As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, Orlando, Florida has a virtually limitless number of world-class attractions. When you envision a trip to Orlando, you probably think about theme parks like Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, or SeaWorld. While these are certainly incredible attractions to visit, they also cost families a pretty penny to experience.
Have you been wondering what to do in Orlando for free? There are many amazing activities that won’t force you to reach into your pockets. Incorporate these six attractions into your itinerary the next time you visit “O-Town.”
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6 Free Things to Do in Orlando
Explore Lake Eola Park
Though Central Florida is missing the beaches, it isn’t lacking natural beauty. Whenever you visit Lake Eola Park, we have a few recommendations to maximize your experience:
- Bring bread to feed the beautiful swans and birds splashing in the lake. (It was actually once a sinkhole!)
- Charge up your smartphone or camera to take photos in front of the breathtaking palms and flowers.
- If you like to be active, wear a pair of comfortable sneakers so you can walk or jog around the mile-long path.
- Pack a picnic spread to enjoy a family-style lunch outdoors.
- Lake Eola Park is a great stop for families while in Orlando, and even boasts a picture-perfect view of the city skyline.
Meander Your Way Through Disney Springs
Disney Springs, which used to be known as Downtown Disney, should definitely be included in your Orlando journey. This four-district, themed waterfront experience features more than 150 shops, dining options, and entertainment venues. This is an activity that your family will be talking about long after your trip ends. The magical World of Disney store is a must as it’s the world’s largest Disney character shop. There are many items inside that you won’t find elsewhere.
Don’t forget to stop by the Welcome Center to get a history lesson about this world-famous attraction. The whole family will love exploring the Lego Imagination Center. This store features Legos in literally every color, shape, and size you could ever think of. If you’re staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, enjoy complimentary transportation to Disney Springs via bus or water taxi. There’s no admission cost to meander through this unique area.
Browse the Winter Park Farmer’s Market
The Winter Park Farmer’s Market has been dubbed as one of the best plant and produce farmers markets in the entire region of Central Florida. Whether you’re interested in making purchases or just browsing offerings from the most delicious and creative local vendors in the area, this weekly market is a must-visit. You’ll find something that pleases every taste bud and personality. While there are several fun activities for kids, sometimes fresh air and fresh treats are all they need.
Take a Stroll in Old Town
This open-air promenade stretches over 18-acres and features a number of unique storefronts, dining options, and even some amusement park rides. It’s one of the best places in Orlando for window shopping. There are many special events throughout the year in Old Town that are all free to attend. These include spectacular car shows, entertaining live music, and fun karaoke performances. You won’t want to miss them!
Experience the Entertainment at Universal CityWalk
If you’re looking for yet another attraction with free admission, you’ll want to bring your group to Universal CityWalk. This area is so much more than an entryway to Universal’s three theme parks. It is an entertainment destination. If you love music, you’ll relish in CityWalk’s live music performances and karaoke stage. Sports enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to the Hot Dog Hall of Fame. You may even catch a game while seated in an original U.S. baseball stadium seat. Hop on a complimentary water taxi and cruise along the waterways or head to one of the three on-site Universal Resorts. At night, CityWalk is a popular attraction for adults seeking a fun night out.
Wander Amongst Masterpieces at Cornell Fine Arts Museum
If you love art galleries, then you won’t want to miss out on a visit to the Cornell Fine Arts Museum. This teaching museum features a variety of permanent exhibitions and visiting collections. The museum, which is AAM-accredited, is part of Rollins College. Take a tour or explore on your own. Either way, admission is free all year round, though patrons must register for tickets ahead of time online or by phone.
Whether you’re on a staycation or international excursion, your Orlando trip shouldn’t end there. Schedule in some time for a visit to nearby Daytona Beach, Florida. Best known for beautiful beaches, first-class watersports, and unforgettable marine adventures, this beach town is easily accessible from Orlando. Your family will love a break from the Orlando action on an excursion with Ponce Inlet Watersports. Spend the day fishing peacefully on an intimate, four-hour Daytona Beach Fishing. Looking for a bit more action? Searching for breathtaking wildlife like dolphins, manatees, stingrays, and sea turtles during one of the Dolphin & Manatee Tours will be a highlight. Plus, they’re completely free for children under 3! In preparation, watch some dolphin movies, or read our 23 Weird Facts About Dolphins.
After spending time in Orlando, it will be abundantly clear why it’s the most sought-out vacation spot in the United States. With so many world-renowned activities to choose from, it’s important to plan your trip accordingly to fit them all in. Though a trip to Orlando may seem like it would be overwhelming on your bank account, incorporating these incredible, free activities will make it even more spectacular for everyone.
For more fun recommendations, check out things to do in Daytona Beach!