October on the Cheap! 2018




Boo at the Zoo

October in Toronto and the GTA is the greatest. In addition to fall fun like pumpkin picking and the excitement of Halloween, there are fairs, festivals, special events, and activities galore. There are many opportunities for families to enjoy the autumn weather and the best of the GTA, all for for free. Here are our top picks for free or cheap fun this October.

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

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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Pathways: Following Traces of Indigenous Routes Across Ontario
Until October 28, 2018
Come see a free exhibit at the TD Gallery, Toronto Reference Library. Land and water routes across what is now Ontario reveal layers of Indigenous knowledge, resistance and presence that connect from time immemorial to the present and the future. Free admission.
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Fall in Love with #TOwaterfront This Autumn
Until October 31, 2018
Cozy up and enjoy the view on #TOwaterfront this fall. Just a short bike, walk or TTC ride away from the downtown core, you can find shopping, dining and activities on the water - there is something for the entire family. Looking for an adventure? Get out on the water and take in the view of the city skyline with one of the many cruises offered. Want to get the perfect family photo? Head over to Sugar Beach. With its white sand and pastel pink umbrellas, the urban beach provides a gorgeous backdrop for selfies. Stay awhile and relax in a Muskoka chair as the kids play in the sand.
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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.
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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 - October
Saturdays in October
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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Rouge Park Guided Walks
Various dates in October
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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Lost & Forgotten Toys Arts Workshop at Davenport Public Library
October 2, 2018 to 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.
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Make It an Indigo Weekend: “Gift” Thanks with Yoobi
October 6, 2018
To celebrate Yoobi’s launch in Canada, Yoobi is partnering with Indigo to celebrate “Kids-giving!” On October 6th, kids are invited to their local Indigo or Chapters (excluding Indigospirit and Coles), to create their own DIYs using Yoobi’s fun and colourful products, all in the spirit of giving! Activities include a chance for your kids to create their own personal gratitude journal, or DIY Thank You postcard to send to someone who they are grateful for. Free admission.
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Thankathon Live Viewing Party At CBC Toronto!
October 6, 2018
CBC Kids is celebrating the broadcast launch of the new Studio K with a special morning of thankfulness: The Thankathon! Join us at CBC Toronto for a special Thankathon Viewing Party from 7:30am to noon! We'll have crafts, activities and you'll have a front row seat to the live broadcast from outside Studio K. You may even end up on live TV! The event is free and registration is not required.
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PumpkinFest Richmond Hill
October 6, 2018 to October 8, 2018
Great Family Fun Thanksgiving Weekend! If you’re looking for something fun to do in Richmond Hill Thanksgiving weekend, this is it! Richmond Hill Pumpkinfest has something for all ages. Guests are welcomed to enjoy all things Autumn. Free admission to grounds. Rides extra.
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PumpkinFest Toronto
October 6, 2018 to October 8, 2018
Pumpkinfest is back for 2018! Toronto Pumpkinfest is back at Downsview Park for three days of Thanksgiving weekend fun. If you’re looking for something fun to do in Toronto Thanksgiving weekend, this is it! Pumpkinfest Toronto has something for all ages. Fall is here and that means beautiful colours, pumpkin spiced everything and best of all, pumpkinfest! Free admission to grounds. Rides extra.
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October Weekends at Scarborough Museum
October 6, 2018 to October 28, 2018
Let's get spooky at Scarborough Museum! Halloween is just around the corner and we've got you covered. Make a decoupage lantern and ghostly craft to decorate your home. Devil's Food Cake and Witches Brew (don’t worry it's just apple cider!) are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth! Admission is Pay What You Can!
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Sunday FUNday - Time Capsules at Oshawa Museum
October 7, 2018
If you could make a time capsule, what would you put in it? What do you think the Victorians would have put in a time capsule to tell us what their life was like Using artefacts from the Museum’s education collection choose what you would use to tell the future about the Victorian era. Visitors will get to touch and interact with artefacts over 100 years old! Cameras, household tools and implements, clothing, and examples of early lighting and laundry. Kids can fill out activity sheets to start their own time capsule! Free admission.
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Fall Walks Festival
October 9, 2018 to October 14, 2018
Mark your calendars for the Fall Walks Festival in Rouge National Urban Park! In collaboration with OPG Biodiversity and the Toronto and Region Conservation, join us for a week of fun and fascinating walks and activities with our guided walk leaders and guest educators. Learn more about biodiversity, cultural and agricultural heritage right here in the GTA. The event also includes walks, special guests and activities for families with young children ages 3-12. Free.
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Diwali RazzMatazz – Canada Diwali at Celebration Square
October 12, 2018 to October 13, 2018
Celebrate Diwali at Celebration Square! Known as the festival of lights, "Diwali" signifies the victory of good over evil, light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance and hope over despair. Diwali RazzMatazz is a joyous festive celebration for the entire family. Stage programming includes Bollywood headliner performances, musical concerts, dance performances, Diwali bazaar, kids' rides, Diwali lucky draws and other sponsored gifts and prizes. Food vendors provide the authentic flavours of Diwali festivities. Free.
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Free Kids Building Workshop at Home Depot
October 13, 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. October 14, 2017 workshop - Kids can learn how to build their very own Fire Boat. Free.
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Leaside Block Party
October 13, 2018
This October, join us for the very first Leaside Block Party in support of Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. The community will be gathering together for fun activities, delicious eats, entertainment, local vendors, and plenty of ways to learn about Holland Bloorview! Free.
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Pumpkinville! Free Event!
October 13, 2018
Free admission! This fall event has been a community favourite for years. Activities include horse-drawn wagon rides, No Frill's Pumpkin Patch, inflatable rides, Haunted House, children's activities, live entertainment, interactive experiences and more.
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Wizarding World Of Harry Potter™ at Indigo & Chapters
October 13, 2018
Calling all wizards! Dress up as your favourite Harry Potter™ character and join us for some magical fun! Plus, build your own LEGO snitch to take home! Free. 
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2018 Fall MRKT Show
October 20, 2018
#ShopTheMRKT this fall! 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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Book Bash: Canadian Children's Literature Festival
October 20, 2018
One exciting and FREE family-friendly event at the Annual International Festival of Authors this year is the Book Bash: Canadian Children's Literature Festival, happening on Saturday, October 20, 2018 at the Harbourfront Centre. At the Book Bash, Festivalgoers of all ages can join some of Canada's best-known children's authors and illustrators for a fun-filled afternoon!
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Open House at Indigo & Chapters
October 20, 2018
Attention toy-lovers! join us for a day of toy demos with the brands you love! Unplug with us, test your skills & make your own fun! Free.
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Boo at the Zoo
October 20, 2017 to October 28, 2018
Calling all costumed kiddies and celebrate the spirit of Halloween. Kids in costume (ages 12 and under) get FREE* admission when accompanied by an adult paying regular admission. Don’t forget your camera as we will also have our much-loved Halloween Photo Opportunities in place for the fun.‚Äč
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Volunteer Toronto Youth Expo
October 21, 2018
An annual event for high school students to meet over 100 non-profits recruiting youth volunteers. If you've been wondering where to do your 40 hours, then the Youth Expo is the perfect opportunity to explore endless volunteering possibilities! Free admission.
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Cineplex Community Day
October 27, 2018
Cineplex Entertainment will host its 6th annual Community Day on Saturday, October 27. Families across Canada are invited to a morning of free movies at their local Cineplex theatre, with all donations and concession sales supporting WE Charity.
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Halloween Slime’tacular at Indigo & Chapters
October 27, 2018
Come dressed up and join our Halloween Parade! Enjoy our colour changing Slime Time station and enter for your chance to win a Goosebumps giveaway. Free.
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Riverside Halloween Fest & Fundraiser
October 27, 2018
Each year, on the last Saturday in October, kids (of all ages, dogs welcome too!) can dress up and join the fun of Riverside’s Halloween Fest – whether it’s your alter-ego, superhero, or just as a mere form of expression – come out and enjoy! Free.
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Solar Observing at Ontario Science Centre
October 27, 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.
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Bata Shoe Museum Halloween Extravaganza
October 27, 2018 to October 28, 2018
Say boo at the BSM this Halloween and join us for a spooktacular weekend of family fun! Decorate a Halloween inspired cookie, make a special craft and play I Spy in the galleries. Kids who wear their costumes get in FREE!
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Toronto West Halloween Fest
October 28, 2018
Celebrate Halloween with your family and neighbours on Sunday, October 28th in Bloor West Village. There will be loads of entertainment and activities for the kids. Free.
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More Free Events in October
Our Events Calendar is always updated so there may be more free and cheap events taking place in October. 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 October? Share below!

Photo credit: Toronto Zoo
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