You can play in a pool, hang out with orangutans or skate circles beneath the city’s lights.

Get ready for New Year’s Eve on the cheap.

Tens of thousands of midnight revellers are expected to descend on Nathan Phillips Square tonight for the Citytv New Year’s Bash 2010.

Partygoers can strap on skates while a free concert, featuring Canadian hip-hop heavyweight Kardinal Offishall, carries the celebration to the countdown.

But for those further afield, there are free New Year’s Eve parties dotted across the GTA.

• Brampton: Face painting, fireworks and live rock ’n’ roll. It will be as fun as a Kiss concert, only better — there’s marshmallow roasting. Things kick off at 7 p.m. at Gage Park, and continue outside City Hall and the Rose Theatre.

• Oshawa: Does staying up until midnight just sound hard? Check out the family new year’s event at the Legends Centre on Harmony Road North. There will be swimming and prize giveaways starting at 6 p.m., and the countdown begins at 9:15 p.m.

• Pickering: Dig into popcorn or a sno-cone at the family countdown, running from 7-9 p.m. at the Pickering Recreation Complex, one block east of the Town Centre on Valley Farm Road.

• The Toronto Zoo: Party like an animal. The children-oriented activities include visits with the keepers and animals of the Indo-Malaya and African Rainforest pavilions from 6-9 p.m. Tickets are $6 to $10 and space is limited.

• Scarborough: Celebrate the new year with clowns, noisemakers and hay rides at the Scarborough Civic Centre. The party runs from 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

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