For a city so iconic for its incredible theme parks and unique attractions, it’s hard to imagine that Orlando, Florida is filled with free things to do.
Yet, it’s the truth! Whether you’re in the midst of planning a trip to Orlando and are seeing the dollar signs start to pile up, or you already know what a future Orlando could set you back, we’re here to shine some light on the wallet-friendly side of the Theme Park Capital of The World.
Without a doubt, any trip to Orlando for vacation purposes will include a rendezvous to the great Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, or SeaWorld. Perhaps all three! There isn’t much money to be saved there but we can help you spend as little as possible in between theme park excursions. There’s more to Orlando than Disney, and within that “more” includes a wide-array of free fun!
Free Things To Do In Orlando
Every city needs a magnetic center to draw everyone in, and Orlando has just that – Lake Eola Park. Delightfully free, Lake Eola Park is a great place to simply walk around, rest on a bench and take in the sights, or peruse the offerings of the Sunday farmer’s market.
Perhaps one of the most charming places in all of Orlando, Enzian Theater offers a free outdoor movie every Wednesday during its Wednesday Night Pitcher Show. Sadly, the beer isn’ free, but the movie is! Quite the romantic setup, the movie is shown under the stars surrounded by spectacular age-old oak trees. There’s plenty on offer in the way of food and beverages – for a price of course.
(Only on the first Monday of the month)
Though it may not be free all of the time, it made the list because it’s spectacular! If you happen to be in Orlando on the first Monday of a given month, take a trip to the beautiful Harry P. Leu Gardens for free! Explore the stunning 19th century home and spend hours strolling through the magnificent, exotic, flowers.
Slightly north of Orlando lies a natural gem – the Ocala National Forest. It happens to be the southernmost forest in the continental U.S. and protects the world’s largest contiguous sand pine scrub forest. Ocala features more than 600 lakes, rivers, and springs. You can swim, snorkel, and even dive in the crystal clear water year-round.
Naturally, not everything at this winery is free, but the tastings and tours are! Additionally, the winery constantly offers fun family-friendly activities and festivities free of charge!
Fair warning – there’s plenty to spend money on in Disney Springs, but Disney Springs itself does not have an entrance fee. If you have children in tow this might not end up being a cost-effective activity ha-ha. In all seriousness, though, Disney Springs has recently gotten quite the facelift and has noticeably expanded. A lovely place to go for a stroll and a bite of dessert.
Gaze upon the exact replica of a fort built in 1837 during the Second Seminole Indian War, meander through a traditional Florida “Cracker” house and eight pioneer homes, see what the schoolhouse of the time was like, and try your hand at historical farming equipment. Spend a while strolling through the beautiful park taking in some of Florida’s finest scenery.
Craving to see what unspoiled Florida wilderness looks like? Head to Little Big Econ State Forest to find out! Hike, mountain bike, canoe, or simply walk around, the trails are well-marked and will take you through forests and along rivers and in the path of wildlife.
Feast your eyes on downtown Orlando’s largest collective of art galleries. Galleries which showcase an infusion of local and international work of art, rotated each month. The best bit is, of course, it’s free!
Walt Disney World does have a few “free” events here and there if you know where to look! For Wilderness Resort puts on a fireside sing-along and marshmallow roast and Disney movie screening under the stars – for all ages. Benches are provided but you could also bring camping chairs or blankets to get a little cozier. Since it’s outdoors, this event is subject to cancellation if the weather is bad.
Though much of Orlando’s excitement occurs in very non-free places, there are plenty of free things to do in Orlando as well! We hope you get the chance to explore one or more of these free places, and who knows, perhaps the money you save can go towards one more day at Walt Disney World if so desired.
YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY: The Ultimate Do-Not-Forget Packing List For an Orlando Getaway
Save money by cooking in a spacious and beautiful suite at Orlando’s newest resort – The Grove Resort & Spa Orlando. Located just outside of Walt Disney World and within easy reach of all of Orlando’s major attractions, The Grove Resort & Spa is comprised entirely of suites. With its own lake, pools, water park, spa, arcade and more! Book your stay today!