Vacation can’t come soon enough! Home to 13 theme parks, Orlando is an obvious choice for a fun-filled family getaway. But park passes and themed meals can add up to give you serious sticker shock. Between wild rides and character encounters, what can kids do in Orlando for free? You’re about to find out.
Here are 11 free things to do in Orlando with kids, plus tips on how to save on other must-have Orlando experiences.
1. Lake Eola
Whether you want to hike, play games, or rent a paddle boat, Lake Eola Park is one of the best free attractions in Orlando for all ages, hands down.
2. Disney Springs
Spend the day people watching and playing at free attractions like the two outdoor splash pads, then enjoy free nightly entertainment—including live music and character shows. Parking is free, too!
3. Cornell Fine Arts Museum
Cornell Fine Arts Museum in Winter Park has an impressive permanent collection and contemporary exhibitions. Plus, it’s one of the free museums in Orlando!
4. Universal CityWalk
Admission to CityWalk is 100% free and so is the water taxi. At sunset, go to Portofino Bay Hotel for the nightly open-air opera performance. Parking is free after 6 p.m., so your evening just planned itself.
5. Old Town Kissimmee
The nearby city of Kissimmee is known for its festive historical downtown. Free family movies are screened every Sunday night, and the neighborhood has an old-fashioned carnival vibe.
6. Wekiva Island
Wekiva Island’s rates are so low, we’ve added it to the list of free things to do in Orlando. Entrance fees are just $2 per person and they include access to the swimming and activities areas. Sporting gear is available to rent, or you can bring your own for free!
7. Free Outdoor Movies
Watch kid-friendly movies on the big screen all over the Orlando area. We already mentioned Old Town Kissimmee. If you’re near Lake Eola Park, go to Movieola on the last Friday of each month April through August. Staying closer to Winter Park? Then take the family to Popcorn Flicks in the Park every second Thursday in Central Park.
8. Music at the Casa
Visit Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum on Sundays from noon to 3 p.m. for free live music and a tour of the cultural museum.
9. West Orange Trail
Enjoying the great outdoors is one of the best free things to do in Orlando for kids. West Orange Trail is a favorite for families, as its stroller and wheelchair friendly. Bring bikes or walk to Lake Apopka on foot.
10. Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida
Admission is always free to the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida, and donations are accepted. Explore recent history, so your whole family can do as the center encourages: “Remember the past, change the future.”
11. Big Tree Park
Looking for free parks in Orlando? Big Tree Park is more than a place to play! It’s named after the ancient trees that literally root the region in natural history. Be sure to see the spectacular Lady Liberty Tree and walk through the forest on the boardwalk.
Bonus! Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards
Right outside of Orlando, Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards offers free wine tastings and tours 7 days a week. It’s the perfect pairing to a busy family getaway. Hey, adults need fun things to do in Orlando for free, too!
What can families do in Orlando on a budget? Check out these tips for saving money on your next trip to Orlando:
- Stay in one of the hotels with free breakfast in Orlando, because every meal counts.
- Ask about military discounts—many Orlando businesses want to thank service members for their service.
- Bundle your admission to Kennedy Space Center with transportation to save money and time.
- Visit when Orlando is less crowded—September through May, except spring break and holidays—as many of the parks and restaurants run discount promotions.
- Save on eating out with a Kids Eat Free Orlando Card, whether you’re a local or on vacation.
- Get the Orlando Sightseeing Flex Pass to build your own itinerary and get around to major attractions.
Ready to enjoy top attractions in Orlando, Florida without busting your wallet? When you’re ready to enjoy Orlando on a budget, just follow our tips for the perfect vacation!
Header image via Rain0975/Flickr