July on the Cheap! (2018)
Power Kids: Colouring on the Walls
July is the month for no-cost fun all across the Greater Toronto Area. From fireworks and festivals to free outdoor movies, we've rounded up all the free or cheap family-friendly events to enjoy all month long!
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.
Sorauren Outdoor Movies in the Square
Until September 22, 2018
The Outdoor Movie Season returns the fourth Saturday of every month June to September. NEW! Pizza Dinners before the movies from the new Sorauren Park Pizza Oven, prepared and presented by Pizzeria Defina. Movies are free admission.
Ontario Family Fishing Events
Until July 8, 2018
Fish for Free this July! Go family fishing at an Urban Fishing Festival during the Ontario Family Fishing Event, a province-wide opportunity for Canadian residents to fish Ontario waters without the otherwise mandatory fishing version outdoors card.
CITE – A Celebration of Skateboard Arts and Culture
Until August 12, 2018
A Summer-Long Celebration of Skateboard Arts and Culture! The Bentway and Build for Bokma announce CITE, a summer-long celebration of skateboard arts and culture launching on June 30 and officially opening The Bentway Skate Trail for the season. Free.
VR Filmmaking Workshop and Pop-Up VR Cinema
Various dates until August 23, 2018
Kids ages 8 and up are invited to join Toasterlab for a hands-on VR filmmaking workshop. Over two weekends at the beginning of the summer, workshop participants will devise and record site-specific short films in Parkway Forest Park using 360 immersive cameras. Free.
Summer Music in the Garden at Harbourfront
Until September 16, 2018
The popular Summer Music in the Garden concert series returns for its 19th season by the shores of Lake Ontario. Treat yourself to 18 free concerts this summer, featuring outstanding artists and a wide range of musical styles. Free.
Arts in the Parks: Grup the Clown in "At Work (and Play)"
Various dates until September 28, 2018.
Through a blend of live storytelling and the art of interactive clown, Phil Koole invites park goers to join him on a hilarious and spontaneous adventure. With his ability of connecting people through play, he will bring both adults and children out of their shells to stimulate a sense of excitement and help foster a stronger community bond. Free admission.
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.
Waterfront Artisan Market
Until 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.
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.
Cineplex Family Favourites for July
Saturdays in July
Join Cineplex on Saturday or Wednesday 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.
Rouge Park Guided Walks
Various dates in July
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.
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.
Movie Nights at Celebration Square, Mississauga
Various Dates in July
See a Free Movie at Mississauga Celebration Square during Summer Movies Nights. There's nothing better than the exciting lineup of free summer movies at Mississauga Celebration Square. Plan your visit, because movies are here, and they're starting now. You bring the blankets! May to September.
Canada Day Celebrations
June 30, 2018 to July 2, 2018
Plan the perfect Canada Day long weekend with our picks of the best events, outdoor festivals and warm-weather outings for you and the kids. Most events are Free!
July 1, 2018 to August 19, 2018
Union Summer returns this year bringing an eclectic offering of food vendors, musicians, film screenings and live performances to Union Station. Union Summer-Presented by TD runs 50 days straight, 7 days a week with free programming on the TD Stage showcasing festival previews, free movie nights, World Cup finals and local arts and cultural organizations featuring the spirit of Toronto at its gateway.
Arts in the Parks: To The Table
Various dates July 3, 2018 to July 24, 2018
Red Dress Productions will present To the Table, a multi-disciplinary installation created through interactive workshops in Fred Johnson Park, in Scarborough. We'll create a modular sculpture - the kitchen table reimagined - around which we'll gather to tangle with and celebrate what brings us to the table. When do we feel welcome to the table, and why? How do we welcome each other? Family-friendly event. Free admission.
Tuesday Night Live! At Earl Bales Park
July 3, 2018 to August 21, 2018
Enjoy a beautiful evening of free music in the park every Tuesday for the rest of the summer. Check out the line-up of our fantastic concert series. Events are weather permitting. Free.
Amazing Animal Adaptations - Family Nature Walk
July 4, 2018
Do you know how woodpeckers can tap on trees without hurting their brains? Or how salamanders communicate to their family members through smell? Join us to learn amazing physical and behavioural adaptations of some of High Park’s resident animals! We’ll also teach you tracking skills so you can search for animal evidence and hopefully spot some of these amazing creatures. All-ages event, great for the whole family! Free admission (donation suggested).
Toronto Fringe KidsFest
July 4, 2018 to July 15, 2018
Toronto Fringe KidsFest runs from July 4-15, 2018 at the George Ignatieff Theatre. This dedicated kids theatre component of the wider Toronto Fringe Festival offers 8 different shows for kids aged 2-12. Don't miss the KidsFest Club! Situated on the grassy grounds beside the theatre, the KidsFest Club features outdoor programming for the whole family. KidsFest Club admission is by donation (KidsFest is a ticketed event).
The Danny in East Lynn Park
Various dates from July 4, 2018 to July 25, 2018
Join The Danny in East Lynn Park every Wednesday evening in July from 6-9pm for The Danny Loves Music Series 2018. This free, family-friendly event for all ages in East Lynn Park will feature local businesses, restaurants, musicians, breweries & cideries for a great evening with your neighbours on Danforth Avenue. Free admission.
Summer Wednesdays at Evergreen Brick Works
July 4 to August 29, 2018
Soak up the sun at Summer Wednesdays! Bask in the setting sun as you kick back with an ice cold drink, grab a bite of delicious summer fare and make the most of those warm summer evenings. The hottest place to spend Wednesday nights is at Evergreen Brick Works, nature's patio. Plus, join us for the Live Music Series. Free admission.
The Beach Village Movie Nights
July 4, 2018 to August 29, 2018
Join The Beach Village for Movie Nights in the Park every Wednesday starting July 4 to August 29! Movies screenings will rotate between Kew Gardens and Ivan Forrest Gardens Park. As always, admission (and popcorn!) is FREE! Come out and experience movies under the stars.
City of Burlington’s Movies Under the Stars
July 5, 2018 to August 16, 2018
Join us in your local neighbourhood for free Movies Under the Stars. Bring your own chair and blanket for an outdoor movie in your community park. Movies begin at 9pm every Thursday from July 5th until August 16th.
Edwards Summer Music Series: Gardens of Song
July 5, 2018 to August 23, 2018
The Edwards Summer Music Series is back and is better than ever. This year we’re featuring more culturally diverse artists and engaging performances. All performances are located at the courtyard adjacent to the historic barn in Edwards Gardens, just be sure to bring your own picnic blanket or chair so you can sit among friends, family, and other garden-lovers. Free admission.
Watch Me Grow at High Park Children’s Garden
July 5, 2018 to August 30, 2018
Families can take part in gardening and composting activities, garden games, nature arts and crafts, storytelling, and more! The program is open to children 0 to 12 year-olds (older children are welcome as helpers/volunteers). No pre-registration is required. You can just stop by whenever during the program! Children do need to be supervised by a parent/caregiver. The program runs every Thursday from July 5 to August 30, 2018. Free.
July 6, 2018 to July 27, 2018
Cultura is a Free family friendly outdoor festival presenting Music, Art, Food and Film every Friday evening in July. Cultura celebrates Toronto’s rich diversity featuring world renowned Musicians, tasty international street food, explosive buskers and dance, interactive art activities, and evening film screenings under the stars.
Beaches International Jazz Festival
July 6, 2018 to July, 29, 2018
Toronto’s beloved music festival and summer mainstay, the Beaches International Jazz Festival, returns from July 6 to 29, 2018 to celebrate its 30th year of unparalleled music from both established and emerging artists. Featuring multiple stages and venues, the return of festival favourites and leading musical talent, the 30th annual Beaches International Jazz Festival is one that can’t be missed.
Family Fun Fridays at Ontario’s Legislative Assembly
July 6 to August 31, 2018
A free, fun-filled afternoon awaits youth ages 6 to 17 at Ontario’s Legislative Building this summer. This program introduces youth to provincial parliament during a two hour interactive program featuring a variety of activities.
Friday Night Lights at Downsview Park
July 6, 2018 to September 7, 2018
Our popular summer outdoor movie program returns in an all new location! Join us this summer as we screen a variety of recent family-friendly flicks at the Park’s outdoor football field & running track. Bring a lawn chair or blanket (and a friend), and be sure to arrive early to enter our raffle for a chance to win a prize pack! Free admission.
CPAC Summer Festival
July 7, 2018
Get ready for some fun in the sun with exciting activities and prizes at the 15th Annual CPAC Summer Festival on Saturday, July 7th, 2018 at Mel Lastman Square. In this fun-filled event, foodies can feast at our marketplace of delicious food, kids can get creative at our Arts & Crafts Table and LEGO Robot Challenges, parents can shop at the exhibition area, and everyone can join in the Scavenger Hunt, try on Traditional Asian Costumes, dance with Chinese folk performers. Or sit back and relax as you watch our action-packed stage with amazing feats of martial arts, music, dance, fashion, cheerleaders, circus performances, and a dazzling magic show!
FREE Screening of La La Land Under the Stars
July 7, 2018
Discover why La La Land has won more than a dozen awards to date (or fall in love with it again), during a FREE screening of the musical rom-com as part of the Aga Khan Museum’s Dancing in the Park series. Returning for a second season with performances and films sure to get guests moving, events within the series take place in the Aga Khan Park adjacent to the Museum and include various food offerings.
Dance Workshops at Scarborough Museum
July 7, 2018
Join Lua Shayenne Dance Company for outdoor dance workshops, perfect for all ages! The company will explore the museum's surrounding community to collect its stories and conduct onsite and archival research, in order to inform and inspire these public dance workshops. Free admission.
July 7, 2018 to July 8, 2018
AFROFEST is the largest free African festival in North America. Activities include face painting, story telling, drumming lessons. Drum Zone: This is an interactive area at AFROFEST where drummers and dancers meet and create impromptu music and dance. With over 80 vendors, the AFROFEST marketplace has food and merchandise vendors selling all manner of exotic food and products. Free admission.
July 7, 2018 to July 8, 2018
Maker Festival is a celebration of Toronto's tech, DIY and maker communities. The Festival returns this summer to the Toronto Reference Library, where makers will gather to show off their process and projects to the public. Free admission.
Salsa on St. Clair
July 7, 2018 to July 8, 2018
Let the fiesta begin! Midtown Toronto prepares for another rumba filled weekend with the TD Salsa on St. Clair street festival. Come and enjoy a jam-packed schedule at one of Canada’s biggest Latin-themed cultural celebrations! Free admission.
Barbados on the Water at Harbourfront
July 7, 2018 to July 8, 2018
Experience the best of Barbados right here in Toronto! Enjoy free concerts, tasty cuisine, children’s activities and more as the waterfront comes to life during the largest cultural celebration of Barbadian culture in Canada. Most events are free with some ticketed shows.
Oakville Children's Festival
July 8, 2018
National treasure and four-time Juno Award winner Fred Penner will headline the 2018 Oakville Children’s Festival on Sunday, July 8, 2018. As well as Fred Penner, iconic Canadian cartoon character Franklin the Turtle will make an appearance in a live musical production of Franklin and Friends Playdate! The grounds will be turned into a playground for kids! Free admission.
Sunday FUNday: All About Archaeology at Oshawa Museum
July 8, 2018
Help us celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Gertrude Bell. A renowned archaeologist during the nineteenth century, Bell was a trailblazer and founder of the Iraq Museum. She was a scholar and world traveler in a time when women rarely had these opportunities. Free admission.
Music in the Park at Kew Gardens Park
July 8, 2018 to August 26, 2018
The Beach Village BIA presents the second annual summer Music in the Park Series. The series takes place in Kew Gardens Plaza, in the heart of The Beach(es), from 2PM-4PM on Sundays in July and August. Free admission.
July 9, 2018 to July 13, 2018
Birds are everywhere, and in cities they are especially present in parks. We often don’t notice them, but we would certainly miss them if they were absent. Shadowland Theatre invites community members of all ages to join in a week-long residency in Alexmuir Park to celebrate birds and birdlife. Daily workshops will be led by professional artists in stilt-walking, visual arts, puppetry, costume-making, story-telling, and Indigenous teachings. It will all culminate in a colourful, celebratory parade that takes flight around Alexmuir Park accompanied by local traditional Chinese musicians and dancers. Everyone is welcome. Free admission.
Downsview Park Jr. Forest Explorers
July 9, 2018 to August 27, 2018
Join us at Downsview Park for a FREE caregiver and toddler nature program. Connect with the natural world through hands-on outdoor activities. Registration is required. Participants may sign up for one session or all the sessions.
Newmarket's Kids Downtown
July 10, 2018 to July 31, 2018
Looking for something fun to do this summer? Join us every Tuesday from 7 to 8 p.m. for Kids Downtown. This free child-oriented entertainment show allows you to delight in the evening's entertainment. Please bring a lawn chair or a blanket. Free admission.
Family Nature Walk: Tree-mendous Trees
July 11, 2018
Join us for a tour of the tremendous trees in High Park! Get to know majestic Black Oaks, towering White Pines, beautiful Paper Birches and many more. We’ll also talk about how animals, including humans, benefit from trees in a variety of ways, as well as some of the latest research on how trees communicate with each other. Free admission.
Under the Stars: Movies in the Park at Regent Park
July 11, 2018 to August 15, 2018
Our summer screening series runs every Wednesday from July 11 to August 15. Now in its fifth year Under the Stars has grown into Regent Park’s largest summer community event.
Free Learn-to Camp Workshop with Parks Canada
July 12, 2018
Are you interested in camping but aren't sure where to start? Come to the Lakeview Mississauga Library on Thursday, July 12, 2018 from 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. for a FREE Learn-to Camp workshop with the Parks Canada team from Rouge National Urban Park. Learn practical skills like how to set up a tent, light a camp fire, store food properly and more. Free.
Dancing on the Pier at Harbourfront
July 12, 2018 until August 30, 2018
Learn to dance on Torontoʼs waterfront to the rhythmic beats and swinging sounds of live bands.You are sure to find yourself dancing all night long. Inspired by Harbourfront Centreʼs summer festivals, styles range from bolero to big band and everything in between. Thursdays from July 12 until August 30. Free.
Movies in the Park Whitby
July 13, 2018 to August 24, 2018
Bring your lawn chair, blankets and popcorn and watch a movie under the stars on a large, outdoor screen with concert quality sound. New for 2018 - Whitby's Movies in the Park will all take place at Whitby Civic Park (behind Town Hall). Movies start at dusk, but come early to reserve a spot!
Free Building Workshops at Home Depot
July 14, 2018
Kids will learn how to build projects with easy to follow step-by-step instructions. Takes place the second Saturday each month from 10am to Noon at The Home Depot locations across Toronto. These free DIY workshops for kids allow them to build toys or other projects. The workshop is for kids ages 4 to 12 and they must be accompanied by an adult. On July 14, 2018, build a Fishing Game. Free.
Festival of India
July 14, 2018 to July 15, 2018
The event will begin with a euphoric parade down world-famous Yonge Street (beginning at Bloor and continuing south to Queens Quay). The celebrations then will shift to Toronto Centre Island, for two days of festivities. Admission is free.
Power Kids: Colouring on the Walls
July 15, 2018
As part of his site-specific installation, artist Abbas Akhavan uses sunlight from the Fleck Clerestory’s glass ceiling to create "wall paintings" that change depending on time of day and season. Inspired by Akhavan’s playful use of light and space and his interest in bringing elements of the outdoors inside, kids will create ‘wall-paintings’ using paper, colour gels and projectors. Free.
Grandpa Henry's Picnic at Oshawa Museum
July 15, 2018
We are excited to throw the fourth annual Grandpa Henry’s Picnic on Sunday, July 15! Plan for a vacation back in time when you and your family spend the day at the Oshawa Museum. Our relaxing gardens, sunny backyard and friendly staff and volunteers will awaken your curiosity for the past! Free admission.
July 15, 2018
Where can you find live entertainment, fabulous music and great food? Victorious Festival 2018! Victorious offers tons for everyone to enjoy. This year we will be hosting festivals in a very exciting venue: Yonge-Dundas Square in the heart of downtown Toronto, Canada. It's not only fun, and best of all, this event is in support of Canadian Cancer Society and is completely free.
Toronto Dragon Festival
July 15, 2018 to July 16, 2018
For the first time ever, Canadian Association of Chinese Performing Arts welcomes Canadians and tourists all over the world to gather at Nathan Phillips Square on July 15 & 16th to kick off the First Toronto Dragon Festival. More than 80 interactive booths including Chinese traditional culture demonstration and delicious food will join the biggest street party ever. Numerous performing artists with different ethnic background will take stage to present a never-before-seen Chinese cultural show to wow your summer. Free admission.
CBC Kids Days
July 18, 2018 to July 19, 2018
CBC Kids Days is back July 18 and 19! Gather the little ones for an assortment of family-friendly crafts and activities, and stick around for some extra-special performances from some of your favourite CBC Kids stars! Admission is FREE!
KidsFest at Centre Island
July 18, 2018 to July 20, 2018
Summer is here - let's celebrate! Centreville Amusement Park is hosting its annual KidsFest event! Join us July 18 - 20th from 11 AM - 4 PM for some FREE family fun. Three days featuring bouncy castles, inflatable obstacle courses, face painters, games and much more! Free admission.
Black Creek Farm Festival
July 21, 2018
Fun day at the farm! Don’t miss out on delicious pizza from our brick bake oven, free workshops, activities, exhilarating scavenger hunt tour and many more! Organic fresh produce for sale. Free admission.
BIG on Bloor Festival of Arts & Culture
July 21, 2018
The BIG on Bloor Festival of Arts and Culture is an exceptional community and city-building festival presenting hundreds of culturally significant events, activities, displays and exhibitions. Free admission.
Muhtadi International Drumming Festival
July 21, 2018 to July 22, 2018
Muhtadi International Drumming Festival is a two-day multicultural extravaganza that showcases 30 plus performers/groups playing an eclectic array of drums from a beautiful mix of nations. In addition to the live performances, the event also features Drum Village workshops where members of the public can learn, and try their hands at, various drumming styles. Lots of mouthwatering ethnic foods will also be available as well as arts and crafts from many parts of the world. Free admission.
Toronto International BrazilFest
July 22, 2018
The Festival will offer its attendees the opportunity to be closer to the performers. Get a chance to enjoy a taste of Brazil with Brazilian style foods and a family area. There are attractions for the whole family including a great Kids Zone open all day. Free admission.
Power Kids: Sea Snail Studies
July 22, 2018
As part of an oceanography course, Ellen Gallagher spent a semester studying, collecting, and drawing small wing-footed snails called pteropods. Her time spent drawing these underwater creatures helped inform the work she makes today. In this workshop, kids will look at images of underwater creatures, abstract them, and then transform them into mixed-media paintings using canvas, paint and Plasticine. Free admission.
July 22, 2018
YD T.O is a FREE annual festival celebrating the positive achievements of young people showcasing their MUSIC, DANCE, ART, PHOTOGRAPHY, FASHION & FILM in front of some 35,000 visitors! Free admission.
Play the Parks at Mackenzie House
July 25, 2018
Play the Parks is back for its 6th season! Enjoy free afternoon concerts in the Downtown Yonge BIA district throughout the summer. Join us at Mackenzie House on Wednesday July 25th to enjoy the sounds of summer and hear Toronto artists play the parks. This event is family-friendly! Free admission.
Movies in St. James Park
July 26, 2018
Pack your blanket and picnic dinner and join us for a free outdoor film in St. James Park! Join us in St. James Park for a free film screening of the Academy Award winning film Coco!
Richmond Hill's Ribfest
July 27, 2018 to July 29, 2018
Ribfest is a three-day outdoor event that features professional rib teams travelling to Richmond Hill from across North America. Ribbers cook and compete for various Best titles (as decided by honorary judges). In addition to the many delicious food options, enjoy the live entertainment, marketplace or play all day in one of the region's largest midways! The beer garden will be once again selling local craft beers. This event is one you won't want to miss! Free admission.
July 28, 2018
At AlohaFest Toronto, we share the Aloha spirit with over thousands of people through engaging cultural performances, cool kids’ crafts and unique items available at the AlohaFest Marketplace. AlohaFest Toronto is one of the few places in the city where guests can indulge in both local favourites and unique Hawaiian treats. Free admission.
July 28, 2018
Ossington Avenue between Queen and Dundas Street West, will be transformed with all things memorable that summer weekend in the city are made of: shopping, dancing, live music, patios, eating, drinking and being merry. With free entrance throughout the entire strip, start off the day with the OssCrit urban bike race, then enjoy two live music stages, a silk screen workshop, basketball training, a fun filled kid zone, giveaways and exclusive access to experiences you wouldn't get else in Toronto! Free admission.
Solar Observing at Ontario Science Centre
July 28, 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.
The Guild Alive with Culture Arts Festival
July 28, 2018 to July 29, 2018
The Guild Alive with Culture Arts Festival is an outdoor event held in Scarborough's Guild Park and Gardens. Featuring artists, artisan vendors, live performances, beer garden and children's activities. Free admission.
HorseCapades at the CNE
July 28, 2018 to August 16, 2018
A delightful and free introduction to horses, the CNE's interactive horse program returns this year and takes place from July 28 to August 16! Designed for the young and the young at heart, HorseCapades sweeps you away from city life and into the magical world of the horse. Giddy up! This year HorseCapades once again features free Pony Rides for kids. Free before the CNE opens (then included with admission.)
Annual Fusion Of Taste Festival
July 29, 2018
Fusion of Taste street festival is one day celebration of multiculturalism that takes place at Albion Road and Islington Ave every year. The event showcases over 100 artists with 10.5 hours of programming, over 60 tasty and creative vendors, Kidz Zone, Fun Zone, exciting competitions,and much more. Free admission.
More Free Events in July
Our Events Calendar is always updated so there may be more free and cheap events taking place in July. 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 July? Share below!