In this expensive economy, it’s tough to keep our kids entertained throughout the day without hurting our wallets.  We selected a few activities to do for free with your kids in Mississauga, with some of them worth the extra drive.

RECOMMENDED: 7 Playgrounds Mississauga Families will Love.

Get excited for these low-cost activities such as hiking, snow shoeing, tubing and more things to do with kids in Mississauga this winter.



1. Go fat bike riding

You’re missing out big time if you’ve never tried fat biking.

A fat bike is an off-road bicycle with oversized tires, typically 3.8 in (97 mm) or larger and rims 2.16 in (55 mm) or wider, designed for low ground pressure to allow riding on soft, unstable terrain, such as snow, sand, bogs and mud. The large tires provide increased balance and control giving you the confidence to be more adventurous.

A fat bike is a go anywhere bike and will give you and your family a great experience in the snow. If you can make it up north, the cute Albion Hill Conservation area located under 30 minutes from Mississauga is perfect for a fat bike ride : you can easily rent a bike for $35 for 2 hours at the Chalet or $50 for the day. Liv Outside in Bracebridge has fat bike rentals and trails on-site, and Algonquin Outfitters in Huntsville has bikes for rent with trails nearby. Prefer to bring your own bike ? No worries: there are multiple vendors online offering awesome options.


2. Attend a local winter festival

Just under 40 minutes from Mississauga in the town of Mono, a cute winter festival is organized every year. This is a true family event and a must see if you want to mingle with the locals and do something less touristy. Experience local delights like homemade warm apple cider (made outdoors in the cold), campfires and roasting marshmallows, skating on a rugged rink, pony rides in the snow, raffles with incredible prizes, homemade doughnuts and chili.

This winter fest is one of the best kept secret events receiving low media coverage and staying super traditional, so only locals tends to show up. It’s well worth it is you can brave the cold. Another noteworthy winter festival is the one held every year in Barrie, part of the top 100 festivals in Ontario. You’ll experience things like mazes, ice sculpture, much more.



3. Go Sledding

No need to go all the way to Nunavut to experience the true north! There are plenty of options nearby to finally enjoy this true Canadian winter experience. You will be taken through a scenic ride through special forested areas. For families with kids, you can try the hour-long tour at North Ridge Ranch if your kid are younger.

Though it’s free for kids under 3, make sure you bundle team up well. The driving part of the tour lasts approximately one hour and there is an opportunity at the halfway point for the driver and passenger to switch positions. The tour covers approximately 10 kms.  Don’t be surprised if you are left wanting more at the end.



4. Experience a winter lights display

One of the beautiful advantages of winter in Canada is how each city embraces it to the maximum: One of the best ways to embrace winter is celebrating it with plenty of lights and that’s what you’ll experience in Niagara Falls. Each winter the festival captures the magic of the holiday season, featuring a signature 8km long route through the beautiful landscapes of the Niagara Parks, Dufferin Islands and surrounding tourist districts to transform the city into a winter wonderland.

Did you know that over a million visitors attend this festival every single year? The light displays include the iconic Zimmerman Fountain, fifteen three-dimensional Canadian Wildlife displays, the world’s largest Canadian American Flag, Noah’s Ark, the lights at the top of Niagara’s iconic Skylon Tower, over fifty trees in Dufferin Islands wrapped with lights and the Toronto Power Generating Station Light Show.

In addition to the breathtaking displays, the Winter Festival of Lights has several events that take place each season including Opening Ceremonies in Queen Victoria Park, weekly fireworks, nightly Falls Illumination, the Sparkle Lighting Awards and Niagara Falls New Year’s Eve Concert.



5. Go Tubing

No ready to commit to skiing or snowboarding? There are multiple options in the GTA to go snow tubing. From Chinguacousy Park in Brampton to the Horseshoe Resort closer to Orangeville ! For as little as $6 a ride, you can go tubing at Ski Lakeridge in Uxbrige. Waterproof ski/snow pants are recommended since wearing 100% cotton clothing (sweatpants, jeans, etc.) will absorb moisture from your snow and your sweat.

Don’t forget to also pack a warm hat, waterproof gloves, sunglasses and hiking boots or waterproof shoes. If you want to be surrounded with a ton of snow, try to get up as far north as Barrie to go tubing at the Ski Snow Valley location. In the West GTA area, Chicopee tube park is an excellent option with pricing as little as $25 for 2 hours.



6. Bake & Decorate Sugar Cookies

Who doesn’t like to come home to a place filled with sweet smells of fresh-baked cookies? It doesn’t matter whether it’s a plain sugar cookie to satisfy your sweet tooth, oatmeal raisin or simple chocolate chips, spend an entire day just baking. Make it even more fun by inviting friends and family to participate.

This is one of the inexpensive activities you can do, since many of the items can be easily purchased at the dollar store (Disposable Icing Bags, Plastic Wrap, Candy Melt Squeeze Bottles, Icing Tips etc.…). No need to break the bank to make delicious cookies your entire family with love.



7. Try Ice Fishing

Bundle up well and get your camping chairs out to spend a day fishing for your dinner. If you can get up north, there’s an ice fishing derby worth seeing every single winter in Orangeville at the Island Lake conservation area.


8. Go Sleigh Riding

Embrace the winter by trying a sleigh ride with your little one: Probably one of our most popular family activities is a horse drawn sleigh or wagon ride through the stunning Muskoka back country. Back of Beyond Equine Centre has a great family package that can accommodate up to 14, and Twin Maples Farm offers wagon rides and carriage rides for up to 16 people at their farm. Book early because these spots will be snatched up soon.



9. Attend a free workshop at the library

There is always something going on at the multiple local libraries locally offering free classes and workshops for kids this winter. From book reading clubs to 3 printing. coding and robotics and gaming workshops, there’s something for everyone.



10. Build a snowman

Escape to a winter wonderland to make a snow angel or build a good old fashioned Frosty. Have fun diving right into the snow, waving your arms and legs to create the perfect angel or stacking big balls on top of each other for a jolly snowman (don’t forget the carrot nose, hat and stick arms!).

Live in a condo? No problem. Head to a local park around any of the local parks or playgrounds (now deserted in the winter) to build a snowman with your family and create lasting memories.



11. See a Polar  Dip

The Polar Bear Plunge is an event where you submerge your entire body into a chilling water, typically to raise money for a charitable organization, but sometimes just for “fun”. Why not be a brave do-gooder this Winter, strip down to your skivvies and jump into freezing cold water for a good cause.

You can join hundreds of people on the 1st day of the new year either in Oakville or Toronto to participate or support someone who’s doing it for a noble cause.


12. Shop at a Consignment Sale

A consignment sale is an excellent way to save money on purchasing clothing, toys and shoes for your ever-growing kids. There are multiple companies in the GTA offering those type of sales, but the largest is OGOP with events throughout the entire province organized both in the fall/winter and spring. Attend one of their events and you’ll be hooked forever or make some cash by selling some of your unused items in good conditions.


13. Host a Game night

Looking for an excuse to get your friend and family together at the weekend without hurting your wallet at a restaurant or a bar? Why not host a game night? That’s not only a smart way to save money while remaining social, but also get people to spend together away from videos games and TV show binge watching at the weekend. All you need to host the game night is available for purchase at the Dollar Store (cards, board, accessories, giant post its, markers etc.…).


Food wise, you can either request it to be a potluck or get everything from your local grocery store lick Chips and Dip, fruits and cheese, a Charcuterie Board, grilled cheese, candy, Jalapeño Poppers or Other Baked Bite-Sized Snacks.



14.  Rent a Cabin

Airbnb has opened the doors for travelers to experience a whole lot of possibilities when it comes to lodging. There are so many dreamy family cabins available for rent on this platform you need to try to experience at least one.


15. Do a Random Act of Kindness

Random acts of kindness are some of the most fulfilling and most humane and human things you could ever do. Especially when it is done for a stranger. You can be randomly generous by donating things like food at your local foodbank, donating toys at a local shelter, donating make up and female accessories and beauty products at a local woman shelter, donate blood, buying coffee in the drive through for the person behind you or go to a retirement facility and volunteer for a few hours keeping company to seniors who are not being visited by their own family.

The possibilities are endless. The best way to approach this is to look at your local community and see what it is they need the most and teach your kids how to be generous at the same time.



16. Declutter Your Closet

It is surprisingly rewarding to be able to purge some clothes, plus it is purely a bonus that you can donate or consign them! Thrift stores like Talize or The  Salvation Army will gladly accept and recycle your clothes, to repurpose them for someone else who needs them.

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I only have 46 items in my wardrobe. Yes, 46. And this already includes my loungewear and accessories. As a minimalist, I find this collection enough for me and I’m already contented. Here’s a breakdown of everything I have: . TOPS 8 tees (I often wear the black shirts in the office) 5 collared (2 long-sleeves) 1 rash guard 1 sweater (I only use this few times in a year) . BOTTOMS 2 lounge shorts 2 trousers 1 gym shorts 1 casual shorts . UNDIES 7 boxers (Yes, it’s just enough for a week.) 5 hankies 5 pairs of socks . FOOTWEAR 4 pairs of shoes (I often wear the black sneakers) 1 pair of slippers . ACCESSORIES 1 belt 1 watch 1 pair of glasses . Although minimalism is not about having neutral-colored clothes or having a certain number of items. It’s about having what you only need and you’re happy with it. ❤️ . Personally, I haven’t bought clothes for a while now. But if ever I will buy a new shirt, I will let go of an existing one. One in, one out. ✨ . #konmari #mariekondo #konmarimethod #konmarifolding #minimalism #minimal #minimalph #minimalcebu #lesserbetter #declutterclothes #fastfashion #decluttering #stressfree #hasslefree #minimalwardrobe #minimalclothes #project333 #sparkjoy

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17. Snowboarding, Ski or Snowshoe

Put away those skis this season and try your hand at snowboarding. Regardless of whether you decide to stay in a ski lodge closer to the slopes or you have to travel a bit, either way, as long as you make the most out of learning to snowboard or learning how to ski, that’s all that matters.

There are multiple resorts in the entire GTA offering ski and snowboarding lessons for kids as little as 4 years old to adults. Is language a problem? No worries. Places like Ski Lakeridge in Uxbrige even offer ski lessons in other languages besides English including French, Cantonese, Mandarin, Serbian, Polish, and Armenian.




18. Do a Puzzle or play a Board Game

Despite the many benefits of doing a puzzle including memory and reasoning improvement, increase in IQ, mood and stress levels, most of us haven’t done this since we were children. You don’t find too many opportunities where you can concentrate on one thing, so be present and let everything else in your mind go. That alone will be worth every minute. Besides, puzzles are incredibly inexpensive family activity, allowing you to get away from excessive TV watching and spending more time as a family doing the same thing rather than being in front of Tv screens.


19. Visit a Museum

Sometimes we take for granted what is in our own backyards. Try not to by doing some research of local museums and then go and visit one: The Benares museum, Bradley Museum and Leslie Log house are one of the highly recommended options you can check out locally.



20. Go  Bowling

Did you know that bowling is one of the most popular stress relieving activities in the winter? Try a local bowling spot: Classic Bowl and Streetsville Bowl are one of the many options you can try to turn weekdays into family bowling traditions.


21. Go to a show, see a play or concert

Whether it’s just on a small local stage or a big city production, a quintessential thing to do during the holidays is to escape into a dreamland with the exquisite ballet performance of the Nutcracker or see a local Christmas concert at the Living Arts Center or go see a play at the Meadowvale Theater.


22. Take a Cooking Class

There are many cooking classes available at the Food District you can take this winter. Some of them are so popular that they sell out within minutes. Check the calendar and sign up quickly to avoid disappointments.


Some of the classes we’re loving are 12 days of baking cookies, cute meringues, painted holiday cookies, and breakfast with Santa, all happening in December.



23. See Frozen Waterfalls

Want to get your kids out of the city to see something different? Hamilton is by far your best if you want to discover a few waterfall, including some frozen ones including Felker’s , Webster , Tiffany falls and Devil’s Punchbowl.



24. Hit the Ice

Outdoor ice rinks typically open in mid to late November. If you can’t wait that long, there are tons arenas available so the little ones can hone their skills before winter arrives. There are multiple arenas in Mississauga available for rent, some of them even offering party rooms for private birthday parties.

If you prefer to breathe in fresh air, there are lots of outdoor skating rinks available to choose from, including the popular celebration square rink.


25. Support Canadian Art

There are numerous exhibits happening at the AGM, some extremely cute. Take advantage of what the Art Gallery of Mississauga has to offer by going in and supporting Canadian arts. There is no entrance fee (only available by donation only) and teach your kids how important artist to keep our mind balanced, while being mesmerized at the talent of local Canadian artists.



26. Cheer the Raptors

Since the 2019 victory, Celebration Square is now the place to see games. Bundle and watch a Raptors game sipping a hot chocolate. The more the Raptors do well, the earlier you’ll need to get there. Don’t forget to leave at a reasonable time for your kits bedtime and to avoid traffic.





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