Orlando is an ever-growing city with new fun events and places popping up. What I bet you didn’t know is that Orlando has a lot of free activities and events to offer to its residents and visitors. When people think of Orlando they think of our big attractions like Disney World, Universal or Sea World but there is a lot more our city has to offer. Let’s take a look at some of the best local free things to do in Orlando!
Enzian Popcorn Flicks in the Park
My husband is the one who first took me to this one. Once a month in Winter Park, Florida Enzian host an outdoor in the park. The movies are always family-friendly, for example, we watched Harry Potter. These movies are 100% free and open to the public! Movies start around 7 pm or 8 pm depending on the time for sunset. For a list of upcoming movies check out their website!
Orlando Brewing Company
Did you know Orlando had its own brewing company? Another plus is it is a certified organic brewing company! Their beers can be found at over 500 locations throughout Florida. Monday – Friday at 6 pm you can take a tour of their facility FREE of charge! These tours are first come first serve. For more information visit their website.
Disney’s BoardWalk offers a lively and nostalgic atmosphere reminiscent of the seaside amusement parks of yesteryears. This vibrant entertainment district is brimming with exciting activities and charming sights for visitors of all ages. Take a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk, lined with unique shops, enticing eateries, and colorful entertainment venues.
Admire the stunning views of Crescent Lake as you explore the charming storefronts and boutiques, offering everything from Disney merchandise to handcrafted souvenirs. Indulge your taste buds with a delectable meal at one of the many dining establishments, ranging from casual snacks to fine dining experiences.
Don’t miss the opportunity to catch street performers and entertainers showcasing their talents, adding an extra touch of excitement and joy to the lively atmosphere! For those seeking a touch of nostalgia, rent a surrey bike and pedal your way around the lake or test your skills at the arcade. As the sun sets, the boardwalk truly comes alive, with nighttime entertainment, live music, and dazzling fireworks displays.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic evening, family-friendly fun, or simply a place to unwind, Disney’s BoardWalk offers an enchanting array of experiences that will leave you with cherished memories of your visit.
If you are hanging around here at night, check the time that Epcot will be showing it’s firework show you can catch some of the fireworks while walking around the boardwalk.
Disney Springs has so much to offer for everyone in the family. The Town Center section has so many neat boutiques mixed in with stores you already known and love to shop at. Take your kids over to the Lego Imagination Center where they can build legos to their heart’s content. If there is a little princess in the family you have to check out the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique where she can be transformed into her own storybook fantasy. Not to mention Disney Springs is home to several other items that made our list. For a complete listing of stores and restaurants check out Disney Springs official website.
Universal’s CityWalk is a vibrant and energetic entertainment complex that offers a plethora of exciting activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. As you explore this bustling hub located between Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure in Orlando, you’ll find an abundance of dining options ranging from casual eateries to fine dining establishments, serving a wide variety of cuisines to suit every palate.
After satisfying your taste buds, immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere by catching a live performance at the Hard Rock Live or enjoying a comedy show at the iconic Improv Comedy Club. For movie buffs, a visit to the Universal Cinemark theater is a must, featuring the latest blockbusters in state-of-the-art comfort.
If you’re in the mood for some retail therapy, browse the collection of shops and boutiques, where you can find everything from trendy apparel to unique souvenirs. As the evening unfolds, CityWalk comes alive with pulsating music, vibrant nightlife, and exciting dance clubs where you can dance the night away. With its diverse range of entertainment options, Universal’s CityWalk guarantees an unforgettable experience that is sure to leave you with lasting memories of your visit.
I was torn about adding this one to the list. It cost $20 to park here but there are a few ways to avoid your parking fees. First is to be a Florida resident and visit after 6 pm. or you could park at a Universal resort hotel eat there and get your parking pass validated as well. Once into CityWalk, there is a whole host of entertainment for you to enjoy.
Lake Eola Park
Race or walk around the 0.9-mile sidewalk that encircles the lake while enjoying breath-taking views of Orlando, Florida. Other activities available to park visitors include renting swan-shaped paddle boats, feeding the live swans and other birds inhabiting the park.
Lake Eola Park, located in the heart of downtown Orlando, offers a serene oasis where visitors can enjoy a wide range of recreational activities and take in the natural beauty of the surroundings. Start your visit by taking a leisurely stroll or bike ride along the scenic pathway that encircles the lake, offering picturesque views of the iconic Lake Eola fountain.
Renting a swan-shaped paddleboat is a popular choice, allowing you to glide across the tranquil waters while enjoying the gentle breeze. If you’re a fitness enthusiast, join in on the various fitness classes and yoga sessions that take place in the park, or simply find a peaceful spot to practice meditation or tai chi. Picnic areas and shaded pavilions are available for those looking to relax and enjoy a meal amidst the lush greenery.
Lake Eola Park also hosts a vibrant farmer’s market on Sundays, where you can browse local produce, handmade crafts, and delicious treats. With its playgrounds, fountains, and sculptures, Lake Eola Park provides a welcoming environment for families to enjoy quality time together. Whether you’re seeking outdoor activities, cultural events, or simply a place to unwind and appreciate nature’s beauty, Lake Eola Park offers a tranquil escape in the heart of the city.
Town of Celebration
Celebration, Florida, is a charming community located just outside of Orlando that offers a unique and picturesque experience for visitors. Start your exploration by wandering through the scenic downtown area, which exudes a nostalgic small-town ambiance with its charming shops, boutiques, and restaurants.
Marvel at the beautiful architecture and meticulously manicured streets as you soak in the quaint atmosphere. For a relaxing outdoor experience, head to Celebration’s serene lakeside promenade and take a leisurely walk around the picturesque Lake Rianhard.
The area is also dotted with inviting parks and green spaces, perfect for a picnic or a game of frisbee with friends and family. If you’re interested in art and culture, make sure to visit the Celebration Art & Wine Stroll, where you can enjoy local artwork and indulge in wine tastings. Don’t miss the vibrant community events that take place throughout the year, such as the seasonal parades and concerts, which add an extra dose of excitement to your visit.
DID YOU KNOW…
Have you wondered why Celebration looks so perfect? This town was actually created and designed by none other than the Disney Company! This was their real foray into creating their real life community that Walt talked about for decades.
Disney sold the town shortly after it was created. People can have a perfect place, but people are still not perfect.
Visiting the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Central Florida is a profoundly moving and educational experience that fosters remembrance, empathy, and a deeper understanding of the Holocaust. Located in Maitland, just outside of Orlando, this center serves as a memorial to the millions of lives lost during one of the darkest periods in history.
As you step inside, you are met with exhibits and artifacts that offer a comprehensive look into the Holocaust, including personal testimonies, photographs, and historical documents. The center also provides opportunities to engage in dialogue with survivors and hear their stories firsthand, allowing for a powerful and emotional connection.
The educational programs and resources offered aim to promote tolerance, combat prejudice, and ensure that the lessons learned from the Holocaust are never forgotten. By visiting the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center, visitors can pay their respects, gain a deeper appreciation for the importance of human rights, and become advocates for social justice and peace in their own communities.
The Winter Park Farmers’ Market is held inside of their old historic train depot. At The Winter Park Farmers’ Market you will find a wide selection of plants, produce, baked goods, and so much more. If you would like to attend the market takes place every Saturday morning from 7 am to 1 pm City of Winter Park Website
Mall of Millennia
A visit to the Mall at Millenia in Orlando is a must for shopping enthusiasts and those seeking a luxurious retail experience. This upscale shopping destination showcases a stunning array of high-end fashion brands, luxury boutiques, and renowned department stores. From international designer labels to iconic fashion houses, the Mall at Millenia offers a curated selection of the latest trends and timeless styles.
As you explore the mall’s spacious and elegant halls, you’ll find yourself immersed in a world of luxury and refinement. Beyond fashion, the mall also houses a diverse range of specialty stores, beauty salons, and upscale dining options, ensuring a well-rounded shopping experience. Whether you’re searching for the perfect designer handbag, indulging in a spa treatment, or enjoying a gourmet meal, the Mall at Millenia delivers a sophisticated and memorable shopping adventure.
With its sleek architecture, attentive customer service, and unparalleled selection of upscale brands, this iconic mall promises a truly indulgent experience for discerning shoppers in Orlando.
Camp with Chip & Dale
Camp Sing-Along with Chip and Dale at Disney’s Fort Wilderness is a fun and memorable experience that brings together the magic of Disney characters and the fun of a classic campfire gathering. Set in the picturesque outdoor setting of Fort Wilderness Resort, this interactive and entertaining event offers guests of all ages a chance to sing, dance, and create unforgettable memories.
As the sun sets and the campfire crackles, the lovable chipmunks, Chip and Dale, take the stage, leading the crowd in a lively and interactive sing-along. From beloved Disney tunes to traditional campfire songs, everyone is invited to join in and sing their hearts out. Kids and kids-at-heart can also participate in games and activities, with opportunities to dance with the characters and show off their best dance moves.
The atmosphere is filled with joy and laughter, creating a warm and welcoming sense of community. With the night sky overhead and the company of cherished Disney characters, Camp Sing-Along with Chip and Dale at Disney’s Fort Wilderness is an unforgettable experience that captures the essence of family-friendly fun and the spirit of togetherness.
Lakeridge Winery and Vineyard
We have a little piece of wine country here in central Florida! A visit to Lakeridge Winery Tours in Clermont, just outside of Orlando, offers a delightful and immersive experience for wine lovers and those curious about the winemaking process. Located among rolling hills and lush vineyards, Lakeridge Winery is Florida’s largest premium winery, renowned for its award-winning wines. The winery offers guided tours that take visitors on a journey through the winemaking process, from grape to bottle.
You’ll learn about the art of winemaking, the history of the vineyard, and the unique climate and soil that contribute to the production of exceptional wines. The tour includes a stroll through the vineyards, a visit to the fermentation and barrel rooms, and a tasting session where you can sample a variety of the winery’s signature wines.
The knowledgeable guides provide fascinating insights and answer any questions, making the tour both educational and enjoyable. After the tour, you can browse the winery’s gift shop, which offers a selection of wines, wine accessories, and gourmet treats. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or simply looking for a pleasant outing, Lakeridge Winery Tours promises a delightful experience where you can appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship behind the creation of fine wines in the heart of Central Florida.
Lakeridge offers complimentary Winery tours and wine tasting are offered 7 days a week; Monday – Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm and Sunday, 11:00 am – 5 pm. Last tours are offered at approx. 4:00 pm.
Southern Hill Farms
Southern Hill Farms is a charming agricultural experience that offers visitors a delightful escape into the beauty of nature and a variety of engaging activities. This family-owned farm captures the essence of the region’s vibrant agricultural heritage. Known for its sprawling citrus groves and lush blueberry fields, Southern Hill Farms offers a unique and immersive experience for visitors of all ages.
One of the main attractions at Southern Hill Farms is the opportunity to pick your own fresh fruit. Depending on the season, visitors can wander through the orchards and handpick juicy oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines, or plump blueberries straight from the bushes. The farm provides baskets and containers and guests pay by the container, and the experience of harvesting your own fruit is both rewarding and educational.
Mills Self Guided Mural Tour
The Mills Self-Guided Mural Tour in Orlando offers a vibrant and artistic exploration of the city’s vibrant cultural scene. Located in the Mills 50 District, this tour takes visitors on a journey through the neighborhood’s streets, where colorful and captivating murals adorn the walls of buildings.
The self-guided aspect of the tour allows visitors to set their own pace and immerse themselves in the diverse range of artwork at their leisure. From large-scale, awe-inspiring murals to intricate and thought-provoking designs, each mural tells a unique story, reflecting the creativity and spirit of the local community. As you wander through the neighborhood, you’ll discover hidden gems, uncovering the rich tapestry of Orlando’s art scene and experiencing the power of public art to transform urban spaces into vibrant cultural hubs. Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a photography aficionado, or simply someone seeking inspiration, the Mills Self-Guided Mural Tour is a must-visit attraction that showcases the dynamic and ever-evolving nature of Orlando’s artistic landscape.
The Leu Gardens in Orlando offers an exciting opportunity for locals and visitors alike to enjoy the beauty of nature with their Free Days on the first Monday of each month. This monthly event provides complimentary access to the stunning 50-acre botanical oasis, allowing individuals and families to immerse themselves in the enchanting landscapes and diverse plant collections.
On these Free Days, Leu Gardens opens its gates to the public, offering a chance to explore the meticulously manicured gardens, picturesque pathways, and serene water features without any admission fees. Visitors can stroll through themed gardens such as the Tropical Stream Garden, the Butterfly Garden, and the Rose Garden, all while enjoying the tranquil ambiance and natural beauty that surrounds them.
Boxi Park Lake Nona
Boxi Park Lake Nona is a vibrant and dynamic entertainment hub located in the heart of the Lake Nona neighborhood in Orlando. This innovative and community-oriented space offers a unique blend of dining, entertainment, and social experiences that cater to a diverse range of tastes and interests. Boxi Park features a collection of repurposed shipping containers that house a variety of culinary concepts, including food trucks, craft breweries, and specialty vendors.
Visitors can savor a wide array of delectable cuisines, from gourmet burgers and tacos to artisanal pizzas and refreshing craft beers. With its relaxed and inviting atmosphere, live music performances, and ample outdoor seating, Boxi Park Lake Nona provides the perfect backdrop for gathering with friends and family, enjoying delicious food, and immersing oneself in the lively ambiance of this innovative community space.
Hike Tibet-Butler Preserve
Hiking through Tibet-Butler Preserve in Orlando offers an escape into nature’s tranquility and the opportunity to explore one of Central Florida’s hidden gems. Nestled along the shores of Lake Tibet-Butler, this pristine nature preserve boasts over 440 acres of diverse ecosystems, including wetlands, sandhill ridges, and oak hammocks.
The preserve offers a range of hiking options, from shorter loop trails to longer, more challenging routes, catering to hikers of all skill levels. Along the way, you may encounter a variety of wildlife, including birds, butterflies, and even the occasional deer or gopher tortoise. As you traverse the trails, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the natural landscape, including serene lakes, towering trees, and vibrant wildflowers. Whether you’re seeking solitude, exercise, or a deeper connection with nature, hiking Tibet-Butler Preserve provides an enriching and rejuvenating experience that showcases the inherent beauty of Florida’s natural environment.
Enjoy the Ocean
While Orlando is known for its thrilling theme parks and bustling city life, a visit to the nearby beaches can provide a refreshing and relaxing break from the excitement. Just a short drive away, the Atlantic coast offers a variety of pristine sandy shores that are perfect for a day trip or a weekend getaway.
Whether you choose the lively atmosphere of Cocoa Beach, the laid-back charm of New Smyrna Beach, or the picturesque beauty of Canaveral National Seashore, you’ll find yourself immersed in the soothing sounds of crashing waves and warm ocean breezes. Spend your day building sandcastles, basking in the sun, or taking a dip in the refreshing Atlantic waters.
A visit to the Icon Park in Orlando promises an unforgettable experience filled with entertainment, dining, and panoramic views of the city. Located on International Drive, this complex offers a range of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages.
One of the main highlights is the Orlando StarFlyer, the world’s tallest swing ride, providing an adrenaline-pumping adventure and breathtaking views of the surrounding area. Additionally, the Icon Park features the Wheel at Icon Park, a towering Ferris wheel that offers unparalleled 360-degree vistas of Orlando’s skyline. As you soar high above the city, you’ll be treated to stunning vistas, including glimpses of theme parks, lakes, and the iconic Orlando landscape.
The park also boasts an array of restaurants, shops, and live entertainment venues, ensuring there’s something for everyone. From thrilling rides and captivating attractions to delectable dining options and vibrant nightlife, visiting Icon Park is a must-do when exploring Orlando’s entertainment district.
Rollins Museum of Art
The Rollins Museum of Art, located on the picturesque campus of Rollins College in Winter Park, Orlando, is a cultural gem that offers a captivating and enriching art experience. The museum showcases a diverse collection of artwork, ranging from contemporary pieces to historical masterpieces, spanning various mediums and styles.
As you wander through the museum’s galleries, you’ll encounter thought-provoking exhibitions that reflect the evolving nature of artistic expression. The museum’s collection includes works by renowned artists, both local and international, providing a platform for dialogue and exploration.
Whether you’re a seasoned art enthusiast or simply curious about the world of art, the Rollins Museum of Art offers a space for contemplation, inspiration, and appreciation of the creative spirit. With its dynamic exhibits, engaging educational programs, and commitment to fostering a deeper understanding of art, this museum is a must-visit destination for art lovers and cultural enthusiasts alike in the Orlando area.
Margaritaville Saturday Night Car Show
Get ready to rev your engines and enjoy a spectacular car show at Margaritaville on Saturday nights in Orlando. This exciting event is a treat for automobile enthusiasts and anyone looking for a fun and entertaining evening. As the sun sets, Margaritaville comes alive with an impressive display of classic cars, vintage vehicles, and modern marvels, all gleaming under the vibrant lights. Stroll through the rows of meticulously maintained automobiles, marveling at their timeless beauty and intricate details.
The best part? This car show is completely free, making it an affordable and enjoyable outing for friends, families, and car enthusiasts of all ages. So gather your loved ones, immerse yourself in the nostalgic ambiance, and enjoy the sights and sounds of these automotive masterpieces at Margaritaville’s Saturday night car show, where passion and craftsmanship unite.
Riding the Disney Monorail
Taking a day off from exploring the parks at Disney and spending it riding the monorail can be a fun and unique experience in itself. The iconic Disney monorail offers a convenient and enjoyable way to travel between various resorts and parks while providing stunning views of the surrounding landscapes.
Start your day by hopping on the monorail at one of the resorts, such as the Polynesian Village Resort or the Contemporary Resort, and enjoy the smooth ride as you glide through the air. Take in the panoramic vistas of the lush greenery, sparkling waterways, and iconic landmarks as you journey around the Disney property.
Live your dreams and do a full monorail crawl by grabbing a bite to eat and a drink at each of the monorail resorts!
After a day of monorail adventures, make your way to the monorail’s final stop at the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC), where you can catch a ferry or bus to Disney Springs. This lively shopping and entertainment district is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy a wide array of dining options, live entertainment, and unique shops. Indulge in a delicious meal at one of the many restaurants, catch a movie at the AMC theater, or simply stroll along the waterfront promenade and soak in the vibrant atmosphere.
Riding the monorail on your day off from the parks allows you to appreciate the magic and ingenuity of Disney’s transportation system while exploring various resorts and enjoying the diverse offerings of Disney Springs. It’s a relaxing and memorable way to spend a day immersing yourself in the enchanting world of Disney beyond the rides and attractions.
Riding the Disney Skyliner
On your day off from exploring the parks at Disney, riding the Skyliner offers a unique and enjoyable way to experience the magic of Disney transportation while discovering the resorts.
Start your adventure by boarding the Skyliner at one of the stations, such as the International Gateway at Epcot or Disney’s Hollywood Studios. As you glide through the air in the gondola, you’ll be treated to breathtaking aerial views of the parks, resorts, and picturesque landscapes.
Once aboard the Skyliner, consider heading to Disney’s Riviera Resort, where you can disembark and explore the beautiful Mediterranean-inspired grounds. Take a leisurely stroll along the promenades, enjoy a delicious meal at one of the resort’s restaurants, or relax by the poolside with a refreshing beverage. The resort’s elegant atmosphere and stunning architecture make it an ideal spot to unwind and soak in the Disney ambiance.
Another option is to continue your Skyliner journey to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. Here, you can disembark and take a relaxing stroll around the picturesque Barefoot Bay, enjoying the tranquil scenery and lush landscaping. Consider grabbing a snack or a refreshing drink at one of the resort’s quick-service locations, and perhaps find a cozy spot by the water to relax and take in the tropical atmosphere.
In addition to these resort stops, the Skyliner also provides convenient access to the Disney’s BoardWalk area. You can disembark at the Epcot International Gateway station and take a leisurely walk along the charming boardwalk, which features delightful dining options, unique shops, and live entertainment. Enjoy a meal at one of the waterfront restaurants, try your luck at the arcade, or simply take in the lively ambiance of this nostalgic, seaside-inspired area.
Riding the Skyliner on your day off from the parks allows you to appreciate the beauty of the Disney property from a different perspective while discovering new areas and enjoying a leisurely day of exploration. It’s a fantastic way to embrace the magic of Disney transportation and immerse yourself in the unique charm and offerings of the various resorts and recreational areas along the Skyliner route.
After a day on the Disney Skyliner you will be able to answer which type of Skyliner cars you prefer, character wrapped or unwrapped!
If you want some more ways to score free experiences read our list of The Best Free Finds At Walt Disney World.
I am a mother of three that has refused to grow up. Adulting is for the birds, so I go to Disney World every chance I get for that magical escape from reality. I believe that Haunted Mansion is the best ride in all of the Disney Parks, and I am fervently in team Happily Ever After for fireworks spectaculars, (sorry, not sorry, Enchanted). Finally, I hope I never grow tired of skipping down Main Street, USA, and my dream come true would be “friends with” the Fairy Godmother in my old age.
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