Arts & Entertainment in Orlando
The arts come alive in Orlando — and often in ways you must witness to believe. From the best of Broadway and ballet to thought-provoking collections and traveling exhibits, we offer a captivating blend of traditional, contemporary and even never-before-seen artistry and culture for you to explore, including many that are exclusive to The City Beautiful. Prepare to be amazed by these acclaimed cultural offerings the next time you’re in Orlando.
Discover: Orlando Arts for Adults
The crown jewel of our arts scene, downtown Orlando’s Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts produces hundreds of shows every year. The lineup includes Broadway productions, chart-topping musicians, marquee comedians, family entertainment and much more, including performances by Orlando Ballet, Opera Orlando and the Orlando Philharmonic. And now, there’s a wondrous new reason to make the Dr. Phillips Center part of your Orlando getaway plans: Steinmetz Hall, an acoustically remarkable, multifunction space that can achieve an N1 sound rating, which is the lowest level at which humans can detect sound. The venue will open a fourth performing arts space in fall 2023, Judson’s, which joins the Walt Disney Theater and Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater.
Discover: Steinmetz Hall
Other performing arts venues in the downtown area include Timucua Arts Foundation, The Plaza Live, Renaissance Theatre, Theater on the Edge, Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts, and more. And every year, Creative City Project offers a full range of immersive experiences in and around downtown.
Discover: Things to Do in Downtown Orlando
Downtown’s newest performing arts venue is Fringe ArtSpace, part of the Church Street District. It provides a physical home for Orlando Fringe, a pillar of our arts community and producer of the longest-running fringe festival in the U.S.: the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival, which is held every May in Loch Haven Park just 10 minutes from downtown. Featuring hundreds of ticketed theatrical performances from local, national and international artists, this immersive cultural experience is supplemented by Winter Mini-Fest and year-round programming at Fringe ArtSpace.
Discover: Fringe ArtSpace
Orlando Fringe isn’t the only source of live entertainment in Loch Haven Park. Orlando Shakespeare Theater, aka Orlando Shakes, offers classic, contemporary and even children's plays — and of course, productions based on the works of its titular Bard. You will also find the Orlando Repertory Theatre, or Orlando Rep, focusing on family-friendly productions for all ages.
Discover: Orlando Arts Events
The fact is, exceptional performing arts await all over town. The Winter Park Playhouse and Garden Theatre are top options in Winter Park and Winter Garden, respectively, each showcasing a robust lineup of diverse entertainment.
Discover: Things to Do in Winter Garden
You can also catch performing arts at many of our theme parks. For example, Walt Disney World® Resort hosts an array of well-known musical acts and talented performance artists during seasonal festivals at EPCOT®. SeaWorld® Orlando does the same as part of its Seven Seas Food Festival. And at Universal Orlando Resort, you can witness live concerts during its annual Mardi Gras event plus other entertainment surprises.
Orlando boasts numerous state-of-the-art concert venues, too. They include downtown’s Amway Center, Camping World Stadium and Exploria Stadium, plus more intimate halls such as House of Blues at Disney Springs® and Hard Rock Live at Universal CityWalk.
Just 20 minutes from downtown Orlando, Winter Park is one of Central Florida's most refined communities — and they have the museums to prove it. For starters, you’ll find the world’s largest collection of work by famed American designer Louis Comfort Tiffany at The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art.
Discover: Orlando Museums
Also in Winter Park, Rollins Museum of Art boasts more than 5,600 works that range from an ancient sarcophagus to the latest in 21st century art, and admission is always free. Nearby, the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens preserves the works of its namesake.
Discover: Things to Do in Winter Park
Just north of Winter Park in Maitland, the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center teaches about the past while focusing on the future, and Art & History Museums — Maitland has so much to offer that it can’t be contained by one building. To the west, the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation operates three museums in its namesake city, including The Heritage Museum, the History Research & Education Center, and the Central Florida Railroad Museum.
Discover: Things to Do in Winter Garden
In historic Eatonville, just 15 minutes west of Winter Park, explore the works of celebrated author Zora Neale Hurston (Their Eyes Were Watching God) and artists of African descent at the Zora Neale Hurston National Museum, aka The Hurston. There's no set admission fee, but donations are encouraged. Eatonville also hosts the annual Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities, aka ZORA!® Festival Season, a months-long celebration with several events that are free to attend. It kicks off in January.
Discover: African American History & Culture
Black history can be further explored at downtown Orlando’s Wells’Built Museum of African American History and Culture, which is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Constructed in 1921 as a hotel that exclusively catered to African American guests who were barred from Florida’s then-segregated hotels, including many famous musicians, it now houses memorabilia of Orlando’s African American community, displays of the Civil Rights movement, and African art and artifacts.
Discover: Orlando History
For a deeper dive into the importance of African Americans to Central Florida’s history, stop by the Hannibal Square Heritage Center in Winter Park, where you can peruse a permanent collection of framed, archival pieces that capture the lives of that city’s beginnings.
Loch Haven Park near downtown Orlando is no slouch in the museum department, either, including Orlando Museum of Art and The Mennello Museum of American Art. From there, it’s just a short drive to CityArts, where you can marvel at multiple art galleries under one roof in downtown Orlando, which is also home to the Orange County Regional History Center and Snap! Orlando. You can even book an overnight stay at an exceptional art collection courtesy of downtown’s Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando, which displays the eclectic Grand Bohemian Art Gallery in public spaces.
Downtown is also the birthplace of CITY unseen, an augmented-reality (AR) public art project presented by Snap! Orlando. Fusing works by internationally renowned artists and cutting-edge AR technology, CITY Unseen offers a wide range of unique “[AR]t” experiences, including murals coming to life, projection-mapping, a 360-degree visit to an artist’s studio, and more, all unlockable with a free mobile app.
There are many other options beyond these, including acclaimed outdoor art shows such as the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, the Mount Dora Art Festival, the biannual Fiesta in the Park in downtown’s Lake Eola Park, and many others. Let our offerings broaden your horizons during your next visit.