Sometimes you look at how much you spend with the kids, and you think – there has to be something fun to do without taking out a second mortgage. We feel your pain (and hate those loan applications for theme park tickets also). That’s why we came up with this list of twenty cheap things to do in Orlando.
1 – Play a round of mini-golf – Orlando has some of the top golf courses in the world. And it has some of the most beautiful mini golf courses as well. You won’t find any windmills here, but you’ll find challenges and a lot of fun for the whole family.
2 – Take an art class in the park – No matter where you are, or what kind of art you like, you’ll be able to find a class that you can take.
3 – Check out story time at the Orlando libraries – The Orange County Public Library has branches throughout the city, and they have amazing activities. Among them is story time, where you can listen to countless adventures, and sometimes even play with bubbles.
4 – Take in a show at the Orlando Repertory Theatre – The Orlando Repertory Theatre puts on a number of shows each year to entertain children and families, as well as to educate. With past hits such as Camp Rock, the Musical, Curious George stage productions, and a recurring anti-bullying magic show, ORT puts together amazing seasons each year.
5 – Go for a ride in the Swan Boats – Spend an hour or two relaxing on a swan boat on Lake Eola
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6 – Beat the heat by hitting a splash pad – It’s not news that it gets hot in Orlando. Throughout the city, there are great splash pads for kids – both big and little – to run around and play at and to keep cool in.
7 – Cheer on Orlando Roller Derby’s all women-derby team – It’s not exactly like you remember on TV, but Orlando has women’s roller derby. During the season, Orlando Roller Derby plays other teams from around the state and around the country.
8 – Or go around yourself at one of Semoran Skateway’s public skating sessions – Semoran Skateway has public sessions with lights, snacks, and a DJ playing great music to skate to.
9 – Throw a few frames at Kings Bowl Orlando – There is nothing better than a little competition in the family. Kings Bowl isn’t one of the boring beige bowling alleys that you remember from your childhood; it’s got a bar, great food, and fun for the whole family.
10 – Check out the animals and the flora and fauna of the world around us at the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens. – The Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens has animals from around the country and around the globe, including giraffes, rhinos, and porcupines. But if you’re more interested in green leafy things, the Zoo and Garden hosts butterflies, wildflowers, and a variety of cacti.
11 – Take in a discount movie – The summer discount movies may be over, but matinees are still playing every day. You can see some of the newest releases for less than $10 per ticket and then go out for lunch.
12 – Visit Leu Gardens and while there check out the Butterfly Garden, Vegetable Garden and the Horseshoe Fountain – Leu Gardens is a great place to spend a few hours enjoying nature. From vegetables to roses, from flowering trees to vines, walking through the gardens is a great way to spend the day. Just make sure to take your Claritin!
13 – Two words: Dinosaur World
14 – Race a few laps at K1 Indoor Karting – K1 Indoor Karting has two tracks perfect for racing with friends or your kids. See who is the best driver, and who ends up getting lapped.
15 – Take a tour of the beautiful lakes in Winter Park – Sail through Winter Park on a pontoon boat.
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16 – Color, play, and learn at the Crayola Experience – The Crayola Experience encourages kids and adults to be creative, and to play with crayons in new ways – from melting crayons down to make spin art, to coloring digital pages and putting them on the wall – kids and adults will have hours of fun. You can even pose and create your own personalized coloring book. (order tickets online for under $20 pricing).
17- Enjoy year-round ice skating – or even some skate and shoot time – at RDV Ice Den – It gets hot – so very hot – in Orlando. Sometimes you want to take a dip in the pool. But, sometimes you want a little bit of winter. Check out RDV Sportsplex for year-round ice skating, as well as open hockey practices
18 -Learn how to make chocolate and eat some chocolate at Chocolate Kingdom – Who doesn’t love chocolate? If that’s you, then skip to the next one, but for everyone else, the Chocolate Kingdom factory tour is for you. You will learn how chocolate goes from bean to bar, and you can even make your own creation. Tours last approximately 45 minutes and leave every hour.
19 – Bounce on the inflatable toys at Monkey Joe’s – Kids have a lot of energy; they are ready to bounce and run all the time, and sometimes the best thing to do is give them an outlet for all of that energy and just get out of the way. At Monkey Joe’s, kids can jump on the inflatables, go down slides, and fly through the air while you relax. If you want to jump a little though, we won’t blame you.
20 – Learn about the history of Central Florida at the Orange County Regional History Center – Orlando didn’t come into being with Disney and Universal Studios. This area has a rich history, and the Orange County Regional History Center explores it with exhibits on farming, aviation in the area, first peoples and African American history.