When most people think about an Orlando vacation, their first thought typically goes to the pricey theme parks and the expensive meals that Universal Studios and Walt Disney World (among other theme parks) are known for. The hotels cost a lot, plus there’s park tickets, merchandise, transportation, Genie+, MagicBands. There’s alot of expenses and they can add up pretty quickly. Plus Orlando has some fantastic shopping and dining outside of theme parks, too – but those stores and restaurants tend to price a bit higher than the average place. So assuming your Orlando vacation has to cost alot has kind of become the norm lately. But it doesn’t need to be!
What you may not know is that there are actually a LOT of awesome activities to be taken advantage of in Orlando on a budget! So we gave ourselves the task of putting together a list of some awesome family activities around Orlando for $35 or less! And we surprised ourselves with how many we could easily list.
So, because we can’t all break the bank every time we want to take an Orlando vacation, we’ve created the ideal list of …
The best low-cost and free things to do in Orlando – just for you!
Let’s break it all down:
Table of Contents
FAMILY FUN FOR UNDER $35
One of our favorite low-cost fun activities in Orlando is Dezerland Park.
Discover 800,000 square feet of thrills and fun at Orlando’s largest indoor entertainment center. It has a wide variety of attractions that cost you $25 or less each. This includes Karting Orlando, Bowling Orlando, Jumpsmart Trampoline Park, The Pinball Palace, and affordable games at Arcade Orlando.
Hours for Dezerland Park are 11am – 10pm Monday – Thursday
Hours are 11am – 11pm on Friday & 11am – 12 am on Saturday.
Splitsville at Disney Springs
Show up for the bowling…stay for the incredible food and atmosphere!
Have you heard of the sensational retro-themed bowling alley at Disney Springs? You’ll be glad you chose to spend your night at Splitsville when you experience the impressive bowling lanes and talented live music. But, here’s what’s even better:
The dining is fantastic. You can even order sushi at Splitsville!
Guests will pay $17/per person for daytime pricing. In the evenings and on weekends, pricing is $22/per person. Plus, in case you didn’t already know: You don’t need to pay any admission or be staying on-site at Disney World to go to Disney Springs.
Aerophile – Disney Springs
Have you ever had the desire to ride in a hot air balloon?
Enjoy an unforgettable balloon flight lasting 8 minutes long! This ultra-unique opportunity is weather-permitting and tickets are $25/adults and $20/children.
To make your reservation, dial (407) 938-9433.
Main Event Entertainment
It’s time for the main event….
Purchase an All You Can Play Activity Pass for about $22 to enjoy bowling, laser tag, billiards, virtual reality gaming, and more.
Hours for Main Event Entertainment are 12pm – 12am Monday – Friday. Hours are 10am – 12am on Saturday & 11am – 12am on Sunday!
The Wheel at ICON Park
Ever been to ICON Park? Let us tell you about it!
The Wheel is a 20-minute, air-conditioned observation wheel (like a Ferris wheel, but different!) with spectacular views from 400 feet up.
One of the most iconic attractions in Orlando, tickets for The Wheel are $27.99/per person (when purchased online.)
Open from 1pm-10pm Monday – Thursday, 1pm-11pm on Fridays & 12pm-12am on Saturdays!
A lot of people don’t realize that Orlando is home to the INCREDIBLE Crayola Experience. You may have visited one of the other Crayola locations in Easton, PA, Plano, Texas, Chandler, AZ, or Bloomington, MN.
This two-story, 70,000-square-foot version in Orlando isa color blast that provides a full day of fun with dozens of hands-on activities, including drip art, a color playground, and much more. Tickets can be purchased from Visit Orlando for approximately $25.
Hours for the Crayola Experience are 10am – 8pm every day of the week.
Orlando Science Center
The Orlando Science Center is one of Orlando’s premier STEM attractions. The excellent Science Center has 11,000 square feet of hands-on educational fun. Plan an exceptional day for your kids where they can enjoy finding fossils at DinoDigs, turning ideas into reality at The Hive: A Makerspace, and so much more.
Tickets start at $24 for adults; $22 for students and seniors with IDs; $18 for kids ages 2-11; and free for OSC members and kids under 2.
Hours for the Orlando Science Center are: 10:00am – 5:00 pm everyday of the week – including weekends!
Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition Orlando
Step back in time and immerse yourself in history with the Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition in Orlando. This unique experience is more than just a museum; it’s a journey into the past. With real artifacts recovered from the ocean floor and full-scale recreations of parts of the ship, you’ll feel like you’re on board the ill-fated liner. It’s a poignant reminder of a significant moment in history and a must-visit for anyone interested in the Titanic’s story. So, while you’re enjoying the thrills of Orlando, take a moment to explore this captivating exhibition – it’s a voyage of discovery that adds depth and meaning to your vacation.
Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition is open daily from 10AM till 6PM.
WonderWorks is out of this world. When you’re driving by, you’ll notice a building that literally appears to have been uprooted and flipped upside down. Imagine the coolest, indoor, SCIENCE amusement park / museum, and then you might be close to understanding what WonderWorks is like.
But trust us, don’t skip the opportunity to explore the glow-in-the-dark ropes course and laser tag!
Ticket prices do vary seasonally, but the basic ticket price for adults is $36.99 and $27.99 for children.
WonderWorks is open every day of the year including holidays!
SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium
Go deep below the surface through a 360-degree ocean tunnel, and see the ocean as you’ve never seen it before. Here, guests can get up close and personal with sharks, stingrays, sea turtles, and other creatures. Tickets start around $25 – for adults and $21 – for kids when purchased from Visit Orlando.
SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium is open from 11am – 5pm Monday – Thursday.
Hours are 11am – 6pm for Friday and Saturday
Museum of Illusions
This educational (and fun!) attraction at ICON has more than 50 exhibits of illusions that will trick your eyes and blow your mind. Admission starts at $24.99. You won’t want to miss it!
Museum of Illusions is open from 10am -10pm every day of the week – including weekends!
Madame Tussauds Orlando
Madame Tussauds is well-known and frequently visited!
Stroll among the rich and famous (and even a superhero or two) at Madame Tussauds Orlando.
We recommend purchasing your tickets from Visit Orlando –
If you do, tickets start around $25 for adults and $21 for kids.
Children under 3 get in for free.
Madame Tussauds Orlando is open from 11am – 5pm on Mondays – Thursdays.
Hours are 11am – 6pm on Friday and Saturday.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
Everyone knows Ripley’s…This fascinating museum celebrates oddities from around the world. Interactive exhibits and artifacts can all be discovered inside!
Admission starts at $27 for adults and $18 for kids between the ages of 3 and 11.
Kids under 3 are free.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Is open 10am – 11pm Monday – Thursday.
Hours are 10am – 12am on Friday and Saturday.
And 10am – 11pm on Sunday.
FAMILY FUN FOR UNDER $20
Next up, we’ve put together some super affordable opportunities for you and your family to do during your next Orlando vacation, all falling under the $20 umbrella!
Whether you prefer fun outdoor races, impressive museums, or celebrity tours, we’ve rounded up something for everyone!
If you’re someone who is afraid of heights, steer clear of this next option! The rest of you brave folks can take a ride on Orlando’s tallest attraction — the Orlando StarFlyer. Tickets for the 450-foot-tall swing ride start at $12 at the gate and $11 when purchased online. Enjoy the world’s tallest swing ride as it soars to speeds up to 60 miles per hour.
Orlando Starflyer is open from 10 am – 2 am every day of the week.
Themed Mini-Golf at Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf
Who doesn’t love mini golf?!
Orlando is home to two 18-hole, pirate-themed courses at Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf. Each course is approximately $14 for adults and $12 for kids. Replays can be enjoyed for as little as $10.
Play against your friends and family and see who is declared the golfing champion!
Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf in Orlando is open from 9:00 am – 11:30pm daily.
Fun Spot America
Think you know all the fun spots in Orlando?
Well, have you been to Fun Spot America?
This family-friendly amusement park has a pay-as-you-go Fun E-Card, with attractions costing anywhere from $7 to $12. Admission is always free. Unlimited rides are available from Visit Orlando starting at around $60.
Fun Spot America Orlando is open from 10am – 12am every day.
Andretti Indoor Karting & Games
If you haven’t been to Andretti Indoor Karting & Games before… get in gear! Put the pedal to the metal at this multi-level indoor go-kart park, which also features bowling, a ropes course, laser tag, a food court, and two bars. Activities cost under $20, and adult races start at $19.99 when purchased from Visit Orlando.
Andretti Indoor Karting & Games is open from 10am – 12am Sunday – Thursday.
On Friday and Saturday, it’s hours are 10am – 1am.
Orlando Museum of Art
We’re big fans of art, and we know you might be to!
With local, national, and international masterpieces, as well as the educational Discovery Center, this museum has something for everyone.
Admission ranges from $20 for adults to $12 for seniors, $10 for college students with valid ID, $8 for children ages 6-17, and is free for active or retired military with valid ID and kids under 6.
The Orlando Museum of Art is open from 10am – 4pm Tuesday – Friday.
On Sat & Sun, it’s open from 12pm – 4pm.
Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens
Do you love the zoo? Are you all about the botanical gardens?
Get acquainted with more than 500 animals across 23 acres of natural beauty, just 35 minutes north of Orlando’s main tourist zones. Admission costs are generally $19.95 for adults, $15.95 for seniors, $13.95 for children ages 3-12, and free for kids under 3.
The Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens are open from 9am – 4pm every day.
Did You Know? Founded in 1949, Gatorland is one of Orlando’s longest-running attractions. A Gator Night Shine tour costs under $20 per person when purchased from Visit Orlando and features 110 acres with thousands of alligators and crocodiles.
Gatorland is open from 10am – 6pm everyday of the week.
Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour
If you’ve never thought of trying a boat tour, now’s your chance… Get a glimpse into the lives of the rich and famous with this scenic boat tour of Winter Park. View the waterfront mansions at a price that won’t break the bank, starting at $16 for adults and $8 for kids ages 2-12.
The Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour is open from 10am – 4pm every day of the week.
FAMILY FUN FOR UNDER $10 OR FOR FREE
If you believe that there isn’t anything to do for FREE in Orlando, FL, we’re about to prove you wrong! Check out our list below of all the activities we could find that are under $10 (or free.)
Clients who want to maximize the bang for their buck can enjoy these activities and attractions, which may just allow them to leave their wallets at home!
Here are some of Orlando’s best low-cost and free attractions.
West Orange Trail Bikes & Blades Co.
For the cyclists: This 22-mile West Orange Trail stretches from Winter Garden to Apopka and is packed with amenities along the way. Explore by bicycle starting at $10 per hour when renting from the West Orange Trail Bikes & Blades Co.
The West Orange Trail Bikes and Blades hours of operation are:
9am – 5pm Monday – Friday and 7:30am-5pm – Sat & Sun
Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive
On weekends and holidays, visitors can enjoy the gorgeous scenery of this unbelievable 9 mile scenic drive. Complete with an audio guided tour option, taking your crew to the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive is an excellent way to spend your day.
With solid options for both parking and restrooms, you will be taken care of and able to enjoy the drive worry-free. Plus, there’s no charge for admission!
The drive will take at least two hours, and you can also bike if you so choose.
The Wildlife Drive is open to visitors during daylight hours.
The Orange County Regional History Center
History buffs, don’t skip The Orange County Regional History Center!
From 5-8pm, admission is FREE on the 3rd Thursday of every month.
Admission is always free if you are a Florida educator, Orange County employee, or museum member!
Otherwise, Adult admission is $8 and Children admission is $6.
Be sure to check out the exhibits on aviation, African American history, and theme park history. The History Center displays impressive numerous archives and offers extensive educational resources, programs, and opportunities for its visitors (both local and out of town!)
To read more about the discounts offered and the History Center’s beginnings, check out the website here.
Mennello Museum of American Art
Home to a sought-after collection of Earl Cunningham’s (Florida-born) most impressive work, the Mennello Museum of American Art is committed to educating its visitors in the history of American Art while encouraging them through frequent events, etc.
PLUS: Admission is FREE for families on the 2nd Sunday of each month.
Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards
For all of you 21+ over folks:
Enjoy a FREE wine tour and tasing at the Lake Ridge Winery. Enjoy music and the gorgeous view as you taste some exceptional wine. Purchase a souvenir for your friends at home at the gift shop or soak in some sun in the picnic area, while you snack.
For more information, check out their website here.
We highly recommend diving into the natural world of Central Florida’s freshwater springs. Hiking, swimming, and wildlife viewing (including manatees) await visitors who want to splash into the natural side of Orlando. Standouts include Blue Spring State Park, De Leon Springs State Park, Rock Springs Run State Preserve at Kelly Park, and Wekiwa Springs State Park.
Hours of availability vary are depending on the state park / preserve.
Harry P. Leu Gardens
If you’re a garden fanatic – this is the PLACE for you. Visitors can wind through 50 acres of paved scenic walkways and gardens just north of downtown in the Audubon Park Garden District. They can explore more than 40 plant collections from around the world, as well as a butterfly garden and a house museum that dates back to the 19th century.
The Harry P. Leu Gardens are open from 9am – 5pm every day of the week.
Just a hop, skip, and a jump down from Walt Disney World Resort®, Old Town recreates the look and feel of a classic Floridian town. Explore 18 acres of tree-lined brick streets with more than 70 affordable shops and restaurants. Admission is free.
Old Town is open from 11am – 11 pm every day of the week.
Orange County Regional History Center & Heritage Square Park
History buffs, don’t skip Orange County Regional History Center & Heritage Square Park!
An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute, the History Center spans 12,000 years of Central Florida history through a variety of exhibits and programming.
The Orange County Regional History Center & Heritage Square Park is open from 10 am – 5pm Monday – Saturday and 12pm-5pm on Sunday.
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
Don’t skip this can’t-miss museum!
Explore one of the most comprehensive works of Louis Comfort Tiffany in this Winter Park museum. Visitors will enjoy his glasswork, pottery, jewelry, and even paintings at a cost of approximately $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, and $1 for students with valid IDs.
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art’s hours of operation are:
9:30 am – 4pm Tuesday – Saturday & 1pm-4pm on Sunday
Blue Spring State Park
We highly recommend experiencing your stunning surroundings with the incredible wildlife viewing (including manatees) that awaits visitors who want to splash into the natural side of Orlando.
Blue Spring State Park is the perfect place to go swimming, fishing, hiking, and more!
Blue Springs is open every day.
Blue Spring State Park charges $6 per vehicle.
BONUS EXPERT TRAVEL TIPS:
Thought those were all of our suggestions? Think again! Check out our picks below for a few additional ideas we wanted to mention…
The city has even more fascinating, fun, and/or education for all ages – at absolutely no cost!
Other experiences to consider exploring include:
To wrap it all up, we hope we’ve properly convinced you that there are endless fun, exciting, fascinating, and educational opportunities for under $35 (sometimes even free!) for you and for your family to do in Orlando, FL. If your budget isn’t ready for the expensive theme parks for your upcoming Orlando vacation, pick some of these wonderful activities to add to your itinerary!
If you are just looking for a break from the crowds at the theme parks, there’s also a mouth-watering list of dining options that are available outside the parks – with much more open reservation slots!
If you are curious what the other side of the spectrum has – check out our guide to the top luxury experiences in Orlando!
Don’t forget to keep checking back with Cabelleros Vacations for all the tips, ideas, and recommendations for your ideal vacation experience. If you have any questions – reach out! We’ll help you prepare an itinerary that works for you regardless of your budget.
Happy Low-Cost Planning, folks!