5 Cheap Things To Do in Orlando
Orlando is one of the most visited cities in the United States. Most visitors prioritize visiting theme parks like Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. Every visitor is ready for the main event Orlando. Although they can be on the pricey side, they are a “must visit!” Nonetheless, Orlando is not just about Disney and theme parks. Visitors are surprised by the many attractions Orlando has to offer, including some very affordable options and some that are even free. If you’re looking for some fun cheap things to do in Orlando this article is for you.
Orlando is a unique place to visit. Among the main theme parks, it also has hundreds of other attractions and restaurants, 26 golf courses, the unique ICON Orlando Wheel and lots of ways to enjoy beautiful Florida outdoors. There’s even a trolley service to bring you to the city’s major attractions.
Make the most of your vacation in Orlando. Experience its beauty without worrying about your budget. From museums, outdoor activities, arcades, and games, people can enjoy Orlando on an activity budget that starts at a few dollars per day. Here are some cheap things to do in Orlando that you and your family and friends will love.
1. Discover Art
Orlando is known to be home to many amusement parks and first-class restaurants. But did you know it’s also famous for its many museums and art galleries? Start with Cornell Fine Arts Museum for artworks spanning from the Renaissance to the Baroque era. CityArts Factory in downtown Orlando is a great collection of art galleries where you’ll find local as well as international pieces. And a tip for people visiting Orlando during the first weekend of any month – show your Bank of America or Merrill Lynch credit or debit card for free entrance to several museums in Orlando.
This is part of the Museums On Us program, which includes free entrance to the Orlando Science Center, Orlando Museum of Art, Mennello Museum of American Art and Orange County Regional History Center. Best of all, there are plenty of scattered pieces of sculpture, exhibits, and public artworks in the center of Orlando. Some of the public art you shouldn’t miss on your walking tour of Orlando include Astrogenesis II, Cedar of Lebanon, Centered, Monument in Right Feet Major, Take Flight, Union, and Muse of Discovery. Visitors can tour the city and its art and design without spending a cent!
2. Theatre and Movies
Get to know Orlando through film. Orlando is home to many thriving artists. Support local art and budding artists by visiting the Rollins College Fred Stone Theater located at Winter Park, which is home to a student-produced Second Stage Series. Cobb Theatres’ Kids Summer Movie Escape is free every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 10 am while Summer Movie Express with Regal Entertainment Group costs $1 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Other places that offer movies for $2 or less are Garden Theatre’s Milk Money Movies and Picture Show at Altamonte. For a great and authentic experience, enjoy free outdoor movies in Central Park in historic Winter Park. Held every second Thursday of the month, visitors can experience the rescreening of classic films under the sunset.
Real movie junkies may want to plan their visit to Orlando around the Orlando Fringe Festival. The Fringe Festival is a major Orlando event which includes theatre, dance, music and art productions, and many independent movies. Tickets range in price from free up to $12.
Orlando is also home to many TV variety shows. Visitors can get free tickets and be a part of the audience for shows like Family Feud and American Ninja Warrior.
3. Be One with Nature
There’s no reason to ever run out of things to do and places to visit in Orlando. There are tons of gorgeous parks and gardens in Orlando. Take time out from the hustle and bustle of the theme parks and attractions to enjoy a peaceful and relaxing day enjoying the breeze and wonderful surroundings with your family. Your wallet will thank you too! Visiting gardens and parks in Orlando can be free, although some have a nominal entrance fee.
For families looking for quality time, and a fun and relaxing afternoon to play and relax, hanging out at Lake Eola is a great option. Lake Eola is a 43-acre park, which offers breathtaking views over the city’s iconic skyline. Picnic in the grass and watch the swans on the lake. Lake Eola has an amphitheater where you may just catch a concert for free. On Sundays, it also has a farmer’s market where fresh produce are sold.
Harry P. Leu Gardens offers scenic walkways, a beautiful butterfly garden, a bamboo garden, and a museum. Visitors get to experience turn of the century living of the Leu family. For active and sporty families, visiting West Orange Trail Bikes and Blades Co. is a must. They offer bike rentals in many locations, including the 22-mile West Orange Trail. If you’re up for an hour or more road trip, go hiking at Bok Tower Gardens, a park on top of Florida’s tallest hill and check out the Singing Tower. You’ll enjoy the tranquil and expansive gardens, museum and a hike on the Pine Ridge Nature Trail.
Other unique but cheap things to do in Orlando include manatee spotting at Blue Spring State Park. This state park, just 45 minutes from Orlando and on the St. Johns River is home to a thriving manatee colony where these “sea cows” can often be spotted during winter. You can also visit the one of a kind sinkhole located at the Orlando, Ocala National Forest. It’s known for its huge areas of pine scrub forests, natural pools, and canoe runs. And don’t miss Tibet Butler Preserve, a wildlife haven which you can visit for free.
4. Experience Disney and Universal Studios
Get a taste of Disney and Universal Studios without actually paying for tickets! You can enjoy Universal’s CityWalk, Disney’s Boardwalk and Disney Springs for free.
Universal CityWalk is a main attraction in Orlando! Spend a day or evening exploring the many themed restaurants, retail outlets, and non-stop entertainment. It’s a picturesque spot, and a great place to people watch and window shop. When evening comes, enjoy a stroll along Disney’s Boardwalk. Many thriving musicians perform here, and you may catch the next big star.
The nightlife is vibrant, thriving, and entertaining in this complex that’s styled like a 1930s Atlantic Village. Dining, shopping, and the city’s nightlife are abundant on the promenade, and you ‘ll find free shows and music. Disney Springs is home to many one-of-a-kind restaurants that include an eclectic lineup of singers and live music. Kids love this place because of the Lego Imagination Center. Kids of all ages can play with thousands of Lego blocks and build the Lego figures of their choosing.
5. The Sun’s Out and You Should Be Too!
What better way to spend a relaxing day than to visit a nearby beach and lounge under the warmth of the Florida sun. World famous Daytona Beach and Cocoa Beach are both just an hour away. Swimming, sunbathing, and a picnic by the beach are always free.
Cocoa Beach is an hour away from the heart of Orlando. There are picnic pavilions, tables, walkways, and a bathhouse with showers and restrooms in the area. For adventurous tourists, Cocoa is also the best beach to surf. The best local surfers can guide first-timers who are ready to brave the waves of Cocoa Beach.
The famous Ron Jon Surf Shop offers tons of surfing items and is considered the paradise of surfers. Other activities in Cocoa Beach include a kayaking adventure with the Manatees or “sea cows” or a visit to the wildlife at the Brevard Zoo. A walking tour around the Historic Cocoa Village showcases a 19th-century ambiance and historic architecture of Florida.
Daytona Beach is one of Florida’s best-known beaches. Race fans plan their visit to Daytona Beach to coincide with the iconic Daytona 500 NASCAR race at Daytona International Speedway held every February. The nightlife of Daytona is vibrant and varied, and daytime visitors can shop, engage in water activities, play golf, and visit the spa. Every night is a unique experience; the music scene is authentic and eclectic. You may even try a side trip to Halifax Historical Center and the Museum of Arts and Sciences, historic St. Augustine, or nearby New Smyrna Beach.
Another beach option are the many gorgeous beaches dotting the Gulf Coast. You’ll find it less crowded than Cocoa and Daytona Beach. The miles of powdery sands will make you want to stay forever. There are plenty of attractions, eateries, and beach shops in the area. You’’ fall in love with the clear blue waters.
Think outside the box and you will find lots of cheap things to do in Orlando, and they will create a memorable vacation experience for you and your family.