New to Oshawa? Read our beginner’s guide to plenty of free (or cheap!) family friendly services and activities!
Run, don’t walk, to the closest branch of the Oshawa Public Library! Families can use their library card to access FREE programs like Fun for Ones, Preschool Story Time, craft and tech programs for kids and teens, plus movies, special events, and more!
Families with children under the age of 6 can enjoy free visits to the EarlyON Centre – a place for children and their parents and caregivers to take part in programs and activities together. Drop in and play, make a craft, or sign up for one of the many free programs offered each month. The EarlyON Centre also brings together in one location information about children’s services and programs in the community. If you have questions about your child’s development, or want to know how to get information or services for your child aged 0-6 in Oshawa, drop in for a visit, call or email.
Carea is a community-based not-for-profit organization that has been operating since 1982. Families can access tons of free programs for kids of all ages, including preschool for 3 and 4 year-olds, Dad’s Groups, Parent and Child programs, as well as wellness and parenting classes.
The City of Oshawa offers a wide selection of programs for families with children, from Stroller Boot Camp to Zumba with Baby, art and gym programs for toddlers and preschoolers, craft programs for school-aged children, sports for all ages, to summer and March Break camps. For families with children between the ages of 5 and 12, Oshawa also offers a FREE, drop-in Summer Playground Program in parks around the city that are run by trained City of Oshawa staff. Find out which parks will host the program, here. Want to learn more about programs and services run by Oshawa’s department of Parks, Recreation and Culture? Start by picking up a copy of the ActiveOshawa Guide at any of Oshawa’s Recreation Facilities.
Recreation facilities can also be found at the Boys and Girls Club of Durham and include programs for children and teens, as well as aquatics. The club also runs after-school programs, and for a list of participating schools, click here.
The Durham Family YMCA offers members a variety of facilities, including fitness equipment and classes, pool, rock climbing wall, and a gymnasium. There are also programs for children and teens, including a popular Teen Night every Friday. Membership is required to use the programs, but subsidies are available. Visit the facility and talk to a membership coordinator for more information, or call (905)438-9622.
Check out our local attractions! The Oshawa Museum, Canadian Automotive Museum, the Ontario Regiment Museum (also known as the Tank Museum for its impressive collection of armoured vehicles!), the Robert McLaughlin Gallery and Parkwood Estate National Historic Site all welcome families and frequently offer kid-friendly programs! For theatre lovers, the Oshawa Little Theatre regularly puts on high quality performances at family-friendly prices.
For free, confidential information about parenting, infant and child development, prenatal information, immunization, and community resources, the Durham Health Connection Line connects families with public health nurses. Just call 905-666-6241 or 1-800-841-2729, Monday to Friday, between 9 am and 6 pm.