dog and chips. This last part is not an insult to The Triangle, H is just going through a “phase” with his food. Along with some other shit. Sigh.

You might be wondering why I haven’t filed our trip to The Triangle under “Refreshing”. Let me skip ahead and let you know what the “refreshing” card reads:

“Whether it is a spa treatment or a cold drink, we want to hear how you recharge Downtown”

…still wondering why I haven’t filed this under “refreshing”? Then you’ve never dined in the company of humans under five. This is what that looks like.


Interpretive dance time!!

I think that might be the worst photo I’ve ever published of myself on the blog. Oh, no, wait! Let me present you with the reason why Jeff drank most of the Guinness.


Exhibit A: The worst photo of Ally on the Internet (that I know of). This is what happens when your baby decides to throw a shit parade during lunch and you have to walk her around the block to get her back to sleep while munching on your hamburger. Jeff stole my sweet potato fries while I was missing in action. Asshole.

Anyway, lunch was fun. H. had a blast, and Jeff and I were totally cool with the fact that our daughter V. had to be walked around the block non-stop in order for us to each take turns finishing our lunch. Fun cost us $57. No regrets.


How do I recharge these days? Honestly, if I could have found a port-a-potty to hide in with a glass of Chardonnay I would have found this “refreshing”, however I don’t think that is what the team at Downtown Halifax had in mind. So I decided to treat myself at J&R Grimsmo, a boutique that L-A has frequented many times, but I hadn’t had the experience of visiting yet. And it was much too quick a visit, as we were reaching meltdown territory with the kids, but luckily I knew exactly what I wanted to achieve.


Something nautical that I could send to L-A, and something whimsical for me. And for $18 each…two birds, one stone. Friendship bracelets! The boutique is delightful, and I wish I had more time to go through the clothing, some of which looked to be “mature boho”, which is what I’ve decided to name my ideal style.

Also, when I’m rich, or when I marry someone rich (Haha! I’m joking Jeff!), I will buy this gorgeous $200 necklace for L-A.



Don’t ask me to do math, cause it’s just not my jam. I can tell you that I knew I had money left but we smartly chose to quit while we were ahead and sadly drove past the Barrington Street Starbucks sans lattes. Getting out of the suburbs is good. Getting out of the suburbs when you have young kids is even better. We laughed on the way home about our lunch experience, and both agreed that it was worth it. We miss living/working downtown, and going down there – even if for just a morning – made us feel rejuvenated again.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 4, 2013 8:42 am

    Great post! It’s nice to see the Garber entourage out and about!

  2. September 5, 2013 2:46 pm

    Love this! Mostly I’m psyched to discover the Triangle has a kids menu. I wasn’t aware of that! Can’t wait to let Eli run amok with a hot dog and fries while mama gets her day drink on.

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