Cheapest Things to Do in Orlando: 12 Inexpensive Activities

by Jen
Cheapest Things to Do in Orlando
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Are you looking for the cheapest things to do in Orlando? Here are some of the coolest and most unique sights and attractions in Orlando that won’t break the bank. Get ready to discover affordable destinations in Orlando, FL!

Orlando, often referred to as the “Theme Park Capital of the World,” offers a gold mine of adventures. Beyond the glittering facades of its world-famous theme parks lies a city bursting with hidden gems that won’t burn a hole in your pocket. From serene nature trails to bustling local markets, Orlando offers inexpensive experiences that are both budget-friendly and soul-enriching.

Situated in the heart of Florida, Orlando’s tropical climate sets the stage for outdoor escapades all year round. If you’re a nature enthusiast, a history lover, or simply looking to soak in the local culture, this city has something in store for you. And the best part? Many of these experiences come without a hefty price tag.

Orlando’s allure extends beyond its attractions. It’s woven into the stories of the locals, the flavors of its street food, and the melodies that fill its streets. This city invites you to explore, to discover, and to fall in love with its lesser-known corners.

So, if you’re yearning for an Orlando adventure that’s both kind to your wallet and rich in experience, you’re in for a treat. Dive into this curated list of budget-friendly activities that promise to offer a slice of Orlando you’ve never seen before. Here’s everything you need to know about the cheapest things to do in Orlando, FL.

The cheapest things to do in Orlando right now
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Cheapest Things to Do in Orlando: 12 Budget-Friendly Orlando Attractions

Are you ready to discover all the cheapest things to do in Orlando? As previously noted, there’s a large variety of free or inexpensive attractions in Orlando for everyone to enjoy. Keep reading to find out all the cheapest places to go in Orlando, Florida.

Are you looking to explore and enjoy serene nature spots? Or would you prefer to immerse yourself in local markets and cultural centers? Whatever you’re planning, there are affordable places in Orlando that can accommodate your needs. Here are all the cheapest things to do in Orlando that you should know about.

1. Orlando Brewing Company Tour

Get ready to discover the world of craft beer without breaking the bank at the Orlando Brewing Company, one of the city’s hidden gems. As the only organic beer brewery in Orlando, this place offers a unique and affordable experience for both beer enthusiasts and casual drinkers. The best part? Their behind-the-scenes tour is completely free!

Led by passionate brewers, the tour provides a comprehensive glimpse into the brewing process. From selecting the finest organic ingredients to understanding the intricate details of fermentation, you’ll gain a newfound appreciation for every sip you take, all without spending a dime.

After the tour, settle down in their rustic taproom. Here, you can sample a variety of their signature brews. With a diverse range of flavors, from the hoppy kick of IPAs to the smooth richness of stouts, there’s a brew for every palate. And if you’re feeling peckish, their menu boasts a selection of snacks that perfectly complement their beers.

For those wondering what to do in Orlando that offers both an educational and relaxing experience, and is easy on the wallet, this brewery tour tops the list. It’s not only about the beer. It’s about understanding the craft, the passion, and the community behind it, all while staying budget-friendly.

Orlando Brewing Company offers affordable craft beer discovery, the only organic brewery.
Orlando Brewing Company offers affordable craft beer discovery, the only organic brewery.

2. Lake Eola Park

Located in the heart of Downtown Orlando, Lake Eola Park is a serene oasis that offers a refreshing escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. This picturesque park, with its iconic swan boats and the majestic Lake Eola fountain, is a favorite among both locals and tourists. Exploring this park is one of the coolest free places to go in Orlando.

Stroll along the paved pathways, and you’ll be treated to stunning views of the city skyline reflecting off the lake’s calm waters. The park is also home to a variety of birds, making it a haven for birdwatchers. If you’re visiting on a Sunday, don’t miss the vibrant farmer’s market, where you can pick up fresh produce, artisanal crafts, and delicious local treats.

For couples looking for cheap things to do in Orlando, renting a swan boat is a must. While it comes with a small fee, the experience of paddling across the lake, especially during sunset, is priceless.

Families with kids can enjoy the playground area. If you’re lucky, you might even catch one of the many free concerts or events hosted at the park’s amphitheater. Truly, Lake Eola Park showcases that there are plenty of cheap activities in Orlando for families that are both enjoyable and memorable.

Lake Eola Park: Downtown oasis with swan boats and iconic fountain, a serene escape for locals and tourists.
Lake Eola Park: Downtown oasis with swan boats and iconic fountain, a serene escape for locals and tourists.

3. Rollins Museum of Art

Art enthusiasts and casual visitors alike will find a haven at the Rollins Museum of Art located on the picturesque Rollins College campus. This museum, often overlooked in favor of Orlando’s more commercial attractions, is a hidden gem that showcases a diverse collection of art, which makes it one of the cheapest places in Orlando, FL to immerse oneself in culture.

The museum boasts an impressive collection of European Old Master paintings, contemporary visual arts, and unique artifacts from around the world. Each exhibit tells a story, offering insights into different cultures, eras, and artistic movements. The carefully curated displays provide a platform for both established and emerging artists, ensuring a fresh experience with every visit.

Beyond the art, the museum itself is a masterpiece. The architecture and layout are thoughtfully designed to enhance the viewing experience. Well-lit galleries and spacious rooms allow the art to breathe.

Regular workshops, lectures, and interactive sessions are organized for visitors of all ages. These make it a dynamic space for learning and engagement. And the best part? Admission is free! So, if you’re wondering where to go in Orlando for a dose of culture without the hefty price tag, the Rollins Museum of Art should be on your list.

Rollins Museum of Art features diverse art collection, an affordable haven for culture enthusiasts.
Rollins Museum of Art features diverse art collection, an affordable haven for culture enthusiasts.

4. Tibet-Butler Preserve

For those seeking a respite from Orlando’s urban sprawl, the Tibet-Butler Preserve offers a refreshing escape into nature. This 440-acre sanctuary is a reminder that some of the most rewarding experiences are also the cheapest things to do in Orlando for couples, families, and solo travelers alike.

The preserve boasts a network of well-maintained trails that meander through a variety of ecosystems. This includes everything from pine flatwoods to swampy marshes. As you walk, you’ll be serenaded by the sounds of chirping birds, rustling leaves, and the gentle whisper of the wind. It’s a sensory experience that reconnects you with nature and offers a moment of tranquility amidst the city’s hustle.

Wildlife enthusiasts will be thrilled with the array of creatures that call the preserve home. From playful otters to majestic birds of prey, every visit promises a discovery. Informative signboards dot the trails, providing insights into the local flora and fauna. This makes it an educational experience as well.

The Vera Carter Environmental Center, located at the entrance, is a must-visit. It offers interactive exhibits on the area’s ecology and often hosts workshops for visitors of all ages. And the cherry on top? Entry to the preserve and the center is free!

For visitors deciding what to do in Orlando that offers both relaxation and adventure without stretching your budget, the Tibet-Butler Preserve is a top choice.

Tibet-Butler Preserve is a nature escape from urban sprawl with 440-acre sanctuary.
Tibet-Butler Preserve is a nature escape from urban sprawl with 440-acre sanctuary.

5. Universal’s Citywalk

While Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure often steal the limelight, Universal’s Citywalk is an attraction in its own right. Acting as the gateway to the famed theme parks, Citywalk is a vibrant hub of entertainment, dining, and shopping. It’s one of the cheapest places to go in Orlando when you’re looking for a taste of the theme park atmosphere without the theme park ticket price.

As the sun sets, Citywalk comes alive with neon lights, live music, and the buzz of excited visitors. Street performers entertain passersby with impressive acts, from juggling to dance routines. The atmosphere is electric, making it a perfect spot for an evening out.

Foodies will be spoilt for choice with the array of dining options available. From gourmet cuisine to quick bites, there’s something for every palate and budget. And if you’re in the mood for some retail therapy, the numerous shops offer everything from Universal merchandise to unique souvenirs.

For those looking for cheap things to do in Orlando at night, Citywalk’s array of nightclubs and bars offer a taste of Orlando’s nightlife without the hefty cover charges of more upscale venues. Dance the night away, enjoy a cocktail, or simply soak in the ambiance.

Though some experiences at Citywalk come with a price tag, simply strolling through this lively area, soaking in the atmosphere, and enjoying the free entertainment can make for a memorable evening. As such, it’s one of the best things to do in Orlando that doesn’t break the bank.

Universal's Citywalk boasts a vibrant entertainment, dining, and shopping hub.
Universal’s Citywalk boasts a vibrant entertainment, dining, and shopping hub.

6. The Orlando Science Center

Delve into a world of discovery at the Orlando Science Center, a haven for curious minds of all ages. Located in the heart of the city, this interactive museum offers a plethora of exhibits and activities, standing out as one of the cheapest attractions in Orlando, Florida that promises a day filled with learning and fun.

From exploring the mysteries of outer space in the planetarium to getting up close with Florida’s native wildlife in the NatureWorks exhibit, there’s something for everyone. The DinoDigs exhibit, showcasing impressive dinosaur replicas, is a favorite among young visitors, while the Crosby Observatory offers a chance to gaze at the stars and planets.

Hands-on labs and live science demonstrations ensure that learning is not just informative but also engaging. The center frequently hosts special events, workshops, and themed weekends, adding a dynamic touch to the visitor experience.

With a modest admission fee and a wealth of knowledge to offer, the Orlando Science Center is a fantastic destination for families, students, or anyone looking to expand their horizons without stretching their budget.

Exploring Orlando Science Center is one of the cheapest things to do in Orlando, Florida.
Orlando Science Center: Interactive haven for curious minds, offering exhibits and activities.

7. ICON Park

Experience the vibrant pulse of Orlando at ICON Park, a bustling entertainment complex located on International Drive. This lively hub offers a mix of attractions, dining, and shopping. This makes it one of the cheapest places in Orlando, FL to enjoy a diverse range of activities.

The centerpiece of ICON Park is The Wheel, a 400-foot observation wheel that offers breathtaking views of the city. While there’s a fee to ride The Wheel, the panoramic vistas of Orlando’s skyline, especially during sunset, are worth every penny.

Surrounding The Wheel is a plethora of restaurants, bars, and shops. From enjoying a gourmet burger to sipping on tropical cocktails, the dining options cater to every palate and budget. Live music, street performers, and regular events add to the lively atmosphere, ensuring there’s never a dull moment.

For families, the Madame Tussauds Orlando and SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium offer interactive and educational experiences. Both attractions come with an admission fee, but package deals and promotions are often available, making them more affordable.

With its mix of entertainment, dining, and attractions, ICON Park is a prime spot for those looking for cheap things to do in Orlando for families, couples, and individuals.

ICON Park offers attractions, dining, shopping, and diverse activities, a budget-friendly hotspot.
ICON Park offers attractions, dining, shopping, and diverse activities, a budget-friendly hotspot.

8. Leu Gardens

Discover a botanical paradise in the midst of Orlando at Leu Gardens. Spanning 50 acres, these gardens are a lush tapestry of tropical plants, roses, azaleas, and more. It’s a delightful destination for nature lovers and stands out as one of the cheapest things to do in Orlando with kids or for a serene solo visit.

As you meander through the winding pathways, you’ll encounter themed gardens, each with its unique charm. The rose garden, boasting a myriad of colors and fragrances, is particularly enchanting. Meanwhile, the tropical rainforest transports visitors to a world far removed from the urban surroundings of Orlando.

The gardens also offer educational opportunities. Regular gardening workshops, bird walks, and guided tours provide insights into the world of horticulture and the diverse ecosystems represented within the gardens.

For those with a keen interest in history, the historic Leu House Museum, located within the gardens, narrates the story of the families who once lived there and their contributions to Orlando.

With a nominal entrance fee and so much to explore, Leu Gardens offers an affordable and enriching experience. It’s a reminder that Orlando has cheap things to do that provide both relaxation and education.

Leu Gardens is a 50-acre botanical paradise, lush with tropical plants, roses, and azaleas.
Leu Gardens is a 50-acre botanical paradise, lush with tropical plants, roses, and azaleas.

9. Orlando’s Farmers Markets

Experience the local flavors and vibrant community spirit at one of Orlando’s many farmer’s markets. These markets are not only a great way to support local businesses but also one of the cheapest Orlando things to do.

The Lake Eola Farmers Market, held every Sunday, is a popular choice. Set against the backdrop of Lake Eola Park, this market offers a diverse range of products, from fresh produce and artisanal cheeses to handcrafted jewelry and unique crafts. Live music and food trucks add to the festive atmosphere, making it a delightful outing for all ages.

Another notable market is the Winter Park Farmers Market, held every Saturday. Housed in a historic train depot, this market is a treasure trove of organic produce, baked goods, and tropical plants.

And if you’re looking for cheap things to do in Orlando at night, the Audubon Park Community Market is a fantastic choice. This Monday evening market emphasizes sustainable and local products, with a focus on organic, vegetarian, and vegan options.

Visiting these markets offers a chance to mingle with locals, discover unique products, and indulge in delicious food, all without burning a hole in your pocket. Not only is it one of the cheapest things to do in Orlando, but it’s also among the most delicious!

Lake Eola Farmers Market boasts diverse products from produce to crafts, live music, food trucks, a festive outing for all ages.
Lake Eola Farmers Market boasts diverse products from produce to crafts, live music, food trucks, a festive outing for all ages.

10. Gatorland

Dive into Florida’s wild side at Gatorland, often referred to as the Alligator Capital of the World. This 110-acre theme park and wildlife preserve is home to thousands of alligators and crocodiles. This makes it a thrilling destination for adventure seekers. It’s one of the most unique Orlando places to visit when you’re eager to experience the state’s iconic reptiles up close.

Visitors can witness thrilling live shows, including the famous Gator Jumparoo, where alligators leap out of the water to snatch food, and the Gator Wrestlin’ Show, showcasing the power and agility of these magnificent creatures.

For the brave-hearted, the Screamin’ Gator Zip Line offers an adrenaline-pumping experience, soaring over the alligator breeding marsh. While there’s a fee for this attraction, the thrill of zipping over dozens of lurking gators is unmatched.

Families will appreciate the park’s interactive exhibits, like the Alligator Breeding Marsh and the Up-Close Encounters Show, where guests can learn about a variety of animals from knowledgeable handlers.

With an affordable admission price and a plethora of exciting activities, Gatorland ensures that there’s no shortage of cheap things to do in Orlando for families seeking a wild adventure.

Gatorland has 110-acre park and preserve with thousands of alligators and crocodiles, a thrilling destination for up-close reptile experiences.
Gatorland has 110-acre park and preserve with thousands of alligators and crocodiles, a thrilling destination for up-close reptile experiences.

11. The Chocolate Museum & Cafe

Indulge your sweet tooth at the Chocolate Museum & Cafe, a delightful destination for chocolate lovers. Located in the heart of Orlando, this unique spot offers a blend of history, art, and, of course, delicious chocolate, which makes it one of the most affordable things to do in Orlando for couples or anyone with a penchant for the sweeter things in life.

The museum tour takes visitors on a journey through the world of chocolate. Learn about the origins of cacao, its transformation into the chocolate we love, and its impact on cultures worldwide. The tour also showcases impressive chocolate sculptures of famous landmarks and figures, each meticulously crafted by skilled chocolatiers.

The highlight for many is the tasting session. Sample a variety of chocolates from different regions, each with its distinct flavor profile. From the rich dark chocolates of South America to the creamy milk chocolates of Europe, it’s a sensory experience that tantalizes the taste buds.

After the tour, the cafe beckons with its array of chocolate-based treats. If you’re in the mood for a hot chocolate, a chocolate fondue, or a decadent dessert, the cafe promises to satisfy your cravings.

Offering an affordable entrance fee and a mouthwatering experience, the Chocolate Museum & Cafe is a must-visit for those seeking inexpensive things to do in Orlando, FL.

Chocolate Museum & Cafe is a heartwarming spot for history, art, and delicious chocolate.
Chocolate Museum & Cafe is a heartwarming spot for history, art, and delicious chocolate.

12. Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake

Ever felt the need to escape the city buzz without actually leaving Orlando? Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake is your answer. Covering a whopping 183 acres, this park is a treasure trove of outdoor activities and easily ranks as one of the best (and most affordable) things to do in Orlando with kids or for anyone itching for a nature fix.

Turkey Lake, the heart of the park, is a dream for fishing enthusiasts. The lake is teeming with fish. If you’re not geared up, the park’s got you covered with fishing equipment rentals. If fishing isn’t your thing, hop into a canoe or kayak and glide through the serene waters. This is a great way to take in the scenic beauty.

Nature trails crisscross the park, beckoning hikers and bird watchers. These paths reveal diverse ecosystems, from thick woodlands to sunlit meadows, each teeming with local wildlife.

For families, there’s no shortage of fun with playgrounds, a swimming pool, and even some friendly farm animals. If you’re up for some sporty action, check out the disc golf courses and volleyball courts.

With just a small entrance fee and so much to explore, Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake promises a day of adventure without breaking the bank. For those looking for an affordable day out in Orlando, look no further!

Exploring Bill Frederick Park is one of the cheapest things to do in Orlando, Florida.
Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake is an outdoor treasure trove for affordable family activities and nature escapes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the Cheapest Things to Do in Orlando:

Looking to expand your knowledge on the cheapest activities in Orlando, FL? Here are some common questions (and answers) I get asked a lot about cheap things to do in Orlando.

What part of Orlando is the cheapest?

While Orlando has several areas that are budget-friendly for visitors, neighborhoods like Pine Hills, Azalea Park, and Conway tend to offer more affordable dining, shopping, and entertainment options. However, it’s always a good idea to research and check out these areas personally to find the best spots for your needs.

How do I get around Orlando for cheap?

Orlando offers various affordable transportation options. The LYNX bus system covers a vast area of the city and its suburbs. SunRail, the local commuter train, is another economical choice for traveling between specific points. Additionally, consider rideshare services during off-peak hours or renting a bike for short distances.

SunRail, the local commuter train, offers budget-friendly travel between key points.
SunRail, the local commuter train, offers budget-friendly travel between key points.

Is Orlando cheap or expensive?

Orlando, Florida, offers a cost of living that can be considered moderate compared to some other major cities in the United States. Here’s a summary of the cost of living in Orlando:

  1. General Living Costs: Orlando is 26.4% less expensive than New York (excluding rent). Rent in Orlando is, on average, 49.0% lower than in New York.
  2. Housing: Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center averages around $1,950.22 per month, while outside the city center, it’s approximately $1,634.55. Buying an apartment in the city center costs around $459.61 per square foot.
  3. Transportation: Local transport tickets are $2.00 for a one-way ticket, and gasoline costs around $3.53 per gallon.
  4. Utilities: Basic utilities for a 915 sq ft apartment average $163.54 per month.
  5. Food and Dining: A meal at an inexpensive restaurant costs around $20.00. On the other hand, a three-course meal for two people at a mid-range restaurant is about $82.00.
  6. Childcare and Education: Preschool costs average $1,016.67 per month for one child. International primary school fees are around $7,180.00 per year.
  7. Clothing: Prices for clothing items like jeans, summer dresses, and shoes are in line with what you might expect in many U.S. cities.

Are there any free attractions in Orlando?

Absolutely! There are plenty of free Orlando attractions. This includes Lake Eola Park, the Disney Springs shopping area, and various local farmers’ markets. Additionally, many hotels offer complimentary shuttle services to major attractions.

What’s the best time of year to visit Orlando on a budget?

While Orlando is a year-round destination, visiting during the off-peak seasons (late April to early June and September to mid-November) can offer better deals on accommodations and fewer crowds at attractions.

Can I find affordable dining options in Orlando?

Yes, Orlando offers a diverse culinary scene with options for every budget. From food trucks and local diners to affordable international cuisine, there’s a plethora of choices that won’t break the bank.

Discovering Orlando on a Budget: An Adventure for the Soul

Orlando’s allure extends far beyond its famed theme parks. As we’ve journeyed through the city’s lesser-known gems, it’s evident that a trip to Orlando doesn’t have to break the bank. From serene nature spots to bustling local markets and enlightening cultural hubs, affordability and fun go hand in hand in this vibrant city.

When you’re planning your next Orlando adventure, remember that the city’s heart lies not just in its grand attractions but also in its pocket-friendly experiences. Embrace the diverse, cheap things to do in Orlando and let the city surprise you with its richness, all while staying kind to your wallet. Here’s to exploring Orlando’s treasures without the hefty price tag!

The cheapest things to do in Orlando for all types of travelers
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