11 Free Things To Do In Ontario This Summer That Will Make You Feel Like A Total Tourist
Who says you need to spend any money to have fun?
When you're looking for something new to do this weekend, or are planning an Ontario road trip where you don't want to break the bank, you can find a number of free events and attractions across the province.
You can discover parks full of hidden gems, check out popular museums on free days, run through floral fields and even do a brewery tour, all at no cost.
You don't need to spend all of your money to have some fun, so here are eleven free things to do in Ontario that will make you feel like a total tourist.
Go to a nature museum
Price: Free during specific dates & times
When: Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., and all day on April 22, July 1 and September 30
Address: 240 McLeod St., Ottawa, ON
Why You Need To Go: You can learn about the history and nature of the planet all the way from the dinosaur era and ice age to modern mammals and birds at the Canadian Museum of Nature. The floating Moon can make for an epic photo spot during your visit.
Admire a tropical world of green
When: Daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Address: 1000 Main St. E., Hamilton, ON
Why You Need To Go: You can admire a historic garden with tons of different kinds of roses, then venture into the tropical oasis that is the Gage Park Greenhouse. You'll pass by indoor waterfalls and ponds with swimming fish and turtles.
Walk through a rainbow tunnel
When: Daily, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Address: Brockville Railway Tunnel, or Railway Tunnel Park - North, 8 Brock St., Brockville, ON
Why You Need To Go: The Brockville Railway Tunnel will immerse you in the history of Canada's first railway tunnel that runs under the city and stretches down to the waterfront. Enjoy a spectacle of colourful lights and sounds as you move through.
Picnic outside of a castle
Price: Free ($14.25 admission inside)
Address: 610 York Blvd., Hamilton, ON
Why You Need To Go: It's free to visit the grounds of the Dundurn Castle, which is an 1830s mansion that will make you feel like you're touring in England. They even have free garden tours that you can check out, but you have to sign up for the event ahead of time.
Run down giant sand dunes
Address: 1275-1393 Sauble Falls Pkwy., Wiarton, ON
Why You Need To Go: You can walk up a steep sandy hill not far from Sauble beach, and feel the rush as you run down the dunes. There is also an area for free parking off of the main road.
Discover ruins in a city park
Address: 201 Guildwood Pkwy., Scarborough, ON
Why You Need To Go: Guild Park has picturesque gardens and towering sculptures that feel like you're walking through history. The area is full of architectural pieces you can get up close enough to touch.
Tour a neon brewery
When: Saturdays & Sundays at 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Address: 107 Dunlop St. E., Barrie, ON
Why You Need To Go: You can learn how beer is made with a behind-the-scenes look into the brewhouse at Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery. They offer free brewery tours on the weekends, first come first served.
Immerse yourself in a world of art
Price: Free for anyone 25 and under daily, and for all ages on Wednesday nights
When: Wednesdays, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. (or every day if you're 25 or under)
Address: 317 Dundas St. W., Toronto, ON
Why You Need To Go: You can take advantage of the free ticket day (or any other day depending on your age) to admire works of art both new and historic. Free-entry tickets are released on Monday and must be booked online.
Frolic through lavender fields
When: Wednesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Address: 1795 Windham Rd. 11, Windham Centre, ON
Why You Need To Go: Unlike most lavender farms in Ontario, Apple Hill Lavender doesn't charge admission, so you can run through purple fields for free. You will have to pay if you choose to indulge in some lavender treats or join a yoga class in the fields.
Take a quirky walking tour
Price: Free (tips appreciated)
When: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, at 11 a.m.
Address: Starting at The National War Memorial, Wellington St., Ottawa, ON
Why You Need To Go: You can discover the unheard history of Ottawa and Canada in general with Ottawa Free Tours. You likely won't find these quirky and crude stories in your history textbooks.
Enjoy a drive in movie
When: Next events in London on June 17, Sarnia on June 18 and Orangeville on July 2, 2022
Address: Various locations across Ontario
Why You Need To Go: Grab the popcorn because you can kick it old school at one of the Metro Retro Drive-In nights in different cities across Ontario this summer. You'll need to register ahead of time for tickets, so act fast if it's coming to your city, since it's free they're selling out quickly.
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