20 Free Things to Do this Fall in the City
Posted date: September 15, 2015
Fall is almost here. The temperatures will soon begin to drop, making the season an ideal time to get outside and enjoy all that The City Beautiful has to offer.
Orlando has many family-friendly events and amenities, ranging from public art installations to museums to cultural festivals to green spaces.
Here is a list of 20 free things for families to do in the city this fall:
Thank Those Who Have Served
The annual City of Orlando Veterans Day Parade on November 14 offers a wonderful opportunity to thank those who have served our country. The parade through the streets of Downtown Orlando features thousands of veterans, and plenty of fun with marching bands, floats and local sports teams. Bring the family to Downtown to take part in this patriotic event.
City of Orlando Veterans Day Parade
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Located between a pair of parks, Clear Lake is a great location to bring your rod and reel. The lake is stocked with hybrid-striped bass. Most of the good fishing for hybrids is in the cooler months. The lake also has largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish, warmouth, white catfish and brown bullhead catfish.
George Barker Park
2000 Monte Carlo Trail
Check Out the Colors at Leu Gardens
Fall means new plants and new colors at Harry P. Leu Gardens. The 50-acre botanical oasis is filled with beautiful gardens. The first Monday of each month, Leu Gardens offers free admission. Take advantage of the offer on October 5, November 2 and December 7 and experience fall at the gardens.
Harry P. Leu Gardens
1920 North Forest Avenue
Free First Monday: October 5, November 2, December 7
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Go for a Tour of Greenwood Cemetery
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 like Bumby, Beardall, Carr and Beacham. The 82-acre cemetery is open to the public and older children will enjoy exploring Orlando’s past. And for the grownups, cemetery sexton Don Price offers Moonlight Walking Tours that visit the graves of 100 notable individuals.
1603 Greenwood Street
7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Search for a Pumpkin at Lake Eola Park
When the calendar moves to October, it is not too early to start planning for Halloween. Head to the Orlando Farmers Market at Lake Eola Park to search for your family’s pumpkin. The farmers market is held each Sunday in the southeast corner of the park and features fresh fruits and vegetables, food carts and art.
Orlando Farmers Market
Lake Eola Park
Corner of East Central Boulevard and North Eola Drive
Sunday – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Spend a Day Outside at Mathews Park
Mathews Park in College Park is a great place for families to spend a day outside. The park has multiple playgrounds to explore, picnic tables, a basketball court and a baseball field. Large areas are open for other games and group gatherings.
205 East Hazel Street
Enjoy Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake on National Public Lands Day
National Public Lands Day educates Americans about the environment and our natural resources. In Orlando, Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake offers free admission and activities on this day, which this year is September 26. Covering 183 acres, the park includes a fishing pier, nature, bike and walking trails, children’s farm, playgrounds and disc golf.
Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake
3401 S. Hiawassee Road
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Get Artistic at the Mennello Museum of American Art
Featuring American art of all genres and time periods, the Mennello Museum of Art is tucked away on the shore of Lake Formosa in Loch Haven Cultural Park. The museum, which contains the permanent collection of paintings by Earl Cunningham, a 20th-century folk artist, offers free admission the second Sunday of each month, with arts and crafts stations for the kids. Admission is also free on September 26 as part of Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day Live.
Mennello Museum of American Art
900 East Princeton Street
Free Family Day on the Second Sunday: October 11, November 8, December 13
Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day Live: September 26
Go for a Swim
Cooler temperatures are on the way… but they are not here yet. Before we start seeing 70s, utilize City pools to cool down. Four City pools are open year round: College Park, Dover Shores, James R. Smith and Wadeview.
Play at Cherry Tree Park
Thanks to a well-equipped playground and plenty of shade, Cherry Tree Park is a great park for families to enjoy. Located near Orlando Executive Airport, the park is nearly one acre and includes a pavilion, benches and open space for fun games and activities.
Cherry Tree Park
2725 East Jackson Street
Experience Fall at Lake Eola Park
In its 45th year, Fall Fiesta in the Park is one of the largest events at Lake Eola Park. Artists, crafters and food vendors will line the streets around the park November 7-8. With bounce houses and games, there is no shortage of fun activities for the kids.
Fall Fiesta in the Park
512 East Washington Street
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (November 7)
12-5 p.m. (November 8)
Kick Off Orlando’s Haunted Season
Kick off the haunted season on October 10 at the Audubon Park Garden District’s seventh annual Zombietoberfest. Sounds scary? It’s not. The evening includes a kids’ zone, live music, a costume contest and food trucks.
Audubon Park Garden District – Corrine Drive
Go for a Ride
Bike riding is an enjoyable and healthy activity for the whole family. The City of Orlando features a number of bike trails, including the Cady Way Trail. Starting behind Fashion Square Mall, the trail meanders past Baldwin Park and through Orange County before connecting with the Cross-Seminole Trail.
Let the Dogs Out
Bring the dogs to the Park of the Americas and let them get active. The off-leash dog park features separate areas for small and large dogs. The kids are not ignored at the park either. In addition to a tot lot with swings, climbers and motion activities geared toward 2-5 year olds, the park has shade pavilions, picnic tables and grills.
The Park of the Americas
201 Andes Avenue
Get Active at Southport Park
With 52 acres, Southport Park offers plenty of space for your family to get active. Baseball, softball, soccer and kickball games can be played at the park. After the games, take a break with a picnic or a stroll along the walking path.
3437 Barnstable Place
See the Swans Up Close
Each year, Lake Eola Park staff and volunteers round up Lake Eola’s iconic swans for an annual physical and immunization by a veterinarian. This year’s roundup will be held on November 14. Bring the kids to see the swans up close and then spend some time at the park’s playground.
Lake Eola Swan Roundup
Lake Eola Park
512 East Washington Street
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with Art
Mayor Buddy Dyer and the City of Orlando celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month each fall. The celebration includes an exhibit of the work of local Hispanic artists in the Terrace Gallery at City Hall. The exhibit showcases Orlando’s multicultural diversity and celebrates the contributions of Hispanics to the community.
Hispanic Heritage Month Art Exhibit
September 10 – October 2
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
400 South Orange Avenue
Get Live on Virginia Drive
Explore the Ivanhoe Village Main Street District on September 19 during Virginia Drive Live. The event turns Virginia Drive into a street-long festival with food trucks, live music and vendors.
Virginia Drive Live
Bring Lunch to Loch Haven
With 45 acres and plenty of shade from majestic Oak trees, Loch Haven Park is a wonderful location for a picnic lunch. Surrounded by museums, the park has a large lawn with plenty of space for the kids to play.
Loch Haven Cultural Park
777 East Princeton Street
Think Outside the Box
Orlando’s growing arts scene is on display in the Mills 50 Main Street District, where your family can see creativity right on the street. The district’s art box project allows local artists to transform signal boxes at intersections into works of art. The boxes are found throughout the district, with the majority located on Mills Avenue and East Colonial Drive.
Mills 50 Art Box Project
Mills 50 District