Summer is such a fun time of year! More people are getting outside, taking family vacations, and generally making the most of the summer weather. Do you ever find, though, that financially some of those summer activities can really start to add up? I’m always on the hunt for inexpensive – or better yet – free family activities that we do without breaking the bank.
These free summer activities in London Ontario will keep you and your kids busy, having a great time, and even learning a few new things while still fitting into your budget. After all, why not save where you can so you have more money for other things?
FREE SUMMER ACTIVITIES IN LONDON ONTARIO
Art on Sundays at Museum London –
Drop in nearly any Sunday afternoon to get creative in the studio or explore the galleries with a tour guide. Admission is by donation!
Hume Cronyn Memorial Observatory –
The observatory is open to the public weekly during May though August (every Saturday evening, 8:30-11pm). Astronomers are on hand to answer questions and sometimes will give a talk about a particular topic of interest. Amateur astronomers often show up with their own telescopes too, so if you’re interested in possibly taking this up as a hobby, these are the people you’re going to want to talk with.
Concerts in the Park
Free outdoor concerts that run rain or shine at Springbank Gardens (Guy Lombardo Pavilion) from 2-4 pm. The schedule for 2019 is as follows:
- July 7th – Old Chicago Blues Band 4 piece
- July 14th – The Young Ones, guitar instrumental Trio.
- July 21st – Mike Fagan Duo
- July 28th – Oliver Whitehead Jazz Duo or Trio.
- August 4th – Marie Bottrell Duo
- August 11th – Ian MacKay Duo, or Hysen classical group.
- August 18th – Take 3 Jazz Vocal group, 5 piece
- August 25th – The Jitterbugs 4 piece
Summer Playground Program
This program runs July 2 to August 15, Monday-Thursday at a variety of locations. This has been around a long time – my daughter and I both went to it when we were children! This is a FREE drop-in program available at 40+ locations around the city.
The kids participate in games, sports, arts, crafts, and great special events and field trips. All activities are supervised by play leaders. All locations run as half day sites for all ages (6-12) either morning or afternoon depending on the location. No supervision is provided during lunch hours.
Teen Fitness at Good Life
The GoodLife Teen Fitness program offers youth aged 12 to 17 free access to all GoodLife Fitness Clubs across Canada. The program runs from July 2-September 2, 7 days a week from 8 am to 4 pm.
Thursday Nights are Free at the London Children’s Museum –
This is a hands-on museum that focuses on the educational and social development of children from infancy through age 12. Thursday evenings from 5-8 pm you can enjoy free admission. Interactive exhibits include Child Long Ago, The Street Where You Live, Arctic Discovery, Dinosaurs, and more.
Hike One of Our Natural Spaces in the City –
There are many to choose from including Westminster Ponds, the Sifton Bog, and more. Head out on a self-guided hike or often there are guided hikes offered on weekends. You might just see some amazing wildlife and plants along the way!
Go Skateboarding as a Family
London has quite a few skate parks located throughout the city.
Take a Tour Using the Heart of London App
Enjoy this fun and delightful historical tour of London Ontario, while relaxing at home or while meandering along the riverside at the forks of the Thames River, in the Heart of London, Ontario, Canada. The app presents 90 minutes of commentary about the history of London while you enjoy the beauty of the heart of downtown London, at your leisure, on your own schedule.
Go on a Self-Guided Tree Trunk Tour.
The tree trunk carvings are quite amazing works of art. Several of them are beginning to rot unfortunately. They have been able to save enough to make it still a worthwhile way to pass an afternoon.
Take a Self-Guided Barn Quilt Tour
Another fun way to see unique art in our community. These barn quilts are, as you might expect, in rural areas around London with quite a number being based in the Wardsville area.
Tour a Local Church
St. Peter’s Cathedral and St. Paul’s Cathedral offer regular tours.
Spend Time at One of Our Local Parks –
Many to choose from including Springbank Park and Harris Park which are both by the river, the Civic Garden Complex, the Cancer Survivor Garden (which has a small labyrinth you can walk), and more. Some parks have playground equipment and/or splash pads.
Head to a Farmer’s Market
Includes Covent Garden Market (free 1/2 parking weekdays and free 2 hour parking on weekends), the Western Fair Farmer’s Market, Gibraltar Weekend Market, and more. Obviously, if you choose to purchase something that’s going to cost you some money but just looking around can be a lot of fun. And you could combine it with your grocery shopping!
Tour the Secrets of Radar Museum
This museum is committed to sharing Canadian radar history, from its earliest secret experimentation to recent advances, and most importantly, to the preservation of real life stories and personal experiences of the people who have worked and continue to work in radar.
Tour the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame
The Exhibit Hall inspires visitors with the stories of outstanding achievements of Canadian women and men who have changed the face of medicine and health in the world.
Labatt Brewery Tour
Obviously, this one is for adults only. Experience a guided tour at the Simcoe Street (Hometown) Brewery in London, Ontario. This is the same location where Labatt founder John Kinder Labatt started brewing beer more than 160 years ago.
Tour the Jet Aircraft Museum
This is the only aviation museum dedicated solely to the flying and restoration of Canadian jet aircraft and other Cold War jets.
Splash Pads and Wading Pools
Wading pools are a free opportunity for your child to cool off and start developing their water confidence. They have a maximum depth of 0.6m and have a lifeguard on site at all times. Cloth and disposable diapers are not permitted. Swim diapers are recommended.
Spray pads are interactive water play areas and have sensors that users push to activate the features. Spray pads use potable water.
Spray pads are unsupervised and have no standing water. They are checked daily by City staff.
Both are open from various dates and times. Check the website for your location.
The Hyde Park and District Lions Club is hosts classic car cruise nights on Thursday evenings from May 16, 2019 to September 19, 2019.
The NeighbourGood Program
Have you heard of this program? You can form a group within your neighbourhood and apply for funding for something your community needs. Or plan an event and they have lots of great equipment that you can borrow for it, including things like tables, chairs, popup tents, giant games, and more. They even can help you if you want to plan a neighbourhood movie night! Lots of resources there to get your community together and having fun.
Head downtown and you’ll find loads of amazing (mostly outdoor) public art including murals and sculptures. You could even check some out with your kids and then go home and make some of your own!
Some of our festivals (Sunfest and Home County Festival for example) are free too! Learn more about Summer Festivals in London here.
There’s lots to do in London without spending much (or any!) money. Explore the city and have some fun this summer!
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