Free Stuff to do Downtown With the Family

On in SagesTO, Toronto's Hidden Gems by

Who doesn’t love free stuff? There’s plenty of free things to do with the family if you’re heading downtown or exploring the city for the afternoon. Check out the Royal Ontario Museum or see a movie without paying a single dime. Explore Casa Loma, Toronto’s historic castle or check out the Bata Shoe Museum at absolutely no charge! We’re not kidding! From the art gallery to the Toronto Zoo, we’ve uncovered five awesome places to visit for free.

1. MAP Passes
The Toronto Public Library offers a “MAP Pass,” a complimentary family ticket to various arts and cultural venues in the city. Free passes are distributed weekly on a first-come-first-serve basis at library branches (valid for 2 adults and up to 5 children). The list of participating venues are endless including the Toronto Zoo, Casa Loma, Ontario Science Centre and Black Creek Pioneer Village.

2. Free Movies
Select Rainbow Cinema’s offer free Saturday morning movies during the month of December. All movies are kid-approved, showtimes beginning at 11:00 a.m. Also, check out the Toronto Public Library for free monthly screenings at various branches (evening and PA Day movies are available!).

3. Kid-Friendly Cafes 
It’s coffee meets playtime at these amazing kid-friendly cafes. Children play for free while parents fuel up in cafes like RedFish BlueFish Creative Cafe (Harbord Village), Play Creative Cafe (Leaside),  Lil’ Bean n’ Green (Leslieville), and Smock Cafe (Roncesvalles).

4. Outdoor Events
Enjoy the city’s outdoor green space free of charge! Mel Lastman Square in North York has nighttime events, markets and free skating. Harbourfront Centre and Yonge-Dundas Square offer special events almost every weekend in the winter and summer months.

5. Art Installations
Take a peek at some of the city’s best art installations that light up Toronto. There is the new Frost exhibit at Brookfield Place, a holiday snowfall and 20-foot high sculpture that looks like a snowflake. There are the holiday trees and lights at Nathan Phillips Square and Eaton Centre, the annual holiday market in the Distillery District, and pop-up shops for crafts and gifts.

Birthday Bonus: Don’t forget to take advantage of birthday freebies around the city. Medieval Times offers free admission on your special day, Pizza Pizza has a Kids Club for a free slice and Marble Slab Creamery has free ice cream.

What is your favourite freebie around the city? Share it in the comments below!

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