Travelling as a family can quickly become a costly endeavour if you aren’t careful. Fortunately these free things to do across the country make budget-friendly travel in Canada far more doable — and lots of fun too!
The Parliament of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
Kids and adults alike should have a chance to see where the big decisions that affect our country get made. And that’s easy to do, since visiting the Parliament of Canada is completely free of charge. You can even get a free 20- to 60-minute guided tour. And while you’re in the city, be sure to check out the changing of the guard, which happens on Parliament Hill at 10 a.m. sharp every morning.
Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge, North Vancouver, British Columbia
Thanks to the mountainous landscapes, there are so many places across British Columbia where you can see the world from new heights. And if you want that fresh perspective free of charge, check out the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver. The 50-metre-high bridge sways and shifts with every step you take, which makes it both an exciting and nerve-racking experience for you to bond over as a family. And you’ll certainly have some breathtaking memories to keep with you for years to come.
Here are more ideas for family fun in Vancouver >>
Redpath Museum, Montreal, Quebec
For the most part, visiting a museum as a family isn’t cheap. But not in Montreal! You can soak up loads of information and history at the Redpath Museum without spending a cent. It’s one of Canada’s oldest free-standing museums and has three floors filled with exhibits on natural history, world cultures and mineralogy.
Riverdale Farm, Toronto, Ontario
Paying for the whole family to visit the zoo can quickly add up. So rather than visiting the Toronto Zoo the next time you’re in Ontario’s capital, visit Riverdale Farm instead. It was the original site of the Toronto Zoo before the zoo grew and moved out to Scarborough. Now it’s a representation of a traditional rural Ontario farm between 1880 and 1920 and is filled with cows, horses, goats, chickens, sheep and more. The farm offers scheduled activities and educational events for kids, such as sheep shearing and storytelling, to make the visit an experience they’ll never forget.
West Edmonton Mall, Edmonton, Alberta
At no other mall in Canada will you find a skating rink, a water park, an indoor amusement park, an aquarium, an adventure course, a massive pirate ship and over 800 stores. Admittedly, entrance to many of the attractions at the West Edmonton Mall have a fee attached, but entrance to the largest mall in North America is completely free, and there is plenty to see and appreciate without needing to spend a penny.
Family playgrounds, Calgary, Alberta
Sometimes kids just need a break from all the sightseeing. When your little ones start to get antsy for a little good old-fashioned running-around fun, visiting a playground is a great option. But when you’re in a new city, finding a good play area isn’t always easy. Thanks to Calgary Playground Review, you won’t just find a playground; you can find an awesome playground. The website has reviews of water parks, playgrounds, indoor play centres and more, so you can easily track down some free family fun.
Find out more about family fun in Calgary >>
Walk the walls, Quebec City, Quebec
Whether or not you’re a family of history buffs, it’s easy to appreciate the fact that Quebec City is the only remaining walled city in North America. With walls built in the 18th century, surrounding the heart of the city, gaining historical insights can be achieved through an enjoyable stroll by the ramparts, bastions, gates and defensive works. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is preserved as an example of a fortified colonial town — unlike any other north of Mexico. So seize the opportunity to walk around and soak it all in.
The Halifax Public Gardens, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life, and escape to a mini oasis in the heart of Halifax. The Halifax Public Gardens are filled with fountains, ponds, flowers, trees, bushes and other natural life just waiting to be appreciated. Strolling through the colourful gardens is a relaxing way to spend an afternoon — plus it’s completely free! And you can make your time in Halifax a fun and educational experience for the little ones with the help of this complimentary Kids’ Urban BioKit. Work as a family to fill out all the pages and learn more about all the wonderful things Atlantic Canada has to offer.