50 Awesome Free Things to Do in Orlando This Summer With Kids

You can take three different Monorail tracks at Walt Disney World, absolutely FREE. Photo courtesy of Disney
You can take three different Monorail tracks at Walt Disney World, absolutely FREE. Photo courtesy of Disney
6/6/23 - By Charlotte B

We’ve been working hard to gather FREE things to do in Orlando this summer because we know all about the pressure and price of finding things to do to keep kids entertained when school is out. These free things in Orlando include everything from free splash pads and playgrounds to free shows and attractions, and lots more. See how many of these free things you can check off your summer list before school starts back!

In addition to the list below, be sure to bookmark our Orlando events calendar, and keep checking back as events are added frequently. For more FREE summer fun, visit our Orlando Summer Activities Guide to check out free summer concerts and outdoor music in Orlando, free outdoor movies, and more!


Free Summer Events in Orlando for Kids

1. Free Splash Pads

Several Orlando splash pads are completely FREE of charge, making for the perfect summer activity to beat the heat! Many spraygrounds and splash pads are reliable sources of fun and free things to do in Orlando.

2. The Morse Museum's Friday Family Films

The Morse Museum’s summer family programs are organized exclusively for elementary-school-aged children and their parents or guardians. This 90-minute program includes a short film, a tour of selected galleries, and an art project related to the Museum’s collection. Reservations are required ($5 refundable deposit per person is required when securing a reservation).

3. Free Museum Days

We’ve rounded up Orlando museums that offer free admission, as well as paid entry museums that host specific free entry days.

4. Wawa Summer Fun Days at Bok Tower Gardens

Courtesy of Wawa, register for free admission to the beautiful Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, offered select days throughout the summer. It’s worth the drive, and kids will have a blast in the Hammock Hollow children’s garden.

Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive, see and owl: Free summer events in orlando
Known as one of the top three birding areas in the state, the 11-mile Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive is FREE and open to the public. Photo courtesy of the St. Johns River Water Management District

5. Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

This free, 11-mile drive-thru wildlife sanctuary is open to the public Fridays-Sundays and on federal holidays. Visitors are sure to see several alligators and birds, and may even spot other wildlife such as otters or bobcats.

6. Free Summer Library Programs

For free things to do this summer, be sure to check out summer programming at your local library branch. Most offer fun events such as magic shows, bubble shows, circuses, and more.

Disney Springs is bursting with free things to do in Orlando this summer, like splash pads and play areas.

7. Disney Springs

With free admission and free parking, get your Disney fix without needing to spend any money. There’s a splash pad perfect for hot summer days, as well as play areas at the Lego store and T-Rex Café.

8. Universal CityWalk

Enjoy free parking after 6pm at Universal Orlando’s entertainment complex. Kids can cool off at a small splash area, and families can ride the water taxi for free.

9. Kraft Azalea Garden

Known as Winter Park’s "secret garden," this five-acre, lakefront garden is open daily from 8am to dusk.  

10. Lake Mary First Friday Park Party

Visit Lake Mary the first Friday of each month to enjoy a park party with food trucks and entertainment for all ages.

11. Oakland Nature Preserve

Oakland Nature Preserve just west of Orlando offers a boardwalk leading to a covered pavilion overlooking Lake Apopka (perfect for a picnic), as well as a nature play trail, and an education center with live fish and turtle exhibits. The preserve also offers a free story time this summer.

With a free ferry ride and free admission, Hontoon Island State Park makes a low-cost fun small getaway. Photo courtesy of Florida State Parks

12. Hontoon Island State Park

Take a free park ferry to this island park that does not charge an admission fee. Park amenities include a playground, museum, and hiking trails.

13. Outdoor Playgrounds

For a day of free summer fun that the kids are sure to love, go “park hopping” at several of these Orlando playgrounds!

RELATED: Best Summer Day Camps Near Orlando

14. Indoor Playgrounds

Escape the blistering outdoor temperatures with these free indoor playgrounds in Orlando.

15. Photos at Mills 50

Capture some Instagram-worthy photos this summer with these beautiful murals located along the Mills 50 urban district.

16. Gator Week

Head to Wild Florida and pay no admission fee (donations appreciated) the week of May 29-June 3, 2023.

Try out kayaking for free at Get Outdoors Casselberry. Photo courtesy of Casselberry

17. Get Outdoors Casselberry

Try out kayaking and paddleboarding at no cost during this free event happening on June 17, 2023.

18. Juneteenth Events

Celebrate Juneteenth with free events in Longwood, Kissimmee, and more places around Orlando in June.

19. Party at the Grove

On Saturday, June 3, 2023, celebrate the opening of Orlando's newest 66-acre park, The Grove. The free event includes live music, kids activities, food, and more.

20. Old Town Classic Car Show

Visit Old Town on Saturdays for a free classic car show featuring hot rods and antique cars. The show begins at 1pm, and the cars parade through the streets at 8:30pm to conclude the event.

21. Free Family Fun Day at Mennello Museum of American Art

On the second sunday of every month, Mennello Museum patrons enter for free.

22. Teatime Dance Party with Mr. Richard

Mr. Richard is a favorite performer among Central Florida families. Visit him for a teatime dance party at Infusion Tea the first Friday of each month.

23. Disney's Boardwalk

Enjoy the timeless charm of Disnye's Boardwalk, where you can play midway games, listen to evening street performers, and more.

24. Outdoor Games & Activities

We've amassed 100 free outdoor games and activities sure to bring smiles this summer.

Pack your wheels and head out on the West Orange Trail.

25. West Orange Trail

Load up the bikes and scooters for a fun outing along the paved West Orange Trail. Be sure to make a stop by the butterfly garden at the Tildenville Outpost and the playground at Winter Garden Station.

26. Farmers Markets

Enjoy the fresh air by visiting an Orlando farmers market, and support local farmers, artists, and other small businesses while you’re at it.

27. Tibet-Butler Preserve

Located near Orlando’s theme parks, this wildlife preserve offers miles of hiking trails, a nature center with displays and exhibits, a butterfly garden, sandbox, and picnic area.

28. Disney Wilderness Preserve

This large nature preserve was created as a partnership between the Walt Disney Company and The Nature Conservancy. Visitors can hike color-coded nature trails that lead to the headwaters of the Florida Everglades. There is also an education center and butterfly garden.

29. Fourth of July Events

Many towns throughout Central Florida host free Independence Day celebrations with amazing firework displays. Visit our calendar to find one close to you!

30. Mead Botanical Garden

Stroll along easy hiking trails and boardwalks at this 47-acre botanical garden close to downtown Orlando, complete with an environmental education center and butterfly garden.

31. Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida

Teach kids about tolerance and cultural understanding by visiting the Holocaust Center in Maitland. 

32. Lake Eola Park

Enjoy the sights of downtown Orlando with a walk around beautiful Lake Eola. There are often free concerts or plays at the Walt Disney Amphitheater, and swan boats rentals are also available for a small cost.

33. Kids Bowl Free Program

Sign your kids up for free bowling this summer! Register on the Kids Bowl Free site and select your closest participating bowling alley to receive two free games per day all summer long.

34. Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program

As an incentive to get kids reading this summer, Barnes & Noble offers a summer reading program. Kids read a designated number of books and complete a reading journal to receive a free book in-store during July and August.

35. Michaels Camp Creatology

Head to your local Michaels store to create fun themed projects this summer, during June and July. Bring your own supplies or purchase in store.

36. Icon Park

Take a walk around one of the most iconic parks in Orlando--Icon Park! 

37. Premiere Cinemas Free Summer Kids Series

Visit Premiere Cinemas at the Fashion Square Mall for free kids movies each Wednesday and Thursday from June 7 through July 27, 2023.

Kids eat free on Sundays at Moe's Southwest Grill. Photo courtesy of the restaurant

38. Restaurants for Kids to Eat Free

Want a break from cooking and a break for your wallet? Take the family to one of these Orlando restaurants where kids eat free on select nights!

39. The Mall at Millenia

Desperate for free air conditioning? Visit the Mall at Millenia to escape Florida's brutal heat and do a little window shopping.

40. Geneva Wilderness Area

Hike through real "Old Florida" at the Geneva Wilderness Area and visit the onsite nature center.

41. Geocaching

This is one of my family’s favorite activities, and it’s definitely on our summer to-do list! Use your GPS device or smartphone to embark on a treasure hunt, with thousands of geocaches located right here in Central Florida.

42. Hide Painted Rocks

Another family favorite of ours is painting rocks, and then hiding them around local playgrounds for others to find.

43. Free Classes

Ramp up the summer fun by signing your child up for one of these free classes in Orlando.

44. Family Hikes

Grab water and sunscreen and head out to one of these amazing Central Florida hiking trails.

45. Ride Disney's Monorail and Skyliner

Get a hit of that Disney magic without paying huge admission fees by taking a ride on the Monorail or Skyliner gondola -- open to anyone. 

46. Sandlot Saturdays

Register your baseball player for Sandlot Saturdays, a free program offered on select Saturdays over the summer, featuring one hour of instruction followed by pickup baseball games.

47. Storytime at B. Dalton Booksellers

Bring the kids to the Oviedo Mall each weekend for a free story time event, snacks, and activities at B. Dalton Booksellers.

48. Eustis First Friday

On the first Friday of each month, the lakeside city of Eustis offers a First Friday street festival, featuring food, vendors, music, and more.

49. Sanford RiverWalk

Take a walk along this five-mile paved pedestrian trail overlooking Lake Monroe. There’s a large playground, splash pad, and basketball court nearby at Fort Mellon Park, as well as a free trolley service with multiple stops in downtown Sanford.

 Ride the SunRail and see where the adventure takes you!

50. Ride the SunRail

Tour Central Florida on a SunRail train, where kids six and under ride for free with a paying adult.

Unless noted, photos by the author

Places featured in this article:

Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

Universal Orlando CityWalk

Trout Lake Nature Center

World's Largest McDonald's & PlayPlace

Hontoon Island State Park

West Orange Trail - Chapin Station

Disney Wilderness Preserve

Geneva Wilderness Area