Orlando is a popular vacation destination for many traveling families, with members of all ages getting in on the fun as multigenerational travel becomes more popular.
The destination likewise holds appeal for Disney and Universal fans from all over the world. However, Orlando can get pricey, with theme park tickets and hotel rates. If you’re looking for free things to do in Orlando, we have you covered with 10 of the top free things in Orlando for travelers of all types.
1. Visit Lake Eola
Travelers of all ages who break away from the theme parks and head into downtown Orlando will be rewarded with a bevy of free things to do in Orlando, one of the most popular being a visit to Lake Eola and Lake Eola Park.
The lake sits right in the heart of downtown, with views of the Orlando skyline. Visitors enjoy not only great photo opportunities, but also renting paddle boats for a small fee, plenteous surrounding dining options and entertainment at the park’s amphitheater. The park is open from 6 a.m. every day, until midnight.
2. Tour and Taste at Lakeridge Winery
Travelers looking for the more adult side of Orlando will find fun at Lakeridge Winery. The winery, located just a 25-mile drive from downtown, is set on 127 acres, with much of that dedicated to planted vineyards. Tours and tastings are totally free, seven days a week, and take place morning through late afternoon. Each tour takes about 30 minutes and includes a look at the production area. The tasting includes a range of wines, from dry to sweet to sparkling.
3. Tour at Orlando Brewing
Similarly, adult travelers can head to Orlando Brewing in the city’s industrial district if they have more of a penchant for beer rather than wine. The brewery tours are one of the top free things in Orlando. The tours take place Monday through Saturday, at 6 p.m., with tickets awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
Even if you can’t catch a tour at Orlando Brewing, try to stop by for a tasting. The brewery creates its unique beers with only organic ingredients and in accordance with the German Purity Law of 1516.
4. Stroll Disney Springs
You don’t have to purchase a ticket to Walt Disney World Resort in order to experience a little Disney magic. You can enjoy a bit of wonder without the mouse, at Disney Springs. The outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment development is near Walt Disney World, but requires no ticket and is a free, all-ages playground where adults and family travelers can peruse more than 100 shops, more than 60 restaurants and more than 23 ways to play, from entertainment venues to rides.
5. Take in the Art at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum
The Cornell Fine Arts Museum stands apart as a unique feature of interest to many traveling adults in the Greater Orlando area. The museum sits on the Rollins College Winter Park campus and offers more than 5,000 artworks, from prints to photographs, ranging from antique items to modern works. In addition to the artwork, there are more than 1,100 ethnographic objects and 1,200 watch keys. The museum has limited hours, opening at 10 a.m. Tuesday through Friday, closing at 7 p.m. on Tuesday and 4 p.m. the other weekdays. Weekend hours are 12–5 p.m.
6. Walk Disney’s Boardwalk
Couples looking for free things to do in Orlando will enjoy a night on Disney’s BoardWalk. The outdoor dining, shopping and entertainment development is near the Disney resort by the same name and is themed after 19th-century Atlantic City.
Live entertainment occurs every night at 7 p.m., but even when there’s no music, the area is particularly picturesque and romantic.
7. Check out an Exhibition at CityArts Factory
In Orlando’s fun Downtown Arts District, CityArts Factory is a unique collection of art galleries with monthly, rotating exhibits from both local and international artists. Stopping by is definitely a good choice for adults and older travelers looking for free things to do in Orlando. The gallery is closed Monday, but open 11 a.m.–6 p.m. the other days of the week.
8. Bike the West Orange Trail
Adventurous and active travelers should undoubtedly check out the West Orange Trail. The trail is one of Florida’s most popular rail trails and runs 22 miles in length, but, if you’re in Orlando, you can stop in at the Killarney Station trailhead, just a few miles’ drive away from downtown.
Check out the beautiful Orlando outdoors, by foot, cycle, skateboard or skates. You can easily rent bicycles at nearby shops.
9. Enjoy the Bright Lights at ICON Park
ICON Park is a top free thing in Orlando at night especially. The massive entertainment complex features the amazing Wheel, a 400-foot observation wheel. Even if you don’t take a ride to the top, you can enjoy the Wheel’s nightly lighting at dusk. The park covers 20 acres, all walkable and filled with window shopping, eclectic bars and plenty of dining and other attractions.
10. Take in the Sights at Universal CityWalk
Just like Disney offers its entertainment developments that are free to enter, so does Universal. Universal CityWalk is a great side trip to any Universal Orlando Resort visit for families looking to save a bit with additional free things to do in Orlando to add to their itineraries.
Entertainment ranges from celebrity DJs to karaoke parties and dining features just about every cuisine under the sun. Check the venue’s calendar for fun events and festivals and, to save even more money, visit after 6 p.m., when self-parking is free.
Searching for Free Things to Do in Orlando?
While, at first glance, it might seem like the only things to enjoy in Orlando are the high-priced theme parks, you don’t even need to go to the theme parks to explore this great city in the Sunshine State!
You can easily entertain yourself, your family and your other traveling companions while enjoying free and budget-friendly attractions all across the area.
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