Orange County Local Wanderer

Driving down Princeton or along the beautiful park lanes in Winter Park, you’ve probably noticed the many art museums and history centers offered within Orange County, but I bet you never stepped foot into half of them! With the Orange County Library Card, you can now visit over a dozen interesting places for FREE with their Local Wanderer Program

This “Local Wanderer” program is increasing exposure to our local museum and arts halls by offering library card holders free admission once a year to each venue. That’s right, take a date to a local museum for FREE… with a little know how and advanced planning. Let us show you how!

Mennello Museum of American Art – Image by Terri Peters

Which Organizations Participate in 2024

Other Organizations Listed

These organizations show up on the “Register for a Pass” list but are not listed as one of the primary participating organizations.

Ad for Orlando World Center

Organization Details

Sound like a lot of history and education and not really a good date night location? Think again. These quaint museums or powerhouse showcases offer great pre-dinner conversation on date one or date twenty-one. Book your pass in advance (more on that below) and discover the interesting history of the Central Florida Railroad, or multiple heritage and history centers showcasing photos and artifacts from Orlando’s past.

Perhaps a romantic stroll is more in order, in which case walk through the sculpture garden at Mennello then along to the neighboring lake. Maybe Winter Garden’s heritage museum followed by a Plant Street Market stroll is in line, see the birds of prey at the Audubon Center or walk through the lush and lovely Leu Gardens or the Central Florida Zoo.

Leu Gardens
Photo credit: Instagrammer @csterlingphoto

For some of the offerings from musical and theater productions, individual shows will be listed on the “Request a Pass” page. For instance, at time of writing the list displayed offerings for “Casanova” from the Orlando Ballet, the “Pops Series” from the Orlando Philharmonic, “Ain’t Misbehavin’” and “Othello” from Orlando Shakes and more. Great for a full date night of fun (paired with wonderful nearby dinner options in Audubon Park and College Park), it’s a guaranteed slam dunk for a good time.

Having the local wanderer pass brings the community closer to the arts than ever, and for free, you simply can’t beat that.

How Do You Register For a Pass?

Head to the Request Passes website to view available slots for certain dates and locations. In my searches, I find they are almost all booked (for the top destinations) but many of the smaller museums are not. 

Before selecting ‘Request Pass’ for an available slot, click on the link for the location information. It will tell you how many people you can get free admission for, and how long you have to use the pass. See something you like but don’t have your partner date scheduled yet? It’s ok! In many instances you can reserve the pass and then use it within 14 days of the date chosen. 

Yoga in the Galleries at Orlando Museum of Art
Image credit: Orlando Museum of Art

Also, you can learn about the museum offerings in the same manner, so click around and discover what Orlando has to offer!

Pro tip: book as far in advance as possible and keep in mind you may only reserve ONCE per venue/organization per calendar year. I.e. don’t hesitate if you see something on the calendar that you like!

Other Amazing Ways to Leverage Your Orange County Library Card

You’ve probably heard of there being classes, but they vary wildly by location. Downtown discover countless technical workshops at the Melrose Center, in Fairview Shores (a nice alternative for the College Park crowd), discover language learning, tech classes, and some super nerdy things too.

I've already signed myself up for a Canva class and my daughter for multiple family-friendly events. My husband is geeking out over the video production classes, D&D for grown man-babies, and soldering tutorials. There's even a kung fu show coming up downtown. 

Beyond the classes, you can check out books, DVDs, CDs, magazines, and from their “library of things” you can even check out blood pressure monitors, crochet kits, and more. 

I feel like my social calendar has just expanded by signing up for a library card. Fill the doldrum days with hours at your local library, and add this to your list of free and fun things to do in Orlando for your next date night!