Inexpensive Things to do in Durham Region
Durham offers many opportunities to have fun as a family and many of them do not cost a lot of money. Here are a few ideas and a few links that will take you to even more information and events.
Have a Picnic – Most communities in Durham Region offer neighbourhood and municipal parks that are free to use. Most offer swings and slides for the kids and many have picnic tables, shade trees and offer splash pads in the summer. Fall and spring are also popular times to go for walks and enjoy a picnic lunch along the way.
During the winter many of the conservation areas offer nature walks on the weekends and opportunities to hand feed chickadees and other small birds.
All of the lakes in the area have extensive park areas and walking trails that are free to use.
For a list of local parks and picnic areas see the Enjoying the Great Outdoors section below.
Each municipality also lists parks and other facilities in their area.
This is one example for Oshawa: http://www.oshawa.ca/mun_res/locations.asp
Visit a Museum – Area museums offer tours and exhibits for minimal cost and many have special rates for families, students and seniors.
Keeping Fit and Active – There are many recreational opportunities in Durham. Most of the municipalities offer recreational programs and activities that are low cost and offered in both the daytime and evenings. A listing of recreational programs in each municipality can be found through their Recreation Departments
Enjoying the Great Outdoors - Durham has many parks, picnic areas, conservation areas and trails that are free or offered for a small entrance fee. Learn more from a Trail Map brochure that you can download from the Durham Tourism site
Don’t let bad weather stop you. Many local shopping malls and recreation centres have walking groups who simply walk up and down the malls or the public areas, especially first thing in the morning, before things get busy. Some of the seniors’ centres have organized walking groups.
Many arenas offer public skating in the fall, winter and spring at very low rates. Watch for days when local merchants sponsor free public skating. Most also offer skating lessons at reasonable prices. If you are not sure if you will like skating, borrow skates or pick some up at a second hand store. Just remember to have them sharpened properly. It is worth the cost.
Watch the Birds – Even in the winter months there are conservation areas where eager flocks of birds will come for a handout of bird-seed. Chickadees are very small black, grey and white birds that are often tame enough to eat seeds from your hand. This is a great thrill for the kids. Take lots of sunflower seeds, the small black ones, as well as mixed seed.
Note: most places frown on feeding Canada Geese and ducks. White bread is also not recommended for birds.
Read a Book – See a Movie – Public Libraries are one of the best deals around. You just have to show proof of residence to join and you can borrow books, CDs, movies and other items or just sit in the library and read. Most offer computers with Internet connections a half hour at a time. Check their listings for other activities, especially for the kids.