50 Free Things to Do in Orlando This Summer
School is out and summer is here, and with that comes the pressure of finding things to do to keep the kids entertained. We know this can get pricey, so we’ve been working hard to gather free things to do in Orlando this summer. 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 event calendar, and keep checking back as events are added frequently. For even more summer fun, visit our Orlando Summer Activities Guide and make sure to check out some awesome Summer Camp Guide.
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. 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.
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3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Free Summer Library Programs
For free things to do this summer, be sure to check out the summer programming at your local library branch. Most offer fun events such as magic shows, bubble shows, curbside circus, and more.
Disney Springs is bursting with free things to do in Orlando this summer, like splash pads and play areas.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. Kraft Azalea Garden
Known as Winter Park’s "secret garden," this five-acre, lakefront garden is open daily from 8am to dusk.
Trout Lake Nature Center is a great way to enjoy a fun, and free, afternoon this summer.
9. Trout Lake Nature Center
Trout Lake Nature Center offers several walking trails, a boardwalk leading out to the lake, an education center with touch table, and live animal exhibits.
10. 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.
11. World’s Largest McDonald’s
Right off of I-4 sits the World’s Largest McDonald’s, complete with an arcade and indoor playground upstairs. It also hosts activities such as shows and character appearances.
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!
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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. Ecology in Action Day
Visit Lake Lorna Doone Park each Tuesday for this free educational nature program for kids ages 3-5.
17. Get Outdoors Casselberry
Try out kayaking and paddleboarding at no cost during this free event happening on June 18, 2022.
18. Juneteenth Events
Celebrate Juneteenth with free events in Winter Park, Kissimmee, Apopka, and more places around Orlando in June.
19. Windermere Summertime Bash
On Saturday, June 25, join the Windermere Police Department for summer fun featuring bounce houses, bubbles, food trucks, 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 Summer Lacrosse Clinics
Kindergarten through 8th grade girls can try out lacrosse through this free clinic offered on Tuesdays during June and July, with several locations around Orlando.
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. Naturalist Nature Walk Day
Explore Lake Lorna Doone Park on a guided nature walk offered the first Saturday of each month.
24. Down the Hill Soapbox Derby
On Saturday, July 30, check out the first annual Down the Hill Soapbox Derby in beautiful downtown Mount Dora.
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. Leu Gardens Free Admission Days
On the first Monday of each month over the summer, visit Leu Gardens for free! During the months of June and July, enjoy a Leaf It in the Gardens scavenger hunt.
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. Real Florida Reader Program
With your library card, pick up a Real Florida Reader Day Pass at your local library. This day pass provides free admission to almost all Florida state parks, and is good for one vehicle entrance with up to eight people.
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 15 through August 4.
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. Longwood Luau
Visit Reiter Park for a Hawaiian themed luau with inflatable water slides, live entertainment, and more on Saturday, June 11.
40. Geneva Wilderness Area
Hike through real "Old Florida" at the Geneva Wilderness Area and visit the onsite nature center.
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. Cranes Roost Park Fountain Show
Take an evening stroll through Cranes Roost Park and stop at the fountain for a beautiful (and free) water show choreographed with lights. Show runs nightly at 8pm and 9pm.
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 every Saturday 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