Families looking for affordable, fun, and exciting activities to do over the August long weekend will find a home at 407 ETR Free Community Weekend in Toronto. Taking place August 5 and 6 during the first two days of Rogers Cup presented by National Bank at Aviva Centre, it is the perfect event for people of all ages with free admission for everyone, qualifying tennis action, and lots of family-friendly fun.

“We know it can be challenging to find something that will keep the whole family entertained over the summer break, but 407 ETR Free Community Weekend has something for everyone,” said Karl Hale, Rogers Cup Toronto tournament director. “We love kicking off Rogers Cup every year with our free weekend of tennis and fun, and it’s a great way to bring both longtime fans and those new to the sport out to our event. With some exciting new additions this year, it’s shaping up to be a fantastic two days of entertainment for all of our guests.”

Characters from some of television’s most popular children’s shows will be on-site for meet-and-greet opportunities. Look for the PAW Patrol squad, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Bob the Builder, and Shimmer and Shine around the grounds and during scheduled performances over the course of the weekend.

Another new addition to this year’s festivities will be the Toronto Humane Society. For those guests looking to expand their family, several adoptable cats and dogs will be on-site for the two days. Staff from the Humane Society will also be present to educate and inform families on the process of adoption. Animal lovers will also want to see some of the dogs run around on court as a few will be undergoing unofficial ball crew training.

Celebrating its 125th anniversary of the women’s tournament, Rogers Cup is also hosting a special event aimed at empowering young females. FearlesslyGirl, an internationally recognized anti-bullying organization based in Canada, will hold a summit on August 6. Joining founder Kate Whitfield will be world No. 16 and 2016 Rogers Cup finalist Madison Keys, who joined the organization as an ambassador last year. Participants will be local girls involved in community tennis programs, with several spots for the event made available to the public via registration. More details will be available on the Rogers Cup website and official social accounts on July 25.

When snack-time hits, there will be plenty of options for kids, adults, and kids at heart. A unique offering for Free Community Weekend will be a patriotic red-and-white grilled cheese, designed in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday celebration. Free snow cones and cotton candy will also be available for those with a sweet tooth. This is all in addition to the regular dining offerings at Rogers Cup.

While there are plenty of new activities scheduled for 2017, many regular favourites of Free Community Weekend will once again return. The day features face-painting, arts and crafts, mini-tennis, music and games. Guests will also be able to compete in scavenger hunts and contests for prizes, and attend autograph and Q&A sessions with WTA players.

In addition to all the on-site entertainment, 407 ETR Free Community Weekend also features an exciting two days packed full of qualifying tennis action, as some of the world’s top tennis competitors play for a spot in the main draw. The top-ranked players at Rogers Cup will also be practicing on Centre Court and the practice courts throughout the weekend, with attendance open to the public.

407 ETR Free Community weekend runs from August 5-6 with free admission, and kicks off a week of action at Rogers Cup that will not only include thrilling and inspiring on-court action, but Cirque du Soleil performances, celebrity chefs, music shows, and lots more.