Family outings can easily turn into expensive excursions – but they don’t have to. Here’s a roundup of ideas for free (and fun!) family-friendly activities you can organize.
- Get the kids up and at ‘em for a morning trip to your local farmers market (think indoor markets for the winter). You can simply do a walk-through and taste some samples, or you can also stock up on fresh produce for the week while supporting your local agriculture sector.
- Look out for winter festivals like Saskatoon’s Kôna – Wanuskewin Winter Festival, a free, immersive event that celebrates Canada’s First Nations culture.
- Visit your local landmarks and historical monuments. How well do you know your town’s backstory? Your province’s history? These can become fun, teachable moments for your kids.
- Pop in to your local library. Libraries often get forgotten these days, but they regularly have free activities and readings for kids to take part in – check out what your local branch is offering.
- Get crafty with The Home Depot. Every second Saturday of each month, all Home Depot stores offer free hands-on Kids Workshops. This is an easy way to get your kids involved in something interactive, and it’s extremely accessible.
- Go geocaching. Have you heard of geocaching yet? It’s basically a huge treasure hunt that you can join in whenever you want. It gets your kids outdoors in a fun, easy way and provides some built-in exercise as they wander around looking for clues.
Sustainable lifestyle expert at Just Energy Michelle Pettit offered up some other activities many of her colleagues and their families enjoy in the Toronto area:
- Toronto Light Festival — “Toronto residents and visitors can enjoy this exciting light display that goes from Jan 19 to March 4. Be sure to grab some mulled wine for you and some hot chocolate for the kids!”
- Beats and Bents Friday Night Skate Parties at the Bentway Skate Trail — “A Friday night skate party for the whole family to enjoy! Who doesn't like dancing on ice?”
- WINTER at Ontario Place — “Have fun skating with the family and then cozy up next to a bonfire while you enjoy one of the beautiful winter light displays. This is one of my family's favourite outings. The kids can't wait to skate and then cozy up in dad's arms with some hot chocolate,” Pettit says.
The key with all these ideas is to spend quality time with your family. Enjoy!