8 Free or Cheap Things to Do with your Family Near Orlando, Florida
While the Orlando area is best known for Disney World, there is so much more to see and do. A budget-friendly Orlando family vacation is very possible. Check out these cheap things to do with your family near Orlando, Florida.
Wild Florida – Kenansville
Wild Florida Airboats and Gator Park is a day full of adventure. The park offers Airboat Tours, a Drive-Thru Safari Park, and an amazing Alligator Park with more than 200 native and exotic animals.
Wild Florida is located on Lake Cypress, 3301 Lake Cypress Rd Kenansville, FL 34739. They are open Monday through Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm and closes on Sundays.
When we visited admission to the Alligator Park was just $10/adult and $8/child making this park a great bargain. There are picnic tables too, so you can bring your own lunch.
Showcase of Citrus – Clermont
While apple picking is the Michigan thing to do in fall, Floridians have citrus groves from November through May. Showcase of Citrus over fifty varieties of citrus across 2,500 acres of groves. In addition to the fruit grove, guests can visit the farm animals, shop in the country store or go on a Monster Truck Adventure through the estate.
Showcase of Citrus is located at 5010 US Highway 27 Clermont, FL 34714. The estate is open 365 days a year, including holidays, from 8 am to 7 pm.
If you are looking for cheap things to do near Orlando, The Grove Experience is only $1 per child and $2 per adult making this a frugal day trip. Pick your own fruit is available at an extra cost. The Monster Truck Experience is a bit more pricey at $25 per adult and $15 per child. However, they are often running specials on Groupon, and active military and veterans ride for free with their military ID.
Visit an Ocean Beach
Orlando is about an hour away from the Atlantic Ocean. There are several public beaches all along the coast. On our most recent trip to Florida we visited Paradise Beach in Melbourne. This 12.39-acre public beach offers a gorgeous sandy beach, covered picnic area, playground, and restrooms. Parking is free and visitors can pack their own lunch or pick up something at the food truck or a local restaurant.
Visit a Nature Center or State Park
Florida is rich in public parks, nature centers, state parks, and national parks. Many of the experiences are free or very cheap. Oakland Nature Preserve is a hidden gem, just 30 minutes from Disney. The 128-acre preserve is located on the 2nd largest lake in Florida, lake Apopka. Oakland Nature Preserve offers guests several different trails, including the .7 mile Boardwalk trail that leads visitors to Lake Apopka. You can also spend hours exploring some of the shorter trails featuring an amphitheater, bird feeding station, pavilions, play area and more.
The Oakland Nature Preserve is free to visit making it another great option for cheap things to do near Orlando. It is important to note that they are open from sunrise to sunset 365 days a year. You can visit them at 747 Machete Trail Oakland, FL 34760.
Orlando Science Center
If you are unlucky enough to have a rainy day during your vacation, I highly recommend a visit to the Orlando Science Center. The facility hosts four floors and over 200,000 square feet of hands-on learning and fun. The KidsTown section features a splash zone, theatre, climbing structure, orange grove, art studio, toddler town and more.
The Orlando Science Center is located at 777 Princeton Street in Orlando, Florida, just off I-4. Garage parking is available in the lot south of the Science Center for just $5.00 (free for members). Admission is $21 per adult and $15 per child, however, they are ASTC members so if you have a membership at either Cranbrook or the Michigan Science Center, your admission is FREE.
Homeschool Days at Legoland
The 150-acre amusement center caters to the 2-12-year-old crowd, offering more than 50 rides, shows, and attractions. It’s more than you can tackle in one day. Legoland Florida hours vary seasonally, it is best to check their park hours before your visit.
Disney Springs the ultimate shopping experience, offering over 100 shops, 60 places to eat and over 20 attractions. While the whole places is designed to get you to spend your money, there are many activities you can do that are free during your visit. Meet the Coca-Cola Bear, ride the ferry boat, play in the water fountains in front of The Void, snag a free sample of Ghiradelli Chocolates, or sit back and enjoy one of the free live performances.
For less expensive experiences, check out the carousel ($3 per person) or the train (also $3 per person). If you want to splurge, I recommend a visit to House of Blues for lunch or dinner, or T-REX (which also offers a dino dig experience after dinner).
Largest Mc Donald’s in the World
Orlando is home to the largest Mc Donald’s restaurant in the world. The 19,000 square feet McDonald’s is home to a three-story play structure, arcade games, extensive menu and many other amenities that make it special.
This Mc Donald’s location is open 24 hours a day, making it a convenient, fun and cheap family experience. Located at 6875 W Sand Lake Road in Orlando, this restaurant is perfect for a rainy day.
Other Cheap Things to do near Orlando, Florida
Visit a playground or a park.
Find a free local concert.
See a movie.
Check Groupon for deals!
Check out Defy Orlando, Sky Zone, or another indoor adventure park.
Play a round of mini-golf.