August on the Cheap! 2017




PAWS in the Park

August in the Greater Toronto Area is free and festive! There are still many free summer festivals, plus lots more free family fun throughout the month. We've picked the best activities that don't require a visit to the piggy bank.

Squeeze in a few of these free top picks before the kids head back to school!

Free Summer Movies
Various dates in August
Looking for amazing free summer movies for kids? These spectacular free summer movies will captivate kids of all ages and you'll love watching these great flicks under the stars. Get the list of parks and venues in Toronto and the GTA that show free outdoor movies all summer long. 
More info

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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Cineplex Family Favourites for August
Saturdays in August
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.  
More info

Rouge Park Guided Walks
Various dates in August
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.
More info

Kids Bowl Free Program
Various Dates this Summer
Each year, the Kids Bowl Free program kicks off. This fantastic nationwide is program designed to give youth a constructive way to beat the heat. Sign your kids up to bowl 2 FREE games every day all summer long at their local bowling alley.
More info

Sunday Serenades at Mel Lastman Square
Until August 13, 2017
​Sunday Serenades is back! Join us for this free outdoor concert series at Mel Lastman Square featuring some of Ontario’s best live swing, big band, and jazz acts. Dance the night away to the sound of the roaring 30s, 40s, and 50s.
More info

HorseCapades at the CNE
Until August 17, 2017
​A delightful and free introduction to horses, the CNE interactive horse program returns this year, taking place from July 29 to August 17! This year HorseCapades once again features free Pony Rides for kids. Free before the CNE opens (then included with admission.)
More info

Family Fun Nights At Earl Bales Park
Until August 24, 2017 
​Free family fun all summer long! As part of the Family Fun series, parents and children can join in free adventure and fun activities an hour before the feature entertainment. The stage performances are for children 5 to 12 years. There is also a free movie in August. Free admission. 
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Music in the Park at Kew Gardens Park
Until August 27, 2017
New this year, The Beach Village BIA is excited to announce free music in Kew Gardens! Come out and enjoy the sounds, with a different style of music each week. Music in the Park is sponsored by Robert Gore & Associates CPAs, CAs and Traci Tempany & Keith Monahan. Free admission.
More info

Dancing on the Pier at Harbourfront
Until August 31, 2017
Learn to dance on Toronto’s waterfront to the rhythmic beats and swinging sounds of live bands. Inspired by Harbourfront Centre’s summer festivals, styles range from salsa to big band and everything in between. Free.
More info

Drop-In Programs at the High Park Children’s Garden
Until August 31, 2017
Free family drop-in program runs every Thursday from 10 am to noon, throughout July and August at the High Park Children’s Garden. Join us for gardening and composting activities, garden games, nature arts and crafts, storytelling and more!
More info

Edwards Summer Music Series: Gardens of Song
Until August 31, 2017
Come enjoy concerts by an eclectic roster of popular artists, set in the natural beauty of the gardens, rain or shine (held indoors in case of extreme weather). Free admission.
More info

Weekend Explorers at Ontario’s Legislative Assembly
Until September 3, 2017
A fun family program on the weekends at the Legislative Building this summer. During this one hour program designed for families with children aged 6-10 you will: Explore the Legislative Building and Chamber through a fun scavenger hunt, Play games that teach you about Ontario’s Parliament, Participate in a craft activity, and have fun, all for free!  More info

Scarborough, Look Again!
Until October 31, 2017
This outdoor exhibit highlights people of Scarborough who have helped shape Canada over the past 150 years. Find out about the hidden heroes whose choices and voices have made an impact both in the community and on a larger scale. This exhibit is presented as part of TO Canada with Love, the City of Toronto's year-long program of celebrations, commemorations and exhibitions honouring Canada's 150th birthday. Free.
More info

Global Village: We Are Our Story
August 4, 2017
Free family festival @ Shakespeare in High Park. Explore the world around you at this free family festival devoted to the stories that make up our Global Village. This festival is an immersive, multi-disciplinary celebration of the land we share, through activities and experiences for the whole family, including live music, dance, craft workshops, food tastings and storytelling at the High Park Amphitheatre. 
More info

Art & Music Ontario Festival
August 4 to August 7, 2017
The Art & Music Ontario festival celebrates a diverse range of Ontario art and music in honour of the province’s 150th anniversary. This free admission 4-day festival will showcase Ontario’s artsy side with lots of activities, entertainment, food and drink. So join us, enjoy beautiful works of art, and maybe get a little creative yourself.
More info

Scarborough Ribfest
August 4 to August 7, 2017
Enjoy delicious ribs, hot dogs, french fries, corn on the cob and more - Midway rides and skill testing games - Karaoke competition everyday - Creative designs by crafters and vendors - All day beer garden. This is a great family event! Entertainment and parking are free.
More info

Toronto Food Truck Festival
August 4 to August 7, 2017
Come Join Us at Woodbine Park For Great Food! Cold Beer! Live Music! And Children’s Village! Take a stroll through a beautiful green park, where you can sample farm fresh food and organic beers, or browse the wares of the Marketplace, home to amazing artisans and a diverse selection of delicious food from partnering Food Trucks at the inaugural Toronto Food Truck Festival. Free admission and parking.
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Island Soul Festival at Harbourfront
August 4 to August 7, 2017
Come to the waterfront to catch a little bit of that island soul and experience the rich legacy of Caribbean music heard through Canada and around the world. Free admission.
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407 ETR Free Community Weekend at Rogers Cup
August 5 to August 6, 2017
Looking for the perfect boredom buster over the summer holidays? Be sure to keep the August long weekend open on your calendar as the 407 ETR Free Community Weekend at Rogers Cup presented by National Bank provides the perfect opportunity to get your kids out of the house and having fun. The best part? It’s FREE admission for the whole family.
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Simcoe Day at the Varley Art Gallery
August 7, 2017
Celebrate Simcoe Day with us at the Varley! We’ll have family-friendly art activities in the Gallery courtyard. Free.
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JerkFest: Jerk Food Festival
August 10 to August 13, 2017
JerkFest is an annual festival which takes place around the second weekend in August every year. JerkFest celebrates the world renown jerk cuisine. Its a fusion of jerk food, pulsating music, family friendly entertainment and good vibes – all under the throbbing Toronto sun. Free admission.
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Grange Festival
August 11, 2017
A FREE afternoon of fun for the whole family. Games, prizes, entertainment, hot dogs, and so much more. Don’t miss out – bring all of your friends and the kids! 
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Humber Bay Shores Waterfront Festival
August 11 to August 12, 2017
Activities for all ages, talent shows, music, artisan booths, Farmer’s Market booths and a plethora of attractions entertain you and your family on Marine Parade Drive. Free admission.
More info

Habari African Festival at Harbourfront Centre
August 11 to August 13, 2017
Habari Africa festival is a multi-disciplinary music and arts festival that displays the rich and diverse cultures of Africa. Join us for a weekend of exploration and engagement with the art, sounds and tastes of the continent. The festival will display an authentic African experience through presentations and workshops that celebrate the uniqueness, wealth and diversity of African music, dance, arts and culture. Free admission.
More info

Pickering Food Truck Festival
August 11 to August 13, 2017
You’ll want to bring your friends, pets and kids to Esplanade Park for some unbelievable food! We’re transforming the park to a foodie haven, jam-packed with a children’s village, beer garden and live entertainment stage. As always, admission is free and we’ll be beefing up the park with some good tunes! Free admission.
More info

The Krinos Taste of the Danforth
August 11 to August 13, 2017
The Krinos Taste of the Danforth is Canada’s largest street Festival, welcoming 1.65 million attendees annually. As we enter our 23rd year, the Festival is set to be bigger and better than ever before with dozens of free activities for visitors of all ages – and of course Food, Food and more Food! Enjoy free entertainment on three separate stages! Free admission. Food purchases.
More info

Feast of St. Lawrence
August 11 to August 13, 2017
The St. Lawrence Market Neighbourhood in Old Town Toronto has been a food destination since the 1800s. Today, this legacy continues at the world famous St. Lawrence Market and in more than 150 local restaurants. The event features a ticketed outdoor 5-course dinner for charity, a Free St. Lawrence Market Street event and a Free family fun day in St. James Park. 
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Free Kids Building Workshop at Home Depot 
August 12, 2017 
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.
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PAWS in the Park
August 12, 2017
The Toronto Humane Society’s largest fundraiser – Paws in the Park® – takes place in Toronto's East End. There will also be extraordinarily delicious food, primping for your pooch, a pet photo booth, celebrity guests, shopping in our Vendor Village, face painting and so much more! On top of supporting a great organization, we’ve got fantastic prizes, and great food and entertainment in store for all of our participants! Free. 
More info

Solar Observing at Ontario Science Centre
August 12, 2017
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.
More info

Pan American Food and Music Festival
August 12 to August 13, 2017
The Pan American Food & Music Festival (PAFMF) is Canada’s only annual festival that celebrates the Western Hemisphere’s rich diversity of cuisine, music and art. The name of the Festival has been changed this year to include Music, reflecting the actual level of music programming presented alongside the culinary programs. The fifth annual PAFMF will be presented on August 12 to 13, 2017, with a programming focus on Canadian food and music in celebration of Canada 150. Free admission.
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Sweets Food Festival
August 12 to August 13, 2017
Canada’s Largest Sweets Festival makes its third appearance celebrating local chefs, students and artists! We've got lots of food and lots planned for those two days! Admission is free.
More info

Power Kids: Family Trees
August 13, 2017
Each participant, working closely with their adult companions, will create a colourful tree structure that will grow and change as they learn about their family members. After choosing what kind of tree your family might resemble, use wire and wood to build the main structure and add small leaves or fruits to represent family members. Free admission.
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Toronto Port Authority Presents Sail-In Cinema
August 17 to August 19, 2017
PortsToronto presents Sail-In Cinema™, the world’s first two-sided floating movie experience of its kind. In August, Canada’s Sugar Beach will transform into Toronto’s largest outdoor movie theatre over three nights. Free admission.
More info

Wheels On The Danforth
August 18 to August 19, 2017
The Crossroads of the Danforth BIA is proud to present it's 8th annual family friendly festival! Friday Kick-off Night, August 18th – Free Movie in the Park. Saturday, August 19th – Car Shows and much more. Come out and join the fun! All wheels welcome! Free admission.
More info

Beats, Breaks & Culture at Harbourfront Centre
August 18 to August 20, 2017
Check the next wave of Canadian talent starting new movements in hip-hop and dance music, featuring innovators in genres like post-rap, electro-pop, and world electronica. Free.
More info

Garlic is Great Festival
​August 19, 2017
​Take part in the annual celebration of Ontario’s garlic harvest. At the festival, visitors can enjoy live cooking demonstrations, musical performances and interact with Ontario Garlic farmers.​ Free admission.
More info

Toronto Chinatown Festival
August 19, 2017
2017 Toronto Chinatown Festival is almost here again! This 2-days event is filled with many performances, foods and goods to be explored on Spadina. It's a great weekend to spend in Chinatown for fun experiences. Free admission.
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The City of Burlington’s Children’s Festival
August 20, 2017
It's the 26th annual Children’s Festival! We’re celebrating being a kid with activities, interactive games, bouncers, face painting and more! Free admission.
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Wild Blueberry Weekend at Evergreen Brick Works
August 19 to August 20, 2017
Are you WILD about Wild Blueberries? Join us as we activate the weekend markets at Evergreen Brick Works with a wild blueberry theme to celebrate this delicious super berry indigenous to North America. Learn, taste, eat and shop from food producers, preservers, bakers, and chefs who will feature wild blueberry products and dishes as part of their regular weekend booths. Admission is free.
More info

Touch-A-Truck
August 25, 2017
FREE Community Event - Presented by Midway Nissan. This free community event will be hosted outside and around the Tribute Communities Centre and is a fun, hands on event that allows children of all ages to get up close and personal with more than 40 vehicles of all shapes and sizes. Children will love the interactive displays and the opportunity to learn about the vehicles from the drivers.
More info

TAIWANFest at Harbourfront
August 25 to August 27, 2017
Ingenuity is the tale of human history. From humble paper to elegant crafts, classical music to contemporary pastry; whether it’s Taiwan or Japan, chiyogami or even Van Gogh, discover how these are all connected in the showcase of cultures at the 2017 TAIWANfest: “Kanpai, Japan!” Free admission.
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Coconut Festival Canada
August 26, 2017
It’s a Free General Admission event featuring 70 vendors dealing with coconut in your food choices, wellness program, cleaning, cosmetics, fashion and more from Asia & Pan America. You can taste and shop for various coconut products including those from local artisans : vegan coconut cakes, spreads, oils, energy snacks, chips, dips drinks, organic baby food and more. And full meals from the Caribbean, Thailand & , Hawaii. Free admission.
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Markham-Milliken Children's Festival
August 26, 2017
Join us for Ontario's largest annual children's festival at the Markham Civic Centre, as part of the City’s Canada 150 celebrations!  The event features a wide variety of entertainment, play zones, crafts and other outdoor activities for children. Free admission and activities. Fees for rides.
More info

Scarborough Afro-Carif Festival
August 26 to August 27, 2017
Celebrating our Diversity” at the Scarborough Afro-Carib Fest this summer! It’s BACK!! It’s BIGGER! It’s BETTER! The 6th annual Scarborough Afro-Carib Fest, taking place on August 26-27, 2017 inside Albert Campbell Square at the Scarborough Civic Centre, brings you live musical performances, exciting entertainment from local and international artists, mouth-watering ethnic cuisine, vendor exhibitions and marketplace, visual arts, drum and dance workshops, kid’s zone,  dance competitions, business expo and much more! The event is FREE and welcomes over 25,000 people from across Canada and internationally.
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Power Kids: Rebuilding What's Broken
August 27, 2017
In this workshop, kids will recontextualize a collection of repurposed children’s toys, using them as the base materials for an artwork. Participants will challenge themselves by creating assemblage sculptures with different elements in only one chosen colour. Their sculpture will tell a story or create a larger form that has never existed before. Free admission.
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More Free Events in August
Our Events Calendar is always updated so there may be more free and cheap events taking place in August. 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.

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

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