Orlando in Florida is the original home of Mickey Mouse and the fantasy theme parks of Walt Disney World Resort. For families it’s a magical adventure playground that’s guaranteed to create some amazing memories. You can even have lots of fun on a tight budget, as there’s plenty to see and do that’s completely free.
To get you started we’ve put together some of the top free things to do in Orlando so you and the kids can have the best holiday ever, without the massive price tag.
Family fun and wine at Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards, Clermont
Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards are under 40 minutes’ drive from Championsgate. There are tours and wine tastings and they hold food festivals and live music events. There’s also the Annual Harvest Festival in June and the Annual Harvest Grape Stomp. All events are free or a maximum of $5.
Free street performances on the Walt Disney World Boardwalk
Disney’s Boardwalk has a range of free live performances and street entertainment in the evenings including music, comedians, acrobats and fire-eaters. Designed to resemble a 1930’s seaside resort you can enjoy the shows while you stroll along the promenade and take in the views.
International fine art at Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Winter Park
The Cornell Fine Arts Museum is around 40 minutes’ drive from Walt Disney World. Their collection includes European and American artists including Picasso and Matisse and it has regular special exhibitions.
Creative play for kids at the LEGO Imagination Centre, Walt Disney World Resort
In Disney’s Downtown there’s a mega-sized LEGO shop which has its own LEGO Imagination Center. Kids can play with all the LEGO bricks and create their own LEGO-worlds. There’s a LEGO Woody and Buzz Lightyear, dinosaurs and lots of other huge LEGO sculptures to fire the imagination.
Explore the Disney Wilderness Reserve
The Disney Wilderness Reserve is in Kissimmee and is free to enter. There are over 1,000 species of plants and animals and designated nature trails. It sits in the diverse Everglades region which has both mangrove swamps and wetlands areas. There’s also a Learning Lab and National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area.
Ride the Walt Disney World Monorail
This takes you around three of Disney World’s theme parks, the Contemporary, Polynesian and Grand Floridian. It’s designed so you can easily hop on and off and go into each one, but you can also simply stay on it for the full circuit and enjoy the views.
Beautiful Tiffany pieces at Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, Winter Park
At the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art you’ll see the world’s most comprehensive collection of Louis Tiffany works. As well as being a famous jewellery designer he’s one of America’s most celebrated artists and leaded-glass craftsmen. Entry is free on Fridays between 4pm and 8pm from November to April.
Watch the nightly fireworks at Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World puts on spectacular fireworks shows every night which you can see for free from outside the parks. There are great views from places such as the Transportation Center, the Polynesian Village beaches and the bridge between the Contemporary Resort and Bay Lake Tower.
Hot local artists and cool galleries at CityArts Factory, Orlando
The CityArts Factory district is located in downtown Orlando. It’s a funky and eclectic collection of art galleries exhibiting the best local and international contemporary art talent. There’s free admission on Tuesdays to Saturdays from 11am to 6pm.
Have you got any top tips for free or low-cost stuff you think we’ll love? If so, drop us a line and let us know all about it.