Free Summer Activities

Looking for fun alternatives to standard summer activities (and without the price tag)?

We’ve compiled this list to help with your plans (remember, some of them require registration and sign-up so make sure you check out the sites for more information):

(1) Home Depot Workshops for Kids

If your children are like our three boys and love to build, construct and play, the free Home Depot Kids workshops are a must attend.  They offer everything from building your own tool-box to creating your own outdoor games.  They’re usually two hours long and are intended for kisd aged 5-12.

More on Home Depot Kids workshops


(2) Volunteer at an animal shelter or animal sanctuary

Zoos tend to get really busy in the summer months and come with a hefty price tag (especially if you have a large family).  A great cost-effective alternative are animal sanctuaries (we love Big Sky Ranch just outside Ottawa, Ontario) or local animal shelters.  Older kids can even volunteer to work with animals throughout the summer.  A simple google search of your hometown and animal sanctuaries or shelters will show you those nearby.

(3) Free Walking Tours

A lot of cities offer free walking tours.  Play tourist with your family, pack up snacks & water, and head out to learn more about your own community.  It’s also a great way to explore regions when you travel.

More on walking tours

(4) Try Geocaching

For those rainy days, or tech-loving families, try Geo-Caching, which is an online treasure hunt for the entire brood.

More on Geocaching

(5) Kids Bowl Free

Throughout the summer, across Canada, many bowling allies offer free bowling.

“Select bowling centers and schools around the country are participating in the Kids Bowl Free program. This program is designed by bowling centers to give back to the community and provide a safe, secure, and fun way for kids to spend time this summer.

Children whose age does not exceed a limit by a participating bowling center are eligible to register for 2 free games a day, all summer long, courtesy of the participating bowling centers along with the schools and organizations.”

More on free family bowling


(6) Farm experience

Get your family outside in the sunshine and burn off some energy on a farm — A “Pick Your Own” farm.  It’s a great way to keep your kids focused, get outside of the cities and nab some fresh produce while you’re at it.

For a list of Pick Your Own locations, click here.

(7) Bike the Canadian Trail

The TransCanada Trail offers 22,000-kilometres of eye-catching paths through the wilderness, urban cities and federal parks. It’s such a great way to get everyone outdoors, see the sights and be active — and it’s free!

To find the section of the trail nearest you, check out The Trail locator at

(8) Plan a day excursion

We’er big fans of getting up, checking the weather, and just going with it.  So random day trips are definitely on our summer bucket list.  We often use google to track down festivals and events in our ‘hood, but there’s actually a great website for those looking for things to do in Canada:


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