Indoor & Outdoor Activities To Do In Toronto With Kids for FreePosted on: January 23, 2019
You’re short on cash, its winter and are wondering what indoor or outdoor activities you can do with the kids for free or nearly free in Toronto. We love having our kids home for winter break. School is out, and they are at home most days with a lot of free time. Some parents like to go on vacation from work and spend time with their children. However, parents often wonder what they can do to keep the kids busy. Luckily for us Torontonians, there are lots of great ways to entertain kids in Toronto winter for free — and well, maybe almost free.
The chilly weather may want you to stay inside more than you would like to. That’s no problem at all because there are many indoor activities throughout the city that will keep children busy and cognitively focused while it’s cold and snowy outside. However, it’s also important for kids — and parents as well — to get outdoors and engage in physical activities during a holiday break or weekends.
You and the kids can simply go outside and have a snowball fight or make snow angels in your yard, but you can go and have fun around the city without breaking the bank.
Free Public Outdoor Skating
Winter is the season for ice skating, so time to grab those skates, hit the ice and spend some time with the whole family at one of Toronto’s outdoor public ice rinks. There are many free places to get your skate on in Toronto that will be open through to March 2019 if the weather permits. Brave the freezing cold and go practice those triple axels!
Fun Winter at Ontario Place
Ontario Place is a must-go-to destination for all your favourite winter activities and attractions. A winter festival that’s free to the public seven days a week until March 17, 2019. Enjoy the Winter Light Exhibition, an amazing 18 light exhibits created by local artists that showcase the artful effects of light. Try out the synthetic ice skating rink that will be open to the public all winter long. The Cinesphere features family-friendly films that you can watch on their massive screen with shows at 7:30pm daily. Bask in the glow of fairy lights wrapped around more than 100 trees as you go around and explore the West Island. There’s also a bonfire to warm up around while you sip hot chocolate and roast marshmallows.
Discover a Toronto National Park
It’s all fun and exploration this winter when you and the kids join in on a friendly and fun guided walk with Parks Canada. The park offers family-friendly trails for hiking that cater to all ages. You’ll get to discover a wide array of trees, plants, grasses and wildlife sightings. You can go on quiet nature walks to experience the beauty of the Rouge in winter or just to meet new people. Check out their website for their January and February schedule.
Winter Stations 2019
Okay, so the beach may not be the first place you would want to visit in the winter, but maybe looking at art installations attached to lifeguard posts will make it interesting for the adults and stimulating for the kids. The winter event is now in its 5th year, so it’s obviously a favourite activity around town that you would want to consider. Another thing that may change your mind, admission is free! Take the kids for a stroll on The Beaches and enjoy the playful art displays of international artists and designers showcased along Toronto’s snowy waterfront from February 18 – April 1, 2019. Last year’s installations included a wire nest sculpture weaved together by colourful fabrics and a nuclear cooling tower decorated with tiny pinwheels. Hmmm, wonder what this year’s winners will bring?
Escape to an Indoor Pool
The thought of swimming during the cold months may make you cringe, but swimming in indoor pools can be a great way to stave off the bitterly cold temperature. Swimming is a great workout, and it can help heat up the body naturally. The rise in your body temperature, will give you a soothing, calming effect and boost your mood. It’s just the perfect antidote for the winter blues. What’s more, the workout will keep your family’s immune system strong so it can fight off bacterial and viral infections. This is particularly important during the winter season when colds and flu rear their ugly heads.
Family Snow Tubing
Snow tubing is another winter family favourite activity because, really, what’s more fun than sliding down a hill! Many people say it’s a lot more fun than sledding because the snow tubes can spin in any direction, unlike in a sled where it just makes you go downhill in a straight line. There are many local parks and ski areas that offer snow tubing that rent out tubes for guests to use free of charge, so check out details before heading out. Don’t forget to check for weather updates too, as many winter activities are available depending on weather conditions.
Toronto International Boat Show
Spend the day with the kids at North America’s largest indoor boat show. You can ski and dine around, take a look at the impressive fleet of 1200 boats of different sizes ranging from 6 ft. to 60 ft. or just browse through the wide array of marine accessories on display. Lots of other family fun events to look forward to: watch professional wakeboarders compete in the Toronto Indoor Wakeboard Championships, attend fly fishing classes in the world’s largest indoor lake, watch remote-controlled sailboats race on the lake just like in Central Park, and meet with pilots and technicians at the Royal Canadian Air Force exhibit. The event will take place from January 18 to January 27, 2019. There is free admission for kids with ages 16 and below, an admission ticket for only $5 after 5pm and free parking on weekdays after 4pm!
Go to a Model Train Exhibit
Model trains can be fascinating to some kids (and some older “kids”). If your brood is up for it, take them to a real train museum. The Toronto Railway Museum showcases interactive exhibits of steam and diesel locomotives so kids can learn about the city’s railway history. Better yet, they can go on a guided tour in the outdoor museum and explore a collection of full-size trains, a live steam miniature railway and the main attraction, a fully operational 120-foot long locomotive turntable. The museum also has a miniature train ride operating on weekends, which cost $3 for adults and $2 for kids.
You don’t have to stay inside throughout the frosty season! So, when everyone gets bored and the kids start to bicker and it’s driving you bonkers, you know it’s time for a break. Round up everyone, bundle up, and have some free family fun with these affordable indoor and outdoor activities to entertain kids in Toronto winter for free.