19 Free Ways to Enjoy the Summer


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Posted date: June 09, 2016


Summer is a great time to enjoy Orlando and some of its best events and amenities. The City Beautiful offers a wide variety of free activities for everyone, including parks, fairs and festivals and a thriving arts scene that make Orlando a community where quality of life is second to none.

Here are 19 free ways for your family to enjoy the summer in Orlando:

Come take a stroll through Leu Gardens on any 1st Monday of the month for a free, breathtaking experience. During free admission days on July 4, August 1 and September 5, Jolly Dogger Hotdogs and Peak Season Pops will have food available for purchase.

Pop Art Prints

Looking to explore your creative side? The Mennello Museum of American Art’s Free Family Days can help. The museum is home to galleries of all genres in an intimate setting. Head over to the museum to see the new Pop Art Prints exhibit. The exhibit includes 37 prints from the Smithsonian and includes work from Andy Warhol, Allan D’Arcangelo, Jim Dine, Jasper John and other iconic 1960s artists. Free admission is offered on the 2nd Sunday of each month (June 12, July 10, August 14, September 11) and includes arts and crafts activities for the kids.

Looking for some family fun on two wheels? The Orlando Urban Trail is a 3-mile path through part of Downtown Orlando and its connecting neighborhoods. The trail is considered one of the most urban and scenic in the Orlando Trail Network due to its location. The trail passes by numerous different lakes and includes two bridges to provide picturesque views along the ride.

On July 4, celebrate America’s birthday at Fireworks at the Fountain at Lake Eola Park. The patriotic celebration includes a large children’s play area and live entertainment beginning at 4 p.m., including a performance by the Orlando Concert Band. Fireworks will light up the Downtown skyline starting at 9:10 p.m.

Looking for a place to fish, birdwatch, enjoy water sports or just have a fun day in the sun? 5 of our City parks have boat ramps for families to enjoy. Head on over to Gaston Edwards Park, George Barker Park, Gilbert McQueen Park, Lake Fairview Park or Lake Underhill Park to enjoy our lakes and beat the heat.

At night the iconic Lake Eola Park fountain comes alive with a choreographed show set to music. The colors of the lights and the musical themes change throughout the year. Shows run nightly at approximately 8:30 and 9:30 p.m., lasting about 6 minutes.

Looking to cast a line or get the family hooked on a day outside? George Barker Park can accommodate you. The 7-acre park at Clear Lake is home to three pavilions, a boat ramp, two fishing piers, two playgrounds, a volleyball court and a basketball court.

Love Downtown Orlando, being outdoors and art? Then the See Art Orlando walking tour is perfect for you. See Art Orlando features 8 permanent, contemporary public art sculptures that were crafted from a variety of different mediums in Downtown Orlando. Unveiled in 2013, the pieces in the collection are centrally located and allow for a nice evening stroll that can start on South Orange Avenue and end at Lake Eola Park.

No caddies or golf carts required for this course. For a great way to be active and outdoors, Airport Lakes Park is home to a 9-hole disc golf course with two sets of tees for the entire family to enjoy. In addition to the disc golf course, Airport Lakes Park has a playground, soccer field, trails, fishing spots and picnic areas for a perfect family fun day.

Started in 1987 and still growing every year, the Orlando Farmer’s Market at Lake Eola Park is a perfect way to support local vendors while enjoying the beauty of Lake Eola Park. The market is open every Sunday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The market features fruits and vegetables, homemade breads, an assortment of local cuisines and beverages available for purchase and a variety of artwork and entertainment.

When temperatures climb into the 90s this summer, it’s time to break out the bathing suits to beat the heat! All 11 of the City’s community pools open for the summer in mid-June and are free for residents, so round up the family and get ready to make a splash.

Did you know the average age of a skateboarder is 12-years-old? But age doesn’t matter on Go Skate Day. On June 21 admission to Orlando Skate Park is free. The skate park is home to an 8,000-square foot flow course, an 11-foot vert wall, bowls with six foot to nine-foot depths, a beginner’s course and a low-impact street area.

There is nothing spooky about learning about our city’s history at Greenwood Cemetery. Established in 1880, Greenwood offers scenic views and historical importance as it is the final resting place for many familiar names in the Orlando Community. Head over to Greenwood to see 13 famous burial plots including Bumby, Beacham and Carr.

Explore and immerse yourself into some European culture, right here in Orlando. Head over to the Audubon Park Garden District, one of the City’s Main Streets Districts, for its annual Bastille Day celebration July 14-17. Bastille Day commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution with the storming of Bastille on July 14 of 1789. The district will offer different free activities and festivities, plus food and art available for purchase.

What do princesses, dinosaurs and minions have in common? They can all be seen at Lake Eola Park’s Movieola this summer. Enjoy a movie with your family on the East Lawn of Lake Eola Park. Bring blankets, chairs, snacks and the whole family to enjoy some of the best movies of 2015. Leashed pets are welcome and food is available for purchase. Here is the movie schedule for the summer: Cinderella (June 24), Inside Out (July 15), Jurassic World (July 29) and Minions (August 26).

Home to 16 acres of space for fun, Orlando Festival Park is a great place for a day outdoors. Enjoy volleyball courts, a basketball court and a multi-purpose field. Make sure to head over early, as the volleyball courts are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Located in East Orange County, Orlando Wetlands Park is a great place to enjoy nature. The park features 1,650 acres of hardwood hammocks, marshes and lakes. The park is even home to 1700 alligators! Bird-watching, nature photography, jogging and bicycling are among the activities at the park, which has more than 20 miles of roads and woodland trails.

Join Orlando Shuffle at the Beardall Center on the first and third Saturday of the month for some shuffleboard fun. Fun fact: the first recorded game of shuffleboard was all the way back in 1532. The standard rules for shuffleboard were even established right here in Florida. From 7-9 p.m., all ages and all levels of play are invited to the 18 shuffleboard courts for an evening of family fun.

Lake Druid free things

Did you know you can go mountain biking in Orlando? Within the 19 acres Lake Druid Park are three different tracks to pick from: the pump track, single track trail and junior pump track for the kids. The park, which opened last fall, also has plenty of green space, and a fenced dog run.



19 Free Ways to Enjoy the Summer

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