We at White Rose Villas love to visit the theme parks and their ever-growing offering of exciting rides and attractions to entertain and delight the whole family. We’re also aware that costs can tend to escalate at times, so we’re always looking for free or inexpensive things to do in and around Orlando. Here, we’ll share some of our favourites and give you some fun options that won’t shrink your bank balance too much, if at all. Please remember to check each venue before you go; in these uncertain times things can change rapidly.
Kissimmee Old Town
On route 192, close to Disney, we love to take a stroll around Kissimmee Old Town, with its amusement park, great dining and shopping. This charming retro walking district is a recreation of a classic Florida town, offering a welcome break from the larger, hectic theme parks. Saturday night sees a very famous and popular classic car cruise, with free entertainment for everyone, plus the chance to see hundreds of amazing classic cars parading the streets,
Farmer’s Market at Winter Park
Also on a Saturday morning from 7 a.m. there’s a weekly Farmer’s Market at Winter Park. Held in a vintage train depot off Park Avenue, it’s your chance to check out and buy fresh local produce, including artisanal foods, plants and baked goods. It’s great to take your time and explore the fabulous range on offer; maybe bag yourself a bargain!
Orlando Brewing Company
Every weekend there’s an opportunity to learn how organic beer is brewed at Orlando’s organic beer brewery, with its giant fermenting vats. Orlando Brewing Company offers free tours plus free live entertainment on its outdoor stage. Be sure to take an Uber if you intend to sample the delicious brews on offer!
Kelly Park, Apopka & Blue Spring State Park
Ever tried tubing? Well, if you think it may ‘float your boat’ why not head to Kelly Park in Apopka, where you can float your day away on a free flowing natural spring and crystal clear creek. You’ll also find hiking trails, volleyball courts and a playground. You can take your own tubes or rent one outside the park. All this costs just $3 per vehicle with 1-2 occupants, or $5 with 3-8 people.
There are no manatees at Kelly Park but, during the Winter months, you can spot these wonderful creatures at Blue Spring State Park located West of Orange City. It’s a dedicated manatee refuge and popular tourist destination where you can also go kayaking, canoeing, hiking, fishing, swimming or wildlife spotting.
Visitors come from far and wide to experience spooky goings-on at Spook Hill in Lake Wales, South of Orlando. On arrival, park your car in neutral and it appears to roll uphill without any form of propulsion! Is the hill haunted as many locals will tell you, or is it maybe an optical illusion? You’ll have to make your own mind up, but we were pretty amazed when we visited!
Tibet Butler Preserve & Ocala National Forest
If you enjoy Florida’s abundant wildlife you can visit a wildlife haven close to Disney World. Tibet Butler Preserve is free to visit and offers miles of well-maintained hiking trails for all to enjoy.
Ocala National Forest is a unique and fascinating place known for its huge areas of pine scrub forest, natural pools and canoe runs. You can explore the hundreds of trails, one of which runs past a sinkhole, and the remains of 19th century homesteads.
The Bradlee-McIntyre House
For you achitecture buffs The Bradlee-McIntyre House is well worth a visit: the only surviving Queen Anne-style cottage in Orange and Seminole Counties. Built in 1885 for noted Boston architect Nathaniel Jeremiah Bradlee, the 3 storey, 13 room Winter vacation home features an octagonal tower and gingerbread trim, typical of the flamboyant houses of the period.
Running for Brews
Combining fitness with fun, Running for Brews is a well-known Orlando running club meeting at Graffiti Junktion 7p.m. Wednesdays. After running a local 5km route, you’ll enjoy free craft beers to help you rehydrate! This is definitely one of the favourites for we finely-honed athletes at White Rose Villas!!
Family Friendly Vacation Rental
Finally, while not free, we’re sure you’ll be very pleasantly surprised at how affordable it is to rent a family-friendly vacation rental around Orlando. From as little as $90 per night you and any little ones can enjoy your own private pool and spa, as well as a games room and resort facilities such as huge pools, arcades, gyms, restaurants, playgrounds etc. which vary by location.
Many rentals offer themed rooms based on favourite movies or characters that kids just love! For much less than the cost of a hotel, families or groups of friends can live in extremely comfortable, safe surroundings, eat outdoors, enjoy the games room and experience the magic all around them!
Check out the fabulous range of properties available at Ellis Exclusive Villas