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21 Free Things To Do In Toronto This Winter If You’re Broke

These activities will make you and your wallet happy!

Now that the beach days and warm hikes are out of the question, you may be wondering what you're going to do with yourself all winter long. As tempting as it is to stay cozied up under a blanket for the duration of the season, Toronto has so many amazing winter activities that you don't want to miss out on. The best part is, you don't have to spend a single dime to enjoy them. This winter, save your money while still getting out and having fun. Toronto's free winter activities will keep you and your wallet happy all winter long.

Whether you're the outdoorsy type or prefer to stay out of the snow, there are tons of awesome events to partake in. Glide along frosty ice rinks, wander through illuminated exhibitions and get in the Christmas spirit while still saving your money. With everything you've saved, you'll be able to treat yourself to a warm hot chocolate after.

You can also explore some unreal winter paradises across the province, though some of these can be a little more pricey. No matter what you do, don't let the snowy season pass you by without enjoying some fun adventures and festive activities. 

Holiday Fair in the Square

Price: Free

When: December 7, 2019 - December 23, 2019

Address: Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St. W., Toronto, ON

Why You Need To Go: Glide along a frosty ice rink, explore tons of local vendors, and indulge in delicious festive fare at this free Christmas event.

Go Tobogganing at Riverdale Park East

Price: Free

When: Weather permitting

Address: 550 Broadview Ave., Toronto, ON

Why You Need To Go: Grab your sled and take an exhilarating ride down a snowy slope this winter.

Toronto Light Fest

Price: Free

When: TBA

Address: Distillery District, Toronto, ON

Why You Need To Go: Wander through a glowing wonderland as the Distillery District is transformed with massive light installations.

Skate at Union Station

Price: Free

When: November 29, 2019 - January 4, 2019

Address: Union Station, 65 Front St. W., Toronto, ON

Why You Need To Go: Drift across Toronto's largest free outdoor skating rink this year, and even get complimentary gift wrapping while you're there.

Ontario Place Winter Lights

Price: Free

When: February 2020 - March 2020

Address: 955 Lake Shore Blvd. W., Toronto, ON

Why You Need To Go: Wander through illuminated exhibits along the Toronto waterfront that will warm your heart on the coldest winter nights.

Trivia at Stout Irish Pub

Price: Free

When: Mondays & Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m.

Address: 221 Carlton St., Toronto, ON

Why You Need To Go: Test your knowledge skills at this fun weekly event, with no minimum purchase required.

Bloor Yorkville Ice Fest

Price: Free

When: TBA

Address: Bloor-Yorkville BIA, 1200 Bay St., Suite 310, Toronto, ON

Why You Need To Go: Gaze upon magical ice sculptures at this frosty annual winter event. 2020 dates have yet to be announced, so keep an eye out.

Toronto Santa Claus Parade

Price: Free

When: November 17, 2019, at 4:30 p.m.

Address: 139 Wendell Ave., Toronto, ON

Why You Need To Go: Celebrate the Christmas spirit with the annual Santa Claus Parade. Tons of festive floats will drift through Toronto, filling the streets with Christmas cheer.

Winter Stations

Price: Free

When: February 17, 2020 - March 30, 2020

Address: 1675 Lake Shore Blvd. E., Toronto, ON

Why You Need To Go: Explore some massive, unique art installations on Woodbine Beach this winter, as artists from around the world compete in this design competition.

Allan Gardens Conservatory

Price: Free

When: Until November 11, 2019

Address: 19 Horticultural Ave., Toronto, ON

Why You Need To Go: Escape the cold in this tropical oasis filled with bananas, palm trees, and more.

Walk Through Rouge Valley

Price: Free

When: Year-round

Address: 1749 Meadowvale Rd., Scarborough, ON

Why You Need To Go: Take in some stunning winter wonderland views at Rouge Valley.

Stargaze at Allan Observatory

Price: Free

When: View website for dates

Address: Life Sciences Building, 6 Thompson Rd., North York, ON

Why You Need To Go: Gaze at the night sky up close for free at Allan Observatory this winter. You'll be treated to an astronomy presentation and telescopic observing of the stunning starry sky.

Visit Cute Animals at the High Park Zoo

Price: Free

When: Year-round

Address: High Park Zoo, Toronto, ON

Why You Need To Go: Fall in love with some adorable animals at the High Park Zoo. See festive reindeer, furry yaks, and more.

Sit Through a Criminal Trial

Price: Free

When: Check website for dates.

Address: Various locations around Toronto

Why You Need To Go: Find out what actually goes on in a courtroom by sitting in on a trial. You can look up courthouses nearest to you to plan your visit.

Glide Down A Ski Trail At Tommy Thompson Park

Price: Free

When: Weather permitting

Address: 1 Leslie St., Toronto, ON

Why You Need To Go: Grab your skis or snowshoes and take a winter adventure through scenic Tommy Thompson park. You'll get a stunning view of the lake and pass through lots of wildlife.

Take a Tour of Amersterdam Brewery

Price: Free

When: Weekends between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Address: 245 Queens Quay W., South Building, Toronto, ON

Why You Need To Go: Amersterdam Brewery offers free tours so you can learn all about the beer-making process and even sample some beverages. You can book your tour in advance on their website.

Visit Toronto's Secret Sherlock Holmes Room

Price: Free

When: Year-round

Address: 789 Yonge St., Toronto, ON

Why You Need To Go: Sherlock Holmes fans will love this room entirely dedicated to Arthur Conan Doyle. You'll find a large collection of his works along with Sherlock Holmes themed items.

Go Shopping at the Really Really Free Market

Price: Free

When: The first Saturday of every month

Address: 225 Campbell Ave., Toronto, ON

Why You Need To Go: Bring your used items and shop for some thrifty finds at this completely free market.

See Toronto's Twenties Exhibit

Price: Free

When: Until August 2020

Address: 255 Spadina Rd., Toronto, ON

Why You Need To Go: In celebration of the approaching 100th anniversary of the Roaring 20's, the City of Toronto Archives is hosting a new exhibit on the city during the 1920's. Check out photos of Toronto from a century ago.

Indulge in Sweetness at the Sugar Shack TO

Price: Free

When: TBA

Address: Sherbourne Common, 61 Dockside Dr., Toronto, ON

Why You Need To Go: Celebrate winter at this sweet event. Enjoy a skating rink, maple taffy, ice activities, a Winter Marketplace, and more. Admission is free.

Toronto Christmas Market

Price: Free

When: November 14, 2019 - December 22, 2019

Address: Distillery District, Toronto, ON

Why You Need To Go: Indulge in Christmas cheer at Toronto's massive holiday market in the charming Distillery District. The market is free during weekdays.

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