One of the worst parts of the transit strike? Being confined to Park Lane Mall, Mills and downtown boutiques for a full 41 days of uninspired shopping. Unless you had an alternate mode of transportation, the Halifax Shopping Center, Bayer’s Lake, the Mic Mac Mall and Bedford were no longer in the picture.
But that all changed last week when, finally, our transit system was returned to us—and entirely free for a month, no less.
So now it’s time to take advantage of those free buses and go on a spring shopping trip extraordinaire. Round up your crew, set your budgets (if so inclined), wear comfortable, easy to remove clothes and get going on bulking up that new seasonal wardrobe.
It’s time to shop for the fun stuff: sandals, shorts and camisoles! I know, I can barely hold back my excitement either.
The last question that remains is, “Where are you going to go?” There are a few options for the savvy shopper, and each has their pros and cons.
Mic Mac Mall:
The one reason to cross in to Dartmouth (joking, but not really), Mic Mac Mall is a glorious shopping destination. In terms of women’s fashion, it includes all the basics: Dynamite, Smart Set, AE, Eclipse—everything you’d expect. But on top of that, there are some luxe options that are perfect for dressy nights, such as BCBGMAXAZRIA. The Mic Mac also houses an H&M and a Winners/HomeSense, basic warehouses for any fashionista.
In terms of beauty and cosmetics, there is a Mac in The Bay, which is really all a girl can ask for.
And to top it all off, the food spread is not to be sniffed at. Two Starbucks and an East Side Mario’s? I salute you, Mic Mac. My fave has to be the Cinnabon, though, which welcomes you at the entrance with enticing pastry smells.
Halifax Shopping Centre:
Maybe you’re looking for something a little quicker to access than the Mic Mac. Well, the Halifax Shopping Centre will work, too. It doesn’t have an H&M, Winner’s or BCBG, but it does have Club Monaco, in addition to basics such as Aldo, Hollister and Gap. They also have a Pennington’s/Addition Elle, which is a nice touch if you’re looking for plus sizes.
Halifax Shopping Centre also excels in beauty and cosmetics, actually trumping Mic Mac Mall with not only Mac, but Sephora. They also have a Body Shop and a couple of nail parlours.
Its food array isn’t anything to write home about, but this mall does have an interesting bonus: it contains the entrance to Fairlanes Bowling Centre. Interesting way to wrap up the day? No doubt.
Good old Bayer’s Lake. If you’re ready to do a little extra leg work, this is the perfect place for savings and a day out. Now, there is no real centralized mall or location for Bayer’s Lake; it’s what they call a “business park.” It’s sort of like an amusement park, but with retail—also known as every shopper’s dream.
Start off by hitting up outlets such as Le Chateau and Gap, where amazing deals are to be had at the handful—if you happen to find the right sizes.
Next choose from a wide array of food options for lunch, from Boston Pizza to Swiss Chalet.
And of course, you can always end your day with a trip to the huge multi-cinema Empire Theatres.
Now, this is a long shot, but if you’re looking for destination shopping, why not try beautiful Bedford? Bedford Place Mall is extremely small but oh-so-cute.
And, OK, to be truthful, the main reason to go is to grab lunch at the original Chickenburger, a super cute 50s-style diner, and walk around the quaint downtown. For a great day trip, it’s a perfect recommendation.