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Beyond the Theme Parks: 20 Free Things to Do in Orlando

June 19, 2024 8 min read

Living in Orlando has given me access to all the best attractions. From Universal Studios to Dezerland Park, I’ve been able to experience several things in Orlando. However, if you’re looking for something less expensive than the theme parks, there are many free things to do in Orlando.

In this guide, I show you all the amazing free things to do in Orlando without breaking the bank beyond the theme parks.

Free Things to Do in Orlando

Finding cheap or even free things to do in Orlando isn’t hard, there are plenty of great options, and some that don’t require standing in line for a ride. So if you’re looking for a list of free activities, you have come to the right place! Below are 20 free things to do.

Free things to do in Orlando

1. Apopka Wildlife Drive

I remember the first time I discovered this. I was exploring the area I was working in and stumbled upon this accidentally. Eventually, I took my husband and we found this to be an amazing place to go through!

The Apopka Wildlife Drive is an incredible 20,000-acre property where you can see wildlife from the window of your car. Much like going on a safari except you’re looking at alligators, turtles, and more. This place does have designated stops, but the experience is to drive through looking around for the gators.

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This awesome experience can take anywhere from 2-3 hours depending on how long it takes you to walk around, drive through and observe the wildlife.

Visitor Information

Opening hours: Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, 7 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Address: 2850 Lust Rd, Apopka, FL 32703

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2. Mead Botanical Gardens

This is one of my favorite gardens to visit in the Winter Park neighborhood. This is quite a beautiful garden and it can take anywhere from 1-3 hours to go through it all.

Aside from beautiful gardens and trails, Mead Gardens also has an area for weddings! If you’ve ever dreamed of getting married outdoors this is a great spot. From time to time, Mead Gardens also has events such as Yoga, which can be found on their website.

Visitor Information

Opening hours: open daily, 8 a.m. to dusk
Address: 1300 S Denning Dr, Winter Park, FL 32789

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3. Renninger’s Flea Market and Antique Center

Sure, you may need some money to buy goods at this fun flea market, but aside from shopping, there is a lot to see at Renninger’s Flea Market and Antique Center.

The antique center is gorgeous and a lot of fun to walk around. There is even a free toy museum you can check out and you can enjoy the outdoors without being outside the entire time since this is an indoor/outdoor flea market and antique shop.

Visitor Information

Opening hours:
Flea and Farmer’s Market Hours – Saturday and Sunday, 8 AM to 4 PM
Antique Center Hours – Friday: 10 AM to 4 PM, Saturday and Sunday: 9 AM to 5 PM

Address: 1300 S Denning Dr, 20651 US Highway 441, Mount Dora, FL 32757 

4. Lake Nona Sculpture Garden

Adjacent to the Lake Nona Wave Hotel is this beautiful garden full of sculptures. This is a 50,000-square-foot outdoor space worth checking out. Aside from the sculptures, there is plenty of seating outside and sometimes they will host events and have some seasonal treats.

You can also walk around the Wave Hotel and see all their amazing art hanging on the walls.

Visitor Information

Address: 6100 Wave Hotel Dr, Orlando, FL
Note: You do not need to be staying at the hotel to visit the sculpture garden

5. Snap! Orlando

If you find yourself in the downtown area, then check out Snap! Orlando. This space is full of photography and art by local artists plus they usually rotate the exhibits so you won’t always see the same thing.

Visitor Information

Opening hours: M-Sat, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Address: 420 E Church St, Orlando, FL 32801

6. Old Town

This is really in the Kissimmee area, but it is such a fun place to visit. Not only is this free to visit, but there are several unique shops and eateries to check out. They also have entertainment on certain days such as the car shows.

Visitor Information

Opening hours: Every day, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Address: 5770 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway Ste 324, Kissimmee, FL 34746

7. Kraft Azalea Garden

What makes this place so special is the beautiful Exedra that adds charm to this 13-acre property. Aside from that it also has gorgeous cypress trees perfect for an outdoor wedding. It’s free to walk around and take photos.

Visitor Information

Opening hours: Daily, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Address: 1365 Alabama Dr, Winter Park, FL 32789

8. Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards

If you’re looking for a tour and some good wine, this is the spot to check out! While this place isn’t exactly in Orlando, it is 22 miles west of Orlando. Their wine tours are free and you get a tasting of the wine, which makes the visit worthwhile. Guided Tours and Tasting are offered 7 days a week starting at 10:00 am each day, and the last tour ends at 4:00 pm. Tours last about 45 minutes and are a great way to learn more about the winery and vineyard in Clermont.

Visitor Information

Opening hours:
Monday-Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sundays 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Address: 19239 Highway 27, Clermont, FL 34715

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9. Casa Feliz

This is one spot you don’t want to miss. Located in Winter Park, Casa Feliz is an Andalusian-style masonry farmhouse and while you can’t just stop by whenever you want, you can take a free tour on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to noon.

They also have free events such as Music at the Casa.

Visitor Information

Opening hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to noon
Address: 656 N Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789

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10. Rollins Museum of Art

Located in Rollins College, this beautiful museum offers free admission. While it is a small museum, it offers quite a bit for being free. This is one museum you should add to your list especially if you’re in the Winter Park area.

Visitor Information

Opening hours: Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday: Noon–5 p.m.
Address: 1000 Holt Ave Ste 2765, Winter Park, FL 32789

11. Trolley around Downtown Sanford

One of my favorite things to do is ride the trolley around Downtown Sanford. This trolley is completely free and it takes you to some great spots such as the Sanford Marina. This is available Monday – Saturday.

Visitor Information

Operating Hours: Mon – Sat, times vary
Address: Varies. I usually get on from Magnolia Square, 117 Magnolia Ave, Sanford, 32771

12. The Florida Mall

The Florida Mall is unlike any other mall in Orlando. This mall has everything! From the Crayola Experience to Gatcha, there is so much you can do at the Florida Mall! While the things to do – shopping, eating, and activities are not free, walking around the mall is free, and sometimes fun events occur at the mall as well.

Visitor Information

Operating Hours: Monday – Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Friday – Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Address: 8001 S Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32809

13. Stroll around Lake Eola Park

Located in downtown Orlando, Lake Eola Park is stunning, especially during the holidays! Here you will find swan boats around the lake, beautiful swans, and a lot of other creatures. it’s also a great place for photos.

Visitor Information

Opening Hours: M-Sun, 6 a.m. – 11:59 a.m.
Address: 512 E Washington St, Orlando, FL 32801

14. Wekiva Island

Wekiva Island is one of those places not many tourists know about. Located just north of Orlando, you can rent canoes and kayaks, and enjoy the beautiful natural springs. You can also rent a cabana to enjoy the day at Wekiva Island.

It’s free to enter Wekiva Island to walk around and people watch or you can get a drink at the bar and some food at the food truck.

Visitor Information

Opening Hours: Sunday – Thursday 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday & Saturday 8 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Address: 1014 Miami Springs Dr, Longwood, FL 32779

15. Sanford Museum

If you find yourself in Sanford, be sure to stop at this cute museum in Sanford. While it may look tiny, they have an impressive collection, which has the Sanford Family collection and local history. Plus it is also free admission!

Visitor Information

Opening Hours: Tues-Sat, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Address: 520 East 1st Street, Sanford, FL 32771

16. Central Florida Railroad Museum

Located in Winter Garden, This wonderful railroad museum is full of history! From maps to artifacts, this is a museum any train lover will love. They also have a great collection of dining car china and silverware showing the differences throughout the years.

Visitor Information

Opening Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Free to the public, donations are appreciated.

Address: 101 S. Boyd St, Winter Garden, FL 34787

17. Orlando Wetlands

Located in Christmas, Florida, this man-made wetland was created to provide advanced treatment for reclaimed water. The property is 1650 acres in size and there are plenty of things to do, such as Horseback riding, wildlife viewing, guided tours, and more.

They do have free tram tours that last about 45-60 minutes on weekends and these tours take place Friday and Saturday. They do have Sunday tours but these are held from September through April.

Visitor Information

Opening Hours: Friday: 9 a.m – 3 p.m
Saturday: 9 a.m – 3 p.m
Sunday: 9 a.m – 3 p.m (September through April only)
Address: 25155 Wheeler Road, Christmas, FL 32709

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18. Farmer’s Markets

We have so many Farmer’s Markets in Central Florida! A few to check out are the ones in Lake Eola Park, Winter Park, and Longwood. While you do have to purchase from vendors, some will give you free samples and it’s free to walk around the Farmer’s Markets.

Visitor Information

Opening Hours: Varies on which one you go to
Address: Varies

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19. Hannibal Square Heritage Center

While the historic downtown in Winter Park is the most visited, oftentimes Hannibal Square Heritage Center is skipped. Mainly because not many know of this place except for the locals, but if you find yourself in Winter Park, do not miss out on this beautiful gem of a place. Hannibal Square Heritage Center not only has some great restaurants and shops to check out, but this quaint area also has walking tours, which is great for anyone wanting to learn more about the history. Walking tours are only on certain months and cost about $15, but walking around the Hannibal Square Heritage Center is free to go to.

Visitor Information

Address: 642 W New England Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789

20. Paint the Trail

One of my favorite things to do in Longwood is to check out Paint the Trail. While walking the trail, you will be surrounded by nature and beautifully painted fences. I couldn’t tell you how many paintings are on the fences, last time I heard it expanded to more than 500 paintings, but that may have changed with the years.

Visitor Information

Address: Seminole Wekiva Trl, Longwood, FL 32779

For more on free things to do and all things Florida, keep checking back for new posts!

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About Me

About Me

Hola!

Hola! I'm Hanny and I have been traveling since the age of three. Although, I grew up traveling, it wasn't until 2013, when I decided to start a blog. Read More

xoxo Hanny

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