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With winter creeping up on us (yes, -10 ℃, we see you), those of us who dislike the cold may sadly think that all things fun are on another six-month hiatus; but we'd be completely wrong.

From outdoor sports to snuggling up indoors, you can still have a blast in the wintertime while appreciating the beauty and comfort this festive season abounds with (yaass, lush snow-covered pine trees and sippin' hot cocoa by the fire, come through!).

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As gorgeous as winter in Nova Scotia can be, we gotta be real here: it’s also really, really cold. And sometimes, the lower the temperature… well, the higher the bill. Unsurprisingly enough, heating can account for up to half the energy bill in most Nova Scotian homes (aka it can completely eat up your wallet). If you ain't 'bout that #spendinglife, don't despair! There are certain things you can do to stay cozy and simultaneously save yourself WAY more than just a few bucks - like, for example, checking out Efficiency Nova Scotia. They can help save you big bucks for updating your heating system!

Now that you can stop worrying about fidgeting with the thermostat, focus instead on finding different ways to fill this upcoming season with exciting activities. Here are 9 things that'll make you forget it's winter in Nova Scotia.


1. Sugar Moon Farm

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If you're a brunch fanatic like myself, then Sugar Moon Farm is THE spot to make all your winter woes disappear. Serving up lip-smacking all-day breakfast in a stunning rustic setting (ideal for snowshoeing, backcountry skiing, and snowmobiling!), this family-owned Nova Scotian staple isn't just serving up average food options.

Indulge in mac 'n cheese with maple-candied bacon, maple baked beans, buttermilk pancakes topped with fluffy maple-infused whipped cream. Yes, almost every droolworthy dish incorporates their homegrown syrup; and yes, you NEED this deliciousness in your life. And, as an added bonus? Their mouthwatering meals aren't overpriced either, so what better way to put a smile on your face and save you a few bucks? 


2. In the Dead of Winter Music Festival

Via IDOW Facebook

What cooler way to forget the harsh weather than listening to some sweet beats? If you're bogged down by the winter blues, this fun music festival will definitely lift your spirits back up.

Since 2006, In the Dead of Winter has gathered incredibly creative songwriters in Halifax and given them the spotlight to showcase their talents. Don't miss this chance to catch amazing performances by gifted artists from January 23rd to January 26th, 2019. Click here to check out the artist lineup and purchase tickets!


3. Nova Scotia Icewine Festival

Via NS Icewine Festival Facebook

Being that Canada is one of the world's largest ice wine producers, Annapolis Valley is blessed to host the annual NS Icewine Festival, where attendees can try a smorgasbord of provincial icewines. This unique, sweet alcohol is an absolute delight that'll totally warm you up.

Having two weekends devoted to tasting different types of ice wines paired with yummy local treats is a surefire way to enjoy some winter fun and stay out of the cold! Make sure to pre-book your tickets asap because this super popular annual festival fills up hella quick. 


4. Cabot Shores Wilderness Resort 

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Listen up, if you REALLY want to immerse yourself in the wonder and coziness of winter, then Cabot Shores' "Snow Much Fun" packages are the seasonal experience you've gotta try. This winter-wonderland getaway allows you to legit unwind and focus on your wellbeing. TRUST, you'll want to save dollars however you can, so you can splurge a little on this unforgettable weekend!

Relax and reconnect with nature by spending a night or two in a quaint yurt or lodge; fuel up with homecooked, healthy food; recharge with infrared sauna, Qi Gong, and meditation sessions; and march into winter fun with your snowshoes. 


5. New Ross Christmas Festival

Via New Ross Christmas Festival Facebook

If you actually want to feel like you've stepped into a Hallmark movie, New Ross's Christmas Festival is a MUST. Celebrating its 25th year, this weekend of special Xmas cheer includes a potluck supper, a Christmas-tree lighting surrounded by hundreds of people, special arts and crafts, caroling, and so much more.

On December 8th and 9th, the Ross Farm Museum is hosting an authentic Christmas in the Country event where you can sample traditional, old-time food like plum pudding, sugar cookies, and hot spiced cider while listening to Christmas classics.

If travelling back in time and getting a scrumptious taste of Christmas of yonder-years doesn't make you feel all warm inside then, quite frankly, idk what will. Plus, on December 9th, stop by the Christmas Craft and Gift Market to pick up one-of-a-kind presents to surprise your loved ones with!

I'm squealing at the mere thought of it all! Is this not giving you the most hardcore Gilmore Girls/Stars Hollow holiday vibes EVER?


6. Sheffield Mills Eagle Watch

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Looking for a spectacular, out-of-the-ordinary winter activity? I mean, eagle-watching, who would've thought? So many people flock to Sheffield Mills to catch a glimpse of these majestic birds that community residents have now turned it into a full-fledged sightseeing event.

On January 27-28th and February 3rd-4th, arrive there early to enjoy a bomb pancake-breakfast feast and awesome musical entertainment from local artists before heading out to view flocks of eagles and many other birds of prey. 


7. Neptune Theatre's Holiday Show

Via Neptune Theatre Official Website

Round up friends and family at Halifax's ever-popular Neptune Theatre for a special on-stage performance. From November 28th to December 27th, you can catch Dickens' holiday classic, A Christmas Carol. This will no doubt give you ALL the festive feels!

What else serves serious Xmas vibes? Staying super toasty in your holiday decked-out home. But keeping the tree lit-up all day and night can really bring up your electricity bill. If you're looking for ways to save and decrease your wintertime energy consumption, be sure to read up on Efficiency Nova Scotia!


8. The Emera Oval

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Ice skating is unquestionably a winter highlight. And it most defs beats staying cooped up at home in your Rudolph onesie, binge-watching Netflix for a week straight. As large as three NHL hockey rinks, the Emera Oval is a solid choice when it comes to showing off your crazy moves on the ice (or just falling, for us clumsy amateurs).

From December 15th to March 15th, you can rent skates for free with a valid government-issued photo ID. The rink even offers free sledge rentals to use in its outside lane. So swap out that messy week-old bun for a tuque, shake off those well-loved Grinch slippers, and go lace up a pair of skates instead! 


9. Tobogganing

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For some epic and purely Canadian winter fun, look no further than tobogganing. If there’s one activity that’ll make you revert back to your childhood self, sledding is hands-down it! Citadel Hill is pretty much the top dog when it comes to hill choices. But there are other options that you can check out.

As long as you bundle up, all the movement and thrills of this outdoor activity will keep you warm even on the iciest of days. Another way to stay cozy yet still save money at home during the winter, though? Upgrading your home-heating system to a more efficient model, making you eligible for impressive rebates, booyah! 


For a lot of us, winter is often viewed as that unpleasant uncle who just has to pop up every year and seriously overstay his welcome. But this chilly season offers tons of good, wholesome entertainment! This list of fun activities shows that you don't have to hole yourself up day and night to avoid the cold.

But just because you have these great winter perks to look forward to, doesn't necessarily mean you won't be spending lots of time bundled up inside. That's why it's important to decrease your energy expenditure at home and not rack up hefty monthly heating bills.

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But Efficiency Nova Scotia's seriously got your back. Their programs can help you stay toasty and keep your bank account full. Upgrade your home-heating and water-heating products with qualifying equipment, and you could be eligible for big rebates of up to $2,500. Updating your heating system will help you save money, reduce your energy consumption, and protect the environment! What more could you ask Old St. Nick for? 

Download the applicable form to  review equipment eligibility and see how upgrading to a more cost-effective heating system can benefit you, your wallet, and the environment.

The possibility of up to $4,000 in yearly savings by updating your home- and water-heating products? Yeah, you'll feel much better about staying warm and cozy, snuggled up in a house that's doing some good and not wasting energy during the holidays!

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To keep up with all things Efficiency Nova Scotia, check out their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube channel. 

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