18 Free (and Fun) Things to Do in Orlando
Most people who visit Orlando do so for one reason: explore one of the world-famous theme parks that make the city’s reputation. However, with admission fees alone running at over $100 per day, not including accommodations, food, souvenirs, etc. a trip to the amusement park capital of the world does not come cheap. Or does it?
Did you know that plenty of Orlando attractions will not cost you a dime? Besides, many events in Orlando have no entry fee! If you want to extend your stay without breaking the bank, here is a list of some fun (and free!) things to do in Orlando.
Top Free Things to Do in Orlando
- Musica Della Notte
- Music at the Caza
- Popcorn Flicks in the Park
- Old Town Family Movie Night
- Disney Springs
- Disney’s Boardwalk
- Universal CityWalk
- Old Town
- Lake Eola Park
- Kraft Azalea Garden
- Black Hammock
- Cornell Fine Arts Museum
- Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Central Florida
- CityArts Factory
- Winter Park Farmer’s Market
- Lakeridge Winery
- Tasty Takeover
Free Live Music in Orlando
Orlando offers a couple of options if you would like to enjoy some live music for free. Here is our roundup of top places to hear some free tunes.
1. Musica Della Notte
Every evening around sunset, the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando offers free concerts that are open to both guests and non-guests. Classically trained singers perform grand arias and Broadway tunes from balconies overlooking the Harbor Piazza, providing a fun and free entertainment appropriate for the whole family.
2. Music at the Caza
On Sunday afternoons, between 12 pm and 3 pm, musicians of all styles take over the grounds of the historic Casa Feliz in Winter Park. The public is invited to join in and enjoy both the home and the concerts for free but donations are greatly appreicated. Suggested donation: $5.
Free Outdoor Movies in Orlando
With year-round summer weather and the proximity of Universal Studio, open-air movies are a popular free Orlando attraction. Just grab a blanket and some snacks for an evening of free family fun. These events are of course, weather-dependent, but here is our round up of top places to catch a flick under the stars.
1. Popcorn Flicks in the Park
On the second Thursday of the month, join the residents of Winter Park in the city's Central Park for a family-friendly and free movie. The film begins at sunset.
From April until September on the last Friday of the month, Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando offers a free movie night.
3. Old Town Family Movie Night
Catch a free family-friendly flick every Sunday evening in the Old Town theme park in Kissimmee.
Orlando Amusement Parks Without the Price Tag
A visit to the Disney Parks or Universal Studio comes at a hefty cost. However, some of Orlando's attractions can give you a glimpse of the fun without the entry fee. Here are just a few of the ways you can experience Orlando’s amusement parks for free.
1. Disney Springs
The dining, shopping and entertainment district of Walt Disney World Resort is open to the public and even features free parking. Besides window shopping and tasty treats, you can also enjoy live performances at no cost. The kids will love playing for free at the LEGO store or take a tour with the complimentary water taxi.
2. Disney’s Boardwalk
Enjoy some free fun in this 1930s Coney Island-inspired boardwalk. Every evening, live entertainers, from street musicians to circus performers, take over the area. Besides, it offers an excellent viewpoint for the fireworks at the nearby Magic Kingdom.
3. Universal CityWalk
Universal’s Citywalk entertainment complex features restaurants, nightclubs, shopping, and plenty of free activities, including live DJs and splashing pads for the kids. Parking is free after 6 pm.
4. Old Town
Located in Kissimmee, this old-school amusement park recreates a Florida community of years-gone-by. The entrance is free, and it offers many dining options, shopping, and rides. Besides, you can also take in some free entertainment like the weekly Family Movie nights or the classic car shows on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Soak in Orlando’s Nature
Strolling through the beautiful parks of the city or getting up close and personal with the local wildlife are some of the best free things to do in Orlando. Here is our top list of free nature-based activities for you and your family.
1. Lake Eola Park
Conveniently located near downtown Orlando, this beautiful park offers plenty of fun and free options to spend the day without spending a cent. With sprawling views on the city's skyline, lakeside sidewalks, free concerts, a farmers' market, and recurring events like free yoga, Lake Eola Park is a landmark.
2. Kraft Azalea Garden
Aptly named "Orlando's Secret Garden," the entry to this charming park on the shore of Lake Maitland is free from 8 am until dusk. It is especially spectacular when the azaleas are in bloom from late February until early April.
3. Black Hammock
No trip to the Sunshine State would be complete without an encounter with some of its most infamous inhabitants. Located on the shores of Lake Jesup, the Black Hammock offers the largest concentration of gators. For guaranteed sightings, there are free feedings on Sundays.
Enjoy Orlando Culture at No Cost
There are plenty of options to enjoy art in Orlando for free. Some museums never have an entrance cost. Others are free on specific days. No matter your interest, Orlando probably has a museum for you! Here are our top three museums that you can enjoy at no cost.
1. Cornell Fine Arts Museum
Located near downtown Orlando, the Cornell Fine Arts Museum includes works by renowned artists such as Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Thomas Moran. And the best of all? The entrance is always free!
2. Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Central Florida
Inspirational and heart-breaking, the Holocaust Memorial Center is open to all. Conceived both as a memorial to the victims and for promoting a message of peace and hope, you will not leave unmoved.
3. CityArts Factory
Museums can be fussy. However, the largest collective of art galleries in Downtown Orlando offers rotating exhibits and performing art representations, perfect for an artistic interlude for free. Stay as long as you want to enjoy the work of local and international artists.
Free Tastes of Orlando
Many recurring events in Orlando are food-themed and have no entrance fee. What better way to enjoy a warm Florida evening than with delicious food and drinks? Below are three of the top ways to enjoy Orlando’s food scene at little to no costs.
1. Winter Park Farmer’s Market
Located in a vintage train depot, the Winter Park Farmers' Market is open every Saturday from 7 am to 1 pm. It is the perfect spot to try some of the Sunshine State best produces and admire the work of local artisans.
2. Lakeridge Winery
For a cheap (a.k.a. free) date, head to this sprawling estate 25 miles west of Orlando. Enjoy one of the complimentary tours, and wine tasting offered seven days a week while admiring the sweeping view on the vineyards. If you time your visit with one of the free concerts and events organized throughout the year, a visit to Lakeridge Winery is one of the best free things to do in Orlando.
3. Tasty Takeover
If you find yourself in Orlando on a Tuesday evening, skip the restaurant and head for the Milk District. Between 6.30 pm and 10 pm, rotating food trucks take over the parking lot and offer various fare that will satisfy the pickiest eaters.
Orlando is more than a vacation spot. With year-round sunshine and an affordable cost of living, it is the perfect place to call home. Are you ready to make a move? Check out new construction homes in Orlando.
Contributed to Your Home blog by Alix Barnaud
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