Things To Do

Top Free (or almost free) Activities to do in Barrie & Area!

You will find no shortage of outdoor activities, attractions and events to explore while in Barrie & Area. Try all of these great family activities and experience the city without breaking your vacation budget. 


1. Tree Lighting
Cost: Free
Date: November 18, 2017
Location: Dunlop Street and Owen Street, Downtown Barrie
Description: : Start the holiday season with this annual tradition held in conjunction with the Santa Claus Parade. Free horse-drawn wagon rides, face painting, hot chocolate, a festive holiday film, and a visit from Santa. Cap it off with the lighting of the tree followed by a fantastic firework show.

2. Santa Claus Parade
Cost: Free
Date: November 18, 2017
Location: Barrie Waterfront & Downtown
Description:  Welcome Santa at Barrie's annual night parade! Enjoy bands and illuminated floats as they make their way through downtown Barrie. As the parade finishes take in Downtown Barrie's Tree Lighting Celebration and a fantastic fireworks show at Memorial Square.

3. Barrie's Downtown Countdown
Cost: Free
Date: December 31, 2017
Location: Outside City Hall, 70 Collier Street
Description: Ring in the New Year in downtown Barrie! Traveling from near and far, thousands join together to celebrate with a free evening of fun and entertainment at one of Central Ontario's largest New Year's Eve celebrations. 

4. Winterfest
Cost: Free
Date: February 3 & 4, 2018
Location: Heritage Park
Description: Barrie's signature winter festival featuring, ice sculptures, ice maze, horse-drawn wagon rides, vendors, food, lumberjack shows and more!

Outdoor Adventures

1. Barrie Farmers Market
Cost: Free
Date: Year-Round
Location: In Front of City Hall, 70 Collier Street
Description: Every Saturday morning from May to November head over to City Hall and enjoy browsing and shopping for locally grow products, baked goods, crafts and more.

2. Heritage Walking Tours - Self Guided
Cost: Free
Hours: n/a
Location: Various locations through Barrie
Description: Step back in time and learn about Barrie's past and how it became the flourishing city it is today on a self guided historic walking tour. Click here to download all six walking tour or pick up your guides at Tourism Barrie, 205 Lakeshore Drive.

3. Walking the Waterfront
Cost: Free
Hours: n/a
Location: Lakeshore Drive, Barrie
Description: Walk down the beautiful Waterfront in Barrie's downtown area. You'll love the view!

4. Ice Fishing on the Waterfront
Cost: Free with licence 
Hours: n/a
Location: Kempenfelt Bay, Barrie
Description: The fishing fun doesn't stop with the warm weather! In the winter months, the ice-covered Kempenfelt Bay becomes home to a village of ice huts. Come and try ice fishing in Barrie this winter. You'll fall for it, hook, line and sinker! 

Indoor Adventures

1. Base Borden Military Museum
Cost: Free
Hours: Tuesday - Friday: 9am - 3pm; Saturdays & Sundays: 1pm - 4pm
Location: 27 Ram Street, Borden
Description: War buff? Base Borden is one of Canada's largest Military Museums which holds a
significant collection of WWI, WWII and post war armoured vehicles, trucks and aircraft.

2. Barrie Public Library
Cost: Free
Hours: See website
Location: Downtown Branch - 60 Worsley Street, Barrie; Panswick Branch - 48 Dean Ave. Barrie
Description: Various activities each month including Family Storytime, Teens After School, Cookie Swaps, holiday Crafts and more.

3. City of Barrie Recreation Centres - Pools
Cost: Child: $4; Youth: $4.50; Adult: $5.50; Seniors: $4.70: Special Needs: $4.70
Hours: Click here for Swimming Drop-In Schedule 
Locations: See website
Description: Enjoy open swim with the family or get fit during lane swim.

4. City of Barrie Recreation Centres - Skating
Cost: Child: $2.25; Youth: $3.50; Adult: $4.75; Seniors: $2.65: Special Needs: $2.65
Hours: Click here for Skating Drop-In Schedule 
Locations: See website
Description: Enjoy open swim with the family or get fit during lane swim.

5. Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery Tour
Cost: Free
Hours: Mon - Fri: 2pm, Sat: 1pm, 2pm, 3pm & 4pm, Sun: 2pm
Location: 107 Dunlop Street East, Barrie
Description: Learn about craft brewing while enjoying some free samples.

6. MacLaren Art Centre
Cost: Suggested admission - $5.00
Hours: Mon - Fri: 10am - 5pm; Sat & Sun: 10am - 4pm
Location: 37 Mulcaster Street, Barrie
Description: Take in a little art while in Barrie. The MacLaren Art Centre has a permanent collection of 26,600 works of art and offer world class exhibitions year-round.

7. Simcoe County Museum
Cost: Adults: $6; Students: $5; Children: $4; Preschoolers: Free
Hours: Mon - Sat: 9am - 4:30pm; Sun: 1pm - 4:30pm
Location: 1151 Highway 26, Minesing
Description: Be transported back to the turn of the 20th century as you walk down Barrie's Main Street exhibit at the Simcoe County Museum. Enjoy 5 indoor gallery and 16 outdoor heritage and display buildings.