Orlando is one of the biggest tourism cities in the United States, attracting millions of visitors every year to its theme parks, resorts and Major League Baseball spring training camps. It's easy to take a vacation to Orlando and spend a hefty chunk of money, but many don't realize that the city also has a variety of free or affordable activities for children and adults of all ages.
Harry P. Leu Gardens
The Harry P. Leu Gardens is scenic walkway in Orlando that offers more than 50 acres of Southern-style gardens, which include the largest formal rose garden in Florida; two acres of tropical stream gardens; a butterfly garden; a museum and house built in the 1880s and a vegetable and herb garden. The gardens frequently host weddings and special events but are free to the general public the first Monday of every month, and $2 for children and $7 for adults the rest of the month.
Harry P. Leu Gardens 1920 North Forest Avenue Orlando, FL 32803 407-246-2620 leugardens.org
Located within the Walt Disney World gates, Downtown Disney offers free entry and a variety of activities for both adults and children every day. The area is divided into three sections — the Marketplace, Pleasure Island and West Side. The Marketplace hosts an array of fine and casual dining spots, shops and exhibits for children and adults. Pleasure Island is for adults, featuring a variety of pubs and dance clubs, as well as outdoor restaurants and cigar shops. The West Side is home to a 24-screen movie theater, high-end restaurants and unique shops.
Walt Disney World Downtown Disney 1494 E. Buena Vista Dr. Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830 407-939-3463 disneyworld.com
SeaWorld in Orlando allows its guests to explore sea life and various oceanic habitats while coming face to face with the fiercest sea creatures. Open all year, the park hosts dozens of exhibits, interactive shows and rides for the whole family and educates guests about the plight of aquatic habitats worldwide. The park offers an online-only deal that allows guests who purchase entry for one day a free second at SeaWorld. The online discount cuts the family's expenses in half, equaling about $35 per day per person. The park is open Monday through Thursday until 6 p.m. and Friday through Sunday until 8 p.m.
SeaWorld Orlando 7007 SeaWorld Drive Orlando, FL 32821 1-888-800-5447 seaworld.com