Things to do

11 Exclusive Things to Do in Fredericton

Saint John River canada

The provincial capital of Canada’s New Brunswick in Fredericton. In the province’s west-central region, it is located along the Saint John River’s banks.

The river is the focal point of some of Fredericton, New Brunswick’s most enjoyable activities. This includes outdoor excursions including kayaking, swimming, nature trails, and boat cruises as well as adventurous activities.

Here Are the 11 Exclusive Things to Do in Fredericton:

1. Boyce Farmers Market

Boyce Farmers Market, one of Canada’s top 10 community markets, is a Saturday morning ritual for locals shopping for food as well as a must-visit location for tourists looking to purchase beautiful local crafts and regional foods like dulse, honey, and jams made from wild berries. The market is located on Brunswick Street.

You won’t just see the typical items seen at farmer’s markets at the Boyce Farmer’s Market; you’ll also have a chance to participate in what is essentially a neighbourhood get-together where everyone is friendly.

There are numerous vendors selling freshly selected veggies, farm cheeses, cured meats, hand-knit woollens, wood crafts, goat milk soaps, herbs, art, jewelry, metalwork, and baked products, including everything from hot pretzels to grainy loaves of bread.

Additionally, buying souvenirs there is well-liked. A small, packed café inside serves breakfast, and food trucks sell grilled sausages and other lunch items to be consumed at the picnic tables outside. 

It’s a really fun spot to visit when you’re in Fredericton, from the vendors peddling their wares to the occasionally appearing artists and local politicians that come by to meet with voters.

2. Beaverbrook Art Gallery

The Beaverbrook Art Gallery’s collection was started by Sir Max Aitken, a significant member of Sir Winston Churchill’s cabinet during World War II, who donated 300 works of art.

The gallery is located on Queen Street. More than 3,000 works have been added to the collection as a result of subsequent donations and purchases.

One of Canada’s largest collections, the British collection features artwork by artists from the 16th to the 20th centuries, including Gainsborough, Hogarth, Reynolds, and Turner, as well as Pre-Raphaelite and modern paintings.

The Canadian Collection features artwork from the 18th to the 21st centuries, with a focus on painters from the Atlantic region. It also includes the sculpture.

Folk art, fine crafts, Inuit prints, and First Nations art are all included. Local Acadian, Maliseet, and Mi’kmaq painters are particularly well-represented in the New Brunswick Collection.

The International Collection comprises furniture, paintings, miniatures, porcelain, tapestries, and works by Italian, French, Spanish, Dutch, and American artists from the 14th to the 20th centuries.

More display space is now available, and the museum’s star attraction, Santiago el Grande by Salvador Dali, is housed in a recently extended wing.

Large-scale outdoor sculptures can be found in the nearby sculpture garden. To tour this art exhibition, you will need around an hour.

3. Kings Landing

You and your family can experience life as it was for the Loyalists who settled the river valley after leaving the 13 American colonies during the Revolution by visiting the museum hamlet of Kings Landing, located in Prince William which is located 20 minutes north of the city.

With home and agricultural skills like gardening, flax spinning, and candle making, it depicts life in a rural village far into the 20th century in addition to that historical period.

Visitors are drawn into the daily activities via free interactive programs that could give them the chance to play an antique musical instrument, try their hand at spinning, or make candles.

You may explore the homes of people from all social classes, from farmers to the local gentry, and observe early craftsmen at work, such as a printer and a blacksmith.

Children especially enjoy visiting the operating sawmill in a horse-drawn wagon. This town museum trip will take you at least an hour.

As this interactive museum allows visitors to engage in a variety of farm skills exercises, it is one of the most exciting sites to visit in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

4. Officers’ Square and The Garrison District

A British garrison was stationed at the collection of imposing brick structures that flanks Queen Street’s riverside from 1784 to 1869.

Officers’ Square, the hub of this Garrison District, is the location of the much-liked daily changing of the Guard ceremonies as well as regular outdoor summer concerts and free Calithumpian theatre productions.

The ritual is reminiscent of a British military custom where two guards would switch places at a post. Every day, the ritual is held, and it is one of the must-see events while exploring Fredericton. To see the performance of the change of guard, allow 30 minutes.

You are allowed to have a picnic while you watch a play at the Fredericton Outdoor Summer Theatre, which has been a favourite destination for tourists and locals for more than 30 years.

One of the best family activities in Fredericton is taking a lighthearted historical walking tour led by the Calithumpians.

The Fredericton Region Museum, housed in the military officers’ quarters, and the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame are both located in the Garrison District. Be sure to see the 42-pound Coleman Frog, a local landmark.

The neighbourhood is home to the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, and from June to September, local artisans create and market their goods at the Barracks Fine Craft Shops, located on the ground floor of a three-story stone and wood building constructed by the British Army in 1827.

Carleton Street in the Garrison District is a popular spot to shop on Thursdays during the summer since it is lined with stalls for the Garrison Night Market.

5. Saint John River

The wide Saint John River provides the city with a watery backdrop, and its waters and riverbanks are a popular destination for recreation.

The Garrison District and Queen Street shops are just a few yards from the river bend where Fredericton’s central business district is located.

Kayakers and canoeists frequently pass by in colourful kayaks, and islands on either side of the city’s core create narrower waterways for them to explore.

Just south of downtown Fredericton, at Oromocto, you can rent kayaks on the beach. You can also join Second Nature Outdoors for a sunset paddle to explore the waters near Thatch Island.

Early risers can kayak around the islands west of the city on a sunrise excursion offered by Hartt Island Resort.

From its base in Oromocto, Second Nature Outdoors also hires single and double kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and canoes.

Kayaks and canoes can also be rented at the Gagetown Marina, which is just off Front Street, further downstream. At the far northern end of Front Street, there is a public boat launch.

To connect picturesquely, country routes through fields and marshlands, cable-driven automobile ferries span the river below Fredericton at Gagetown, Evandale, and further south. These free ferries are a part of the highway system in New Brunswick.

6. Science East Science Centre

Through fun activities, this science centre located at Brunswick Street aims to teach kids about many sciences and scientific ideas.

For children, more than 150 interactive displays and activities bring science to life by examining a variety of topics such as dinosaurs, technology, insects, space, and animals.

In the summer, they can participate in daily science demonstrations, step inside a gyroscope, be astounded by optical illusions, defy gravity on a climbing wall, and more.

A section of the museum’s exhibits is devoted to forensic science and solving crimes. While kids are having fun with the activities, adults would find this show interesting.

To fully explore this museum, allow 30 to 45 minutes. The structure itself—the former county jail—suggests investigations into how forensic science currently aids in crime solving.

The museum’s basement, which is housed in the former cells, has historical and scientific exhibits and exhibitions.

7. Christ Church Cathedral

Christ Church Cathedral, the Anglican diocesan church for Fredericton, is a beautiful Neo-Gothic structure that was finished in the middle of the 19th century.

Bishop John Medley, who arrived in Fredericton from England in 1845, managed to bring in English architect Frank Wills, who based the new cathedral on the 14th-century St. Mary’s Church at Snettisham in Norfolk.

It is remarkable to see such a grand example of English Gothic Revival architecture in a comparatively small town so far from England.

Features of the decor include the high altar, the East Window, the carved stone pulpit and baptismal font, the brass lectern in the shape of an eagle, and the East Window, whose stained glass is best seen when the morning sun illuminates it.

Bishop Medley is seen wearing his episcopal vestments and mitre in a marble carved effigy memorial, which is unique for North America. On the grounds of the cathedral, beneath the East Window, is his tomb.

You will need an hour or more to tour the church. You will have a pleasant experience.

8. Legislative Assembly Building

The Legislative Assembly Building, which is across from the Beaverbrook Art Gallery and well worth a visit to see Joshua Reynolds’ portraits of King George III and Queen Charlotte, has served as the New Brunswick legislature’s home since 1882.

The legislative chamber, with its brass chandelier and Speaker’s Chair on a dais beneath a canopy with the Royal Coat of Arms, and the spiral staircase are highlights.

A full series of copperplate engravings from the renowned book Birds of America by American artist John James Audubon can be found at the parliamentary library (1785-1851).

Free guided tours are provided every day during the summer and on weekdays during the other months. The last trip departs at 4:30 pm, and tours run from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

The building’s striking Victorian design makes it a wonderful location for photos. Visit their website to schedule a tour.

9. Government House

Photo by DesignPicsInc  from depositphotos

Before New Brunswick and Nova Scotia joined the Canadian Federation, conversations between representatives of those two provinces and pro-confederation activists took place in Government House, the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick.

The 1828-built sandstone Georgian structure, which is now a National and Provincial Historic Site, served as the residence of the British monarch’s representative in New Brunswick until 1893. It is located on Woodstock Road.

The grounds are utilized for national holiday festivities and events, such as the summer Highland Games, and it is now where members of the royal family and foreign dignitaries are welcomed and frequently stay while visiting the province.

The drawing room, dining room, music room, library, two conservatories, and lieutenant governor’s office are all open for visitors from June through August. To view this home, allow 30 to 45 minutes.

It is one of the few tourist attractions in Fredericton, New Brunswick, that showcases historical splendour. 

10. Fredericton City Hall

things to do in Fredericton
Photo by milosk50 from depositphotos

The Second Empire-inspired Fredericton City Hall was built between 1875 and 1876. As the oldest municipal hall in Atlantic Canada still in operation for administration, the Canadian government designated it a National Historic Site in 1984.

It stands imposingly in the heart of the city on Phoenix Square, a common area. The Saint John River’s bank is directly behind the back of the city hall.

The basement served as a market before 1851, which was unusual for the period. There are tours of the structure available.

Even the Pride crosswalks at the crossing have been painted. Not too long ago, the former mayor refused to even sign a proclamation supporting homosexual pride.

The Visitor Information Center, which is in the foyer, welcomes guests to the city and offers tours of the Council Chamber, the restored clockworks, and a number of commemorative tapestries that are always on exhibit.

11. Fredericton Region Museum

The history of Fredericton and the central region of New Brunswick is presented in this museum.

This museum explores the history and culture of the indigenous Aboriginal people of the area as well as those who came and established here, including Acadians, Loyalists, and Europeans, with a collection of more than 30,000 objects.

The museum also contains historical objects related to nature and wildlife. One of the most well-known attractions in Fredericton, New Brunswick, is the statue of Coleman Frog inside this museum.

To visit this museum from Fredericton, you will need to travel for at least 1 hour.

These were the 11 exclusive things to do in Fredericton. You can visit many places such as the farmers market, kings landing, Saint John River, the science centre, and much more. They all provide an exciting and wonderful experience.

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Pooja Thakur

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