Orlando isn’t just the most visited tourism destination in the United States because of its world-class theme parks, famed eateries or sprawling resorts. Thanks to scores of affordable and unique experiences, it’s also a top value destination. In fact, Orlando was named the No. 1 cheapest destination in the U.S. to travel to according to a Hopper report in 2021.
Orlando offers multiple free and cost-effective activities for $20 or less including museums, parks, boat rides, festivals, markets, go-karts and more. Additionally, buying tickets online ahead of time at OrlandoTickets.com, Visit Orlando’s official ticket website, can be a big money saver.
FREE IN ORLANDO
Theme Parks and Attractions
With a nod to Central Florida’s refreshing natural springs, this outdoor escape features 120 acres of unique boutiques, award-winning restaurants and lively entertainment. Relax by the water, stroll through shops, make fun memories and take plenty of selfies.
This action-packed hotspot features an eclectic mix of themed restaurants, nightclubs, a movie theater, shopping and non-stop entertainment. Plus, parking is free after 6 p.m. (except during Halloween Horror Nights). Take in the sights and sounds, and then board the free water taxi service to cruise canals that meander throughout Universal Orlando Resort. Hop off to explore the resorts and entertainment along the way including Musica della Notte, a free evening of music at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel.
Home to a variety of restaurants, bars and attractions, there is no charge to enjoy the entertainment complex, which also includes free parking. The grassy area in the middle is perfect for relaxing with the family or an epic Instagram shot with The Wheel in the background (the 400-foot observation wheel that towers over International Drive). Purchase required for admission to onsite attractions.
At this Smithsonian Institution affiliate in downtown Orlando, explore 12,000 years of Central Florida history through a variety of exhibits and programs spread over four floors of a historic, 1927 courthouse. Admission is free from 5-8 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month.
Entertainment, Parks & Recreation
Located in Lake Nona’s Town Center, this fun open-air spot is constructed entirely from repurposed shipping containers. Its shady green spaces are perfect for lounging and listening to live music, the kids’ area routinely rotates its games and play structures and there are two beach volleyball courts. Dogs are welcome throughout the park, especially in Barxi Park, the onsite dog park.
This beautiful botanical garden offers free admission on the first Monday of every month, excluding holidays. Visitors can also take part in a free plant clinic on Wednesdays.
Visitors can picnic along the shore, enjoy a free concert at the amphitheater, feed the swans and celebrate holidays in Orlando’s picturesque downtown park. On Sunday mornings, there’s free outdoor yoga and the Orlando Farmer’s Market offers seasonal farm fresh produce from local growers, as well as baked goods, cheeses and other specialty foods.
Minutes from Walt Disney World Resort, Old Town re-creates the look and feel of a classic Florida town with 18 acres of tree-lined brick streets that are home to more than 70 affordable shops and restaurants. Best of all, admission is free — as are weekly events such as classic car shows and live music.
The USTA National Campus in Lake Nona offers an exciting way to enjoy tennis with top-notch facilities, a full agenda of tennis events and 100 fully lit courts. Family Zone 60' and 36' courts are available at no charge when programming isn’t scheduled.
Complete with a splash pad free on weekdays; picnic areas and a dog park; as well as baseball, basketball and soccer fields; the Dr. P. Phillips Community Park has options to entertain the whole family.
Arts, Culture & History
Located in scenic Winter Park, this museum displays the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany, including his famous lamps, art glass, pottery and jewelry. It is open to the public at no charge on Fridays from 4-8 p.m. and certain holidays, and always free for children 12 and under. Regular price is only $6 for adults, making it very affordable even during normal admission.
Located on the gorgeous campus of Rollins College in Winter Park, this museum features one of the oldest and most distinguished art collections in Florida, including more than 5,000 objects ranging from antique to contemporary. Admission is free year-round.
Home to multiple unique art galleries, the museum brings together visual and performing arts in the heart of downtown Orlando. It is also a stop on the free Third Thursday Gallery Hop Admission is free.
The community of Eatonville – the oldest incorporated African American municipality in the U.S. – is the hometown of writer, activist and anthropologist, Zora Neale Hurston. The museum offers free admission and provides a place where the public can view art that celebrates the life and accomplishments of the famous Florida novelist.
Wineries & Breweries
Orlando’s original craft brewery offers free tours at 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and parking is free.
Located in the heart of Orlando’s Mills 50 district, this local business offers free tours at their environmentally friendly winery Tuesdays through Saturdays, noon to 7 p.m.
$15 OR LESS PER PERSON
Visitors can enjoy indoor kart racing in a climate-controlled track full of turns and high speed. Other activities range from laser tag and ropes course to classic arcade games. Most activities are under $20, with adult races costing $15 when purchased from Visit Orlando. For children ages 7-14 and at least 48 inches tall, junior races are $10 via Visit Orlando. Additional discount packages are also available.
Presenting family-friendly, amusement-park fun at its I-Drive and Kissimmee locations, Fun Spot America offers a-la-carte pricing via the pay-as-you-go Fun E-Card. What’s more, most attractions at both locations are $5 to $10 each, and admission is always free.
This beautiful 50-acre botanical oasis is located just minutes from Downtown Orlando. Each garden is designed specifically to further our mission: inspire visitors to appreciate and understand plants. Admission is $15 for adults, $10 for children (ages 4-17) and active/retired military personnel and free for children ages 3 and under.
In the heart of downtown Orlando, swan boats at Lake Eola Park are $15 per boat for 30 minutes of pure pedal-powered fun. Guests can view the park, surrounding cityscape and the iconic Lake Eola fountain up close Friday through Sunday.
At this Smithsonian Institution affiliate in downtown Orlando, explore 12,000 years of Central Florida history through a variety of exhibits and programs spread over four floors of a historic, 1927 courthouse. Pricing for the Orange County Regional History Center is $8 for adults; $7 for students and military with valid ID, plus seniors; $6 for kids ages 5-12; and free for children under 5.
Play two 18-hole miniature golf experiences in a pirate-themed setting with locations in the Lake Buena Vista and International Drive areas. Pricing for the location on Lake Buena Vista is $11.95 per adult, $10.95 for children ages 4-12 and free for children ages 3 and under. International Drive location prices are: $14.50 per adult, $12.95 for children ages 4-12 and free for children ages 3 and under.
With hourly, daily and weekly road bike rentals, visitors can explore the 24-mile West Orange Trail. Guided tours along the West Orange Trail and Central Florida’s historical towns are also available. Rentals start at $9 per hour and $35 per day.
Close to downtown Orlando in Loch Haven Park, view artist Earl Cunningham’s creations and contemporary American folk art at The Mennello Museum of American Art. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $1 for students with valid ID and children ages 6-17. Admission is free for kids under 6, as well as for active and retired military personnel and their families. Plus, every second Sunday of the month is Free Family Fun Day.
$20 OR LESS PER PERSON
One of Orlando’s most iconic attractions is also one of its most affordable with tickets costing $19.99 for adults and $17.99 for kids when purchased from Visit Orlando. Providing a 20-minute, air-conditioned ride with spectacular views from 400 feet up, The Wheel is considered an Insta-worthy rite of passage for many visitors.
See more than 500 animals, including rare and endangered species, as well as 23 acres of lush natural beauty. When purchased online, admission is $19.50 for adults, $15.95 for seniors, $13.75 for children ages 3-12 and free for kids under 3.
In addition to numerous affordably priced games — most of which will cost less than $5 — this indoor attraction also has a mirror maze, escape room, X-D motion theater and virtual-reality experience, all priced between $12 to $20.
At Kings Dining & Entertainment on I-Drive, guests can bowl, eat and lounge in a comfortable, fun environment that also features billiards tables, foosball, an outdoor bocce court and other entertainment options. Standard bowling rates, which are per person per game, start at $16.
Along with showcasing local, national and international works of art, the museum has two discovery centers for children. Admission is $20 for adults, $12 for seniors (65+), $10 for college students with valid ID and $8 for children ages 6-17. Children ages 5 and under are free, as are active and retired military personnel.
A relaxing narrated cruise through the lakes and canals of historic Winter Park, this peaceful boat tour showcases natural wildlife and mansions that line the waterways. Admission is $16 per adult and $8 for children ages 2-11.
Enjoy hilarious improv sketches on select nights as the players take suggestions from audience members to create show-stopping scenes and songs. General Admission tickets vary per show and range from $5 to $20.
About Visit Orlando
Visit Orlando is The Official Tourism Association® for Orlando, the most visited destination in the United States and Theme Park Capital of the World®. Visit Orlando connects consumers with every segment of Central Florida’s travel community, whether for a vacation or meeting. Home to seven of the world’s top theme parks — as well as refreshing water parks, outdoor thrill rides, activities to connect with nature, and a dynamic dining and entertainment scene — Orlando is welcoming to travelers of all ages. With 450 hotels, visitors have choices that span multi-acre resorts to themed boutique hotels. Orlando’s trusted theme parks, attractions, hotels and businesses have developed comprehensive safety measures and worked closely with medical experts to create safe travel experiences. Find more information at VisitOrlando.com.