Free or nearly free


Winter 2017-2018

When it comes to free or low-cost fun, there's lots to do this winter. From nature walks to enjoying special events to learning new cooking skills in our cooking classes. There is indoor and outdoor fun for everyone - take a look at what's happening in Kitchener! 

Free or nearly free activities for:

For everyone

Live music Saturdays

Please join us every Saturday at the Kitchener Market for local, live music on the piazza weather permitting, or inside the Market on snowy days! Check out the lineup schedule.

Carl Zehr Square outdoor rink

The city maintains an outdoor winter rink at city hall, open Sunday to Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Outdoor skating rinks

Outdoor skating rinks are free thanks to neighbourhood volunteers throughout the city with over 30 locations to choose from, there is bound to be one in your neighbourhood! Rinks operate from late December to early March (depending on weather and volunteer support). For more information on locations, check out the outdoor winter rinks page, or call 519-741-2200 x 7389 for more information.

Free community skating

Josslin Insurance is proud to be partnering with The Aud & arenas to offer free community skating again this season! Visit our skating schedule page for an up-to-date schedule or call 519-741-2699 for details. 

Public skating

Visit our skating schedule page for a full listing of paid public skating programs that take place in the City's arena facilities. From shinny to special public skating events - everyone can participate and stay active! Visit or call 519-741-2699. 

Walking track

The Lyle S. Hallman Foundation Walking Track is located above the KMHA Alumni ice pad at the Activa Sportsplex and is available for community use. The walking track is open daily, and is free during walking track hours. Check out the Track Guidelines

Walking and bike trails

Kitchener offers over 100 kilometres of community trails throughout the city suitable for walking, jogging, bicycling, walking the dog or even bird watching. These well-marked and groomed stone-dust trails are frequented by residents and visitors alike. Maps of the trail system are available at

Huron Natural Area

This tranquil place is a hidden gem that is becoming more and more popular to members of our community of all ages. From the scenic hiking trails, boardwalks, lookout areas and children's natural playscape, there is something for everyone.

For more a list of current programs and events visit our Huron Natural Area page.

Parks and natural areas

Among its many urban parks, the city has three flagship parklands: Victoria Park, Huron Natural Area (HNA) and McLennan Park. Victoria Park, downtown's jewel, features public art, scenic walks and hockey rinks on the common, if the weather is right. HNA, on Trillium Drive in south Kitchener, features several trails, ponds and a series of interpretive signs highlighting natural and cultural features, including a Neutral nation archaeological site. McLennan Park, located near Strasburg Road and Ottawa Street, features BMX bike trails and an unsupervised toboggan hill, among many other amenities for year-round activity.



For children and families

Huron Natural Area

Come and enjoy our children's natural playscape, trails and nature-based programs at this 107-hectare site, located at 801 Trillium Drive.

Please check our program schedule on our Huron Natural Area webpage.

Tales and trails

Grow your young child's love of nature through these story times in the forest. We'll gather outside the portable to hit the trails for a short hike, and then gather inside for songs and a tale around various winter nature themes. Content is ideally suited to children ages five and under. Admission is free and no registration is required. Note: Bathrooms are not available in the winter months. Meet at 10:30 a.m. in the portable classroom. For more details, visit the Huron Natural Area page. 

Kitchener Market

Located right in the heart of the city, the Kitchener Market is home to many international cuisine vendors. They will be sure to tempt your taste buds with endless options of ethnically diverse meal options made right before your eyes. Every Saturday, for more than 140 years, residents have also enjoyed the bounty the farmers' market has to offer including meat, produce, dairy products and more. From entertainment and cooking classes, to free events for children, the market is always buzzing with something unique to do for the entire family.

Call 519-741-2282 for more information or visit for our full schedule of programs and events.

Kids in the kitchen
10 a.m. - noon on certain Saturdays, check schedule.

Bring your kids to the Marketplace to stir up a storm with fun themes and activities focused around food, cooking and nutrition. These free classes are taught by one of our professional chefs who give your kids, and you, lots of opportunities to participate. 

Kids' hop

11 a.m. - noon on certain Tuesdays, check schedule.

Bring your little ones to the Kitchener Market every other Tuesday for a fabulous, fun-filled morning! Be prepared for a high-energy, hopping good time at these free children's events as our performers entertain your little ones! Erick Traplin, a popular local musician, performs some of the kids' favourite songs. 

Kids' art
11 a.m. - noon. on Thursdays

Participate in a fun, unique, hands-on creative art experience with your child, hosted by ARTSHINE at the Kitchener Market. This free art program can fill up fast so be sure to reserve your spot in advance! 


For youth

Youth drop-in

It is a fully supervised & FREE recreational program featuring games, music, crafts, sports, cooking, movies and more!

For youth 12 to 17

Downtown Community Centre, Tuesdays, 6:30 - 9 p.m.

Centreville-Chicopee Community Centre, Tuesdays, 7 - 9 p.m. and Fridays, 6 - 9 p.m. 

Chandler Mowat Community Centre, Fridays, 6:30 - 9 p.m.

Kingsdale Community Centre, Thursdays, 7 - 9:30 p.m.

For youth 14 to 17

KCI Collegiate, Thursdays, 7 - 9:30 p.m.

For young adults 18 to 25

18+ basketball drop-in, Downtown Community Centre, Thursdays, 8 - 10:30 p.m.


For more information call 519-741-2200 ext. 7603, email or visit

Outdoor basketball and skateboard parks

Catch some air on your skateboard or shoot some hoops at any of our outdoor basketball courts or skateboard parks. These parks and courts are free and available for use by all. All you need is your equipment choice and proper safety gear.

Kitchener youth action council (KYAC)

Youth between the ages of 14 and 24 can help make a positive difference for everyone in our community by joining KYAC. This inspiring group aims to make Kitchener a better place by working with adults who support their ideas and actions. For more information email or call 519-741-2200 ext. 5075.

For adults 55+

Ongoing groups

Breithaupt Centre, Downtown Community Centre and Rockway Centre host a variety of weekly ongoing activity groups including: bingo, chess, music jam, quilting, cycling, woodcarving, writing group, slo-pitch, cards, billiards, book clubs, craft groups, computer club drop-in, cribbage, crokinole, darts, walking and hiking groups, scrabble, shuffleboard, singing groups, ladderballs and more.

These activities are drop-in programs, registration is not required but a Kitchener Group Card is required to participate. The yearly cost of a Kitchener Group Card is $15 (ages 55+) or $18.30 (under 55 yrs.). Some activities may require a nominal weekly fee to participate ($0.25 per game).

The Leisure Access Card can be applied towards the cost of a Kitchener Group Card which is valid at community centres where ongoing groups are available including: Breithaupt Centre, Downtown Community Centre and Rockway Centre.

SHARE support services

One-on-one and group support for older adults is offered at Rockway Centre for life transitions including: grief support, caregiver support, as well as mix and mingle social groups and walking groups. There is no cost to attend, however registration is required. For more information or to register for SHARE support services groups please contact Peer Helper Coordinator at 519-741-2200 ext. 5346.

For more information call:

Breithaupt 519-741-2502, Rockway 519-741-2507 or Downtown Community Centre 519-741-2501.

Special events

For more details on special events please visit

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