Fredericton is the capital of the Canadian province, New Brunswick. Located in eastern Canada, the city is on the St. John River and is known for its Historic Garrison District, a British army base from the 18th century, and its galleries and artist studios. It’s also a great place for those who enjoy the outdoors, as the river has excellent trails to walk or bike, and the water provides an excellent way to see the city, by canoe or kayak. Fredericton is also home to the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival and a large number of craft breweries.
Below, we’ve picked out our top eight things to do in Fredericton, including museums, parks, and a farmers market.
1. Beaverbrook Art Gallery
The Beaverbrook Art Gallery opened in 1959, with a collection of British and Canadian artwork, including paintings by British masters of the 18th century, such as Gainsborough and Reynolds, as well as popular Canadian artists. Today, its mission is to embrace New Brunswick’s two official language communities, its First Nations People, and the province’s social, economic, and cultural diversity.
To do so, they curate a range of changing historical and contemporary exhibitions, which highlight the culture of New Brunswick. These can be seen alongside their permanent collection, which shows British and Canadian art. The gallery also supports emerging artists in the area, offering them the opportunity of a solo exhibition at the gallery. They also host a variety of events, including talks with artists and curators.
In mid-October 2017, the gallery is celebrating the opening of a brand new wing. This wing will provide three new floors of space, two of which are public exhibition spaces. If you’re in the area the weekend of the 14th and 15th, don’t miss the exciting events the gallery has planned.
Beaverbrook Art Gallery
Address: 703 Queen St, Fredericton, NB E3B 1C4, Canada
Website: Beaverbrook Art Gallery
2. Fredericton Boyce Farmers Market
Foodies will want to check out the Fredericton Boyce Farmers Market. It’s one of Canada’s top ten markets and is open Saturday mornings, from 6 am to 1 pm. Come and join the community, where you can try food from more than 250 vendors. You can purchase local, seasonal goods, like blueberries and fiddleheads and fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and bread are in abundance.
The market also offers food from around the world, including Chinese buns, samosas, and stuffed grape leaves. If looking at all the food has your tummy rumbling, you can get breakfast from a vendor in Food Alley. In addition to food, you can pick up unique gifts here, including pottery, jewellery, and artwork.
Fredericton Boyce Farmers Market
Address: 665 George St, Fredericton, NB E3B 1K4, Canada
Website: Fredericton Boyce Farmers Market
3. Fredericton Region Museum
The Fredericton Region Museum, founded in 1934, is the place to go to learn about the history of Fredericton and central New Brunswick. The museum has a collection of over 30,000 artefacts, which tell the history of the Aboriginals, as well as the Loyalists, Acadians, and other European settlers of the central New Brunswick region. Artefacts include the Coleman Frog, the 42-pound (19.1-kilogram) animal that lived in a lake, north of Fredericton, 100 years ago.
The museum’s hours vary depending on the time of year. And, in the winter, the museum can get quite cold, as it is unheated and not insulated—so be sure to dress warmly. There are actors on hand to share with you information about life in Fredericton, in years gone by. Be a guard for an afternoon or learn an old craft!
Fredericton Region Museum
Address: 571 Queen St, Fredericton, NB E3B 5C8, Canada
Website: Fredericton Region Museum
4. Fredericton Botanic Garden
In 1989, a group of local residents who were passionate about botany banded together with the goal of opening a space to share their passion. In 1990, that goal was realized and the Fredericton Botany Garden opened to the public. The Botanic Garden sets out to provide a recreational space, allowing the public to walk around a variety of plants and foliage. They also aim to educate people about plants.
They host a variety of events, including garden parties, plant sales, and talks. The garden is open year-round and features an entrance garden, a lilac collection, ponds, and memorial gardens. Tours can be arranged if you’d like, and admission to the garden is free.
Fredericton Botanic Garden
Address: 694 Prospect Street, Fredericton, NB, Canada
Website: Fredericton Botanic Garden
5. Science East
Science East is a hands-on science centre, housed in what used to be the York County Gaol. They teach science in an entertaining way, exploring physics and chemistry, and even robotics and computer programming. The centre has more than 150 hands-on exhibits. They even have an outdoor science playground!
You can explore the history of the York County Gaol and learn how forensic science is used to solve crimes, today. Science East is host to science camp programmes in the summer and during March break and they also put on workshops and public science shows.
Address: 668 Brunswick St, Fredericton, NB E3B 1H6, Canada
Website: Science East
6. Odell Park
When you feel like you need to stretch your legs, head to Odell Park. It’s the centrepiece of Fredericton’s parklands and is hailed as one of the most beautiful parks in Canada. The park spans 400 acres (161 hectares) and includes a duck pond, an arboretum, and is home to the Fredericton Botanic Garden.
16 km (9.9 miles) of trails wind their way through the wooded park. Some of the park’s trees are over 400 years old! The park also offers winter activities, including an outdoor skating rink, trails for cross-country skiing, and hills to sled down.
Address: Fredericton, NB E3B 2M6, Canada
Website: Odell Park
7. School Days Museum
The School Days Museum aims to collect and display artefacts used in schools in New Brunswick. You’ll find blackboards, books, and furniture used in public schools, with some items dating back to the 19th century.
At the museum, you can visit a one-room schoolhouse, where you can sit and try out the different equipment, as well as a 1950s classroom. In the summer, reenactments take place every Wednesday. This is an excellent spot to visit with children, between exploring the classrooms and watching the reenactments, they’ll be kept busy!
School Days Museum
Address: York St, Fredericton, NB E3B 1B7, Canada
Website: School Days Museum
8. Lighthouse on the Green
The Lighthouse on the Green is located in downtown Fredericton, overlooking the St. John River. It’s the best viewpoint in town! There’s a viewing station at the top of the lighthouse, where you can look out across the city. Before you head to the viewing station, sit at the restaurant and have some BBQ and a craft beer, and ice cream for dessert.
Visitors love to visit the lighthouse at sundown, to witness the stunning view, while the sun sets. It’s the perfect photo op!
Lighthouse on the Green
Address: 615 Queen St, Fredericton, NB E3B 4Y7, Canada
Website: Lighthouse on the Green
Explore Fredericton's history
Fredericton, New Brunswick, offers plenty opportunities to explore the city’s history, whether you want to see art from the area, learn about schooling in the city’s early days, or just get a general overview of the area’s past. And, when you feel like you need some fresh air, Fredericton offers plenty of opportunities to walk, row, or snowshoe!
Prepare to immerse yourself in this city and it’s rich history and start planning your visit today.
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