Things To Do In Fredericton: 10 Great Ways To Experience The Capital of New Brunswick

These exciting things to do in Fredericton, will help you plan the most incredible visit to New Brunswick’s capital.

Things to do in Fredericton
Government building in Fredericton – Photo credit: Kevin Wagar

Lying on the banks of the scenic St. John River, Fredericton, New Brunswick, seems like an unassuming location for the province’s capital. But if you take more than a glance at this laid-back city of 100,000 residents, when you take in the whole metro area. It’s not hard to understand why it was chosen.

Surrounded by the dense nature of central New Brunswick, Fredericton is an excellent depiction of everything that makes the province such a wonderful place to visit. There’s history, culture, and mouthwatering food. In fact, there are more than enough exciting things to do in Fredericton to keep any visitor occupied for weeks.

With a delightful mix of historic buildings dating back to the late 18th century when Fredericton was a crucial point for the British army to the modern designs of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, the city’s architecture paints a story of its long history. One that dates far back past the birth of Canda to its founding by French-speaking Acadians in 1732, and into the stories of the St. Mary’s First Nation’s Community which now calls the northeast banks of the St. John River home.

Things To Do In Fredericton, New Brunswick

Sunset over the St. John River in Fredericton
Sunset over the St. John River – Photo credit: Kevin Wagar

If your visiting the city and are looking for some amazing Fredericton attractions. A great range of restaurants, microbreweries, outdoor experiences, and family-friendly entertainment helps Fredericton compete with cities on a far larger scale. And the city itself is pleasant, walkable, and just a true pleasure to experience.

So, if you’re looking for interesting things to do in Fredericton, here are a few experiences to fill your days in the city.

Walk Or Cycle The Waterfront Trail

Family walking the Riverfront Trail, Fredericton, New Brunswick
Walking the Riverfront Trail – Photo credit: Kevin Wagar

There are few better ways to dip your feet into the things to do in Fredericton than by enjoying the waterfront trail.

This network of Fredericton trails spans over 120 km of riverfront and parks, connecting many of the best Fredericton experiences in a scenic and accessible circuit.

The Fredericton trail system can be enjoyed on foot or by bike and is a great way to experience the city’s microbreweries along what has been dubbed the “Taproom Trail.” You can also hook up with the town’s avid cycling community along the way with a stop at The Landing, a cycle cafe in Marysville.

Taste Your Way Through the Taproom Trail

Pick up a Taproom Trail passport from the Fredericton Tourism Office or one of the participating Fredericton breweries and embark on a tasting tour of some of the best breweries in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

This fun and engaging tour guides you through ten local craft brewhouses, including Graystone Brewing, King West Brewing, and Picaroons. Along the way, you can collect stamps from each brewery that you visit. Collect enough, and you can walk away with some great Fredericton swag.

Take Your Best Shot at the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame

Boy playing hockey at the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame
Hockey at the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame – Photo credit: Kevin Wagar

Sports fans will get a kick out of the engaging and interactive New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame on Queen St.

Check out the memorabilia and stories of some of the province’s most celebrated sports heroes, including tennis phenom Ethel Babbit, Boston Bruins veteran Gordie Clark, boundary-breaking marathon runner Eldridge Eastman, and World Champion baseball great Matt Stairs.

Families will love the museum’s interactive portions, including a virtual sports system where you can test your shot in several sports, including baseball, hockey, and baseball.

Paddle The St. John River

Paddling the St. John River
Paddling the St. John River – Photo credit: Kevin Wagar

Bring your canoe or rent one at Second Nature Outdoors along the Riverfront Trail and take to the water to enjoy the water.

The St. John River can be fast-flowing (made a little more complicated that the water is dam-controlled and sometimes has unpredictable flow), but once you reach the north side, you’ll find a stunning stream to explore.

Along my paddle, my family was delighted to see deer, many birds, and even a nice spot to enjoy a refreshing swim.

Drift Away At Delta Fredericton

Drift Lounge at Delta Fredericton
Drift Lounge at Delta Fredericton – Photo credit: Kevin Wagar

There are some absolutely wonderful hotels in Fredericton. However, if you’re looking for a waterfront resort-style getaway within easy reach of the best things to do in Fredericton, you’ll want to consider the Delta Fredericton.

Enjoy a poolside meal at the Drift Lounge or borrow some fishing poles to enjoy some St. John river fishing. You can rent kayaks and hydro bikes for fun on the water from the on-site Mint Rentals store (their second location is just down the street) for some further fun in the sun.

The Delta is the home of some of the best restaurants in Fredericton as well, including the Drift Lounge and the STMR 36 BBQ and Social.

Enjoy Some Culture at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery

Beaverbrook Art Gallery
Beaverbrook Art Gallery – Photo credit: Kevin Wagar

Named for Lord Beaverbrook, an influential media mogul of the early 20th century, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery is one of the most spectacular places to visit in Fredericton for those with a love of arts and culture.

Tastefully spaced across two floors are impressive works by Gainsborough, Hogarth, and Turner along with collections of Indigenous artwork, Inuit prints, and Acadian works. These alone are worth the price of admission to the Beaverbrook, but if you’re looking for a little whipped cream on your cocoa, you’ll be as excited as I was to discover that it also houses Salvador Dali’s epic Santiago el Grande.

The Beaverbrook Art Gallery is truly one of the top Fredericton things to do. Visitors will love the hands-on experience of meeting the artist-in-residence and the wonders of exploring the nearby sculpture garden.

Walk Through History at King’s Landing

Just 20 minutes north of Fredericton is the immersive re-enactment village of King’s Landing. Here, visitors can take a step back in time to when United Empire Loyalists settled the St. John River valley after leaving the thirteen colonies of the United States.

King’s Landing recreates life in 19th Century Fredericton, including working farms, candle-making, and flax-spinning. You’ll have the opportunity to interact with printers, blacksmiths, and farmers and even enjoy a horse-drawn wagon ride.

Visit The Old Government House

Government building in Fredericton
Fredericton Government Building – Photo credit: Kevin Wagar

Just a short walk from the Delta Fredericton is the most stunning mansion in Fredericton.

The old Government House is where the former Governor of New Brunswick resided, and it was the seat of the representatives of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia during the pre-confederation meetings.

Completed in 1828 and in-service until 1893, this was where the representative of the British Monarchy would make their home in Fredericton. The magnificent sandstone manor is now a provincial and National Historic Site.

Play Your Way Through Science East

Boy holding a stick bug at Science East in Fredericton, NB
Stick bug at Science East – Photo credit: Kevin Wagar

Of all the things to do in Fredericton, Science East is definitely focused squarely on those visiting Fredericton with kids.

Spread across three floors, the 150 interactive exhibits of Science East make for an engaging and fun way to explore science in the city. Exhibits include a planetarium, gyroscopes, optical illusions, a climbing wall, and more.

To make the experience even more fun, Science East is the location of the former county jail. Families can wander down to the lower level to see the original cells of the courthouse.

March Through the Garrison District and Officer’s Square

Fredericton Garrison District
Fredericton Garrison District – Photo credit: Kevin Wagar

Located right in downtown Fredericton, the Garrison District is the birthplace of the Canadian Armed Forces. Back on May 19, 1855. Fredericton has had a military presence ever since.

Although in modern times, most of the action happens at the nearby Gagetown Military base, you can still catch the twice-daily Changing of the Guard during the summers at 11 am and 4 pm. During these times, soldiers dressed in period garb perform this historic ritual to the sound of drums and bagpipes.

More Exciting Fredericton Attractions

I’ll be honest, the list above is just breaking down all the things that I did while visiting Fredericton. There are way more Fredericton experiences to fill the gap if your interests lie elsewhere, or even better, if you’ve got more than just a weekend to spend in Fredericton.

So to help you plan, here are a few more Fredericton ideas

Take a Haunted Hike

If you love a little thrill with your travels, check out this lantern-lit ghost walk through historic downtown Fredericton. The tour has costumed phantoms meeting you along the walking trail to teach you about Fredericton’s paranormal past.

Play All Day At Kingswood Entertainment Centre

family playing laser tag at Kingswood Entertainment Centre
Laser tag at Kingswood Entertainment Centre – Photo credit: Kevin Wagar

Kingswood Entertainment Centre is Fredericton’s largest indoor entertainment facility with
bowling, laser tag, and arcade games. The game centre includes a Play Zone for young kids and a Toddler Zone for the little ones can play too.

Get In Some Board Game Action

Unplugged Board Games Cafe on Queen Street has over 100 board games to play. There are hundreds of game options that you can enjoy alongside drinks and snacks. Head upstairs to try one of three Escape Rooms for some fun.

Now It’s Time to Experience These Things To Do In Fredericton For Yourself

There are more things to do in Fredericton, New Brunswick, than meets the eye. From some of the province’s most stunning nature to the scrumptious Fredericton food scene and everything in between, you can find something for everyone in this beautiful region of New Brunswick.

Many of these businesses and restaurants are anxious for visitors after a tough year. So let’s support local and make the most of your Fredericton adventure.

Do you have a favourite attraction or restaurant in Canada? Head over to the We Explore Canada Facebook Community and join the conversation! You’ll find an amazing group of people passionate about travel in Canada who love to share their local secrets.

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