Well, you have your reservations and the car is packed and ready to go. You’re off to Florida for a vacation! Have you made your list of cheap travel Orlando tips and ideas for the family while there? I’m not talking about theme parks but just a list of free parks that are really fun!
Here ya go, a list of 3 free parks and museums in Central Florida.
1. Lake Eola Park in Downtown Orlando.
This park is 43.2 acres including the lake, and features a sidewalk circling the entire way around the lake for rollerblading, walking, or jogging. The sidewalk is just under a mile long at 0.9 miles. Like many Florida lakes, this particular lake was originally a sinkhole. Amazing, huh? You can see a spectacular view of Orlando’s skyline from this park or enjoy one of the concerts in the outdoor amphitheater. There is a fountain in the middle of the lake, and you can also rent swan boats and paddle around. This is of course not free so that would be optional but still qualifies as a cheap Orlando tip as it is fairly inexpensive. If you are visiting during the fall, Fiesta in the Park is a not-to-be-missed art festival. Free of charge and well worth the trip to the park.
2. Harry P Leu Gardens, a 50-acre botanical garden and museum featuring 3 miles of paved scenic walkways.
The gardens feature the largest Camellia collection outside of California, largest formal rose garden in Florida, a house museum dating from the 1880s, a 2-acre tropical stream garden, vegetable and herb garden, butterfly garden, and palm and bamboo gardens. There is also a gift shop, tours, and special events including songs and storytelling for the kids. When it comes to cheap Orlando deals, I think this is one of the best-kept secrets. Schedule a trip here for the afternoon for a relaxing time away from the crowds.
3. Fort Christmas Historical Museum and Park.
Located on the outskirts of Orlando in Christmas, Florida, this is another well-kept secret of Central Florida. Here you can visit the full size replica of Fort Christmas including 7 restored historical homes preserved in the “Cracker” architecture of East Orange County, Florida. The houses are interpreted to show pioneer life from the 1870s through the 1930s. Key themes are homesteading, cattle, citrus, hunting, fishing, and trapping. This is an interesting and enjoyable park for the entire family, definitely should be on the list for cheap Orlando activities. There is a gift shop and special events including a cowboy reunion where local cowboys share their experiences, a bluegrass arts and crafts festival in March, Old Timer’s day in May, Pioneer Homecoming Day in October, and Cracker Christmas in December.