We all know that Orlando is mostly known for its popular theme parks, but the cost of these can add up very fast. Then what are the free things to do in Orlando? Needless to say, Orlando is a thrilling destination in Florida filled with a plethora of activities for kids and families. Whether you are visiting Orlando for the first time or have lived here your entire life, there are so many wonderful and affordable things to do in Orlando.
Thankfully there are lots of ways to save money on food or finding affordable accommodations while planning to visit Orlando on a budget. There is also a lot of fun and interesting things to do for free in Orlando. To help you visit Orlando without breaking your bank, I’ve rounded up the top 10 things to do in Orlando for free.
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If you want to feel the ambiance of the Disney Theme Park without paying the admission fee, head to Disney Springs, formerly known as Downtown Disney. Disney Springs features dining, shopping, and entertainment options with free covered parking.
You can enjoy gorgeous architecture, natural beauty, and free family fun such as live performances on the lakeside Marketplace Stage and other entertaining activities. There is a LEGO Imagination Center where kids and adults can play for hours without spending a penny – popular free things to do in Orlando with kids.
UNIVERSAL CITYWALK: Free Things to do in Orlando
Another popular free thing to do in Orlando besides theme parks is Universal Orlando’s CityWalk. This 30-acre entertainment complex boasts several restaurants, nightclubs, attractions, shops, and much more. There is a fountain for kids to splash in. Keep your eye out for free concerts and live DJs.
Take advantage of the free water taxi rides that run between the entertainment district and Universal Orlando’s Theme Parks. It can be very relaxing after exploring Universal CityWalk. And the best part? Parking is absolutely free after 6 pm every day.
The craft beer scene in Florida is booming. Head to Orlando Brewing to experience the best of the Florida beer industry. It is located next to downtown Orlando’s Amtrak train station. Enjoy the 30-minute free tour in Orlando Brewing where you can learn the history and the process of making organic beer from the brewmaster. The free tour conducts at 6 pm from Monday to Saturday.
Orlando Brewing is a family-friendly place. You can enjoy darts, board games, and live music with your kids on Friday and Saturday nights. Parking is free here.
CORNELL FINE ARTS MUSEUM
One of the top free Orlando attractions is the Cornell Fine Arts Museum which is located on the campus of Rollins College in Winter Park. It is a must-visit museum for art lovers. The museum boasts an impressive collection of more than 5,600 objects that include artifacts, archaeological fragments, classical antiquity, and old European Masters collection ranging from the ancient to modern periods.
The art museum also has special events associated with the exhibition. There is a hands-on play area for kids. Admission and parking to this beautiful art museum are totally free year ‘round. Don’t miss the free docent-led tours which are offered on the weekends.
Please Note: Cornell Fine Arts Museum remains closed on Monday.
LAKE EOLA PARK: Free Orlando Attractions
Discovering Lake Eola Park can be perfect for people looking for free stuff to do in Orlando. It is a charming spot in the heart of Downtown Orlando for picnics, exercise, paddle-boating, or just a quick escape from the nearby crowded theme parks. Visitors can enjoy a leisure stroll along the walkway around the lake’s edge. You will also find an amphitheater, a red Chinese pagoda, a playground, and a famous fountain.
The spectacular surrounding views and calm atmosphere are the advantages of this place and make it popular among couples looking for romantic weekend getaways. Enjoy a relaxing evening with your family, feed the swans, or just enjoy the spectacular view of Orlando’s skyline. Visitors are also allowed to explore the lake renting the swan-shaped paddle boats. Undoubtedly, one of the best and free things to do in Orlando with family.
Please Note: Swan paddle boats are open from 11 am to 6 pm. A 30-minute boat ride costs around $15.
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SATURDAY NITE CLASSIC CAR SHOW AT OLD TOWN
Want to get a different taste while exploring Orlando? Visit the Old Town in Kissimmee to spend some quality time with friends and/or family in an inexpensive way. The authentic architecture, retro complex of shops, distinctive restaurants, and buildings in this old fashioned small town create a retro vibe. Enjoy the live music in the central stage, and live entertainment.
The most popular event in Old Town Kissimmee is the weekly Saturday Nite Classic Car Cruise, where people display their vintage cars. There are several other attractions, shops, restaurants, and rides for all ages.
How can we skip Disney’s Boardwalk when we are talking about top fun and free things to do in Orlando. Located between Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Boardwalk transports you to a charming Atlantic coastal village. Stroll along the edge of the water with your family, play afternoon midway games with your kids or enjoy the street performers and the spectacular water views of the Crescent Lake.
This quarter-mile lake promenade features exquisite dining options, unique shops, and vibrant nightlife. Dinning and shopping can be a bit costly, but the admission and parking are completely free.
Tips: You can watch the Magic Kingdom’s fireworks display from Disney’s Boardwalk.
WINTER PARK FARMER’S MARKET
Nestled in quaint Winter Park, this cute outdoor and indoor market has something for everyone. The indoor area contains a bunch of prepared-to-order food, premade homemade desserts, coffee, etc. The outdoor area is also well organized. This is an excellent market if you’d like to buy either flowers, plants, or trees of sorts.
Even if you don’t buy anything you can just explore the area in charming weather. It is a dog-friendly place. You are welcome here with your dogs. The Farmers Market is held every Saturday from 7 am to 1 pm all year round. It is probably the best farmer’s market in Orlando.
Beach loving people can visit the Cocoa Beach, the closest beach to Orlando, which is about an hour’s drive from Orlando (depending on where you’re staying). The beach is renowned for its surf, laidback lifestyle, and beautiful natural landscape. Free parking is available in Lori Wilson Park. The cocoa beach offers calm and consistent waves which are ideal to learn surfing.
You will see local people as well as visitors enjoying their weekend on the beach. Explore the shops, restaurants, and boutiques in the nearby Cocoa beach pier. Don’t miss the nature trail in Lori Wilson Park when you are done with the beach.
Just to mention, if you planning to move to Florida, you can consider Orlando, as it is one of the cheapest places to live in Florida.
KRAFT AZALEA GARDEN
Located on the southern shore of Lake Maitland, this 5.22-acre public garden is a hidden gem of Winter Park. It is not a big garden, but peaceful and quiet. The park boasts gorgeous Cypress trees that will leave you in awe. Enjoy a romantic stroll with your partner, have a picnic, and take some beautiful photos. You can access the park without any admission fee. Free parking is also available.
Along the path, there are several benches available for relaxing or enjoying the view of Lake Maitland. The scenic views of the lake are absolutely breathtaking. There is an “Exedra” or Greek-style semicircular architectural recess that is fantastic for taking wedding photos.
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