Free and Cheap Things to Do This Winter in Toronto

8 thrifty things to do this winter in the city

After all that holiday spending, you might be in the mood to save money for the remainder of the winter season. If that’s the case you’re in luck. There’s no need to stay in to save – Toronto has plenty of free and cheap things to this winter. Here are eight activities that won’t break the bank this season.

Head to a DJ Skate Night at Harbourfront

Beat the winter blues by lacing up your skates heading to Harbourfront Centre on a Saturday for a DJ Skate Night. From 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Natrel Rink turns into one of the biggest winter parties in the city compete with local and international DJs getting skaters moving and grooving on the ice. The free event runs until February 20.

Go Tobogganing

One of the most fun free things to do in the winter has to be busting out a sled and heading to a snowy hill for an afternoon of tobogganing. There are numerous spots to choose from in Toronto no matter what neighborhood you’re in. Some good options include Trinity Bellwoods Park, Cedarvale Park, Centennial Park in Etobicoke and Christie Pitts Park.

Tour Steam Whistle Brewery

Bars & Breweries

If you’re a beer fan, why not escape the cold and learn something new about your beverage of choice with a brewery tour. Steam Whistle Brewery offers 30-minute tours where you can learn all about the brewing process and chat with some employees.

Enjoy Some Music at Winterfolk Music Festival

The annual Winterfolk Music Festival is back for another year taking over five venues on the Danforth from February 12 to 14. The blues, folk and roots festival will feature over 150 artists on five intimate stages in a series of both free and paid events. Tickets for some of the paid events start at just $10 if you buy in advance. A three-day weekend pass is just $15 and gets you into all of the venues except five ticketed shows.

Learn Something at Your Local Library

Curling up with a good book is a great way to while away some winter hours but there’s more to your local library that checking out a few bestsellers. Stay out of the cold and learn something new with a trip to a branch near you. Toronto’s libraries offer a slew of free classes covering everything from crafts and hobbies to technology, health and job search skills among many other topics.

Explore an Indoor Garden

Pretend winter doesn’t exist for a couple hours with a visit to one of Toronto’s indoor gardens that help keep summer alive year round. Three free indoor gardens to explore in the city this winter include Centennial Park Conservatory, Allan Gardens Conservatory, and Cloud Garden. All three offer a chance to forget about the cold for a while and check out some beautiful tropical foliage.

Check Out Public Art by the Lake

Bundle up and head to Toronto’s east end to check out Winter Stations wherein teams of artists and designers will transform lifeguard stations along the waterfront from Woodbine to Victoria Park avenues into temporary interactive art installations. The exhibit opens on February 15 and will run until March 20.

Escape to an Indoor Pool

You might not think about swimming when you think about winter, but diving into an indoor pool can be an easy way to stave off the winter blues and make it feel as if it’s still summer. The City of Toronto operates 65 public indoor pools in the city so you have lots of options in terms of where to take a dip. Admission to the pools is free.