Planning a vacation to Orlando? Our insiders put together a list of our top free things to do in Orlando.
While many people tend to associate Orlando with really pricey attractions like Walt Disney World, there is so much to do and see that won’t break the bank.
Our local experts put together a list of some of the best free things to do in Orlando, all great suggestions that can help round out your vacation itinerary.
A Way to Save on Ticketed Orlando Attractions
We know that this blog post is about listing the FREE things to do in Orlando, but, are you looking to visit a few of the ticketed attractions during your vacation?
Consider using a Go Orlando Card – which includes free admission to dozens of the area’s most popular attractions – all for one low price.
A Go Orlando Card can save you up to 50% off combined admission vs paying at the gate.
Orlando Brewing Country
This is a great place to tour with friends. As Orlando’s only certified organic brewery, Orlando Brewing offers a refreshing variety of beers that they distribute to more than 500 different locations throughout Florida.
Fun fact: the majority of their beers adhere to the classic German Purity Law for beer, which dictates that beer should be made of only four ingredients – water, yeast, hops, and malted barley.
March Of The Ducks
You might have heard of Duck Boat tours in some other towns across the country but Orlando has its own tradition involving our quacking, web-footed friends.
Since it opened in 1986, the Peabody Orlando has continued the traditional March of The Peabody Ducks every day in unbroken succession. At 11 am, five North American mallard ducks – four hens and one drake – descend from a special elevator and then proceed to stride around the lobby while being accompanied by John Philip Sousa’s “King Cotton March.”
The march concludes when the ducks plop into a magnificent, orchid-crowned fountain, where they remain for the rest of the day before marching back to the elevator promptly at 5 pm.
Although this may sound like something you would normally have to pay to go see at a circus, it’s not. Enjoy this completely free thing to do.
Kraft Azalea Garden
Open year-round on a daily basis, the 5.22-acre Kraft Azalea Garden has a secluded, serene location on the shore of Lake Maitland which is why many people know it as Winter Park’s secret garden.
Although it is sometimes used for sunset wedding ceremonies and other private functions, the beautiful public garden is surrounded by colossal cypress trees that offer plenty of free shade from the hot Florida sun.
Lake Eola Park
This charming local attraction is actually an 80-foot sink hole-turned-lake! Located in downtown Orlando, it’s the perfect thing to do for an active traveler.
Run, jog, or bike along the path that circles the lake. Feed the iconic swans and other birds that populate the park, enjoy the views of the charming flowers, or pack a picnic.
It’s a refreshing respite from urban Orlando with over 40 acres to explore.
Cornell Fine Arts Museum
Located on the campus of Rollins College, this intimate Winter Park museum boasts an impressive collection of several thousand works of art.
You’ll find items from classical antiquity, all the way up through contemporary art movements. You’ll especially enjoy the remarkable Old European Masters collection, the only collection of its kind in Orlando.
Admission to this beautiful art museum is totally free year ‘round.
University of Central Florida Arboretum
If you love visiting botanical gardens or exploring the great outdoors, this well-regarded arboretum should be a must-see on your list.
Constructed to contain eight distinct ecosystems, this park features more than 600 different plant species throughout the park’s 80 acres. You can explore the diverse ecosystems on foot, bike around the several trails, or even play a round of disc golf!
Walk the Galleries at CityArts Factory
Stroll through the five galleries and 8,000 feet of performance space that make up the largest arts center in downtown Orlando.
CityArts Factory showcases both local and international works of art. You’ll be able to watch some local artists at work as you walk through this vibrant art haven. Admission is free Tuesday through Saturday from 11 AM to 6 PM.
If you’re a bargain hunter, you won’t want to miss a visit to the largest Flea Market in the United States. While you will have to shell out a few dollars for anything you’re interested in buying, admission to the market itself is free.
With more than 1,700 vendors hawking their wares, we promise you can find practically everything your heart desires at this diverse Flea Market.
Kelly Park, Rock Springs
While admission to this gorgeous, 248-acre park comes with a small fee, it’s totally worth the meager price of admission to explore the bounty of flora and fauna that populate the park.
There are plenty of opportunities for camping, hiking, observing wildlife, swimming in natural springs, and participating in plenty of fun recreational activities like volleyball, Frisbee, and more. Be sure to pop in the famous Rock Springs to cool off!
Relive History at Fort Christmas
Twenty minutes east of Orlando in Titusville, you’ll find Fort Christmas Historical Park, a full-size replica of the original Fort Christmas. The fort was originally built for the Second Seminole Indian War in the mid-1800’s.
Now the park offers several free events throughout the year like pioneer demonstrations, musket and cannon firings, and craft fairs. The Park is closed on Mondays and holidays.
Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts
This museum honors the heritage of one of America’s most iconic African American authors with a diversity of materials and exhibits. Learn all about African and African American culture in the United States and in the diaspora as you trace the development of various artistic movements.
You’ll find everything from oil painting to architectural sculpture and more. Although they don’t charge admission, even a small donation is appreciated.
Harry P. Leu Gardens
At the magnificent Leu Gardens, you can explore an incredible 50-acre botanical haven on one of your vacation days. Located just a few minutes from downtown Orlando, you get to enjoy 3 miles of walkways, butterfly gardens, rose gardens, ancient oak trees, sweet air aroma, and more.
Admission is free on the first Monday of every month so you have to plan your visit time for a free chance. The gardens are also a beautiful place to take photos and even hold a wedding.
Free things to do in Orlando and Disney are not that common. However, at the Disney Springs there are several free and fun things to do at your disposal. You can visit and explore the World of Disney store; an experience that is a world of its own.
You can also take your kids for some incredible fun time at the Lego Imagination Center where they can enjoy free Lego building stations and a nearby playground. In addition, there are many events at Disney Springs to enjoy throughout the year such as the Festival of the Masters.
Little Big Econ State Forest
Technically, this State forest is not exclusively free because various trailheads around the forest request you to make donations of only $2 per person. Children under 6 years are however charged nothing. This venue offers you the true worth of Florida wilderness.
You can get to enjoy hiking on beautiful and scenic nature trails, go mountain biking, bird watching, and spot other wildlife such as river otters, deer, raptors, and bobcats on your way for free.
CityArts factory is Orlando downtown’s biggest collection of art galleries where you can find both local and international works of art. It comprises of 6 independently owned art galleries including the Orlando Magic Classroom, which provides studio space for working artists.
Admission to this art haven is free from Tuesday to Saturday between 11 am and 6 pm. Depending on the events calendar for the Factory, you may also get to enjoy live music, new exhibitions, holiday-themed events and comedy shows among more.
Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards
This Florida’s premier winery receives more than 160,000 people annually. It sits on some breathtaking and gently rolling countryside offering visitors the best of vineyard views. You can get to enjoy free tours in the winery, free tastings, and many free festivals and events.
Every day, Lakeridge runs free tours and tastings every 20 minutes or so. They will start you off with a short film about the winery’s history, then take you for a spectacular view of the vines, and wind up the tour in the tasting room.
The Town of Celebration
The town of Celebration is a Disney-made town offering scenic views of striking houses, well-groomed compounds, lush green parks, and the delightful Disney living. Admire the unique architectural atmosphere of the place as your kids play in the interactive fountain. You can also stop by the farmers market on Sundays and even experience (fake) snow falling if you visit during the winter months
We couldn’t post this list without mentioning the charm of Disney’s Boardwalk when looking for free things to do in Orlando. Take your family out on a stroll along the boardwalk, which is a re-creation of a 1930’s style Atlantic coastal village.
This quarter-mile venue along the Crescent Lake is popular for its nightclubs and a wide range of entertainment options. However, you can get to enjoy street musicians, entertainers and spectacular water views of the Crescent Lake for free.
Chip n’ Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-long
Your family, especially the kids, will surely love this one. Head over to the Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort for a fun campfire sing-a-long. A classic Disney duo leads the fireside cowboy sing-a-long to delight all ages. As darkness turns in, all participants get treated to a classic Disney movie on a giant screen beneath the Florida stars. Benches to sit on are provided for free so you just need to carry some warm blanket to keep you warm.
Wekiwa Springs State Park
Wekiwa Springs offers you the opportunity to relax in a beautiful natural setting, take a swim in the cool spring, enjoy a picnic and more. Each September, the state park honors the International Literacy Day by offering free entrance to those who bring their library cards, show a check-out library book, or donate a book.
You will also get to enjoy the nature trails around the park, engage in fishing, campfires, hiking, cycling and explore a nature museum.
Visit the Enzian Theater during its Wednesday Night Pitcher show and get to enjoy a free movie in the company of friends and family. The movie is shown outdoors as stars twinkle above and the warmth of centuries-old live oaks around the property engulfs the area. There is a kitchen and bar for you to grab some food or drinks; both soft and hard. Check the Enzian website beforehand to see what’s playing.
With 10+ free things to do in Orlando, you can be assured of a fun and exciting vacation even when on a budget. Fun in Orlando is always evolving and getting better. Visit today and see firsthand all that scenic Orlando has to offer!
Let’s Recap on How to Visit Orlando for Cheap
So there are some fun ideas for free things to do in Orlando.
Remember, if you want to add some attractions to your itinerary that normally cost money, consider purchasing a Go Orlando Card.
With the Go Orlando Card you get free admission to dozens of attractions all for the one low price of the pass. You can save up to 50% off combined admission costs vs paying at the gate.