There’s no mistaking that Orlando is the theme park capitol of the world, bringing in over 50-million visitors per year.
But what about those of us who want to enjoy the sunny warm weather without the giant cost of admission into Disney World or Universal Studios?
We’ve compiled a list of 40 different things you can do in Orlando that are not only fun but free! What could be better than an expense-free vacation?
we will be coming down for the aarp conference at the convention center in orlando
in that area what are the deals and discounts for srs
food entertainment etcted and sheila - May 23rd, 2010
I don’t get the kelly park thing do you have to pay an entry fee or like some sort of other fee for playing stuff or swimming? I don’t know. Im doing a project for school so I need to know.chey - April 14th, 2011
Kelly park is 3 to get into the park.. That’s $3 per car up to 8 people and you have to bring your own tubes you can get them anywhere before you go.everything else is freeMarie - April 20th, 2011
This is a nice little list of things to do in Orlando!
i am a stay at home mom on a budget and i was wondering if anyone had free activitys to do with a baby/toddler.brittany - July 12th, 2011
Just wanted to let you know that it is $15 to park at Universal City Walk (not free).Diane - July 30th, 2011
I went to Universal City Walk at 9:00 pm(parking was free)Desi - August 8th, 2011
Parking at the city Walk is now only $3.00 for cars and vans, went there the last 3 days.Milano - September 6th, 2011
Leu Gardens is only free now the first Monday of the month and not every Monday.
Thanks for the list! 😀Dawn - September 21st, 2011
Orlando S U C K SNina - September 30th, 2011
Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens in Winter Park is BEAUTIFUL and is FREE. indoor gardens closed in summer for renovations.Cathy - October 5th, 2011
Winter Park has Food Truck Rally every Thursday from 5-10 pm. Live Music, over 10 trucks, and a bar on site with no cover! Family Friendly tooSascha - December 1st, 2011
You can visit:
Jack Kerouac’s house here in Orlando
Shop at one of the best record-stores in the South, Park Ave.CDs
Eat at Jrs. Columbian Burger (near Universal)
& Walk around Lake Eola in DT O Town and admire the swans and maybe even rent a swan boat.
there are fees to get into the springs.. as far city walk and down town disney you can park for free.. orlando does not suck and as far as that comment goes if you arent a inside the box kinda of person then anything can be fun and intertaning but ya gotta think outside the box ninabrookw - December 9th, 2011
The Florida Mall is huge!! Was there today. But you wont be able to just window shop, all stores have huge windows that are super tempting! Unfortunately, almost all stores are super expensive!!! Bummer! I spent $120 on a crop top and shorts for my daughter at justice nd $450 for me at only 2 stores, I bought sandals and 2 blouses.Susie - December 27th, 2011
Austin’s Coffee in Winter Park has nightly stuff like Open Mic Night and Hip Hop night during the week. You can sit down and listen for a while. It is basically free until you decide to grab something to drink or eat.
Plus there is the Stardust Coffee and Video has shows on occasion (sometimes cover) but they also have the Audubon Community Market on Monday where you can listen to a band play for free and buy some groceries or food if want to. That seems to be very family friendly
Enzian Theater/ Eden Bar in Maitland now has a weekly Wednesday Night Pitcher Show that was started last year. They show some fun stuff and have shot trivia. It is every Wednesday as long as the weather is good (only Wednesday that they may not do it is the week after Florida Film Festival)
Over by UCF Natura Coffee and Tea has live performances nightly usually starting around 9pm. Wednesdays are Jazz, Thursday is Open Mic, Sunday Open Mic Acoustic and Spoken Word, and the other nights are open for bands to book.
Other than that I am out of ideas. Oh an on the Universal parking issue, they are being a little wacky lately. In december parking after 6pm was free for Florida residents so all my Florida people pay attention because possibly during non peak times they may open that up for us again (aka wait til after Mardi Gras [or may do it during the week] between spring break and summer and post HHN)Lyn - February 18th, 2012
we got to Universal Studios parking lot before the park opened which was perfect. By the time we paid $13 to park ( no free parking ), hiked through Universal Citywalk to get to the ticket gates/entrances, then to the near back of Island’s of Adventure to get to Harry Potter it was almost 9am. We walked right into the castle, used the free locking lockers, and rode the ride. There were no lines until almost 10:30. Then it was sheer madness in there. We then left for other sections of the park which were fairly quiet and we didn’t experience any lines until 3pm, and that one was 30 min. long. By the way, the lockers are free for 30 min. So you can take your stuff out – move to another section and use a free locker there too. It just reads your fingerprint – very cool.
Winter Park farmers market was delightful – a dog lovers paradise! Nearby was the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens – not only are there paintings and sculptures to view but artists scattered throughout the grounds – doing their thing – painting, drawing, etc. on easels. There is also his harp collection with one you can play on and if you follow the chart you can strum a simple song such as “Happy Birthday”.
Finally, if you’re willing to take a drive, we drove 2 hours to Anna Maria Island on the west coast. The beaches are beautiful and sandy with free entrance and parking. We paid $20 for the day to rent a large unbrella and some beach chairs which the guy carried and set up for us at our desired spot. Plus, you can ride a cute trolley, for free, around the island. It has a variety of spots to get off and on and a trolley returns every 20 min. all day long! So, we trollied to “The Pier” walked around, had some ice cream, and watched for manatees and dolphins while we waited for another trolley. On a side note – it’s stressful to try to leave the island during rush hour, at least for the driver.;)Joanne - February 29th, 2012
Thanks. Thoughtful of you to offer it. (you need a little proofreading here and there)Caroma - April 23rd, 2012
i loved the list, i go to Orlando often and now i have new things to see and do. thanksRC - May 1st, 2012
We are going to Orlando at the very end of September, can anyone tell me some good shopping malls or markets that are not full of designer stuff, just affordable prices for everyday people.
Big Tree Park has been closed since the tree burned down. Not sure if they are ever going to open the park again.Shannon - May 22nd, 2012
WEKIVA SPRINGS PARK WAS GREAT FUN FOR ME AND MY CHILDRENBRENDA - May 27th, 2012
Big tree park has unfortunately lost its “big tree” to a fire started by a meth user getting high and burning down a landmark. There will soon be a monument made from the remains.Lori - May 30th, 2012
Ahhhh I love this list but alas, as usual, there is not truth about the pitfalls of some of these places. Citywalk and Downtown Disney are so packed that is it just plain out annoying to make that long drive and get stuck between mounds of tourists who are completely lost and take pictures of the sidewalk.Danielle - June 9th, 2012
My husband and i are from alabama he is a traffic signal tech . and we go to orlando every two yrs. for his work we stay at the omni resort and they have a lot of good things to do around there but i was so glad to find this list so that maybe me and my daughter can find some activities to do while my husband is in class . this was very helpfull .thank youkristin - June 13th, 2012
Just to let you know… Big Tree Park is closed until further notice, due to the Senator burning down earlier this year.TJ - June 22nd, 2012
FYI….Portofino costs $17.00 to PARK….so what is free about this?Marge Colletti DeMarco - July 1st, 2012
I don’t see nun free on hereArnella Collins - July 9th, 2012
tell the girls i love them and see them soonCrystal Holman - July 10th, 2012
I need free summer or winter school about thin film in 08/09/10/11/12/2012 pls send in this adresse firstname.lastname@example.org.Ibrahim Missoum - July 11th, 2012
If this is the worst thing that happens to you that you can’t get in for free somewhere I pity you that you cannot handle a dissapointment. When was the last time you gave someone something free? Shut up, go outside look at the blue sky and the palm trees close your eyes and thank God that he doesn’t charge you for the air you breathe or the warm sunshine on your face or for hearing the ocean rush to shore. Stop looking fir everyne to make a perfect day for you. Look in the mirror and see the person who can make you happy…Quess what it’s you. You have the power to make you happy.Gloria Watt Barr - July 17th, 2012
hahahahahaCotte Nuncy - July 17th, 2012
Primium Outlet mall has hundreds of stores and trollys. End of Internationa Drive. Millineum Mall is great, has higher end stores. Next door there is IKEA, fun to go to and can take alot of time. Old town on Saturday nights has a very nice hot rod car show. Gawking is always fun to. Walking down Internationa drive is always interesting. If you get board in Orlando, you have a serious problem.Mario Schwarz - July 18th, 2012
The Public Library is free in every state. This has always been a big source of entertainment to my family no matter where we have lived.Roberta Bebko - July 27th, 2012
6-10 pm parking is $5, after 10pm parking is free… However, FL residents are free after 6pm with proof of residency. http://www.universalorlando.com/Resort-Information/Parking-Information.aspxNalaine Raposa - August 21st, 2012
true…i payd $21.00Ethiany Silva - August 21st, 2012
Lake Eola is having the Caribbean festival on Sunday, August 12, 2012. That is free and should be fun. They also have a Farmer’s Market there on Sundays and the ducks like eating the lettuce you feed them. It is a fun time for the family.Roberta Bebko - August 21st, 2012
Les, the Farmer’s Market of Marion County is a great place to go. It is about an hr and 15 mins. north west of Orlando if you take the Turnpike north to Rte 484 when you get into Marion Co. Get off of the exit and head right on 484. Then go to Rte. 441 and turn left and it is right down the road before you get to the next light. It is on your left. I love going there and can get all my fruits and veggies for a low price. The have tons of shops and stands. Good deals are in that place.Roberta Bebko - August 21st, 2012
Don’t forget to check the Orlando Sentinel on Fridays for yard sales. They have them here too and I got some great buys. They are fun to go to and if you have a garmin then you have it licked.Roberta Bebko - August 21st, 2012
They also have a free newspaper called the Orlando Weekly. We get ours delivered at our apartment complex. It is loaded with things to do each week and many things are free. You can probably pick this paper up at tourist areas or Chamber of Commerce…not sure. Also the flea market on 192 in Kissimee has a lot of free booklets with coupons in them and ideas for things to do.Roberta Bebko - August 21st, 2012
We have just come back from a 12 night stay in Florida while looking for a vacation property to buy – with a six month old we needed to have a break from house hunting while not having to spend a fortune.
We found Downtown Disney a real ‘free’ treat. Full of the Disney vibe and fun with a lovely selection of shops, cafes and places to eat while soaking up the Florida sun.
We also visited the Disney Hotels – again a real treat to experience over December as they have amazing decorations – including real gingerbread houses and trees that were at least 4 stories high!
You certainly don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy Florida! We will be back again so out little boy can experience the World of Disney but certainly while he is so little we had just as much fun outside the parks!Dave’s Florida Villa - January 1st, 2013
Old Town Disney is great FREE fun on a Friday and Saturday night! You can really soak up the atmosphere of ’50s & ’60s Rock ‘n’ Roll with live music while classic cars, hot rods, street rods and antique cars join in a colourful procession through the streets of the town. Lovely collection of gift shops and places to eat.Dave’s Florida Villa - January 1st, 2013
Mr. P. Tavares, you give Americans a bad name. You can dis me all you want, but I could care what you say, cuz you are nothing.Becky Lucas - January 13th, 2013
LOL, @ p. tavares your vocabulary definitely indicates your lack of education. you better be a democrat that way you can have food stamps your whole life. LOLBrad Robinett - January 13th, 2013
Thanks for the list, we just moved to the area and needed some things to do, besides work and schoolNikki Nicholle Frazier - April 16th, 2013
I found some really cool free Orlando coupons from Orlando Coupon Buddy.Kevin Bradshaw - May 18th, 2013
best place Kelly ParkCynthia Carrasquillo Ramírez - July 20th, 2013
How about these ideas?Trey Timchal - January 1st, 2014
A World of Orchids (#9) is defunct. We drove past it and it was trashed. So make that 39 free places to see.Frances Christman - January 2nd, 2014
Old town es bien agradable para llevar a la familia que nos visita en fl. Ademas Downtown Disney.. y la entrada es libre de costo…Leilany Moran - January 9th, 2014
Fare weatherFola Bull - March 17th, 2014
Fair weatherFola Bull - March 17th, 2014
Number 22 (March of the Peabody ducks) does not exist anymore since the hotel was bought by Hyatt.Gul Han - April 7th, 2014
Spook hill is a waste of timeAshley Rhodes - May 26th, 2014
pretty much all of those cost moneyJustin Pagan - July 13th, 2014
Ok, look this is very informative and I thank you for your time. Who ever runs this thing should update it ASAP, planned a day out and had to pay at a few of these places. If I could I would have the IDIOTs running this show pay for there misinformation to the Public. Thank you and have a happy free day meHarry Stint - August 3rd, 2014
site needs to be updatedCathy Miller - March 11th, 2015
I’m looking to go this weekend. Can anyone tell me from this list what does not exist please?Suann Griffin - March 15th, 2015
Old Town in Kissimmee is closedRichard Randall - March 23rd, 2015
Old Town is still opened..at least it was last week. Arabian Knights is closed.Cathy Miller - March 23rd, 2015
We are taking our 16 year old Grandson to the Kissimmee Orlando area besides theme parks where can we take himLinda Tercheck - March 29th, 2015
Thanks!Jazbeth Alvarez - May 14th, 2015
Good site but I don’t believe Polasek Museum is free (maybe $5?) and Rock Springs car with 1-2 is $3; car with up to 8 is $5 now.Onita Solberg Weeks - July 6th, 2015
Fleaworld is still there but Funworld is gone. The flea market is nothing like it used to be.Richard Randall - July 11th, 2015
Peabody hotel is no longer the Peabody…no ducks.Alyssa Maroon - July 25th, 2015
Old Town is still up, runnung and open. We had lots of fun there. Love the FREE Live Band.Chris Johnson Cook - July 31st, 2015
Great HelpEarnestine Wright Benton - August 24th, 2015
Thanks, this will be very helpful on our vacation.Robin Lambert - October 2nd, 2015
A World of Orchids
is gone also.
Most of the things are goneOlivia Lisle - November 12th, 2015