Art in Orlando: Must-Have Experiences for Couples

In addition to the theme parks and blossoming food scene, Orlando also boasts a thriving arts community. Annual events like the Orlando Fringe Festival and Immerse are paired up with unique venues, art workshops, museum happenings, and stellar performances. Each offers a wonderful opportunity for a date night that will enrich your mind (and your relationship!) Explore the arts in Orlando and spark dialogue and introduce yourselves to our incredible local talent.

Updated July 2024 by Meghan Roth

10 Must-Have Art and Performance Experiences in Orlando

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  1. Orlando Museum of Art
  2. Enzian Theater
  3. The Dirty Pour Project
  4. Sak Comedy Lab
  5. Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
  6. Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
  7. Orlando Shakespeare Theater
  8. Orlando Fringe Festival
  9. Florida Film Festival
  10. Creative City Project

Year-Round Arts in Orlando

Orlando Museum of Art

2416 N Mills Ave, Orlando, FL 32803

Heading to the nearest museum is a no-brainer for a budget-friendly date night. However, if you’re willing to invest a few more dollars, you can experience the Orlando Museum of Art in interactive and unexpected ways. In addition to the curated galleries and rotating exhibitions, there are monthly events at Orlando Museum of Art including the Art Night Out.

The Art Night Out program for adults follows similar events for adults done in the past. Bring a date or come alone and meet new friends! Each exciting evening features a different theme. Work alongside an art teacher to create your own masterpiece. Class price includes all materials. Tickets are $32.

Access for All at OMA: Access for All at OMA is a monthly free day dedicated to the community. On the third Thursday of each month, OMA extends its hours from 10 AM to 8 PM, offering free admission to all visitors. Each event will feature live performances, educational experiences, and more! Sketching materials will be available to visitors between 5 pm and 7 pm, and a docent-led highlights tour will be held at 7 pm.

1st Thursdays at the Orlando Museum of Art
1st Thursdays. Image credit: Orlando Museum of Art

Enzian Theater

1300 Orlando Ave, Maitland, FL 32751

A well-known and loved movie theater among locals, Enzian is hardly a hidden gem. But it is a gem for date night and a definite must do, preferably more than once. Enzian is not the place to go to catch the latest blockbuster; the non-profit theater screens classic and independent films.

It is, however, a place to go in order to expand your mind, experience new films you may never have known about otherwise, and immerse yourself in a creative, inviting environment, unlike any other movie theater you’ve ever visited.

Inside the theater, there’s tons of plush, retro-inspired seating. And, bonus: it’s a dine-in theater! Outside, Eden Bar is one of Orlando’s best outdoor spaces for grabbing a bite and cocktail before or after the show. (And the bartenders make a mean mojito.) Check the theater’s website for upcoming films, cult classics, special programs, parties, and more.

Film buffs won’t want to miss the annual Florida Film Festival.

Image credit: Enzian Theater

The Dirty Pour Project

Held at different breweries and other venues around Orlando, pour parties are perfect for date night, a solo night out, girls’ night, and everything in between. The painting method taught in each class is fluid painting, a method in which you mix and layer paints (thinned with water and pouring medium and blended with silicone) and dump them onto the canvas in order to create a truly original work of art.

To newcomers, the result is unpredictable, and that’s what makes it so fun. Coordinate color selections with your date to make two complimentary paintings or unleash your creativity to create distinct paintings. Public pour parties are usually held monthly, but check Facebook for details and upcoming events.

Fluid paintings in progress during The Dirty Pour Project pour party at Orlando Brewing

Similarly, Abstract Orlando is another great date idea involving the arts in Orlando. This fluid art class in Orlando is a fun experience for couples, friends, or family. And its location on International Drive makes it a fun destination.

Also, Pinspiration is a painting and arts company with multiple locations around Orlando. A variety of experiences are offered including Pinspiration private sessions for date night.


 If you enjoy the arts, you may want to consider a membership or annual pass at a variety of Orlando venues.


SAK Comedy Lab

55 W Church St Suite 211, Orlando, FL 32801

Prepare to be entertained at SAK Comedy Lab. Located amidst the excitement of downtown Orlando, SAK is the place to be for a night of laughter and fun with your date.

SAK’s oldest and signature show, Duel of Fools, takes place every weekend featuring two teams of improvisers and audience judges. The audience helps dictate the direction of each show with the actors onstage improvising characters, songs, and scenes along the way.

Shows are $20, and Florida residents get a discount. You can save money by attending a showcase performance. Each features SAK class graduates showing off what they’ve learned in improv training school.

SAK Comedy Lab

SAK Comedy Lab is one of our picks for budget-friendly downtown Orlando date ideas.

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

445 S Magnolia Ave, Orlando, FL 32801

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, opened its doors in late 2014. Even from the outside, the multi-story space is a sight to behold. The event and performance lineup includes a host of Broadway in Orlando musicals, ballet performances, concerts, entertainers, and more.

Before the show, plan a date night meal at a nearby swanky restaurant, like Kres Chophouse or The Boheme. Arrive early to relax a bit and enjoy the stunning grand lobby space before the theater doors open.

Exterior of the Dr. Phillips Center Downtown Orlando
Dr. Phillips Center Downtown Orlando – Beth Bell

If you want to see what’s happening in the local art scene right in our backyard, the 3rd Thursday Gallery Hop is the place to be. The monthly event hosted by the Downtown Arts District grants you access to multiple local gallery spaces including CityArts Factory, Grand Bohemian Gallery, and many more.

Almost all of the galleries are within easy walking distance of one another, so wear comfy shoes and set out to explore at your leisure. The free event is from 6-9pm on the 3rd Thursday of each month. Keep up with Downtown Arts District on Facebook for upcoming event details and gallery locations.

Image credit: 3rd Thursday Gallery Hop in Downtown Orlando

Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

445 N Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789

Nothing comforts quite like an art museum on a rainy day, or an afternoon when you just want to escape for a while. Hiding in plain sight on a quieter corner of Park Avenue in Winter Park is The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art.

The museum’s founder, Jeanette Genius McKean, along with her husband, Hugh F. McKean, grew the collection and furthered the museum’s mission of making art accessible to everyone. Inside, you’ll find a stunning and diverse collection of work by Louis Comfort Tiffany alongside paintings, sculpture, and more by American artists.

The chapel interior designed by Tiffany features both stained glass and glass tiles for an impressive display of art and attention to detail. The quiet, peaceful space is the ideal place to pause for a moment and sit with your beau as you watch the lighting change every few minutes to mimic different times of the day.

Admission to the museum is normally $6, but on Friday evenings November-April from 4-8pm, admission is free.

The museum also hosts family events periodically.

Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
Chapel Interior at the Morse Museum

Orlando Shakespeare Theater

812 E Rollins St, Orlando, FL 32803

The Orlando Shakespeare Theater, aka Orlando Shakes, is a mainstay of the local arts community. Featuring multiple shows throughout the year including Shakespeare’s works interspersed with new plays, the theater remains committed to honoring the legacy of William Shakespeare and producing top-notch quality performances.

The theater is located within Loch Haven Park, just a stone’s throw from Orlando’s vibrant and artsy Mills 50 district. The cultural park also houses the Orlando Science Center, Orlando Museum of Art, Mennello Museum of American Art, Orlando Repertory Theater, and Orlando Ballet, so consider visiting multiple museums while you’re in the area.

More Year-Round Ideas:

  • Timucua Arts Foundation White House
  • Gallery CERO at Wekiva Island
  • Mennello Museum of American Art
  • Faith Arts Village Orlando
  • Maitland Art Center
  • Fringe ArtSpace
  • Orlando Ballet
  • Opera Orlando

Another great museum to check out is in Maitland. A&H’s Maitland Art Center was founded as an art colony in 1937 by visionary American artist and architect, André Smith (1880-1959). It's actually a national landmark! How cool is that?!

Seasonal Programs for the Arts in Orlando

CREATIVE CITY PROJECT

Creative City Project, is nearing its tenth year in existence. With a mission to make Orlando the premier destination for performance and installation artists from all over the world, Creative City Project creates pop-up performances and art installations around Orlando. There are annual events as well as new events each year. Here are some of the highlights.

Wavelength
Saturday, August 17, 2 shows, 5:30 PM and 8:00 PM
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
Part concert, part multimedia visual art exhibition, this night will be an artistically designed visual landscape for a thrilling, multi-sensory show fused with 40 professional musicians. Musicians are positioned throughout the hall, creating a unique concert experience with:

  • 20 of Orlando’s best acapella vocalists
  • Live band
  • Orchestral Ensemble
  • Brass Ensemble
  • Percussion Ensemble

Dazzling Nights Presented by AdventHealth
November 17, 2023 – January 5, 2024
Harry P. Leu Gardens
Back for its fourth year and bigger and more interactive than ever! Orlando’s 50-acre Harry P. Leu Gardens transforms once again into a stunning winter wonderland featuring a million dazzling lights, shining forests, magical displays, music and beautiful sculptures during “Dazzling Nights” – a family-friendly adventure that gives guests the opportunity to embark on an unforgettable, interactive holiday experience.

This year’s favorite annual tradition features the return of popular immersive environments, plus, a brand-new, large-scale light show.  Elements include hundreds of hanging Moroccan lanterns, interactive pads that light up when guests jump on them, a forest with thousands of laser beams, a brand-new light show with 100, 10’ light tubes synced to music, a 30’ tree in splendid, shimmering gold, upgraded food and drinks, and, of course, snow.

The Carnival – Where Orchestra Meets Circus
August 2024 TBA
Following the success of 2022’s “The Seasons,” Creative City Project and Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra present this brand-new collaboration. The concert features the music of French composer Camille Saint-Saëns’ “The Carnival of the Animals.” Alongside the orchestral ensemble, Creative City Project curates a fantastical environment with high-energy acrobatic performances.

Location: To be announced

Happy Frights
Select dates between September 27 and October 31
Harry P. Leu Gardens, 1920 N. Forest Avenue, Orlando, FL 32803
Gather the entire family for a fun, family-friendly Halloween adventure throughout Orlando’s Leu Gardens featuring exciting immersive worlds, live characters, food and trick-or-treating.
Guests will meet a dancing bridge-troll, walk through a garden of sunflowers, explore a neon-light maze, climb up a giant hay-pyramid, celebrate Dia de Muertos and so much more – all while visiting nine trick-or-treat stations along the way.

This thematic experience starts off family-friendly during the early evening then transforms into something a little more spooky for adults later on in the night.
Keep reading for details…

Haunting Nights
Select dates between September 27 and October 31
Harry P. Leu Gardens, 1920 N. Forest Avenue, Orlando, FL 32803
Creative City Project brings to life an artful, exciting Halloween experience in the forests of Leu Gardens featuring immersive worlds, fun fall-inspired encounters and a few jump scares, plus fantastic seasonal food and drinks.
Guests will be welcomed by a 10’ tall jack-o-lantern, make their way past the bridge troll and into the forest of eyes, walk through a garden of sunflowers, journey through a neon-light maze, climb up a giant hay-pyramid, meet La Catrina in the Dia de Muertos world, and so much more.

Florida Film Festival

The Florida Film Festival usually lasts 10 days all centered around unforgettable films, shorts, scrumptious food and drink, and fabulous parties. This incredible festival usually takes place in April each year. The Enzian Theaters acts as the main venue for the festival, but a few other local spots get into the action too. To get a taste, check out our Couple’s Guide to the Florida Film Festival.

Inside the Enzian Theater with a Florida Film Festival 2022 guide placed on a table facing the movie screen
Florida Film Festival 2022 inside Enzian Theater in Orlando – Dani Meyering

Orlando Fringe Festival

Perhaps the greatest example of the arts in Orlando is the Orlando Fringe Festival. Throughout the world, fringe festivals are held, and Orlando is home to the longest-running fringe theater in the world! That proves just how strong the arts are in the City Beautiful.

This multi-day festival takes place in multiple venues around Orlando. The main hub is Loch Haven Park which itself is a beautiful destination any time of the year. Live performances and other artful experiences run throughout the Orlando Fringe Festival which usually takes place in May every year.

Keep up with monthly date ideas and the Best Things to do in Orlando each month.