Things to do in Oshawa When You’re Broke

No cash? No problem! Check out our round-up of cheap, family-friendly things to do in Oshawa on a small budget:

Head to a branch of the Oshawa Public Library. The OPL’s four branches all offer tons of free (yes, FREE!) programs for kids of all ages and their families.  Play Fortnite, book Virtual Reality session, enjoy Family Story Time or join one of their many programs. You only need a library card! Check out the full program and event guide here

Borrow a Recreation Centre Family Pass.  This is a brand new initiative and it’s totally FREE! Through a partnership with the City, Oshawa Public Library, and the Healthy Kids Community Challenge, library customers can borrow Level 1 Family Passes to City of Oshawa Recreation Centres. Each pass gets you and your family access to all City of Oshawa Leisure Swims, Leisure Skates and access to the walking track at the Delpark Homes Centre and Civic Recreation Complex in the Civic Dome for 7 days. So you can do things like:

Swim during all Leisure Swims at City of Oshawa swimming pools
Skate during all Leisure Skates at City of Oshawa arenas (Shinny Hockey is not included)
Walk the indoor walking track at the Delpark Homes Centre (formerly Legends Centre) or enjoy a run/walk at the Civic Recreation Complex in the Civic Dome or the outdoor track (April to November).
Play in the Delpark Homes Centre (formerly Legends Centre) and South Oshawa Community Centre Gymnasiums* during all drop-in programs
Play in the Civic Recreation Complex Fieldhouse during all drop-in programs. All evening (after 5:00 p.m.) and weekend drop-in programs are not included in the membership.
Visit the Rec Room at the Civic Recreation Complex and the Youth Room at the South Oshawa Community Centre. 

Families can also borrow a parking pass for CLOCA parking lots to park for FREE while they explore local conservation areas! Visit your local branch of the Oshawa Public Library for details.

Want to check out Oshawa’s historic sites? Borrow a Museum Pass from the Oshawa Public Library for FREE admission to several local museums, including Parkwood Estate National Historic Site!

Families with children up to age 6 can head to the EarlyON centre at the YWCA in Oshawa or at one of their outreach sites for drop in play-to-learn/learn-to-play, and a wide variety of registered programs that are all FREE!

The Robert McLaughlin Gallery runs Second Sundays, a family-friendly program where parents and children can work together to created a themed piece of art! No registration is required, and the program is FREE.  Plus on the  pm to first Friday of the month, from 7 pm to 10 pm, the gallery buzzes with musical performances, interactive art experiences and more! Suitable for music lovers, youth, families, date nights, and culture-vultures, and admission is free.

The Oshawa Museum runs monthly Sunday FUNdays, a free, drop in program featuring different themes relating to Oshawa’s past! Check out the museum’s website for dates. FREE.

Cineplex Theatre offers cheap tickets for second run family movies every Saturday at 11 am, and tickets are only $2.99 each!

Local museums, like the Canadian Automotive Museum and the Ontario Regiment Museum (the Tank Museum!), offer inexpensive admission rates for kids and adults, plus special programs.

The LivingRoom Community Art Studio leads pay what you can art classes! Find out what’s happening on their Facebook page.

Carea offers dozens of free programs for children, youth, and teens that help support a healthy lifestyle! Find out more on their website.