Children and youth in Ottawa can “Play Free” this year

Beginning Saturday, April 15, children and youth of Ottawa can participate in “Play Free” – a lineup of free drop-in activities that includes gym sports, swimming, museums and skating.

Earlier this year, Ottawa City Council approved an initiative to offer a selection free drop-in programming for children and youth, aged 17 and under, in order to make recreation and cultural programming more affordable and accessible for everyone. With the introduction of these free programs, more children and youth can participate in City programs and realize the associated health and social benefits of these activities.

Gym sports

From April 15 to June 25, there will be free sport drop-in sessions for children and youth. Drop-in sports will vary by location and include basketball, soccer, volleyball, badminton, pickleball, skateboarding, roller skating and Kindergym. View the schedule of drop-in sports at your local recreation facility on

Swim Saturdays

From June 3 to December 30, there will be free drop-in swimming sessions on Saturdays for children and youth. Fees still apply for wave swims. View a list of recreation and community centres with pools on


From June 24 to September 3, there will be free daily admission for children and youth to the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum and Billings Estate National Historic Site. There will also be free drop-in activities for children at Billings Estate from Friday, July 7 to Friday, September 1. View more information about museums and historic sites on


From September 16 to December 23, public and family skating sessions will be free for children and youth. View a list of facilities that offer skating on

Youth weight and cardio memberships

From July 1 to August 31, as part of a new partnership, Tony Graham Automotive Group and the City will launch a free weight and cardio summer membership for youth at select City facilities.

Every child should have the opportunity to participate in recreation and cultural activities. Play Free is an initiative to reduce financial barriers to participation. The City of Ottawa also offers financial support through the Ottawa Hand in Hand participant subsidy program. Visit for more information.

Latest posts

Share this page

Address: 110 Laurier Ave W, Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1