Entrance fees, meals and souvenirs can make a visit to the popular theme parks of Orlando, Florida, a pricey one. But there's more in Orlando than theme parks, and some of the most fun activities are actually free. If your wallet starts to feel light or you just need a break from Disney madness, try a few free activities.
Orlando Museum of Art
Founded in 1924, the Orlando Museum of Art is one of the finest art museums in Florida, featuring permanent collections of ancient American and African art in addition to 10 to 12 temporary exhibitions per year. On the first Thursday of every month, the Orlando Museum of Art hosts "1st Thursdays" from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is free and includes entrance to the museum's exhibitions. Each month has a different theme, with works by area artists, live music and a cash bar.
Orlando Brewing, the only certified organic brewery in Florida, brews its beer in strict accordance with the German Purity Law of 1516, using only natural and organic ingredients. The award-winning beers are brewed on the premises, and at least a dozen of its beers are on tap at all times.
Tours of the brewery are offered at 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. During the weekends, the brewery hosts live music performances. The brewery tours and the performances are free.
The Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens was founded in 1961 with the purpose of promoting the legacy of sculptor Albin Polasek and furthering awareness and appreciation of sculpture. The galleries, historic residence and chapel are open from September 1 to June 30, and the sculpture garden is open year-round. There is a charge to enter the rest of the museum, but entrance to the sculpture gardens is free.
Every few months, Orlando radio station WMMO hosts a free outdoor concert in downtown Orlando as part of its Downtown Concert Series. Past acts have included Cyndi Lauper, Joe Cocker and Cheap Trick. Check the WMMO website for upcoming events (see Resources).
The city of Kissimmee also hosts a free monthly concert in January, February and March. The Concert in the Park Series takes place in Lakefront Park, and each concert is centered around a theme. Check the Kissimmee website for the schedule (see Resources).
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