December on the Cheap!




Natrel Rink at Harbourfront

It's the most wonderful time of the year and the GTA is gearing up for a magical holiday season. There's no shortage of things to do around the holidays in the city and everyone is looking forward to exciting seasonal events, especially when they are free or cheap! We've rounded up the best holiday activities and more fun for the family to enjoy gratis throughout December.

Cineplex Family Favourites - December
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

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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Rouge Park Guided Walks
Various dates in December
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

I Am Canada: Celebrating Canadian Picture Book Art
Until January 21, 2018
Children’s picture books tell many stories about what it is like to grow up in Canada. This exhibit celebrates the work of best-loved Canadian illustrators who bring these stories to life. I Am Canada showcases original picture book art from Toronto Public Library’s Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books and the private collection of Scholastic Canada, which has been introducing young people to the joys of reading for 60 years. Admission is free. 
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The Natrel® Rink at Harbourfront
Until March 2018
Set against the beautiful shoreline of Lake Ontario, the city's most scenic rink awaits! The Natrel Rink has been an unparalleled skating destination in Toronto for 30 years. It has a heated indoor change room with lockers and washrooms. Best of all – skating is FREE! Hot food and drinks are available at our rink-side restaurant, Boxcar Social. The Rink is now open!
More info

I Am Canada: Celebrating Canadian Picture Book Art
Until January 21, 2018
Children’s picture books tell many stories about what it is like to grow up in Canada. This exhibit celebrates the work of best-loved Canadian illustrators who bring these stories to life. I Am Canada showcases original picture book art from Toronto Public Library’s Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books and the private collection of Scholastic Canada, which has been introducing young people to the joys of reading for 60 years. Admission is free. 
More info

Santa Claus Parades
Various dates
Santa will be bringing some holiday cheer to Toronto and the GTA with this season's Santa Claus parades. See which city streets Santa will be hitting this year!
More info

Toronto Christmas Market
Until December 23, 2017
Rediscover the magic of Christmas November 16 to December 23 at the Toronto Christmas Market in the Distillery Historic District. The Toronto Christmas Market features  hundreds of unique and locally handcrafted products, non-stop entertainment, heated beer and mulled wine gardens, Santa and the elves, and an atmosphere so charming you can’t help but fall in love with the holiday season all over again. Admission is free during the week and $6 on Fridays and the weekend.
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Ferrero Rocher: Give Layers Of Thoughtfulness Pop-Up
Until December 24, 2017
This holiday season, give a big smile. Give an inside joke. Give tears of joy. Give a wink and a nudge. Like the thoughtful layers of a Ferrero Rocher, Give Layers of Thoughtfulness. Join us at the Ferrero Rocher Thoughtful Giving Pop-Up in Yorkdale Mall and let’s craft a thoughtful gift together. Free event.
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Spectacle of Lights on Toronto's Waterfront
Until April 2018
Witness three stunning illuminated sights this holiday season during the Spectacle of Lights on Toronto’s Waterfront. See the Toronto Music Garden come alive with a fully-animated lighting experience where music notes, harps and canopy will be shining bright over 39,000 long-life, low-energy LED lights.
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Holiday Open House at Canadian Automotive Museum
December 1, 2017
Stop by the museum after work and enjoy some holiday cheer at the Canadian Automotive Museum. Festive music will be played live by Toronto-based pianist Jonah Cristall-Clarke and hot beverages and seasonal snacks will be served. Bring the kids and they can take home a car-themed holiday craft and card.
More info

Sounds of the Season at CBC
December 1, 2017
Join CBC Kids for holiday fun at CBC Toronto's Sounds of the Season from 10 A.M. to 1 P.M.! Meet the PJ Masks, enjoy family-friendly activities, and be part of a sing-along with Gary, Dot, and CBC hosts Janaye, Victor, and Tony! Admission is free, but cash and food donations are welcome supporting GTA food banks.
More info

Holiday Fair in Nathan Phillips Square
December 1, 2017 to December 23, 2017
Back for its 2nd amazing year, Holiday Fair in Nathan Phillips Square celebrates the season with an enchanting artisan market, delicious food, festive drinks at the Jackson Triggs Polar Point Bar, live entertainment, and a winter midway, bringing excitement and charm to the hustle and bustle of downtown Toronto, all in support of Epilepsy Toronto. Free admission.
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Story Lines And Colours
December 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017
Story Lines And Colours is a solo exhibit by Genie Weinstein that features a selection of her artwork in the genre of children's illustration. The exhibit is open to the public during library hours. Genie is a Toronto-based artist. Free admission.
More info

Holiday MRKT Show & Sale - Leaside
December 2, 2017
#ShopTheMRKT this Holiday Season! The MRKT is a community shopping event, organized by the Toronto Creative Entrepreneurs, sponsored by All Canadian Self Storage which features local vendors including fashion, beauty, wellness, visual artists, crafters, food merchants, and retailers. This event is FREE to the community and kid friendly!
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Light Up The Holidays
December 2, 2017
Every year in Fairbank Village, we light up the holidays in true family style! We offer free snacks, drinks, and family fun! Of course, we can’t forget the beautiful display and lighting of the Fairbank Village tree at 5:45pm. We have some great free family entertainment this year. GTA Swing Band will be playing from 2-6pm and carolers and surprise characters will be strolling the area. Don’t forgot to get your face-painted and have your picture taken with Santa at our central location! We’re spreading the cheer. We’ll also have smaller event stations at both ends of our area with bouncy castles for the kids and a free treat! Free.
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Solar Observing at Ontario Science Centre
December 2, 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.
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Evergreen's Winter Village
December 2 to December 31, 2017
Experience the magic of winter at Evergreen’s Winter Village. Celebrate the holidays with friends and family at Evergreen Brick Works as you enjoy fun wintry activities, shop for unique local gifts at the Holiday Etsy Market and sample tasty eats in Toronto’s winter playground. Admission is free!
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Annual Toronto Art Crawl - Christmas Market
December 3, 2017
Looking for truly unique, hand made, one of a kind gifts this holiday season? The 4th annual Christmas Market by Toronto Art Crawl is your one stop shop destination! Taking place Sunday December 3, 2017 at Toronto’s iconic Great Hall located at 1087 Queen St. West, this one-day event features 95 of the city’s most talented artists and designers, food vendors, live music, interactive activities, cash bar and more! Bring the kids! This is a kid-friendly event and kids under 10 enter free! Bring them by our face painting sessions for an extra special treat and a super memorable day. 
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Musical Hangouts at Solar Stage
December 3, 2017 
It’s the warm ‘togetherness’ and informal performance we all love about campfires, but all throughout the year. 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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Christmas, Past and Present at the Simcoe County Museum
December 7, 2017 to December 8, 2017
Discover the magic of an old-fashioned Christmas with Christmas, Past and Present. Listen to beautiful music as it fills the galleries, sample unique seasonal treats, and witness what Christmas looked like over 100 years ago. It was the Victorians who popularized many of the traditions we carry out today, so why not come and experience their Christmas with a modern twist.  You can also cross a couple people off your shopping list by visiting the merchants centre and purchasing some unique handmade items. Admission by donation.
More info

Fort York Frost Fair
December 9, 2017
Stroll through Canada's largest collection of original War of 1812-era buildings and the new Fort York Visitor Centre, where you can shop for unique gifts made by local artisans, including jewellery, heritage inspired reproductions, and holiday greenery. Tour the Fort's buildings and enjoy tasty treats in the warmth of the historic kitchen. Free admission.
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Canada 150 Skating Day
December 10, 2017
The coolest skating party of the year! Skaters of all ages and abilities are invited to this free event! Try Speed Skating! Bring your skates and helmets - we will have speed skates available to try, but supply is limited.  First come, first served.
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Going nuts over the Nutcracker!
December 16, 2017
Going Nuts over The Nutcracker! invites you to immerse yourself in the ballet’s story, dance, music, costumes and props, and top things off by taking home a craft of your very own making! Ages 6-12. Free.
More info

Withrow's Winter Market
December 16, 2017
Locally handcrafted goods, artisanal foods & local farmers: the perfect opportunity to find unique gifts and delicious holiday treats! Hosted by the Withrow Farmers’ Market! Free admission.
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Boxing Day At The Toronto Zoo
December 26, 2017
The Toronto Zoo is the place to be on Boxing Day with scenic paths, educational and fun keeper talks plus five indoor and exotic pavilions. Don’t forget to wish our giant panda family, who leave for Calgary March 2018, a very happy holiday. Why not bring the friends and family too as admission is 50% off all day! All proceeds from this day go towards the Endangered Species Reserve Fund.
More info

Richmond Hill's First Night
December 31, 2017
Richmond Hill’s First Night celebration is a family-friendly New Year’s Eve party. This event is specially planned for young families to offer an alternative to other late night celebrations. The evening is filled with free public skating, live entertainment, arts and crafts, inflatables, a teen lounge and carnival-type games for all ages! Free.
More info

More Free Events for December
We continuously update our Events Calendar so there may be more free and cheap events taking place in December! Check back on this page as it will be updated or CLICK HERE to get a list from our Calendar of Events. It's already been sorted by Free Events for the month! 

Photo Credit: Harbourfront Centre
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