Let’s face it: with presents, decorations, trees and trimmings, celebrating Christmas can get expensive. We all want to give our families a memorable and exciting holiday season, including spending time together participating in festive events around town. But it doesn’t require a miracle worthy of a made-for-TV movie to have fun this season for little to no money! So, consider us your special frugal elf as we present our gift to you: our Guide to the Best Cheap and Free Christmas Events in Toronto and the GTA…

Coca-Cola Holiday Caravan Truck Tour
When: November 22-26, 2023
The unmistakably red and jolly Coca-Cola Holiday Caravan truck tour is travelling across Canada, with stops in six locations in Ontario.

CPKC Canadian Holiday Train
When: November 22-29, 2023
The CPKC Canadian Holiday Train is back on the rails this year, travelling all across Canada with free concerts in support of local food banks, plus you can track the train’s location live on their website.

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Toronto History Museums: Lots of Light
When: November 1, 2023 — January 8, 2024
Make memories with loved ones with light and joy through art, music, food, culture, and storytelling in a mix of free and ticketed activities.

The Distillery Winter Village
When: November 16 – December 31, 2023
Embrace the holiday spirit of a traditional outdoor Christmas market at The Distillery Winter Village, where you can stroll the cobblestone streets, indulge in delicious food, and much more. Once again, there is free entry from 10:00am to 4:00pm, plus this year, kids 9 and under are free anytime.

stackt market Holiday Hills
When: November 17 – December 31, 2023
The stackt market downtown outdoor market hosts the free Holiday Hills festival, with vendor markets, Family Funday Sundays, and more.

Weston Village Winterfest
When: November 24-26, 2023
Weston Winterfest is a neighbourhood celebration with free treats, musical entertainment, street performers, contests and a holiday market.

The Junction BIA: Window Wonderland
When: November 24, 2023 – January 31, 2024
Window Wonderland transforms the Dundas Street West neighbourhood, The Junction, into an interactive, engaging and magical outdoor gallery.

City of Toronto: Cavalcade of Lights
When: November 25, 2023 – January 7, 2024
The City of Toronto hosts Cavalcade of Lights, a free festival that bathes Nathan Phillips Square, transforming City Hall and its surroundings into a dazzling wonderland every night during the the holiday season.

Leslieville BIA: Wanderlust
When: November 25, 2023
Leslieville BIA hosts the Leslieville Wanderlust shopping event, taking place on Queen Street East, plus a holiday party with Santa and his elves at Leslie Grove Park.

Bloor-Yorkville Holiday Magic
When: November 25 – December 31, 2023
Bloor-Yorkville Holiday Magic casts a glow on the upscale shopping and entertainment area this festive season with lights and music.

Bloor West Village BIA: Meet Santa in the Village 
When: November 25, 2023
Bloor West Village hosts FREE festive family fun with the Meet Santa in the Village event, including marketplace, entertainment and crafts.

The Beach BIA: Santa in the Beach
November 25, 2023
The Beach BIA’s annual event “Santa in the Beach” and Christmas Tree Lighting includes a full afternoon of holiday festivities.

The Original Santa Claus Parade
November 26, 2023
Since 1905, families have enjoyed The Original Santa Claus Parade in the streets of downtown Toronto with festive floats and plenty of holiday cheer.

Holiday Fair in the Square
When: December 1-23, 2023
Holiday Fair In The Square heads to North York this year with an artisan market, food vendors, performers, a fireside lounge, and photos with Santa.

Toronto Union Station: TD Union Winter
When: December 1, 2023 — February 4, 2024
Toronto Union Station gets the party going through the holiday season with TD Union Winter, inside the newly opened TD West Carriageway for a fun and magical free winter experience.

Fleurs de Villes NOËL
When: December 6-10, 2023
Fleurs de Villes NOËL is a fresh and festive floral celebration, featuring floral mannequins and other photo-worthy installations through the upscale neighbourhood of Bloor-Yorkville.

Yonge-Dundas Square: Winter Glow
When: December 14-23, 2023
Yonge-Dundas Square shines on with Winter Glow, a new holiday fun event in the heart of downtown Toronto, featuring carnival rides, midway games and carnival treats.

The Bentway Skate Trail
When: December 16, 2023 – February 19, 2024 (weather dependent)
Embrace winter at the Bentway when its Skate Trail opens for the 2023-24 season, including the Polar Bear Skate, free workshops, free rentals nights and skating lessons, family programming, art events, and more.

Brampton Winter Lights Festival
When: November 17-18, 2023
The Winter Lights Festival in Downtown Brampton kicks off the holiday season with free family-friendly activities, including a Tree Lighting Ceremony, winter lights displays, amusement rides, artist market, and more.

Village of Streetsville: Christmas in the Village
When: November 17, 2023
The Village of Streetsville in Mississauga returns with their Christmas in the Village event, including horse-drawn carriage rides, pictures with Santa, live music, photo ops, hot cocoa, and so much more.

Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights
Starts November 18, 2023
Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights is Canada’s largest FREE outdoor light festival, so get your fill of sparkle and good cheer!

Burlington Festival of Lights
When: November 24, 2023 – January 8, 2024
Drive or walk along the waterfront in Burlington for the annual Festival of Lights for a great free outing for the family this year.

Light Up The Square 2023
When: November 25, 2023
Celebrate the magic of winter in Mississauga with a Christmas tree lighting, ice skating, performances and the Holiday Street Market.
Website: www.mississauga.ca

Halton Hills: Light up the Hills Winter Festival
December 1, 2023 – January 14, 2024
Halton Hills is lighting up their parks this holiday season at the Light up the Hills Winter Festival to bring joy and hope to surrounding communities with light displays, free to view.

Orangeville Christmas in the Park
When: December 1-31, 2023
The month-long free Christmas in the Park event in Orangeville includes millions of dazzling lights, music, entertainment, food and more.

Uxbridge Optimist Fantasy of Lights
December 2, 2023 – January 6, 2024
More brilliant than ever, the annual Uxbridge Optimist Fantasy of Lights event features light displays every evening, even on Christmas Day!

Lights on Stratford Winter Festival of Lights
When: December 15, 2023 – January 13, 2024
The free annual Lights On Stratford Winter Festival of Lights transforms Stratford’s heritage downtown core and parks with luminous art and interactive light installations.

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas with Holiday Events here!