Things to do in Downtown Orlando

It's easy to get stuck in the same ol' dinner and a movie rut when it comes to planning your weekly date, but our city is bustling with events, activities, specials, and other great opportunities for an out-of-the-ordinary date night. Orlando may be sprawling and full of unique neighborhoods to explore, but don't overlook these things to do in downtown Orlando.

We've compiled a list of 35 date ideas with everything from trivia night to improv comedy to dinner deals, and it's all happening right here in the heart of downtown Orlando. And keep reading to find out about the new FREE parking program!

You can also explore our favorite Downtown Orlando restaurants.

Amber Brooke Farms Blueberry Festival

Updated March 2024 by Meghan Roth

Downtown Orlando for Date Night

1. Escape from The Great Escape Room
Escape room games are all the rage right now in Orlando and make for a memorable and unconventional night out. You'll have 60 minutes to escape the locked room by solving puzzles, finding clues, and working together to escape and crack the code to the locked room. If this kind of date night is your thing then check out other Orlando escape rooms.

2. See an improv show at SAK Comedy Lab
Couples who laugh together stay together. Improv shows happen nightly but make sure to check out Duel of Fool's, the signature Improv show. A full listing of shows can be found on the SAK website. (FYI – SAK is moving to Church Street!)

3. Explore Orlando's art galleries
There are endless places to explore the arts downtown including CityArts Factory, Snap!, and many more. Oh, and let's not forget the Third Thursday Gallery Hop!

4. Bike around town
Get fit while sightseeing together! Instead of driving around, rent bikes at one of the many Lime Bikes stations located throughout downtown Orlando.

5. Do a happy hour pub crawl
Instead of settling on one restaurant for date night, head downtown for happy hour and explore a few local options. Some of our local happy hour favorites include The Stubborn Mule and Eola Wine Company.

RELATED: Unique Bars in Orlando

6. Paddle around Lake Eola in a swan boat
The swan paddle boats are a fixture of Lake Eola park and make for the perfect leisurely afternoon activity.
Rentals are $15 per half hour and no reservations are needed.

7. Attend Thornton Park's Monthly Wine & Art Walk
Featuring live music, art, DJs, and wine pours at local businesses, this Thornton Park District event takes place the 2nd Thursday of each month and is not to be missed. After getting your map and glass for $15, wander around indulging your senses and taste-testing to your heart's content.

8. Zen Out at Sunday Yoga in the Park
Work off those carbs from brunch at this fun community yoga event that takes place every Sunday at 11am. Bring $10, your yoga mats, water, and a towel. Soak up the scenery of Lake Eola Park while perfecting your down dog and chaturanga as a team.

***We've reached out to confirm this event is still taking place. The Facebook page has not been active since 2022***

9. Munch through the Sunday Farmer's Market at Lake Eola Park
This weekly farmer's market has much more to offer than fresh fruits and veggies including local food and art vendors. Don't miss the fresh coconut stand! This event pairs perfectly with a Sunday brunch nearby.

Coffee and Pastry at Lake Eola Farmers' Market
Coffee and Pastry at Lake Eola Farmers' Market – Jodi Caballero

10. Catch a show at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
If you have yet to visit the Dr. Phillips Center, it's time to put on your date night best and enjoy a show together. Stop at a nearby restaurant, like Kres Chophouse, before the show to complete your fancy night out. Here's our guide to making the best out of a Dr. Phillips Center Date Night.

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

11. Watch an outdoor movie during MoviEola
Grab a picnic basket, chairs, and a blanket and head to Lake Eola Park for this outdoor movie event. Movies are shown the last Friday of each month through May (and beyond – stay tuned for the fall schedule). The movie typically begins at 8:15pm, but the event officially begins at 6pm so feel free to arrive early.

12. Grab smoothie bowls at RAW Juicing and Detox
Have a healthy date night with an Instagram-ready smoothie bowl from RAW in Thornton Park. Options include acai, tropical, and more.

13. Play Bingo at Hamburger Mary's
Check out this local favorite and enjoy tasty food and over-the-top events.

14. Visit the Orange County Regional History Center
Spend the afternoon learning about Central Florida's history with exhibits exploring aviation, African-American history, our natural environment, theme parks, and more. Admission is $8. On the Third Thursday of each month, they offer free admission from 5 to 8 pm.

15. Book a spa day
There are several great spa locations to choose from downtown including Poseidon Spa at the Grand Bohemian and Allora Day Spa.

DISCOVER: Orlando's Best Spas for Couples

16. FREE Luminary Nights on the Green 

The City of Orlando has launched “Luminary Nights on the Green,” an awe-inspiring 20-minute show that transforms the iconic ORLANDO sign into a canvas of vibrant animations that move to the beat of music. From thunderstorms to world-class attractions, this show captures the essence of Orlando. And the best part? It's free and open to the public!

17. Celebrate Taco Tuesday
Get your fix at one of Orlando's many taco hotspots, like Tin & TacoGringos Locos, or Taco Kat.

RELATED: Taco Spots that will impress your date

18. Movie night at CMX Cinemas Plaza Café 12
Give movie night an upgrade by heading downtown to the Cinemas Plaza Cafe where you can enjoy plush seats, a full food menu, and beer/liquor bar in addition to your chosen flick.

19. Sip wine flights at Eola Wine Company
Flights each contain 4 wines and 10 different options are available ranging from $12-$18 per flight. A food menu (flatbreads, cheese boards, etc.) is also available.

20. Check out an event at Kia Center
Kia Center is downtown's hub for concerts, sporting events, and more. Attend an Orlando Magic or Orlando Solar Bears game in season, or check out other events.

21. “Speak easy” at Mather's Social Gathering
Featuring dapperly dressed bartenders, this stylish hideaway can be found on the third floor of a historic furniture store in downtown Orlando. Cocktails are made with boutique spirits, seasonal fruit, and house-made bitters, cordials, and syrups. Small plate appetizers are also available.

But proper attire is required for guests: No shorts, flip flops, or ball caps will make it past the doorman.

Gatsby in Orlando: Mather's Social Gathering
Image credit: Mathers Social Gathering

22. Enjoy Wine & a Charcuterie board at Bösendorfer Lounge
Lounge in style at the Grand Bohemian and sip wine while sharing the Bohemian Hunter's Board. Visit on Friday or Saturday nights for live soul and jazz music while dining and admire the swanky atmosphere.

23. Play a game of trivia
Check out trivia at one of downtown's hot spots such as: Gravity Taproom (Tuesdays at 7pm), Persimmon Hollow Brewing Company – Lake Eola (Wednesdays at 7pm), or Graffiti Junktion – Thornton Park (Wednesdays at 7pm).

24. See a live theater at Fringe ArtSpace
The new Fringe ArtSpace is a great budget alternative to the Dr. Phillips Center – enjoy theatre shows ranging from $27-$45.

25. Check out an event at The Abbey
There's always something going on at The Abbey, a theatre, lounge, bar, and event venue all in one. Check their website for fun events such as PJs and a movie night, sing-a-longs, movies out loud, and 80s night.

26. Book a staycation at a downtown Orlando hotel
Stay close to home while experiencing something new together. Options include The Grand BohemianAloftEO Inn and more.

27. Have a picnic in the park
For a budget-friendly date night, pack your own dinner and set up a blanket in Lake Eola Park. Visit before sunset for the most romantic ambiance and a beautiful view of the Lake Eola fountain. Make sure to check the events calendar before you go for any special events that may be happening in the park.

28. Go on a ghost adventure
American Ghost Adventures offers nightly ghost adventure tours downtown Orlando beginning at 8pm. Check their website for more information and rates.

Greenwood Cemetery moonlight walking tour
Greenwood Cemetery Tour | Image credit: Stephanie Patterson

29. Attend an event at the Orlando Public Library
Even if you aren't an avid reader, the library has a ton to offer, including: movie marathons, cooking classes, yoga, and more. Some events require advance registration with your library card, while others are open to the public. Here's a list of upcoming events for adults.

30. Visit Wells' Built Museum
The Wells’ Built Museum of African American History and Culture on South Street in Downtown Orlando is a historic hotel converted to a museum. The museum houses numerous exhibits and artifacts relating to many of the hotel’s famous guests which include singers, musicians, and sports stars as well as memorabilia related to the Civil Rights Movement.

31. View the City Beautiful from Above
Against the backdrop of boundless city views, visitors to the AC Marriott Hotel by Downtown Orlando's SkyBar rooftop terrace can enjoy Spanish-inspired tapas and bites, artisanal cocktails, and local craft brews from its 18th-floor perch.

Read more: Orlando's Best Rooftop Bars and Restaurants

32. Cheer on the Home Team
Whether you’re a sports fan or just want to mingle, don your best team-colored threads to one of Orlando’s biggest sporting events. You can watch an intense game of hockey and cheer on the Orlando Solar Bears or put on a jersey and root for the Orlando Magic at the Amway Center. Don’t miss one of Orlando’s lively soccer matches, where you can join a sea of locals dressed in purple, celebrating another Orlando City Soccer win at Camping World Stadium.

33. Take Your Date to New Heights
Blue Swan Boulders opened in Orlando’s Creative Village in 2020, bringing Orlando its premier climbing center. Bouldering is a unique challenge, a great workout, and an opportunity to push your limits – whether you’re brand new to climbing or have been at it for years. It requires no special equipment or previous experience, making it the perfect recreation activity for all ages and fitness levels.

34. Alice in Wonderland themed bar – High T
You have to see High T for yourself! This gorgeous bar is themed to Alice in Wonderland. The decor over beautiful and the drinks are expensive, but each one is handcrafted and served in its own specialty glassware. Be sure to dress up for this fancy adult tea party.

High T Alice in Wonderland Bar Downtown Orlando
High T Alice in Wonderland Bar Downtown Orlando – Dani Meyering

35. See a Show at Häos on Church
Located on Church Street in downtown Orlando, Häos on Church is a hybrid bar, restaurant, and performance venue perfect for date night. Shows upstairs run the gamut from cabaret and burlesque to dance and more. Downstairs, enjoy lively performances while you dine in the evening and during weekend brunch. FYI – there is an artist fee upon entry to help support the performers.

**Temporarily closed for renovations**

Things to do in Downtown Orlando
Photo credit: Stephanie Patterson

FREE PARKING

Now you can enjoy FREE parking at on-street metered and non-metered spaces, via the ParkMobile app. You can even complimentary valet at participating restaurants, while dining and shopping downtown thanks to the ParkDTO Program.