100 Free Fun Things to Do in Orlando with Kids

Bonnet Springs Park in Lakeland makes the the perfect outdoor day trip.
Bonnet Springs Park in Lakeland makes the the perfect outdoor day trip.
1/7/24 - By Charlotte B

Orlando is a thrilling destination filled with plenty of activities for kids and families. The city is most known for its attractions and theme parks, but the cost of these can add up fast. Luckily, Orlando also boasts an array of FREE activities that won't dent your wallet. We've compiled a comprehensive list of 100 free things to do with kids in Central Florida.


Included in these free things in Orlando are playgrounds, museums, outdoor adventures, theme park bargains, and more. Whatever your interest, know that we at Mommy Poppins Orlando will keep you up to date on the best family happenings in Central Florida.

For even more free local events, check out our event calendar and filter the categories for the "free" tag. And remember to sign up for our FREE newsletters to receive posts such as this right to your inbox.

Disney Springs: 100 Free Fun Things to Do in Orlando with Kids
Dig for fossils at the Paleo Zone at Disney Springs. 

100 Free Things to Do in Orlando with Kids

1. Disney Springs — Lake Buena Vista

At Disney Springs, admission and covered parking are free. Cool off at the splash pad on hot days, stop by the Lego store and enjoy the free build areas, or take a trip to the T-Rex Café, where little ones can excavate dino fossils in the Paleo Zone. Each Saturday, Disney Springs offers a free Kids Club with interactive family fun. End the day with a complimentary ride on the ferry boats that travel to the parks and resorts.

2. Disney's BoardWalk — Lake Buena Vista

Enjoy FREE street performers, stop by Ample Hills Creamery for a free sample, and bring a picnic to enjoy along the waterfront. Admission and parking are free, and visitors can take advantage of Disney’s free ferry boats. Plus, the new Skyliner aerial gondolas can be accessed just a short walk away via the International Gateway at Epcot station.

3. Universal CityWalk — Orlando

This entertainment complex offers free self-parking after 6pm, a splash area for the kids, live DJs and dance parties, and complimentary water taxi rides that travel from CityWalk to three of the deluxe Universal Orlando Resorts.

4.  Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive — Apopka

This free 11-mile drive offers visitors a chance to observe alligators, birds, snakes, otters, bobcats, and more in their natural environments, all from the comfort of your own vehicle.

5. Bonnet Springs Park - Lakeland

This free outdoor attraction, dubbed “Central Florida’s Central Park,” makes for the perfect day trip from Orlando. Stroll through the treetops on a canopy walk, cool off in a treehouse, and let the kids explore the many play areas throughout the park.

6. Visit a Splash Pad

While some area splash pads charge nominal fees, there are several that are completely free and most are open year round. For details visit our guide to splash pads and spray grounds in Orlando

7. World’s Largest McDonald’s & PlayPlace — Orlando

Orlando is home to the World’s Largest Entertainment McDonald’s, a two-story attraction right off of I-4 near International Drive. There is an arcade upstairs as well as a free indoor playground with a toddler area for little ones.

8. Oakland Nature Preserve — Oakland

This hidden gem in West Orlando offers free admission and is open 365 days per year. There is a museum and education center complete with live fish and turtle exhibits, a NaturePlay trail, and a boardwalk that leads out to a covered pavilion overlooking Lake Apopka (a perfect spot for a picnic).

9. Disney Wilderness Preserve — Kissimmee

Guests can enjoy hiking trails, bird-watching, and visit the Conservation Learning Center at this 12,000-acre preserve. Note: This preserve is not affiliated with Disney’s theme parks or resorts. There is no entrance fee, but donations are appreciated.

10. University of Central Florida Arboretum — Orlando

The UCF Arboretum is located on campus and is a free, 82-acre nature park open to the public. Families can stroll the nature trail and boardwalk, and enjoy a picnic lunch.

11. Fountain Show at Cranes Roost Park — Altamonte Springs

Cranes Roost Park offers a choreographed fountain display with three different shows taking place nightly on the hour 6- 9pm.

12. Soap Box Derby Races — Sanford

Bring the kids to Derby Park to watch these gravity races for kids and young adults ages 7-20. Races are free to watch and kids can enjoy the playground at the park afterward.

Hontoon Island State Park : 100 Free Fun Things to Do in Orlando with Kids
Take the free park ferry to Hontoon Island State Park. Photo courtesy of the park

13. Hontoon Island State Park — Deland

This state park is situated on an island on St. Johns River, and is accessible only by private boat or free park ferry. There is no park entrance fee. Hontoon Island offers several amenities, including a fun playground for kids, fishing, hiking, and a small museum.

14. Bass Pro Shop — Orlando

Bass Pro Shop offers multiple free events throughout the year with kids' crafts and activities, including a Go Outdoors event in the late spring, summer activities and workshops, and a free Winter Wonderland during the holidays. Kids will love the indoor aquarium as well!

Bike the West Orange Trail: 100 Free Fun Things to Do in Orlando with Kids
Bike all or part of the 20-mile West Orange Trail from Oakland to Apopka.

15. Bike the West Orange Trail — Winter Garden

Our family enjoys biking the West Orange Trail, where families can bike part (or all) of the 20-mile paved trail from Oakland to Apopka, with several great stops in between, including a playground at Winter Garden Station and a butterfly garden at the Tildenville outpost.

16. Fort Christmas Historical Park — Christmas

This free county park features an 1837 fort replica, a Florida “cracker” style house, pioneer homes, a sugar cane mill and historical farm equipment. Park amenities include a playground, sand volleyball, basketball courts, tennis courts, baseball diamond, and picnic pavilions.

17. Lyman Blackbox Theatre — Winter Park

Enjoy a free stage performance from the Second Stage Series by Rollins Players. These shows are designed, produced, and directed by Rollins College students.

18. The Melrose Center — Downtown Orlando

The Melrose Center at the Orlando Public Library offers a variety of tech-based services and classes, most of which are free to Orange County library cardholders.

ICON Park: 100 Free Fun Things to Do in Orlando with Kids
Pack a picnic, sit on the greens and watch the nightly lighting of the iconic Ferris wheel.

19. ICON Park — Orlando

While the attractions at ICON Orlando charge fees, visitors can enjoy free parking and free admission to the complex. Bring picnic supplies and relax on the green in front of The Wheel and watch the nightly lighting of the iconic Ferris wheel.

20. Tibet-Butler Preserve — Orlando

This free nature preserve and education center offers miles of hiking trails and numerous educational programs throughout the year. Register for the Trailblazer Hiking Program and receive a free t-shirt when you’ve reached 20 miles!

21. Andy Romano Beachfront Park — Ormond Beach

Enjoy a day trip to the beach! Andy Romano Park offers free parking, a clean beach, picnic pavilion, covered playground, splash pad, restrooms, and concessions.

22. National Night Out

Several Central Florida cities host this annual community-building event to promote police-community partnerships. Events include fun activities for the whole family to enjoy, and usually take place in October.

23. Classic Car Show at Old Town — Kissimmee

The Old Town entertainment district is home to one of Central Florida’s premier weekly car shows, with show-quality hot rods and antique cars.

24. Sidewalk Art Festival — Winter Park

Stroll one of the nation’s oldest and largest outdoor art festivals in the streets of beautiful downtown Winter Park. The festival boasts a variety of arts and crafts, music, entertainment, and a children’s art tent.

25. Visit a Disney-Made Town — Celebration

Founded by the Walt Disney Company, this picturesque town features huge houses, beautiful gardens, shops, restaurants, an interactive fountain, and more. If visiting during the holidays, catch the town’s Now Snowing event for artificial snowfall and festive entertainment.

26. Black Hammock Live Gator Exhibit — Oviedo

Located on Lake Jessup (known for its many alligators), Black Hammock offers a restaurant and airboat tours, and it also has live bird and gator exhibits, free for visiting.

27. Knights Under the Stars – Orlando

Visit the Robinson Observatory at UCF for Knights Under the Stars, a free event where guests can observe the night sky under telescopes manned by knowledgeable volunteers.

28. Take Photos at Mills 50 — Orlando

Snap some Instagram-worthy pics with the artistic murals along the Mills 50 district.

29. Florida License-Free Fishing Days

Get the kids outdoors and introduce them to fishing. On certain days, the fishing license requirement is waived for Florida residents and nonresidents.

Nunan Butterfly Garden: 100 Free Fun Things to Do in Orlando with Kids
The beautiful Nunan Butterfly Garden is free for visitors.

30. Nunan Butterfly Garden — Mount Dora

Just outside of the Mount Dora library sits a beautiful butterfly garden that is free to visit. It is home to many species of pollinators, as well as birds and animals.

31. Ocala National Forest

Ocala National Forest features more than 600 lakes and rivers, 100 miles of paved roads to explore, and several hiking trails of all difficulty levels. There is also a sinkhole and remains from a 19th-century homestead visitors can explore on some of the hiking trails. Keep your eyes peeled for Florida black bears and even free-range monkeys near the river.

32. Popcorn Flicks in the Park – Winter Park

Bring the family to this monthly free outdoor movie night in Central Park.

33. Lake Lotus Park – Altamonte Springs

Enjoy looped nature trails, a boardwalk, education center, fishing pier, and playground at Lake Lotus Park.

34. Orange County Libraries Local Wanderer Program

With your OCLS library card, request FREE passes to local attractions, museums, concerts, and sporting events.

35. Orlando Wetlands Park – Christmas

Orlando Wetlands Park is a 1,650-acre man-made wetland with over 20 miles of hiking trails. An education center is onsite and free tram tours are offered select days.

36. Sanford PorchFest – Sanford

This annual event features performances from a variety of artists performing on porches throughout Sanford’s historic district.

37. Casa Feliz Open House – Winter Park

Each month, Casa Feliz hosts a free open house event with live music and docent led tours of the historic home.

38. Dinky Dock Park – Winter Park

Dinky Dock Park is a great place to launch a small watercraft such as a paddleboard, kayak, or jet ski, and tour the beautiful canals. There is also a small swimming beach.

39. Winter Park Library Book Boxes

Winter Park Library offers free book boxes each month that contain a book for loan as well as snacks and other surprises. Book boxes must be reserved in advance.

40. Lake Eola Park – Downtown Orlando

Stroll around beautiful Lake Eola, see live swans, and catch a free concert or play at the Walt Disney Amphitheater.

41. Getdown Downtown Block Party – Maitland

This monthly first Friday street party features live entertainment, a fun zone for kids, vendors, and more.

Seminole Wekiva Trail: 100 Free Fun Things to Do in Orlando with Kids
Take a family bike ride along the Seminole Wekiva Trail. 

42. Seminole Wekiva Trail

Take a family bike ride along this scenic 14-mile paved trail. Park at the Markham Trailhead in Sanford and test your skills on the mountain bike skills course.

43. Free Family Day at the Mennello Museum – Orlando

On the second Sunday of each month, enjoy free admission to the Mennello Museum of American Art, as well as a fine arts project and docent-led tours.

44. Absolutely Avalon – Orlando

Absolutely Avalon is an annual evening event held in the spring that showcases cultural performances, kids activities, and more.

45. Lake Nona Sculpture Garden – South Orlando

Stroll this 50,000 square foot outdoor art gallery featuring a variety of sculptures from one of the world’s largest private art collections, The Lewis Collection.

46. See Art Orlando Walking Tour – Downtown Orlando

This self-guided walking tour allows visitors to see a collection of nine permanent contemporary public art sculptures inspired by various elements of Orlando.

47. Mead Botanical Garden – Winter Park

Stroll this 48-acre lush garden and let the kids splash in the shallow creek.

48. Summer Storybook Adventures – St. Cloud

Each summer, tour the streets of downtown St. Cloud on a storybook adventure. Each week features a different story, culminating with a meet and greet with the author on Saturday.

49. Historic District Architectural Walking Tour – Downtown Orlando

Every first Friday of the month, the City of Orlando offers a free guided tour of the Downtown Historic District, featuring architectural and historic information. A self-guided walking tour is also available.

50. Free Water Ski Shows – Winter Haven

Take a day trip to Winter Haven to enjoy a FREE water ski show from the Cypress Gardens Ski Team.

51. Lake Lily Park – Maitland

Enjoy a picnic at Lake Lily Park, walk the paved trail encircling the lake to spot ducks and turtles, and let the little ones explore the fenced-in playground.

Black Bear Wilderness Area: 100 Free Fun Things to Do in Orlando with Kids
For a real adventure hike the 7.1-mile loop at the Black Bear Wilderness Area. 

52. Black Bear Wilderness Area – Sanford

If you’re feeling adventurous, trek the 7.1-mile loop trail along the St. Johns River, and keep your eye out for alligators, otters, snakes, and black bears.

53. Walt Disney World Jogging Trails – Lake Buena Vista

The Walt Disney World Resort features several jogging trails, including quick paths and long loops.

Disney’s Electrical Water Pageant : 100 Free Fun Things to Do in Orlando with Kids
Watch the procession of lighted floats at Disney’s Electrical Water Pageant. 

54. Disney’s Electrical Water Pageant – Lake Buena Vista

This nighttime water procession of lighted floats can be seen from several WDW resorts, so no theme park admission is needed.

55. Maitland Fire Station Tours

Get a group together and schedule a free tour of the Maitland Fire Station, or contact your local fire station to see if tours are offered.

Florida State Parks Operation Recreation GeoTour: 100 Free Fun Things to Do in Orlando with Kids
Go on a geocaching treasure hunt with Florida State Parks Operation Recreation GeoTour.

56. Florida State Parks Operation Recreation GeoTour

Spanning from the panhandle to Key West, this statewide geocaching treasure hunt uses location coordinates to find caches throughout 71 state parks and trails. A Kids GeoTour is also available.

Hidden Waters Preserve: 100 Free Fun Things to Do in Orlando with Kids
 Kids are sure to enjoy exploring the shallow crystal-clear ravine waters at Hidden Waters Preserve.

57. Hidden Waters Preserve – Eustis

Kids will love playing in the shallow ravine waters at Hidden Waters Preserve.

58. Orlando Fire Museum – Orlando

Tour a historic red brick firehouse filled with artifacts and restored vintage fire engines. Call to schedule a tour.

59. Godwin Park – St. Cloud

Little ninja warriors will love the netplex play system at Godwin Park. The park also contains lighted pickleball courts and a lighted racquetball court.

60. Sunset Walk – Kissimmee

Not only does The Promenade at Sunset Walk feature several dining, shopping, and entertainment options, but it also hosts free weekly and seasonal events.

61. Project Relevé Free Ballet Classes – Orlando

Every second Sunday, Russian Ballet Orlando offers FREE ballet classes for ages 3-7. Must register in advance.

62. Kraft Azalea Garden - Winter Park

Snap some photos at this 5-acre lakefront park, known as Winter Park’s secret garden.

63. Big Tree Park – Longwood

Big Tree Park serves as a trailhead for the Cross Seminole Trail (great for a family bike ride). The park also features a playground and boardwalks through a natural hammock swamp.

64. Harry P. Leu Gardens – Orlando

Leu Gardens offers free admission on select first Mondays throughout the year.

65. Central Florida Railroad Museum – Winter Garden

This free museum is ideal for train enthusiasts of all ages.

66. Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Central Florida – Maitland

Orlando's Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center seeks to "use history and lessons of the Holocaust to build a just and caring community free of antisemitism and all forms of prejudice and bigotry."

67. Gemini Springs Park – DeBary

This scenic park features a nature trail, biking trail, and a bridge loop trail that centers around the beautiful spring waters. There is also a playground, picnic pavilions, and dog park.

68. Geneva Wilderness Area – Geneva

The Geneva Wilderness area boasts a two-mile loop trail and free onsite nature center.

 Palm Island Park: 100 Free Fun Things to Do in Orlando with Kids
Mount Dora is a charming lakeside town with an abundance of outdoor activities for families. 

69. Palm Island Park – Mount Dora

Visit the scenic boardwalk at Palm Island Park, overlooking Lake Dora. Afterwards, kids can play at nearby Gilbert Park.

70. Cops ‘N Cars for Kids – Oviedo

This annual event at the Oviedo Mall includes over 200 community vehicles as well as bounce houses, food trucks, helicopters, and more.

71. Peghorn Nature Park – St. Cloud

This 58-acre park features a loop trail, playground, and a historical Cracker village from the late 1800s.

72. Cassadaga Fairy Trail – Cassadaga

This whimsical fairy trail in Volusia County contains miniature fairy houses, gnome homes, a troll village, labyrinth, and more playful elements.

73. Disney Collection at Orlando Public Library – Downtown Orlando

On the fourth floor of the Orlando Public Library, guests can find a treasure trove of Disney books, photos, periodicals, press kits, and more.

Florida Mall Play Park: 100 Free Fun Things to Do in Orlando with Kids
Florida Mall Play Park is a free indoor playground for kids to let loose!

74. Free Indoor Playgrounds

Check out our list of free indoor play areas when you need to escape the Florida heat or rain.

75. Pirate Seafood Festival – Longwood

This annual two-day event features a free kids zone, a pirate encampment village, mermaids, and more.

76. Teatime Dance Party with Mr. Richard – Orlando

Join Mr. Richard for a monthly teatime dance party at Infusion Tea. Afterwards, head to nearby Dartmouth Park for playtime.

77. Kids Bowl Free

Register your kids to receive two free games of bowling each day all summer long at participating bowling centers.

Seaworld Preschool: 100 Free Fun Things to Do in Orlando with Kids
Preschoolers have a great time riding the carousel and visiting all the sea animals at SeaWorld on a free preschool pass. 

78. Free Preschool Passes

At the beginning of each year, score FREE passes for Florida resident kids ages 5 and under to local theme parks and attractions.

79. Kids Eat Free

Don’t feel like cooking? Visit one of these tasty restaurants that offer kids eat free deals.

80. Sanford Riverwalk

This paved pedestrian trail runs alongside Lake Monroe. Nearby is Fort Mellon Park, complete with a large playground, splash pad, and basketball court. A free trolley service also runs to downtown Sanford.

81. Lowe’s DIY Kids’ Workshop

Each month, Lowe’s stores offer a free workshop for kids to build their own projects to bring home.

82. Storytime at B.Dalton Booksellers – Oviedo

Each weekend, B. Dalton bookstore in the Oviedo Mall offers a free story time event with snacks and activities.

83. Oakland Heritage Day – Oakland

Celebrate the town of Oakland, learn about its history, and enjoy live music, kids activities, and more at this annual event.

84. Oviedo on the Park

Enjoy an outing to Oviedo on the Park, which features an outdoor amphitheater, green space, dog park, splash pad, playground, and boardwalk.

85. Fiesta in the Park – Downtown Orlando

Each Fall and Spring, the City of Orlando hosts a Fiesta in the Park at Lake Eola with artists and crafters from all over the United States.

86. Central Florida Earth Day – Downtown Orlando

Celebrate Earth Day at Lake Eola with an Earth kids zone, animal haven, educational exhibits, vendors, and more.

87. Tucker Recreational Park & Nature Preserve – Winter Garden

This nature preserve boasts a treehouse playground and nature trails through a beautiful oak tree alley.

88. Phelps Park – Winter Park

Phelps Park features a newly renovated fully fenced-in playground area, basketball courts, tennis courts, and picnic pavilions.

89. Disc Golf

Several Orlando area parks have free disc golf courses, just bring your own disc.

90. Kissimmee Lakefront Park

This sprawling lakeside park boasts two playgrounds, a fun splash pad area, fishing pier, and paved walking trails. The City also hosts several free events here throughout the year.

91. Osceola County Welcome Center and History Museum – Kissimmee

Learn about the rich history of Osceola County through different interactive exhibits and scavenger hunts at this free history museum.

92. Story Time on the Porch – Oakland

Bring the kids to The Healthy West Orange Arts & Heritage Center for a monthly Story Time on the Porch event, plus a free activity.

93. Spring Fever in the Garden – Winter Garden

This annual spring festival celebrates all things spring and gardening, and includes a kids zone, live entertainment, sidewalk chalk art, and more.

94. Waterfront Park – Clermont

Located on the shores of Lake Minneola, this beach park features a swimming area, playground, sand volleyball, fishing piers, and a paved fishing trail. There is also a splash pad with a small admission fee.

95. Eustis First Friday

Visit downtown Eustis the first Friday of each month for a street festival, featuring a different theme each month.

96. Saturday Sounds Concert Series – Apopka

On select Saturdays, visit the Apopka Amphitheater for a free family-friendly concert.

97. Magnolia Park – Apopka

Catch a glimpse of the resident peacocks at this county park in Apopka. The park boasts several playground areas, green space, sand volleyball, fishing piers, and picnic pavilions.

98. Home Depot Kids Workshops

Sign your kids up for a monthly build workshop at participating Home Depot locations, where kids can build a project to take home with them.

99. Winter Park History Museum

The Winter Park History Museum educates guests on the history of Winter Park and its surrounding area through exhibits, lectures, and outreach programs. The museum features a small children’s area and hosts periodic story time and music events with Princess Penelope.

100. Apple Store Workshops

All three Central Florida area Apple Stores offer free kids workshops such as coding an app and making an emoji.

Unless noted, photos by the author