Enjoy a budget-friendly night out with this list of 75 free things to do in Orlando!
Trying to save a little money? You don’t need a huge budget in order to plan a romantic and memorable date night with your partner. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite free things to do in Orlando, from monthly festivals to art and walking tours, local attractions, and more.
Updated June 2019
1. Popcorn Flicks in the Park
Watch a free classic family-friendly movie outdoors in Winter Park’s picturesque Central Park on the second Thursday of each month. Popcorn Flicks in the Park is hosted by Enzian Theater, an independent cinema in Maitland that’s one of our date night favorites. Pack a picnic and some blankets and enjoy the free fun.
2. MoviEola in Lake Eola Park
Enjoy Lake Eola Park’s free outdoor movie series, MoviEola, taking place seasonally and during the holidays. Each movie event features fun pre-movie activities as well as food and beverage for purchases. Movies are screened outdoors on the East Lawn, between Washington St. and Central Blvd. by the playground. Check out our guide to outdoor movies for more ideas.
3. Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens
While regular admission is $5 per adult, the Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens offers a host of free admission days throughout the year. Once inside, peruse the work on display by Czech artist Albin Polasek. Don’t forget to head outdoors to walk around the serene sculpture gardens.
4. The Alfond Inn Art Tours
A hotel in Winter Park may be the last place you expect to find an impressive art collection, but prepare to be surprised by the gorgeous contemporary art collection on display at The Alfond Inn. This hotel located just off Park Avenue offers free guided tours of their in-house art collection every Sunday at 1pm. Tours are led by a Cornell Fine Arts Museum staff member and no reservations are needed.
5. Alive After 5 in Historic Downtown Sanford
If you haven’t visited Historic Downtown Sanford for date night yet, what are you waiting for? Enjoy a lively evening of free entertainment during the monthly Alive After 5 street party. Held on the second Thursday of each month, each free event features a different theme as well as live music, food and drink for purchase, and more.
6. Wekiva Island
Located on the Wekiva River, Wekiva Island is a relaxing escape and favorite among locals for a day spent swimming, sipping a few adult beverages, and relaxing in the Adirondack chairs lined up neatly along the river. Admission is free on weekdays.
7. Oakland Nature Preserve
Located in Oakland along the scenic West Orange Trail, this nature preserve features several hiking trails (all under 1 mile), a welcome center, bike racks, and a wooden boardwalk that leads out to Lake Apopka.
8. The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
The Morse Museum is a hidden gem in Winter Park home to the most comprehensive collection anywhere of Louis Comfort Tiffany glass. Inside, find a collection of jewelry, lamps, sculpture, and American art in addition to a full chapel interior with its own private viewing room. Admission is free for everyone November-April on Friday evenings from 4-8pm.
9. Seminole State Planetarium Telescope Thursdays
Get a closer look at the night sky by peering into a telescope! Seasonally on a Thursday evening, the staff of the Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust Planetarium hit the road with telescopes in tow and set up shop at a local park or business around Central Florida for Telescope Thursdays. The community is welcome to attend and take a peek at the beautiful night sky. Events typically last from 7-10pm.
10. Tour the Cornell Fine Arts Museum
Get artsy on a free Rollins Museum Tour on Saturdays at 1pm. You’ll enjoy a docent-led arts tour of the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, located on the Rollins College campus in Winter Park. Admission to the museum is always free. Stick around campus after the tour for a stroll through the scenic grounds.
11. Sanford Art Walk
Held on the 3rd Saturday of each month in Sanford, these free art walks showcase the area’s unique galleries. A fact sheet is available for each Sanford Art Walk event providing additional details on each stop. Keep your eyes out for Sanford rocks along the way. These painted rocks can be hidden just about anywhere; they’re so popular they have their own Facebook group.
12. Mills 50 Self-Guided Mural Tour
If you find yourself in Orlando’s artsy and foodie-friendly Mills 50 district, chances are you’re within walking distance of one of the district’s colorful wall murals. Set out on foot or on a bike and go mural hunting. The district has a helpful listing of murals and locations to help you plan out a route. Or, follow our self-guided street art tour.
13. Mead Botanical Garden
Located in Winter Park, Mead Botanical Garden features hiking trails, boardwalks, a butterfly garden, biking paths, and dozens of picturesque settings for a romantic date day picnic. Plus, admission to the gardens is always free. The gardens connect to the Orlando Urban Trail, so bring along bikes and ride to downtown Orlando before returning to the gardens for lunch.
14. Kraft Azalea Garden
Another Winter Park gem, Kraft Azalea Garden is a local (and free!) public park treasure situated on the shore of Lake Maitland. The 5.22-acre park boasts waterfront views, winding paths, benches, and cypress trees. Admission is free, proving that you don’t need a huge budget for date night in Winter Park.
15. Moonlight Walking Tour of Greenwood Cemetery
While it’s hard to believe these always-popular guided moonlight tours are free, we certainly aren’t complaining! Every month, the City of Orlando offers guided moonlight history walking tours of Greenwood Cemetery. The tour weaves through the 1,000-acre cemetery, briefly visiting the graves of around 100 important figures in Orlando’s history. The tours are offered once a month, and registration opens on Eventbrite one week prior to the scheduled tour date. Tickets go incredibly fast, so be sure to set a reminder on your calendar to RSVP the day registration opens. Here are some additional free walking tours to try for date night.
16. Orlando Critical Mass
Meet other members of the community and gain confidence riding your bike on the street during this fun monthly bike ride. You can cruise the streets of downtown Orlando with Orlando Critical Mass on the last Friday of each month. Rides usually begin at Loch Haven Park between 5-6pm. Read our list of bike-friendly dates in Orlando for more ideas.
17. Orlando Urban Trail
The Orlando Urban Trail is an excellent (and safe) way to get to several city hotspots including Ivanhoe Village and the Mills 50 district, both of which offer numerous date night activities. The nearly 3-mile Orlando Urban Trail begins in Ivanhoe Village, snakes through the Mills 50 area, and connects by way of a street route all the way to Mead Garden in Winter Park, weaving alongside lakes and passing through cultural hot spots. Consider walking, biking, or skating along the trail while seeing the city in a whole new light.
18. West Orange Trail
Another favorite trail among cyclists, runners, and walkers, the West Orange Trail extends 20.8 miles from Winter Garden to Apopka. Park your car at West Orange Trail Bikes & Blades, then bike, walk, or skate along the paved rail-trail until you make it to Winter Garden. Along the way, you’ll pass a butterfly garden, nature preserve, and the small town of Oakland before arriving in downtown Winter Garden, where you can rest and relax at Plant Street Market.
19. 3rd Thursday Gallery Hop
Celebrate art and community while enjoying free admission to some of downtown Orlando’s best art galleries during the monthly 3rd Thursday Gallery Hop. Canvs, CityArts Factory, The Gallery at Avalon Island, Grand Bohemian Gallery, and the Terrace Gallery/City Hall are just a few of the participating galleries you’ll visit.
20. See Art Orlando Self-Guided Tour
Wandering through downtown Orlando, you’ve liked spotted a few of the installation art pieces dotting Lake Eola Park and the surrounding areas. Chances are, those pieces are part of the See Art Orlando Public Sculpture Community Project. The best way to experience the art is by downloading the free map online and embarking on the self-guided tour. The descriptions in the guide give you additional insight and information on each piece.
21. Functionally Literate
This local literary reading series hosted by Burrow Press connects visiting and local authors with the community through a series of free literary events. Functionally Literate events occur quarterly and are usually free to attend.
22. Nerd Nite Orlando
Held on the second Thursday of each month, Nerd Nite Orlando invites attendees to Stardust Video & Coffee for a night of drinking and thinking. This free to attend event includes three 15-20 minute presentations from a variety of local speakers dishing on what they “nerd out” about. Know before you go: there’s an option to purchase a $5 ticket, but it’s not required, and although the doors open at 6pm, the talks don’t kick off until around 7pm. Check Nerd Nite’s Facebook page for details on upcoming events.
23. Bar Trivia
Inject a bit of healthy competition into date night by playing bar trivia. We love Earth Trivia, which you can catch at various venues in Orlando throughout the week.
24. Music at the Casa
Casa Feliz was once a private residence built by James Gamble Rodgers II, a notable architect in Winter Park’s history. Today, it stands as a historical home museum open several days a week. Visit between noon and 3pm on Sundays for Music at the Casa, a free open house with live music. Guided docent tours are also available.
25. Orlando Public Library
Did you know the Orange County Library System hosts free classes and events at various branches throughout Orlando? There are hundreds of events to choose from at the Orlando Public Library downtown, from Cuisine Corner cooking classes to arts and crafts. Some events require a library card in order to register.
26. Pack a Picnic
Orlando is home to dozens of scenic parks perfect for a picnic date night. Some of our local favorites include Central Park in Winter Park, Lake Lily Park, and Kissimmee Lakefront Park, among others.
27. Orlando Brewing Brewery Tour
Orlando Brewing got its start in 2006 as one of Orlando’s first craft breweries and has since grown into a local favorite for quality, organic beer. In fact, it’s the only USDA certified organic brewery in the state of Florida. Get a behind-the-scenes glance at the brewery operation by taking the free brewery tour offered Monday – Saturday at 6pm. Just check in with a server when you arrive to obtain a ticket. And PS — the brewery is dog-friendly inside and out.
28. Adopt a Dog for the Day
Are you and your boo dog lovers but can’t afford to have a furry friend of your own just yet? Local rescue Pet Rescue by Judy has a Dog 4 a Day program in which you can adopt a dog for the day. Take your pup back to your place for couch snuggles while you watch a movie, go out for a hike, or visit a dog-friendly establishment around town. There is no fee to participate in this program, but the rescue appreciates photos and a report on the dog. Just fill out the application online to get started.
29. Seminole State Planetarium Star Parties
For a totally stellar date night, don’t miss out on Seminole State Planetarium’s incredible star parties. These periodic events invite the public to the planetarium for an evening of telescope observations, planetarium dome shows, speaker presentations, and more. Follow the planetarium’s Facebook page for details on upcoming events.
30. Baldwin Park First Friday Festival
Admire the artwork of more than 70 artisans each month during Baldwin Park’s First Friday Festival, a free sidewalk festival held monthly along New Broad Street. Events are both family and pet-friendly.
31. Museum Day Live!
While this annual event hosted by Smithsonian Magazine only happens once a year, it’s worth mentioning, especially since several Orlando museums participate. Held annually in September, Museum Day Live! grants you free admission for two to museums throughout the country. Past participating museums in Orlando include the Orange County Regional History Museum, Orlando Museum of Art, and The Mennello Museum of American Art.
32. Quantum Leap Winery
Florida’s only sustainable winery, Quantum Leap Winery, is located right here in Orlando’s Mills 50 district. Take a free tour of this environmentally-friendly winery by visiting during open tasting room hours (Tuesday-Saturday 12-8pm) and requesting a winery tour.
33. Lakeridge Winery
Florida has some wonderful wineries to sip and savor, Lakeridge Winery among them. This local winery in Clermont boasts a full lineup of festivals in addition to free wine tours and tastings seven days a week. Tours typically last around 45 minutes. You’ll love the stunning estate, set on a beautiful 127-acre property.
34. Disc Golf at Barnett Park
Looking for a new sport to try together? Give disc golf (also known as frisbee golf) a try. The Orlando Disc Golf club hosts meetups and championships, or you can give the sport a whirl on your own by visiting Barnett Park, which features an 18-hole course.
CityArts is a gallery collective in downtown Orlando housing six unique galleries with regularly rotating exhibits. During this artsy date, you’ll have the chance to view works from local and international artists in the inviting space free of charge Tuesday-Sunday from 11am-6pm.
36. Disney Springs
A Disney date night can be just as fun outside of the theme parks. Disney Springs is a mega outdoor complex featuring endless dining, entertainment, and shopping venues to explore. But visiting Disney Springs is just as fun without spending a dime. Bring along some water and snacks, people watch, window shop, and stop to listen to one of the live performers for a fun and free afternoon. Parking is free, too!
37. Old Town Kissimmee
Sure, it’s touristy, but it’s also free to explore so why not give it a try? Visit Old Town in Kissimmee on a Sunday evening for a free outdoor movie, or visit on Friday or Saturday for muscle car and classic car shows and cruises.
38. Jack Kerouac House
Once the home of author Jack Kerouac, this cottage home in College Park (now called the Kerouac House) was refurbished and now houses writers-in-residence. The house is open to the public during select events, including readings (most of which are free and BYOB) from the current writer in residence.
39. Cranes Roost Park
Sunset views, outdoor festivals, and free outdoor movies are just a few of the activities held at Cranes Roost Park in Altamonte Springs. The park reopened in 2016 after undergoing some major improvements and is now better than ever. Up the romance factor by taking a walk along the one-mile long boardwalk at sunset.
40. Casselberry Art and Music in the Park
Food trucks, live music, and artisan goods comprise Casselberry Art and Music in the Park, a monthly community event held at Lake Concord Park. Expect to find around 12 food trucks from the Food Truck Bazaar along with over 20 local businesses and artisans. There’s no cost to peruse the local goods on display while listening to the live entertainment. Events are held on the second Friday of each month from 6-9pm.
41. Movie Mondays at Á La Cart
This new mini food truck park and craft beer bar in The Milk District screens some of the best free outdoor movies in town. Catch a fun flick every Monday evening; the movie schedule is available here. Seating is limited, so bring your own blanket or folding chair to enjoy the show. If you get hungry, there are a handful of food trucks on site.
42. Harry P. Leu Gardens (First Monday)
Regular admission to Leu Gardens is $10, but visit on the first Monday of most (not all) months and you’ll get in for free! Once inside, stroll the lush themed gardens and tour the historic Leu House Museum. Explore the rose garden, palms, lake overlook, butterfly garden, and more throughout the 50+ acre property. Check this page for details on current free admission days.
43. Austin’s Coffee
Austin’s Coffee is more than just a coffee shop – it’s a community hub for live entertainment, relaxing, dining, and caffeinating. Open 24 hours, you can get your fix at 1am or 1pm, but we suggest visiting during one of the free weekly evening events like Jazz Jamz, Open Mic Comedy, and Open Mic Poetry.
44. Check out the Evening Exchange at East End Market
Every month, dozens of local makers gather at East End Market for the new Evening Exchange. This monthly nighttime market features local craft vendors, specialty bars and cocktails, food trucks, and all the East End Market vendors you know and love. There are also hands-on workshops covering a variety of topics. It’s free to attend the event and browse, but workshops and food/drinks are an additional cost.
With so many fantastic non-profit organizations right here in Orlando, you can make a direct impact on our local community by having a volunteering date night. Volunteering is a great way to connect with your partner while also doing good and helping those in need. Best of all, it’s free!
46. Fleet Farming Swarm Rides
Combine your free date night with giving back to the community by joining Fleet Farming, our local urban farming program, on one of their monthly swarm rides. This pedal-powered team hops on their bicycles to tend to yards throughout the Audubon Park community which have been transformed into mini food-producing farms, aka farmlettes. You can join the cause and do good twice a month – all you need is a bike, closed toe shoes, a snack, and sun protection to participate.
47. Saturday Serenade at East End Market
East End Market features an array of local vendors selling everything from gourmet cheese to craft beer, gigantic gooey cookies, and local coffee. Outside the market, you’ll find one of Orlando’s best patios, complete with free live music most Saturday afternoons between 2-5pm.
48. Trivia at Bikes Beans Bordeaux
Bikes Beans & Bordeaux is a neighborhood bicycle-themed cafe in Audubon Park popular with cyclists and foodies alike. There’s a special almost every day of the week ($3 mimosas, anyone?) in addition to a packed events calendar. Visit on a Monday around 6:30pm for weekly Curtis Earth Trivia.
49. Stand-Up Comedy at Drunken Monkey
You don’t need to spend a dime in order to see a live comedy show in Orlando. Just head to Drunken Monkey Coffee Bar every Friday and Saturday evening at 8:30pm for the free show, usually featuring around 10-15 comics. Friday nights are showcase nights and Saturdays are open-mic.
50. Dinky Dock
You don’t need to embark on a road trip in order to spend a day at the beach; we’ve got a “beach” of our own just a short car ride away in Winter Park. Dinky Dock is a 1.5-acre park complete with a swimming area, grills, docks, and picnic tables. Pack your swimsuit and lunch and make a day of it.
51. Hike Lake Lotus Park
As the weather cools down, nothing beats an afternoon spent outdoors. Head to Lake Lotus Park in Altamonte Springs for a walk along the 1.7-mile trail, spotting wildlife and visiting the wildlife exhibit along the way. The park is open Thursday-Sunday from 8:30am-5:30pm.
52. Ten10 Run Club
Love running and beer? Join the Ten10 Run Club at Ten10 Brewing Company for a free weekly night run. This group of running enthusiasts meets at the brewery every Tuesday night at 6:30pm. There are several routes to choose from including a 2-mile, 5k, and 10k loop. All abilities and pace levels are welcome.
53. Visit Celebration
There are loads of ways to do date night in Celebration, but for totally free fun, set out and explore the waterfront walking paths or line up your visit with one of the community’s monthly or annual events. Car shows, Oktoberfest, the weekend farmer’s market, and nightly “snowfall” during the holidays all offer endless entertainment.
54. Orlando Farmer’s Market
Visit Lake Eola on a Sunday afternoon and immerse yourself in one of the city’s best free weekly events. After walking around the lake, head to the weekly Orlando Farmer’s Market where you’ll find produce, food, and beverage along with dozens of artisan vendors. Catch the market on Sundays from 10am-4pm.
55. Historic Downtown Winter Park Walking Tour
You don’t need to spend a lot of money to enjoy a date night in Winter Park. Partake in totally free fun (and get in a little exercise) by visiting all 20+ sites on the self-guided historical walking tour of Winter Park. You can download the map online and save it to your phone or visit the Winter Park Historical Museum to pick up a free walking map brochure.
56. St. Anne Shrine in Lake Wales
Interesting Florida ruins are just a short road trip away at the St. Anne Shrine in Lake Wales. The shrine, built in 1920, is a shadow of its former self, but the altar and several surrounding stone structures still remain and are free to explore.
57. Check out the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive
Love nature? Hop in the car and take your time driving along the 11-mile Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive. This one-way drive through a stunning habitat is a haven for birds and other Florida wildlife, including alligators. One of our readers, Joe, suggests going early in the morning and then stopping for breakfast at Mary’s County Kitchen. There is no cost to enter and the drive is open Fridays – Sundays from sunrise to just before sunset. Plan to spend about an hour on the drive. Check out the official website for a map and guided audio tour.
58. WineART Wednesdays in Lake Mary
Head north of Orlando on the first Wednesday of each month for WineART Wednesdays in Lake Mary. This free community event in the Downtown Lake Mary District features live music, dozens of artists and merchants, food trucks, and a beer & wine garden. Food and drink are extra, but the rest of the event is totally free.
59. Train Shots at The Hammered Lamb
We admit this one isn’t totally free–if you’re planning on hanging out in this Ivanhoe Village pub you’ll probably be ordering a drink or two. Visit The Hammered Lamb during happy hour when select drinks are just $2-$4 each and stick around for one of the pub’s famous train shots. Everyone in the bar gets a free shot each time a train goes by.
60. Lake Eola Park
Located in the heart of downtown Orlando, visiting Lake Eola Park just never gets old. Stroll around the 0.9-mile paved loop encircling the lake, wave hello to the resident swans, share a picnic lunch, watch the sunset, see an outdoor movie, and more; the options for a free date night are endless.
61. Timucua Arts Foundation Free Concerts
With the mission of sharing and inspiring art and performance with the community, the Timucua Arts Foundation is a local non-profit that hosts regular concerts for the community. The events are free, although if you’re able to, there’s a suggested donation of $10-$20. Bring along a bottle of wine from home or food to share as well.
62. Sunset Cinema at Crane’s Roost Park
Adding to Orlando’s ever-growing roster of free outdoor movie venues, Crane’s Roost Park in Altamonte Springs hosts Sunset Cinema on select Saturdays. Check the calendar online for upcoming movies, then settle in on the lawn in front of the Plaza tower for the show.
63. Shuffleboard with Orlando Shuffle
Try something new on date night by playing shuffleboard with The Orlando Shuffle! They meet at the Beardall courts (800 Delaney Abe.) on the first and third Saturday of each month from 7-9pm for free fun.
64. Historic Downtown Orlando Walking Tour
Get familiar with Orlando’s past by visiting and learning about significant buildings in the Downtown Historic District. Guided tours are offered by Historic Preservation Officer Richard Forbes once a month, or you can download the tour map and information and visit each stop on a self-guided tour.
65. Disney Springs Water Transportation
Need a break from walking around Disney Springs? Hop aboard the free water taxis (there are 3 boat launches in Disney Springs) and enjoy a ride to select Disney resorts on the water taxi route.
66. Animal Kingdom Lodge
Home to more than 30 species of exotic animals, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is a stunning resort worth visiting even as a non-guest. WDW Prep School has a great guide to touring this resort and other Disney properties to help you plan. FYI: your best bet for parking at any resort as a non-guest is to have a dining reservation scheduled. Call ahead if you’re unsure.
67. DIY Campus Tour at Rollins College
Situated near the shore of Lake Virginia, Rollins College in Winter Park is a beautiful campus just waiting to be explored on a DIY campus tour. Meander through campus with the free Historic Campus Tour as your guide, which contains a numbered map of the campus in addition to videos and more information on each stop.
68. Geocaching at UCF Arboretum
The UCF Arboretum features 82-acres of native plant life and several nature trails, as well as 6 hidden caches for you to find. The difficulty level is on the easier side making the area ideal for first-time geocachers.
69. Seminole Wekiva Trail
This scenic paved rail-trail in Seminole County features a 14-mile long trail as well as several trailheads with amenities. The Seminole Wekiva Trail is also one of the county’s showcase trails. Consider exploring the first seven miles of the trail by bike, cruising along the shaded path through quiet neighborhoods.
70. Cady Way Trail
Linking Orlando to Winter Park, and joining with the Cross Seminole Trail, the Cady Way Trail is a 7-mile trail ideal for a bike ride with your partner. The trail also runs past Lake Baldwin, a great spot to stop for a picnic.
71. Winter Park Farmer’s Market
Find the Winter Park Farmer’s Market setting up shop in an old train depot on Saturdays from 7am-1pm. The market takes place just off Park Avenue, which is a great place to walk around together after browsing the local goods.
72. Grand Bohemian Gallery
We’ve got not one, but two Grand Bohemian Gallery locations in Central Florida: downtown Orlando at the Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando, and in Celebration at the Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando. The galleries are both free to explore. Downtown, the gallery is open seven days a week, but you’ll need to contact the front desk prior to your visit for information on the Celebration gallery.
73. Disney’s BoardWalk
Like Disney Springs, Disney’s BoardWalk is a walkable hub for dining, entertainment, and more. During non-peak times, you should be able to park on the property for free without a dining reservation. Once on the boardwalk, catch live performers and games. If you visit in the evening, stick around for a decent vantage point on the Magic Kingdom fireworks.
74. Free Family Fun Day at Mennello Museum
Head to the Mennello Museum on the second Sunday of each month for free admission, free docent tours, and free art activities during Free Family Fun Day. Each month is themed around the current art exhibition at the museum.
75. Spend the Day in Winter Garden
Downtown Winter Garden is ideal for a totally free day outside of Orlando. Stroll Plant Street perusing the shops, take a walk along the West Orange Trail, or attend one of the numerous free events. Fridays on the Plaza features free live music every Friday evening from 7-9pm. A few other favorites include the Saturday Winter Garden Farmer’s Market and seasonal events like the Summer Sidewalk Sale.