Nfld. & Labrador

9 things to do for free this summer in N.L.

If you're looking for things to do around Newfoundland and Labrador that won't cost you a dime, here's a list.

If you're looking for things to do on your 'staycation,' here's some that won't break the bank

There are plenty of things to do in Newfoundland and Labrador in the summer that don't cost you anything

There's still a few weeks before kids go back to school, a few weeks to enjoy what's left of the summer weather.

And the low Canadian dollar and high price of travel has meant many people have chosen a "staycation" this year.

So if you're looking for things to do around this province that won't cost you a dime, here are nine free things to do in Newfoundland and Labrador.

1. Tour the Hebron project

It's not your usual tourism attraction, but the $14 billion offshore oil platform under construction is pretty impressive.

The project has scaled back the number of tours, but once a month they'll take people out, show the them the deep water site where construction is happening.

If you're the sort of person who watches the show How It's Made, you'll enjoy the free tour. They recommend you reserve your spot in advance.

2. Tour a church

There are a lot of historic churches in this province and they're usually a cool place on a hot day. The Basilica in St. John's has guided tours, the schedule is posted here, but they also have an online guide that will explain the significance and history of many of the impressive parts of the building if you want to wonder on your own.

There's a museum that's free (but take donations) that has some of the oldest books in a private collection in the province.

From there you can walk down the hill to the Anglican Cathedral that also has an impressive history. It's the oldest Anglican parish in North America, but it's been through a few buildings. The church also offers tours that will help explain the history, and show off the one stained glassed window that survived the great fire of 1892 

3. Visit the Trinity Loop

It's definitely not the same attraction that you may remember from your childhood, since the rides and attractions have long fallen into disrepair, but the ruins make an interesting visit.

Hurricane Igor did a number on the site, but there are some old railway cars still there and a section of narrow gage railway track, part of the history of the Newfoundland railway. Since the site is no longer maintained, it's to be used at your own risk.

4. Visit The Rooms

Normally you have to pay to get into The Rooms, but on Wednesday nights from 6 until 9 p.m. it's free to get into the provincial museum, art gallery and archive

 It gives you a chance to check out the new exhibit on Beaumont Hamel that opened July 1.

5. Learn about Labrador

If you're visiting Happy Valley-Goose Bay this summer, it's worth a drive to North West River for a stop at the Labrador Interpretation Centre.

It's run by The Rooms and does a great job of laying out the history and culture of the different Aboriginal groups in Labrador, and the arrival of European settlers and it's free to get in.

6. See some fossils

You won't be the only one checking out Mistaken Point, after it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site last month.

But you'll be pleasantly surprised that the tour that takes you out and explains the significance of the fossils is free.

If you're on the other side of the province and want to check out some fossils, you can stop at the Table Point Ecological Reserve, just off the Viking Trail north of Daniel's Harbour.

7. Stop in to Joshua Thoms and Son General Store

This store/museum combo takes you back to a time when every community had its own general store and a proprietor who lived next door, and let you put everything on your account.

If you're passing through, perhaps checking out Rattling Brook's 244-metre waterfall, go in and visit the store and chat with Dulcie Toms.

It's free to pop in, but you'll probably want a few dollars in your pocket to buy a treat. You can find out more about her from an old Land and Sea episode.

8. Walk the longest boardwalk in North America

Years of government-run community improvement projects have helped extend the boardwalk in Rigolet into what they claim is the longest boardwalk in North America (take that Atlantic City).

It leads you away from Rigolet, which is the southern most Inuit community in the world, and lets you see all the ocean-side activity off Labrador, including whales and seabirds. 

9. Check out the sink hole near Deer Lake

This formation occurred when an underground cave collapsed, leaving behind a sinkhole — complete with a waterfall.

The Lamond Sinkhole is 30 metres deep and 45 metres wide and is accessible by logging roads and an ATV trail.

There's an informative board put up by Corner Brook Pulp and Paper. Detailed directions on how to get there are on this website.