Orlando is “the happiest place on earth” and is known worldwide for its theme parks. Those theme park tickets come with a hefty price tag, and so most people assume that Orlando is expensive for families. That couldn’t be further from the truth. There are lots of cheap things to do in Orlando with the kids.
Cheap Things to do in Orlando with Kids
We have compiled a fun list of activities to do with the kiddos that will have you “balling on a budget.”
Aloma Bowling Centers
With three locations throughout the Orlando area, the Aloma Bowling Centers offers families on a budget a great place to have a little fun. One of their locations, Boardwalk Bowl, on East Colonial Drive, has something for everyone in the family. Boardwalk Bowl has plenty of lanes for single-game play, to play against other teams or compete against the family. If bowling isn’t your thing, go to Brooklyn South, their premier billiards playing room with eight full-sized pool tables. Kids ages one to one hundred will absolutely flip for their state-of-the-art arcade. There are games for the little ones to play and games for older kiddos like four-person air hockey, Guitar Hero, and Technika. Plus, there is no need to carry around tokens – purchase a game card and swipe away! The costs to play range from $3.50 to $38, depending on your fancy for the day. Boardwalk Bowl is open Sunday through Saturday with varying times; the Billiards room is closed Sunday and Monday, but open the rest of the week, with varying times. It’s a fun spot in Orlando that the family will truly enjoy.
Altitude Trampoline Park (Sanford)
Jump around! Get the family and get active over at Altitude Trampoline Park in Sanford, Florida. If you have wee little ones six and under, they will enjoy the Junior Jumpers Jam each weekday from 10 am to 12 pm. The Friday night Friendzy allows children of all ages to bounce from 7 – 10 pm nightly with some cool music in the background. If you think this visit will turn into a regular thing at your house, then consider getting a membership – $10 to join, and $10 per month. This will definitely be one that the entire family will enjoy. Altitude is big on safety so before going to the park, make sure to sign the waiver.
Andretti Indoor Karting and Games
Thrills, chills, spills, and fun brings to mind one word – Andretti’s! located on Universal Boulevard in Orlando, Andretti Indoor Karting and Games has tons of fun under one roof. There is no admission fee, you can simply pay as you go paying for the attractions you want to enjoy. Save even more by becoming a member. A single membership is $9.95 and a family membership is $24.95 which covers up to five members of the family.
Andretti’s offers lots of options for fun for the family including arcade games, boutique bowling, laser tag, and of course, go-karts! Not all attractions are open to the kiddos though, so please make sure to check for age and height requirements. The Orlando location offers go karters accelerated fun in the BiZ Kart Ecovolt GT karts – they are powerful, safe, and environmentally friendly. Don’t worry, they still pack enough punch to get you across the finish line.
If the little ones have a need for speed too, the Orlando location also features the Mini Marion karts for drivers 4 to 7 years old. Go-karting is a separate fee from the other attractions. They have different rates for different packages so the best bet is to visit the website to what best fits the family’s needs.
Astro Skate Orlando
Affordable prices and having fun – a perfect match! Whether you are a novice or an expert skater, Astro Skate Orlando on Goldenrod Road is the place for the entire family to enjoy a perfect day of fun. Little ones can enjoy Tiny Tot skate while the teens have plenty to choose from like Teen Night, Rhythm Skate Night, or Hip Hop night. If you are very new to roller skating, Astro Skate Orlando offers skating lessons for just $8 per class which includes the cost of the lesson, and skates, and then you can Stay and Skate from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
Chuck E. Cheese
They have been around forever and still give children a thrill with every visit! Chuck E. Cheese, located on International Drive, is a favorite of children everywhere. There are two other locations ins Orlando and another in Altamonte Springs. The games change, but the thrill of winning tickets is still exciting and oh, the pizza! They are open daily from 11 am to 9 pm and on Fridays and Saturdays, open until 10 pm. Visit their website before going to snag a discount coupon!
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Crayola Experience Orlando
Color the world beautiful! The Crayola Experience in Orlando at the Florida Mall is a great place to take the family for a fun-filled day trip. You will need to go online to purchase tickets as well as to make reservations. With more than twenty interactive attractions to choose from, there is something for each family member to enjoy. Take the little ones to Toddler Town, or head over to Wrap It Up where your children can personalize their own crayon.
Fun Spot America
Orlando is known for many things, including theme parks. Everyone knows about Disney, Universal Studios, and the like, but that little hidden gem tucked away is Fun Spot America. Fun Spot has all the bells and whistles of the regular theme parks but at more than half the price. The family-owned and operated park with locations in Orlando and Kissimmee offers families single-day fun passes for $54.95 and single MEGA day fun passes for $64.95. If you are looking to beat the heat and have fun at the same time, check out their Splash Pad at the Orlando location. You can enter using the all-day armband or just $5.00 for entry. The splash pad and the park are open s open the same hours of the park, Monday through Frida from 2 pm to 12 am and Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 12 am. Park hours may vary due to inclement weather, so it is best to check the website for updates. The park is great for children of all ages however, there may be some rides that will have height or weight restrictions.
No need to travel hours to Everglades National Park for some gators when they are right in your backyard! Heading over to Gatorland on Orange Blossom Trail will give you all the wildlife feels that you want and need. Children three to twelve are just under $20 and they will have a blast! Alligators, crocs, turtles, snakes, and the like in their natural habitats will amaze the family. Gatorland also has an aviary and a petting zoo with farm animals for the kids to interact with.
For the adventurers in the group, visit the Gator gauntlet, the Gator night shine, or the perennial favorite, Trainer for a Day. These are all offered at an additional cost to the regular entry fee. Gatorland is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, including holidays. Tickets are $29.99 per adult and $`9.99 per kid ages 3-12 if purchased online. Gatorland frequently offers half-priced tickets for Florida residents, so check the website to see if they are on offer when you want to visit.
Harry P. Leu Gardens
The Harry P. Leu Gardens is a botanical oasis in the Orlando area. It is a great day trip for the family to see beautiful flowers and plants, sculptures, and natural beauty. There are lots of walking trails and you can “get lost in the park” if you want to. Leu Gardens features multiple smaller gardens including the Children’s Garden, the Rose Garden, The Vegetable Garden and the Butterfly Garden. If you are already a Leu Member, admission is free. If not, children three and under are free while children four to seventeen are $10 each. Adults are $15 and active military and veterans are $10. While there, visit the Leu House Museum for a detailed history of how the Leu Gardens came to be. The Gardens are open daily from 9 am to 5 pm and are so worth the visit.
Good to note: Leu Gardens offers usually offers free admission the first Monday of each month. There are a few months when it is not offered, so make sure to check before going to visit their botanical gardens.
Hawaiian Rumble Adventure Golf
Fore! Florida is famous for our beaches and theme parks, but also – golf! While Hawaiian Rumble Adventure Golf may not be on “par” with a full-sized golf course, but it is lots of fun for a mini golf course. Located on FL – 535 in Orlando, this mini golf course packs a punch. With two amazing eighteen-hole golf courses, it is perfect for a family outing. Open seven days a week from 10 am to 10 pm, the whole family can enjoy a great day out for just a few dollars. The first game is $14 per person and the second game is $5.00. they do offer discounts for military, seniors, Florida residents, and Disney and Universal cast members. When everyone has worked up a sweat traversing the gorgeous landscape, head over to the clubhouse for a delicious drink or treat to cool you down. There is no age limit to the fun at Hawaiian, but you should use discretion when bringing the very little ones along.
Nona Adventure Park
Wakeboarding, knee boarding, and an Aqua Park, oh my! Nona Adventure Park has it all for the family that loves fun in the sun and hanging out together. This fun outing with the family may be on the higher side of inexpensive things to do with your kids in Orlando, but it is certainly worth it. The park has three main features – the Climbing Tower, Wakeboarding and Kneeboarding, and Aqua Park. The Aqua Park is the least expensive area to relax and have fun. A fifty-minute session is $25.00 per person (if you purchase the tickets online, $30 if you buy them at the door), however, all participants must sign a waiver. The Aqua Park has more than one thousand feet of inflatables and obstacles that guarantee that you will fall off into Adventure Lake! The Aqua Park is open daily from 12 pm to 4:50 pm however, it is best to call or check the website for time changes as the hours may vary due to weather. The park is great for the entire family with little ones that are five and older.
Old Town Kissimmee
Take a ride back into the 50s and enjoy old cars, great restaurants, and a great amusement park. Old Town is a throwback to a time of simple amusement parks with great rides like the carousel, fun rides, and Magic Hall. The Happy Days Family Fun Center has tons of games for the little ones and even Skeeball. There is something for children of all ages and the redemption area is filled with dolls, toys, and electronics. One of their newest attractions is the Xtreme Ninja Challenge. Test your strength and endurance all while having fun! There is no admission fee, however, the Ninja Challenge attraction is $15.00 per ticket. If you visit on the weekend, make sure to see the Old Town car parade of vintage cars. After a day of having fun, end the evening at one of Old Town’s restaurants and check out some of their live entertainment. Old Town is open daily from 10 am to 11 pm and is a fun place to visit with the kids even if you are on a tight budget.
Orange County Regional History Center
Orange County Regional History Center is a hidden gem located in downtown Orlando. The History Center tells the history of Orange County from the days of the Native Americans to the first settlers and on to present day. It shows how Orange County grew and the development of the first theme parks and the history of Disney World in Orange County. There are a lot of interesting exhibits in the History Center and the price can’t be beat. Tickets are $8 per adult and $6 per child ages 5-12.
Good to note: On the third Thursday of each month, the History Center offers free admission from 6 pm to 8 pm.
Orlando Science Center
The Orlando Science Center is definitely a triple threat. It is fun, educational and cheap. Kids get to climb, build, create, experiment and more within the walls of the Orlando Science Center. They can learn about hurricanes, gravity, force, push and pull, how things move, dinosaurs and much more. While you may know that they are learning, they just think that they are having a great time. In the winter months, the Science Center offers stargazing on the weekends at select times. Check the schedule to see when it is being offered. Tickets for the Science Center are $24 for adults and $18 for kids 2-11. An annual pass is $189 for the entire family. This is a great way to spend the day with the kids.
Good to note: The Orlando Science Center has multiple special exhibits that are on display during the year, so you can visit multiple times and see and do something new.
The Picture Show, located in Altamonte Springs, is a perfect way to get the kiddos out for a fun-filled day without breaking the bank. If you missed the movie at the regular, expensive theater, don’t worry, the Picture Show will have it for $1.00! On Tuesdays, the movies are only fifty cents! If you find yourself going there more than a couple of times a month, it will make sense to join their MyShow Rewards program where you can earn points towards concessions. The Picture Show is open daily from 11 am to 10:30 pm so take the entire family there and have a great time!
Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf
Calling all buccaneers! Want to have a mini golf experience with the little ones? Then Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf is the place for you! Pirate’s Cove does not disappoint in having family fun that is budget-friendly. There are two locations in the Central Florida area – Lake Buena Vista and Orlando. The location in Orlando, on International Drive, is open daily from 9 am to 11:30 pm (weather permitting.).Children three and under can play for free while children four through adult range from $13.95 to 23.95. Their beautifully manicured courses allow players to golf through sunken ships, cascading waterfalls, and beautiful, lush, vegetation. Beware of the pirates!
RDV Sportsplex Ice Den
Visit one of the coolest places in town! RDV Sportsplex Ice Den in Orlando on Maitland Summit Boulevard has classes for the novice skater to learn some tricks of the trade or the expert who can skate figure eights with their eyes closed. Check their website weekly for public skate where during the week, $14 will cover the cost of admission, skate rental, and tax. On the weekends, $17 will do the trick. Skating is open to children 3 and older. If you have a pro skater in the house, then let them try ice hockey at RDV too. There are youth leagues, learn to play groups, and even adult hockey tourneys. Who would ever think that you could find a great ice skating rink in the City Beautiful! When you are all done putting blades to ice, visit the concession stand and enjoy some fresh popcorn, chicken tenders, or a quick stand and drink. The best way to catch their deals and to see what is happening daily, visit their website.
SeaLife Aquarium Orlando
SeaLife Orlando Aquarium is a great place to visit and learn something new too. Located on International Drive, the Sea Life Aquarium has so many cool exhibits and you will get to see Florida sea life up close and personal. Day visit passes start at $35 per adult which includes VIP photo downloads. Check out the 360 Ocean Tunnel where you can walk through the ocean without getting wet. See all kinds of marine life, like fish, sharks, turtles, and eels. With more than nine interactive zones to choose from, the kiddos will be busy all day. The Aquarium is open daily from 11 am to 6 pm most days, and other days until 7 pm or 8 pm. When planning your visit, be sure to check the website for hours and last admissions too. If you have toddlers or younger kids, this is definitely one of the best things in Orlando to do with them.
Good to note: The Aquarium is located in Icon Park and so it is easy to combine a visit to the Aquarium with a visit to Madame Tussauds, Museum of Illusions or the Wheel at Icon Park. You are able to buy a discounted ticket to multiple attractions.
The Swan Boats on the lake in Lake Eola Park is a great activity to do with the entire family. It is pay-one-price for the entire boat, not per person. Boats are $15 to rent for half an hour and they hold up to 5 people or 1400 pounds. Boats are first come first served. After your ride on the boats, explore Lake Eola Park. Take a walk around the lake to see some of the great sculptures spread throughout the park or bring a blanket and some lunch for a picnic.
Visiting Universal CityWalk will give you the fun atmosphere of the theme park with the actual theme park prices and crowds. Visit Cinnabon or Voodoo Doughnut for a delicious treat. If you are looking for budget eats, at least for a theme park area, visit the Burger King Whopper Bar for a burger your way or the Hot Dog Hall of Fame for delicious hot dogs. How about a movie? Purchase two or more movie tickets and be reimbursed for the cost of parking. City Walk also has a fun mini golf course that is themed after 50s sci-fi or horror movies. The course costs $19.99 per adult or $17.99 per child ages 3-9.
Good to note: CityWalk has free parking after 6pm, except during Halloween Horror Nights and some special events. So that means you can visit CityWalk in the evening just to walk around and grab a dessert and not have to spend much at all.
Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour
Have a few extra bucks? If you do, take a boat tour with Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour. See the beauty of central Florida without breaking the bank. Located on Lake Osceola, less than ten minutes from downtown Orlando, the family will get a guided tour through three of the seven lakes and two manmade canals on the Winter Park chain the hour-long tour guarantees the rider to see beautiful and lush vegetation, towering cypress trees, as well as some of the beautiful homes located along the route. Adults are $16 and children 2 to 11 are $8. Children under 2 are free. The pontoon boat tours launch daily from 10 am to 4 pm on the hour, with the last tour leaving at 4 pm. This is definitely an experience the entire family will talk about all the way home!