May on the Cheap! (2018)




Junior Festival at Harbourfront

May is all about springtime fun and the weekends are packed with free activities! There are community fairs and festivals, the new Junior Festival at Harbourfront, and Science Rendezvous returns with activities to discover science in a whole new way! Here are the things to do with kids in Toronto and the GTA this month, most of which are Free or Cheap!

Your top freebies for May...

Free Admission on Wednesday Nights at the AGO
Weekly on Wednesdays
The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is an art museum in Toronto's Downtown Grange Park district, on Dundas Street West between McCaul Street and Beverley Street. Its collection includes more than 80,000 works spanning the 1st century to the present-day. The gallery has 45,000 square metres (480,000 sq ft) of physical space, making it one of the largest galleries in North America.
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ROMwalks - Walking Tours of Toronto
Until October 2018
Explore the history, art and architecture, and notable (or notorious!) characters of some of the 6ix’s best-known neighbourhoods. ROMWalks guided walking tours take place from early May through late October, Wednesdays at 6 pm and Sundays at 2 pm. Most ROMwalks are free, with no need to pre-register: simply come to the designated spot and look for the purple umbrella.
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Museum Thursday Nights at Gibson House
Thursdays, until December 27, 2018
Drop in on Thursday nights to learn more about the daily lives of the Gibson family and discover a different 19th-century activity each week, including dyeing, spinning, hearth cooking and more. Join the Community Quilt Group from 6 to 8 p.m. to explore historic and contemporary quilting techniques in a comfortable, social setting. Admission is Pay-What-You-Can.
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Cineplex Family Favourites for May
Saturdays in May
Join Cineplex on Saturday mornings at 11:00 am for Family Favourites. Watch a family favourite film each week for only $2.99. It's a fun and affordable way to enjoy the weekend with your family.  
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May Weekends at Scarborough Museum
May 5, 2018 to May 27, 2018
Tea brings people together, and Scarborough Museum wants to share this tradition with you! Come in and try savoury scones baked over the open fire, with a cup tea. For Mother's Day let mom have a break with these delicious treats, while kids make a Mother's Day card and try their hand at a paper tea cup craft. It's high time for tea time all May long at Scarborough Museum! Canadian Taste Buds: May 26 & 27 - The monthly Canadian Taste Buds recipe for May is a decadent cheesecake. Baked fresh in our wood burning stove this smooth and creamy treat is a slice of pure spring happiness! Admission is PWYC.
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Rouge Park Guided Walks
Various dates in May
Join us to discover the park's natural, cultural and agricultural stories with our friendly and fun Parks Canada volunteer leaders and staff. We have something for everyone, if you are looking for wildlife sightings, quiet nature walks, discovering the past, fitness challenges or just to meet new people! Free admission.
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OCAD's 103rd Annual Graduate Exhibition (GradEx)
May 3, 2018 to May 6, 2018
More than 900 promising young artists and designers are exhibiting at the biggest GradEx ever — OCAD University's 103rd! This year, GradEx is a four-day exhibition spread across several buildings on campus including the iconic Sharp Centre for Design. The university will throw open its doors, inviting the community (especially children and families) to see works by the creative minds of OCAD U’s Class of 2018. Free.
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2018 Elementary Make-a-thon at the Steam Project
May 5, 2018
Enthusiastic, creative and innovative students are encouraged form a team of 4 and compete in the "Design a car challenge" which will incorporate all of the STEAM disciplines. The team of 4 will work together to design and build a model car that is both fast and safe for the two "passengers" it will be transporting. Students will have 1 hour to design, laser cut, construct, and test their vehicles before the final challenge - sending their car hurling down a massive ramp and straight into a wall. Free.
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Free Comic Book Day
May 5, 2018
Celebrate and discover the amazing world of comic books on Free Comic Book Day! Taking place annually on the first Saturday in May, Free Comic Book Day is a single day when participating comic book specialty shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely free to anyone who comes into their shops!
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Toronto Coin Expo - Kid's Coin Collecting Workshop & Auction
May 5, 2018
Kids, Join us at the Toronto Coin Expo for our FREE Educational Workshop & Auction, and learn what collecting is all about. A workshop for the young (and young at heart!) who want to learn more about what beginners can collect. We will also see how chocolate coins are made, which are “strikingly” similar to how the Mint makes coins! Chocolate coins (as well as real ones) will be available to sort into your collection. Free to young collectors in attendance at the Coin Expo!
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Sunday FUNday - The Victorian Cellphone
May 6, 2018
Disassemble your cell phone and what have you got? A clock, a newspaper, a camera, a slate, and a telephone. Check out the ‘Victorian Cellphone’! How would you get the important news of the day? How would you check the weather? See how your phone compares to ours on Sunday May 6th from 12—4 pm in the Verna Conant Gallery at Guy House. Free.
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Power Kids: Fixer Upper!
May 6, 2018
How many times have you thrown away a broken toy or a ripped sweater? Kader Attia, in his exhibition The Field of Emotion, suggests that older, broken possessions can be repaired rather than thrown away. For this workshop, The Power Plant’s Power Kids program partners with the Repair Café to host an afternoon of mending and fixing. Bring along a broken toy, book or stuffed animal, or choose one of ours, and learn about repairing them under the guidance of Repair Café experts! Free.
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The Bump to Baby Show
May 6, 2018
We've gathered together everything you need from the best, health-conscious businesses out there to make your life a little easier and way more fun. Shop for the entire family from the best health-conscious vendors in the city. Experience fun and free kids activities throughout the whole day. Free admission.
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Family Dance Jams at Solar Stage
May 6, 2018
Bring happy feet of all sizes to this community dance party. Hose Amanda Cordner will have you shaking your sillies out from head to toe in perfect time. Get your groove on and try out a new one or two in this lightlt structured sock hop. Free.
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Come Celebrate Truth, Compassion & Tolerance!
May 12, 2018
Bring health and joy into your life with Falun Dafa! The Falun Dafa meditation and exercise community invites you to come celebrate the universal principles of Truth, Compassion and Tolerance. Enjoy on-stage entertainment, explosive lion dances, traditional Chinese drummers, arts & crafts activities for the kids, and join in a grand parade led by a 150-piece marching band! There will also be free meditation and qigong exercises classes! Free.
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Free Kids Building Workshop at Home Depot
May 12, 2018
FREE Hands-on Workshops designed for children ages 5 - 12. Held on the 2nd Saturday of each month at all The Home Depot stores. Each child can bring home a newly constructed project, an achievement pin and certificate. Kids can learn how to build their very own windmill planter out of wood.
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Pampered Pooches T.O.
May 12, 2018
Powered by Toronto Art Crawl, Pampered Pooches T.O. is a one-stop-pooch-shop for the urban dog owner. It is FREE to attend and is the perfect combination of unique shopping and infotainment, where you and your dog can indulge in food, fashion, pet health, grooming, and so much more! 
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Science Rendezvous at University of Toronto
May 12, 2018
Science Rendezvous at the University of Toronto (St. George Campus) will feature numerous exhibits that integrate science,  technology, engineering, mathematics, and human ingenuity. This event offers visitors of all ages and backgrounds the chance to interact with world-class researchers, witness awe-inspiring demonstrations, partake in hands-on experiments and, above all, have fun while discovering science in a whole new way! Free admission.
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Spring into Parkdale Sidewalk Festival & Night Market
May 12, 2018
The 6th Annual Spring Festival is the largest free outdoor event held within our BIA, attracting thousands of local & neighbouring visitors to the heart of Parkdale Village! Be a part of this vibrant event & help support the arts, community, culture, diversity & shopping local. Enjoy 150+ vendors, entertainers, a 10,000sqft Kids Zone, over 5 Markets including the 10,000sqft Foodora Night Market showcasing local Chefs & new this year is the Zero Waste Fair.​
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Our Place Initiative - Centennial Park Bird Walk
May 13, 2018
Explore the bird life of Centennial Park! Bring your binoculars out and view birds during the peak spring migration – from common birds gearing up for the breeding season to birds that are migrating through Toronto. All levels of birding experience are welcome, from the absolute novice to the bird aficionado! Free admission.
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Sporting Life 10K Cheering Section
May 13, 2018
Canada’s EASIEST and one of the fastest 10k’s anywhere! The course runs right down the middle of Canada’s most iconic street — Yonge Street! Whether you are a novice looking for an easy 10k course, or a seasoned veteran looking to set a PB, this is the event for you! Enter today to dash down Yonge Street while helping to send a kid with cancer to camp. Thousands will take part in the Sporting Life 10K.  Join our community as we cheer them on to their way!  Food, music, and good cheer! Free admission.
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Spring Into Summer Ravine Celebration
May 13, 2018
Spring into summer with the Don River Valley Park’s celebration of Toronto’s ravines on Sunday, May 13! Shop our refurbished bike sale, participate in a guided nature walk or bike tour, build a birdhouse and join in on camp fire sing-alongs. Free.
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The Birds Are Back In Town - Family Nature Walk
May 19, 2018
It's been a long journey but High Park's migrating birds are back in full force! Come hike through the woods to listen and look for our feathered friends. Free admission. 
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Junior at Harbourfront
May 19, 2018 to May 25, 2018
This spring, Junior, Harbourfront Centre’s new international children’s festival brings together leading contemporary artists to challenge and animate young minds. Productions from as far away as Australia and Norway to as near as Québec and the Mohawk Nation of Kanawake, take on the challenging questions facing youth today. Fun for the whole family continues throughout the long weekend with free and ticketed activities like circus, storytelling, music as well as great food! Free.
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Waterfront Artisan Market
May 19, 2018 to October 6, 2018
In 2018, the Waterfront Artisan Market (WAM), presented by The Waterfront BIA and operated by Scadding Court Community Centre, will bring together a carefully curated mix of local artisans, crafters, chefs and bakers. Free admission.
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International Museum Day at Markham Museum
May 20, 2018
Take this opportunity to visit the Museum, participate in our family drop-in activities and enjoy our current exhibitions. Learn to Camp with Parks Canada staff, and participate in a variety of nature themed activities. Free admission.
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Spring MRKT Show
May 20, 2018
#ShopTheMRKT in the merry month of May! The MRKT is a community shopping event, organized by the Toronto Creative Entrepreneurs, which features local vendors including fashion, beauty, wellness, visual artists, crafters, food merchants, and retailers. This event is FREE to the community & kid friendly!
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Pep Rally at Celebration Square
May 21, 2018
This epic day has everything from a 25 ft prehistoric rock climbing wall to a baby dino petting zoo. Splash in the fountain or dig in the Dino Excavation Pits. Grab a dino sized bite from one of our food trucks and spend Victoria Day at the Square where prehistoric meets high tech - with a whole lot of confetti. Free admission.
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Movie Nights at Mississauga Celebration Square
May 24, 2018 and May 31, 2018
Let's Stargaze! Grab a blanket and join your friends and neighbours under the night sky at the City's biggest outdoor theatre. Watch classics, blockbuster hits and family feel-good favourites on the Celebration Square big screens. Movie Line-up: Thursday May 24 - Wonder Woman and Thursday May 31 - Toy Story. Free.
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National Public Works Week Family Fun Day at Celebration Square
May 26, 2018
Do you know what it takes to keep the city moving each day? From providing clean water to building roads and bridges or planning for mass transit, to removing snow on roadways or devising emergency management plans, public works services contribute to a city's quality of life. Join us for Family Fun Day - a celebration of National Public Works Week (NPWW). Free.
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Solar Observing at Ontario Science Centre
May 26, 2018
Safely observe the sun with specially filtered telescopes. Learn about our nearest star and try your eye at spotting exotic surface features, including sunspots, spicules and prominences. This program is offered by members of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. Free admission.
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Doors Open Toronto
May 26, 2018 to May 27, 2018
One weekend every year Doors Open Toronto provides an opportunity to explore some of the most architecturally, historically, culturally and socially significant buildings across the city, many of which are not usually open to the public. For 2018 Doors Open Toronto will shine the spotlight on the city’s film and television industry. Visit historic cinemas, film and television studios, post-production houses, digital media studios, artist-run centres as well as buildings that have been featured in film and television. Free admission.
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Woofstock, A Festival for Dogs
May 26, 2018 to May 27, 2018
Woofstock was the first festival to allow people to celebrate their dogs, indulge them, party with them and let them show off their special talents in fun and wacky contests and fashion shows. Woofstock is world famous, drawing vendors from across North America. There isn’t a toy, fashion line, accessory, and type of treat or exclusive service for dogs that you can’t find at Woofstock. Free.
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Musical Hangouts at Solar Stage
May 27, 2018
It’s the warm ‘togetherness’ and informal performance we all love about campfires. Special guests will join us and we’ll tell stories and sing songs in a relaxed community environment. Bring along a story or a song you’d like to share!  Suitable for families of all kinds and sharers of all ages. Free.
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Spotlight: Live Arts for Children & Youth
May 30, 2018
Each year Prologue to the Performing Arts celebrates the vital role the performing arts play in inspiring, empowering and sparking the imaginations of children and youth through a free showcase open to young people, families, educators and friends. Join us on May 30th, 2018 for a FREE evening at the Aga Khan Museum as we present Prologue artists Little Pear Garden Dance Company, Motus O Dance Theatre, Red Sky Performance, and Sitar Fusion. Hosted by CBC Kids' Tony Kim!
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More Free Events in May
Our Events Calendar is always updated so there may be more free and cheap events taking place in May. CLICK HERE to get a list from our Calendar of Events. It's already been sorted by Free Events for the month. This page will also be updated so check back often.

Photo courtesy of Harbourfront Centre

Know of any other Free events taking place in May? Share below!

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