There is so much more to Orlando than Disney. If you search beyond the theme park district, you will discover plenty of cheap things to do with kids in Orlando. We’ve curated a long list of kids’ activities in Orlando that are free or cheap (less than $25 each).
Whether you are looking for playdate destinations with little ones or exciting adventures for older kids, we have plenty of ideas for fun and inexpensive things to do in Orlando.
ORLANDO ATTRACTIONS FOR KIDS & FAMILIES
- Gatorland provides affordable-priced family fun with thousands of alligators, crocodiles, an aviary, breeding marsh with observation tower, petting zoo, nature walk, educational wildlife programs and more.
- Central Florida Zoo is home to more than 500 animals and has a splash pad for your little ones to cool off after a day of animal adventures.
- Crayola Experience Orlando has more than 70,000 square feet of colorful hands-on activities for your kids to explore. You can save a few dollars on admission if you purchase your tickets in advance online.
- Indoor trampoline and obstacle parks. Planet Obstacle Lake Mary is an indoor park with a Ninja Warrior Course, zip line, rock climbing, trampolines and more. Jump around at RebounderZ, an indoor trampoline center in Apopka, or Altitude Trampoline Park in Sanford.
- Open gym. Many local gymnastics venues offer Open Gym days like Ace Gymnastics, Gymnastics USA, and Orlando Metro in Baldwin Park and Lake Mary.
- RDV Sportsplex Ice Den in Maitland is a family-friendly ice rink that is open for public skating seven days a week. Check out more places to ice skate in Orlando.
- Skating rinks. Lace up skates and groove to the music at Astro Skate Family Fun Center
and Semoran Skateway.
- Miniature golf. Hawaiian Rumble Adventure Golf challenges golfers with a Hawaiian-themed course featuring a waterfall, volcano and musical fountain. Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf has two swash-buckling 18-hole miniature golf courses with price varying by location.
- Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream is an Orlando original! What started out as a family food truck at farmers’ markets has grown into a local, sweet sensation with three ice cream shop locations. Kelly’s sells a variety of sorbets and handmade ice creams with unique flavors changing seasonally.
- Escape Rooms. Orlando offers several attractions where you work against time to escape from any number of challenging situations. Check out The Escape Game Orlando and Escapology.
- Aqua Parks. Jump through floating obstacles on the water at the Orlando Water Sports Complex and Nona Adventure Park.
- Fun Spot America offers a-la-carte pricing via the pay-as-you-go Fun E-Card. Most attractions at both locations are just $5 to $10 each, and admission is always free.
- Andretti Indoor Karting & Games features multi-level indoor karting, bowling, a ropes course, laser tag, video games, gourmet food, two bars and more. Most of the activities offered are under $20.
- Bowling. Knock down some pins at Aloma Bowling Centers with three locations in Central Florida. Kings Bowl Orlando is another great spot to eat, bowl or lounge in retro luxury.
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- Free Disney experiences. Disney Springs is fun-filled escape, brimming with unique boutiques, culinary surprises and lively entertainment. Parking is free, and it’s free to walk around and explore. Disney’s BoardWalk is a quarter-mile of shops offering free live entertainment in the evenings.
- Ride your favorite rollercoasters (from your couch). Pretend you are in the middle of all the theme park excitement!
- Old Town Car Cruises. Hot rods, street rods, antiques and muscle cars roll down the street at Old Town in Kissimmee a few nights every week.
ICON PARK ORLANDO ATTRACTIONS FOR FAMILIES
- SeaLife Aquarium Orlando features a 360-degree ocean tunnel, more than 5,000 creatures, a hands-on touch pool experience and more. Purchase tickets online and in advance for the best deal.
- The Wheel towers above the entire ICON PARK for amazing views.
- Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Orlando Odditorium invites visitors to explore the weirder side of things, from art to interactive exhibits in 16 galleries of the odd and unusual from around the world.
- WonderWorks is a fun amusement park for the mind featuring more than 100 interactive exhibits for all ages.
- Museum of Illusions offers more eye-fooling fun under one roof than any other destination in Central Florida.
FREE & CHEAP FAMILY MOVIES IN ORLANDO
- Outdoor movies. Round up the crew for a cozy evening of family-friendly flicks under the stars. Here’s our guide to free & cheap outdoor movies in Orlando.
- Drive-in Movies. Watching a movie at an open-air cinema is a safe and affordable way for your family to enjoy a fun night out. We’ve found a couple of drive-in movie theaters near Orlando for you to check out.
- Picture Show at Altamonte offers movies for 50 cents every Tuesday and $1 every day.
- Enzian Theater screens family-friendly films during its Peanut Butter Matinee on the fourth Sunday of the month. FREE for kids 12 and under. $9 for everyone else.
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ORLANDO ARTS & CULTURE FOR KIDS
- Orlando Science Center features dynamic zones with hands-on exhibits that present little learners with iconic experiences, exciting discoveries and opportunities for creativity, collaboration, and problem solving.
- Ride the SunRail for a fun tour of Orlando and its surrounding cities. Kids under 6 ride for FREE with a paying adult.
- Mennello Museum offers FREE admission to the galleries, craft stations and mini-tours every second Sunday of the month.
- Orlando Repertory Theater presents performances based on classical and contemporary children’s literature.
- The Orange County Regional History Center offers a wide variety of creative exhibits and programs designed for children. Admission is FREE on the third Thursday of every month, 5pm- 8pm. Kids 4 and under are always FREE.
- FREE entry to Orlando museums. Take the kids on a cultural journey for free with the Museums On Us program. Just show your Bank of America or Merrill Lynch credit or debit card the first weekend of every month and you’ll get free admission to the Orlando Science Center, Orlando Museum of Art, Mennello Museum of American Art, Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens, and Orange County Regional History Center.
- The Orange County Library System hosts fun events, interactive presentations and free story time for various age groups.
- The Cornell Fine Arts Museum offers an intimate and unique experience in Winter Park with more than 5,000 works ranging from antiquity to contemporary. And, it’s always free.
ORLANDO PARKS & NATURE
- Central Florida Springs, Florida’s natural cooling system, is a fun place to visit year-round. In the summer, take a dip in the refreshing water. In the winter, go on a picnic or a canoe trip. Admission is around $6 per person or $2 per person, depending on the park.
- At De Leon Springs, you can cook your own pancakes at the Sugar Mill Restaurant, and then stay for the day to take a dip in the swimming area or rent canoes.
- Meet manatees at Blue Springs State Park when cold weather rolls into Central Florida.
- Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive is an 11-mile drive with a chance to view native animals in their natural habitat including 174 bird species. The drive is open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
- Bok Tower Gardens, a picturesque park atop one of Florida’s tallest hills, is crowned with a Gothic bell tower that rings daily with carillon music. Enjoy the tranquil and expansive gardens, museum and Pine Ridge Trail.
- Big Tree Park in Sanford features 11 acres of natural vegetation, wetlands and is the home to a 2,000-year-old Bald Cypress Tree, “Lady Liberty.”
- Leu Gardens offers FREE entry on select first Mondays throughout the year. Stroll through the lush gardens or bring a blanket to relax in the shade while the kids play.
- Mead Gardens is a FREE 47-acre park with an amphitheater, butterfly garden, boardwalk and bike trail.
- Lake Eola Park is a 43-acre recreational area in the heart of downtown Orlando. The kids will love the large playground with activities for every age. Picnic along the shore, feed the resident swans, paddle on iconic Lake Eola Swan Boats ($15 per half hour) and take a stroll around the lake. Head down to the lake with this handy guide detailing the different types of swans and see if you can tell what kind of swan each is.
- Wild Florida’s Drive-Thru Safari Park is a self-guided journey to get up close and personal with hundreds of wild animals.
- Bike and nature trails. It’s free to journey through the trails of Central Florida: Orange County trails, Lake County trails and Volusia County trails.
- The beach. Some of the best beaches in Florida are just a day trip away. Pack the car with toys, an umbrella and a cooler of snacks for a day trip to Cocoa or New Smyrna Beach.
- Find a park near you. Central Florida is home to many beautiful parks and recreational facilities. One of the easiest ways to find parks closet to you is to log on to Yelp to explore your options and read reviews. You can also search on Seminole or Orange counties’ websites.
- Splash pads and pools. Cool off at one of Central Florida’s free (or small-fee) splash pads. Or take a dip in one of the City of Orlando’s four year-round pools: College Park Pool, Dover Shores Pool, James R. Smith Pool or Wadeview Pool.
- Black Hammock Adventures has free live gator and bird exhibits, free live music every weekend and one of the best locations for the sunset in Central Florida. You can also sign up for an airboat tour of Lake Jessup, which boasts the densest population of alligators in the state of Florida.
- Lukas Nursery & Butterfly Encounter is home to one of the largest native butterfly conservatories in the state of Florida. Peak season for an up-close experience is April – Sept.
- Visit a farm near Orlando. Oak Haven Farms & Winery is a you-pick farm in Sorrento where you can spend hours plucking strawberries (season is usually late November – April). There’s also a country store, zip line, hayride and playground. You can find more farms to pick strawberries in Orlando here. Depending on the season, you can also pick your own blueberries, visit sunflower fields, pick pumpkins during the fall season, and explore other U-pick farms near Orlando.
- Winter Park Boat Tour takes you on a tour through the beautiful canals and lush landscape of Winter Park’s waterways on a tranquil Scenic Boat Tour.
- Take a relaxing stroll. There is nothing cheaper or more relaxing than a scenic walk. We have plenty of nice paths to stroll at local parks, county trails and picturesque gardens. Most of the walking paths near Orlando are completely free, unless otherwise noted.
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