For many money is tight, but there are a lot of things that you can do in Cornwall (and area) that won’t cost you much, and many of the things on the list below are free.
From Zumba, to a movie in the park, to live music concerts, museums, festivals, beaches, nature hikes, and more – There is actually plenty to see and do in Cornwall, and you (and your family) can have an amazing summer on a budget!
Here are 31 things you can do in Cornwall if you’re broke AF:
1 – Zumba with Christal – Free Zumba outside every Tuesday at 6:30pm (weather permitting) at Pommier Square located in downtown Cornwall Ontario
2 – Movie In the Park – On Saturday July 18th there is a free movie (TBA) at Lamoureux Park. It starts at 8:30pm and admission is free. Enjoy a movie outdoors under the stars. You may want to bring a blanket and/or lawn chair.
3 – Arts in the Park – This is a free family friendly concert series held outdoors at the Lion’s Club Bandshell. There are numerous concerts throughout the summer. Get the schedule here.
4- Cornwall’s Canada Day Celebration– On July 1st you can enjoy Fireworks, live music, bouncy castles, a children’s activity centre, a petting zoo, and more all for free at Lamoureux Park. Get the schedule here.
5 – Cornwall Waterfest – It takes place Saturday August 13th in the west end of Cornwall and it is free admission. Enjoy Dragon Boat races, musical entertainment and more.
6 – The Cornwall Community Museum – A place for history buffs and people who want to learn more about Cornwall and it’s interesting past. The Museum is open 10:30am to 4:30pm Wednesday through Sunday.
7 – The Lost Villages – Located 3km east of Long Sault, Ontario, the museum site consists of ten heritage buildings, moved and restored from The Lost Villages during the building of the Seaway. They are open daily 10am to 5pm, and it is free to explore.
8 – Ribfest – The ribs aren’t free, but there is free admission to Lamoureux Park to enjoy the bands and entertainment from July 21st to the 24th.
9 – Splash Pad – The Splash Pad and washrooms at Lamoureux Park are open 7 days a week from 8:30 am to 8:30 pm. There is also a Splash Pad at St. Theresa Park. Both are free to the public. Bring a towel!
10 – Aquatic Centre – For those who want to swim indoors it is very afforadalbe. The cost to use the Aquatic Centre ranges from $3.77 (young children) to $4.88 (adults) per session.
11 – Public Pools – Cornwall also operates five outdoor public pools, and there is free swimming weekdays from 1:30pm to 4:30pm. For more info visit the City’s website.
12 – Food Fest – It runs on Saturday August 20th from 10am to 8pm in downtown Cornwall. The outdoor event includes food vendors and live entertainment. Admission is $2 and free for children under 12. Admission doesn’t include the price of food. You can still browse the event and get access to downtown stores for free, but admission supports the non-profit group Beyond 21.
13 – Mille Roches Beach – The beach in Long Sault is open daily from June 24th to September 5th, 2016. Enjoy swimming, getting a tan, or playing in the sand.
14 – Galaxy Cinemas – Enjoy blockbuster Hollywood movies every Tuesday at a reduced ticket price, or enjoy family classics on Saturday mornings at a very reasonable price. For more information contact Galaxy Cinemas. Admission does not include the price of drinks and snacks.
15 – Recreational Bike Path – The largest part of the recreational path spans the entire waterfront, offering a great view of the St. Lawrence River. Enjoy a bike ride, walk, jog, run or even rollerblade.
16 – Guindon Park – Enjoy light hiking and leisure nature walks on the trails. There is also a children’s play structure and washroom facilities located on Highway # 2, west of Power Dam Drive. The hike trails and use of the park is free. However Horseback riders are required to purchase seasonal or daily trail passes at the Benson Centre during regular business hours.
17 – Skatepark – The Park is located at the south end of Optimist Park on St. Michel Drive. It consists of 4 ramps, 3 quarter pipes, and 1 fun box. It operates seasonally from early May through mid-October, 7 days/week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. This popular facility is also being utilized by in-line skaters and BMX trick bikers.
18 – The Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary – Enjoy more than eight kilometres of self guided hiking trails, and close to 150 different bird species to watch for – all free.
19 – The Cooper Marsh Conservation Area and Visitor’s Centre – Cooper Marsh is located 18 kilometers east of Cornwall on County Road 2 near South Lancaster. Follow the wetland boardwalks to explore the swamp and isolated ponds. Climb the viewing platforms and visit the viewing blinds to enjoy more than 130 species of birds that call Cooper Marsh their home – all free.
20 – Gray’s Creek Conservation Area – The Conservation Area is located just minutes east of Cornwall, in the Township of South Glengarry. It offers over 43 hectares of natural landscape for the enjoyment of both residents and visitors. It includes five kilometers (5 km) of meandering trails that are open year round, also has Copeland Park, a picturesque family park with picnic area, shelter, kids’ play structure, and charcoal BBQ for your convenience – all free.
21 – The Cornwall Public Library – Yes there are books and free internet access, but there is also a lot more. Enjoy free movies on Mondays and Thursdays, teenagers can enjoy Teen Tuesdays (with various activities), there is also Bridge on Wednesdays, and games of Chess on Fridays. In addition to books, you can also rent DVDs and CDs for free.
22 – Window Shopping in downtown Cornwall – Enjoy the many quaint stores in beautiful downtown Cornwall. For the thrifty buyer, there is a dollar rack of comics at Fantasy Realm – very affordable entertainment you can take home!
23 – OPG Visitor Centre – This environmentally-friendly building offers 13,000 square feet of fun and is a great outing for students and families. This free outing is located just off the St. Lawrence River, east of the Robert H. Saunders Generating Station, in the west end of Cornwall, Ontario.
24 – Outdoor Tennis Courts – Looking for a Tennis Court to practice your forehand, backhand, serve, volley or to play a game? The City of Cornwall maintains 6 double outdoor tennis courts which are located throughout the city: Broadview Park, Joe St. Denis Park, Kinsmen Park, Mattice Park, Riverdale Park, and Terry Fox Memorial Park. All courts have lights for evening hours. The courts are free to use, but you must bring your own rackets and balls.
25 – Ball hockey court at St. Francis – If you love to play ball hockey, you will want to visit the new outdoor ball hockey court at St. Francis De Sales Park. This fenced in court is the perfect place for people to meet and play. It’s also free! Game On!
26 – Cornwall Sports Hall of Fame – The Sports Hall of Fame pays tribute to local sports stars. It is located in the basement of the Cornwall Civic Complex and it is free to the public. It is open during regular hours.
27 – The Franco Film Festival – Enjoy free movies at L’Heritage School. Dates include: July 8th and August 5th. Each movie starts at 8:30pm.
28 – Open Mic at the Grind – Enjoy an open mic on the last Thursday of the month (e.g. July 28th and August 25th) from 7pm to 10pm. Buy a beverage and enjoy free music entertainment from local artists.
29 – Karaoke at La Maison Tavern – Buy a beverage and enjoy free Karaoke. You can watch and/or participate. It happens every Wednesday and Sunday. This event is 19+.
30 – Lola’s Patio Music Series – Enjoy acoustic and unplugged concerts every Sunday from 3pm to 6pm. Purchase a beverage and enjoy a free live concert. These events are 19+.
31 – Archie’s Miniputt – For $5 per adult, and $4 per child, mini putt is a very affordable and fun outing for the family or for a date.
There are also a series of county fairs in SDSG, plus the Eastern Ontario Garlic Festival on August 28th, various farmers markets, the historical St. Ralphael’s Ruins, Sir John Johnson House, car shows, antique festivals, historical walks, art on display at Cornwall’s City Hall, and much more. You can have a fun and fantastic summer on a budget even if you are broke AF!
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