Born and raised in Florida this list in comprised of all my favorite cheap places to go and cheap things to do with my family.
Some places and ideas listed are just one or two hours of fun and some are all day fun!
(All prices,dates and times should be verified before visiting. Please verify with venue websites where applicable)


Idea Garden at Leu Gardens

Idea Garden at Leu Gardens

Harry P. Leu Gardens Free Mondays
1920 North Forest Avenue Orlando, FL

www.leugardens.org

The first Monday of each month is free admission! Explore an amazing 50-acre botanical oasis on a self guided tour. There is a beautiful Rose Garden that boasts hundreds of colorful rose blooms. The Idea Gardens are fun to explore because the plants there are unique. The butterfly garden is a favorite with my kids. Butterflies everywhere! 

If you have younger children there is a FREE story time offered as well.

Personal Recommendations:
Parking lot is small arrive early to get a good spot.
Bring plenty of water and SPF.
You can take as many pictures as you like. 
Ask your kids to pick out their favorite plants or flowers in each garden and take a picture of them by it.
Take time to read the information plaques. There is so much history there.
Bring a blanket and a picnic lunch and find a cozy spot next to the big tree by the entrance.

Hours of Operation:
Open 364 days a year from 9:00 AM- 5:00 PM 

Story time:
10:00  – 10:15 a.m. Infant Time (up to 18 months)
10:20  – 10:35 a.m. Toddler Time (18 months to 2 year olds)
10:40  – 11:00 a.m. Preschool Time (3 to 5 year olds)

Cost:
First Monday of Every Month is FREE!


Kids Fringe 2014

Kids Fringe 2014

Kids Fringe
Held Outside the Mennello Museum for American Art
900 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL 32803

orlandofringe.org/what/kids-fringe

Kick off the summer with Arts & Crafts galore! Kids Fringe is a special part of the Orlando Fringe Festival just for kids and families. Located in the beautiful sculpture gardens of The Mennello Museum of American Art, Kids Fringe offers performances by Fringe artists and local arts organizations, workshops and hands-on-art activities. Kids Fringe is free to all participants!

Personal Recommendations:
Bring Water and snacks
Wear Comfy clothes and shoes
There is usually a bounce house so wear or bring socks.
Make your mark with Fence Painting

Hours of Operation:
Usually held in the Summer. Check website for actual dates

Cost:
Parking is in the Science Center Garage and is $5.00 for the day
Free to walk the park trail, make crafts and more!
There are a handful of Food Vendors that cost money if you choose to eat there.


Feeding a Goose at Lake Eola

Feeding a Goose at Lake Eola

Lake Eola & Movieola
512 E Washington St, Orlando, FL 32801

www.cityoforlando.net/parks/lake-eola-park

Lake Eola Park is located in the heart of Downtown Orlando.
The sidewalk that circles the lake is .9 miles in length. There is a playground and for quarters you can feed the many resident swans and other birds. On the weekends there are usually concerts or  plays in the Walt Disney Amphitheater. You can also rent swan-shaped paddle boats.

At night the fountain comes alive with a choreographed show set to music. The colors of the water and the musical themes change with the season. 

Movieola is a family friendly outdoor movie showing in the park for the Summer. It's completely free unless you want to purchase food.

Personal Recommendations:
Park in the parking garage by the Downtown Library and walk across the street to Lake Eola.
Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. There is a lot of walking.
Bring plenty of quarters. The birds love to eat!
Bring a blanket and picnic lunch so when you find the perfect spot you can eat and take in the view of downtown Orlando.

Movieola:
Bring blankets, chairs and snacks.
Be sure to arrive early to secure a spot and enjoy some of the pre-movie activities.

Hours of Operation:
Check Dates and Movie Schedule on Website.
Movies are shown on certain Friday Nights throughout the Summer.
Movies start at 8:00 PM

Cost:
Parking is hourly and can be between $5-$10 dollars depending on where you park
Free to walk and enjoy the sites
Movieola is free unless you want to buy snacks.


Mennello Museum of Art

Mennello Museum of Art

Mennello Museum of American Art
900 East Princeton Street Orlando, FL 32803

www.mennellomuseum.com

Tucked away on the shore of Lake Formosa in Loch Haven Park, the Mennello Museum of American Art is housed in what was once the private home of Howard Phillips, son of philanthropist Dr. P. Phillips. The intimate museum uses its gallery spaces to showcase changing exhibitions featuring American art of all genres and time periods, including originally curated and traveling shows.

Hours of Operation:

Closed Mondays

Tuesday-Saturday
10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Sunday
Noon to 4:30 p.m.

Closed major holidays

Cost:
Adults $5.00
Children ages 6 through 18 $1.00
Children under age 6 Free


Courtroom set up for a wedding.

Courtroom set up for a wedding.

Orange County Regional History Center
65 East Central Blvd. Orlando, FL 32801

thehistorycenter.org

Located in the heart of downtown Orlando, the History Center offers four floors of dynamic permanent exhibits exploring 12,000 years of Central Florida history. The smart, surprising fun continues with limited-run and nationally-run traveling exhibitions scheduled throughout the year.

Hours of Operation:
Monday- Saturday 10:00 AM- 5:00 PM
Sunday Noon- 5:00 PM

Cost:
Parking- FREE
Adult- $12.00
Child- $9.00
4 & Under- Free
*Prices can fluctuate due to traveling exhibits or special events


Kids Town Treehouse at the Orlando Science Center

Kids Town Treehouse at the Orlando Science Center

Orlando Science Center
777 E. Princeton Street • Orlando, Florida 32803

www.osc.org

Four Levels of Science Fun!! Staples include:
Nature Works: Up close views and live feedings of Alligators, Turtles, Fish, Snakes and more! 
Dino Digs: Prehistoric Dinosaur Skeletons and a Dig Pit to uncover fossils for yourself.
Kids Town: Work in the Orange Groves, Play in the Treehouse, Float Boats at the Waterfall and much more!
So many other exhibits, science stations and movies offered everyday!
1 Hollywood Movie, Cinedome and Giant Screen Films are all included with Admission!!!

On the Science Center Roof at the Crosby Oberservatory

On the Science Center Roof at the Crosby Oberservatory

Personal Recommendations:
Avoid the Weekends!
Go on Thursday or Friday. The Science Center offers Hollywood Movies like Home, Lego Movie and more!
Plan your day before you go. Visit the website and look at the daily schedule for movie times and special activities.
Eat at lunch at an off time there is a Subway located on Level 1.
Watch at least one show at the CineDome.
Watch a 3D Movie.

Hours of Operation:
Monday:    10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday:    10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday:    10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Thursday    10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday    10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Saturday    10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Sunday    10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Orlando Science Center is open on most major holidays except for:
Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day,
Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.

Cost:
Parking- $5.00
Adult- $19.00
Child- $13.00
2 & Under- Free
*Prices can fluctuate due to traveling exhibits or special events