On the Mat Yoga (2985 Oxford St)
OTM offers a range of yoga classes, particularly with a focus on flow and yin. If you want to really de-stress and walk out feeling “loosey-goosey” and on top of the world, try their Sunday 5:00pm “Mind Body Bliss” class. The teacher will guide you through restorative yoga poses for 30 minutes, a yin sequence for 30 minutes, and then a yoga nidra for 30 minutes. Think lots of yoga props, pillows, floor poses, and curling up under a blanket for the last thirty while you listen to the instructor guide you over mountains and landscapes as you drift in and out of sleep. You can’t leave not feeling relaxed.
Spin (5481 Clyde St -Brenton St entrance)
Walls painted black. Disco balls hanging from the ceiling. Bumping beats. Dancing while cycling. Motivating instructors. What’s not to love? If you’ve been considering checking out Spinco but have been hesitant – take some time over the break to meet the amazing and welcoming Spinco community. The owner Taye is a total sweetheart and goes out of her way to connect with everyone who walks into the studio’s door – she even wrote personalized cards for every student in her last class before the December holidays. Also, there are so many different instructors that each class is unique. With motivation, shoes, and shower products included, all you need to worry about is getting there and clipping in- Spinco will take care of the rest! Also, on Monday evenings Spinco has a special $10.00 class where the proceeds go to “Out of the Cold” Shelter –so you can support an amazing community organization and exercise while you do it!
RIO (5781 Charles St.)
If you want to develop new tiny muscles located in your side bum, RIO is the place for you. RIO’s instructors are all amazing and the studio offers unique small yoga and pilates classes so you get individual attention and adjustments. Holding onto a ballet barre you will find yourself in positions like plie and arabesque with Rhianna playing for motivation. This class is a jam-packed 45-minutes and once you get used to swiveling your hips while in a wide squat with one heel raised, you’ll really get into. RIO also offers a range of classes, including some tailored for those who are recovering from recent injuries. It doesn’t hurt that the studio is attached to Envie, Afishionado, Local Source, and Lion and Bright – you can make a day of it!
ROGUE (6331 Lady Hammond Road, #102)
If you want to rev up and get motivated in a group setting, check out ROGUE studio. It is the sister studio to RIO, but caters to strength training, offering kickboxing, circuit, and warrior classes. There is a huge range of classes and it is located at the end of the Halifax Hydrostone area. On Fridays at 5:30pm their class is followed by beer on site! After satisfying your thirst post-work out, you can walk down to the Hydrostone and check out their range of delicious artisan pizza (Salvatore’s and Mother’s Pizza), comfort baked goods at Julien’s, or cozy up on the bar stools at the tiny Kitsune as you watch the owner-couple duo serve up delicious Japanese food.
LOOKING AROUND HALIFAX
The Discovery Centre (1215 Lower Water St)
Remember science? That thing you might’ve studied before all these legal cases? Well, check out the Discovery Centre to stimulate that wonder in all things science and technology. Head down to the waterfront on Wednesdays between 5:00 – 8:00pm for free admission. Heck, it won’t be as weird or perverse as the museum in Black Mirror (phew!), but you can find out what it is like to be inside a human-sized bubble!
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (1723 Hollis St)
With a range of permanent and temporary exhibits there is always something new or familiar to see at the Art Gallery. On Thursday nights from 5:00 – 9:00pm admission is free! Heads up: you can’t bring your backpack into the Gallery spaces, so ditch the student uniform for the eve.
Life Salon (1592 Barrington St and 99 Hector Gate (Dartmouth Crossing))
The winter lull gods anticipated you would want to treat yourself: Life Salon is offering a buy one, get one half off special for their facials, manicures, and pedicures from February 15 to April 30. How can you not? #fiscallyresponsiblebytreatingyourself
Remedy Spa (1546 Granville St.)
If your skin is feeling dry and in need of tender loving care, get your TLC on by booking a reservation at Remedy Spa’s Facial Bar. A big plus is you can get a facial without footing a big bill- this facial bar costs only $30. You can book a reservation for you and a group of friends. You’ll have an aesthetician guide you through a facial based on each of your facial needs. Also, it doesn’t hurt that you can order a mimosa while you exfoliate and hydrate your skin.
Spirit Spa (5150 Salter St #200 and 5540 Kaye St.)
If you want to treat yourself, head to Spirit Spa and indulge à la max. The downtown location is amazing and has a pool and steam shower you can use when you have a spa treatment booked there. The Hydrostone location also has an amazing loft like aesthetic and the best lash estheticians if you’re into falling asleep on a heated massage table, under a cozy blanket and waking up with fabulous lashes.
Lion and Bright (2534 Agricola St)
Located at the corner of Charles and Agricola, Lion and Bright transitions seamlessly from café by day to charcuterie and wine-fueled bar by night. L&B offers a limited breakfast menu of delicious options with a range of caffeinated beverages- not to mention it opens at 7:30 am daily. At lunch, a segment of the space is designated for “working” and the rest is designated for lunch sans digital devices. By 5:00 pm the space is laptop free.
Seven Bays (2019 Gottingen)
Open from 8:00am to 11:00pm most days (weekends closes at 9:00pm), Seven Bays is a long-haul studier’s dream. SB does not disappoint with a range of coffees and teas, baked goods, alcoholic beverages, and full-meal menu items. Not to mention an amazing study break on site: an extensive bouldering wall where the problems are re-routed each Tuesday. Without a doubt, SB got my moot partner and I through writing our factum over the winter break when all the libraries were closed.
Java blend (6027 North St.)
Just opening the door of this café will wake you up. Java Blend roasts its coffee on site and is served in a range of other cafes in the city. Java Blend is what I would call seriously good coffee. If you do decide to stop in here, definitely venture back to use the bathrooms. Not usually something I recommend, but during the walk en route you can see the roasting process going on behind the café section. Also, it doesn’t hurt that Vandal Donuts at Gus’s Pub is just a block or two away for all your donut needs. Alternatively, you can go for a meditative float just around the corner (probably best to save the coffee till afterwards!)
The Daily Grind (1479 Birmingham)
Located on Brenton (just up the street from Spinco), the Daily Grind has new owners and a new vibe to it. Plus, a new Bitcoin ATM. It is part café and part perma-craft market. With a huge range of goodies from local artists and artisans, this café is definitely worth a peek. You can study and window shop from your seat. This past Christmas holiday, I did most of my gift shopping here. With the range of pottery, jewelry, art, soaps, clothing, and stationary – it was easy to find something for everyone.
Julien’s Patisserie (5517 Young St) & Odell’s Gluten-free Bakery (3555 Robie St)
If you haven’t been to the Hydrostone area: do it! If you haven’t been to Julien’s in the Hydrostone area: definitely go. This adorable area of Halifax has a range of little shops and restaurants, including the delicious Julien’s. Julien’s is a French bakery cafe and patisserie, ie: you can get all your gluten-filled needs. Everything is delicious (yes, everything). And if you are gluten-free, then a short-walk away is Odell’s Gluten-free Bakery, so you can stop into Julien’s for the warm beverage as you journey a bit further north.
Moonlight Snowshoeing at the Adventure Earth Centre
Get outside of the city for free moonlight snowshoeing at the AEC. They offer these free moonlight guided snowshoeing adventures throughout the Winter. It is definitely worth taking some time to go on another day!
This ski hill may not be big but it is close and you get to do a ton of runs because it takes no time at all to get to the top of the hill and down! There also is, according to snowboarding friends, a pretty decent park if you want to take a chance at honing your trick skills. For a 45ish minute drive from Halifax, this is definitely worth checking out – plus if you go in the evening, the lift pass is only $15.00!
Although a bit further away from Halifax, Wentworth is bigger and has a few more runs than Martock. Plus, on the ride home you go by Masstown Market – a necessary stop for post-ski baked goods.