Orlando is a bucket-list vacation destination that draws millions of tourists each year to experience the world-famous attractions, theme parks and abundance of family-friendly activities – but Orlando’s top ticketed attractions come with a price tag!
Whether you’re trying to balance a tight budget or simply looking to stretch your travel dollars, there are plenty of free things to do in Orlando that don’t cost a cent, are kind on your vacation budget, and still allow you to experience the best of Orlando.
Distance: 5 miles E from Lake Berkley
Kissimmee Lakefront Park is just a short drive from our Lake Berkley vacation homes and ranks one of the top free things to do in Kissimmee. Nestled on the north shore of Lake Tohopekaliga (Lake Toho), Kissimmee Lakefront Park is a haven for outdoor recreation with walking trails, vast open spaces to play or picnic, a playground and splash pad, and prime bass fishing on the bountiful waters of Lake Toho. You will need to purchase a Florida fishing license for your Lake Toho fishing adventures!
Distance: 15 miles S from Lake Berkley
Experience a taste of the Everglades at the Nature Conservancy’s Disney Wilderness Preserve. This pristine 12,000 acre nature preserve forms part of the Everglades ecosystem with peaceful trails to Lake Russell, over 1,000 species of plants, animals and birds for wildlife viewing, and a tranquil escape from the theme park crowds. Admission is free and donations to the Nature Conservancy are welcomed.
Distance: 28 miles N from Lake Berkley
Lake Eola Park is in the heart of downtown Orlando, north of the Orlando theme parks. There’s always something fun, free and festive happening at Lake Eola Park from free events in the Walt Disney Amphitheater and the Orlando Sunday Farmers Market to the vibrant display of nightly lights on the iconic Lake Eola Fountain (8pm & 9:30pm nightly). Picnic in the shade of the large oaks, feed the swans or spend some of your vacation budget and cruise Lake Eola on a classic swan boat.
Distance: 28 miles N from Lake Berkley
Next stop for nature lovers is Mead Botanical Gardens, a 47-acre natural habitat with blooming botanical gardens, forested wetlands teeming with bird life, butterfly gardens, nature trails, and peaceful ponds for picnics. The gardens host fun, free family events and it’s a top spot for geocaching in Orlando.
Distance: 28.5 miles N from Lake Berkley
Put some time aside to stroll around Kraft Azalea, Florida’s secret gardens on the shores of Lake Maitland. The secluded gardens are nestled in the shade of magnificent cypress trees and a 70-year old Banyan Tree with tranquil trails, scattered benches to soak up the scenery, and perfect Florida sunsets from the Excedra Monument.
Distance: 2 miles from Lake Berkley
You can even visit a Buddhist temple near Orlando! The Wat Florida Dhammaram is a stunning Buddhist temple and monastery in Kissimmee with beautiful grounds featuring commemorative statues, intricate and opulent religious temples, and chanting monks performing spiritual rituals. It’s a fabulous (and free) space to meditate, experience the Buddhist culture, and find peace away from the theme park crowds. Free admission – donations welcomed.
Distance: 25 miles from Lake Berkley
The CityArts Factory in the Downtown Arts District features Orlando’s largest collection of galleries with local and international artwork and a fun opportunity for visitors to mingle with Orlando visitors, locals and artists at the 3rd Thursday Gallery Hop.
Distance: 28 miles N from Lake Berkley
There’s no need to pay top dollar to experience Orlando’s top cultural attractions. Loch Haven is the cultural heart of Central Florida and home to some of Orlando’s finest museums, theaters, and sculpture gardens. If you’re visiting Orlando on a budget, it’s a great place to picnic, people watch, and experience Orlando’s unique arts and culture vibe for free.
Many of the top attractions in Loch Haven Culture Park offer free admission days throughout the year so be sure to visit their website when planning your trip to Orlando. The 200-year old Mayor Tree and lakeside sculpture garden at the Mennello Museum of Folk Art can be viewed for free from the Lake Formosa trails, the Harry P. Leu Gardens offers free tours of the inspirational gardens, you can see a restored 1926 fire engine at Orlando Fire Museum, or experience Orlando’s performing arts for free at Open House events at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater.
Distance: 30 miles from Lake Berkley
The Winter Park neighborhood of Orlando is a few miles from Loch Haven Culture Park, another top neighborhood to discover the cultural side of Orlando. View the works of Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso for free at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, followed by a student-produced show at the Fred Stone Theater, then head on to the world’s largest collection of Tiffany Glass at the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art (free on select dates and Friday nights Nov-Apr).
Distance: 5 miles from Lake Berkley
From museums, art galleries and gardens to old-fashioned fun at Old Town Amusement Park, a top Orlando family attraction in the heart of Kissimmee. Old Town hosts free American-themed events from doo-wop Wednesdays to classic Saturday car cruises – but you’ll have to fork out a few dollars to shop, dine or play at the amusement park.
Distance: 7 miles from Lake Berkley
Endless fun awaits in Celebration Town Center! Shops and restaurants line the brick streets and boardwalks around the lake, there’s water play for the kids at the interactive fountain, free concerts on the shores of Lake Rianhard, and the festive Celebration Farmers Market each Sunday.
Distance: 8 miles from Lake Berkley
You can spend all the money you want at the open-air shopping dining and entertainment complex at Disney Springs, or none at all! There’s plenty of free entertainment and activities with life performers, free ferries to the Disney attractions, free special events throughout the year, and play stations at the Lego Imagination Center for kids to build and create for hours.
Distance: 8.5 miles from Lake Berkley
The Orlando I-Drive experience is a must! Many of Orlando’s top tourist sights, family activities, and foodie attractions are along International Drive, including Icon Park. While you’ll need tickets for the Icon Park attractions, entry to the park is free and you can gather on the central green and experience the 400-ft observation wheel light up the skies above Orlando – for free!
Distance: 10 miles from Lake Berkley
The Disney Boardwalk near Epcot is 100% FREE! The Friendship Boat runs from Epcot and Hollywood Studios to the boardwalk or there is limited free parking nearby. You may have to fork out some dollars for attractions, entertainment, holiday shopping or dining, but there’s no price tag for people watching and taking in the views on the Disney Boardwalk promenade.
Distance: 13 miles from Lake Berkley
Since 1971 Auntie Kau’i has been charming visitors to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort luau dinner shows with her traditional Polynesian hula dancing. Join her dancers for free hula dancing lessons in the hotel lobby Monday through Saturday at 3:45pm and Saturday mornings at 10am. Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and the Ferry Dock near the Transportation and Ticket Center are the best places to watch the Disney fireworks for free!
Distance: 15 miles from Lake Berkley
Universal CityWalk is the “epicenter of awesome” and aside from parking fees, there’s free admission every day to explore the entertainment complex (tickets required for individual attractions). There are splash pads for the kids, free DJ dance parties, strolling musicians in the Portofino Bay Hotel piazza, and plenty of free (and affordable) Orlando family fun.
Distance: 23 miles from Lake Berkley
The Orlando Brewing Company is located in downtown Orlando near historic Ivanhoe Village. There’s a massive tasting room with free live music events throughout the year and the only certified organic brewery in Florida and the Southeast! Grab a ticket at the bar (first come, first serve) and enjoy a free brewery tour of the Orlando Brewing Company Monday through Saturday at 6pm.
Distance: 40 miles from Lake Berkley
Take a scenic drive to Clermont for free wine tasting at Florida’s largest premium winery. Lakeridge Winery hosts family-friendly festivals and free live music events at Weekends at the Winery, with free tours and tastings from 10am to 4pm, seven days a week. The tour begins with a short film about the history of the vineyards, followed by a winery tour, and sampling of Lakeridge’s award-winning wines in the tasting room.
Escape the crowds and reserve Florida Oasis, a luxury vacation villa in a private, gated community in Lake Berkley, Kissimmee. Florida Oasis is easy driving distance to Orlando’s top-rated attractions (and free things to do) and boasts all the comforts of home, a private lakeside pool, games room for indoor entertainment and free resort-style community amenities including a fitness center, lakeside jogging path, picnic and BBQ areas, nature trails, fishing pier and a sandy lakefront beach. Starting at $142 per night, it’s an affordable option for a budget-friendly vacation in Orlando!