It may be cold out there, but winter is still a beautiful time of year in Toronto, and a fun one too. With so many free things to do in Toronto this January, you won’t need a very big budget for your weekend entertainment this month. This is the perfect way to give your wallet a break after all that holiday spending.

Here are 10 of the best events and activities you can enjoy for free in the city this January.

Toronto Gingerbread Festival

When it comes to holiday treats, it doesn’t get more classic than gingerbread, and this year, the Toronto Gingerbread Festival is treating locals to a big dose of deliciousness.

The festival features a life-sized gingerbread display and gigantic installations, filling the streets with excitement and nostalgia. You can also enjoy all kinds of special deals and promos at local shops and restaurants.

When: Until January 11th, 2023
Where: Yonge and St. Clair, Life-sized display in the lobby at 2 St. Clair West

Cavalcade of Lights

The beloved event celebrates Toronto’s holiday season until well after Christmas, wrapping up on January 7th.

This year’s festivities are inspired by international lantern, fire, and light festivals. It transforms City Hall into a spectacular wonderland every night.

When: Until January 7th, 2023

Skating at Toronto’s outdoor rinks

The season of outdoor skating is well underway! When it comes to free outdoor skating rinks, Toronto has no shortage of fantastic options.

From ice trails through the city to DJ skate nights in the heart of downtown, these rinks will make you want to lace up your skates all season long.

Where: See Toronto’s best outdoor rinks here
When: Until March 2023

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TD Union Winter

Toronto’s busiest transit hub has transformed for the winter season, inviting all to enjoy free outdoor skating, live music, and more.

The skating rink comes with free skate rentals and is located right on Front Street. Hit the rink for a fun and magical winter experience and be sure to register ahead of time as walk-in spots are limited.

When: Until January 29th, 2023
Where: Union Station, 55 Front Street West

Free hot chocolate and skate rentals at The Bentway

Winter skating under the Gardiner is back for the fifth year in a row!

From January 8th to February 20th, skate rentals will available for free every Friday from 5 PM to 9 PM.

On Monday evenings, you can warm up with a cup of free hot chocolate. Free skate lessons for all ages will be offered by registration on Tuesday evenings.

When: Until February 20th, 2023
Where: The Bentway Skate Trail, 250 Fort York Blvd


When snow hits Toronto, we hit the hills — tobogganing hills, that is. We’ve got many days of snow to look forward to this winter and there’s no better way to take advantage than with an afternoon outdoors.

Get active and enjoy the winter fun at tobogganing hills around the city. There’s even a brand new one to check out this year!

Where: See Toronto’s best tabogganing hills

Winter hikes

This city is full of peaceful nature trails that are enjoyed by locals all year round, even in the colder months.

We Ontarians aren’t deterred by a little wind chill — just throw on a few extra layers, grab a cup of Toronto’s best hot chocolate, and you’re good to go.

Where: See the best winter trails in Toronto


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Free Third Tuesdays at The ROM 

Bring your friends and fam to The ROM on the third Tuesday night of each month for a free museum visit! This monthly offer icludes free access to all galleries, including Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature, Kent Monkman: Being Legendary, and Wildlife Photographer of the Year*.

Advanced tickets are not required and it’s first come, first served, so be sure to arrive on time for a guaranteed spot!

Where: Royal Ontario Museum
When: Every third Tuesday from 4:30 PM to 8:30 PM

Free attractions with your library card

Do you have a Toronto Public Library card? You may not know that you can use it for a lot more than just books. Your Toronto library card actually grants you free admission to the city’s top museums and cultural attractions.

Toronto Public Library’s Museum and Arts (MAP) Pass lets you and your family access all kinds of exciting destinations for free with a single library card. All you have to do is pick a participating branch and scoop it up!

Where: See all attractions here

Toronto’s History Museums

Take a trip back in time this fall and check out the many Toronto History Museums open to all who are interested in expanding their knowledge.

Admission is free to all 10 museums like Fort York National Historic SiteSpadina MuseumGibson House, and Scarborough Museum. There are guided tours and self-guided tours available for all.

Where: See all museums here
Cost: FREE