Brendon Kirkland strolls through Goldstream Park with his children

Seeking fun for free across Greater Victoria

Budget-minded family activities abound in the Capital Region

The kids are climbing the furniture and your wallet is empty. Have no fear, Greater Victoria is bursting with places to go and things to see that won’t cost you a dime.

Being on an island, we are surrounded by beaches and that can be a great way to spend a day on the cheap.

Witty’s Lagoon is a beautiful park in Metchosin where the tide seems to be endless and the sun warms the water to a temperature that may make you think you’ve boarded a plane to a tropical locale. Bring a picnic, beach toys or even a skimboard and you and your family are sure to have a blast.

To add some magic to your beach visit, head down to the amazing Glass Beach in Sidney. The beach is full of an assortment of colours of beach glass, so bring a bucket and let the treasure hunt begin. The beach is located across from the Sidney Pier Hotel and Spa, 9805 Seaport Pl.

If you want to keep the sand out of your car and still want to enjoy nature, why not take a trip to Goldstream Provincial Park at the south end of the Malahat Drive on Highway 1?

Easy walking trails are suitable for all ages and abilities. After a short 10- to 15-minute stroll, you’ll end up at the nature house, where there is plenty of information and activities to keep your children occupied.

There are also several hiking trails around the park for more advanced hikers. If you really like it there, you can camp for a reasonable cost.

If you are new to the area and want someone to show you around the beautiful parks in Greater Victoria, the Capital Regional District always offers free events and hikes at its parks. Parking at Elk/Beaver Lake remains free, but popular Thetis Lake is $2.25 for the day.

Nature centres at Beaver Lake, Francis King and Witty’s Lagoon are open on weekends in the summer.

The Greater Victoria Public Library also offers free events for all ages. Activities span from making your own comic book to story time and crafts.

Finding Free events

• CRD Parks has guided tours and free or cheap parking: visit crd.bc.ca/parks for more details

• The Greater Victoria Public Library has tons of free events for kids: gvpl.ca; so does Swan Lake: swanlake.bc.ca

• Check out vicnews.com/calendar for events in your community

• The kidsinvictoria.com website also has event listings for the frugal parent

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