11 Fun and Free Things To Do in Orlando

Ready to see Orlando without shelling out the big bucks? Explore these sites that will put a smile on your face for free.

There’s so much more to do in Orlando, Florida than pay top dollar at Disney World. In fact, some of the most memorable attractions in “the city beautiful” won’t cost you a dime. The trouble is, many free activities in the surrounding area aren’t on every brochure you pick up, so you’ll have to get out and about to find them. That’s where we come in.

Ready for an unusually magical adventure? If you’re planning a trip to O-town, we highly recommend adding these fun freebies to your “must-see and do” list.

Hang With The Manatees

a friendly Manatee and diver underwater
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Manatees are a national treasure. I know I’m not alone in that stance! That’s why one of my favorite things about Florida is its sprawling “sea cow” population. And if you haven’t made friends with a manatee yet, allow me to fill that void now.

Orlando has its fair share of manatees ready to mingle in various habitats. Here are some of the best places to catch a glimpse of these glorious creatures and maybe even pet one, compliments of Mommy Poppins.

Take Yourself on a Tour of The Weird

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No matter where I go, I make an active effort to seek out hidden and strange destinations that only the locals really know about. To put it mildly, Florida is a hotbed for bizarre landmarks worth looking into. And Orlando doesn’t disappoint.

The Travel Channel once rounded up the 5 strangest attractions in Orlando. But if you do a little digging, there’s way more than that. The activities you’ll find aren’t just cool, unusual, and Orlando-specific, they’re all budget-friendly or completely free. So get out there and get weird! To get you started, here are 23 weird landmarks worth seeking out, according to Orlando Weekly.

Don’t Miss The Saturday Night Classic Car Show

Vintage cars entering Saturday Nite Classic Car Show and Cruise, with arcs in background at Old Town Kissimmee.
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Kissimmee’s Old Town is like going back in time, Orlando-style. This popular destination is decked out with shops, quick bites, and amusement park rides. However, there’s one free event that’s considered the main event by locals and tourists alike. And it’s totally free.

Cruising down the streets on Saturday night, owners of retro and antique rides (from 1985 or older) show up and show off starting at 1 p.m. In the evening, they park for the only-in-Orlando Saturday Night Classic Car Show. Adding to the freebies in Old Town, there’s live entertainment just about every night of the week.

Find Some Fun at ICON Park

Beautiful Cyan Sky over Orlando Eye in Icon Park
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The rides at ICON Park aren’t free, but both parking and admission are. When you’re looking for an endlessly entertaining way to pass the time in Orlando, nothing beats wandering around the 20-acre park. And it’s one of the best spots in all the city for people watching.

If you stick around for sunset on any given night, you’ll get to see the famous 400-foot tall wheel’s light show.

Stroll and Shop at Universal City Walk

Illuminated sign outside Voodoo Doughnuts at Universal Studios City walk.
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The popular shops and eateries aren’t free, but parking and strolling beneath the bright lights won’t cost you a thing. The vibe of Universal City Walk is reminiscent of Las Vegas, minus the casinos.

Lively and forever bustling, it’s free fun for the whole family. And more often than not, there’s a free concert going on.

Read More: Florida’s Most Tropical Beaches

Explore The Randall Museum

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Have you ever wanted to see the largest pocket knife collection in existence? If it’s free, why not? Take part in local history, then stop by the gift shop and take a slice of Orlando home with you.

Many who’ve entered the Randall Museum say they were pleasantly surprised to receive a tour free of charge. That in itself makes this museum a cut above the rest, don’t you think? But there’s only one way to find out for sure.

Cornell Fine Arts Museum

If you’re passing through the Winter Park area, make your way to the Rollins College campus. That’s where you’ll find the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, home to more than 5,500 incredible works ranging from the Renaissance period all the way to American modernism. Best of all, it’s always free of charge.

If you want a free docent-led tour, visit the museum on Saturday. Surrounded by masterpieces and guided by an expert, you’ll get more than your money’s worth without paying a penny!

Read More: This Artist Is Creating Underwater Art Museums That You Can Visit

Dive into Disney Springs

Panoramic view  of Disney Springs and water taxi on colorful sunset background at Lake Buena Vista area
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Once upon a time, Disney Springs was known as Downtown Disney. This shopping and entertainment district still carries the Disney name, but it does not come with typical Disney prices. For starters, parking and admission are forever free. What other freebies are available depend on when you go.

Check out the Disney Springs calendar. You’ll quickly find a plethora of free festivals and worthwhile free events. There are also plenty of magical Disney options for kids who want in on the action but lack park admission.

Escape to Wekiva Island

Wekiva River, Florida
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If you’re looking to escape the crowds and commune with nature, Wekiva Island is a winning option. This stunning park is about 20 minutes from downtown Orlando and is completely free on weekdays. And if you’re there on the weekend, it’ll only set you back a buck.

The Wekiva River shows off the natural, more scenic side of Orlando. The water remains a temperate 72 degrees year-round. Brimming with amenities, guests are welcome to swim, kayak, canoe, and paddleboard. You can also buy a very big float for a small fee.

Read More: Most Underrated U.S. Attractions

Sign Up For The Orlando Brewing Tour

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It might surprise you to learn just how booming Florida’s craft beer scene really is. Many locals say that Orlando is one of the cities to thank for that. So go pay your respects, for free.

An oasis for local beer lovers and a hotspot with traveling beer enthusiasts, Orlando Brewing knows what it’s doing. For instance, they’re serving up a free-of-charge, brewmaster-led, 30-minute brewery tour. There’s live music, free tastings, and a tap room where you can bag a pint or even a flight before, during, or after your tour.

Lake Eola Park

This beloved public park is sitting pretty in the heart of downtown Orlando. It’s also home to the Walt Disney Amphitheater, hosting all sorts of exciting events year-round.

Lake Eola Park is frequently dubbed O-Town’s top ‘natural’ playground outside of Disney’s walls. It’s the perfect spot for picnics, paddle-boating, or just a little R&R in the middle of it all.

Read More: Things To Do in Orlando That Aren’t Theme Parks

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