I know you are reading this on your computer or phone wondering…besides the theme parks…what else is there to do in Orlando?
As a Floridian who grew up in Central Florida, I have seen orange groves turn into theme parks. A lot has changed over the years in O-Town. One thing still stays the same. There are a lot of things to do in Orlando!
There are tons of things to do in Orlando for free or nearly free. You do not have to pay $100 per person/per day to have some fun in Orlando. We share 9 free things to do in Orlando or nearly free. 😀 We consider these the best free things to do in Orlando.
I wanted to share some of the Jones Family’s favorite things to do in Orlando that are free or inexpensive, but still tons of fun. Let’s get playing…
What to Do in Orlando
#9 Rock Springs Park
Right in Apopka about 20 minutes from Downtown Orlando is Rock Springs River Run. This is a great park for kids. Bring your inner tubes and hop into the cool springs run for a leisure 25 minute float down river.
You can just relax on the water down the river run. At the end, you can just on the boardwalk and run back up to the start to go again. Kids can spend hours at this park on the river run or hunting for sharks teeth. This is a nature version of a waterpark!
#8 Turkey Lake Park
Right down the road from Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando is this fun city park where you can rent fishing poles and fish in Turkey Lake with the kids. Turkey Lake Park is free admission.
There is also biking, hiking, kiddie play areas, sandy beaches, and a pool. If you need a break from Universal Orlando, pop over to this park.
#7 Bok Tower and Gardens
In Lake Wales (about 45 minutes from Disney World), you will find this relaxing and beautiful gardens. This is very popular for adults and seniors. For more information, visit www.boksanctuary.org
#6 Disney Springs
We love wandering around Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort. There is so much to do at Disney Springs for free or nearly free. You can hunt for bones at the dig site at T-Rex Cafe, jump around in the splash area, ride the train, create a Lego race car, or take the family on the carousel.
You can also enjoy free events on the stage in front of the World of Disney or live entertainment throughout Disney Springs. All of these activities are free or nearly free and fun for kids!
#5 Orlando Science Center
Just 5 minutes from Downtown Orlando in Winter Park is the Orlando Science Center. This center is perfect for all day fun for kids with over 42,000 square feet of exhibits of science. There is an admission charge for the Orlando Science Center, but it is inexpensive. Check out www.osc.org for more information.
For the adults, after your visit to the Orlando Science Center you can visit the Orlando Museum of Art located in the same area.
#4 Miniature Golf in Orlando
When we think as a family about “What to do in Orlando,” Kelly always says…mini golf! There are lots of miniature golf courses in Kissimmee, Disney World, and Orlando.
These are a really fun evening activity for the whole family. The miniature golf is much less expensive outside of Disney World with lots of coupons available for every company.
Most of these mini golf courses also offer a 50% off 2nd game. Some of the more popular miniature golf courses are Congo River Golf, Pirates Cove, Pirates Island Adventure Golf, River Adventure Golf, and Fantasia Golf at Disney’s Boardwalk.
#3 Celebration, Florida
Take an evening and enjoy a walk around Celebration Downtown. This is often “nicknamed” the Disney city, right down the road from Disney World.
It was once owned by the Disney Company and inspired by Walt Disney. There are several amazing restaurants like Columbia Restaurant and cute shops right in this downtown area.
The kids can play in the water jet fountains, while you relax in the rocking chairs. You can also take a leisure walk on the hiking trails around the lake to watch the ducks and wildlife. It is a beautiful and relaxing area right in the middle of tourist central.
#2 Fun Spot
Kids love this huge game place right on International Drive and in Old Town (both in the middle of Orlando.) You can ride the ferris wheel, rent go carts, play video games, and so much more.
If you are more adventurous, they also have huge swings! There are fees for these rides or attractions, but they are nominal fees. For more information, visit www.fun-spot.com
#1 Florida Beaches
Orlando is about 45-1 hour from lots of amazing beaches on the East Coast. If you love waves and the beach, spend an afternoon or whole day at one of the beaches.
You can hit the more touristy beach of Daytona Beach or a hidden gem like Titusville. Another perfect location, right down the road from the Disney Cruise port is Cocoa Beach. There is great restaurants, beaches, and even Ron Jon Surf Shop.
If you still want to spend a day or two or even three at the Orlando Theme Parks, check out our favorite partner for discount tickets. They offer the best prices on Orlando tickets and are Jones Family Travels approved. 😀
These are our favorite free or nearly free things to do in Orlando.
Lake Eola Park
A few bonus ideas are Lake Eola Park in Downtown Orlando. You can feed the ducks, ride a swan boat around the lake, or enjoy the scenery. There are special events in the heart of Downtown Orlando throughout the year. Check out the calendar to see if there is live music, farmers markets, free concerts, or special events during your visit.
We love exploring Universal CityWalk on Friday and Saturday nights. This is such a fun evening. Parking is free after 6 PM. You can shop, dine, or just check out the entertainment. You can even walk over to get a selfie with the globe at Universal Studios.
West Orange Trail
If you want to get outside, how about a bike ride along the West Orange Trail. We love driving out to Winter Garden or Apopka to hop on the 22 mile trail with our bikes or skateboards.
Big Tree Park
The Big Tree Park is located in Seminole Country near Sanford in the city of Longwood. This trail was the home of the Senator tree. Unfortunately, this huge tree burned down. This trail is still a beautiful trail on a boardwalk through Hammock Preserve with Cypress trees. This is a free walking tour.
You also may enjoy Park Avenue in Winter Park, Harry P. Leu Gardens, Rollins College, Lakeridge Winery, or Fort Christmas Historical Park. What do you like to do in Orlando? Do you have a favorite fun and inexpensive activity in Orlando? Leave a comment, so we can share with everyone!