November on the Cheap! 2018

The Natrel Rink at Harbourfront

November in Toronto and the GTA is packed with tons of kid-friendly activities! It's also the start of holiday season excitement. Our top picks include Pumpkin Parades, Day of the Dead celebrations, Holiday gatherings, Santa Parades, and much more! Read on for family-friendly events and activities coming up in November, all of which are Free or Cheap! 

Here's what's Free and Cheap this November...

Santa Claus Parades 2018
Various Dates November 
The most wonderful time of the year has finally arrived and with it comes a long list of Santa Claus parades. Whether you’re looking for some fabulous floats, getting a glimpse of your favourite holiday characters (including the famous jolly guy), or just looking for something fun to do with the kiddos, one of these parades is sure to fit your needs. Free.

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.

Library Story Time at Toronto Botanical Garden
Until December 10, 2018
Drop in to the Weston Family Library for nature stories and songs. Mondays from 11:15 to 11:45 a.m. FREE! No registration required.

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 - November
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.

Rouge Park Guided Walks
Various dates in November
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.

Lost & Forgotten Toys Arts Workshop at Davenport Public Library
Ongoing until December 11, 2018
Lost and Forgotten Toys Workshop is a free Arts program held in the Davenport library on Tuesdays from 4 pm- 6 pm. It is a supervised program for children (aged 8-12) to create stories, performance art and art installations.

The Natrel® Rink at Harbourfront
Opens in November
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 over 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 usually opens mid to end of November, weather permitting.

Pumpkins on Parade
November 1, 2018
If you want to show off your jack-o-lantern one last time, take it to a Pumpkins on Parade event, and recycle it in style! Toronto and GTA Residents are invited to drop off their carved pumpkins for all to admire on Thursday, November 1, 2018. Not only is it a spooky and fun way to say goodbye to Halloween, but all pumpkins are recycled and composted! Various locations.

Pumpkin Party at Gibson House
November 1, 2018
Bring your carved pumpkin to Gibson House Museum to showcase your design. Pumpkins will be lit up and displayed through the evening. The Pumpkin Party includes cooking demonstrations in the historic kitchen, hot apple cider and treats. Discover what your future holds with a fun Victorian-style divination. Free admission.

The BSM’s “Warm the Sole Sock Drive”
November 1, 2018 to November 30, 2018
The BSM’s annual sock drive returns! Did you know that socks are the most needed and least donated item of clothing? During the month of November, visitors to the museum are encouraged to bring a donation of a pair of new, unworn socks to donate to the Scott Mission. If you make a donation on a Saturday or Sunday during the drive, you can visit the museum for free that day!  Help us give the gift of warmth to our community.​

Dagmar Resort Open House and Ski Swap
November 3, 2018 to November 4, 2018
Time to start thinking SNOW! Dagmar Resort’s Open House is the perfect time to come out to the hill and speak to our friendly staff about what we have in store for this season. Wanting to buy or sell equipment? Kawartha Ski Patrol holds their annual ski swap at Dagmar Resort on the same weekend. There will be tons of new and used equipment to look through for all ages. A portion of all sales do go to the Kawartha Ski Patrol to assist with their funding for the season. Free admission.

Day of the Dead Festival at Harbourfront
November 3, 2018 to November 4, 2018
Harbourfront Centre presents the 15th anniversary of its Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos celebration: an exploration of the ancient and contemporary traditions of Mexico’s oldest cultural celebration of life, heritage and family histories. This free, two day, family-oriented festival is Toronto’s longest running celebration of one of Mexico’s most important holidays.​ Free admision.

Movember Weekends at Scarborough Museum
November 3, 2018 to November 25, 2018
It's mysterious Movember at Scarborough Museum! Go on scavenger hunt and make a moustache disguise. Try the museum's popular Mystery Cake and try to guess the surprise ingredient. Check out the museum's discovery boxes and see what's inside. Cost: Pay-What-You-Can.

10th Annual EcoFair at the Barns
November 4, 2018
The 10th Annual EcoFair at the Barns is a free, family-friendly event that informs and inspires people to make greener choices in their homes and communities. Join us on Sunday, November 4th from 11 am-4 pm at Artscape Wychwood Barns (601 Christie St near St Clair W) to celebrate the programs, products and services of over 40 environmental not-for-profit organizations and eco-friendly businesses.

Holiday Wonderland Window Unveiling with Carly Rae Jepsen
November 4, 2018
Join Hudson's Bay and Saks Fifth Avenue as we kick off the holiday season for our 3rd annual Holiday Window Unveiling event. The event will be a celebration of the holidays, with a very special musical performance headlined by Canadian pop singer-songwriter and Grammy-award nominee Carly Rae Jepsen and opening with Toronto native singer-songwriter Johnny Orlando. In-store, you can try out the iconic huge piano from FAO Schwarz, a Milk & Cookie bar, a snow-globe customization station and photos with Santa himself! Free.

Sunday FUNday - Letters to Santa at Oshawa Museum
November 4, 2018
Just in time for the Santa Claus Parade! Get into the Christmas spirit by writing a letter to Santa! On Sunday November 4 from 12 - 4 pm, pretend you are a Victorian child. What kinds of things would you have asked for instead of video games, skateboards or movies? Learn to write with nib pens and ink. Seal your letter with wax! Free admission.

Power Kids: Free Kids Activities
Sundays, November 4, 2018 to November 25, 2018
These FREE arts workshops for children ages 7-12 begin with a tour of the gallery and conclude with an art activity, inspired by the ideas behind the current exhibition. Tours and workshops are led by Amanda Foulds, Power Kids Family Programs Coordinator and assisted by Erica Cristobal, Power Kids Teaching Assistant.

Free Kids Building Workshop at Home Depot
November 10, 2018 and November 24, 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. Check locations near you for details. On November 10 - Build a Helicopter. On November 24 - Build a Christmas Tree Ornament.

LEGO Mystery Mural Build
November 12, 2018 to December 3, 2018
The LEGO Group is setting out to build the largest mural in the western hemisphere! During three weeks, brick-by-brick, the community will build together to continuously reveal the mural image until the final brick is in place and the ultimate scene is revealed. To ensure that even more children can enjoy play this holiday season, LEGO Canada will donate a LEGO set, for each participant, to the Toy Mountain campaign. The completed mural will be displayed at Nathan’s Philips Square from the 3rd of December to the 23rd. Free.

The Holly Jolly Lodge at Upper Canada Mall
November 13, 2018 to December 24, 2018
Upper Canada will have a brand NEW Santa Photo Experience this holiday season, called The Holly Jolly Lodge. Events include Celebrate the Holidays with Santa, visit the Holiday Tree Lot, Story Time with Santa, a Holiday Market, Pet Photos with Santa, and more! Free events + Purchases.

Toronto Christmas Market
November 15, 2018 to December 23, 2018
Ranked one of the best Christmas Markets in the world, the festival features hundreds of unique and locally handcrafted products, stunning light canopies, family friendly entertainment, heated mulled wine, beer and hospitality gardens, and Santa and the elves, all in an atmosphere so romantic you can't help but fall in love with the holiday season all over again. Rediscover the magic of Christmas. Free admission on weekdays.

Bloor-Yorkville Holiday Magic
November 17, 2018
On Saturday, November 17, the Bloor-Yorkville Business Improvement Area (BYBIA) will kick off the holiday season with Holiday Magic, the spectacular annual community concert event in support of the Canadian Foundation for Aids Research (CANFAR). Between 5:00pm – 7:00pm, families, friends and music lovers are invited to the Village of Yorkville Park (Cumberland & Bellair Streets) for the Official “Flick the Switch” Lighting Ceremony and a special performance by Shawn Hook. Free.

November 17, 2018
Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Area invites you to celebrate the holidays with Illuminite 2018. Join us for a magical evening of music, dance and spectacle and experience the wonder and joy of the season in the heart of Downtown Toronto at Yonge-Dundas Square. Free admission.

Alice Opens the Door
November 17, 2018 to January 27, 2019
New TD Gallery Exhibit is All About Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland! Alice Opens the Door is a family-oriented exhibit focused on the enduring literary classic, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The exhibit celebrates Lewis Carroll’s fantastical story that opened the door to reading for generations of children. Free admission.

Annual Holiday MRKT Show & Sale
November 18, 2018
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!

Christmas in the Village
November 23, 2018 to November 24, 2018
Get ready to rock around the Christmas tree this November! The Streetsville BIA is excited to present the annual Christmas in the Village festival, and it promises to be even bigger and better than last year! Family-friendly live bands will be playing for guests while they feast on delicious eats from an array of local restaurants and unique food trucks. Visitors can head down Queen St. S. to check out the Children’s craft tent, browse through dozens of unique market vendors, enjoy a horse and carriage ride, and take pictures with Santa outside the Robinson Bray House. Free.
More info

Cavalcade of Lights Toronto
November 24, 2018
Cavalcade of Lights kicks of the holiday season in Toronto with the first lighting of Toronto’s Official Christmas Tree and lighting display at Nathan Phillips Square. Live musical performances, a DJ skating party and stunning fireworks complete the festive evening. Free.

Kidzfest at Yonge-Dundas Square
November 24, 2018
Join Downtown Yonge BIA at Yonge-Dundas Square for a day of fun for kids of all ages, with hosts from TVOKids, see exciting stage shows, meet your favourite characters from PJ Masks and much more! Free admission.

Light Up the Square 2018 at Celebration Square
November 24, 2018
kick-off the holiday season at Light Up the Square! Take in live performances and entertainment surrounded by thousands of twinkly lights. Get in the Holiday spirit with seasonal fun the whole family can enjoy. Enjoy festive fun from photos with Santa. Features a Holiday Market and more! Free event.

Light Up Riverside & Shop the Neighbourhood 2018
November 24, 2018
On November 24th, enjoy the Warmth of the Season with Riverside’s Annual Tree Lighting Festivities, with Shopping and Holiday Cheer! Each year, on the last Saturday of November, Riverside hosts Light Up Riverside and Shop the Neighbourhood! Free to the public, the celebration features a countdown and tree lighting, live music, meet and greet (plus treats) with our co-sponsors, photos with Santa, warm refreshments, crafts, and more for all to enjoy!

Solar Observing at Ontario Science Centre
November 24, 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.

Swedish Christmas Fair at Harbourfront
November 24, 2018  to November  25, 2018
Get into the spirit at this two-day holiday extravaganza! Warm up to the sounds of children singing carols at the Lucia Pageant, and participate in folk dancing, craft making and more. Sample delicious Scandinavian food and have a drink of glögg, or check off your gift list with imported handmade crafts, unique Christmas décor and textiles – and tasty Swedish delicacies. Free admission.

NORDEN: The Festival of Cool at Harbourfront
November 24, 2018 to December 2, 2018
Harbourfront Centre invites you to (re)discover the richness of the Nordic region. Featuring some of the most creative driving forces in contemporary art, music and thought leadership, Norden: The Festival of Cool promises to make you think differently about the dark nights of winter. Discover the meaning of “happiness” through lively conversations, and groove on Toronto’s most scenic skating rink. Plus, with a visit to the festival’s artisan market, you’ll be ahead of the gift giving season! 90% Free + tickets events.

CP Holiday Train
November 25, 2018 to December 18, 2018
The CP Holiday Train will soon set out once again to entertain hundreds of thousands of people, celebrating 20 years of collecting food and raising funds for food banks across North America. Each event is free, with CP encouraging attendees to open their cupboards and wallets to help address hunger needs in their communities. Local food banks will be accepting donations at each stop to ensure those less fortunate have enough healthy food this holiday season. The trains stops in Southern Ontario and the GTA on November 28, 29 and 30. Free.

Holiday Market at TBG
November 29, 2018
Stroll through the halls decked with holiday cheer and stocked with handcrafted and nature-inspired gifts, home décor, seasonal greens, forced bulbs, local honey, unique terrariums and home-baked treats. Free admission.

DeClute Light Up The Beach
November 30, 2018
Santa will illuminate the lights Friday November 30th at 7pm and they will sparkle nightly until late-February along the Boardwalk from the Leuty Lighthouse to The Balmy Beach Club. Free admission.

The Junction Holiday Market 2018
November 30, 2018 to December 2, 2018
The Holiday Market is a fun-filled weekend of festive activities! Starting Friday evening, a neighbourhood wide shopping event kicks off with holiday parties and pop-up markets in locations throughout The Junction. Enjoy complimentary gift wrapping, discounts, holiday treats and more. A great chance to get started on your holiday gift shopping while also enjoying activities that keep the whole family entertained all weekend long! And part of the long standing Santa in The Junction tradition, be sure to visit the info booth at The Train Platform early to grab a free ticket for free DIY photos with jolly old St. Nick! Free.

More Free Events for November
We continuously update our Events Calendar so there may be more free and cheap events taking place in November! 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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