Introduction

No cost in Orlando! YES! You heard it right. Orlando offers a treasure trove of no-cost adventures, making it the perfect destination for those seeking budget-friendly activities. If you’re short on money but eager to discover Orlando’s many wonders & hidden treasures, stay tuned to this blog.

We’ll help you discover how to explore Orlando’s beauty and “Things to Do in Orlando on a Budget.” Whether you’re a solo traveler, a couple, or a family, we’ve covered you with Orlando’s free tourist options. Stay tuned as we guide you through an exciting journey of free activities in Orlando, ensuring a memorable and budget-friendly trip!

So, what are you waiting for? Get up and go out with your adventurous mind.

8 Fantastic Things to Do in Orlando on a Budget

The magic of Orlando without breaking the bank! Orlando isn’t just about costly theme parks and expensive attractions. There’s a wealth of free experiences waiting to be discovered. Here are eight fantastic things to do in Orlando for free, and with the savings from the best hotel deals, you’ll have even more to enjoy.

1. Visit Lake Eola Park

Lake Eola Park
Lake Eola Park, Orlando

Lake Eola Park is a beautiful 43-acre urban park in the heart of downtown Orlando. Moreover, it’s a great place to relax, take a walk, or have a picnic. The park also hosts various free activities and events throughout the year, making it one of the notable things to do in Orlando for free.

Important Information

  • Address: Lake Eola Park is located at 195 East Central Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32801.
  • Hours: The park is open from 6 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week.
  • Parking: Parking is available at the park for a fee.

Highlights

  • Take a walk or bike ride around the lake.
  • Visit the swan boat rental dock and rent a swan boat for a spin around the lake.
  • Play in the splash pad or fountain.
  • Visit the Lake Eola Farmers Market on Sunday mornings.
  • Attend a free concert or event at the park.
  • Visit the Orlando Science Center (an admission fee is required, but there are some free days throughout the year).

Tips for visiting Lake Eola Park

  • The best time to visit Lake Eola Park is in the morning or evening when the weather is cooler.
  • Bring sunscreen, a hat, and water, especially if you plan to spend time outdoors.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to protect yourself and your belongings from theft.
  • If you’re visiting with children, always keep an eye on them, especially around the water.

2. Explore Harry P. Leu Gardens

Harry P. Leu Gardens
Harry P. Leu Gardens, Orlando

Harry P. Leu Gardens is a 50-acre botanical garden located in the heart of Orlando, Florida. In addition to being home to a wide variety of plants and flowers from all over the world, as well as a historic mansion and a variety of walking trails, the gardens offer an enchanting escape for visitors. Furthermore, the gardens are open to the public year-round, and admission is free, making it one of the most delightful things to do in Orlando for free.

Important Information

  • Address: 1920 N Forest Ave, Orlando, FL 32803, USA
  • Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, daily
  • Admission: Free
  • Parking: Free

Highlights

  • The Rose Garden: The Rose Garden is one of the most popular attractions at Leu Gardens. It features over 500 roses of all different varieties and colors.
  • The Butterfly Garden: The Butterfly Garden is a great place to see butterflies up close. It is home to over 50 different species of butterflies, including the rare Blue Morpho butterfly.
  • The Japanese Garden: The Japanese Garden is a peaceful and serene place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. It features a koi pond, a waterfall, and a variety of Japanese plants and flowers.
  • The Palm Garden: The Palm Garden is home to a wide variety of palm trees worldwide. It is a great place to learn about different palm tree types and see them up close.
  • The Leu House Museum: The Leu House Museum is a historic mansion built in 1886. It is open to the public for tours and features a variety of exhibits on the history of the Leu family and the gardens.

Tips for Harry P. Leu Gardens

  • Check the website before you go: The Leu Gardens website has information on upcoming events, exhibits, special hours, and closures.
  • Take advantage of the free tours: The Leu Gardens offers free tours of the Leu House Museum and the gardens. Tours are a great way to learn more about the history of the gardens and the different plants and flowers on display.
  • Visit during the off-season: The Leu Gardens are busiest during winter, when many people visit Orlando to escape the cold weather. You will enjoy smaller crowds and cooler temperatures if you can visit during the off-season.
  • Pack a picnic: The Leu Gardens have several picnic areas to enjoy a lunch or snack. This is a great way to save money on food and drinks.

3. Visit the Orlando Science Center

Orlando Science Center
Orlando Science Center

The Orlando Science Center, a nonprofit science and technology museum located in Orlando, Florida, stands as the largest science museum in the southeastern United States and is undeniably one of Orlando’s popular tourist attractions. In addition, the Science Center boasts four floors of interactive exhibits covering a variety of science and technology topics, including the human body, space, dinosaurs, and the environment. Moreover, this remarkable institution offers an educational and entertaining experience for visitors. Best of all, admission to the Orlando Science Center is free, making it an excellent addition to your list of “things to do in Orlando for free.

Important Information

  • Address: 777 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL 32803, USA
  • Hours: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, daily
  • Admission: Adults: $29; Children (ages 3-11): $19; Seniors (ages 65+): $24
  • Parking: Free

Highlights

  • Planetarium: The Orlando Science Center has a state-of-the-art planetarium that offers a variety of educational and entertaining shows about the universe.
  • Science Playground: The Science Playground is a hands-on exhibit area for children ages 3-8. It features a variety of interactive exhibits that teach children about science and engineering concepts through play.
  • Dr. Phillips CineDome Theater: The Dr. Phillips CineDome Theater is a giant-screen theater that shows a variety of educational and entertaining films about science and nature.
  • Science on a Sphere: Science on a Sphere is a unique exhibit that features a giant, animated globe that projects images and data about the Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, and land surface.
  • Space Shuttle Simulator: The Space Shuttle Simulator allows visitors to experience the feeling of launching into space and landing in a space shuttle.

Tips for Visiting the Orlando Science Center

  • Purchase your tickets in advance: You can purchase your tickets to the Orlando Science Center online or at the box office. Purchasing your tickets in advance can save you time and money, especially if you are visiting during peak season.
  • Arrive early: The Orlando Science Center can get crowded, especially on weekends and holidays. Arriving early will give you more time to explore the exhibits and avoid the crowds.
  • Take your time: There is much to see and do at the Orlando Science Center. Don’t rush, and take your time to enjoy the exhibits.
  • Take breaks: The Orlando Science Center is a large museum, so it is important to take breaks throughout your visit. There are several places to sit and rest and a food court where you can purchase snacks and drinks.
  • Wear comfortable shoes: A lot of walking is involved in visiting the Orlando Science Center.
  • Take advantage of the free programs: The Orlando Science Center offers a variety of free programs for visitors of all ages. These programs include workshops, demonstrations, and storytime sessions.
  • Visit during the off-season: The Orlando Science Center is busiest during the winter months when many people are visiting Orlando to escape the cold weather. You will enjoy smaller crowds and cooler temperatures if you can visit during the off-season.
  • Pack a lunch or snack: The Orlando Science Center has a food court where you can purchase snacks and drinks, which can be expensive. Packing a lunch or snack can save you money and give you more options.

4. Take a walk or bike ride on the West Orange Trail

West Orange Trail
West Orange Trail, Orlando

The West Orange Trail, a 22-mile paved rail trail that gracefully winds through the heart of Orange County, Florida, is a beloved destination for walkers, bikers, and skaters of all ages. Furthermore, the trail, mostly shaded, provides a refreshing escape and scenic views of the enchanting Florida countryside. Whether you’re seeking a leisurely stroll or an invigorating bike ride, the West Orange Trail offers a delightful outdoor experience. And the best part? It’s free, making it a wonderful addition to your list of things to do in Orlando for free.

Important Information

  • Start and end points: The West Orange Trail starts at Killarney Station in Oakland, Florida, and ends at Apopka Station in Apopka, Florida.
  • Distance: The West Orange Trail is 22 miles long.
  • Surface: The West Orange Trail is paved.
  • Elevation gain: The West Orange Trail is relatively flat, with only a few minor elevation gains.
  • Accessibility: The West Orange Trail is accessible to wheelchairs and other mobility devices.

Highlights

  • Scenic views: The West Orange Trail winds through various landscapes, including forests, wetlands, and farmland. There are also several lakes and rivers that the trail passes by.
  • Wildlife: The West Orange Trail is a great place to see Florida wildlife. Visitors may see birds, squirrels, deer, and even alligators.
  • Historic sites: The West Orange Trail passes by several historic sites, including the Oakland Nature Preserve and the Killarney Station.
  • Food and drink: Several restaurants and cafes are located near the trail, making it easy to stop for a bite to eat or drink.

Tips for taking a walk or bike ride on the West Orange Trail

  • Yield to pedestrians: Pedestrians have the right of way on the West Orange Trail.
  • Obey all traffic laws: The West Orange Trail is considered a road, so all traffic laws apply.
  • Choose a time of day when the trail is less crowded: The West Orange Trail can be very crowded during the weekends and holidays. Choose a time of day when the trail is less crowded, such as early or late in the afternoon.
  • Take breaks: The West Orange Trail is 22 miles long, so taking breaks throughout your walk or bike ride is essential. Several benches and picnic tables are located along the trail where you can rest and refuel.
  • Bring a bike lock: If you rent a bike, bring a bike lock. Several bike racks are located along the trail where you can lock up your bike while you stop to rest or eat.
  • Be aware of the weather: The weather in Florida can change quickly, so it is important to be aware of the forecast before you go for a walk or bike ride. If possible, avoid going for a walk or bike ride during thunderstorms or other severe weather conditions.

5. Explore Winter Park

Winter Park - Things to Do in Orlando on a Budget
Winter Park Orlando

Winter Park, a charming city located just north of Orlando, Florida, is known for its brick-paved streets, tree-lined avenues, and beautiful lakes. Moreover, it is a great place to visit for a relaxing shopping, dining, and sightseeing day. In addition to its aesthetic appeal, Winter Park offers a range of free activities, adding to the allure of things to do in Orlando for free. Whether you’re exploring the scenic streets or enjoying the lakeside ambiance, Winter Park provides a delightful experience without straining your wallet.

Important Information

  • Distance from Orlando: Winter Park is approximately 6 miles north of Orlando.
  • Transportation: Winter Park is accessible by car, bus, or taxi. There is also a free trolley that runs through the city center.
  • Parking: Metered and paid parking are available in Winter Park. There are also several free parking lots located near the city center.

Highlights

  • Park Avenue: Park Avenue is the main street in Winter Park. It is lined with boutiques, restaurants, and art galleries.
  • Lake Virginia: Lake Virginia is a beautiful lake in the heart of Winter Park. Visitors can rent paddleboats and kayaks or enjoy a leisurely walk around the lake.
  • Winter Park Scenic Boat Tours: Winter Park Scenic Boat Tours offers a variety of boat tours of the Winter Park Chain of Lakes. Tours are a great way to learn about the history of Winter Park and see the city from a different perspective.
  • Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art: The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art is home to the world’s largest collection of Tiffany glass. The museum also has a collection of American art from the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens: The Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens is home to the work of Czech-American artist Albin Polasek. The museum features a collection of Polasek’s sculptures and a beautiful sculpture garden.

Tips for exploring Winter Park

  • Stop for a bite to eat: Winter Park has a variety of restaurants to choose from, so be sure to stop for a bite to eat while you are exploring.
  • Visit during the off-season: Winter Park can be very crowded during winter when many people visit Orlando to escape the cold weather. Visit during the off-season to enjoy smaller crowds and cooler temperatures.
  • Take a free trolley ride: The Winter Park Free Trolley runs continuously through the city center. The trolley is a great way to get around and see the city’s sights.
  • Visit the Winter Park Farmers Market: The Winter Park Farmers Market is held every Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The market features a variety of fresh produce, flowers, and other goods from local vendors.
  • Take a boat tour: Winter Park Scenic Boat Tours offers a variety of boat tours of the Winter Park Chain of Lakes. Tours are a great way to learn about the history of Winter Park and see the city from a different perspective.
  • Visit the Winter Park Art Festival: The Winter Park Art Festival is held every year in March. The festival features over 1,000 artists from all over the world.

6. Explore Old Town

Old Town Orlando
Old Town Orlando

Old Town, a popular tourist destination in Kissimmee, Florida, is a recreation of a classic Florida town, complete with brick-paved streets, old-fashioned shops and restaurants, and a variety of rides and attractions. Furthermore, it is a great place to visit for a fun, affordable day out with the family. In addition, Old Town offers a range of free activities and experiences, enhancing its appeal as one of the enjoyable things to do in Orlando for free. Whether you’re strolling down its charming streets or exploring its attractions, Old Town provides a budget-friendly yet entertaining escape for visitors.

Important Information

  • Address: 5770 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy, Kissimmee, FL 34746, USA
  • Hours: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM, daily
  • Admission: Free
  • Parking: Free

Highlights

  • Rides and attractions: Old Town has a variety of rides and attractions for all ages, including a Ferris wheel, a carousel, and a roller coaster. There are also several arcade games and other activities for children.
  • Shopping and dining: Old Town has a variety of shops and restaurants to choose from. Visitors can find everything from souvenirs to clothing to home decor. Several restaurants serve a variety of cuisines.
  • Live entertainment: Old Town offers a variety of live entertainment throughout the year, including classic car shows, concerts, and festivals.
  • Free admission: Old Town is free to enter. Visitors only need to pay for rides and activities.

Tips for exploring Old Town

  • Take breaks: Old Town is a large area, so taking breaks throughout your visit is important. There are several benches and picnic tables in the park where you can sit and rest.
  • On a budget?: Old Town is a great place to visit on a budget. There are many free activities available, such as car shows and concerts. You can also save money by packing your own lunch and snacks.
  • Check the website before you go: The Old Town website has information on upcoming events and entertainment, a park map, and a list of businesses.
  • Take advantage of the free activities: Old Town offers a variety of free activities, such as car shows, concerts, and festivals. Check the website to see what is happening during your visit.
  • Visit during the off-season: Old Town can be very crowded during the peak season, from December to April. Visit during the off-season to enjoy smaller crowds and cooler temperatures.
  • Bring a reusable water bottle: There are water fountains throughout Old Town, so you can save money by bringing a reusable water bottle.
  • Take the opportunity to people-watch: Old Town is a great place. You will see people worldwide wearing everything from shorts and T-shirts to costumes.

7. Visit the Kraft Azalea Garden

Kraft Azalea Garden Orlando
Kraft Azalea Garden Orlando

The Kraft Azalea Garden, a beautiful 13-acre public garden in Winter Park, Florida, is home to various azalea plants and other flowers, trees, and shrubs. Additionally, it is a great place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. Moreover, the garden is open to the public, and admission is free, making it a serene addition to the list of things to do in Orlando for free. Whether admiring the vibrant azaleas or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, the Kraft Azalea Garden invites visitors to bask in its natural surroundings without any cost.

Important Information

  • Address: 1610 Loch Haven Park Rd, Winter Park, FL 32789, USA
  • Hours: 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM, daily
  • Admission: Free
  • Parking: Free

Highlights

  • Azalea plants: The Kraft Azalea Garden has over 5,000 azalea plants. The azaleas bloom in various colors, including pink, red, purple, and white.
  • Other plants and flowers: The Kraft Azalea Garden is also home to various other plants and flowers, including roses, camellias, and Japanese maples.
  • Trails: The Kraft Azalea Garden has a variety of trails that visitors can explore. The trails wind through the garden and offer scenic views of the plants and flowers.
  • Lake Maitland: The Kraft Azalea Garden is located on the shore of Lake Maitland. Visitors can enjoy views of the lake and the surrounding area.

Tips for visiting the Kraft Azalea Garden

  • Be aware of the wildlife: The Kraft Azalea Garden is home to various wildlife, including birds, squirrels, and turtles. Be aware of your surroundings and respect the wildlife.
  • Check the website before you go: The Kraft Azalea Garden website has information on upcoming events and programs, a map of the garden, and a list of plants and flowers.
  • Visit during the azalea bloom: The azaleas at the Kraft Azalea Garden typically bloom from January to March. If you want to see the azaleas in bloom, visit during this time of year.
  • Take a guided tour: The Kraft Azalea Garden offers guided tours on Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00 p.m. Tours are a great way to learn more about the garden and its plants.
  • Bring a picnic: The Kraft Azalea Garden has several picnic areas to enjoy a lunch or snack. This is a great way to save money on food and drinks.
  • Take advantage of the free programs: The Kraft Azalea Garden offers a variety of free programs for visitors of all ages. These programs include workshops, demonstrations, and storytime sessions.

8. Visit the Orlando Public Library

Orlando Public Library
Orlando Public Library

The Orlando Public Library (OPL), situated in the heart of downtown Orlando, Florida, serves as the main public library for the city and stands as the largest library in Orange County. In addition, the OPL provides a wide variety of resources and services to the public, including books, audiobooks, DVDs, CDs, computers, and internet access. Furthermore, the library hosts various programs and events for all ages. The Orlando Public Library is not just a repository of knowledge; it’s a vibrant community hub that offers numerous free resources and activities, contributing to the array of things to do in Orlando for free. Whether you’re exploring literature or participating in community events, the Orlando Public Library welcomes all without an admission fee. For visitors seeking budget-friendly attractions and activities, exploring the Orlando Public Library’s offerings is a must, adding to the list of things to do in Orlando on a budget.

Important Information

  • Address: 101 E Central Blvd, Orlando, FL 32801, USA
  • Hours: Monday – Saturday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Sunday 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
  • Admission: Free
  • Parking: Paid parking is available in the library garage

Highlights

  • Collections: The OPL has a collection of over 1 million items, including books, audiobooks, DVDs, CDs, and magazines. The library also has a special collection of Florida materials, including books, maps, and photographs.
  • Programs and events: The OPL offers a variety of programs and events for all ages, including storytime, book clubs, computer classes, and film screenings. The library also hosts a variety of special events throughout the year, such as author talks and concerts.
  • Services: The OPL offers a variety of services to the public, including computer access, internet access, and printing and copying services. The library also offers a variety of digital services, such as e-books and audiobooks.

Tips for visiting the Orlando Public Library

  • Bring your library card: If you have a library card, you can check out books and other materials from the library. If you don’t have a library card, you can get one for free at the library.
  • Use the library catalog: The library catalog is a great way to find books and other materials available at the library. You can search the catalog by title, author, subject, or keyword.
  • Ask for help: If you need help finding books or other materials or have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask a librarian for help.
  • Take advantage of the library’s programs and events: The library offers a variety of programs and events for all ages. Check the library’s website or calendar to see what’s happening during your visit.
  • Enjoy the library’s resources and services: The library has many resources and services to offer the public. Take your time and enjoy everything that the library has to offer.
  • Visit during off-peak hours: The library can be very busy during peak hours, such as after school and on weekends. Visit the library during off-peak hours to enjoy shorter lines and less noise.
  • Use the self-checkout kiosks: The library has self-checkout kiosks, allowing you to check out books and other materials without waiting in line at the checkout desk.
  • Take advantage of the library’s digital services: The library offers various digital services, such as e-books and audiobooks. You can access these services from anywhere with an internet connection.
  • Donate: The library is a non-profit organization that relies on public donations to support its programs and services. Please consider donating to the library.

Conclusion

Orlando, known for its theme parks, is also a budget-friendly treasure trove. Explore no-cost adventures and create cherished memories without breaking the bank with “Things to Do in Orlando on a Budget.” From tranquil parks to diverse free-to-visit options, Orlando offers something for everyone. Immerse yourself in the city’s budget-friendly activities and discover its true essence, where unforgettable experiences are free of charge.

FAQ

Q1. What park is free in Orlando?

While many theme parks in Orlando charge admission, there are a few free options, such as Lake Eola Park, Harry P. Leu Gardens, and Disney Springs, where you can stroll around without purchasing a ticket.

Q2. Why is Orlando worth visiting?

Orlando is worth visiting for its diverse attractions, from theme parks to natural beauty. It’s known for the magical experiences at Disney and Universal, but it also offers a vibrant arts scene, stunning gardens, and a rich cultural heritage.

Q3. What made Orlando famous?

Orlando gained fame primarily due to its world-renowned theme parks like Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort. These attractions have made Orlando a top global tourist destination.

Q4. What are the best free outdoor activities in Orlando?

Some of Orlando’s best free outdoor activities include exploring Wekiwa Springs State Park, enjoying a picnic at Lake Eola Park, hiking in Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve, or relaxing on Cocoa Beach’s sandy shores.

Q5. Can you recommend any hidden gems for free in Orlando?

Sure! Check out the Cornell Fine Arts Museum on the Rollins College campus, or take a scenic drive on the Canaveral National Seashore. You can also appreciate the street art in the Mills 50 District, offering a unique local experience.