My niece recently invited two of her friends to visit from the states and they stayed with us. Lovely young people and like most university students they had limited funds, but they still had a great time.
Visiting Halifax on Canada Day (like they did) or Natal Day is great as many events are free and some of the museums offer free admission.
On Canada Day they watched the Tattoo parade and visited the Citadel Historic site for free...having fun dressing in the soldiers' uniforms, watching the 21 gun salute and interacting with the costumed park staff. The staff gave them free flags and Canada flag pins as souvenirs.
They toured Province House which offers free tours all summer long, the guide was very interesting. Then they took the ferry across the Halifax harbour for $2.25 to see the free rock concert near the Dartmouth Ferry landing. There they had free cake and each was giving free sunglasses that a cell phone corporation was handing out as a promotion. They took the ferry back to Halifax at dusk and saw the fireworks display from the pier.
The second day they scooped half price tickets when they are discounted an hour before the show for the famed Nova Scotia International Tattoo www.nstattoo.ca for only 17.50 each. Before the show they visited the Halifax Museum of Sports which is in the same building and is also free. They went to the Halifax public gardens (always free) and took some great pictures together. They had two for one coupons for a sail the next day around the harbour on a sailing ship so they only paid 13 dollars each. Parks Canada employees dressed in period costumes on the pier gave them free sailor temporary tattoos, the spray on kind to commerate the War of 1812 and the explained the history/posed for photos. Then they went to the Maritime Museum which is free every Tuesday evening and saw the Titanic artifacts. They took pictures posing on the new Titanic grand staircase replica at the enterance of Casino Nova Scotia. They visited Peggy's Cove and the next day, before they got their flight, they visited the Fairview Cemetary where most of the Titanic victims are buried.
They spent less than 40 dollars on over a dozen things to see and do-- four days of frugal fun, leaving more of their budget for food and beer!
Other good times to visit Halifax are during festivals that offer some free performances as well as regular ticketed shows. We will be going to the Halifax Jazz festival, the Tall Ships Festival and the Busker Festival, where there are lots of things to do and see , many are free.