The holidays are an expensive time of year, but luckily, getting your fill of holiday fun and cheer doesn’t have to be! There are plenty of free and festive activities to take part in from now until the end of the year.
From movie showings to skating galore, here are 16 free things to do in Toronto over the holidays.
Grab your skates and head down to The Bentway, the 220 metre skate trail underneath the Gardiner Expressway. The figure eight loop is open seven days a week and it’s completely free to visit! If you don’t have skates, there are rentals (for a fee) on site, as well as an outdoor Corona Après Patio bar with alcoholic and non-alcoholic bevvies and The Quaker Lounge, stocked with delicious oat-based eats. Get more details.
You don’t need to own a pair of skates to skate Union Station! From now until January 4, the skating rink at Union Station is completely free to check out. There are free skate rentals, free skating lessons daily from 12 to 4 p.m., and DJ skate nights on Fridays and Saturdays from 5 to 9 p.m. Get more details.
It’s your last weekend to visit the free Winter Village at Evergreen Brickworks. There’s a picturesque outdoor skating rink, a local market for browsing, live music, and plenty of delicious eats. The last day of the market is December 22. Get more details.
Nathan Phillips Square has been transformed into a beautiful festive market! Take part in festive fun in the heart of downtown Toronto and enjoy skating, rides and games, seasonal treats, or a drink at the outdoor bar. Browsing is free, but you’ll need a little pocket change for everything else. The fair is open until December 23. Get more details.
If you’re in the area, be sure to visit the Square One Merry & Bright Holiday Market! There are tons of Instagrammable moments and free DIY workshops, plus opportunities to win some amazing prizes like a SMEG stand mixer, IKEA gift cards, and more. The market is open until December 24. Get more details.
Free Community Screening: Elf — December 21
Check out a free screening of the Christmas favourite ELF over the holidays! The screening will take place at Revue Cinema on Roncesvalles Avenue. While the screening is free, they will be accepting donations for the Parkdale Community Food Bank. You can register for tickets online for the 1 p.m. showing, however, the tickets don’t guarantee entry, so be sure to get there early to save your seat! Get more details.
Free Community Screening: A Christmas Story — December 22
Another free movie screening happening in support of the Parkdale Community Food Bank is one for A Christmas Story. Like the showing for Elf, tickets can be reserved online for the 1 p.m. showing, but they don’t guarantee a seat. Get more details.
Sunday Morning Yoga at Lululemon Yorkdale — December 22
North Toronto yogis will be happy to hear that Lululemon will be hosting a free yoga class on December 22 at its Yorkdale Shopping Centre location. All you have to do is register online and show up with your mat to take part in the 45-minute practice. Get more details.
Winter Photo Walk — December 22
Photography enthusiasts will love this event. On December 22 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., join TDot Shots and other photographers to explore downtown Toronto, shoot new spots, and meet other likeminded folks. Get more details.
Scotiabank Next Generation Celebration — December 22
On December 22, Scotiabank will be throwing a special event at The Bentway in celebration of the Toronto Maple Leafs Next Generation Game. Hockey fans won’t want to miss this — from 1 to 3 p.m., you can #SkateThe8 with the Toronto Maple Leafs’ official mascot Carlton the Bear and meet NHL alum Shayne Corson. Get more details.
Make Your Own Personalized Holiday Ornaments — December 24
On the hunt for a super last minute gift? Here’s your opportunity to make one that’s super personal. The Toronto Reference Library will be making free 3D printed holiday ornaments for drop in visitors between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. on December 24. There’s a limit of 1 ornament per person and it’s first-come-first-serve, so get there early! Get more details.
Catch A Free Screening Of The Isle Of Dogs — December 27
The Toronto Public Library – Lilian H. Smith Branch on College St. will be hosting a free family-friendly screening of the Isle Of Dogs on December 27 from 1 to 3 p.m. Get there early for the best spot! Get more details.
Pilates For Hikes Class at Fjallraven — December 29
From 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on December 29, head to the Fjallraven flagship store on Queen St. West for a free Pilates for Hikers class. Register online for the opportunity to do a free one-hour pilates class, light refreshments, and leave with a goodie bag with freebies from Manitoba Harvest, Love Good Fats, Well Told, Flow Hydration, and more. Get more details.
The Bentway Polar Bear Skate — December 29
You’ve heard of the polar bear dip, but what about the Polar Bear Skate? Another fun event happening at The Bentway will have you skating in your skivvies. From 1 to 4 p.m., join others in skating in their underwear on the figure eight loop — the first 100 pre-registrants will get free hot chocolate! Get more details.
Watch Party: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban — December 30
Calling all Potter Heads! On December 30 at 7 p.m., Poor As Shoes will be hosting a watch party for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and there will be games, prizes, and more, including a best dressed prize for the person who comes in their best Harry Potter garb. An RSVP doesn’t guarantee seating, so head there before 7 p.m. to guarantee your spot. Get more details.
Watch The Fireworks At Nathan Phillips Square — December 31
Just like years past, this New Year’s Eve, Nathan Phillips Square will be putting on a big celebration to ring in the New Year. The annual event will have a DJ skate party, live musical performances, and fireworks, making it a perfect event for the family! Get more details.
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