Happy New Years! This special holiday is a chance to spend time with family and friends, celebrating another fantastic year. There are plenty of events happening all around the Greater Toronto Area and, thankfully for our tired wallets after all that Christmas shopping, most of them are free! Raise your glass and check out our Guide to the Best Family-Friendly New Years Events and Activities in Toronto and the GTA…

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Free Public Transit!

Many GTA transportation operators are offering free rides on the evening of December 31, including the Toronto Transit Commission, GO Transit and UP Express, Brampton Transit and York Region Transit.

New Year’s Eve Special Events in Toronto

City of Toronto’s New Year’s Eve Celebration of Light and Sound
Either in person or online (through the City of Toronto Culture’s YouTube page), watch in awe as the skyline of Toronto lights up. There will be a countdown to midnight, leading up to two synchronized 15-minute fireworks displays across Toronto’s waterfront.

Cavalcade of Lights
While there is no official NYE event happening at Nathan Phillips Square, skating at its iconic rink is a big part of many families’ traditions. Meanwhile, the free Cavalcade of Lights festival continues, transforming City Hall and its surroundings into a dazzling wonderland every night during the the holiday season.

The Bentway: Skate Trail and Polar Bear Skate
Embrace winter at the Bentway with its Skate Trail, including the popular Polar Bear Skate event taking place at 1:00pm on New Year’s Eve. (Participants under 18 must be accompanied by a legal guardian)

The Distillery Winter Village
The Distillery Winter Village returns for revellers to embrace the holiday spirit of a traditional European outdoor market, where you can stroll the cobblestone streets of under canopies of lights. Take photos by the huge Christmas tree in Trinity Square and also indulge in some of the city’s most delicious food. As well, the market stays open until midnight on December 31st to ring in 2024!

Toronto Union Station: TD Union Winter
Toronto Union Station gets the party going through the holiday season and into the new year with TD Union Winter. Inside the newly opened TD West Carriageway, ring in 2024 at the New Year’s Eve party at the Roller Express, filled with live music, fun activities, good eats, and special prize giveaways.

New Year’s Eve Special Events in the GTA

Bronte Creek Provincial Park: Coyote Howl and Kids Countdown
Howl in the New Year at Bronte Creek, where a park naturalist leads a Coyote Howl guided walk to learn more about these misunderstood creatures. Then, gather around the bonfire, roast some marshmallows and join a kids NYE countdown at 8:30pm.

Mountsberg Conservation Area: Winterlit
Bask in the natural beauty of Mountsberg Conservation Area by taking an illuminated walk in the woods at Winterlit, where trails sparkle brightly for a combined distance of approximately 1.5 kilometres. One of their Enchanted Evenings happens on NYE with additional entertainment and activities, like candle making.

Noon Year’s Eve Events in Toronto and the GTA

LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Toronto
Included with standard admission, join the master builders at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre on New Year’s Eve for a countdown and balloon drop at noon. Also, you’ll find LEGO giveaways, sparkling drinks, and an EPIC dance party!

At their locations in Lawrence Park and Upper Beaches, families can enjoy free play and games at their indoor gyms, dance to a DJ’s fun tunes and join a dance competition. Then, grab pics in the New Year’s Photo booth and celebrate with a balloon drop at noon!

Ontario Science Centre: Noon New Years
Party when the clock strikes 12 (noon, that is), celebrate the new year with science! On the morning of New Year’s Eve day, join the Ontario Science Centre for hands-on science activities, crafts and more. (Each child must be accompanied by a 1-2 caregivers)

Municipal New Year’s Eve Events around the GTA

Ajax Family New Year’s Eve Party
This family event includes children’s activities and games, live entertainment, and ice skating party with DJs and more. In addition, there’s a special countdown and balloon drop at 9:00pm instead of midnight.

Aurora Family First Night
Located in Aurora, north of Toronto, music, animal and magic shows are included in a program of family entertainment geared to all ages.

Barrie Downtown Countdown
This free family-focused celebration begins at 6:00pm with performances by Sonshine and Broccoli and headlining rock band Big Wreck. There’s also skating, family activities and two fireworks shows, the first around 8:00pm and the second at midnight.

Brampton Countdown to New Year’s
In the heart of downtown Brampton, go skating in Gage Park and see live music headlined by Keshia Chanté and Our Lady Peace. At midnight, ring in the New Year with a dazzling fireworks display.

Markham: NYE IN DTM Countdown and Fireworks
Downtown Markham’s party kicks off at 9:00pm with a live music by a local classic rock band. Then, the Town Crier leads the countdown to midnight, followed by a fireworks show.

Mississauga NYE 2023 at Celebration Square
Residents of Mississauga gather in Celebration Square again this year. This year, see musical performances by Shawn Desman and guests, DJs, food trucks, outdoor skating, fireworks, and more.

Niagara Falls New Year’s Eve Celebrations
Along with a fireworks display that takes place at 8pm and midnight, there are also concerts and activities throughout the tourist district. Plus, the free Niagara Winter Festival of Lights continues into the new year.

Oshawa Celebrates
Starting at 6:00pm and ending with a countdown at 9:00pm, families can celebrate with free swimming at the recreation centre. Plus, there’s free skating, free ticketed magic shows in the Library, live entertainment, a zoo, dinosaurs and crafts too!

Richmond Hill First Night New Year’s Eve
Join the family-friendly afternoon New Year’s party at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts. It features an indoor kids concert, outdoor activities such as free skating on Glice Synthetic Ice, tasty treats and an early countdown.

Whitchurch-Stouffville New Year’s Eve
Bring the whole family to Memorial Park on New Year’s Eve to close out the year with a bang! The fireworks start nice and early at 7:00pm, plus there’s exciting entertainment on the main stage and free hot beverages.

Family Fun Toronto Guides

Christmas Lights Displays in Toronto and the GTA
The holiday spirit continues into the New Year with spectacular light displays across the region. Whether indoors or outdoors, by foot or by car, these festivals and shows are bound to instantly get you into a festive mood.

Guide to Holiday Concerts and Shows in Toronto
Taking in a concert or show is always a fun event for New Years so check out our Guide to Holiday Concerts and Shows in Toronto, with ideas for a special festive treat for families.

Looking for more Winter Outdoor Activities in Toronto? Click here!