There’s no mistaking that Orlando is the theme park capital 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?
- Downtown Disney Marketplace & Boardwalk
Downtown Disney is a fun place to experience the magic of Disney without the hefty cost of one of the theme parks. Depending on the month, there may be additional free festivities throughout the marketplace.
- Lake Eola Park
Lake Eola is an 80-foot sink hole. While at the park, enjoy a concert or play at the amphitheater, view the Orlando skyline or, on Sundays, visit the farmers market.
- Harry P. Leu Gardens
Harry P. Leu Gardens offers a variety of attractions, including a butterfly garden, tropical steam garden, bamboo and palm gardens, and a house museum dating to the 1880s. Free admission to the park is available from 9 a.m. to noon on the first Monday of the month.
- Town of Celebration
The Town of Celebration was originally created by Disney, who commissioned architects to create a unique town combining historical elements with technology.
- Enzian Theater/Eden Bar
Enzian Theater/ Eden Bar in Maitland offers a weekly Wednesday Night Pitcher Show every Wednesday, as long as the weather is good.
- Ocala National Forest
Enjoy a hike in the second-largest National Forest in Florida and the oldest National Forest East of the Mississippi River.
- Cornell Fine Arts Museum
The Museum is free for students who have a student I.D., and costs $5 dollars if you’re out of college. Two main attractions are the paintings Cosimo Roselli’s Madonna and Child Enthroned and J. B. Leprince’s The Seasons.
- Grand Bohemian Gallery
The gallery contains local contemporary art and jewelry, along with European paintings from the 19th Century.
- A World of Orchids
The World of Orchids is a conservatory containing natural exhibits with flowers from Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Australia, and the South and Central Americas.
- Big Tree Park
The main attraction at this park was a 118-foot-tall, bald cypress tree that was over 3,500 years old. Sadly, it was destroyed by a vandal, but the park has many benches and tables, so feel free to pack up a picnic and have lunch while enjoying the other aspects of the park.
- Fleaworld and Funworld
Fleaworld is the largest flea market in the United States, boasting over 1,700 vendors. Funworld offers such attractions as acrobatic shows, a circus, magic acts and more, depending on the day you visit. Fleaworld is open Friday to Sunday and Funworld is only open on weekends.
- Legend of Spook Hill (Lake Wales)
Spook Hill allows you to defy gravity. You’ll follow the signs to a particular spot and watch as your car rolls up hill without any form of momentum.
- Kissimmee Old Town
Kissimmee Old Town has free entertainment after 7:30 p.m. every night. On Saturday nights they offer 50’s and 60’s rock-n- roll.
- Snowhill Mountain Bike Trail
The outdoor enthusiast will enjoy Snowhill mountain bike trail in the Little Big Econ State Forest. Snowhill trail has many single pine-needle-layered trails, some sugar-sand parts, woopdeedoos, and river crossing by suspension bridge, as well as some steep drops.
- Bradlee-McIntyre House
This is the only Queen Anne-style cottage remaining in the Orange and Seminole counties. It was built around 1885 and is part of the Logwood Historical Trail.
- Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Central Florida
The Center has a collection of artifacts from the Holocaust. It’s open everyday except Saturdays.
- Museum of Seminole County History
The Museum has a wide variety of exhibits, including furniture, mementos and more, all from Seminole County.
- Orlando Brewing Company
Orlando Brewing Company is the only certified organic brewery in Florida. They offer free tours at 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.They also offer free entertainment on the weekends.
- Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts
The Museum celebrates the life of Zora Neal with a wide variety of materials dedicated to African-American culture.
- Black Hammock Adventures
Enjoy an alligator show and bird exhibits. They also provide free music on Fridays and Saturdays.
- Children’s Library
The Children’s Library offers a variety of events, depending on the day and time of year, including special readings, arts and crafts, family movie nights, board games, and musical events.
- March of the Peabody Ducks
Visit the Peabody Hotel at 11 a.m. or 5 p.m. and watch the Peabody Ducks be escorted to and from the Royal Duck Fountain on their own red carpet.
- Club Firestone
Visit this electronic club on Thursdays for free and, if you arrive before 11 p.m., enjoy a free beer.
- Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens
Not only are the museum and gardens free, but you’ll also find a scattering around the grounds of artists creating new works.
- Chamberlin’s Market & Cafe
This market has free classes, guest speakers, and a Fall Harvest Festival with free samples of organic food.
- Wekiwa Springs State Park
The park offers a variety of outdoor activities and a natural history museum. Admission is free in September if you bring a book, library card or library book.
There is an entire theme park dedicated to your favorite building blocks that’s great for kids and adults alike. And bonus: You can even stay the night! Explore the different lands of LEGO, from the new Ninjago World to LEGOLAND’s water park. LEGOLAND is a great option if you’ve got slightly younger kids that can’t quite ride all the mega-coasters in Universal—while there are a few bigger coasters, most of them are kid-friendly, from the Coastersaurus and Boating School to the Aquazone Wave Racers. Don’t forget to bring mini-figures to trade!
- Fort Christmas Historical Park
This fort from the Second Seminole Indian War includes historical structures and pioneer demonstrations. It’s open Tuesday to Sunday.
- Kelly Park, Rock Springs
These parks have a free-flowing natural spring, hiking and camping. Children under 5 are free and there’s a total charge of $3 per car containing up to eight people.
- University of Central Florida Arboretum
Here you can see over 600 plant species and eight natural ecosystems while enjoying a disc golf course, bike paths and a great swamp habitat.
- Howl at the Moon
Howl at the Moon is a piano bar. If you book a happy-hour party in advance, it’s completely free and includes a complimentary buffet from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Farmers Market
Winter Park’s large Farmers Market allows visitors to enjoy a wide variety of activities throughout the year.
- Fred Stone Theater
The Fred Stone Theater has free performances in their “Second Stage Series.” Shows are in the evening on Thursday through Saturday and during the day on Saturday and Sunday.
- Popcorn Flicks in Central Park
Popcorn Flicks is a series of outdoor movies starting at 8 p.m. throughout the summer in Winter Park.
- Morse Museum of American Art
The Morse Museum of American Art has one of the most comprehensive collections of work by Louis Comfort Tiffany. The Museum also features a chapel interior designed for the 1893 World’s Colombian Exposition in Chicago. The museum is free from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays from November to April, along with free concerts on Friday nights throughout November and December.
- Universal Orlando Resorts City Walk
This is a free part of Universal where you can see some sidewalk attractions and enjoy the studio without having to go into the amusement park. Come early to snag free parking.
- Mall at Millenia
This is a large mall featuring designer shops. You can window shop from such famous designer brands as Gucci and Coach.
- Florida Mall
The Florida Mall offers over 250 stores where you can window shop or simply people watch.
- Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando
Enjoy free Italian music every night.
- Natura Coffee and Tea
This small cafe has live performances every night, usually starting around 9 p.m. Check out jazz on Wednesdays; a general open mic on Thursdays; and acoustic and spoken-word open mics on Sundays.