The City Beautiful is known for being the home of Mickey Mouse, Shamu, and the Minions at Universal Studios, but there are more things to do in Orlando than spend valuable family time at the city’s theme parks, emptying your vacation savings account and waiting in long lines. There are a surprising number of things to do in Orlando that’ll cost you under $20, allowing you to spread your budget further and experience lots of unique memory-making activities. And thanks to Orlando’s tropical climate, you won’t have to wait for summer to visit!
Not only have we compiled a list of some of the top things to do in Orlando for you and your family, but all 10 of these activities will cost you under $20! Now that is a vacation anyone can afford.
Visit the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens
The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens is a conservation resource providing experiences to inspire you and your children to learn and act on behalf of wildlife. The Zoo is home to over 350 animals representing over 100 species throughout the world and plays an active role in both local and global conservation efforts. We make seeing animals up-close an engaging and interactive experience. You’ll have opportunities to learn more about our animals during in-park experiences, through keeper chats, shows, and other encounters.
Storytime at the Zoo – Second Wednesday of every month, September–May Cost: FREE (Zoo admission not required) For an entertaining and inviting learning experience, storytellers from the Orange County Library System take you on an exciting animal story adventure each month. The Zoo’s Animal Ambassadors help bring the story to life, followed by an up-close animal encounter.This free thing to do in Orlando is ideal for your preschool-aged children and occurs at 10 AM on the second Wednesday of every month from September through May in the Discovery Center Courtyard. When you need a break from Mickey or are just looking for analternative educational thing to do in Orlando with your younger children, Storytime at the Zoo is an excellent and exciting option.More information is available at www.centralfloridazoo.org/storytime.
KaBOOM! Playground Cost: Included with Zoo admission The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens is a valuable family-time destination with so many incredible activities to choose from that will make memories without breaking the bank, including the Zoo’s KaBOOM! playground. With help from KaBOOM!, a national non-profit organization helping kids stay active, and 200 volunteers from ForestersTM life insurance, our playground came to fruition in 2011.This 2,500 square-foot playscape is a great stop for those spending the day in the Zoo, where your kids can climb, slide, and swing, making it a great option if your family is looking for things to do in Orlando.
Wharton-Smith Tropical Splash Ground Cost: Included with Zoo admission If you’re looking for things to do in Orlando and want a way for you and your family to beat the heat, look no further than the Wharton-Smith Tropical Splash Ground located just inside the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens. There’s no need to shell out hundreds of dollars for you and your family to cool off at a waterpark—visit the Zoo and get the best of both worlds! Both you and your kids can get soaked in the splash ground’s oasis of streams, sprinklers, and spray features. The animal-themed watery playground boasts fun-loving water features, including ocean animals, raining trees, and the popular bucket dump.This inexpensive family fun thing to do in Orlando is open daily until 4:00 PM (weather permitting).
Keeper Chats Cost: Included with Zoo admission Daily Keeper Chats at 1:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. (subject to change). With so many exciting in-park experiences happening at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens, you and your family can learn something new about animals every single day. Check the Keeper Chat schedule for the day posted at the Zoo’s Admission Gate, or ask a Zoo Employee to find out what times and locations you can meet Zookeepers to learn about how they care for the animals, voluntary training, enrichment, and more.
Giraffe Feeding Cost: $5 per person; not included with Zoo admission Get up close and personal with the tallest residents of the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens. For only a $5 donation, you and your family can feed lettuce to one of the Zoo’s giraffes. You’ll get face-to-face with Gage or Rafiki, and take part in a truly unique and memorable thing to do in Orlando.
Barnyard Buddies Feeding Cost per serving $2; not included with Zoo admission The Central Florida Zoo offers lots of great things to do in Orlando, centering around adorable animals. Inside the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens, you may find yourself in the Barnyard Buddies Children’s Zoo, where you’re greeted by the friendly faces of the Zoo’s goats, llamas, alpacas, and more. Twice per day at 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., you can purchase a tray of food for them inside the Zoofari Outpost Gift Shop and make the animals’ day! Feeding times and portions vary depending on Animal Nutrition team.
Kids’ Course at Seminole Aerial Adventures Children must be at least five years old and between 36” to 60” tall Your young adventurers can take to the sky at Seminole Aerial Adventures for a course designed specifically for them. They will navigate through trees and obstacles, ending with an exciting zip-line and a new sense of accomplishment. Plan on this course taking your kids around 45-minutes to an hour to complete. This fun thing to do in Orlando is one you and your kids can’t miss! You can challenge yourself at Seminole Aerial Adventures, too. The Upland and Rainforest courses are built for older kids and adults and designed to test your mind and body as you traverse through a series of aerial elements and ziplines.Cost: Upland Course: $35.95; must be a minimum of 54” tall | Rainforest Course: $45.95; must be a minimum of 54” tall and have completed the Upland Course to reach the Rainforest CourseFor more information about Seminole Aerial Adventures, please visit www.centralfloridazoo.org/saa.
Finding things to do in Orlando is easy, but finding things to do in Orlando that won’t leave you broke is another story. When you take a trip to the conveniently located Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens, you are guaranteed to make wonderful family memories without having to spend a fortune. Another great thing about Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens is that you can go again and again and try out different experiences each time! Kids love animals, and let’s face it, so do many adults. Visiting the Zoo is a great way to learn, have fun, and enjoy family time all at the same time – without the long lines and overpriced tickets.
All aboard! Train attraction returns to the Central Flo...