Trying to save a little money? You don’t need a huge budget in order to plan a romantic and memorable date night with your partner. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite free things to do in Orlando, from monthly festivals to art and museum tours, local attractions, and more.
POPCORN FLICKS IN THE PARK
Watch a free classic family-friendly movie outdoors in Winter Park’s picturesque Central Park on the second Thursday of each month. Popcorn Flicks in the Park is hosted by Enzian Theater, an independent cinema in Maitland that’s one of our date night favorites. Pack a picnic and some blankets and enjoy the free fun.
ALBIN POLASEK MUSEUM & SCULPTURE GARDENS
While regular admission is $5 per adult, the Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens offers a host of free admission days throughout the year. Once inside, peruse the work on display by Czech artist Albin Polasek. Don’t forget to head outdoors to walk around the serene sculpture gardens.
THE ALFOND INN ART TOURS
A hotel in Winter Park may be the last place you expect to find an impressive art collection, but prepare to be surprised by the gorgeous contemporary art collection on display at The Alfond Inn. This hotel located just off Park Avenue offers free guided tours of their in-house art collection every Sunday at 1pm. Tours are led by a Cornell Fine Arts Museum staff member and no reservations are needed.
THE CHARLES HOSMER MORSE MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART
The Morse Museum is a hidden gem in Winter Park home to the most comprehensive collection anywhere of Louis Comfort Tiffany glass. Inside, find a collection of jewelry, lamps, sculpture, and American art in addition to a full chapel interior with its own private viewing room. Admission is free for everyone November-April on Friday evenings from 4-8pm.
TOUR THE CORNELL FINE ARTS MUSEUM
Get artsy on a free Rollins Museum Tour on Saturdays at 1pm. You’ll enjoy a docent-led arts tour of the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, located on the Rollins College campus in Winter Park. Admission to the museum is always free. Stick around campus after the tour for a stroll through the scenic grounds.
MILLS 50 SELF-GUIDED MURAL TOUR
If you find yourself in Orlando’s artsy and foodie-friendly Mills 50 district, chances are you’re within walking distance of one of the district’s colorful wall murals. Set out on foot or on a bike and go mural hunting. The district has a helpful listing of murals and locations to help you plan out a route. Or, follow our self-guided street art tour.
MEAD BOTANICAL GARDEN
Located in Winter Park, Mead Botanical Garden features hiking trails, boardwalks, a butterfly garden, biking paths, and dozens of picturesque settings for a romantic date day picnic. Plus, admission to the gardens is always free. The gardens connect to the Orlando Urban Trail, so bring along bikes and ride to downtown Orlando before returning to the gardens for lunch.
KRAFT AZALEA GARDEN
Another Winter Park gem, Kraft Azalea Garden is a local (and free!) public park treasure situated on the shore of Lake Maitland. The 5.22-acre park boasts waterfront views, winding paths, benches, and cypress trees. Admission is free, proving that you don’t need a huge budget for date night in Winter Park.
ORLANDO URBAN TRAIL
The Orlando Urban Trail is an excellent (and safe) way to get to several city hotspots including Ivanhoe Village and the Mills 50 district, both of which offer numerous date night activities. The nearly 3-mile Orlando Urban Trail begins in Ivanhoe Village, snakes through the Mills 50 area, and connects by way of a street route all the way to Mead Garden in Winter Park, weaving alongside lakes and passing through cultural hot spots. Consider walking, biking, or skating along the trail while seeing the city in a whole new light.
NERD NITE ORLANDO
Held on the second Thursday of each month, Nerd Nite Orlando invites attendees to Stardust Video & Coffee for a night of drinking and thinking. This free to attend event includes three 15-20 minute presentations from a variety of local speakers dishing on what they “nerd out” about. Know before you go: there’s an option to purchase a $5 ticket, but it’s not required, and although the doors open at 6pm, the talks don’t kick off until around 7pm. Check Nerd Nite’s Facebook page for details on upcoming events.
MUSIC AT THE CASA
Casa Feliz was once a private residence built by James Gamble Rodgers II, a notable architect in Winter Park’s history. Today, it stands as a historical home museum open several days a week. Visit between noon and 3pm on Sundays for Music at the Casa, a free open house with live music. Guided docent tours are also available.
PACK A PICNIC
Orlando is home to dozens of scenic parks perfect for a picnic date night. Some of our local favorites include Central Park in Winter Park, Lake Lily Park, and Kissimmee Lakefront Park, among others.
BALDWIN PARK FIRST FRIDAY FESTIVAL
Admire the artwork of more than 70 artisans each month during Baldwin Park’s First Friday Festival, a free sidewalk festival held monthly along New Broad Street. Events are both family and pet-friendly.
HARRY P. LEU GARDENS (FIRST MONDAY)
Regular admission to Leu Gardens is $10, but visit on the first Monday of most (not all) months and you’ll get in for free! Once inside, stroll the lush themed gardens and tour the historic Leu House Museum. Explore the rose garden, palms, lake overlook, butterfly garden, and more throughout the 50+ acre property. Check this page for details on current free admission days.
HISTORIC DOWNTOWN WINTER PARK WALKING TOUR
You don’t need to spend a lot of money to enjoy a date night in Winter Park. Partake in totally free fun (and get in a little exercise) by visiting all 20+ sites on the self-guided historical walking tour of Winter Park. You can download the map online and save it to your phone or visit the Winter Park Historical Museum to pick up a free walking map brochure.