Sunday, June 16, 2024

Free things to do in Vaughan 2023: Free Attractions and Activities

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Jillian Castillo
Jillian Castillo
"Proud thinker. Tv fanatic. Communicator. Evil student. Food junkie. Passionate coffee geek. Award-winning alcohol advocate."

Located just north of Toronto, Vaughan is a thriving city with plenty to offer both residents and visitors. Despite its reputation for being an entertainment hub, it’s also possible to explore Vaughan without breaking the bank. In this article, we’ll delve into a variety of free attractions and activities that cater to all ages and interests, ensuring a memorable experience in Vaughan without the hefty price tag.

Free things to do in Vaughan 2023

  1. Nature Escapes: Kortright Centre for Conservation and Boyd Conservation Park

The Kortright Centre for Conservation and Boyd Conservation Park are two of Vaughan’s most popular nature destinations, offering a serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. With picturesque walking trails, picnic areas, and a range of ecosystems to explore, these parks are perfect for a leisurely day out with friends or family. While the Kortright Centre occasionally hosts special events with an admission fee, regular access to the parks is free of charge.

  1. Wander through the McMichael Canadian Art Collection’s Sculpture Garden

While the McMichael Canadian Art Collection is known for its exceptional indoor exhibits, the outdoor sculpture garden is free to explore. Take a stroll through the grounds and appreciate the various works of art set amidst the beautiful natural surroundings. With plenty of shaded seating areas and a serene atmosphere, the sculpture garden is perfect for a peaceful afternoon outdoors.

  1. Explore Vaughan’s Public Art

Vaughan boasts a growing collection of public art scattered throughout the city. Wander through the streets and take in the various murals, sculptures, and installations that reflect the city’s diverse cultural identity. From large-scale murals to thought-provoking installations, these works of art can be appreciated by all ages and interests.

  1. Visit the Cold Creek Conservation Area

The Cold Creek Conservation Area is a 190-hectare park with a variety of habitats, including wetlands, forests, and meadows. Families can explore the park’s many walking trails, participate in environmental education programs, or take part in recreational activities like bird-watching, cycling, or snowshoeing during winter months. Admission to the park is free, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers on a budget.

  1. Attend Local Events and Festivals
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Throughout the year, Vaughan hosts various free events and festivals that cater to a wide range of interests. From cultural celebrations and outdoor movie nights to seasonal festivities and farmers’ markets, there’s always something happening in Vaughan that won’t cost you a dime. Keep an eye on the local event calendar and plan your visit accordingly.

  1. Enjoy a Day at the Park: Vaughan’s Premier Playgrounds

Vaughan is home to numerous parks and playgrounds that cater to children of all ages. Visit Maple Community Centre Park, Chancellor District Park, or North Thornhill Community Centre Park, which feature modern play structures, splash pads, sports fields, and ample green spaces. These parks offer hours of free entertainment, exercise, and fun for the whole family.

  1. Tour the Magnotta Winery

The Magnotta Winery, one of Canada’s largest and most innovative wineries, offers complimentary tours that provide an insight into the wine-making process. Visitors can explore the vineyards, bottling facilities, and art gallery, all free of charge. While wine tasting is available at an additional cost, the tour itself is an informative and enjoyable experience for those interested in learning about the art of wine-making.

  1. Experience the Kleinburg Heritage Walk

The historic village of Kleinburg, nestled within Vaughan, is known for its picturesque streetscapes and vibrant cultural scene. Embark on a self-guided walking tour of the Kleinburg Heritage Walk, which highlights the village’s rich history and architectural landmarks. The walk is free, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the charm of this quaint village at their own pace.

  1. Visit the Local Libraries
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Vaughan’s public libraries are more than just repositories for books; they also serve as community hubs offering various free programs and resources. With branches located throughout the city, these libraries host workshops, storytimes, book clubs, and even movie screenings for all ages. Check the library’s event calendar to see what’s happening during your visit.

  1. Stroll through the Humber River Trails

The Humber River Trails wind through Vaughan, offering a network of scenic walking and cycling paths along the river’s edge. With a combination of paved and unpaved sections, these trails provide a tranquil escape from the city and an opportunity to appreciate the region’s natural beauty. Wildlife sightings, including deer, rabbits, and various bird species, are not uncommon, adding an element of excitement to your walk or bike ride.

  1. Skate at Vaughan Iceplex (Seasonal)

During the winter months, the Vaughan Iceplex offers free public skating sessions for residents and visitors alike. Bring your own skates or rent a pair, and glide across the ice, making the most of the crisp winter air. This is a fun and budget-friendly activity that caters to all skill levels and ages.

  1. Enjoy a Picnic at Lake Wilcox Park

Lake Wilcox Park, located in the Oak Ridges community, is a popular destination for picnics, leisurely strolls, and recreational activities. The park features a large playground, splash pad, and various sports facilities, along with plenty of green space for families to spread out and enjoy a meal together. The picturesque lake serves as a stunning backdrop for your outdoor dining experience.

  1. Take a Scenic Drive through Vaughan’s Countryside
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Vaughan’s surrounding countryside offers picturesque landscapes and quaint rural charm. Take a leisurely drive along the winding roads, passing through farmlands, vineyards, and quaint villages. Stop at a roadside stand to purchase fresh produce or simply pull over to capture the stunning views with your camera. This is a wonderful way to explore the region at your own pace and without spending a dime.

  1. Volunteer Your Time

If you’re looking to make a difference during your time in Vaughan, consider volunteering at one of the many local organizations in need of assistance. From animal shelters and food banks to community gardens and environmental projects, there are numerous opportunities to give back to the community while gaining a deeper appreciation for the city and its residents.

  1. Window Shop at Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre

While shopping may not be free, window shopping at Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre is a leisurely way to spend an afternoon. Wander through the various shops and boutiques, admiring the latest trends and designs. Additionally, the shopping center frequently hosts free events and performances, providing added entertainment for visitors.


There’s no need to break the bank to experience the best that Vaughan has to offer. With a wide range of free attractions, activities, and events available throughout the city, it’s possible to enjoy a memorable and affordable visit. From outdoor adventures and cultural experiences to leisurely strolls and volunteering opportunities, Vaughan has something to offer everyone, regardless of budget. So grab your family, friends, or simply venture out solo, and discover the vibrant and diverse city of Vaughan without the hefty price tag.

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