They say the best things in life are free – and some of the best things in Mississauga definitely are! You may know there are tons of fun activities for the whole family throughout the city, but have you taken advantage of all of the free attractions? Whether you’re planning for Family Day or just some winter weekend fun, add these to your to-do list – and don’t spend a dime.
1. Family Day at Mississauga’s Celebration Square
There is always something fun happening in Celebration Square. Right now, you can head over for skating on Mississauga’s outdoor rink, open from 10 am each day. Don’t have skates? No problem – rentals are available for a small fee. If you’ve worked up an appetite from the exercise, you can grab a bite from the food trucks dishing up tasty eats, open Friday 4pm-10pm and Saturday to Monday 12pm-10pm. You can enjoy your meal – and the perfect winter vibes – in the heated lounges featuring comfy seating and winter décor.
On Family Day, there’s even more fun happening in the Square! Family Day marks the start of the 100-day countdown to the Ontario Parasport Games coming to Mississauga this spring. From noon to 4pm, visitors can learn more about the Games through informational activations. After skating, you can snap a family picture at the Ontario Parasport Games and Ontario Summer Games photo stations located around the Square.
2. Explore Sauga with the Local Gems Pass
Does your family like to adventure? There’s so much to see, do, (and eat!) throughout Mississauga – even locals can find something new to explore. With the free Local Gems Pass you can head out on a treasure hunt to see the incredible sights throughout the city. The pass will give you access to exclusive deals and discounts – plus, the more you explore and the more gems you collect, the greater your chances of winning some extra treasure (aka gift cards to help you see more of Mississauga.)
3. Skate, Swim & More
If you are looking for some indoor fun, many of Mississauga’s Community Centres are offering free family fun activities all day long. From fun swim to fun skate, and even family sports like pickelball there is definitely no shortage of things to do to keep the kids active and entertained this family day. No registration is needed, and all programs are available on a first come, first serve basis – so be sure to check the online schedule to find a rec centre nearest you.
4. Art Gallery of Mississauga
This free gallery is a great place to spend a few hours learning about Canadian culture, and history as reflected in a variety of diverse works. For anyone interested in learning about unique art techniques, this is a must-visit. The gallery features a range of contemporary and indigenous art, with a specific focus on photography, in addition to continually changing exhibitions, so there’s always something new to discover.
5. Visit Benares Historic House
Built in 1857, this historic house gives you a look at Mississauga families of times past, featuring family possessions spanning four generations, in addition to a variety of rotating displays. The house itself features classic Georgian architecture and is a favourite spot for history buffs.
Note that while this exhibit is free, donations are encouraged but not required.
6. Lakefront Promenade Park
Mississauga has no shortage of waterside fun to be had. Lakefront Promenade Park is a popular spot to both lounge on the beach and launch a boating adventure. The park features a variety of fun amenities including beach volleyball courts, a playground, a picnic area and a spray pad. While you don’t need to spend a cent to enjoy the park, if you’re looking to upgrade your day, consider renting a canoe, kayak or paddleboard and spending a day on the water.
7. Jack Darling Memorial Park & Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens
One of Mississauga’s most beloved outdoor spaces, Jack Darling Park has lots to do all year long. While it’s still snowy, take advantage of the toboggan hill. In the summer, head to the beach for a waterfront picnic. It also has a playground, tennis courts and a spray pad to enjoy during the warmer weather. For dog owners, your pup will love the leash-free zone.
Bask in the beauty of this popular garden featuring beautiful azaleas and rhododendrons, surrounded by shrubs and white pines. This is the perfect spot to snap some family photos, or simply enjoy a stroll. The garden is in bloom from May – June, but it’s a beautiful walking location all year long.
8. Kariya Park
Named for Mississauga’s sister city, Kariya, Japan, this stunning park is filled to the brim with Japanese trees and foliage, as well as statues, a zen garden, and a pond home to numerous koi and turtles. Add a visit to this popular park to your calendar for the Spring when the magnolia and Japanese cherry trees are in full bloom. While the floral splendor in the Spring is spectacular, this park is still beautiful in the winter when the pond is covered with ducks and the trees are tipped in snow.
9. Outdoor Public Art
As a city with a wealth of culture, you’ll find various public art displays throughout Mississauga’s neighbourhoods. Check out the Polar Express walking tour guide, featuring more than 20 incredible works, and spend a day finding them all with your family.
10. Trails and Tobogganing
With hundreds of parks in the city, there are plenty of spots for some wintery outdoor family fun. Enjoy some sledding at the city’s top tobogganing hills in some popular parks. For a more leisurely activity, trek some Mississauga trails to enjoy fresh air amid the winter wildlife and foliage. You can even try snowshoeing to help you trudge through the snow!