17 Things to Do in Orlando for Free

October 1, 2022

Orlando is known for its first-class attractions, but there are also plenty of natural attractions for visitors to explore. Directly located in central Florida, Orlando has the great advantage of being immersed in beautiful natural surroundings that are waiting to be explored.

Orlando, Florida, the world-renowned vacation destination, welcomes more than 50 million visitors annually. Of course, there are crazy fun things to do in Orlando, like rub elbows with Mickey at Walt Disney World® Resort or visit the electrifying Wizardry World of Harry Potter™ at Universal Orlando™, but there are also plenty of free Orlando activities!

With so many free places to go in Orlando, it’s easy to see why travelers choose to visit year after year.

In addition to the legendary array of theme parks, the town hosts several celebrated museums, entertainment centers, and exciting venues with significant savings.

Check out all of these free activities Orlando has to offer!

Harry P. Leu Gardens

Explore this fantastic 50-acre botanical oasis just minutes from downtown Orlando. The walking tour offers lovely landscapes of exquisite everglade vistas. There are also some beautiful bald cypress trees growing along the water next to an incredible overlook.

Related Post: 13 Totally Free and Fun Things to do in Orlando for Adults

Furthermore, the stunning gardens are divided into 15 themed sections: Butterfly Garden, Citrus Grove, Tropical Stream Garden, and Floral Clock. Admission is free on the first Monday of every month. Regular admission is $10 for adults and $3 for children.

pathway under trees through Harry P Leu Gardens in Orlando, Florida, USACornell Fine Arts Museum

For one of the most phenomenally free museums in Orlando, try the Cornell Fine Arts Museum. Offering a sizeable array of culture and relics, Cornell holds the only European Old Masters collection in the Orlando area. With over 5,500 works ranging from antiquity to contemporary, it also includes a sizable American art collection and several Italian Renaissance paintings.

This free-admission museum showcases a diverse nature ranging from the Renaissance to the Baroque period. Art lovers of all ages will not want to miss this phenomenal collection that is the oldest and rarest of all compilations in Florida.

Related Post: Upcoming Orlando Events and Festivals

We have just the free activities you’re searching for, from art galleries to farmers' markets. Read on for more Orlando free museums! Whether it’s a state park or botanical grounds like the Kraft Azalea Garden in Winter Park, which offers free tours—you can surely find something that fits your budget and tightens your purse strings.

Disney Springs

Free things to do in Orlando and Disney are two words you rarely see together. However, at Disney Springs, several fun and free options are at your disposal. You can explore the World of Disney store, an experience in and of itself.

Also, visit the LEGO® Imagination Center, where your kids can enjoy the free Lego building stations and nearby playgrounds. Plus, there are events throughout the year like the Festival of the Masters, an award-winning arts & crafts event.

If you capped your budget and need Orlando Florida things to do free, you're in the right place!

Ground view of Disney Springs shops at night in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Disney Springs via Facebook

Ocala National Forest

Just north of Orlando, you'll find Ocala National Forest. This is the largest national forest east of the Mississippi, at which you can hike, canoe and bike. You can find tranquil natural pools and canoe runs at the Juniper Springs, Alexander Springs, and Salt Springs recreation areas.

Related Post: 14 of the Best Things to Do in Orlando with Kids Besides Disney

Moreover, the Yearling Trail winds past a sinkhole and the remains of 19th-century homesteads. With hundreds of lakes and ponds, including Lake Kerr and the mammoth Lake George, visitors can bring a picnic lunch and enjoy nature in one of the most beautiful settings in all of Florida.

Wide shot of the clear blue water in Ocala National Forest with trees mixed in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Carmen De Dios via Facebook

For more things to do free in Orlando, keep scrolling. We know love doesn't cost a thing, but culture and sophistication are a close second!

Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

Home to the most comprehensive collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany, including the chapel interior Charles Hosmer Morse designed for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. There is also an extensive American Pottery collection and 19th and 20th-century paintings collection.

Regular admission is $5 for adults, $1 for students, and children (12 and under) are free. November through April, admission is free from 4-8 pm on Fridays.

Wide shot of five portraits hung on a dark blue wall with dim lighting at the Morse Museum of Art in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art via Facebook

The Town of Celebration

Visit this Disney-made town where you can admire the gorgeous houses, well-groomed yards, and magic of Disney living. Admire the Rockwellian atmosphere, let the kids play in the interactive fountain, or stop by the farmers market on Sundays. During winter months, visitors can even see (fake) snow falling.

Related Post: Ultimate Guide to Discount Disney World Tickets

Bet you never dreamed the sunshine state had so many things to do in Central Florida for free!

Disney's Boardwalk

For free things to do in Orlando, you can't beat the charm of Disney's Boardwalk. Stroll along Disney's walkway, re-creating a 1930s-style Atlantic coastal village. The boardwalk is home to nightclubs and entertainment, but visitors can enjoy the street musicians, water views, and street entertainers for free.

Ground view of Disney's Boardwalk at nights with lots of lights on and the buildings reflections in the water in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Walt Disney World via Facebook

Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts

Did you know there are free museums in Orlando? This museum celebrates the famous Floridian best known for her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. The Zora Neale Hurston Museum celebrates African culture and heritage. Most importantly, in late January, they present the Zora Festival. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.

There are also not-for-profit art houses like the Enzian Theatre that play independent cult classics and foreign films; the admission cost is next to nothing! It's just another great event on our long list of things to do for free in Orlando!

Grand Bohemian Gallery

Even if you're not staying at the Grand Bohemian Hotel, stopping by for a free tour of the Grand Bohemian Gallery is worth the time. The gallery has everything from local contemporary art, glass, and jewelry to European paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Central Florida

This information center is dedicated to remembering the millions of lost lives during the devastating Nazi rule in Germany. Displays include moving testimonies from local survivors. Admission to the Holocaust Memorial is always free. Please note the museum is closed on Saturdays.

Related Post: Which Orlando Park is Better: Disney or Universal

Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards

Twenty-five miles west of downtown Orlando is the 127-acre estate comprising Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards. Visit to enjoy a free tour and tasting of award-winning wines as well as free summer concerts. Lakeridge also hosts various wine-themed festivals throughout the year, many of which have a nominal admission fee.

Close up of a glass of red wine and a bottle next to it on a barrel in the vineyard in the background at Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards via Facebook

Fort Christmas Historical Museum & Park

Fort Christmas is easily one of the best free things to do in Orlando for adults and history buffs. Visit the full-size replica of Fort Christmas, initially built for the Second Seminole Indian War (1835-1842).

Related Post: 13 Best Hotels with Shuttle Service in Orlando

Included are seven restored pioneer homes and exhibits showing pioneer life from the 1870s through the 1930s. Key themes are homesteading, cattle, citrus, hunting, fishing and trapping.

Lake Eola Park

This downtown Orlando centerpiece in the heart of downtown Orlando offers 43 acres for exploration and recreation. With Lake Eola as the main feature, the Park includes fountains, a walking path, playgrounds, concerts, swans to feed, and swan-shaped paddle boats and gondolas (for a small fee).

There's also the Walt Disney Amphitheater, which hosts many community events and various performances year-round.

pathway surrounded by palm trees and plants with body of water and buildings in distance at Lake Eola Park in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Joshlyn Jacob via Facebook

University of Central Florida Arboretum

Opened in 1983, the UCF Arboretum is home to over 600 plant species in cultivated gardens, and at least eight ecosystems are located on the 80+acre Park.

Visitors are free to walk or bike along a 9-acre lake. The Arboretum offers opportunities for guests to explore and learn about plant time and other natural wonders of the beautiful campus.

Orlando Brewing Company

Beer-loving travelers can revel in Orlando's only certified USDA organic brewery. The taproom has over 30 taps of 'darn good craft beer.' It's a true Florida original experience with beers that reflect its local roots, like the 1-4 IPA, O-Town Brown, and the Orlando Weiss.

Unfortunately, the beer is not free, but they offer free tours Monday-Saturday at 6 pm.

Wide shot of the outdoor lounge area at Orlando Brewing with their warehouse in the background at dusk in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Orlando Brewing via Facebook

Almost Free Things to Do in Orlando

Universal Orlando® Resort

Parking is discounted to $5 at Universal CityWalk® after 6 pm and free after 10 pm. This makes it super easy to visit the Universal CityWalk amusement park hotspot.

Related Post: In-Depth Guide to CityWalk at Universal Studios Florida

Once inside, visitors can window shop along the boardwalk, where there are usually free events like live entertainment and community playgrounds. (Note that this excludes New Year's Eve, Mardi Gras event nights, July 4th, and Halloween Horror Nights event nights).

Hungry for more? Check out The Ultimate Universal Orlando CityWalk Restaurants Guide!

CityWalk Restaurants at universal studio Orlando Florida, USA

An eclectic collection of themed restaurants, nightclubs, specialty shops and a 20-screen movie theatre, Universal CityWalk is Orlando's hottest spot for entertainment, boasting the biggest names in live music, dining, dancing, movies and more

And just four miles up the road from Universal Orlando is another iconic destination, Florida's famous International Drive. This trendy destination hosts premium outlet malls, hotels, and a variety of restaurants—from fancy steakhouses to fast-casual chains.

A not-so-free event is The Wheel at Icon Park™.  The majestic 400-foot-tall observation Ferris wheel is a fabulous way to see the dazzling lights of Orlando and beyond.

ground view of The Wheel at ICON Park in Orlando, Florida, USAKelly Park – Rock Springs

This Park offers over 248 acres of outdoor fun and excitement! A crystal clear spring is the focus of this Park, with tubing down the meandering stream a favorite activity of guests. Admission to the Park is per vehicle.  $3 for 1-2 people, $5 for 3-8 people.

Another jaunt for outdoor enthusiasts is the West Orange Trial. This world-class 14-foot wide paved greenway goes through urban sections of Orange County, including passing through grand old oaks right through the middle of downtown Winter Gardens. It's a joy to bike or walk with numerous trailheads along the route.

Free Things to Do in Orlando FL

With all these Orlando things to do today, you had better start planning! By adding our 17 things to do in Orlando Florida for free, you can do more and spend less! A money-saving vacation is in your future with memories to last a lifetime.

Lastly, remember that Tripster offers everything you need for a fun-filled holiday—from shows and attraction tickets to your pick of accommodations. Our saving tips and things to do in central Florida won't break your piggy bank! And, our low prices on Orlando lodgings and vacation packages, along with our convenient e-tickets, mean you can book with ease.

What Did We Miss? 

Tell us, what would you add to this list? Leave us a comment below!

close up of Erin smiling on a sunny day

Written By Erin

Erin Poche` is a Utah-based writer and editor for Tripster and contributing writer for BeyondType1. She also writes and edits for an indie publisher of fanta ...

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