Orlando is one of the biggest tourist destinations in the U.S., but not every activity carries the price tag of Disney or Universal.
Here are a few free activities that you can do on your next vacation that won’t break the budget.
LEGO Imagination Center (Downtown Disney)
The LEGO Imagination Center is one of the best free places you can take your children while on vacation. While the LEGO Center is a store first and foremost, it features an area where children can build with LEGO blocks for as long as they want, absolutely free. There are also many LEGO sculptures in and around the building to view with your family. The LEGO store is open Sunday through Thursday, 9:30 a.m.-11:00 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m.
If you’re not into LEGOs, Downtown Disney itself is a great place to go to hang out, window-shop, and people-watch. Parking is free, and there are often free events going on. If you’re lucky, you might see some street performers or free musical entertainment at the outdoor amphitheater.
The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida
For history buffs, or families with older children, the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center is a great place to be educated and informed. There is a permanent exhibit and memorial (that is family-friendly and does not show graphic images of the Holocaust) as well as temporary exhibits. The current temporary exhibit is “Fighting the Fires of Hate”, which will be at the museum until April 12, 2011. The Holocaust Museum never charges an admission fee to view its exhibits or to participate in any of its special events, but does welcome donations.
The museum is open Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards
Whether you prefer wine or beer, both of these establishments offer free tours and tastings. Lakeridge Winery offers free tours seven days a week, Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. There are tours every 15 to 20 minutes. Each tour begins with a video presentation followed by a tour of the vineyards and production area and 45 minute wine tasting.
Orlando Brewing, Florida’s only certified organic brewery, offers free tours of its facility Monday through Saturday at 6 p.m. After the tour you can sample the brewery’s organic beers in the taproom. Although the tour only runs once a day, the taproom is open Monday through Thursday, 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday, opens at 12 p.m., closes late night, and Sunday 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.