My Forest is Green with Illustrator Ashley Barron

My Forest is Green with Illustrator Ashley Barron. Free activity and reading hosted by Toronto Botanical Gardens online.

There are many opportunities for families to enjoy the autumn weather and the best of the GTA, all for free. Here are our top picks for free or cheap fun this October.

It's still early in the month so check back often. We'll update this page with new free events and activities as they become available.


Unmasking the Pandemic: From Personal Protection to Personal Expression at the ROM

  • Now open until February 21, 2022
  • ROM
  • Free

Crafted by artists, designers, and makers from around the world in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, over 100 stunning face masks take centre stage in a new ROM original exhibition. Free. No admission required. More

Montgomery's Inn: HistoricTO Outdoor Experiences

  • Saturday, October 2nd, 2021 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Montgomery's Inn Museum
  • Free

Enjoy free outdoor experiences, including lawn games for all ages, a scavenger hunt with prizes, live music by the Hugh Barnett and Deb Fitzsimmons Folk Duo, or a theatrical performance called "Tom Thomson-Letter from Lambton Mills", written and performed by Sara Moyle. More

Girl Guides of Canada Interstellar Storytelling Sleepover

  • Saturday, October 2nd, 2021 @ 7:00 pm
  • Online
  • Free

Girl Guides of Canada (GGC) is inviting friends, families, Guiding units and storytellers from far and wide to join in for an evening exploring the magic of outer space. More

Scarborough Museum: Ravine Days

  • Starts October 2nd - Weekends until October 10th
  • Scarborough Museum
  • Free

Celebrate Toronto’s beautiful ravine network this October! Enjoy outdoor tours and on-site activities including a scavenger hunt and greenhouse craft. More

Movie Nights are back in the Beach

  • Saturday, October 2nd, 2021 @ 8:00 pm
  • Kew Gardens Park
  • Free

Come out and enjoy the magic of the big screen under the stars and win amazing prizes from our local businesses. More

Thorncliffe/Flemingdon Ravine Bike Ride

  • Saturday, October 2nd, 2021 @ 10:00 am – 1:30 pm
  • Gateway Bike Hub to Evergreen Brick Works
  • Free

Join us for a FREE, all ages, all levels ravine cycling event. Lunch will be provided. There will be lots of opportunity to talk with experienced cyclists about scenic bike routes through the ravines, and how these trails can help connect you to different parts of the city. More

Storytime in the Garden: A Tree is a Home

  • Saturday, October 2nd, 2021 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
  • Toronto Botanical Garden - Online
  • Free

Join best-selling children’s author Pamela Hickman as she reads from her new book A Tree is a Home which explores how an oak tree, and its animal inhabitants change and grow over the course of a year. More

Long Branch Tree Fest

  • Sunday, October 3rd, 2021 @ 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
  • Marie Curtis Park
  • Free

An outdoor COVID safe fun family event celebrating trees and nature. Featuring local music, children's activities, nature walks, history walks, vendor market place and educational exhibitors. More

Downsview Park Jr. Forest Explorers

  • October 4, 18 and 25, 2021
  • Downsview Park Discovery Centre
  • $Free

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 for all attendees. More

Explore the World with a Sustainability Challenge for Kids

  • From October 4th to November 28th, 2021 — all day
  • Online
  • Free

Children and youth across Canada are invited to take part in an epic, eight-week sustainability-themed challenge – “Around the World in 60 Days” – from Scouts Canada. Through fun and engaging activities rooted in sustainability, embark on exciting story-driven adventures set virtually in eight different countries. More

A Batty Dusk Adventure

  • Tuesday, October 5th, 2021 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
  • Downsview Park Discovery Centre
  • $Free

Join us at dusk for an evening nature walk through Toronto's Downsview Park. While a variety of creatures come out at night - this program will focus on our nocturnal, flying mammals - BATS! More

Common Ground Dance Festival

  • October 8th and 9th, 2021
  • Lee Lifeson Art Park
  • Free

The inaugural Common Ground Dance Festival is a free, outdoor, participatory celebration of movement and community, featuring COVID-19-safe, in-person dance programming in North York! More

The Digital Revolution in Canada and Leaving No Girl Behind Panel, hosted by Actua and TD Bank Group

  • Thursday, October 14th, 2021 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
  • Online
  • Free

This annual event moderated by Jennifer Flanagan, President & CEO of Actua, brings together industry thought leaders and youth to discuss the importance of engaging girls and young women in STEM. More

Toronto International Dance Festival (TIDF 2021)

  • Sunday, October 17th, 2021 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
  • Online
  • Free

The 8th annual Toronto International Dance Festival (TIDF-2021) will be held virtually ONLINE LIVE on various social media platforms. More

DAM! The Story of Kit the Beaver (Ontario Culture Days )

  • Sunday, October 17th, 2021 @ 2:00 pm – 2:30 pm
  • Online
  • Free

As part of Ontario Culture Days the TSO brings you a short film perfect for families! Join TSO Musicians for a special screening of this animated film about a not-your-average beaver! It’s the tale of Kit, a very independent (and easily distracted) young beaver who loves to explore the sounds of the forest she lives in. More

Nature Connection at Downsview Park

  • October 17 and 24, 2021
  • Downsview Park
  • Free

Nature Connection, a FREE nature program geared towards families, is back! Start exploring the natural world, right from Downsview Park. All ages. More

 Toronto International Festival of Authors - Kids Edition

  • October 21 to 31, 2021
  • Online
  • Free

TIFA Kids returns for an enhanced and vibrant programme featuring over 40 Canadian and international authors, illustrators and performers. Families, children and young adults will be able to come together in a virtual space to experience interactive readings, draw-alongs, live discussions, spoken word poetry, and discover a space to share and connect. More

My Forest is Green with Illustrator Ashley Barron

  • Saturday, October 23rd, 2021 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
  • Toronto Botanical Garden - Online
  • Free

Join children’s author/illustrator Ashley Barron in an art activity that explores the tiny ecosystems that can be found on a single tree branch. Ashley will also read from My Forest is Green – a book that she illustrated! More

Live Underwater Pumpkin Carving at Ripley's Aquarium of Canada

  • Wednesday, October 27th, 2021 @ 9:30 am
  • Online
  • Free

Divers will be LIVE in Rainbow Reef where they’ll be against the clock and battling to see who can carve the most jaw-some pumpkin, all while in full scuba gear and oh yes – UNDERWATER! More

Family Trivia Night: Halloween Fun Presented by Ontario Science Centre

  • Friday, October 29th, 2021 @ 6:30 pm
  • Online
  • Free

Kick off your Halloween weekend with Family Trivia Night! Join us on Friday, October 29 at 6:30 p.m. to test your knowledge of spooky science, from creepy crawlies here on Earth to the mysterious depths of outer space. More

Halloween Harvest at Bradley Museum

  • October 30th and 31st, 2021
  • Bradley Museum
  • Free

Put on your costume and join us at Bradley Museum where you’ll participate in old fashioned Halloween and harvest traditions. More

Halloween Food Truck Festival

  • October 30th and 31st, 2021 @ 11:00 am
  • Variety Ontario
  • Free

Join us for food, drinks, entertainment, crafts, kids costume contests and treats. Entrance is free but donations to support Variety Ontario’s unique programming for individuals with disabilities is greatly appreciated. More

Game Day hosted by e3 Public Speaking

  • Last Sunday of every month until October 30, 2022
  • Virtually via Zoom
  • Free

e3 Toronto Public Speaking is a community based business and one of our favourite community events is a Family Game Day! Register to compete for bragging rights against other families. More


The Redpath Waterfront Trail

  • Until October 3, 2021
  • Lower Sherbourne to Lower Spadina
  • Free

Take your imagination for a walk on Toronto’s waterfront. This socially distanced waterfront trail will include unique Augmented Reality stops (AR), public art and a number of local promotions at waterfront businesses. More

Culture Days 2021

  • Until October 24, 2021
  • Various Locations + Virtual
  • Free (Some Pay-What-You-Can)

Culture Days invites everyone to participate in and show appreciation for arts and culture in their own communities and nationwide! The Culture Days website will act as a promotional platform for creators of every kind to showcase thousands of virtual and in-person activities. More

Brampton's Fitness in the Park

  • Daily until October 31st, 2021
  • Various Locations
  • Free

Join us for FREE open air workouts, seven days a week. The City of Brampton has reintroduced an extended offering of summer favourite, Fitness in the Park, a free outdoor fitness program. Open to residents & non-residents, ages 6+. More

Share Your Art with Pillars of Change!

  • Ongoing
  • At-home activity
  • Free

This project is open to all ages and abilities – adults and children alike. Once you’ve personalized your Pillars of Change artwork, share your creations for the chance to see them displayed in large-scale formats such as digital billboards in busy Toronto locations. Go to the PARTICIPATE page to learn how you can download free customizable artwork. More

Check back throughout the month. This page will be updated as new Free events are posted. You can also check the Free Events page in our Calendar.

Redpath Waterfront Trail

Post Sponsored by Redpath Waterfront Trail

For two weeks in September, we invite you to take your imagination for a walk on Toronto’s waterfront. This socially distanced waterfront trail will include unique Augmented Reality stops (AR), public art and a number of local promotions at waterfront businesses. Join us September 17 to October 3 from Lower Spadina to Lower Sherbourne Street. The event is Free! More info

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